After arriving in the US a week ago, the console has finally hit many other territories, including the UK. The PS5 is currently one of the most in-demand products in the entire world, with websites selling out of stock in minutes, and several retailers suffering website crashes as players rushed to get their hands on the next-generation machine.
The PS4 was defined by its top-of-the-range exclusives, including God of War, The Last of Us, Part II and Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Though the new console is still in its infancy, there is little indication that things have changed for the PS5.
With a launch catalogue that includes two hotly anticipated Spider-Man games, a glossy remake of a 2009 classic, and a few completely original properties, there’s a good variety of options to play on the PS5 already - on top of the several cross-platform games that are well worth your time.
Before the end of the year, the PS5 will also see releases including Cyberpunk 2077, and last-generation hits such as Rocket League and Fifa 21 will receive optimisations for the new era of technology.
But what are the best games to play today? Here are our picks for the best PS5 games available at launch...
Watch Dogs: Legion
In spite of a wooly political message and some less-than-stellar writing, Watch Dogs: Legion is still well worth checking out on the PS5, primarily for its gorgeous, vivacious open-world environment, which looks noticeably better in its next-gen-optimised format. Modelled on a dystopian near-future London, Legion’s city is filled with a limitless number of playable inhabitants, all with their own idiosyncratic backstories and personalities. Recruiting them to the game’s hacktivist cause brings its own distinct pleasure. Read The Independent’s original review here.
No Man’s Sky
Originally released back in 2016, No Man’s Sky was met with near-unanimous disappointment: the space exploration game that promised the universe had barely made it as far as the moon. Over the next four years, however, No Man’s Sky has, through incremental updates, evolved into something much closer to the original vision - and the splashy next-generation optimisation, available on the PS5 at launch, sees it kicked up yet another notch.
Widely characterised as a “looter-slasher”, Godfall is a relentless and repetitive action game that thrives on its well-designed combat mechanics and sometimes tremendous visual appeal. The slashing may be more rewarding than the looting, but the frustrating buffet of slightly differing weapons and incentive to “grind” don’t overshadow what is, at heart, a solid inclusion on the PS5 launch slate.
Perhaps better as a game to dip in and out of instead of hunkering down in front of for hours, DiRT 5 is a nonetheless robust off-road racer published by Codemasters. Graphically impressive, with a powerful, zealous use of the next-gen controller’s re-vamped vibration system, the game is currently the best PS5 option for those in need of a racing fix. Especially considering Gran Turismo 7 won’t be arriving until next year at the earliest.
Astro’s Playroom comes bundled with the PlayStation, and it’s very possible that you’ll feel ready to skip past it and onto whatever new game you’re excited about. Don’t. It’s not only a brilliant demonstration of what the console and its DualSense controller can do – you’ll finally understand why Sony made such a big deal out of things like the adaptive triggers and the haptic feedback – but it’s also good, charming fun, at least for a short while.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Sackboy is the latest in the popular LittleBigPlanet series that has been snugly embraced by the PlayStation since the first one in 2008. While it features some changes from previous games in the series, such as the three-dimensional environments, it’s largely the same – and if you’re the kind of person who likes it, Sackboy promises all the same playful fun that made the rest of the series one of PlayStation’s flagship properties.
The strangest of the PS5’s launch titles by some distance, Bugsnax sees you run around and try to eat things that are (as the title suggests) somewhere between bugs and snacks. It’s delightful and intriguing, and not just the silly game that it might look from a distance.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The latest, grandest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise is an expansive open-world action game set mostly in Viking-era England. Placing you in the leathery boots of Eivor, an orphaned Viking warrior who wreaks a passage of fiery destruction, Valhalla feels epic in scale, and the lush land and sea environments look especially impressive on next-gen. Despite some technical glitches at launch, this is still one of the year’s best games, and arguably the high point of the popular stealth-action franchise. Read The Independent’s review here.
One of the most anticipated games for the new console isn’t actually new at all – Demon’s Souls first came out more than 10 years ago, on the PlayStation 3. But that actually makes it a great demonstration of what the new console can do: the graphics are vastly improved, and it makes the most of the PS5’s stunning ability to render lights and textures. Otherwise, it is a fairly faithful recreation of that game. This is no major problem, however, given just how good that first seminal version was.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
A sequelised spin-off to 2018’s best-selling superhero romp Marvel’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales is a slightly shorter game that manages to build on nearly everything the original does well. Traversing the New York skyline as Marvel’s iconic webslinger is endlessly, rambunctiously enjoyable and though the combat still feels a little weightless at times, it’s slicker and deeper than in the original. Graphically, this is one of the best-looking games ever made, and the wintery weather glosses the intricately rendered city with an extra layer of charm and personality. The original Spider-Man game has also been remastered for the PS5, with similarly awe-inspiring results.
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