The best games for consoles 2024

Whether you're on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X|S, these are our expert recommendations of the best games you can play right now.

What are the best games to play on consoles? If you’re looking for something new to play on your PlayStation or Xbox console, chances are you want something that is going to wow you and that is worth your time and money. And that’s where we come in. Our list of the best games is exhaustive, representing the must-play games that we at The Loadout would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat.

From sprawling open-world RPGs, to photorealistic racing games, to some of our favorite competitive multiplayer titles, this list is stacked full of incredible experiences that console players can (and should) play right now. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your best PS5 controller or best Xbox controller and dive into one of these amazing games as soon as you can.

The best games are:

Best games: Alan Wake looking down a green-lit street in Alan Wake 2

1. Alan Wake 2

The original Alan Wake was a fantastic psychological thriller, published back when episodic games were all the rage by Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment. It’s a supernatural tale of a writer who’s able to physically manifest his inner machinations through his prose – though he’s unaware of it – on a journey to find his missing wife in the town of Bright Falls. Alan Wake 2, however, is a completely different beast.

Launched 13 years after the original, the titular character is nowhere to be seen as we are instead placed initially into the boots of Saga Anderson, an FBI agent deployed to the Falls to investigate a string of ritualistic murders in the area. Manifesting as a full-fledged survival horror game this time around, things start to get really spooky for Saga real quick.

As Sam says in our Alan Wake 2 review, Alan Wake 2 is “an expertly executed story that will leave you stunned by its ambition and boldness”, backed up by a “remarkable gameplay experience.” We thought it was so excellent, we crowned it our Game of the Year in 2023. Alan Wake 2 is absolutely one of the best horror games in a generation.

Best Games: Peter can be seen fighting Vulture

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

It’s hard to really pick one best superhero game out of the list of titles on offer on PS4, PS5, and Xbox. But, Insomniac’s PS5 remaster of Marvel’s Spider-Man is incredible and easily one of the top action games and superhero games ever created.

It earns a spot on this list because it achieves everything a superhero game aims to do and more. You really feel like Spider-Man at every point, from swinging through New York to beating up thugs in the streets. And, with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 now out in the wild, you can experience the full Insomniac Spider-Man trilogy in all its glory.

Best games: Miles and Peter as Spider-Man leaping towards the camera in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 PS5.

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

If you thought Marvel’s Spider-Man sounded good, then you should get a load of its sequel – seriously, it’s a masterpiece. The Marvellous Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has quickly become one of the fastest-selling games of 2023, as fans of the wall-crawler have swung into storefronts en masse to check out Miles and Peter’s latest adventure.

This time around, there’s an even more impressive array of Spider-Man 2 villains to protect an expanded New York City from in one of the latest PS5 exclusives. Fortunately, with both Miles and Peter featuring as playable characters, you’ll have more than enough spider power to take them all on while donning your Spider-Man 2 suits of choice.

In our 10/10 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 review Callum describes it using superlatives like “the ultimate PS5 experience”, and “the best game of the PS5 era so far.” As a “visually stunning” and “narratively brilliant” sequel to what is already one of the best games out there, it’s time to make like Lil Jon and swing from the windows to the wall.

Best games: a tiny car being chased by golf balls Indiana Jones-style in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

4. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

If you’re after a pint-sized arcade racer with a huge amount of replayability then Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged should be what races to the top of the list. Developed by racing game maestro Milestone, Turbocharged launched with 130 playable cars on day one, alongside a remarkably deep track creator, and a whole host of customization.

A sequel to 2021’s equally excellent Hot Wheels Unleashed, our Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 review hails it as “a gorgeous arcade racer all about fun that smartly expands on the best elements of its predecessor, instead of throwing a wrench in the works.” Needless to say, it’s one of the best racing games around.

Best games: A player takes on the Tree Sentinel on horseback in Elden Ring

5. Elden Ring

If you’re sick of playing the same game over and over again, you might want to consider picking up a copy of Elden Ring. This award-winning game, created by the studio behind many of the best Soulslike games FromSoftware, pushed the boundaries of the genre as we knew it – allowing players to explore its immersive world without any true barriers.

And that in itself is a gift when you consider that the world was created in part by Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, who was given free rein to make the game’s backstory. With walking talking pots, undead monsters, and unimaginable Elden Ring bosses, Elden Ring’s world is almost as good as the game itself.

If you decide to give it a go, you’ll be thrown into a third-person action RPG in which you’ll need to fight desperately to survive. Soulslike games are meant to be punishing by nature, so dying is all part of the experience, but in Elden Ring, you’ll get to choose your path to become the next Elden Lord.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it – trust us. If you don’t believe us, you can read our glowing Elden Ring review right here.

Best games: Kratos talks to Atreus, who's now a teenager in God of War Ragnarok

6. God of War Ragnarok

The God of War series has been around since 2005, with the release of the original on PlayStation 2. However, the series reached new heights with the pseudo-reboot God of War in 2018.

Since then, fans have been clamoring for a conclusion to the Norse Saga, leading to the creation of God of War Ragnarok. Here, Kratos and Atreus have to deal with the might of the All-Father, Odin, while simultaneously tackling the consequences of Ragnarok.

