The PlayStation 5’s success will ultimately come down to the quality of its exclusive content, which Sony has spent the last year hyping up in anticipation of the console’s release.
Whether you’re looking forward to top-notch single-player experiences from Sony’s Worldwide Studios, or third party games coming to PlayStation first, we’ve got you covered with the best upcoming PS5 exclusives.
The games we’ll be highlighting have either been officially announced by Sony or are rumored to be in development. We’ve taken the liberty of including any known release dates along with information regarding timed or full exclusivity.
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Horizon Forbidden West
After announcing Horizon Zero Dawn would be making its way to PC, Sony revealed a sequel was currently in development at Guerrilla Games. Titled Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel is due out sometime in 2021 and will be launching exclusively on PS5. Visually, the game is just as gorgeous, if not more, than its predecessor, which was no slouch in the graphics department.
Along with a host of graphical improvements, Horizon Forbidden West appears to be introducing some new gameplay features that have us most excited. This includes underwater exploration as well as new enemy types to accompany the mechanical wildlife of the first game. Horizon always stood out for its unique interpretation of a post-apocalyptic setting, so we’re eager to see what lies beyond the forbidden west.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
During Sony’s Future of Gaming event, we got a glimpse of Insomniac’s follow-up to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. While there was some initial confusion surrounding whether it would be an expansion to the first game or a full-fledged sequel, it’s now confirmed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a standalone single-player game launching exclusively for PS5.
Details are far and few in between at the moment, but the teaser trailer revealed a slightly older Miles than when we last saw him. It looks like Peter Parker has stepped away from the Big Apple and entrusted Miles to keep the city safe while he’s away.
Considering Miles’ spidey suit comes with its own perks, namely his paralyzing ‘venom strike’ gloves, it’ll be interesting to see what other powers make it into the final game.
Gran Turismo 7
Each console generation, we’re treated to a new racing game with gorgeous-looking graphics to show off the new hardware’s capabilities. Sony is using the same approach for the PS5 as previous generations by announcing the next entry in the long-running Gran Turismo series. Gran Turismo 7, which is rumored to be launching alongside the new console.
GT7 sees the return of highly-requested features that were excluded from the previous entry, including a fully-realized career mode to make up for GT Sport‘s slim pickings. Additionally, tuning shops and Trial Mountain challenges will return. Of course, you can still count on a plethora of new vehicles from the biggest brands in racing to make an appearance in GT7.
Godfall first debuted during the Game Awards 2019, where a teaser trailer set the tone for the high fantasy action RPG while also confirming it would be coming exclusively to PS5. In it, you play as one of three classes belonging to the Knight’s Order, a group of warriors tasked with preventing an apocalyptic event that destroys the world.
It has some undeniable Soulslike qualities in terms of atmosphere and gameplay, but seems to be targeted towards the looter shooter crowd, with support for up to three-player drop-in drop-out co-op. Additionally, the game features class customization in the form of equippable armor called ‘Valorplates.’ Current speculation suggests Godfall will be a launch title for the PS5.
Arguably the weirdest announcement to come out of Sony’s PS5 reveal, Bugsnax is an upcoming PS5 exclusive developed by Young Horses, best known for the hilarious physics-based adventure game Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Graphically, the game looks on par with Young Horses’ previous work while its gameplay and story premise is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
In it, you play as a journalist who stumbles upon their next big scoop: a mysterious island inhabited by part-bug-part-snack creatures of all shapes and sizes. Going against your supervisor’s wishes, you set off for the island and soon find yourself helping the locals find and trap different bugsnax. While we can’t confirm anything as of now, something about Bugsnax’s off-putting tone leads us to believe there’s more to the game than just interacting with cute and delicious-looking critters.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Aside from developing the next Spider-Man game, Insomniac is also hard at work on the next Ratchet & Clank entry, titled Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. In it, the two titular heroes find themselves entangled in an inter-dimensional crisis in which the world-connecting portals have gone haywire, causing them to open and close at random. The dynamic duo will set out to restore order to the universe with help from a new playable character, a female Lombax from a different dimension.
