With so many great games available for PS5, it’s inevitable that some of them are going to slip through the net.
High-profile releases like Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 hog the limelight, but while those games are excellent (or looking promising in the case of Spider-Man 2), this means there are a ton of excellent games that you may not have tried.
If you’ve got a PS5 and you’re looking for something fresh to check out, here are the 10 most underrated PS5 games you can play right now!
A quick note: our definition of “underrated” doesn’t necessarily refer exclusively to sales or to critical acclaim, but more to games we feel have somewhat flown under the radar. Let’s begin!
1. Demon’s Souls
By most people’s metrics, Demon’s Souls counts as a success, but we feel it’s gotten somewhat lost in the PS5 exclusive noise.
Bluepoint’s reimagining of From Software’s Soulslike template is beautiful, lushly orchestrated, and full of brutally difficult challenges.
It might not be the most original prospect on the list – after all, it’s a remake of a PS3 exclusive that was itself pretty underrated – but it deserves another look now that the dust has settled.
Returnal isn’t a perfect game, but it’s a unique one, and it’s another game to check out if your principal concern is challenge rather than spectacle.
Don’t get us wrong; Returnal is a beautiful game, but its main concern is its roguelite third-person shooter gameplay, which it pulls off with panache.
With strong enemy and level design, great shooting, and a surprisingly involved (albeit somewhat confusing) plot, Returnal deserves to be revisited and appreciated for the achievement that it is.
3. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
To our minds, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is easily superior to LittleBigPlanet. Created by Sumo Digital rather than Media Molecule, Sackboy focuses on crafted levels rather than user-generated content, and that works to the game’s benefit.
Levels are delightfully varied and fun, with the clear highlight being the musical stages that set platforming action to well-known pop songs like Britney Spears’ “Toxic” or “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie.
You can even grab a friend and enjoy this one in co-op, although be warned: later stages get surprisingly challenging, so make sure you’re both up to the task.
4. Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Chicory: A Colorful Tale is likely to prove divisive. If you need some kind of combat element or overt conflict in your game, you’re going to struggle, but if you like a more slow-paced and serene experience, this one will be right up your street.
The premise is simple: you are the wielder of a magical brush that can colour in the world, and you must discover the reason for everything suddenly becoming black and white.
What follows is a somewhat on-the-nose but still rather charming story of imposter syndrome, mental health, and friendship that should leave a smile on your face by the time you’re done.
5. Astro’s Playroom
Every PS5 comes with a free copy of Astro’s Playroom, so you’ve hopefully already played this adorable platformer. If not, though, seek it out on the PlayStation Store and download it posthaste.
Astro’s Playroom is intended as a showcase of what the PS5’s hardware can do, but it’s more than that; it’s a celebration of all things PlayStation, and it’s got plenty of great Easter eggs to spot if you’re a Sony aficionado.
This isn’t a particularly long game, but it sticks around for exactly as long as it needs to before it bows out, so set aside a few hours for it and you won’t be disappointed.
What exactly is Steelrising? It’s surprisingly hard to pin down Spiders’ latest game. It’s a Soulslike set in the French Revolution, but it also has the hallmarks of the studio’s signature RPG design.
You are Aegis, a mechanical bodyguard tasked with crossing the automaton-infested streets of Paris and hunting down King Louis XVI to make him answer for his crimes.
There’s a lot of jank in Steelrising, and it’s far from perfect, but if you’re a Soulslike fan, its weirdness makes it worth a look.
7. Resident Evil 3
The Resident Evil 2 and 4 remakes grabbed headlines, but Resident Evil 3 sits somewhat awkwardly in the middle. That’s a shame, because it’s still well worth your time.
This is a more linear, action-focused game that doesn’t quite have the tight focus of Resident Evil 2 or the sprawling, epic feel of Resident Evil 4, but still features plenty of enjoyable survival horror gameplay nonetheless.