There’s a lot to take in here, but Ragnarok is a brilliant action game with incredible combat, an emotional narrative, and amazing voice acting – all things we praised in our God of War Ragnarok review. Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or a long-time fan, Ragnarok is a must-play.

And, after you’ve completed the story mode of the game, a recent expansion, Valhalla (that’s completely free, by the way), has added a roguelike mode that has huge implications for the future of the series, as well as a brilliant new game plus that enhances the game on further playthroughs.

Best games: A warrior wearing a helmet and wielding dual swords prepares for battle in Skyrim

7. Skyrim

It hurts when you take an arrow to the knee, right? In this action RPG, which is arguably one of the best open world games in recent history, you’ll take to the lands of Tamriel as the Dragonborn, a hero with the power to take down an ancient dragon threatening the end of the world as you know it.

This rich open world can be explored at your own pace and with hundreds of side quests to complete along the way, guards to annoy, and different skills to master, Skyrim offers an immersive experience that is largely unmatched by newer releases.

While Skyrim is available to play on every major platform, it’s at its best when you make the most of the modding community which continues to keep it stocked with endless possibilities and customization options. That being said, if you don’t have a PC and you’ve never had a chance to experience Tamriel’s offerings, Skyrim is still one of the best games on console.

Best games: Colt and Julianna stand back to back in Deathloop

8. Deathloop

What happens if an assassin is hired to kill another assassin? Well, that’s exactly the premise of Deathloop, one of the best FPS games to grace Xbox and PS5 consoles. It’s not exactly straightforward though; both these assassins are stuck in a time loop, and it’s up to your character, Colt, to work out how to break that loop and escape the island of Blackreef before Julianna kills you.

It’s a proper cat-and-mouse game and one that’ll have you right back at the start over and over again, but it’s worth it just to inch one step closer to breaking the loop. In our Deathloop review, we gave the game a nine out of ten, calling it one of the most innovative games in years.

Best games: Goofy, Sora and Daffy salute and wave in Kingdom Hearts 2

9. Kingdom Hearts 2

Combining Final Fantasy and Disney sounds like a strange combination that really shouldn’t work. Yet, here’s the Kingdom Hearts sequel on our best games list.

Kingdom Hearts 2 is the second game in the series, which takes Sora and his friends, Donald Duck and Goofy on a wild ride to save various Disney worlds and find King Mickey.

If you’ve never played a Kingdom Hearts game before, prepare to be overloaded with information. The series is infamous for being a little confusing, but its charm means you can put all of that to one side. Hack-and-slash combat makes it easy to get into action, but a variety of role-playing elements add much-needed depth to the gameplay. While solid levels and worlds are fun to explore, the wonderful cast of iconic characters will stick with you forever.

Best games: A blocky character runs through a field full of bees in Minecraft

10. Minecraft

There are plenty of incredible sandbox survival games out there to play, but none of them are as prevalent as Minecraft. Set in a realm called the Overworld, Minecraft tasks players with surviving against dangerous mobs, while also building and creating a home with their own vision.

While you can remove the threats and simply build to satisfy those creative urges, the fun in surviving – particularly in the best Minecraft survival servers – cannot be beaten. Since 2011, the game has grown exponentially, thanks to a steady stream of updates that add new items, resources, biomes, and more to the procedurally generated world. Mods on the PC side of things also keep the game fresh for everyone. There’s a reason it’s the best-selling game in videogame history and now you have the chance to get in on any platform or via Game Pass.

If you’re looking for other great options that are similar to Mojang’s hit, then check out the best games like Minecraft.

Best games: Geralt swings a longsword in The Witcher 3

11. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you’re a fan of big open worlds sprawling with intrigue, monsters, and magic, you might want to consider tossing a coin to your favorite Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. In this open-world RPG, you’ll play as the infamous monster hunter during his hunt for his adopted daughter, Ciri, while various otherworldly creatures and factions threaten to get in his way.

The Witcher 3 is widely considered one of the best RPG games of all time, mostly in part to its branching narrative. As you work your way through the Northern Kingdoms, you’ll be forced to make decisions, all of which will impact how your game ends and who is by your side. It’s an unbeatable story and one that’s available on all major platforms. The Complete Edition adds two sets of DLC and improved graphics for the current generation. As such, it is well worth the price.

Best games: Two robots hop out of a portal in Portal 2

12. Portal 2

A best games list isn’t complete unless it has a Portal game on it. This Valve-created puzzle series fuses brain-teasing platforming conundrums with some of the wittiest writing and memorial voice-acting performances you’ll find not only in the genre but in gaming altogether.

As a sequel, Portal 2 once again sees Chell (that’s you) try to escape from Aperture Science and the clutches of sentient computer GLaDOS. Joined this time by Wheatley – a personality core tasked with the maintenance of the now-crumbling facility – you will need to navigate your way out with the now-iconic portal gun.

