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Taken in Reviewed Testing Lab

The Best PS5 Games of 2021

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This highly replayable, story-driven action game offers a stellar superhero fantasy with great characters, best-in-class action, and more. Read More

Pros

  • Gorgeous, snow open-world Manhattan
  • Top-quality combat and traversal
  • Robust photo mode

Cons

  • None that we could find

Battle your way across multiple dimensions in this next-gen knockout from Spider-Man developer Insomniac. A phenomenal PS5 showcase. Read More

Pros

  • Great characters and in-game storytelling
  • Groundbreaking multidimensional levels
  • A variety of battles and environments

Cons

  • None that we could find

From the luxuriant heights of a Dubai skyscraper to the closet of some murder-mystery mansion, this is a perfect game to show off what the PS5 can do. Read More

Pros

  • Gorgeous, next-gen graphics and lighting
  • Playful stealth-assassin sandbox design

Cons

  • None that we could find

Aside from incredible combat, a moody open world, and charming characters, there’s also a co-op multiplayer mode that supports up to four players. Read More

Pros

  • Robust photo mode and “Kurosawa” filter
  • Stylized swordplay and gripping story

Cons

  • None that we could find

With stellar performance upgrades on the PS5, this reimagined classic is the first part of an epic, romantic, funny, and thought-provoking journey. Read More

Pros

  • Big, colorful world and memorable characters
  • Several difficulty modes and combat styles

Cons

  • None that we could find
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Launch Edition

  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

  • Hitman 3

  • Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

  • Other Games We’ve Tested

If you or a loved one just got ahold of a new PlayStation, you’re probably wondering what the best available games are. Based on my own extensive hands-on experience with the PS4 and the new PS5, these are the first five games I’d recommend to folks looking to have the most fun with their new console. Whether you’re a Marvel fan, a photo-mode fiend, or just want to go on an unforgettable adventure, these are the best PS5 games you can buy right now.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Product image of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Launch Edition
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Launch Edition

If you’re looking for a fun, highly replayable action game with a touching comic-book story and a gorgeous open world, look no further than Insomniac’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Available on both PS4 and PS5, this masterpiece breaks out from the shadow of 2018’s Spider-Man and establishes itself as one of the all-time great pieces of superhero media. If you were a fan of the animated Into the Spider-Verse, this is a must-own game from one of PlayStation’s best studios.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, snow open-world Manhattan

  • Top-quality combat and traversal

  • Robust photo mode

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a stunning next-gen showcase that launched about seven months after the PS5. Another knockout from Insomniac Games, this is a serious game-of-the-year contender with fun and varied shooter sequences, grand boss fights, and unbelievable traversal across several dimensions. As Ratchet and Rivet, you’ll take on the evil robot Doctor Nefarious, enlist the help of creatures from throughout the multiverse, and restore peace to a number of realities.

Pros

  • Great characters and in-game storytelling

  • Groundbreaking multidimensional levels

  • A variety of battles and environments

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Hitman 3
Hitman 3

IO Interactive’s Hitman 3 is geared toward adult players, but it’s a fantastic example of what modern hardware’s capable of. From the luxuriant heights of a Dubai skyscraper to the coat closet of some remote Knives Out estate, you’ll control Agent 47 as he dispatches his targets one by one, over and over, as creatively and stealthily as possible. It’s not just a pretty spectacle to show off your PS5 with; it’s an ingenious sandbox to play around in. And it rewards mastery.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, next-gen graphics and lighting

  • Playful stealth-assassin sandbox design

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut
Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut

Ghost of Tsushima is a love letter to the samurai film, offering stylized swordplay, filmic effects like a black-and-white “Kurosawa” setting, and a robust photo mode. Set against the backdrop of the historic Mongol invasion of Tsushima, the story follows a warrior named Jin Sakai (Daisuke Tsuji) as he gathers allies and reclaims his home. Aside from incredible combat, a moody open world, and charming characters, it’s also got a co-op multiplayer component that supports up to four players.

Pros

  • Robust photo mode and “Kurosawa” filter

  • Stylized swordplay and gripping story

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

If you’ve never played a Final Fantasy game before—there are a lot of them—this is the place to start. With stellar performance upgrades on the PS5, this reimagining of an old classic is the first part of an epic, romantic, funny, and thought-provoking journey. There are a number of difficulty settings as well as two very different combat styles (modern and “classic”), and the characters are among the best in the history of role-playing video games. It’s a blast.

Pros

  • Big, colorful world and memorable characters

  • Several difficulty modes and combat styles

Cons

  • None that we could find

Other Games We’ve Tested

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Ridiculously cute and charming, this ingenious 3D platformer challenges you and up to three friends to defeat the villainous Vex and save the universe. It’s surprisingly addictive, genuinely thrilling, and positively stuffed with little surprises and secrets to discover. It looks absolutely gorgeous, with lots of different textures and materials in the environments, and plenty of bizarre creatures to meet along the way.

The imaginative story is excellent with truly top-notch voice acting from the likes of Dawn French and Richard E. Grant. You have to find and collect various objects, which adds a lot of replay value. My daughter particularly loves Zom Zom’s store where you can spend the bells you’ve collected on new outfits. There aren’t many co-op games for the PS5 yet, which makes Sackboy unmissable if you want something you can play together with your kids.

