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.
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
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
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
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
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.