The next generation of consoles is now officially in full swing, with PS5 players everywhere hungry for exciting experiences that showcase the power of their new tech. We may still be early on within the PlayStation 5’s lifecycle, but already it’s obvious that this is a platform perfectly capable of catering to solo-driven players as well as those looking to duke it out online. That said, you may still be asking: what are the 10 best single-player PS5 games available to play in 2021?
You might think that the crop of these story-centric titles is relatively small, but already there are plenty of engrossing narratives and characters worth investing in on PlayStation 5. Whether you’re in the mood to become the world’s best dressed stealth assassin, want to play the role of hungover detective or fancy a nostalgic trip through the veins of PlayStation’s 30-year history, this is the perfect ranking list for you. These are the best single-player PS5 games currently out there…
Control: Ultimate Edition
Remedy Games’ time-bending third-person adventure may have originally released on last-gen consoles, but the so-called ‘Ultimate Edition’ released for PlayStation 5 turned out to be more than a simple port or upgrade. Containing both the main campaign and both previously released expansions (The Foundation and AWE), Control: Ultimate Edition is one of the best single-player PS5 games because it justifies a next-gen play through, offering players the ability to enjoy either 60 fps gameplay or full ray-traced visuals, both of which bring added immersion to the Federal Bureau of Control’s inherent brutalist architecture.
This is still the same twisted and pulpy action adventure, following Jesse Faden’s superpowered journey to find her long lost brother as she battles “hiss” creatures that have ventured through from their own world. Control: Ultimate Edition makes these combat scenarios thrilling by letting you blend traditional third-person shooting with a suite of supernatural abilities, providing options as tougher enemy types are introduced. If you have a PS5, the Ultimate Edition is the best way to experience Control.
The Pathless is a PS5 indie exclusive that casts you in the role of an archer who must survive and explore within a vast forest. Developed from the team behind ABZU, it’s your job to hunt down corrupted spirits alongside your eagle companion and take them down with your masterful bow skills. It’s the perfect single-player PS5 game for those craving something other than a traditional blockbuster Triple-A game, setting a relaxing scene and letting you endlessly explore as you perform exciting trick shots and aim effortlessly while always on the move.
The Pathless is available on PS4 as well, true, yet PlayStation 5 players get do enjoyed enhanced immersion thanks to Dualsense haptic feedback support that offers added realism to the act of archery. Only on PS5 can you feel the tension of the bow string whenever you line up your next shot, releasing arrows as necessary. The Pathless might not be the most graphically intensive game but it looks like nothing else on PlayStation 5, acting as an open-ended action adventure full of mysteries and secrets to uncover.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
It was a genuine surprise to hear early on in 2020 that we’d be venturing back to the world of Black Ops for the next Call of Duty instalment. Woods, Mason and other fan-favourite characters would once again be back in the limelight, jetting players off on another period-set adventure set against the backdrop of the Cold War. It’s on our list as one of the best single-player PS5 games because it features one of the best Call of Duty campaigns in recent years. It’s the same explosive set piece-driven rollercoaster ride fans have come to know, only with a smattering of espionage and stealth sprinkled in.
Here you take on the role of Bell, a mysterious secret agent working with an elite unit of solders tasked with capturing a Russian tyrant in the aftermath of World War Two. You’ll venture to the very heart of the Soviet machine, making choices and undergoing stealth operations in one of the most varied and pared-back Call of Duty campaigns ever. This is the true extension of the original Black Ops game’s narrative series fans have been waiting for, playing gloriously in full 60 fps visuals on PS5 with Dualsense haptic feedback support. Guns will feel differently to fire in the palm of your hand, making this not just a multiplayer behemoth, but one of the best PS5 single-player games, too.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
After almost 20 years on from when the original platforming trilogy released on PlayStation One, Crash Bandicoot spun his way back into our lives in a big way in 2020 with a brand new fourth entry. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is another one of those games that’s also playable on PS4, but 60 fps and 4K support is enough to make the recent PS5 version the preferred way to play. If you’re an avid fan of 3D platformers seeking an old-school challenge, new developer Toys For Bob has you covered with this physics-defying adventure centred on gaming’s most beloved marsupial.
Crash Bandicoot and Friends may have been confined to portal hopping before, but this time they must journey throughout time itself to prevent Neo Cortex’s latest plan. Featuring levels set across pirate islands, the desert future and lots more, this is one of the most challenging and therefore best single-player PS5 games because it tests your ability to keep calm under pressure. Jump over platforms, spin away enemies, and use the all-new mask powers on Crash’s craziest adventure yet.
It’s extremely rare that something given to you for free turns out to be worthwhile. However, in the case of Astro’s Playroom on PS5 it very much turned out to be the opposite. This is a full-fledged (if slightly bite-sized) throwback to the golden age of 3D platformers, showcasing some of the genre’s best mechanics and concepts while successfully placing them within a modern context. This alone is one of the best PS5 exclusive games, let alone one of the best single-player PS5 games, but excellent Dualsense haptic feedback support solidifies Astro’s Playroom as an absolute must play – and it’s free to ever PS5 owner.