While Portal 2’s single-player campaign is itself exemplary, its co-op campaign – or ‘Cooperative Testing Initiative’ – is equally brilliant in its own right, making it one of the best co-op games. Here, you and a pal can assume control of either Atlas or P-body – two robots built by GLaDOS specifically for testing out puzzle chambers.

Although Portal 2 may not be a 100+ hour epic, it can easily get there should you delve into the Steam Workshop test chambers. Boasting years of user-generated content, you’ll have a hard time running out of new ways to experience the joys of Portal 2.

Best games: Joel and Tess look on at Ellie with a frightened look in The Last of Us Part 1

13. The Last of Us Part 1

As the peak of Sony’s first party lineup, The Last of Us is often praised for its heartfelt story of a father struggling to live again after the loss of his daughter in the aftermath of an apocalyptic outbreak. The narrative is undoubtedly the star of the show, with touching scenes of vulnerability balanced with intense moments of brutality, all portrayed by pitch-perfect voice acting and jaw-dropping visuals.

There’s more to The Last of Us than its story though. The game also boasts nail-bitingly tense combat as you struggle to balance your resources with the need to make it through encounters alive. You’ll find yourself exploring the rich and diverse environments in search of upgrades and crafting materials to improve your odds of survival on a journey across America. The Last of Us is one of PlayStation’s biggest franchises and with a gripping second game and a top-rated TV series, there’s never been a better time to experience Naughty Dog’s epic, especially on PS5 with the remaster. You can read our The Last of Us Part 1 review here.

Best games: Ellie can be seen

14. The Last of Us Part 2

Surprisingly, Naughty Dog was able to follow up the incredible first part of The Last of Us with a stunning sequel that is a brutal, relentless dive into revenge, the consequences of that revenge, and the effect it has on everyone around you, including yourself. This cemented the studio as one of the best storytellers around in gaming today.

It is not beloved by everyone due to the risks it takes in its structure, campaign, and themes, but it is hard to find a game that takes as big of a swing as The Last of Us Part 2 narratively. Additionally, this is all backed up by a refined, fluid combat system, and incredible AI that really sells the immersion of the franchise’s post-apocalyptic world. You would be silly to skip it and miss out on what Naughty Dog has created.

Best games: A demon slayer stands on a pile of bodies in Doom Eternal

15. Doom Eternal

Rip and tear, baby.

Doom Eternal is quite easily one of the best arena shooters of all time, with developer ID Software’s emphasis on rewarding players for getting up close and personal with the denizens of hell resulting in lightning-fast and gloriously gory combat.

Taking up the mantle of the Doom Slayer, you must put a stop to hell’s invasion of Earth by cleaving through legions of demons. Of course, regular old weapons are fine and dandy, but throughout Doom Eternal’s campaign, you’ll come across everything from a sawn-off shotgun with a meat hook that yanks you towards enemies, to a giant laser cannon that will gelatinize everything in its path. Its campaign is a non-stop action fest and one you shouldn’t miss.

Best games: A Dead Cells character stands overlooking a castle

16. Dead Cells

If you love a challenge, then Dead Cells is a game you’ll want to add to your ever-growing library (or backlog, we don’t judge).

Set on a fictional island with a range of mutated monsters, this 2D Metroidvania roguelike game puts players in the shoes of the Prisoner, who must attempt to kill the king of the terrifying island.

As you progress through the difficult dungeons and levels on offer here, you’ll gain resources to upgrade the Prisoner, as well as new weapon types, different abilities, and more, all on your quest to complete the game. Dead Cells offers beautiful visuals, fun gameplay, and a great time, all for a reasonable price. Additionally, it’s one of the best roguelike games and one of the best Metroidvania games you can buy, so you know it’s good. There is also a ton of DLC to go along with the excellent core game.

Best games: Hades stares at the camera

17. Hades

Hades is undoubtedly one of the best games out there and it has the awards to prove it. This roguelike claimed several Game of the Year titles in 2020, sparking a new age for the genre.

The Supergiant Games title places you in the shoes of Zagreus, the prince of the Underworld and son of the titular Hades, who’s desperately trying to escape his unpleasant home. You’ll need to fight your way through the monsters in the underworld to survive, using new abilities and knowledge from the gods you meet along the way.

Hades has been praised for its isometric combat and setting, which if you haven’t guessed already, is based on ancient Greek mythology. If you haven’t had the chance to experience Hades, you really must – it’s a treat for any newcomer and we promise it’ll get you hyped for the Hades 2 release date.

Best games: Arthur Morgan fires his pistol in a shoot out in Red Dead Redemption 2

18. Red Dead Redemption 2

The Wild West has never been more immersive than in Red Dead Redemption 2, which puts us firmly in the shoes of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van Der Linde gang, who has to fight for survival in an ever-modernising world. While it follows on from the first game, which is brilliant in its own right, you don’t need to have played the original to understand the narrative here. All you need to know is that it is one of the most impactful narratives and life stories of a person you will find on modern consoles.

Despite it coming out in 2018 on PS4 and Xbox One, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still widely regarded as one of the best-looking games in recent years regardless of what platform you play it on and if that isn’t enough to convince you to pick it up, what will?

