The best PS5 games January 2023

Look no further for the best PS5 games, these offerings from Marvel's Spider-Man to Stray will put your shiny new PlayStation 5 through its paces

best PS5 games: The astronaut in Returnal in front of broken helmets

What are the best PS5 games? Ask anyone on your friends list and they’ll probably give you a different answer. But while we all have our favourites, we can all agree there are some stellar offerings on Sony’s console right now from little indie hits to first-party PS5 blockbusters.

There’s more on the way too – with the list of upcoming PS5 games growing by the day, we’re having to change our recommendations on a weekly basis. But still, we digress. Since the console’s releases, games like Demon’s Souls and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales quickly climbed to the top of our lists after making one hell of an impression in late 2020.

But since then developers have come up with new innovative ways of utilising the tech in this big old console, meaning we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to putting this list of the best PS5 games together. But what tops our list as the best PS5 games to play right now? From launch title legends, to PS5 exclusives, and new, unmissable experiences, here are the games you need to add to your download queue this second.

The best PS5 games are:

  • Astro’s Playroom
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Control: Ultimate Edition
  • Deathloop
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Returnal
  • Stray
  • The Last of Us Part 2

Best PS5 games: Astro is inside the DualSense controller and is waving from within the touchpad.

1. Astro’s Playroom

Packaged in with the console itself, Astro’s Playroom on PS5 is a marvellous technical showcase that highlights just why the PS5 is a technical leap forward from the PS4.

Showing off the tactile DualSense controller and what it is capable of, Astro’s Playroom also brings attention to features like the PS5’s activity cards, 3D audio, and super speed SSD. In other words, it’s the perfect introduction to your PS5 and its hardware.

Easily one of the best baked-in titles ever released, Astro’s Playroom is a bitesize game perfect for any age that’ll keep you satisfied while you download the rest of the games on the list onto your shiny new console.

Best PS5 games: Eivor screams as she steps off a Viking boat while holding two axes in her hands

2. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

The conclusion to the newest trilogy in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Valhalla brought the franchise to England and placed us in the shoes of vikings for the first time.

With a sprawling open world and dozens of activities to complete that can take hundreds of hours, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the biggest Ubisoft open-worlds to date, capturing ye olde England and Norway in all its glory.

You’ll get to experience this beauty by land and by ship, as your character, Eivor, pillages, fights, and negotiates their way to victory. The path isn’t easy, and like all good Assassins Creed games, you’ll need to defeat bosses along the way, but the payoff is absolutely worth it.

There’s also a whole load of DLC these days, which expands that storyline even more.

Best PS5 games: Jessie is using her abilities to take out a group of enemies.

3. Control: Ultimate Edition

For the most part, you won’t see remasters on this list as this is a collection of the best games built for PS5, but Control: Ultimate Edition is a completely revitalised experience on Sony’s new console.

Devoid from the many technical issues it suffered on PS4 in 2019, Control on PS5 runs at either a 4K resolution, or a buttery smooth 60fps. Remedy has also implemented some game-changing DualSense support with Jessie’s footsteps being accurately reflected in the controller’s rumble.

Useful and informative activity cards, trophy tracking, excellent lighting upgrades and enhancements all around help round out a great package. The Ultimate Edition also comes bundled with the game’s two excellent expansions, which bring the worlds of Control and Alan Wake together.

In short, Control: Ultimate Edition is the game it could never quite be on PS4.

Best PS5 games: Colt and Juliane fight in Deathloop

4. Deathloop

Arkane has done it once again, producing a top-tier immersive sim for PS5 which utilises the hardware excellently. With solid DualSense support and gorgeous visuals, Deathloop’s unique premise and excellent characters help round out one of the best and most unique games on Sony’s new console.

In it, two competing assassins find themselves trapped in a timeloop that they need to break in order to survive. Playing as Colt, you’ll need to crack the code and kill eight visionaries in order to break the loop, all while trying to avoid being killed by rival Julianna.

If you have never played an Arkane game before Deathloop is a great place to start and it offers a lot of content for you to sink your teeth into. Read our Deathloop review for a more.

Best PS5 games: The player overlooks the kingdom of Boletaria.