Buy Sackboy: A Big Adventure on Amazon

Control: Ultimate Edition

This twisted supernatural tale swings from sinister to surreal as you explore the constantly changing offices of the mysterious Federal Bureau of Control as the newly assigned Director. An unsettling start gives way to an engaging paranormal investigation in this innovative third-person shooter. It’s creepy, occasionally darkly comic, and constantly challenges you to try and figure out what the hell is going on.

With a raft of major graphical enhancements, souped-up performance, and all the DLC, this is the version of Control to play. It looks gorgeous, with reflections galore, the atmospheric sound draws you in, and the action is silky smooth even during frenetic bouts of combat. There’s a bit too much back and forth in the confusing map at times, so take advantage of the fast travel as soon as you can. As you begin to develop powers, the fun really starts, but things get very challenging as you build to the climax.

Buy Control: Ultimate Edition on Amazon now

Bugsnax

Invited to Snaktooth island by the mysteriously missing explorer, Elizabert Megafig, you play as a journalist seeking a big scoop. With the help of mayor Filbo Fiddlepie you have to work out what has spoiled the peace and restore order, but everyone you meet is hungry for bug snacks. Seriously weird and completely original, Bugsnax challenges you to track and catch all manner of strange creatures from Scoopy Banoopys to Preying Picantis to Daddy Cakelegs.

All these strange creatures have in common are comical names, so you have to figure out how to trap them, which starts with following and scanning them to discover their habits. Some are far trickier than others to capture, so you’ll need your puzzle-solving hat on. It can get a bit repetitive, but the dialogue is great, it has a Pokémon-style hook, and it’s gentle fun that’s suitable for the whole family.

Buy Bugsnax at Best Buy

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Can you lead your Viking clan to victory as you invade and settle Dark Ages England? You’ll raid monasteries, fight Anglo-Saxons, hunt for food, and play the addictive dice game Orlog, as you strive to build a thriving settlement. The developers have done a great job of bringing ninth-century England to life, the voice-acting and music are excellent, and the main storyline has some fun and interesting quests.

Playing as the fierce warrior, Eivor Wolf-Kissed is a lot of fun most of the time, but there are some weaknesses here. This latest installment of the Assassin’s Creed series would have been better as a new standalone game without the baggage and backstory of the AC lore. It’s also far too big with too many jarringly short or dull quests for completionists. Ultimately, there’s enough here to recommend it, especially if you like Vikings. But if you don’t want to lose the next month playing it, stick to the main questline.

Buy Assassin's Creed: Valhalla on Amazon

Demon’s Souls

Considered one of the most difficult games ever made, Demon’s Souls was a revelation on the PS3. This remake updates a few of the game’s systems and features totally remastered graphics that take full advantage of the PS5’s advanced hardware and ability to output in beautiful HDR.

As in the original, Demon’s Souls puts you in control of a hero whose soul has been trapped in the cursed kingdom of Boletaria. It’s a game of tense action requiring split-second reaction times and a strategic approach to every encounter as every enemy can be deadly if you’re not careful. We’d recommend this game to anyone who enjoys action games, especially those with role-playing elements—as long as you’re prepared for a challenge.

Buy Demon's Soul on Amazon

The Pathless

If you enjoy visually stunning games like Abzû and Journey, you’re going to love The Pathless. In this game, you play as an archer charged with lifting an ancient curse from a mythical land.

You eliminate the curse by completing puzzles, acquiring totems, and defeating bosses. Hitting floating targets with your arrows also grants you a burst of super speed, which is a lot of fun as you’re traversing the misty landscape. Not only are the mechanics fun and the visuals gorgeous, but the sweeping orchestral music from Austin Wintory will surely inspire and empower.

Buy The Pathless on Amazon

Astro’s Playroom

It’s easy to skip over this pre-installed PS5 title and assume it’s not worth more than a cursory look, but that would be a mistake. This cleverly designed platformer is an inventive trip down memory lane that’s full of nods to the history of Sony’s popular console line. It’s also very fun. The incredibly cute Astro Bot is inside your console exploring, collecting, and solving head-scratching puzzles.

The creativity in ideas and mechanics, which are introduced in a steady stream throughout the game is impressive. Astro’s Playroom really highlights the tactile capabilities of the DualSense controller, so different surfaces, environments, and objects feel unique. It’s a slick, charming, and rewarding experience packed with little surprises.

Meet the testers

TJ Donegan

TJ Donegan

Executive Editor

@TJDonegan

TJ is the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled "Cranberry Capitol of the World," which is, in fact, a real thing.

See all of TJ Donegan's reviews
Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo

Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo

Editor

@awitchdidit

Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

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Alex Kane

Alex Kane

Editor, Search & Updates

@alexjkane

Alex Kane is an editor at USA Today’s Reviewed.

See all of Alex Kane's reviews
Simon Hill

Simon Hill

Contributor

@IamSimonHill

Simon Hill is a freelance technology journalist with a decade of writing experience covering everything from smartphones to smart home gadgets. For the last few years, he served as Associate Editor at Digital Trends where he wrote features, reviews, analysis, how-tos, and more.

See all of Simon Hill's reviews

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