Best games: Franklin holds a baseball bat in a yard in GTA 5

19. Grand Theft Auto V

We all have our views on what the best Grand Theft Auto game is, but you must admit; Grand Theft Auto V has had one hell of a run.

Released in 2013, GTA 5 is the 15th installment in the series and follows three main protagonists – retired bank robber Michael De Santa, gangster Franklin Clinton, and all-around psychopath Trevor Phillips – as they attempt daring heists for known criminals. It’s a proper GTA game with free roam, character switching, and both third and first-person perspective.

The story is utterly brilliant and worth playing through, but where GTA 5 really shines is in its multiplayer offerings. With up to 30 players in one lobby, players have the chance to create their own character and set up their own criminal enterprise. While you can spend all day playing poker in the Casino, racing the fastest GTA Online cars, or gun running, Grand Theft Auto Online also provides a cooperative social experience.

GTA 5 is the second best-selling videogame of all time and one of the only games to be released on three different generational platforms. If that’s not enough to convince you while we wait for the GTA 6 release date, we don’t know what will.

Best games: Jesse hovers above the ground in Control

20. Control

Remedy has always been a studio with bold ideas and unique premises ever since it was formed, but Control is its most impressive accomplishment to date. Packing a slick, fast-paced action game into a minimalistic office-building setting is no easy feat. But, Remedy manages to interweave fascinating spooky stories, supernatural powers, and luscious modern architecture into one big package.

You’ll play as Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), which is based in a brutalist skyscraper known as The Oldest House. This skyscraper is full of mysteries and oddities and you’ll have to explore them as you uncover the secrets hidden within.

It’s very different from the other games on our list, but with a sequel planned, and the game sharing the Alan Wake universe, you’d be silly for missing out on this one if you’ve already spent some time in Bright Falls with Alan Wake 2.

Best games: A racing car zooms down a Mexican street in Forza Horizon 5

21. Forza Horizon 5

While there are plenty of other rivals that could challenge it for this title, we think Forza Horizon 5 is the best open-world racing game you can play right now. With amazing car models, exciting and varied racing, a gorgeous and diverse setting, and a remarkable amount of continuous content, Forza Horizon 5 stands as both an excellent one-and-done playthrough and as a live service experience you’ll want to keep coming back to for new challenges and rewards.

What’s more, the game is on PC and Xbox Game Pass, so you’ll get one of the best racing games alongside all of the other incredible titles on the service. If it really grabs you, Forza Horizon 5 also has two excellent, content-packed DLCs to keep you glued to the driver’s seat. You can read our Forza Horizon 5 review here.

Best games: Two cars fight it out for the ball in Rocket League

22. Rocket League

It’s soccer with rocket-propelled cars, need we say any more? When Rocket League first crashed onto our screens in 2015, it did so with the promise of delivering exhilarating online experiences and it’s certainly lived up to that promise.

Arguably one of the best multiplayer games out there, Psyonix continues to breathe new life into this compelling little game. Whether it’s adding new incentives for players to climb the Rocket League ranks, dreaming up new Rocket League cars, or adding new Rocket Passes, there’s plenty to dig into here.

Best games: A woman takes a polaroid picture of herself and two friends in Immortality

23. Immortality

It’s very difficult to spoil Immortality while trying to explain its premise, but trust us when we say that Sam Barlow’s latest game is one of the best experiences out there.

This full-motion video (FMV) game follows the story of Marissa Marcel, an actress who, after filming three movies, disappeared unexpectedly. To help solve the mystery of her disappearance, you’re tasked with reviewing hours of footage in the hopes of piecing together Marcel’s fate.

It sounds like a pretty straightforward game, but Immortality isn’t really about Marissa. It’s about finding clues where others can’t until you can see the bigger picture – and trust us, there’s a masterpiece waiting out there. You have to really scour to discover the bigger story at play here but once you do you will be stuck to your seat. Immortality’s story is one of the best on this list and combined with the soundtrack and haunting atmosphere, you’ll be left stunned wondering whether the life you are living is real at all.

Best games: Commander Shepard stands in front of a glowing space mass in Mass Effect

24. Mass Effect Legendary Edition

If you’ve never played a Mass Effect game before, then you’re in for one hell of a ride. Focusing on Commander Shepard and their attempts to save the Milky Way galaxy from a race of ancient machines known as the Reapers, Mass Effect combines third-person shooter action with RPG elements.

The story stretches out across three games, all of which are included in the Legendary Edition, along with all the DLC from the original trilogy. And while you may have heard bad things about the original Mass Effect 3 ending, the experience is well worth your time. You’ll have the chance to explore different planets, start relationships with crew members, punch a reporter in the face, and even decide on the fate of those around you. It’s one of the best space games that you can get your hands on right now – especially if you like timeless classics.

Best games: A spaceman can be seen

25. Starfield

25 years in the making, Starfield has arrived and it is one of Bethesda Games Studios’ best games to date. With an entire universe to explore, some unique narrative twists, and dozens and dozens of gameplay systems to get your head around and lose yourself in, it is a strong contender for one of the best RPG games around and on Xbox Game Pass.

