The Xbox Series X still looks like an expensive fridge, the PlayStation 5 a cheap modem. But, really, who cares? What matters is the games.
Last-gen, the PlayStation 4 killed the Xbox One in this regard, and now, at launch at least, it looks like it will continue its domination, with a reasonably impressive launch lineup (though the Xbox hasn’t put up much of a fight). Here’s the best of the games you can pick up during what Sony is calling the console’s "launch window"—a maddeningly vague period of time that seems to cover everything between today and next summer.
The first of FromSoftware’s fiendish yet rewarding series is remade for PlayStation 5. Unlike the rushed and glitchy Dark Souls Remastered, the game also looks stunning, truly next-gen. It’s been rebuilt from the ground up—this is good news, because some of Demon’s Souls difficulty derived from clunky design choices, which, though endearing 10 years ago, needed an update. The smoother combat and PvP of the later iterations will be a particularly nice addition. A must-buy.
The Pathless didn’t stand out among the 27 titles Sony showed off during its big console reveal back in June, but to be fair, neither did much among that bewildering array of cookie-cutter sci-fi titles. This wasn’t fair, though, because The Pathless is a good game, and worth picking out among the launch titles. You play as the hunter, a master archer trying to lift a curse on a gorgeous painterly world, a feat you have to accomplish without a mini map. There’s a definite Breath of the Wild influence here, and that’s no bad thing.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Marvel’s Spider-Man, released in 2018, was a smash hit for the PS4 and one of its best exclusives. Unsurprisingly, web swinging between massive skyscrapers makes for an entertaining video game. In this continuation—think a giant piece of downloadable content with a new story and new quests—you play as Miles Morales, another Spider-Man trained by Peter Parker. Parker travels abroad to see his girlfriend, and Morales must defend New York City from the evil Tinkerer.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
The Ratchet & Clank series is a PlayStation staple, so it’s no surprise to see it appear here. The graphical leap Insomniac Games has achieved from this generation into the next is very impressive (which makes sense, since it’s been seven years). Rick and Morty-like, the cutesy duo leap through great rifts in space and time into colorful worlds, each one teeming with alien life. Looks like a blast. No release date yet, but expect to see it very soon, sometime early next year.
Bizarre but charming adventure puzzler—you may have already heard its irritating melody, written by British indie pop band Kero Kero Bonito. You play a reporter tasked with exploring Snaktooth Island. In a hallucinogenicly weird premise that you would only find in a game, you must examine and capture half-bug-half-snack creatures, with names like Tacroach and Weenyworm. (Yes, really.) Catching Bugsnax is the goal here, and it’s a varied affair—luring out Bugsnax with ketchup for instance. There’s a definite Pokemon Snap influence, which the developers have admitted, but there’s a deeper tale hiding beneath the Bugsnax catching. Give it a go.
This little number comes bundled with the PS5, and as might be expected, it shows off all of the console’s new innovations, particularly the DualSense controller where Astro the robot and his playroom reside. Guiding your ship using haptic feedback and the new adaptive triggers is a blast. The game also functions as a kind of Playstation history lesson—each world brims with artifacts from different eras of PlayStation history. All in all, an excellent little game to play on the day you get your PS5.
This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.