As well as being an immensely fun platformer that showcases the potential of the Dualsense, Astro’s Playroom is also a celebration of PlayStation history. This is because every collectible you come across takes on the shape of a beloved PlayStation peripheral. From the PlayStation 2 EyeToy to the PSVR headset yourself, this PS5 freebie is quite the nostalgic trip for fans of this 30-year-old console platform. It just so happens to be backed up by airtight platform with levels that constantly throw up new ideas, making this one of the best single-player PS5 games out there!
Immortals Fenyx Rising
2020 was a massive year for Ubisoft, even with a global pandemic going on. The Triple-A publishing giant released no less than three big games during the height of the holiday period. And while Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs didn’t disappoint with their new series entries, what surprised everyone was just how enjoyable Immortals Fenyx Rising turned out to be. An open-world game heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you play as the titular Fenyx who must bring peace back to this land of myths and monsters using a variety of god-like powers.
Much of the appeal found in Immortals Fenyx Rising comes from how you can go anywhere in almost any order. Unlike traditional open world games which sees you follow a pre-set path, here you can use your special abilities to travel wherever you want. Once there you’re sure to find one of the game’s many puzzle, combat or exploration opportunities, all of which combine to make you a better, more powerful Greek warrior. It’s a no brainer as one of the best single-player PS5 games.
Having previously revitalised the franchise with a totally new premise and open-ended format, with Hitman 3 the goal was admittedly open for developer IO Interactive to ends its modern trilogy of assassin simulators on a high note. Agent 47’s third adventure takes full advantage of the PS5’s extra oomph, too, rendering locations like Dartmoor and Dubai in jaw-dropping 4K visuals. Killing targets as creatively as possible will have never looked more stunning. Hitman 3 is one of the best single-player PS5 games because it’s the most refined take on the format yet.
Hitman 3 brings the so-called “World of Assassination” trilogy to a close, picking up directly where the previous game left off with Agent 47 and handler Diana Burnwood on the run from their employer. Taking them down from the inside requires taking down high-profile targets as covertly as possible, creating the perfect structure for calamity and then silently slipping away unnoticed. Few third-person games are as suave or sophisticated as Hitman 3, making it a must-play for solo fans.
Disco Elysium: Final Cut
Tabletop inspired RPGs rarely get any better than Disco Elysium. Originally released in 2019 exclusively for PC, the PS5 version subtitled ‘The Final Cut’ now blows it out of the water thanks to added quests and voice acting for every line of dialogue. You play as a nameless hungover detective tasked with solving a murder case, but most people jive with Disco Elysium for the many crazy and unexpected avenues you can go down. After all, in how many other RPGs can you have an existential argument with your personality traits?
Disco Elysium: Final Cut also looks great on PlayStation 5, breathing life into the otherworldly city of Revachol and its various cooky inhabitants. How you go about cracking this murder case is entirely up to you. Will you forgo perusing the victim’s body in favour of becoming a karaoke star or sleep rough because you can’t afford the hotel room? This Final Cut version of the cult-classic detective RPG will easily appeal to solo adventure fans, swiftly making our list of the best single-player PS5 game.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Insomniac’s open-world Spider-Man game from 2018 was such a critical and commercial hit, it was always inevitable that PlayStation players would eventually get to revisit that world. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales may not quite be a full-fledged sequel, but this standalone spin-off centred on the ultimate version of Spider-Man is still full of heart. You’ll play an original storyline that takes place after the main gaming, swinging through New York in a combination of silky 60 fps and ray-traced 4K visuals.
The baddie this time around is none other than the Tinkerer, a tech-based criminal who has closer personal ties to Miles and his family than he initially thinks. The 8-10 hour storyline does all it needs to cement this open-world superhero format as an absolute winning formula, drenching the city in a layer of snow to give this side story a distinctly wintery feel. Whether you’ve played the first game or not, don’t miss out on one of the best single-player PS5 games in Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Single-handedly revolutionising how modern gamers come to think of action role-playing games, Demon’s Souls was a cult classic PS3 game that kicked off a whole new sub-genre. Eventually going on to inspire the fabled Dark Souls spin-off series, players on PS4 and PS5 had no way of playing the original game until BluePoint games released a Demon’s Souls remake as a PS5 exclusive at launch. Built from the ground up for this new next-gen hardware, getting your butt kicked in a gothic medieval setting has never appeared so stunning.
Fully playable in full 4K visuals or 60 fps, the 2020 remake of Demon’s Souls is one of the best single-player PS5 games because it’s a faithful reimagining that simply upgrades the aesthetic to look and feel like a modern Triple-A game. You’ll traverse iconic environments like the Boletarian Palace and Valley of Defilement and experience them like never before, fending off against hard-as-nails enemies while trying to survive. Don’t miss out on this revitalised action game that spawned the whole Souls-Borne genre.