In our Starfield review we call it “an excellent yet far-from-perfect RPG.” There’s a lot to love about it, including a litany of Starfield planets to explore, “slick and enjoyable combat”, and a “staggering amount of hand-crafted content.” Conversely, space travel and combat is not Starfield’s strong suit, while prevailing UI/UX issues make navigating menus a chore.

When the credits finally roll for you, Starfield offers a good amount of replayability with a unique Starfield new game plus mode. So, if one playthrough exploring space isn’t enough, then there is a lot of flexibility in the new game plus through choosing different Starfield builds and the best Starfield skills. Simply put, you could lose dozens of hours in space on Xbox, PC, or Game Pass.

Best Games: A number of heroes can be seen

26. Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is by all accounts and ours, a masterpiece. It is a highly player-driven, choice-focused RPG with dozens of hours of gameplay, tons of replayability through different narrative choices, combat styles, classes, and romance options, and a level of quality that is unmatched by any other classic RPG game.

Whether you are looking to have fun in a run or optimize your build with the best Baldur’s Gate 3 class, there is enough here to completely swallow up all your free time for the foreseeable future. Our friends at PCGamesN gave the game a 10/10 and called it “an instant RPG classic” in their Baldur’s Gate 3 review. After initial issues getting BG3 onto some console platforms, it is thankfully now available for Xbox Series X|S players and PS5 players.

Best Games: A Tetris Effect multiplayer match can be seen

27. Tetris Effect Connected

Tetris has existed for decades, but Tetris Effect Connected is largely considered the best iteration of the classic game. With a full campaign of unique kaleidoscopic levels to progress through, challenging bonus modes, and an addictive multiplayer mode Enhance’s gorgeous take on the puzzle game is something you should experience at least once, ideally in PSVR or PSVR 2 too.

In addition to its visuals, it also has a brilliant soundtrack of varied, original music and songs from around the world that you will keep revisiting as they work their way into your brain, much like the game of Tetris itself.

Best Games: Luke can be seen

28. Street Fighter 6

It is hard to find a modern fighting game that is better than Street Fighter 6. It is one of the most content-complete fighting games ever with a full set of regular fighting modes, and a suite of fun online antics you can get up to in the Battle Hub with friends.

Additionally, there is a full, lengthy single-player campaign in the form of World Tour. In it you can jet off around the world to meet the various Street Fighter 6 characters that rank in our Street Fighter 6 tier list, take on quests, and befriend each of them to learn their moves and abilities. Simply put, if you are a fighting game fan then Street Fighter 6 is easily one of the best fighting games ever released for consoles.

Best Games: Leon and Ashley can be seen with some zombies

29. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 has been regarded as one of the best horror games ever made since it was released almost two decades ago. But, its 2023 remake made it even better with gameplay improvements, honing the pace of the game, and stunning visuals.

Additionally, the game has a PSVR 2 mode on the way, and the excellent Separate Ways DLC is available now which creates a substantial package, full of replayability and challenges to go after. If you want to see the best Resident Evil has to offer, then Resident Evil 4 is where you should start as it is also one of the more accessible games in the series and the best the franchise has ever been, with tons of memorable moments that will stick with you for a lifetime. You can read our Resident Evil 4 review here.

Best Games: The cast can be seen

30. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade

The original Final Fantasy 7 is regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made. But, the remake is remarkable and a fascinating example of what is possible when you remake a game. Not simply just remaking – Square Enix here is expanding and following on from the original game, in this trilogy. Starting off with Final Fantasy 7 Remake this collection of titles will be one to remember when it is completed and the first part is gorgeous, chock full of content, and sets up the globe-trotting story that the second and third games will expand upon.

Best Games: A character can be seen in a desert

31. Journey

Journey is a unique experience crafted by thatgamecompany and Jenova Chen. The isolating and gorgeous trek across a desert is minimalistic in style but packed full of stunning vistas, gorgeous music, and an incredible narrative that will stick with you long after you have rolled the credits.

It is widely considered to be one of the best indie games of all time and it really thrust indies into the spotlight and raised the bar for them. It has won many, many awards over the years and you would be silly to not experience its arresting style and unique tale at least once.

Best games: Reptile attacking Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1.

32. Mortal Kombat 1

2023 saw not only Street Fighter 6 land firmly on its feet but also the equally stellar Mortal Kombat 1 from NetherRealm Studios. As our Mortal Kombat 1 review highlights, MK1 is a superb reinvention of the series that seeks to delight long-time fans while also offering avenues for new players to join in on the fun.

Mortal Kombat 1 (somehow) amps up the visceral action even further, with combos that are more satisfying and more brutal than ever in equal measure. Every bone-shattering impact will have you on the edge of your seat, whether you’re playing through the story or against other players in competitive multiplayer action.

MK1 also adds several new and returning features, like Kameo Fighters and Towers, a stacked roster of MK1 characters, and the new Invasion mode. As is the case with fighting games, especially when it comes to PvP multiplayer, there is undoubtedly a steep learning curve to true mastery. But if you’re looking for a blast with friends or simply a short but sweet story, then you can’t go wrong with MK1. Before diving in, check out our Mortal Kombat 1 tier list to find out which fighter is the best right now.

