20. Hades (PS5)
Bored of his immortal life in the Underworld, Zagreus takes it upon himself to escape the reaches of his godly father. In the brilliant roguelike Hades, you'll aid the prince in his attempts to reach the surface, engaging in countless runs through the ever-shifting realms. With each death comes plot development, however; a story is expertly interwoven with the gameplay loop, giving you a small taste of what each character has been up to before you dive back into the dungeons once more. With slick, fast-paced combat, an endless variety of perks and power-ups to try, and an escalating challenge for those that stick around, this is a fantastic action game that makes the most of its looping structure.
Insomniac Games delivers an ultra-fun sequel in Marvel's Spider-Man 2. Refining pretty much everything that came before while delivering another rollicking superhero story, this is about as solid a follow-up as you could hope for. While it'll be fairly familiar if you've played the other games, new features tip it over the edge. The Web Wings are a huge boon for traversal, combat has been smartly refined, and the side content is more meaningful. It's a real crowd-pleaser, and is another shiny jewel in Sony's PS5 crown.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales may be shorter than its immediate predecessor, a spin-off if you like, but it’s lacking none of the character of its older, bigger brother. While Marvel’s Spider-Man did away with origin story clichés, Miles Morales is much more of a coming of age tale, as it sees the eponymous star coming to terms with his new-found powers. This is a deeply personal plot that adds depth to Insomniac Games’ wider Spider-Man universe, and it comes with some smart new gameplay wrinkles that make it a blast to play. Instant loading and sumptuous visuals are merely the frosting on the top of this wintery open world treat, which will leave you lusting after Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
17. Elden Ring (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.
Rhythm games and virtual reality go together wonderfully, and one of the best examples of that is Pistol Whip. Revamped for PSVR2's bells and whistles, this flashy game is essentially an on-rails shooter set to music. It's a simple idea but executed so well, oozing style and allowing the player to pull off some super cool moves. Firing your guns to the beat and dodging incoming attacks with perfect timing is endlessly satisfying, and the Hollywood-inspired levels are all a treat to look at, too.
Up until Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart released, Insomniac Games’ dynamic duo had been wilting in the wilderness a little bit. The PS4 reboot, Ratchet & Clank, was well-received – but it felt lightweight compared to classic series entries, like Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time. Fortunately, while Rift Apart doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, it does deliver the series’ first full-scale adventure in well over a generation. This is a game that feels great to play, thanks in part to stunning DualSense integration and some of the glitziest special effects this side of the galaxy. It’s a little more throwaway than many of the PS5’s other exclusives, but its thoroughly entertaining while it lasts, and the introduction of new characters like Rivet mean there’s a lot of life left in this series yet.
After a few missteps, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard brings the series back to its survival horror roots while entering new territory at the same time. Played in first-person, we're introduced to Ethan Winters, who is lured into danger when his missing wife contacts him. The ensuing adventure is dripping with atmosphere and intrigue as you escape the horrifying Baker family and uncover a supernatural mystery. It's a great game, and made better on PS5 thanks to better resolution, faster loading, and more.
What Remains of Edith Finch is a difficult game to talk about without spoiling what makes it special. It's a narrative-driven experience that only lasts a few hours, but it packs in so much inventive design and imaginative sequences that it will stick with you for longer than anything else. Playing as the titular Edith Finch, you return to her rickety, unusual family house and unearth what happened to everyone. It's emotional, surprising, characterful, and unique. Now also on PS5, there's no excuse to skip this excellent adventure.
For a franchise that has no shortage of experimental entries in its back catalogue, Capcom knows how to make a traditional Biohazard campaign when it wants to. Resident Evil Village adopts the first-person perspective of Resident Evil 7, but this time offers a confident and familiar romp through a sinister Romanian village. With an eclectic cast of curious – but occasionally underdeveloped – villains, the true character of this sequel is the setting itself, which harbours countless secrets and some truly memorable moments. And for those rocking a PSVR2, the full game is playable in virtual reality, which really ratchets up the intensity with overhauled controls and impressive visuals.