God of War Ragnarok
Image via PlayStation

The 11 best PS5 games, so far

Against all odds.

I hope the PS5 still has a long life ahead of it, but after the Sony bigwigs stated that the console was entering the latter stage of its life, I thought it was time to list its greatest achievements. I may be doing this out of respect, or, perhaps, as an attempt to get something for me in the will — you will never find out.

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What you may have already found out, however, is that many have complained that the life of the PS5 seems to parallel the early years of the PS3, with a sore lack of games. I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. The PS5 went through some serious issues during its first years and still launched a rich and well-rounded library of titles. Let’s look at my favs of the bunch.

gran turismo 7 state of play
Image via Sony

11. Gran Turismo 7

If there’s something I’d add to the PlayStation 4’s stellar library, it’d be a Gran Turismo title. Sure, it had GT Sport, a valid attempt at taking the series into a new direction, but it failed to compare to the series at its best.

Luckily, Polyphony Digital graced the PS5 with one of the strongest entries in the series. GT7 is a tremendous technical leap and would be much higher on this list if not for some unnecessarily dumb monetization mechanisms that make progression way too grind-y.

God of War Ragnarok Best PS5 single player games
Image via PlayStation

10. God Of War Ragnarök

For the most part, Ragnarok feels just like the God Of War reboot/sequel from the PS4 with better graphics, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The original was already an amazing game, so it’s completely ok not to risk changing the formula so long as you conclude the story you got players enthralled by in the first game. Ragnarok does that, and it even features Valhalla, the first DLC in the series that’s yet another welcome addition to the game’s longevity. Get this one if you want more of that good, same “old”.

Astro's Playroom Best PS5 single player games
Image via PlayStation

9. Astro’s Playroom

Whenever I get a new console, I try to get my hands on as many demos as possible. That used to be the best way to enjoy the capabilities of your new system, but then the PS5 came along. That was when Sony was like, “Wait, we can do you one better”.

To show off the PS5, Sony went all out and made Astro’s Playroom, which is both a celebration of the PlayStation’s history and a real game. Astro’s Playroom could’ve featured limited gameplay mechanics — the references to so many PlayStation games alone would’ve made it worth your time — but this was so much more. Sony created a genuinely excellent platformer that used all of the DualSense’s awesome new features to create some stellar platforming experiences and, very importantly, put it out for free.

Dead Space Remake's amazing environment
Image by EA

8. Dead Space

While the Resident Evil 4 remake got way more traction among the gamer populace, I’d argue that the original Dead Space‘s remake is a superior and more important endeavor. For one, the Resident Evil series was going strong whereas the Dead Space series was dead — and not even in a cool necromorph sort of way.

Dead Space fans were so hungry that even a by-the-numbers remake would’ve sufficed, but they got more. Unlike RE4, which is a prettier — much prettier, I admit — version of the original, the Dead Space remake dared to tinker with the mechanics and level design of the original game. That’s an unnecessarily risky move that could’ve lost the good devs at Motive a lot of favor among fans, but every single change showed important lessons that the devs had learned over time. This is more of a remake, this is a rebirth. And, speaking of that…

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Sony State of Play
Image via Square Enix

7. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Even though it’s just one-third of a trilogy, Rebirth is a massive game with no shortage of great content. That should count as an absolute positive factor, though it got me conflicted on where to put the game on this ranking. Rebirth is very young, and I’m sure I missed many glorious little details. It’s hard to even begin grasping the greatness of the whole thing, but I’m just going to go ahead and bet that we’re looking at an all-timer.

I’m not too keen on remakes that merely re-do the game we already know with better graphics. Rebirth, as Remake before it, passes that test with flying colors. Rebirth is a completely different game from the original, even down to many very interesting changes that I just won’t spoil for you. Rebirth feels like a completely new thing, one that is also full of new things, such as the glorious new Queen’s Blood minigame.