Best games: A player flying to dodge a massive robot boss' attacks in Armored Core 6.

33. Armored Core 6

The Armored Core series has long been a relatively underground series, despite the pedigree of developer FromSoftware. However, following the success of Elden Ring, Armored Core suddenly found itself with more eyes on it than ever before. And after a decade since the previous entry in the series, it’s safe to say that Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon was worth the wait.

As our Armored Core 6 review explains, FromSoftware masterfully blends action-packed mech combat and wanton destruction with “a neatly-woven narrative that offers plenty of food for thought”.

As, effectively, a slave to a Handler, you’re sent to Rubicon with the sole goal of making as much money as possible – enough to free yourself, hopefully. The layered narrative only grows from here, with conflicting parties and you constantly doubting your own actions. In fact, there are numerous different endings and each one will leave you craving more.

As you’d expect from FromSoftware, there’s also a suite of incredible Armored Core 6 bosses to take down, stunning in their complexity and deadly in equal measure. Thankfully, with the absurd amount of control you have over your loadout, including a massive arsenal of weapons and mech parts, you’re able to tweak your playstyle to suit you.

Best games: A goalie at the ready in EA Sports FC 24.

34. EA Sports FC 24

Fans of soccer need look no further than EA Sports’ FC 24. As a reinvention of the series following a break with FIFA, FC 24 takes the opportunity to improve several key features of the experience, as our FC 24 review goes over.

Everything that’s kept people coming back to the series for the past three decades survived the reinvention, including best-in-class arcade gameplay and the iconic Ultimate Team mode, while new features like PlayStyles take it to new heights. You can expect more style on the pitch, and more behind-the-scenes tweaking to build the perfect team, with PlayStyles making each player even more unique than they were in previous games.

It’s certainly more of what you love if you’re a soccer fan, but it’s no doubt the best football game there is. If you’re planning to dive into EA’s reinvention of the series, then find out the best FC 24 starter pack to kick off your Ultimate Team journey on the right foot.

Best games: Cal Kestis attacking stormtroopers in a city in Star Wars Jedi Survivor.

35. Star Wars Jedi Survivor

Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi Survivor, the sequel to the beloved Jedi Fallen Order, is one of, if not the best Star Wars game there is. The first game was already packed with memorable moments, from epic set-pieces to solemn story moments, all masterfully infused with the magic of Star Wars. As we discuss in our Star Wars Jedi Survivor review, the sequel takes the superb foundations of its predecessor and improves it in nearly every way possible, all with admirable confidence.

Protagonist Cal Kestis is back and slicker with his lightsaber than ever – he’s even got a blaster now. That’s right, alongside the expanded lightsaber stances, you also have access to a blaster that lets you perform fresh new combos that simply never get old. The Star Wars Jedi Survivor planets you explore are not only more numerous but also much more fleshed out than Fallen Order’s, with large play spaces jam-packed with secrets to find and upgrades to uncover. And to top it all off, the story – led by incredible performances by the voice actors – is truly unforgettable.

Fans of Star Wars absolutely need to play Jedi Survivor, and it could even serve as a strong first foray into the universe for those who are uninitiated, simply due to the excellent gameplay and world design underneath the Star Wars setting. Take a look at the best Star Wars Jedi Survivor skills before jumping in so you can take Cal to the heights of a Jedi Master.

Best games: Clive and Torgal in combat in Final Fantasy 16.

36. Final Fantasy 16

The beloved Final Fantasy series strikes again, with Final Fantasy 16 also taking a top spot among our list of the best games out there. As we explain in our Final Fantasy 16 review (which gave the game a rare 10/10), this long-awaited sequel reinvents the series with real-time action combat as brutal as it is flashy, with tons of different abilities to wield. You’re constantly finding something new to spruce up your approach in combat.

While there are some noticeable absences from combat, namely the lack of elemental resistances, it’s simply a blast. And we can’t not mention the incredible Eikon battles that see you take down gigantic threats in masterfully choreographed scenes that will blow your mind the first time you experience them.

Best games: Clive walking towards a town in the desert in Final Fantasy 16.

Best of all, though, is the story. Packed with intrigue and character-driven moments, “Final Fantasy 16 is a completely fresh take on the series, despite having the heart of a standard entry”. By the end of the narrative, you’ll be completely immersed in the world, hoping for more and holding out hope that – in the Game of Thrones-inspired setting – your favorite characters will get a happy ending. Make sure to bring popcorn and plenty of tissues.

Once you’ve beaten the game, you’ll likely want the Final Fantasy 16 ending explained as it’s a bombshell you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the series or someone brand-new, FF16 offers a great starting point untethered from the rest of the series.

Note though that, at the time of writing, FF16 is only available on PS5. A PC version is in the works, but there’s no news on whether it will also come to Xbox Series X|S in the future.

Best games: A player looking at a boss in Remnant 2.

