Everybody wants a PS5, but not for today's games. It's the most anticipated PS5 games, instead, that are driving attention. Yes, while the current list of available and exclusive games — which will run better on the console — isn’t that tall now, things are about to get much better.
From major first party titles that will showcase the speed of the PS5’s storage to third party games you won’t find on the Xbox Series X, we’ve compiled the list of PS5 games we need now (and could have been great launch titles).
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Of course, the PS5 will also get games you can play on other platforms. And these titles will likely run better than they would on, say, an aging PS4. This is why we’re also including games coming out on PS4. Games so good it makes us wish we could get a win in the PS5 restock races. To play these games are peak performance on a new console would be a dream.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (June 11)
We used to get a new Ratchet & Clank game every year. As such, it seems almost unthinkable that the duo’s last outing was in the Ratchet & Clank (2016) reboot on PS4. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will shift focus back to the franchise’s original timeline, following the beloved Lombax and his robot sidekick after the events of Into the Nexus.
In addition to a high-flying adventure story, bizarre weaponry, tight combat and demanding platforming, Rift Apart may also offer our best demonstration yet of the PS5’s rapid SSD loading times. In the trailer, we saw Ratchet dive through dimensional portals and emerge in completely new, fully rendered levels seconds later. That probably couldn’t have happened on the PS4. — Marshall Honorof
Horizon Forbidden West (2021)
Sometimes when I finish a game that I absolutely adore, I’ll spend some time simply wandering about in it. Not to find more side content (which I eventually burn through), but because I just do not want to leave. My recent (third) play-through of Horizon Zero Dawn is a prime example.
Its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, then, isn’t just one of my most anticipated PS5 games, it’s one of my most anticipated things. The reveal trailer promised everything I wanted: more of Guerrilla’s beautiful take on a reclaimed Earth, more mysteries to uncover, more Aloy in general. I can’t wait to wander about in it. — James Archer
God of War: Ragnarok (2021)
The 2018 reboot of the iconic God of War series is one of the PS4’s crowning achievements. To say the anticipation for God of War: Ragnarok is high would be an understatement.
While we know very little about this sequel (even Ragnarok is a fan theorized subtitle rather than a confirmed one), we do know that everybody’s favorite angry dad Krato will return alongside his son Atreus. Plus if the post-credits teaser from God of War (2018) is any indication, we’re going to be exploring even more of the nine Norse realms. Yes, Thor, the God of Thunder is likely going to be thrown into the mix as well. As long as the incredibly satisfying axe-throwing mechanics return, I’ll be happy. — Rory Mellon
Final Fantasy XVI (TBA)
Final Fantasy XVI won’t be exclusive to the PS5, but it will be a “console exclusive,” so don’t expect to find it on the Xbox Series X. As for the game itself, it will be the first entry in the mainline Final Fantasy series since 2016’s excellent, experimental Final Fantasy XV.
So far, we’ve seen one extensive trailer for FFXVI, which suggests that the game will feature real-time combat with both mundane weapons and magical abilities. There’ll also be a high fantasy story full of political intrigue, conflicted characters and world-changing magic. Since the game doesn’t have a solid release date, Final Fantasy XVI could be a long way off, but if it’s anything like XV, it could very well be worth the wait. — Marshall Honorof
Far Cry 6 (2021)
We've had cinematic video games before, but Far Cry 6 looks to set the bar even higher with its high-profile casting. The game's big baddie, dictator Anton Castillo, is played by Giancarlo Esposito. His notoriety grew as Breaking Bad's fried chicken magnate Gus Fring. Castillo is in charge of the fictional Caribbean island of Yara, which is in tumult. And while Anton wants to restore his region to greatness, and pass down his power to his son Diego, that won't be so easy.