The game will be the first new entry in the shooter-platformer series since the 2016 remake of the first game for PS4. Insomniac plans on harnessing the ray-tracing capabilities of the PS5’s hardware along with the DualSense controller’s enhanced haptic feedback in order to make Rift Apart the most exciting and immersive entry to date.
A remake of the PS3 classic Demon’s Souls has been announced for Sony’s next-gen PS5 console. Created by FromSoftware, the 2009 action RPG laid the groundwork for games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Bluepoint Games will be handling the remake’s development with help from PlayStation’s Japan Studio.
While the announcement trailer only displays brief cutscene moments running in-engine and no actual gameplay, it’s clear to see how much has been improved. Everything from lighting to character models to volumetric effects has been enhanced in the remake. Additionally, thanks to the PS5’s hardware capabilities, Demon’s Souls remake will support ray-tracing and run natively in 4K.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Instead of announcing LittleBigPlanet 4, Sony and developer Sumo Digital caught fans by surprise when they revealed a spin-off to the puzzle-platformer would be coming to PS5. Sackboy: A Big Adventure will see you playing as series mascot, Sackboy, as he sets off on a brand-new 3D platforming adventure. This is in stark contrast to the mainline LBP games, which are known for their 2.5D presentation.
Judging by the announcement trailer, the switch in gameplay perspective will allow for more ambitious puzzle designs and new platforming challenges. We’re eager to see how this will affect Sackboy’s creative mode, assuming Sumo plans to include custom level designing. Thankfully, the spin-off will still support both local and online multiplayer, which has been a staple of LBP from the start.
It feels like console pack-ins are becoming rarer and rarer with every new generation, so it’s nice to see Sony hasn’t abandoned the practice altogether. Astro’s Playroom will act as a pre-loaded test demo for the PS5’s DualSense controller, highlighting its many new features such as adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and a built-in mic/speaker.
Presented as a 3D platformer, the game will see you playing as Astro, an adorable little robot who first appeared in the PSVR exclusiveAstro Bot Rescue Mission. Astro’s Playroom includes four playable worlds, each one based on one of the PS5’s console components. It’s been a long time since Sony has tried to push for a new mascot, so look forward to seeing what adventures Astro and his crew have in store for PS5 owners.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
One of the most impressive highlights from Sony’s Future of Gaming presentation, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a third-person action-adventure title that’s best summed up as The Legend of Zelda with Pixar-level animation quality. The game is being developed by Ember Lab, an indie studio who, before game design, specialized in developing characters for animated commercials.
The studio’s animation prowess is on full display in Kena’s announcement trailer, depicting fluid movement and combat systems accented by flashy particle effects and lush forest environments. Reminiscent of minion-based games like Pikmin, the story sees you raising an army of tiny magical creatures called the Rot, growing their ranks and unlocking new abilities that allow them to manipulate the environment.
Although we’ve known about Arkane Lyon’s next project since E3 2019, there hasn’t been much info to go off of other than a flashy trailer where we see players are trying to kill each other while trapped in a perpetual time loop. Thankfully, Sony’s PS5 gameplay reveal has provided a bit more context regarding Deathloop’s premise and gameplay structure. In it, you play as Colt, a talented hitman who finds himself trapped in a Groundhog’s Day-style time loop on a party island filled with rival assassins.
To end the loop, Colt sets out to eliminate the eight targets responsible for their current situation. However, doing so won’t be easy, as Colt has been marked enemy number one by the powers that be, prompting other players to take you down using their own special abilities. It’s an interesting progression of Dishonored’s open-ended stealth gameplay that only benefits from looking like a 1970s acid trip.
Considering fans of Twisted Metal don’t have much to hold on to these days, it’s nice to see a game like Destruction AllStars get announced, especially for a platform as highly-anticipated as the PS5. While it’s clearly trying to appeal to the Fortnite audience, there appears to be enough substance to AllStars’ vehicular combat to keep players coming back.