37. Remnant 2

Are you a fan of Soulslikes? Do you like unique spins on the formula? Then you need to play Remnant 2. Gunfire Games has gone all out on the sequel to carve out a unique, third-person shooter soulslike, with gameplay that can’t be found anywhere else, as our Remnant 2 review discusses. In fact, even if you’re not typically a fan of Soulslikes, you might find that Remnant 2 is the game to pull you in simply due to its third-person shooter roots, rather than melee combat.

With multiple Remnant 2 classes to play as and even more to unlock as you play through and uncover mysterious hidden in the strange worlds, there’s an astonishing amount of content and replayability that will keep you hooked for hours on end. Likewise, there are heaps of unique and powerful Remnant 2 weapons to collect as a reward for defeating grotesque and challenging bosses. Much like Elden Ring and other FromSoftware games – Gunfire Games’ clear inspiration – there are secrets and mysteries galore. This absolutely stellar package is only going to get even better once the Remnant 2 DLC comes out as well, adding even more gear, bosses, and more.

Best games: Basim looking over a city at day.

38. Assassin’s Creed Mirage

Assassin’s Creed Mirage brings the series back to form with a much smaller-scale narrative and much tighter gameplay than its most recent predecessors, and it’s all the better for it. Yes, the AC Mirage length is only about a third the size of Odyssey, but that’s a good thing and many fans of the series feel the same way.

As we cover in our Assassin’s Creed Mirage review, the gameplay sees the biggest improvement over recent entries. Mirage takes us back to a single city and the small wilderness around it in the form of 9th-century Baghdad. Not only is it visually stunning, but this more urban environment reignites the parkour system that has defined the series for so long. You’ll be running across rooftops to avoid guards and swinging between beams to line up the perfect assassination.

Best games: Basim leaping down into a city in Assassin's Creed Mirage.

Likewise, stealth is back at the forefront, with much more tightly packed environments letting you combine stealth, social stealth, tools, and parkour, to truly feel like a Master Assassin for the first time in a long time. It’s incredibly rewarding to clear out an enemy camp using all the tools at your disposal, eliminating foes with swift and stylish moves, all without being seen.

Outside of the gameplay, we’re also treated to a classic AC narrative taking down key members of the Order of the Ancients who have been corrupting Baghdad. As Basim, one of the most interesting characters in the series to date, you’ll put an end to this corruption and learn more about Basim’s story leading into Valhalla. If you know his fate in that game, then it can be even more intriguing. Mirage is easily one of the best Assassin’s Creed games in quite some time.

Best games: Joker character holding his mask in Persona 5 Royal key art

39. Persona 5 Royal

Originally a PlayStation exclusive, but now available on Xbox, Switch, and PC, Persona 5 Royal sees you playing as the protagonist codenamed ‘Joker’ as you set up a game of misfits who steal the darkness out of bad people’s hearts.

In this roughly 100-hour long game, you’ll not only take part in intense and visually stunning turn-based combat, but you’ll also enjoy the semesters at a school as you progress the relationships between yourself and other classmates. Most of the enjoyment isn’t in the gameplay itself, but rather in watching the narrative unfold.

Persona 5 Royal is also the upgraded edition of the base game, delivering plenty of Quality-of-Life improvements, as well as new content and another semester within the story, so even those who have played Persona 5 before will enjoy this new edition.

Best games: A school student with black hair wearing a black blazer sits and listens to music through earphones

40. Persona 3 Reload

Following on nicely from our previous entry, we have Persona 3 Reload. Like P5R, this is a remake of the original Persona 3, which is widely regarded as having the best story and characters in the series.

Persona 3 sees you join the S.E.E.S – a group of students who have all had their Personas awoken – and investigate the Dark Hour, a nightmarish period between days in which deathly beings known as Shadows emerge. While the setting and the ‘good vs evil’/ ‘light vs dark’ theme of P3R sounds similar to that in P5R, this is an entirely different and memorable adventure.

With a main story runtime of around 50-60 hours, it’s less of a time-sink than Persona 5 Royal, but still offers up the same excellent RPG action and social sim systems that you’d expect from a Persona game.  

Best games: A starting farm setup in Stardew Valley

41. Stardew Valley

After playing through plenty of high-octane action or emotionally gut-wrenching narratives from the rest of the games on our list, why not take a break in the cozy rural farmscapes of Stardew Valley?

In this beloved indie title, you inherit a plot of land from your character’s grandfather. When you first get there, the land is fairly rundown and in a bad state, but as you work on your farming skills and progress your life in this farm-life simulation game, you’ll be able to live off your own land and enjoy the rural lifestyle.

Stardew Valley is a timeless game, delivering an exceptionally calming and memorable experience for almost all players who experience it. Despite being released in 2016, the game has become a huge phenomenon, primarily thanks to its high quality and charming world.

Best games: Several players attacking a large dragon in Final Fantasy 14.

42. Final Fantasy 14

Although Final Fantasy 14 is an MMO – packed with other players running around, questing, and toppling dungeons – it’s a remarkably story-focused one. Unlike most MMOs, FF14 features an intricate and often times emotional narrative adventure, especially once you start getting into the expansion content. While its base game content, A Realm Reborn, certainly shows its age, it’s still a lot of fun to blast through and level up your character before the story gets going for real.

