Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Best PS5 Games – IGN

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While supply shortages continue to restrict entry into the next console generation, those lucky enough to secure a PS5 have a solid launch window lineup to explore. To help you sort through the dozens of next-gen games already released, IGN’s staff and contributors have curated a list of the ten best PS5 games you can play right now.Between exclusive launch titles, third-party games, and backward compatibility on PS5, there’s a lot to choose from — some make excellent use of the DualSense controller’s innovative haptic feedback, others will make your gaming TV shine with 4K gameplay, and some are just plain great games. Without further ado, here are our initial picks for the ten best PS5 games.

More on the best of PlayStation:

The Best PS5 Games

10. Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima on PS5 offers something for both players who have already played through Jin’s journey and those who have yet to enjoy Sucker Punch’s stunning vision of feudal Japan. Now running at a Sakai-steel-sharp 60 FPS, Ghost’s already thrilling combat has never felt better, and its unmatched photo mode has never looked better. Plus, there’s now the free Legends update to play through which culminates in a visually striking and challenging raid that’s one of the best co-op experiences available on the PS5 at launch.

Ghost of Tsushima won IGN’s Best Video Game Art Design of 2020 award.

9. God of War

Revisiting 2018’s God of War on PS5 is an absolute must – and if you somehow missed it on PS4 there’s no better way to experience it for the first time.

While the PS5 doesn’t overhaul the visuals or add any new effects like ray tracing, the stable 60FPS it runs in on Performance mode makes combat even more of a joy than it already was – though you will have to settle for that experience in 1080p. Even so, the action is still as satisfying as ever and its world and story remain some of the best that gaming has to offer.

Kratos and Atreus’ journey will continue next year with God of War: Ragnarok on PS5.

8. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

While Sackboy: A Big Adventure foregoes the creation side of the LittleBigPlanet series, its focus on being a fun, charming platformer pays off in a delightful adventure that can be played both solo or co-op. Sumo Digital’s level variety keeps things fresh, so one moment you’re riding a train through a moving level that has you occasionally jumping off to grab collectibles, while the next you’re grooving through a level set to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk (yes, really).

The humor is cheeky, particularly when playing in co-op – you can help your teammates or just slap them with a fish. And – as with most games we’ve seen on PS5 – it’s a visual treat. Sackboy looks great; the different fabrics and accessories on each of his customizable costume pieces dazzling thanks to the new system’s improved graphical capability.

7. The Pathless

The Pathless marries a simple-but-elegant (and completely engrossing) movement mechanic with a gorgeous open world. Running, jumping, and gliding through developer Giant Squid’s forests, rocky plateaus, and snow-capped mountains is a treat thanks to the main bow-and-arrow gameplay relying less on precision accuracy and more on empowering you to carve a fun path through the terrain. It’s a world that encourages exploration and satisfies your curiosity, making the destinations you reach as fun as the journey itself thanks to a host of clever puzzles. Add in a handful of boss battles that are part epic chase scene and part Zelda-esque showdown – all backed by a moving, epic score – and you’ve got one of the most intriguing launch titles on the PS5.

Talkin’ bout Bugsnax started out as internet meme fodder brought on by a strong marketing campaign and a catchy tune, but Bugsnax deserves to be recognized for much more than that.

Developer Young Horses continued its absurdist streak with this environmental/creature based puzzle game that has you snapping photos and catching tasty critters. Underneath Bugsnax’s cute and quirky exterior is a heartwarming story full of ominous twists and turns as you try to rebuild a settlement by fulfilling folks’ requests. Each returned resident means another person to interview for the story you’re writing about Bugsnax, Snaktooth island, and – ultimately – what happened to Elizabert Megafig, who invited you to the island, to begin with. Its progression systems continue to pique our curiosity, too, which makes the gameplay loop enticing throughout – and Bugsnax’s big reveal (no spoilers!) didn’t disappoint.

5. Spider-Man Remastered

Marvel’s Spider-Man was already one of the best superhero games ever made, but the PS5 remaster elevates it to a new level. Insomniac’s visual updates don’t look slight in any way – the entire relighting of New York City (along with upgrades to facial animation) brings the look of the adventure up to par with the brand-new Miles Morales. The addition of ray tracing with 4K resolution and HDR support makes any time of day so beautiful that you’d be forgiven for forgetting this wasn’t running on code originally developed for the PS5. Add in the quality of life improvements Spidey got post-launch, new accessibility options, photo mode updates, and all the DLC episodes, and this is the definitive way to play one of the PS4’s best games.

