The 5 best PS5 games in 2021

The 5 best PS5 games in 2021

Superhero action, brutal RPGs, and much more are among the top PS5 games.

The best PS5 games currently range from family-friendly adventures with fun mascot characters to third-person brawlers with gorgeous graphics. Whether you want an exciting showcase of the PS5’s DualSense controller and its abilities or a new action-packed first-person shooter to play through, the PS5 has something for you. 

The PlayStation family of systems has always had an expansive library of games, with thousands of choices for players to choose from. Sony has continued to welcome new and exclusive titles into the fold as well, so the PS5 is the only place to experience titles like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Demon’s Souls or Astro’s Playroom.

The PS5 is still a fairly  new console, so there are still plenty more games on their way. You can play the best PS4 games on PS5, thanks to the system’s comprehensive backwards compatibility. Whether you want to bring your classic favorites to the new console or feel like delving into the past, you’ll have the ability to do so with the PS5.

Read on to learn about the best PS5 games, and determine which titles are the best for you. 

What are the best PS5 games? 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is arguably the best PS5 game overall. This sequel in the long-running franchise combines gorgeous graphics, instantaneous load times, varied gameplay and a charming story. It also shows off what the DualSense controller can do, with some subtle haptic effects. It feels like the  most comprehensive PS5 game so far.

For superhero fans, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an excellent choice that follows the titular Miles Morales as he takes on the mantle of Spider-Man while Peter Parker is away, zipping across New York City, beating up the baddies, and navigating his personal and family life while coming into his own as a superhero.

If you’re up for a real challenge, Demon’s Souls is our favorite overall PS5 game right now. This game reimagines the iconic 2009 brutal action RPG from the ground up, with a gorgeous new visual style, a high framerate mode and some welcome quality of life changes, while preserving the uniquely challenging-yet-satisfying loop that made the original so special.

For a great introduction to what the PS5 is capable of, in addition to the components that make up a fantastic platformer for the whole family, pack-in title Astro’s Playroom is some of the best adventuring anyone can have on the system right out of the box. 

The best PS5 games you can buy today 

1. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

(Image credit: Sony)

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is not only a great game; it’s also a fantastic showcase of the PS5’s capabilities. This game features rapid load times and subtle DualSense haptic feedback — but those aren’t the primary reasons why you’ll want to play it. Instead, Rift Apart will almost certainly win you over with its colorful aesthetics, tight gameplay and heartfelt story. It picks up where Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus left off back in 2013, but also acts as a perfect jumping-on point for newcomers to the series.

With 15-20 hours of gameplay, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart feels substantial without overstaying its welcome. It’s also a true PS5 exclusive; it’s not on PS4, and it’s not a remake of an earlier PlayStation game. Granted, Rift Apart feels extremely similar to earlier Ratchet & Clank games. But since it’s a strong formula, that works in the title’s favor.

2. Demon’s Souls 

One of the finest and most challenging games on PS3 returns with a fantastic ground-up remake in the form of the PS5’s Demon’s Souls from Bluepoint Games and SIE Japan Studio. It debuted as a launch title for eager PS5 owners, featuring new rings, armor, weapons, and items called “Grains” that grant temporary resistance to effects like poison or bleeding. Aside from several augments like these, as well as massive gameplay and graphical and visual improvements, the game included tweaks to the original as well as new features that fans of the old could appreciate and new players would be thrilled to explore.

Players enter the bleak world of Boletaria, which was originally attacked by a powerful being known as the Old One. The world was nearly consumed by the “Deep Fog” as well as the Old One’s powers. Though the Old One was eventually put to sleep and most of Boletaria saved from harm, the Old One wakes up with the fog returning to Boletaria. Those who enter Demon’s Souls become an adventurer who enters the fog with the intent of defeating the Old One once more to bring peace to the kingdom.

Demon’s Souls is famously difficult, with dark fantasy elements, frustrating battles, and fulfilling moments that feel like conquering the world when you complete them. It also incorporates multiplayer elements into its single-player game in an ingenious way. It’s nothing like any other game you’ll play on PS5, but it’s a worthy remake of a game that changed the way we’d see dark RPGs for years to come. 

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a continuation of Marvel’s Spider-Man that follows Miles Morales, another hero who also found himself bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider, giving him powers much like Peter Parker. As a fledgling hero, he’s still learning the ins and outs of what it means to be the protector of the city. When Peter has to make his way overseas to assist girlfriend Mary Jane with news coverage as her photographer, Miles is left on his own to take over his duties as Spider-Man.

What results is an exciting journey that could double as a new cinematic entry in the world of Spider-Man as the plucky Miles works to offer his efforts to the city as its new protector. He finds himself dealing with The Underground, a tech-centric terrorist group that has a vendetta against the Roxxon Energy Corporation. He also finds himself dealing with the villainous Rhino, The Tinkerer, and a cabal of secrets that slowly unravel as he becomes a hero in the eyes of the people of Harlem.

It’s an electric follow-up to Marvel’s Spider-Man with new moves, missions, and perhaps the best hero this year in Miles Morales that comic fans will enjoy every single moment of, especially thanks to its admirable performance on PS5. Miles Morales offers both a fidelity mode with immersive ray-tracing for realistic reflections and lighting, and a performance mode for fluid 60 frames-per-second web swinging.

4. Returnal

Returnal is one of the most niche games on this list. However, if you’re a fan of roguelikes, it may also be one of the best. Returnal is a punishing action/adventure game that casts you as Selene: an astronaut who crash-lands on an alien world, and finds herself stuck in a time loop. As you explore the planet, you’ll encounter all sorts of hostile flora and fauna, as well as records from previous versions of Selene, who failed to escape.

What sets Returnal apart from other action titles is that it’s a roguelike. Whenever you die (which will be often), you’ll return to your spaceship and lose just about everything you collected on your previous run. While this makes Returnal very tough, it also makes the game very satisfying, since each new run is procedurally generated, and you never know if you’ll find the perfect combination of gear and upgrades this time around.

5. Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade is a great game, and sort of exclusive to the PS5. While you can get the core Final Fantasy VII Remake experience on PS4, the PS5 version features improved graphics, better loading times and, most importantly, a whole new episode called “Intermission.” This two-chapter DLC pack features Yuffie Kisaragi: a fan-favorite party member from the original FFVII, in a totally original story.

Intermission is a fantastic addition to FFVIIR, as it introduces a whole new protagonist with a very different gameplay style from Cloud. Furthermore, the story is full of deep cuts from Final Fantasy lore, which longtime fans will surely appreciate. Beyond that, Intergrade is definitely the way to play FFVIIR, as the technical improvements alone arguably make it worth the price of admission. If you’ve never played FFVIIR before, this is the way to do it — and if you have, it’s time to experience Yuffie’s story.

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