If you’re reading this article then you’ve likely just got your hands on a coveted PlayStation 5: congratulations! Next comes the hard part (yes, even harder than getting your hands on the damn thing): picking which PS5 games you want to play first.
Fortunately, with the PS5 having now been out for over a year, there are plenty of fantastic titles for you to choose from, from third-party blockbusters to first-party exclusives. Unfortunately (well, kind of), with all that choice, it can be difficult to pick which games to jump into first – so we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve put together a list of PS5 games that will immediately showcase the prowess of Sony’s latest console and offer hours of entertainment to boot. We’ve tried to include a mixture of games that will dazzle and delight both adults and children but, remember, if there’s nothing on this roundup that takes your fancy, you can always check out our best PS5 games guide for our full list of favorites.
(Image credit: Sony)
Showcasing the DualSense
Shows off the DualSenseFamily-friendly funComes pre-loadedQuite short
If you’ve just booted up your new PS5 console for the first time, then you may be waiting for a while until all your new games install. Fortunately, a top PS5 game will already be pre-installed (for free) on your new hardware.
Astro’s Playroom is the best pack-in game since Wii Sports, as it perfectly showcases what Sony’s new system can do. From the sumptuous, crystal clear 4K visuals, to the pleasing 3D audio, this is a gem of a platformer and it’s installed on every PS5.
It’s the way Astro’s Playroom shows off the DualSense controller, though, that really steals the show. You’ll feel sensations that you didn’t know were possible before thanks to Sony’s new haptic feedback and adaptive triggers tech, such as what it feels like to walk along different surfaces or fire a Gatling gun. It’s a surreal, magical experience, and we recommend booting up Astro’s Playroom first before you play anything else (even if your other games have installed). It might be free, but it’s genuinely a top PS5 exclusive.
(Image credit: Sony)
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Miles gets a superhero’s welcome
Incredibly detailed visualsBlazing-fast load timesRay tracing supportMain story doesn’t last longChallenges can be repetitiveDualSense implementation is fairly limited
Another family-friendly title here, but one that will entertain both kids and adults, Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales should definitely be on your list of games to play first when you get your PS5.
A sequel that’s more akin to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in terms of scale, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales puts you in the Adidas-branded sneakers of the charismatic rookie web-slinger, Miles. With Peter Parker off on holiday, it’s up to Miles to take over the stewardship of New York, and predictably, his first week on the job doesn’t go smoothly.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales delivers a blockbuster, cinematic experience that easily rivals Hollywood’s best. The game’s fidelity mode shows off the power of ray-tracing (realistic reflections and lighting) and there’s a silky-smooth 60fps performance mode, too. If you loved Insomniac’s first Spider-Man game, or simply want to experience yet another excellent PlayStation exclusive, you don’t need to look much further than Miles’ debut outing.
(Image credit: Future)
Sony’s first PS5 exclusive delivers the goods
Stunning visualsExcellent DualSense supportBrilliant headphones experiencePunishingly difficultRuns can feel needlessly longRepetitive combat
Returnal is a brilliant PS5 game, and an excellent showcase for what the console is capable of, but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you’ve never played a roguelike style game before, then you may find its punishing difficulty, ever-changing levels and permadeath mechanic to be a real shock to the system. That said, after a few cycles within Returnal’s harsh alien world, you may also find it difficult to stop playing.
Much like the Finnish developer’s previous titles, which include the likes of Nex Machina and Resogun, Returnal brings Housemarque’s signature ‘bullet hell’ approach to the roguelike genre that has been taking the indie gaming world by storm for the last few years. That means that you’ll never know what to expect when you enter a room, only that you will have to start over again from the beginning when you die.
Thankfully, Returnal does offer a number of permanent upgrades that you can bring with you into each new cycle once unlocked, making progression slightly easier in the process. Along the way, you’ll also start to piece together Returnal’s surprisingly immersive story, which is just enough motivation to keep you returning for “just one more run…”
If you do decide to take on the challenge, you’ll likely be taken back by just how well Returnal utilizes the PS5’s technical capabilities. Loading times are seamless and the gentle rumbles of the DualSense controller paired with headphones, allowing PS5 3D audio to kick in, creates an immersion similar to VR. This is the perfect title to put your PS5, (and yourself) through its paces.
(Image credit: Bethesda)
Happy death day
An exciting mystery to unpackShooting is genuinely funMultiplayer has potentialRepetition sets in near endFocuses a bit too much on stealthEnemies are mostly identical
One for adult PS5 players, Deathloop will bring out the detective in you – whether you want it to or not.
Deathloop follows Colt, who wakes up on Blackreef Island and finds himself stuck in a time loop. In order to break the loop, Colt must kill eight ‘Visionaries’ within the same day before midnight. While that may sound like a straightforward task, it’s far from it – and that’s where the fun begins.
It’s up to you to find out new information, weapons and abilities to help you with your murderous task, making Deathloop a mix between a detective game and a first-person shooter – with some stealth thrown in. The gunplay feels immersive and fun (particularly as it utilizes DualSense features), making for a game that may not necessarily be for everyone but certainly offers something a bit different.
(Image credit: Insomniac Games)
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Brilliant, fast-paced fun
New characters have depthHaptic feedback adds immersionTraversal is fast-pacedCharming and humorousPS5 Audio utilization disappointingA fair few bugsA lack of optional missions
Another action-adventure, like Miles Morales, that will entertain the whole family – even if you didn’t play the previous games in the series.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is brilliant, fast-paced fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Rift Apart manages to retain the charm and humor that we loved about the original titles, while balancing this with new characters that offer endearing vulnerability. In addition, the latest Ratchet and Clank makes great use of the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and audio.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is great family fun for both fans of the series and newbies, so make sure it’s on your list of PS5 games to play first.
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