You may not find yourself revisiting Resident Evil 3 once it’s over, but it’s easily worth a playthrough.
8. Watch Dogs: Legion
Far from simply being a straightforward sequel to Watch Dogs 2, Legion takes some rather interesting risks, so it’s worth a look if you want something a little different.
Legion lets you play as pretty much anyone; you can recruit lots of different NPCs to your cause, and they all have different skillsets, so you can assemble whatever kind of weird superstar team you like.
Missions have a somewhat open-ended immersive sim feel to them, too, so there are lots of different approaches to challenges that you can potentially take.
9. Cyber Shadow
Published by Shovel Knight studio Yacht Club, Cyber Shadow does for Ninja Gaiden what the aforementioned platformer did for Mega Man.
It takes Ninja Gaiden’s sharp, ultra-focused platforming and modernises it, removing some of the frustration while maintaining a high level of varied and consistently interesting challenge.
In short, if you’re a fan of retro-oriented platformers, you owe it to yourself to give this one a look.
10. The Forgotten City
The Forgotten City began life as a Skyrim mod before spinning off into its own property, and that decision was a smart one, because this is a story that deserves to be told.
The game takes place in a city in which a single crime will cause the death of all of its inhabitants, which, of course, happens over the course of the story.
It’s up to you to discover who’s committing the crime, what the nature of the crime is, and whether or not you can prevent it.
While the PS5 boasts a plethora of blockbuster hits, it’s essential not to overlook the treasure trove of underrated gems beneath the surface. From the intense and challenging “Demon’s Souls” to the intricate and emotional narrative of “The Forgotten City,” there’s a wealth of diverse experiences waiting for gamers willing to venture beyond the mainstream. These titles, though they might not have achieved the same level of widespread acclaim as their counterparts, offer unique gameplay mechanics, captivating stories, and rich atmospheres that deserve a place in any gamer’s library.
- Which underrated game offers a journey through a recreated PS3 exclusive?
- “Demon’s Souls” by Bluepoint is a lush remake of the classic PS3 title by From Software, providing both stunning visuals and challenging gameplay.
- What is the main focus of “Returnal”?
- “Returnal” prioritizes its roguelite third-person shooter gameplay, featuring an engaging story alongside dynamic enemy and level design.
- Which game showcases the PS5’s hardware capabilities?
- “Astro’s Playroom” is a delightful platformer that demonstrates the potential of the PS5 hardware, doubling as a homage to PlayStation’s rich history.
- Are there any underrated Soulslike titles on the list?
- “Steelrising” stands out as a unique Soulslike, weaving the French Revolution setting with Spiders’ distinct RPG design elements.
- Which game took a leap from a mod to a standalone title?
- “The Forgotten City” started as a Skyrim mod before evolving into its full-fledged game, offering players a mysterious narrative where one crime endangers an entire city.
- Is there a game on the list that allows players to recruit and play as almost any NPC?
- “Watch Dogs: Legion” introduces an innovative mechanic where players can recruit a wide range of NPCs, each boasting distinct skillsets, offering a myriad of gameplay strategies.
- Which game modernizes the retro “Ninja Gaiden” platforming experience?
- “Cyber Shadow,” backed by the Shovel Knight creators, rejuvenates the essence of Ninja Gaiden, blending nostalgic platforming with modern design elements.
- For players interested in exploring themes of mental health, which game should they consider?
- “Chicory: A Colorful Tale” offers a gentle yet insightful dive into topics like imposter syndrome and mental health, wrapped in a serene coloring-in adventure.
- Which game on the list lets players experience an entire city’s fate depending on a single crime?
- In “The Forgotten City,” players must unravel the mystery of a crime that, once committed, seals the fate of all its inhabitants.
- How does “Sackboy: A Big Adventure” differentiate from its predecessors?
- Differing from the user-generated focus of LittleBigPlanet, “Sackboy: A Big Adventure” emphasizes hand-crafted levels, providing a more curated platforming experience.