Speaking of characters, there’s a handful of classes (known as Jobs) to choose from, each with its own unique combat style and attire. Even better, however, is that you can play all of the classes on a single character. That’s right, from crafters to tank or DPS Jobs, there’s no need to create hordes of new characters and spend ages grinding them.

As the cherry on top, FF14 features an expansive free trial. With no time limit, you can dig into the base game and even a handful of the game’s expansions. In other words, you could easily sink hundreds of hours into this one-of-a-kind MMO without paying a single cent. Should you wish to buy it, the FF14 Complete Edition which will get you up to speed.

For 14 years the game was exclusively on PlayStation consoles and PC, but in 2024 the game finally came to Xbox platforms too, so everyone can dive in and enjoy it.

Best games: A Spartan running while another one fires to the left, surrounded by purple crystals, in Halo Infinite.

43. Halo Infinite

Despite its rocky launch, Halo Infinite has grown from strength to strength ever since. It’s main issue in its first few months was a dire lack of content, but it’s more than made up for that. New maps and modes are regularly added, and the incredible Forge mode brings ridiculous amounts of user-generated content into the mix.

Combat is as slick as ever, with Halo’s typically long time-to-kill sitting in perfect equilibrium with its impeccable map design and diverse sandbox. There’s nothing quite like outmanoeuvring you’re opponent and pulling off an epic melee beatdown or lining up a pixel-perfect headshot with the S7 sniper.

To sweeten the deal, multiplayer (including Forge and Firefight) is free to play on Xbox. Meanwhile, its campaign mode is available to buy separately, or you can play it through Game Pass. Naturally, with Halo being a flagship franchise for Xbox, it’s not on PlayStation platforms.

Best games: A character posing next to a railing overlooking the neon-drenched city in Cyberpunk 2077.

44. Cyberpunk 2077

You’ve likely heard the stories of Cyberpunk 2077‘s horrific launch. Despite the immense anticipation, it fell flat at launch for most thanks to a litany of performance issues. Fast forward to today, though, and  CD Projekt Red’s RPG is unlike anything else on the market.

It’s always been an incredibly unique game, boasting one of the most detailed and immersive environments to date, though with the technical issues out of the way now, it’s much easier to enjoy what’s on offer. The deep story full of twists and turns pulls you into the dark and seedy city and it’s hard to look away. The Phantom Liberty expansion builds on this to offer arguably one of the best videogame expansions ever, beating the incredible Blood and Wine DLC for The Witcher 3.

Combat is more diverse and fun than ever too, with refined gunplay and even more tools at your disposal. All in all, it’s almost a different beast from launch, and well worth checking out again, or for the first time if you skipped its original launch.

Best games: four soldiers wearing caped, grey spacesuits pump their fists and hold futuristic looking weapons

45. Helldivers 2

No one expected Helldivers 2 to get anywhere near a best games list, but it surprised everyone when it dropped in 2024. Coming in at a double-A price point and focusing solely on creating amazing, community-driven co-op action, Helldivers 2 managed to hit the perfect note with PS5 players.

The third-person shooter doesn’t actually have a campaign to play through, and instead relies on global community objectives (and the playerbase’s ability to clear those objectives) to write its own story as it goes. The comedic tone of Helldivers 2 – which involves lots of hammed-up patriotism – is also excellent and touches every aspect of the game.

While it’s maybe a stretch to say that Helldivers 2 is ‘hardcore’, it requires more brain power and teamwork than you’re average monster-blasting co-op shooter. Your Helldivers 2 loadout includes special abilities and tools that can be summoned by inputting specific codes while you play, bullets can be deflected off armored enemies, friendly fire is always on, and some pieces of equipment need two players to operate. If you’re looking for a fun, engaging new co-op game to play with pals, you really can’t go wrong with Helldivers 2.

Best games: Three characters in brown and blue armor stand on a rocky outcrop as a dark storm rages behind them

46. Destiny 2

Live service games are tricky to get right, and while Destiny 2 hasn’t managed to always strike the right balance and make the right calls, for the most part it is an exceptional, content-filled multiplayer experience.

Combining best-in-class FPS combat, RPG-style buildcrafting, and the social elements of an MMO, Destiny 2 isn’t to be missed – if you’re willing to consistently put the time in. While it has suffered some content droughts where expansions have been delayed, the majority of the time Destiny 2 delivers new content on a weekly basis. Looking more broadly, it delivers new themed seasons every three months, and brings players a massive expansion (complete with their own campaign) every year.

When the Destiny 2 Final Shape release date arrives, that cadence of content will shift somewhat, but Bungie will continue to support the game and push on its excellent (and somewhat complicated) narrative for years to come.

You can try a lot of the core modes and some legacy missions in Destiny 2 for free – however, you’ll have to pay for seasonal content and expansions.

That covers our mammoth list of the best games list on consoles right now, but be sure to keep checking back. As we get hands-on with some of the upcoming titles on our new PS5 games and new Xbox games lists, we’ll add the cream of the crop to this guide. For now, though, you’re spoiled for choice. If you choose to download just one of these games, then we know you’ll have a good time.