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PS5 launch games impressions: which PS5 game should you play first?

Demon's Souls review
(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

It’s been an agonizing wait, but the PS5 is finally available all around the world. Sony’s two-tone colossus promises to change the gaming landscape over the next few years with its innovative DualSense controller and powerful hardware.

But now that your shiny new console has arrived and you’re ready to hunker down until the early hours, which game should you play first?

The PS5’s launch games are certainly impressive, and there’s a pleasing diversity of titles to choose from. With three PlayStation exclusives as well some blockbuster third-party games, here’s some quick impressions of each game on PS5. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales 

Spider-Man: Miles Morales combat

(Image credit: Sony)

A sequel that’s more akin to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in terms of scale, Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales puts you in the Adidas-branded sneakers of the charismatic and rookie web-slinger, Miles. With Peter Parker off on holiday, it’s up to Miles to take over the stewardship of New York, and predictably, his first week on the job doesn’t go smoothly. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales delivers a blockbuster, cinematic experience that easily rivals Hollywood’s best. The game’s fidelity mode shows off the power of ray-tracing (realistic reflections and lighting) and there’s a silky-smooth 60fps performance mode, too. If you loved the first Spider-Man game, or simply want to experience yet another excellent PlayStation exclusive, you don’t need to look much further than Miles’ debut outing.

Demon’s Souls

Demon's Souls boss fight

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

A true PS5 exclusive, Demon’s Souls is arguably the best looking game on PlayStation 5. From the spectacular lighting, hulking bosses and phenomenal texture detail, it’s a gorgeous sight to behold. Load times are also practically non-existent, with level transitions taking around three seconds at most. 

A remake of the 2009 PlayStation 3 game, Demon’s Souls will test your gaming chops with its punishing difficulty level. However, if you have the strength to persevere, the elation that awaits is frankly unsurpassed. Just be prepared to die hundreds of times before you emerge victorious.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sackboy: A Big Adventure multiplayer

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Sackboy: A Big Adventure may seem like the weakest PlayStation exclusive of the three, but it’s probably the most important. This is a game that’s perfect for families thanks to it’s kid-friendly nature and four-player local co-op (online arrives at a later date), and manages to go toe-to-toe with the impressive, critically-acclaimed Super Mario 3D World.

It helps that Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a truly wonderful platformer, then, one that manages to avoid the common pitfalls that many developers fall into when designing games for younger audiences. Don’t sleep on this one. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered 

Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony)

Even though the PS5 is backwards compatible with PS4 games, developer Insomniac Games decided to give Marvel’s Spider-Man the remaster treatment – and it’s a hefty update over the original. The game now supports many of technological advancements seen in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, including 3D audio, 60fps support and ray tracing. The DualSense is also used in the same way, mimicking the feeling of shooting a web as you swing around New York.

The catch is that Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is only available if you buy the Ultimate Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It also isn’t available on PS4, as you might expect.

Astro’s Playroom

Astro's Playroom sandy beach

(Image credit: Sony)

Astro’s Playroom is the best pack-in game since Wii Sports, as it perfectly showcases what Sony’s new system can do. From the sumptuous, crystal clear 4K visuals, to the pleasing 3D audio, this is a gem of a platformer and it’s installed on every PS5.

It’s the way Astro’s Playroom shows off the DualSense controller, though, that really steals the show. You’ll feel sensations that you didn’t know were possible before thanks to Sony’s new haptic feedback and adaptive triggers tech, such as what it feels like to walk along different surfaces, or fire a gatling gun. It’s a surreal, magical experience, and we recommend booting up Astro’s Playroom first before you play anything else. 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Asgard

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Sail onto the shore and ransack a village, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla recreates the Viking age with aplomb. If you’re a fan of Nordic folklore or simply enjoy plunging an axe into the chest of another man, Valhalla promises to deliver.

The game targets 60fps on PS5, and promises improved load times over the PS4 version. If that wasn't enough, there are drinking competitions were you literally try to drink your opponent under the table. Skål!

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies guide

(Image credit: Activision)

Another year, another Call of Duty. But what makes Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War worth buying? Well, for one the PS5 version takes full advantage of the DualSense controller’s adaptive controllers, recreating the recoil of each individual gun. That means when you fire off a machine gun, the triggers will feedback appropriately. Nice.

Of course, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War wouldn’t be complete without the walking dead, so you’ll be pleased to hear zombies return. You can also play Call of Duty at 120fps for the first time on a console, which should make things even more competitive online.

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion graffiti

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

If you’ve ever wanted to play as an old lady, football hooligan or construction worker in a video game, Watch Dogs: Legion might be for you. Ubisoft’s third entry in the series still involves a lot of hacking, stealth and gadgets, but the twist is that you can play as literally anyone now.

While we found the game to offer a middling experience, its recreation of a futuristic London is impressive, with all the landmarks you’d expect to find well accounted for. It’s also a great showcase for ray tracing technology on PS5, though you are limited to a 30fps frame rate with no performance mode available.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

DMC5 Special Edition

(Image credit: Sony)

Dante’s back, but for Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, it’s Vergil who steals the spotlight. You can play the entire campaign as the katana swinging devil, and his move set is as flamboyant and destructive as you’d hope.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition brings with it a variety of display modes giving users the choice of how they’d like to play. There’s a ray tracing 4K/30fps mode, a ray tracing performance mode that runs at 1080p/60fps, a 4K/60fps without ray tracing, and a 120fps mode. Whichever mode you choose, DMC5 is better than ever.  

Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Overcooked: All You Can Eat

(Image credit: Team 17)

Can the PS5 DualSense controller make you a better chef? We’d argue yes. The PS5’s new pad reproduces the timer that goes off when your food’s about to burn, and also when service is about to end. It’s a surprisingly handy feature, especially when things start boiling over. 

With both Overcooked! and Overcooked! 2 included, along with the games’ previously released DLC, there’s more kitchen nightmares here than you’ll know what to with. Oh, and online support is included, along with improved visuals and framerates. Delicious.