Demon's Souls has some of the best video game cover art
Image via PlayStation

6. Demon’s Souls

Looking back, it’s easy to point out Demon’s Souls as one of the PS3’s first truly great games. Originally, however, saying few believed in it would be an understatement, as even Shuhei Yoshida himself admitted once saying “This is crap. This is an unbelievably bad game” in an interview with Game Informer. That sucks when it comes to publishing, but it’s actually pretty cool when it comes to the development side of things because no one will be breathing down your neck expecting you to come up with greatness.

The Demon’s Souls remake wasn’t afforded that “luxury”, however, as everyone was expecting Bluepoint Games to breathe new life into a classic without damaging any of the multiple things that made it weird and spectacular in the first place. The good news is that they pulled it off, as the remake looks better than the original ever did and even plays much smoother at a solid 60 fps. This is everything a remake should be.

Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart
Image via PlayStation

5. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Sony’s announcement of the PS5 boasted about this miraculous new SD tech capable of never-before-seen quick-loading capabilities. Many were in disbelief, as there was no way we wouldn’t have seen it on the PC first, right? To put all doubts to rest, Sony later revealed the gameplay for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. It showed our heroes running and gunning, as usual, but also seamlessly transitioning from one gorgeous, massive area to another. I don’t like the term, but seeing that when you’re experiencing the game yourself, is what I’d easily describe as the feeling of “next-gen”.

Rift Apart is easily the best game in an already excellent series and was the first to prove the PS5’s worth by cementing it as a tech powerhouse.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 sales
Image via PlayStation

4. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

If you like Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4, you’ll be happy to learn that the series got even better on the PS5.

First off, we got a nice big tease with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the first game in the series where we play as someone other than Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, and, guess what, it was even more fun. Miles feels fresh not just because we haven’t seen his story play out one thousand times before, but also because he has tons more abilities than Spider-Peter, which naturally results in more fun for players. Miles would return in Spider-Man 2, where we go back and forth between playing as Miles and a new-and-improved Peter Parker in what’s the, no pun intended, Ultimate Spider-Man video game experience.

Horizon Forbidden West
Image via Sony

3. Horizon Forbidden West

Whereas Horizon Zero Dawn managed to battle it out with The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and still came out as the best-selling game in PlayStation history, Forbidden West was not so lucky.

The sequel came out shortly before Elden Ring, which caused it to get forgotten in little over a week after its release. That’s unfair, as I at least remember it improving upon its already stellar predecessor via many new game mechanics, and remaining the most graphically impressive game I’ve ever seen.

Returnal PC SteamDB listing
Image by Housemarque

2. Returnal

Roguelike is a term usually associated with indie titles, but what if someone was bold enough to bring that genre to the AAA arena? That was the goal of Housemarque studio with Returnal, and they absolutely nailed it.

Returnal is one of the finest experiences you can have in gaming right now because it features extremely challenging gameplay, a devilishly well-devised plot, and propels it all to greater heights via the best graphics ever put into anything of this sort.

On a final note, I’m really not exaggerating my praise of the game’s story. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before — even if you’ve seen Groundhog Day — and it’ll likely never stop coming back to haunt your thoughts.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree release date
Image by FromSoftware

1. Elden Ring

I’ve recently made the arguably wild claim that Elden Ring is the best single-player game you can play right now, so I doubt I could’ve placed it anywhere else on this list. Just kidding, there’s no other place where I’d put it.

Even if you ignore all of the technical and artistic prowess behind it and decide to judge it in a cold and calculated manner, Elden Ring is still the best option out there. In a time when AAA games are a luxury that so many cannot afford, Elden Ring‘s hundreds of hours worth of content in the spectacularly beautiful and detailed world of the Lands Between is still an unbeatable deal. Elden Ring doesn’t just feel like one game but like an entire series in one package.


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Author
Tiago Manuel
Tiago is a freelancer who used to write about video games, cults, and video game cults. He now writes for Destructoid in an attempt to find himself on the winning side when the robot uprising comes.