Gamers will take on the role of Dani Rojas, one of the guerrilla fighters seeking to liberate the nation. And while Far Cry 7 will also run on the PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia, PS5 owners (and prospective PS5 owners) are already salivating at how lifelike Mr. Esposito's performance will look. — Henry T. Casey
If you thought "Dishonored was good but what if it had more guns, a time loop format and a Dark Souls-esque multiplayer element?" Well, then you’d be thinking of Deathloop. In it, you fill the boots of assassin Colt, who wakes up every day on the island of Blackreef where strange things are afoot. Colt has just 24 hours to kill eight elusive targets. If he fails the time loop starts again, and so on, though Colt retains his memories.
Colt will be able to dispatch his foes with a range of supernatural powers and all manner of guns. Sounds easy? Well at the same time he’s been hunted by Julianna Blake, a character that can be controlled by other human players who just drop-in to ruin your day. Basically, Deathloop looks like a game that will be one big anecdote generator, bringing you from one creative assassination to the next. And just when you nearly pull off the perfect kill … Blake will be there to stop you dead … literally. — Roland Moore-Colyer
Resident Evil Village (May 7)
Castle Dimitrescu is the most exciting destination coming to the PS5 (among other consoles) soon. Unfortunately for Ethan and Mia, the survivors of Resident Evil 7, they're coming along for another horrifying adventure. This time, they'll have to outsmart and fight the already-iconic Lady of the house in Resident Evil Village.
And since Resident Evil 8 is going to be bigger than its predecessors, you'll want a PS5 to crank through all those load times faster. That said, the RE Engine that these games are based on may mean that this game still runs very well on the PS4 and Xbox One. Resident Evil fans primarily need a PS5 at the moment because RE8's "Maiden" Demo is exclusively on the brand-new console. — Henry T. Casey
Returnal (April 30)
Housemarque has quietly been making some of the strongest PlayStation exclusives of the last decade, with titles like Resogun and Nex Machina under its belt. Returnal is the studio’s first foray into AAA-game development, and it looks like its penchant for addictive gameplay loops has translated from its smaller-scale projects.
A third-person rogue-like action game with strong psychological horror elements, Returnal asks you to die over and over again while trying to combat fierce foes on an ever-changing alien planet. Visually the game looks stunning and if Housemarque’s previous form is anything to go off, Returnal will have you saying "just one more run" long into the night. — Rory Mellon
Hogwarts Legacy (2022)
Aside from gimmicky mobile cash-ins, there hasn’t been a non-LEGO game set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter since the last movie tie-in abomination in 2011. So, yes, HP fans have certainly done their waiting, and seem to finally be getting a reward.
Set more than 100 years before the boy who lived steps foot in the iconic magic school, Hogwarts Legacy will allow players to create their own character and then live out the life of a young wizard in training, with a dark mystery to unravel thrown in for good measure. Not only will you be sorted in one of the famous Hogwarts houses, but the included morality system will let you decide if you want to be more of a Weasley or a Malfoy. Freed of the shackles that come with being tied to a movie, Hogwarts Legacy could well be the game that Harry Potter fans have been dreaming about for years. — Rory Mellon
Gran Turismo 7 (2021)
The Gran Turismo series has always been the benchmark for what a PlayStation system is capable of. And looking at the announcement trailer for Gran Turismo 7, it seems that director Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital plan on upping the ante with 4K visuals and an array of Ray tracing enhancements.
But, the market for simulation racing games has become highly competitive. With games like iRacing and Assetto Corsa on PC offering hyper realistic physics at the cost of graphics. And sim racing fans seem to be okay with trading off pristine visuals for a more real-feeling experience. If Yamauchi-san and Sony want any chance of attracting that hardcore sim crowd, physics, not graphics, should be the focus. Either way, we’re excited to see how Gran Turismo stacks up against the next Forza Motorsport from Xbox. — Imad Khan
Persona 5 Strikers (February 23)
While the latest chapter of Atlus' Persona 5 games won't get a PS5 release version, fans will probably prefer to play it on the newer console anyways. That's because you want to spend as much time with Joker, Makoto, Ann, Ryuji and Morgana — and as little time watching loading screens shift from day to day. You want to spend time in the combat and story, navigating the Jails (the game's new dungeons) and solving requests in and out of the metaverse. — Henry T. Casey