The best PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X games you can play right now

From George RR Martin's 'Elden Ring', to Greek mythology-inspired 'Hades', the consoles are already flooded with new and old favourites

From left: stills from 'Deathloop', 'Elden Ring' and 'Halo Infinite'. Photo: Bethesda Softworks, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Xbox Game Studios
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There are already hundreds of games available for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X even though the consoles launched only in 2020.

The current generation of consoles is still in its relative infancy, but the rate of new titles hitting the virtual and digital shelves is enough to make your head spin.

However, when it comes to getting the most fun out of either piece of hardware, these are the essentials you need to play.

Gran Turismo 7

Platform: PS5

Developer: Polyphony Digital

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The forensic detail that has gone into creating this racing simulator makes it an absolute must for automotive fans.

Whizzing around famous tracks such as Germany’s Nurburgring in a ’66 Ford GT40 is a genuine thrill.

But it’s the nerdy depths of information about each of the manufacturer’s vehicles that will really appeal to petrol heads.

It’s like a playable encyclopaedia of the car industry — and it looks glorious, too.

Forza Horizon 5

Platform: Xbox Series X

Developer: Playground Games

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

For those that prefer their motor racing in bombastic fashion, Forza Horizon 5 is the game for you.

This open-world racer is set in a slice of pseudo-realistic Mexico that brings a festival feel to its vehicular action.

Powering through beautifully diverse landscapes, that include volcanoes and arid deserts, and navigating the ever-changing weather such as disorienting sand storms, makes Forza Horizon 5 a thrill ride from start to finish.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Platform: PS5

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The enduring duo of PlayStation since the PS2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the perfect game for all the family.

A cliche though it may be, this is as close as you’ll get to a playable Pixar/Disney movie on current consoles.

It mixes tongue-in-cheek humour and a range of fantastical weapons perfectly as you zip through galaxies and dimensions to rid the universe of evil.

This latest adventure introduces a new parallel universe version of our heroes, Rivet and Kit, to help along the way.

Halo Infinite

Platform: Xbox Series X

Developer: 343 Industries

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Xbox’s flagship hero, Master Chief, leaps back into the action for the sixth instalment of the Halo series.

This time he’s wielding some new tricks in his fight against the Banished such as a grappling hook.

This makes traversing the landscape much more fun — especially when you rain down hot plasma bullets on the unsuspecting foes below.

Brilliantly, the superb multiplayer is separate to the main game and free-to-play.

As such, you can always get taste of the action without paying a dirham.

Deathloop

'Deathloop' features some of the best voice acting out there. Photo: Bethesda Softworks

Platform: PS5

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Just like the movie Groundhog Day, Deathloop replays the same 24 hours of a day.

It’s set on a mysterious island in the middle of nowhere and unlike other first-person shooters, its greatness comes from the open-ended ways you can approach each mission.

Set traps, sneak in, go all guns blazing or use the Slabs that give you superhero like powers. It’s up to you.

It also has some of the very best voice acting around, as you can read about in our interview here.

Psychonauts 2

Platform: Xbox Series X

Developer: Double Fine

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

A sequel 16 years in the making eventually returns on Xbox.

It’s an artsy platform game where you get to play with pyrokinesis and telekinesis powers, but there’s a fairly serious tone underneath the flashy visuals.

The clever writing and gameplay sheds light on the complexities of mental health issues as you try to defeat conditions such as addiction.

Don’t worry, though, it’s not all depressing and there’s a large dose of humour that is present throughout the action.

Horizon Forbidden West

Platform: PS5

Developer: Guerrilla Games

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Set in a post-apocalyptic North America, the sequel to surprise hit Horizon Zero Dawn, has huntress Aloy return to put an end to mysterious plague that’s set to finish off mankind for good.

There’s far more of an open-world feel this time around, which means more exploration of the treacherous lands.

It takes our hero to the top of a disused space rocket on an old launch pad to the depths of the sea, where she must face even deadlier machine/animal hybrids.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Platform: Xbox Series X

Developer: Asobo Studio

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Unless you’re an actual pilot, or training to be one, this is the closest you’re going to get to sailing across the skies behind the controls of your own aircraft.

It uses data from Bing Maps to recreate 3D plains of Earth. So one minute you can be taking in views of the Shetland Islands in prop plane, and the next soaring above the Burj Khalifa in a Boeing 747 passenger plane.

There’s also real-time weather to contend with along the way that makes sticking the landing on a runway a white-knuckle affair.

Elden Ring

Platform: PS5, Xbox Series X

Developer: FromSoftware

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

From the pen (keyboard?) of George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) and the creative minds of developer FromSoftware is this zen-balanced action game that delivers on its hype.

You’re thrust into a land that has been corrupted and the only way to rid it of evil is to defeat those that hold fragments of the titular Elden Ring.

FromSoftware games are notorious for being tough from the off, but also fair. As a result, you’ll find the combat here incredibly rewarding.

Hades

Platform: PS5, Xbox Series X

Developer: Supergiant Games

Publisher: Supergiant Games

Easy to pick up, hard to put down, that’s Hades in a nutshell.

Loosely based on Greek mythology, you play as Zagreus, who’s trying to escape the underworld and his father, Hades.

There’s a real arcade feel to the game as you slash and shoot your way through waves of undead enemies.

The Gods of Mount Olympus offer you random perks, such as Zeus’ lightning strikes, to help you escape, which means no two playthroughs are ever the same.

Updated: May 02, 2022, 4:25 AM
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