Sarah Chaney / Android Authority
There are loads of games out there to play on your PlayStation 5, if you’re lucky enough to have nabbed one. But what games can you only play on the PS5, and no other console? PS5 exclusives are the best way to experience everything the next-gen console has to offer, and although there aren’t as many exclusives yet as we’d like to see, largely due to the console shortage, there are still some excellent games you can’t afford to miss. We’ve rounded up some of the best PS5 exclusives you can’t play anywhere else — along with a few not-quite exclusives that you really need to experience on the PS5.
This list is divided into currently available exclusives and upcoming titles to look forward to.
Best Ps5 exclusives currently available and coming soon
Top of our list (and the reason many of us were so keen to grab a PS5) is Returnal. This roguelike third-person shooter combines a time loop with sci-fi and psychological horror elements to great effect. You play as Selene, an astronaut who’s crashed on an alien planet, far from home. You need to figure out how to get back to safety, but there’s a catch: You’re stuck in an alien-infested version of Groundhog Day in a seemingly endless time loop. Returnal is an excellent showcase for the PS5’s haptic feedback, but prepare to sink quite a few, sometimes frustrating hours into this stunning game.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Charming characters, silly humor, action-packed combat, and colorful platforming — Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has all of these things in spades. The 16th installment in the series is a PS5 game that’s great for the whole family, earning it a well-deserved place on our list of the best PS5 exclusives. Polished visuals and fun, addictive game mechanics sit alongside the option to play as either Ratchet or Rivet. We’d get more into the story, but it’s best experienced for yourself.
Demon’s Souls isn’t a new next-gen Souls game — instead, it’s a remake of the PS3 classic we all know and love. But it’s still one of the best games you’ll play on your PS5. Gameplay, for the most part, resembles the original game, but even at first glance, it’s one of the most visually impressive games you’ll have seen to date.
You play as an untimely soul exploring the Kingdom of Boletaria, where darkness and evil lurk around every corner thanks to an ancient Demon, The Old One. When the game starts you’re weak and incapable of defending yourself, so prepare to die, a lot. It’s this fight for survival that pushes you onwards, plus Demon’s Souls’ rich narrative and intertwining character backstories. Oh, and combat is challenging, brutal, and perilous, but always exciting. Prepare to sink many, many hours into this one.
It should come as no surprise that the much-anticipated Gran Turismo 7 is one of the best PS5 exclusives around. We’re cheating a little here as technically, yes, it did come out on PS4 too. But you really need to play it on the PS5 to experience it in all its greatness. Some say it’s the best Gran Turismo yet — and the PS5’s haptics certainly make this the most realistic driving experience to date. Almost-photorealistic vehicles and tracks, an induction for those new to the series via the Gran Turismo Cafe, and over 400 cars to collect and race makes Gran Turismo 7 a must-buy on PS5.
Although it’s not technically a PS5 exclusive, you’ll want to play Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut on the PS5 to experience it in all its graphically-upgraded glory. It’s an extensive upgrade over the original game, and it doesn’t cost much more than your average DLC. Dive back into Jin Sakai’s world with new story missions, new combat techniques, new armor, and more as you explore Iki Island. The Director’s Cut will probably make its way to PC at some point, but for now the best way to experience it is on PS5.
Death Stranding Director’s Cut
Whether you played the original Death Stranding on PS4 or not, the Director’s Cut is a must for PS5. The original game fiercely divided opinion: some felt its gameplay was like a day working as a delivery driver, while others admired its mad genius and complex, puzzling story.
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For those who loved the original, Death Stranding the Director’s Cut looks even better on the PS5, with technical improvements, new missions and locations to explore, and new game mechanics. We won’t give away too much more, but if the original wasn’t for you, this isn’t likely to change your mind.
Adrenaline-fuelled action? Check. All-out-total destruction? Check. Sony’s Destruction AllStars is fast, fun, competitive, and addictive, with a cast of 16 larger-than-life characters. The game’s premise: drive fast and hit your competitors, hard, is pretty simple, and the arcadey driving and the ability to exit your vehicle and run around the arena on foot in search of a new one — or take on competitors with powerful melee attacks — adds a different spin to proceedings. There are four PvP modes, with Mayhem, a chaotic free-for-all for up to 16 players by far the most fun.
