The best PS5 single-player stories and experiences
The best PS5 single-player games make the platform one of the greatest consoles to own today. With exclusives like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and God of War Ragnarok, there are many outstanding experiences on the beloved system. While it’s sad that some double-A exclusives like Gravity Rush 2 and LittleBigPlanet 3 have fizzled from PlayStation’s priority list, there are still grand single-player campaigns that will take your breath away. Here are 10 of the best PS5 single-player games you can check out.
Marvel’s Spider-Man series
If you’re a big comic book fan or just like action games in general, you can’t go wrong with Marvel’s Spider-Man series from Insomniac Games. Web slinging feels the best it’s ever been, evolving the system from the beloved Spider-Man 2 PS2 game and letting you do tricks in the air. Boss battles are immensely important and truly up the stakes of the storyline. Finally, this Marvel version of New York is so detailed as you’re beating up foes across the stunning map with a glorious battle system. The follow-up based on Miles Morales is also stellar, perhaps outdoing the original game, with an elevated battle system and intense, drama-filled story. Now’s a good time to get into the series as Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is getting a standalone release on PS5.
God of War series
If you love single-player games on PS5, you owe it to yourself to play the Norse God of War series. I personally found the PS2 and PS3 entries hard to get into. The action gets repetitive, there are oddly placed puzzles, and the harsh overtones of Kratos’ personality repelled me. However, this new reboot-quel with Kratos as a father is a game changer. The way Kratos evolves past his violent origins and grows as a person is refreshing. Both of these games act as a fantastic coming-of-age story for his son Atreus as well. The combat takes a slower, more methodical third-person approach. The axe feels satisfying to wield, and the powers Kratos attains over the course of the series make you feel strong. There are plenty of cinematic bosses that amaze you too.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart hosts some of the best PS5 graphics, bar none. Reviewers often say this series looks like a Pixar film for a good reason, and I agree. But it’s not just a tour-de-force of graphics, however. This sci-fi game features two engaging platforming heroes trying to save the multiverse from Dr. Nefarious and company. Most of the guns on offer pack a punch, like the Shatterbomb, while other weapons turn your enemies into cute objects like pixels with the Pixelizer. The storyline is also impactful and gets surprisingly emotional.
The Last of Us Part I
Talking about emotional stories, The Last of Us Part I will leave you weeping. This post-apocalyptic has you play as Joel, a father who lost their child, and connects with a girl named Ellie as they face the harsh zombie-filled environment. Yes, they’re called the Infected (not zombies, per se), but what makes them unique is how they have to listen to the environment to know where you are. It gets creepy as you have to slowly work your way through dark hallways to succeed. Otherwise, they’ll come rampaging toward you, and you need your wits to shoot them in the correct spots. What’s even scarier, perhaps, are the people you meet along the way, and the storyline gets very heavy as Joel and Ellie try to keep themselves alive. It’s one of the best PS5 single-player games because of how intense it gets. I haven’t even gotten into the impressive graphics, either.
Elden Ring is a tough S.O.B., but the grind is well worth your time as you defeat tough bosses with a big smile on your face and scale across a dangerous fantasy landscape. I’ve personally never connected with a Souls game, but for some reason, Elden Ring grabbed me. The open world allows you to explore, challenge other bosses, and level up at your own speed. You can find mysterious areas naturally, get awesome loot, and then attempt to defeat a tough boss once more. That game loop is absolutely engrossing and far better than the linear Souls style as you finally have options. You’re not stuck with one boss over and over and over again. The world-building is also a strength of the game, with gorgeous scenery and architecture to gaze at.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
I’ll say it. This game is better than the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The characters are written so well and are different enough from the Hollywood versions. There’s a fantastic character arc for Eidos Montreal’s interpretation of Starlord, and you truly feel the connection between all of the members of the group. The script is also quite funny. The third-person shooting gameplay is thrilling as you’re zooming around foes with your jet boots and instructing the squad on what to do. Bosses also feel like a big deal in this game.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade
If you need an RPG to play on your PS5, Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade is ready for you. With spectacular visuals, fast-paced yet strategic combat, and an engrossing storyline, this game will grab you from beginning to end. The music is also phenomenal. The Intergrade edition comes with a chapter that introduces Yuffie into the mix that you can’t play on the PS4.
Want a game that the kids (or your inner child) can play? Astro’s Playroom is a wonderful pick. It fully uses the DualSense controller’s functionality, such as the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, to make a memorable experience. The platforming is some of the best the PS5 has to offer, as well. Additionally, it references great moments in PlayStation’s long history. The best part is that Astro’s Playroom is free to download!
Resident Evil 4 Remake
This is an almost perfect horror game. Stunning graphics, a creepy environment, an epic story, tough bosses, and stellar third-person shooting gameplay. The puzzles are also a treat in Resident Evil 4 Remake. There’s not much else to say other than pick this game up.
While the sequel, Forbidden West, covers familiar ground in terms of its gameplay, it’s still a tour-de-force of graphics. The unique robot-filled post-apocalyptic setting is striking. You also have some stellar performances by Ashley Burch (Aloy) and the rest of the cast. The storyline is also intriguing as we learn bits and pieces about why our civilization failed many years ago. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an incredible open-world game as you upgrade your gear and defeat titanic robots along the way, strategically breaking their parts until they fall. Forbidden West is still impressive, but to me, fails to capture my interest as much as the original.
There are some other stand-out titles that didn’t quite make the Best PS5 single-player games list. One of them that is likely mentioned in the comments is Ghost of Tsushima. It presents a gorgeous open world inspired by the Mongolian invasion era of Japan. However, it strikes me more as a PS4 game rather than a PS5-specific entry for this list. It has received a remaster with additional content set on Iki Island. Additionally, there’s Returnal. It’s gained a large fanbase since its release, but can arguably be considered a co-op game, following one of its post-game updates.
Chris is a freelance writer for multiple outlets, including Destructoid! He loves narrative games like Kingdom Hearts, Life is Strange, and Beyond Good & Evil. However, he does enjoy Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from time to time.