Ranking All First Party PS5 Games from Worst to Best
The PS5 is a couple of years old now, and like any other console, it’s going to be judged on the strength of its library- and for a Sony consoles, first party releases are a huge part of that. While flat-out PS5 exclusives have been few and far between owing to Sony’s insistence on continuing to release cross-gen games, there have nonetheless been a number of new first party titles that have launched for the PS5 over the last two years. Here, we’re going to look through them all and rank them from the game that we have been least impressed with to the one that’s dazzled us the most.
#11. DESTRUCTION ALLSTARS
I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anybody. Destruction AllStars definitely looked like a promising game in the lead-up to its launch, and the promise of a well-made and well-supported live service car combat title was an exciting one. And while the game does have its fair share of strengths, it stumbles in a number of key areas, from its gameplay to its monetizaton model to the way it was supported post-launch. While Destruction AllStars is certainly not a bad game, it still easily ranks as the least impressive first part PS5 title we’ve played so far.
#10. SACKBOY: A BIG ADVENTURE
The beloved Sackboy dropped the side-scrolling approach of the LittleBigPlanet games for a more Super Mario 3D World-style platforming experience with Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and though it’s not the most glitzy and glamorous first party title you’ll ever play, it’s got quite a bit going for it. With excellent music, oodles of charm and personality, vibrant and charming visuals, and really well-designed platforming levels that are a blast to play through both solo and in co-op, Sackboy delivers a fun platforming experience, even if it doesn’t exactly set the world on fire.
#9. THE LAST OF US PART 1
We can argue about whether or not this remake even needs to exist (or if it justifies its existence now that it does) all day long, but nothing changes one inescapable fact- The Last of Us remains an incredible game. Yes, the fact that the remake doesn’t make a great many meaningful story or gameplay changes is surely a knock against it, but at the same time, that also means that it delivers an assuredly excellent game with solid mechanics and an amazing, timeless story- while of course, the game’s visual and technical achievements can’t be praised enough. While The Last of Us Part 1 is almost impossible to recommend to the millions who already own a copy of the original or its remaster, thanks simply to its core strengths, it still qualifies as one of the best games available on the PS5.
#8. ASTRO’S PLAYROOM
It’s very easy to dismiss Astro’s Playroom as little more than a tech demo at glance, because, well, that’s literally what it is- a tech demo that exists first and foremost to show off the DualSense’s features. In spite of those limiting constraints, this is an unmissable game for all PS5 owners, which should really tell you something about how good it is. Yes, it’s a very effective tech demo, but on top of that, it’s also a genuinely well-made platformer with excellent level design and movement mechanics. Meanwhile, it’s also bursting with charm and a plethora of fun little PlayStation-centric easter eggs. Simply put, there’s quite a lot to love here, even if it is a very brief experience.
#7. GRAN TURISMO 7
As the first new numbered entry in Sony’s flagship racing franchise in nearly a decade, Gran Turismo 7 had high expectations to live up to, and though it’s fair to say that it didn’t exactly pass with flying colours, it does succeed on many crucial fronts. In terms of its visuals, its level of authenticity and detail, its driving and customization mechanics, and the amount of content it has on offer, Gran Turismo 7 is an absolute treat for fans of the genre and the series. Admittedly, some of the game’s bigger issues have been widely (and rightly) criticized, most notably its montization and grindy progression, which is a shame because, at its core, GT7 is an accomplished racing sim.
#6. RATCHET AND CLANK: RIFT APART
Ratchet and Clank fans had been waiting for a new full-fledged mainline entry in the series for a long, long time, but thankfully, Rift Apart was worth the wait. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it one of the most gorgeous and technically impressive games on the platform, exhibiting a level of polish and production value that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to see in most platformers. On the gameplay front, it doesn’t do quite as much with its new Rift mechanic as it should have, but if you’re looking for more bombastic Ratchet and Clank action, you’ll find plenty of that here.
#5. DEMON’S SOULS
As the game that kickstarted the Soulslike revolution, Demon’s Souls has an unshakable legacy, which makes remaking it quite a daunting prospect. Thankfully, its 2020 PS5 remake was handled by a studio that was well up to the task in Bluepoint Games. The new Demon’s Souls is, unsurprisingly, an absolute masterpiece. Where things such as its level design, combat, boss fights, and build variety and progression are concerned, it shines just as brightly as it did when it first launched as a niche little game in 2009. On the visuals front, meanwhile, it is a startlingly significant leap, and an absolutely gorgeous game on both, technical and artistic levels.
#4. HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
Horizon Forbidden West takes a relatively safe approach when it comes to building upon the foundations of its predecessor, which obviously means it doesn’t its freshness or novelty factory, but on the flipside, it’s also a much better made and more well-rounded game. Its open world is massive, gorgeous, and brimming not only with beautiful sights to behold and terrifying machines to destroy, but also a bevy of incredibly designed side content. The main story itself is captivating from start to finish (for the most part), while it also makes a number of smart improvements on the gameplay front to make everything from the combat to the progression to the traversal much more enjoyable.
#3. MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES
That Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales ranks as one of Sony’s best games in recent years in spite of the fact that its a smaller standalone experience rather than a full-fledged sequel speaks volumes about just how good the game is. Insomniac already nailed the traversal and combat mechanics in the series’ 2018 debut, but Miles Morales improves them even further with small yet meaningful additions- most notably, Miles’ bioelectricity powers. The game also tells an excellent story that allows Miles and the people around him to grow into their much more prominent roles, and even though the stakes are never quite as high as they were in the 2018 game, it’s a story that it’s hard not to remain deeply invested in right until the end.
The gulf between the scale of Returnal and the scale of every other game Housemarque had ever made before is massive, which makes it that much more shocking that the developer managed to pull off its first real crack at a AAA game with such confidence and ease. But Returnal is not just a regular old AAA game- no, this game is weird, and it’s proud of it. Its time loop storyline blends sci-fi with psychological horror, and its nebulous, non-linear storytelling approach adds even further weight to it. What stands out even more is the adrenaline-fueled, relentless action, which somehow manages to translate Housemarque’s trademark bullet hell style almost perfectly into a much bigger AAA 3D shooter. Add to that the game’s roguelike structure, its punishing difficulty, and its gorgeous visuals and art design, and what you have is an entirely unique and singular experience.
#1. GOD OF WAR RAGNAROK
Like Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok as a sequel is about evolution rather than evolution, and what a sequel it is. Its brutal and visceral combat makes major improvements in everything from enemy variety to the arsenal of tools, equipment, and abilities you have at your disposal, making every skirmish an absolute thrill, while the game also exhibits incredible variety across its many large and open explorable areas, all of which are expertly designed and full of incredible side quests. The story, for the most part, is a gripping rollercoaster, and manages to throw a number of surprises your way, blindsiding you in ways you wouldn’t expect. In pretty much every way possible, God of War Ragnarok not only goes toe-to-toe with its predecessor, but at times even surpasses it.
* This article was originally published here