Coming pre-installed on your new console, Astro’s Playroom is less of a game, more a showcase of what the PS5 can do. Yet it’s still a charming little game and something the whole family can get stuck into on the PS5. The new DualSense controller gets a real workout here as you run around as Astro, the rather-cute little robot who’s here to show you everything from ray tracing to the DualSense’s adaptive triggers. This polished experience is around three hours in length and one of the first things you should play on your PS5 while you’re getting everything set up.
Best Ps5 exclusives coming soon
Ghostwire: Tokyo (March 25)
A deal signed before Microsoft acquired Bethesda means Ghostwire: Tokyo will be a PS5 exclusive for one year, so even if it does come to Xbox, it won’t be before 2023. That said, it is coming out on PC at the same time as PS5, but we’re still counting it as one of the best PS5 exclusives to play this year. In this first-person adventure, people in Tokyo are vanishing — most of the population is gone, in fact, and in their place are otherworldly demons, ghosts, and other creatures that you must fight as you try to figure out what’s going on. Use martial arts, magic spells, and skills to defeat enemies and explore an altered Tokyo in this creepy action-adventure game.
God of War Ragnarök (TBA)
We were surprised to find out God of War Ragnarök won’t be a PS5 exclusive, though in our opinion the PS5 is the only console you should play this on. The upcoming action-adventure hack and slash game is the ninth game and sixth main installment in the God of War series. The sequel to God of War (2018) feels like it’s been a long time coming, set in Scandinavia and taking place three years after the previous game’s events. We’re reunited with series protagonist Kratos alongside his son Atreus in a story loosely based around Norse mythology that depicts Ragnarök, the series of events bringing about the end of days and the deaths of the Norse gods.
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We can’t wait for God of War Ragnarök, and it seems we’re not alone, as the game was nominated for several most anticipated games of 2021 awards before being pushed back to 2022. We don’t yet have an official release date, though.
Forspoken (October 11)
Forspoken is a timed exclusive for PS5 that’s also releasing on PC — though the PS5 is the only console you’ll be able to play the game on at launch. After multiple delays, it’s finally coming October 11, and looks set to be one of the best PS5 exclusives this year. You play as Frey, a young New Yorker who finds herself in the mystical, beautiful land of Athia. Frey must find her way home, using her new magical abilities to battle monsters and travel through wild, at times hostile landscapes.
Stray (October 2022)
Ever wanted to experience life as a cat? In Stray, your wish is granted. You’re a kitty trapped inside the forgotten city of a post-apocalyptic future, injured and separated from your family. It’s up to you to explore the city, meet the residents (all of whom seem to be robots), navigate your way through dangers, and survive on your quest for… we’re not quite sure what yet, but all will be revealed soon!
This timed PS5 exclusive was originally set for release last Fall, and is set to be one of the best PS5 exclusives around when it lands in October 2022.
Horizon Call of the Mountain (TBA)
Horizon Call of the Mountain is an upcoming game for PS5 and PSVR2, and it’s likely it’ll be one of the latter’s big launch titles. We don’t yet know when it’s coming, but with PSVR2 expected in Fall 2022, we could see the next Horizon installment then or early 2023. All we know is we’ll see Aloy’s world through the eyes of an entirely new character, as well as meeting Aloy herself and some other familiar characters on our adventures. We’re excited for this one.
Further reading: PS5 vs PS5 Digital Edition — Which console is better for you?
Final Fantasy XVI (TBA)
The next installment in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XVI is a timed PS5 exclusive, so you won’t be able to play it anywhere else at launch, though we expect it to come to PC at some point. There’s no release date on the horizon yet but producer Naoki Yoshida promised more details in Spring 2022.
The game looks set to return to more traditional roots this time around, set in the ancient, magical realm of Valisthea, where Mothercrystals bestow power and posterity on the surrounding kingdoms. When blight engulfs the land, peace between the six different factions is at risk. The game’s main protagonist, Clive Rosfield, is bent on revenge — though we’re yet to find out what he seeks revenge for — as he protects his younger brother Joshua, heir to Rosaria. A compelling story, real-time combat system, and stunning visuals look set to make this one of the best PS5 exclusives around.
Capcom’s Pragmata is one of those games that could easily slip under your radar if you’re not into sci-fi action-adventure games, but it’s set to be one of the best PS5 exclusives landing in 2023. Set in a dystopian near-future, the game tells the story of a father and daughter exploring an abandoned Earth and a vast lunar world. We don’t know much more about Pragmata right now, but the trailer has us pretty excited for its release next year.
These are our picks for the best PS5 exclusives you can play right now, as well as some upcoming titles. We’ll update this list as games are released and new titles are announced.