Squirrel and Kratos in God of War: Ragnarok.
Screenshot by Destructoid.

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan names God of War Ragnarök his favorite PS5 game

The life and times of Jim Ryan.

In September 2023, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan announced his departure. He will be succeeded by Sony’s current chief operating officer Hiroki Totoki, who Ryan expresses full confidence in. In an interview with Variety, he lists his favorite titles from each PlayStation generation for a little fun. Can’t say it’s a question that doesn’t pique my curiosity.

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God of War Ragnarok gets the thumbs up from him for the PS5 era. Not a bad choice from Ryan, though Ragnarok is one of those titles I keep getting distracted from and never finishing. Maybe 2024 will be the year I finally see Kratos and Atreus’ tale to the end.

Though the gameplay is amazing, featuring epic combat sequences rivaled by very few other titles, Ryan focuses on how it came at just the right time. As PlayStation players will know, at launch there were intense supply issues, making it an arduous task to acquire a console, though it was heaven for scalpers. By the time Ragnarok came along, Sony was “finally able to start building enough PlayStation 5s.” It all coincided ideally for the company.

In case you’re wondering, he chose Spider-Man for the PS4 era and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for the PS3. The latter choice was motivated by how impressed he was by Naughty Dog’s use of the technology available for “storytelling and narrative and emotion in a different way from anything that had been possible hitherto.”

Interestingly, he didn’t name The Last of Us instead, which I believe is the better PS3 offering from Naughty Dog. It managed to earn itself a perfect score from Destructoid.

When it comes to the PS2, his pick goes to GTA 3, while Ridge Racer wins his vote for the PS1. It’s not a surprise to see that GTA 3 is on the list, as it impacted not just its genre but gaming as a whole, with a legacy that has yet to die.

Angrboda in God of War Ragnarok.
Screenshot by Destructoid.

Ryan reflects on video games and his career

The interview isn’t just about video games. Ryan also gives some insight into his position as CEO, expressing how grateful he is that he never had to work in a “boring industry.” He highlights what a difficult time the COVID-19 pandemic was. Through all the chaos, it was his job to exude “calm and serenity.”

This doesn’t mean he felt that way at all. Quite contrarily, he describes it as the greatest challenge of his thirty years with Sony. It’s hard to argue that the company didn’t come out of it victorious, with over 50 million units of the console sold.

With the avalanching amount of layoffs hitting the industry, it was impossible to avoid the issue in the interview. Ryan acknowledges how demotivating the mass layoffs have been for various studios. He warns PlayStation staffers to never remain complacent and to accept that nothing is forever.

As he departs, he gives him some wise advice to Totoki, informing him to always remember the entertainment aspect of the business. Entertainment lies at the center of what SIE does, and everything will be alright so long as the company continues to entertain consumers.

When it comes to Ryan’s future, he remains somewhat tight-lipped. He isn’t quite ready to retire altogether it seems, as he admits he has “a few things bubbling” and while he doesn’t reveal what they are he does state that he’s taking his life in a different direction. As of the first of April, we’ll get to experience PlayStation run by Totoki, and he has some massive shoes to fill.


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Author
Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.