If you just bought a PlayStation 5, there are a bunch of great games for you to play on that console. Since its release in late 2020, dozens of must-play games have appeared, including several console-exclusive games that you won’t be able to play anywhere else.
If you don’t have the cash to spend on a PS5, don’t worry. Due to the continued difficulty of finding PS5s in stock, Sony has released PS4 versions of some of its biggest 2022 titles, including God of War Ragnorök, Gran Turismo 7, and Horizon Forbidden West. However, that trend may eventually fizzle out, with Sony shifting more of its focus to the newer, more powerful console.
Costing $59.99, no other game on this list comes close to offering as much replay value for the price as Elden Ring. It’s the latest game from FromSoftware, the makers of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and it features more of that company’s signature difficult-yet-rewarding gameplay, but it’s set in a vast open-world environment that encourages exploration and experimentation.
Elden Ring isn’t the best choice for beginners unless you’re willing to commit to honing your skills. Even the starter enemies waste no time putting you in your place, but it’s never unfair. If you’re a fan of the developers’ past games, which several of us at The Verge are, we think you’ll quickly find your groove in Elden Ring.
The latest release from Bloodborne and Sekiro developer FromSoftware, Elden Ring is, at its most basic, an attempt to merge the studio’s distinctive action-RPG formula with an expansive open world. Think of it like Dark Souls meets Breath of the Wild, and you’re close.
This is the game to get if you’re a lover of automobiles — and jazz. Gran Turismo 7 is the latest iteration of the car racing simulator, and it lets you get even more granular with your car obsession than before. The game quickly gives you the tools to spec cars to your liking, and this game stands out with its story mode that delves into the past, present, and future of classic car models, presented by people who were responsible for making them. And as I mentioned earlier, it plays jazz over your gameplay.
On the side, Gran Turismo 7 has all of the features you might be expecting from a modern racing game, including online play, a photo mode, and a vast array of customization for each car model. This game is relaxing to play, letting you simply focus on your position in the race instead of juggling myriad objectives, which is what most games ask of you.
Developer Naughty Dog remastered its two PS4 Uncharted titles for PS5, bringing along better graphics, faster loading times, and some impressive haptic feedback on the DualSense controller. The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection includes Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the former being the latest (and potentially, the final) act in the main Uncharted plot line. The Lost Legacy is a smaller adventure that focuses on side characters in a new environment and is equally entertaining.
If you enjoy Indiana Jones-style tomb raiding, puzzle solving, butt-kicking, and characters loaded with quips, this collection is a purchase that you likely won’t regret making. This collection is available on PS5 and PC.
Neon White is the perfect game for people who enjoy first-person shooters as well as racing through levels to get the lowest time possible. The game has great visuals and a fun soundtrack, but the highlight is the fast, responsive gameplay that encourages replays to beat time trial records set by your friends online.
Neon White is loaded with dozens of fun levels, each carefully constructed with power-ups and enemies. The real fun in the game comes when you begin to master each level’s layout, making you feel like a speed-running wizard. This title is inexpensive compared to many on this list, costing $24.99. It’s available for PS5 and PS4.
The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn arrived on PS5 and PS4 in early 2022, expanding on the original action-adventure game with an even bigger world and story. As with any sequel, you should play the first game first to fully understand the stakes. However, this newer game provides a thorough recap of the first entry in case you just want to start with the sequel. No one can blame you since Forbidden West provides more quality-of-life gameplay tweaks, as well as more graphical eye candy with its realistic characters and environments. Just to note, this game is a single-player experience, and it doesn’t have any multiplayer components.
The Last of Us has become a multimedia property, expanding from video games to its own HBO TV show coming in early 2023. To prime viewers for the survival-horror drama they’ll likely see play out in the show, Naughty Dog remastered The Last of Us for PS5. The game originally launched for the PS3 in 2013 (it was remastered for the PS4 a year later).
The Last of Us Part I, as it’s called, is available on the PS5 and is coming to PC in 2023. It’s a gritty and violent game, told from the perspective of Joel and Ellie as they attempt to bludgeon their way through a zombie-like apocalypse with the hopes of finding a cure to save humanity.
As was expected, it greatly improved the graphics and gameplay to make it look and feel similar to The Last of Us Part II, which released in 2020. With this remaster, playing those games back-to-back to soak in all of the story should feel more seamless.
Sony and Naughty Dog gave The Last of Us a fresh coat of paint to make it look, sound, and play more like The Last of Us Part II, complete with a PlayStation 5 graphical makeover. If you missed out on the 2013 hit, you can play the prettiest, most refined version of it on PS5. Read our review.
God of War Ragnorök is yet another sequel on this list that’s worth playing. It follows the 2018 God of War title, taking place right after that game’s final scene (it offers a recap, but you should seek out a YouTube summary, as the recap’s not comprehensive).
While Ragnorök’s third-person action gameplay feels similar to its predecessor, its story is far more ambitious. As Kratos wishes to bury his past, he’s trying to convince his young son, Atreus, not to follow a tempting path at discovering his godhood and defying prophecy. Of course, things don’t go as planned, but that’s what makes this game so fun. God of War Ragnorök is available on PS4 and PS5.
While Ragnarök’s third-person action gameplay feels similar to its predecessor, its story is far more ambitious. As Kratos wishes to bury his past, he’s trying to convince his young son, Atreus, not to follow a tempting path at discovering his godhood and defying prophecy. Read our review.
While most of the games on this list put you in control of a revenge-seeking humanoid, in Stray, you’re just a cat. For cat lovers, that alone might make it worth playing. There’s even a dedicated “meow” button. But there’s a great game underneath the charm in Stray. It’s a puzzle-based stealth game where you have to see solutions as a cat would and occasionally run for your life from the all-consuming zurk species. During the seven-hour or so journey, you’ll befriend other cats and an equally cute robot, who will assist you in puzzles and eventually help you translate your cat chatter. Stray is available for the PS4 and PS5.
While this game didn’t release in 2022, its big, free next-gen patch did. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt now offers ray-traced graphics, faster loading times, and other refinements on the PS5, making this the best time to jump in. CD Projekt Red originally launched this game in 2015 on the PS4, and it was a miraculous achievement at the time — and still is. It’s one of a few open-world RPGs that has a huge map that’s worth fully exploring and fun, memorable missions that should keep you entertained for dozens of hours.
If you’re deciding between The Witcher III: Wild Hunt or CD Projekt Red’s newer, flashier game Cyberpunk 2077, I highly suggest checking out the former first. It’s a more polished and fun experience front-to-back.
CD Projekt Red recently debuted its next-gen patch for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt that vastly overhauls the in-game graphics, shortens loading times, and adds some quality-of-life improvements.