5. Demon’s Souls

Bluepoint has quickly become a renowned PlayStation partner, following up its excellent Shadow of the Colossus remake with the restoration of the cult-classic Demon’s Souls for PS5.

Demon’s Souls, which was released alongside the PS5 in November 2020, was a dream come true for long-time FromSoftware fans, not only due to the fact it existed but because Bluepoint Games had done an excellent job of remaking the game.

Every inch of the kingdom of Boletaria has been masterfully recreated, with a few improvements here and there. Tighter controls, lightning refinements, and art-style changes now better match the atmosphere of the game.

Some aspects of the experience, like the difficulty, obtuse puzzles, and strange boss mechanics might not be for everyone, but Demon’s Souls is worth trying out, whether it is to see some gorgeous vistas or just in case it might be the first “souls” game that grabs you.

Best PS5 games Elden Ring: a soldier flies across a chasm on a horse

6. Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a genre defining game. It takes all previous Soulslikes, puts them into a centrifuge, and picks all their best bits. It then combines those best bits with a stunning open world that you can’t get anywhere else.

The game, which is one of the best RPG games to date, will test your combat, stealth, and dungeon crawling skills, all of which eventually culminate in huge boss battles against some of the toughest Elden Ring bosses.

While it’s still a Soulslike at heart, it is a bit more approachable than some of its predecessors and that’s one of the reasons why it was named as the Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2022.

We were also incredibly impressed by its gameplay and the way its iterated on several different genres, which is why we gave it our first ever ten in our Elden Ring review and crowned it as our GOTY in 2022.

 

Best PS5 games: God of War Ragnarok screenshot where Kratos speaks to Atreus

7. God of War Ragnarok

This is the latest entry into the angriest dad in gaming saga and it’ll tug at your heart strings. Building upon the stage it set in the first game all those years ago, Ragnarok puts teenage Atreus and Kratos’ relationship to the test, while introducing you to yet more frozen Scandinavian landscapes.

It is arguably one of the best games of 2022 and even led the nomination count for Game of the Year at The Game Awards. While it didn’t actually beat Elden Ring in the end, the Santa Monica Studios’ game has been praised for its storytelling, the way in which it approaches its emotive narrative, and its accessibility settings.

You can find out more about why we loved the game in our God of War Ragnarok review, but if you loved the first, you’ll love this one.

Best PS5 games: Jin stands in front of a Tori gate in snow

8. Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut

Remastered for PS5, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut enhances one of the best PS5 open-world games for Sony’s new console with 4K and 60 FPS support. In addition to even faster loading times, the Director’s Cut comes with Japanese lip-syncing on PS5.

It follows the story of  Jin Sakai, a samurai, who’s tasked with protecting Tsushima Island against the Mongols in their first attack. There are RPG elements to the game, which allow you to defend the island using honourable or dishonourable tactics, which allow you to shape the game to your playstyle.

The combat feels satisfying regardless of which route you decide to take and the story – and the world you explore as you work through it – is breathtaking. The Director’s Cut is arguably the best way to play the game too, since it comes with the Iki Island expansion, which adds a few extra hours of content to the game, in which Jin will be forced to confront his past.

The remaster makes one of PS4 best open-world games even better, so it’s a must-play on PS5 for any fan of the genre.

Best PS5 games Horizon Forbidden West: Aloy looks in awe at something in the distance

9. Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Zero Dawn is undoubtedly one of the best PS4 games and Horizon Forbidden West follows in its footsteps. Once again, we return to a machine-filled open world, where you’ll need to band together with others in an attempt to find the source of a mysterious plague.

With a map that’s much bigger than the original, plenty more areas to explore, both above ground and under it, and plenty of new abilities and gadgets, this isn’t a game to be skipped.

While there is still a fair bit of bloat in terms of side-quests – a problem that the original game suffered – Guerrilla Games has refined the process making the quests more meaningful over time.

You can read our Horizon Forbidden West review here.

Best PS5 games: Spider-Man sweeps through New York

10. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Building upon the incredible Marvel’s Spider-Man, Insomniac Games elevated its gameplay and narrative storytelling with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Putting you in Miles Morales’ shoes as you live his day-to-day life, feeling his struggles and also his successes, Miles Morales advances the universe’s plotlines, while also being able to tell a heartfelt and engrossing story at the same time.