In it, you play as one of many “dangerous drivers” who compete in explosive car-based battles in arenas throughout the world. Each character has a unique personality that’s reflected by their vehicle of choice. There’s the usual fare of turbo boosts, deadly crashes, and massive explosions, but the ability to exit your vehicle and cause mayhem on-foot is what sets AllStars apart. Just pray you don’t get yourself run over before you can make it back to the driver’s seat.
We recently got a closer look at Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks’ upcoming horror action-adventure game, Ghostwire: Tokyo, which is expected to launch on PS5 in 2021. In it, you play as one of the few remaining survivors following a paranormal event that causes 99% of Tokyo’s population to mysteriously disappear.
Soon after, your character discovers they’ve been bestowed with supernatural abilities that allow them to fight back against the horrific terrors that have taken over Tokyo’s streets. The premise seems thoroughly intriguing and will only be made better by Ghostwire‘s stunning depiction of modern-day Tokyo, with environments ranging from vibrant cityscapes to tranquil holy grounds.
Maquette is an amusing first-person puzzle game that sees you exploring a recursive world with multiple layers, each with its own scale and affected by magical rules that let you manipulate time and space. It can be a tricky to wrap your head around the actual mechanics of the game, but we have a feeling it’s much easier to grasp when you’re actually sitting down with the controller.
Puzzles are designed around the idea of a self-reflecting world, where actions have different outcomes for each layer of reality. This is also expressed through the game’s story, which focuses two young lovers’ memories. While we still haven’t gotten a release date, we’re looking forward to experiencing plenty of head scratching followed by “a-ha” moments where we stumble upon a puzzle’s solution.
The Pathless is an upcoming adventure game created by indie developer Giant Squid, the studio behind 2016’s Abzu. In it, you play as The Hunter, a master of archery tasked with dispelling an ancient curse that threatens to destroy the land. Aiding you on your quest is an eagle companion you’ll have to take care of and work with to break the curse and restore peace to the world.
While the game is much more fast-paced than Abzu, the two appear to be focused on the same themes. If we had to guess, The Pathless will pick up where Abzu left off by exploring the relationship between humankind and animals even further. Instead of making your way around a lush underwater ecosystem, you’ll be traversing a mystical forested island with plenty of secrets to unlock.
Coming to both PS4 and later PS5, Haven is an adventure RPG from Furi developer The Game Bakers. In it, you play as a couple named Yu and Kay, who spend their days exploring the remaining grasslands of a shattered world searching for a form of energy called “flow.” Together, the two will unravel mysteries surrounding the planet’s collapse and overcome challenges throughout the world.
While the game is being touted a solo experience at its core, at any time, a second player can join in and control one of the two characters via local couch co-op. The gameplay trailer depicts JRPG-inspired turn-based battles along with atmospheric environments in line with games like Journey, and highly-stylized visuals reminiscent of Breath of the Wild.
Heavenly Bodies is a 2D simulation game that sees you and a partner attempting to run a space station in zero gravity. To complete tasks and keep the station functioning like it should, you’ll have to navigate to different parts using the game’s physics-based controls. The left and right analog sticks allow you to move your character’s arms while bumpers are for tucking in your legs.
The game will be best enjoyed on PS5 thanks to the DualSense controller’s new adaptive triggers, which provide better feedback when grabbing an object. What makes Heavenly Bodies stand out is its unique combination of physics-based gameplay set within a zero-gravity environment. This adds a sort of unpredictability to traversing the station, as your character may not move or interact with an object in the way you intended them to.
Jett: The Far Shore
Although Jett: The Far Shore remains shrouded in mystery, that’s par for the course developer Superbrothers, whose last project was 2012’s Sword & Sworcery. Much like that game, Jett focuses on the relationship between music and gameplay while telling a cinematic-quality story about a Jett scout named Mei, who stumbles upon an interstellar transmission while exploring an ethereal ocean planet.
