(Pocket-lint) – We love the feeling of starting a new role-playing game (RPG), discovering what sort of world we’re going to be moving around in, figuring out who our character is and how we think they’ll shape up both in terms of abilities and attitudes.
The PlayStation 5 is a great place to play them, too, with loads of titles that branch out across different styles and settings to offer up a diverse range of potential experiences. We’ve hand-picked a selection of the very best role-playing games on Sony’s console, for your consideration. Below you’ll find links to our other PS5 guides in case you want a different genre.
What are the best RPGs on PS5?
- Demon’s Souls
- Disco Elysium
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Mass Effect Legendary Edition
- Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Tales of Arise
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
If you’ve recently got hold of a PS5, you’re probably searching for games that really make the most of its upgraded hardware and the Dualsense controller, and Demon’s Souls very much fits that description. This is a stunningly pretty game, a remake of a cult classic from the PS3 days.
It’s also tough as nails, with an uncompromising approach to difficulty and a structure that can leave you flailing a bit without many helpful hints. Still, as you get more used to its quirks you’ll uncover a complete gem of an experience, and one that you can’t play anywhere else.
If you want dialogue of the very highest quality and the freedom to approach conversations and challenges in the most outrageous ways, Disco Elysium is the perfect fit. This unbelievably ambitious RPG might take place in a fairly constrained location, but the way it handles talking to people and figuring things out is breathtakingly assured.
You play a hapless detective in the middle of struggling to solve a complex and brutal crime, and you’ll move around the docks of a disturbingly credible dystopian city as you do so, meeting colourful characters and villains at every turn. It looks great and the writing is sharp as a pin.
Horizon Forbidden West
The sequel to Zero Dawn, Forbidden West expands and improves on the original in most every way possible, and looks simply jaw-dropping on PS5 with improved detail, clarity and frame rates compared to the PS4.
You again play as Aloy as she wanders in search of a cure to a blight that’s spreading across the world, and you’ll have to fight plenty of robotic dinosaurs along the way. There are new tools, weapons and characters to meet and it’s all so entertaining.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
One of the greatest RPG sagas of all time gets a lick of new paint and becomes playable in high resolutions and at reliable frame rates in the form of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which bundles the whole Mass Effect trilogy into one nicely-priced package.
You’ll step into the armour of Commander Shepard as they try to avert a galaxy-ending threat with epic storylines that reflect your in-game choices and too many memorable and loveable companions and characters to name. It’s an epic in the truest sense, and despite being comprised of old games, it looks and feels great on the PS5.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
The remake of Final Fantasy VII’s opening sections looked amazing on PS4, but with upgraded visuals and resolutions it is simply jaw-dropping at times on PlayStation 5, and now includes a bonus DLC where you play as Yuffie for the first time.
You’ll mostly be controlling the famous Cloud Strife, though, as he signs on for a job that’s way bigger than he realises in the two-tiered city of Midgar. It’s a great journey that introduces some really iconic characters, and we can’t wait to get a look at the next part.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The latest Assassin’s Creed is the most RPG-like in the series yet, with branching quests and dialogue that lets you pick your angle of approach, all set in an expansive open world that lets you explore a historical version of Britain.
You play as Eivor, a Viking in search of a new home for their people, while the science-fiction meta-plot of the series carries on in the background. It’s great fun and there’s an almost insane amount of things to do and places to see.
Tales of Arise
An RPG in the more traditional sense, Tales of Arise is built on a really fun battle system that lets you swap between characters on the fly to make the most of their different abilities, building a team and set of strategies that can conquer your opponents.
It helps that the story framing those battles is well-told and features some fun twists and turns, along with a core cast of characters that you’ll come to feel real affection towards. It’s a great option for those yearning for a great-looking old-school JRPG to sink into.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Another great Japanese role-playing game, Like a Dragon takes the long-running Yakuza series and twists things by changing its combat into a fully turn-based system, a great shout for those who were stressed out by its previously frantic brawling.
It’s also a great place to jump into a series that has mainline entries with off-putting numbers at the end of its titles. You’ll be able to meet characters from scratch and get a sense of their backstories as you explore the seedy, eclectic criminal underworld.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
A game that looked great on the PS4 gets a stunning upgrade on PS5, with enhanced graphics that make Ghost of Tsushima even more impactful, alongside new content including a whole new island to explore.
Jin’s story of disgrace, redemption and revenge is a really gorgeous one, but it’s the stunning visual design that lives most vividly in our memories, and everyone with a PS5 should check out Tsushima’s many rolling hills, meadows and forests for themselves.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.