With Peter’s web-slinging powers and combat abilities imbued with his bio-electricity, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales adds a pulse and beat to the moment-to-moment gameplay, whether it be swinging through New York or feeling Miles’ electricity-enhanced moves through the DualSense controller.

Miles Morales is a top-tier triple-A action-adventure and one of the best games Insomniac has ever made.

You’d be a fool to skip it on PS5.

Best PS5 games: Mileena performs an attack on Nightwolf

11. Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate

Very few developers known for fighting games have the pedigree and prestige of NetherRealm. Still around after 29 years, Mortal Kombat 11 is still one of the best fighting games to date.

With the complete original game and character roster, as well as the Aftermath story expansion, and all the Kombat Pack characters released since April 2019, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a pretty meaty package.

Add in the technical improvements offered on PS5 and you have a must-play game for Sony’s new console.

Best PS5 games: Ratchet hangs on to an edge high above the skyline

12. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Bridging the gap between a technical showpiece for the PS5 and an enjoyable action-adventure for the whole family, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a dazzling dash through dimensions that really shows what the PS5 is capable of.

The addition of Rivet gives the game a wider cast of characters to explore and the PS5’s SSD allows Insomniac to pull off some gameplay moments and set pieces that couldn’t have been done on the PS4.

Jaw-dropping vistas and levels, action-packed gameplay set pieces, and a wide variety of accessibility options makes Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart a great game no matter your age or experience with the franchise.

Best PS5 games: The astronau looks worried in Returnal

13. Returnal

Are you a fan of Alien, Prometheus, and a little bit of Lovecraft? Well, if arcade, third-person shooters are also up your alley, then Returnal should be one of the first games you play on PS5.

Set on an alien planet and offering a deeply challenging, yet addictive roguelike gameplay loop, Housemarque brings its trademark arcade-action (which is just as good as it always is) and combines that with a narrative that remains intriguing and mysterious right to the very end.

Returnal also gets the accolade of having exemplary DualSense implementation with stunning haptic feedback.

Returnal might be the most hardcore and difficult game on this list, but don’t let it stop you from experiencing the new-gen features it has to offer.

Best PS5 games stray: a ginger cat with a backpack looks at a neon-bathed city

14. Stray

This great big cat adventure will test your platforming and puzzling skills as you explore a cyberpunk-style world filled with robots. You’re a cat doing cat-things, while trying to solve a mystery – doesn’t that sound amazing?

The Walled City in Stray is a curious place, which is perfect for a cat. While it offers a urban playground for our ginger moggie to scale, it’s full to the brim with robotic companions, all of which have taken on human traits from their previous owners.

Their stories will distract you from the main storyline, but if you want to find out more about what actually happened to the city, you’ll want to chat to these friendly beings and learn more about the world around you.

Stray is a compelling little game that allows you to meow, scratch, and pounce your way to victory. If you’re a fan of cats and good storytelling, this is one stray you’ll want to take home.

You can read our Stray review here.

Best PS5 games The Last of Us Part 2: Ellie moves through a forest with a gun in her hands

15. The Last of Us Part 2

If you’ve played The Last of Us Part 1, then you’ll already know that you’re in for a ride. If you haven’t, then where have you been? The Last of Us is by far one of the best experiences on PlayStation, and now with a remastered first game on PS5, followed by what is arguably one of the best upgraded PS4 games for PS5 on record, you’d be a fool to miss it.

Interest for the series is at an all-time high, thanks to the recent HBO series, so if you’re new to the games, make sure to play the first game (you can read our The Last of Us Part 1 remake review here), and then follow it up immediately with Part 2.

We can’t promise the journey will be pretty – it is a dark story that takes place five years after the original, after all. But if you want a gritty tale that focuses on the core themes of revenge and redemption, you can’t go wrong with the continued adventures of Joel and Ellie in this unmissable sequel.

So there you have it, the best PS5 games you can buy right now. This should keep you busy until the next big game rocks up – and trust us, there are loads on the way. If you can’t wait until then, make sure to check out our list of the best free PS5 games in 2023 and beyond.