Bandai Namco went big budget with Tales of Arise, and delivered a fantastic action RPG. Taking place across a wide range of vibrant locations and boasting an endearing main cast of characters, there's an awful lot to like about the desperate adventures of Alphen. As you'd expect of the long running series, the real-time, combo-based combat is a highlight — but a twisting story also strings things along to great effect. For our gald, Tales of Arise is one of the PS5's strongest Japanese RPGs.
Looking at it now, it's genuinely hard to believe that Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn started life as a terribly misguided and badly designed MMO that came close to sinking one of Square Enix's internal development teams. Its rebirth has been one of modern gaming's most extraordinary success stories, and the game is now widely considered to be one of the greatest MMORPGs ever made. Bolstered by multiple extremely well received expansions, A Realm Reborn has gone from strength to strength, and it continues to attract millions of players. Many would even argue that it's the best Final Fantasy game of the last decade — MMO or not.
A sequel to superb detective thriller Judgment, Lost Judgment doesn't quite hit the dizzying highs of its predecessor in terms of storytelling and character development, but it's still a great action RPG. Packed with intense plot twists and carried by an excellent cast, Lost Judgment is a typical Yakuza-style thrill ride — but it's actually the ridiculous amount of impressively varied side content that drives Yagami's sophomore case. An expanded, satisfying combat system is worthy of note as well.
It may have launched on PS4 not long before this PS5 port, but Judgment is so good that it deserves every chance at success that it can get. This Yakuza spinoff puts you in the sneakers of Takayuki Yagami, a private detective living in the heart of Kamurocho, a fictional red light district that's always teetering on the edge of chaos. Tangled up in a series of brutal murders, Yagami is forced to dig deep into the city's criminal underbelly, resulting in a truly gripping story. With a brilliant cast of characters, a great combat system, and a map that's stuffed with fun distractions, Judgment is right up there with the absolute best that Yakuza has to offer.
Disco Elysium stands as a truly great achievement in role-playing. Attempting to crack a dangerously suspicious murder case as an amnesiac cop, you're tasked with interrogating the locals while trying to work out just who the hell you're supposed to be. Engrossing from start to finish, Disco Elysium is built on a foundation of fantastic writing and brilliant characters, as you carve your own unique path through the atmospheric city of Revachol. Its methodical pace won't be for everyone, but if you're looking for a deep and brain-bending RPG, you won't find anything better on PS5.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon barely feels next-gen as it’s very much rooted by Ryu ga Gotoku Studio’s dated engine and game design principles, but it’s bursting with personality and one of the most varied releases on this list. At its core, it’s a traditional role-playing game built around an engaging and relatable party of core characters, but it’s so much more: this small but densely populated open world harbours go-karts, an entire business management minigame, and more wacky side-quests than you can shake a massage wand at. This is one of the most unique and time consuming titles on PS5.
Elden Ring’s crowning achievement is taking a relatively niche gameplay loop – refined over the years with Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, et al – and presenting it to the masses. FromSoftware’s open world magnum opus is a staggering achievement: a sandbox bursting at the seams with vulgar secrets, all presented with enough ambiguity to make combing every square inch of its dramatic Lands Between backdrop feel like true discovery. With a complex combat system enabling an eclectic array of gameplay styles, and some of the most devilish encounters in gaming history, this is an unmissable experience – and then some.
Segmented into a selection of sprawling sinister landscapes, celebrated director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s ambitious open world harbours more secrets than you may imagine. Cliff edges hide untouched catacombs, littered with loot and guarded by grotesque enemies, while the friendly characters you encounter gradually make way to sprawling quest lines that will send you all over the open world.
While you will need assistance to discover much of the game’s more obscure content – and we recommend reading through our Elden Ring guide before you embark – a big part of this fantasy favourite’s appeal is simply getting lost in its world. With the bottlenecks of past entries mostly eradicated due to the sheer scale of its sandbox, no two adventures will ever be the same.
In fact, the title’s versatility is one of its defining features. With a dizzying selection of armaments to choose from, ranging spellbinding incantations through to deadly seven-foot swords, the game gives you the freedom to inject your own personality into it. And whether you’re playing in single player alone or in co-op with a companion, you’ll find what feels like a never-ending array of artillery to experiment with and areas to explore.
FromSoftware has never been blessed with technical chops, and while the painterly art direction borders on the sublime, some minor frame hitching and graphical glitches can be a concern. But these are minor blights in a tour-de-force: a culmination of everything the Japanese developer has spent the past decade and a bit working to achieve.
There's no denying that Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of the best Final Fantasy games in years, and Intergrade is the icing on the cake. Yes, it's only one part of the story, and yes, a few of the, er, changes are going to annoy some fans forevermore, but there's a healthy helping of Final Fantasy VII magic at the heart of Remake. Whether it's in the way that the characters have been re-realised or the outstanding boss fights (and excellent combat system), charging through Remake is a rewarding experience — especially if you're big on nostalgia.
Sony comfortably hooked the enthusiast crowd by adding Demon’s Souls to the PS5’s launch lineup. FromSoftware’s legendary action RPG – which would go on to spawn the so-called Soulsborne series and, eventually, even Elden Ring – was snubbed by the Japanese giant during the PS3 era, as it felt early builds were simply not up to snuff. Publishers like Atlus and Bandai Namco eventually picked it up, and it went on to become a cult classic. Perhaps as a tacit admission that it made a mistake, its recruited tech specialists Bluepoint Games to remake the game for a modern era – and the results are remarkable. This version uses original PS3 code to make for an incredibly authentic experience, but its visuals are among some of the best you’ll find on Sony’s new-gen console. It’s an extraordinary blend of old and new that comes highly recommended.
The sequel to Guerrilla Games' breakout hit, Horizon Zero Dawn, is bigger and better than its immediate predecessor in every single way. Horizon Forbidden West may retread familiar territory with its open world RPG adventure, but it improves upon the writing, introducing a worthwhile cast of characters for heroine Aloy to bounce off. New combat and exploration wrinkles, including a grappling hook, intensify the action, while the eponymous Forbidden West is a diverse sandbox, bursting with varied biomes and secrets to discover.
So there you have it: the best RPGs on PS5. What do you think of the PS5's RPG library? Do you agree with this list? Remember, you can influence this article by rating the games yourself. You can either click the star icon on a game's header or on its page, and then select a score of your own. Meanwhile, if you think that this list is missing a game or two, you can check out our full PlayStation Game Database to find what you're looking for. In any case, let us know all about your favourite RPGs in the comments section below.