The official PS5 game lineup looks a little thin right now. While the list of confirmed titles will grow over the next few months, that also makes this the perfect time to speculate on what the big PS5 exclusives will be. Sony's big strength in the console market has always been its strong roster of exclusive titles, from Uncharted and God of War, to Ratchet & Clank and LittleBigPlanet.
However, Sony series can be a little unpredictable. We don't simply get a new game every year or two. Franchises can lie dormant for long periods of time before springing back to life with brilliant new titles — or they can go strong for years, then peter out into obscurity.
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Fortunately, the big gaps between games means the hardware advancements in between make these titles look all the more stunning. As we heard at a recent talk by PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny, we heard about the PS5's ray tracing capabilities, 3D audio, high-speed SSD and beefed-up CPU and GPU, so whatever we get on the PS5, it's definitely going to look, play and sound beautiful.
While we at Tom's Guide don't have any special insight into Sony's plans, we can use a little common sense and deductive reasoning to theorize about what Sony might have planned for its next console generation. Here are a few PS5 exclusives we can expect to see — and a few that are about due for a comeback.
PS5 exclusives: Good odds
God of War
God of War (2018) was one of the best games of the decade. It was a critical and commercial success, and ended on a huge cliffhanger. While we may not get a sequel for another year or two (these things take time), another God of War game is nearly guaranteed. For those who haven't followed the series: God of War is about a Greek demigod named Kratos. He does battle with monsters, gods and, more recently, his own inexhaustible rage. The latest game had some open-world elements, as well as a deep combat system with lots of upgrades to find.
There's never been a PlayStation console without a Gran Turismo game, and we don't expect the PS5 to be an exception. This series of technical racing sims appeals to gearheads and speed demons alike, letting them test-drive hundreds of stylish cars on some of the world's greatest racetracks. We've never gotten a Gran Turismo as a PlayStation launch title, so we may have to wait a bit for this one. But generally speaking, GT games tend to be worth the wait.
Spider-Man on the PS4 was a tight, gorgeous open-world action/adventure game starring Marvel's web-slinging wallcrawler. Critics loved it; fans bought it in droves. The story left a pretty big hook open for a sequel, and it looks like the Green Goblin might be the main villain this time around. Marvel is perhaps the biggest pop culture presence on the planet right now. Barring some kind of catastrophe, I simply can't imagine the PS5 not getting a Spider-Man sequel.
The Uncharted series had a pretty definitive ending with Uncharted 4. And yet, just a few months later, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy came out, proving that the series still had new directions to explore. This action/adventure series followed adventurer Nathan Drake as he traveled to the far corners of the Earth, finding hidden treasure, traversing ancient tombs and fighting off tons of enemies along the way. While Nate's story is probably done for good, there's still new territory to map with his brother, Sam, and his former sidekick, Chloe. This series won't come back right away, but I do think it will come back.
PS5 exclusives: Even odds
I've gone back and forth on whether Bloodborne will get a sequel. First off, the game doesn't really need one; the horror-inspired action/RPG finished on a suitably enigmatic note. And director Hidetaka Miyazaki generally only makes games when he feels very strongly that they need to get made; he's just as comfortable with standalone games as with series. On the other hand, Bloodborne was a huge hit for Sony, and fans adored it. The setting is suitably large and purposely vague, so finding another story to tell in it wouldn't be difficult.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Just before I wrote up this list, Guerilla Games announced a PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn, which suggests that Sony may want to attract a whole new audience for the franchise before the PS5 launches. This open-world action/adventure game follows the trials of Aloy: a wandering warrior in the distant future, who fights robotic animals in a beautiful, ruined world. The game's Frozen Wilds expansion set up some story threads for a sequel, and the title sold pretty well. On the other hand, Sony is not exactly hurting for open-world action/adventure series, so this franchise might not be quite as high on the priorities list.
It's been a long time since we had a LittleBigPlanet game. The last main entry in the series came out in 2014. But it's hard to imagine that Sony would give up on one of its most creative series. On the one hand, LittleBigPlanet is a fairly standard side-scrolling platformer, in which you take control of an adorable protagonist called Sackboy. But the big appeal of LittleBigPlanet has always been its level design feature, which lets you create your own intricate stages.
Developer Media Molecule just launched the even more ambitious Dreams, which lets you create entire games, mini movies and pieces of music, so it may be focused on that title for the foreseeable future. Now that Nintendo has the Super Mario Maker series, LittleBigPlanet may feel redundant — or it may be a great opportunity for Sony to distinguish itself from the competition.
Ratchet & Clank
I have spent the last four year scratching my head over Ratchet & Clank. The Lombax-and-robot duo used to get one game per year, complete with new worlds to explore, new weapons to upgrade and new risqué jokes to laugh at. But in 2016, Sony decided to reboot the series in order to sync up with a feature-length animated movie, and, well, the less said about that decision, the better. (The game itself was all right, to be fair.) I don't know why the series has been on hiatus for so long, or whether a new game would follow the original or rebooted continuity. But it does seem like it's about time for another entry.
PS5 exclusives: Low odds
Gravity Rush was one of the weirder Sony projects of the last decade. This gravity-bending action/adventure game was originally a way to show off the PlayStation Vita's features. But when Sony's last handheld started to falter, Gravity Rush made a fairly easy transition over to PS4. The games follow an adventurer named Kat as she tackles a variety of quests in a picaresque narrative. The physics-based gameplay can be quite clever, although the franchise has always been more politely received than beloved. The second game sort of flopped financially, but Sony still has the rights, so anything is possible.
Microsoft seems to have the market cornered on platform-exclusive shooters, but it doesn't have to be that way. Up until 2013, Sony published Guerilla Games' Killzone series, which portrayed a futuristic war between freedom fighters and a fascist dictatorship. The story was mostly window-dressing; the real appeal was the tight first-person shooter gameplay, impressive weapons variety and creative multiplayer options. The PS4 launched with a Killzone game, and both fans and critics seemed reasonably pleased with it. Still, it's been a long time since the last game, and I don't think many people have been clamoring for a comeback.
I'll level with you: I'm not really sure why people like Knack so much. The first game was a completely generic action/platformer that showcased some of the PS4's advanced particle graphics. The second game was, by most accounts, a bit better, but didn't really fix the uninspired cast or repetitive gameplay. The first game sold well enough by virtue of being a launch title, but the second title didn't do nearly as well. Still, it's the kind of game that Sony maybe — just maybe — would revisit, thanks to its oddly dedicated community.
The Order: 1886
Gamers may remember The Order: 1886 as a decent-enough third-person shooter that took place in a monster-infested 19th century London. What they may not remember was that the game came with a massive amount of hype, thanks to its clever setting and gorgeous graphics. The Order: 1886 had the potential to be the next Uncharted, but uninspired gameplay and a short playtime kneecapped its chances of success. Still, the game wasn't bad, and the story left plenty of avenues open to explore. Giving this franchise another try wouldn't be the oddest thing Sony's ever done.