The game is broken up into five acts that feature captivating story beats accented by open-ended exploration, the occasional action sequence with pursuing enemies, and numerous opportunities for self-reflection. Considering audio is a significant pillar of Jett’s design, it’s worth noting that the game’s score was created by Scntfc, the artist behind the soundtracks for Oxenfree, Afterparty, and Jenny LeClue: Detectivu.
Following 2014’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, a remake of the original Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey, we have Oddworld: Soulstorm, a remake of the second entry in the series, Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. In it, players reprise their role as Abe, a victim of slave labor who decides to lead a rebellion for his species (the Mudokons) against their evil overlords (the Glukkons).
Just like its predecessor, Soulstorm is presented as a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer with combat and puzzle elements. The game will feature a new crafting system that allows Abe to make and customize various weapons using materials throughout the world. Oddworld: Soulstorm will launch as a timed PS5 exclusive, later coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store.
Little Devil Inside
Joining the ranks of third-party games that have been locked in as timed exclusives for the PS5 is Little Devil Inside, a visually-striking action RPG with survival elements. However, what sets this game apart is its distinct cartoony art style, which adds a surreal quality to the game’s overall appearance.
It’s made by South Korean developer Neostream, who kickstarted the game back in 2015 and interestingly enough, originally planned on releasing Little Devil Inside for the Nintendo Wii-U. In it, you play as a brave adventure on a quest to save the world by killing off powerful arch-demons. The game features a semi-open world filled with side activities to explore when you need a break from the main path.
While developer Housemarque has worked on a variety of games across different genres, their bread and butter have always been arcade shooters, including their biggest claim to fame, Resogun. The studio’s next project, Returnal, sees them returning to the third-person shooter space, this time throwing some rogue-like elements into the mix.
The game sees you playing as a space pilot who’s stranded on an alien planet and affected by a time loop. Every time you die, the pilot is resurrected with visions of strange objects and locations. As a full PS5 exclusive, Returnal will also take advantage of the DualSense by allowing you to switch fire modes using the controller’s adaptive triggers.
Annapurna Interactive is one of the more well-known indie game publishers due to their ability to source high-quality, polished experiences. And taking a look at the teaser trailer for Stray, it’s clear that they’ve found the perfect match in indie developer BlueTwelve.
Stray casts you as an adorable feline living in a cyberpunk-inspired city where humans appear to have been replaced by robots. The cat can be seen wearing a glowing backpack, suggesting it serves some bigger purpose in the game’s story. Of all the PS5 exclusives we could ask for, a futuristic cat simulator is definitely at the top of the list.
Announced under its working title, Project Athia is an upcoming open-world action-adventure game from currently in development at Luminous Productions, a new Square Enix game studio formed by members of the Final Fantasy 15 development team. The game sees you controlling a fleet-footed young woman, likely named Athia, as she explores a “world not her own,” comprised of snowy mountains, lush forests, and ancient ruins.
In the teaser trailer, we can see Athia possesses the power to make roots grow out of the ground. Additionally, we were able to make out at least one of the game’s enemy types, fire-breathing wolves who travel in packs. Considering the developer’s affinity for JRPGs, it’ll be interesting to see them apply their talent to a new genre with Project Athia. If you’re a Final Fantasy fan, definitely keep your eye on this one.
God of War 2
God of War was huge tremendous victory for Sony, receiving 10/10 reviews from fans and critics as well as taking home the trophy for GOTY at The Game Awards 2018. It seems only logical at this point for Sony Santa Monica to start brainstorming a sequel to add to the PS5’s already lengthy list of exclusives.
The studio appears to agree as they’ve started posting job listings for positions across numerous teams, with one listing going as far as to directly mention 2018’s God of War. If you were one of many players who returned to Krato’s cabin after completing the main story, then you remember the colossal cliffhanger that was included to leave players craving more God of War.
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