4. Astro’s Playroom

The DualSense is one of the most defining characteristics of the PS5, as the nuanced haptic feedback and strategically used adaptive triggers create a level of immersion that feels genuinely special. Nowhere is that tech better showcased than in Astro’s Playroom which is – quite literally – designed to show off the capabilities of the Dualsense controller.

But this would-be tech demo is also a fantastic game in its own right, with a delightful set of worlds to explore that all celebrate a different facet of the PS5 and the different eras of PlayStation software and hardware. Astro’s Playroom reminds players why they’ve loved PlayStation while giving them a reason to fall in love all over again. Its solid platforming, fun environmental puzzles, and enticing set of collectibles will have you gunning for the platinum and getting it in no time.

Astro’s Playroom took home two of IGN’s end-of-year awards: Best Platformer and Most Impressive Feature in Games.

3. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

The latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed series proves the franchise shows no signs of fatigue. Centering the story around the Viking expansion into England during the 9th century, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has redefined the rules of the franchise yet again with the ability to sack monasteries, build up your budding Norse settlement, and uncover unique gear and powerful abilities. The PS5 beautifully captures the icy mountains of Norway and the bending rivers of England alike in stunning 4K, and the ability to travel between the war-torn kingdoms quicker than you can sound the horn for a raiding party remains impressive throughout.

There’s even more to come for Valhalla next year, as Ubisoft will release two expansions, Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris, in 2021.

2. Demon’s Souls

Bluepoint Games had some high expectations to meet with the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls. Not only was it an anticipated remake of a beloved and landmark game, but also as the first major showcase of what a dedicated PS5 game of this scope could look like.

Fortunately, Bluepoint delivered, and Demon’s Souls is not only jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly faithful to the source material.It’s handily one of the deepest, richest, and most challenging experiences currently found on the console.

1. Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Though not a full-blown sequel, this standalone expansion sends Peter Parker on vacation and leaves his young spider-apprentice Miles Morales to look after New York. Building on the rock-solid foundations of Insomniac’s first game, New York has been gorgeously blanketed with snow, holiday cheer, and next-gen polish.

The improvements aren’t just cosmetic, however – the eponymous hero has a few more spider-powers at his disposal than Peter Parker, and these are cleverly adapted into new gameplay mechanics that, while they don’t reinvent the wheel, they put enough of a spin on it to make it feel fresh – sometimes literally, thanks to the DualSense controller. It doesn’t feature as robust of a campaign or as many colorful villains as 2018’s Spider-Man, but Miles Morales’ story has just as much charm and heart as its predecessor, possibly more. Its tagline of “Be Greater” set a high bar, but Miles Morales somersaults over it with ease.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales was nominated for IGN’s Game of the Year 2020.

Upcoming PS5 Games

2021’s first big PS5 release is upon us, and according to IGN’s Hitman 3 review, it’s an “amazing” start to the year. The rest of January is quiet, but the following month Sony will release Destruction AllStars as one of February’s free PS Plus games.

In March things pick up with a quartet of big releases, beginning on March 2 with the PS5 version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, one of 2020’s best RPGs. After that, on March 19, comes Returnal, the third-person roguelike shooter from Resogun developer Housemarque, followed by Hazelight Studios’ next co-op adventure, It Takes Two, on March 26. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is also coming in March, though a specific release date has not yet been announced.

The first half of 2021 will also include Arkane Studios’ timed console exclusive Deathloop on May 21, as well as first-party exclusives Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Gran Turismo 7.

Confirmed PlayStation 5 Games

The back half of the year has yet to come into focus, though we know Sony is aiming to release Horizon Forbidden West during that six-month window. The year’s biggest exclusive, God of War: Ragnarok, is also expected in 2021, according to its reveal trailer.

On the third-party front, big games expected this year include a new Battlefield, an updated GTA 5 for PS5, Tango Gameworks’ timed console exclusive GhostWire: Tokyo, WB’s next DC Comics game Gotham Knights, and Resident Evil Village.

Those are our picks for the best games currently available on PlayStation 5. What’s on your list that didn’t make ours? Lets us know in the comments, and be sure to check out how the PS5 stacks up against the Xbox Series X, and have a look at what we love about Sony’s new console and where we think it needs some work.


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