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Every PS5 launch game ranked worst to best

Gamers everywhere have been waiting, and now the time has come. The Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 are ready to show just what the next generation of gaming has to offer. With so many impressive features, there's plenty of excitement to be had. Above all, the games are what it's really all about.

Of the two consoles, the PS5's launch has promised to bring the more enticing selection for many with a greater number of exclusives than the Series X and Series S. If you were able to secure a PS5 pre-order and have your new console at hand, you likely want to know what games you should pick up next. There are a lot of promising titles, but after purchasing a system, you probably aren't ready to snap up every release just yet. 

Reviews are still coming, but the verdict is in for many of the PS5 games that released alongside the system. If you're having trouble deciding what's next on your list, here is a look at every PS5 launch title currently ranked on Metacritic from worst to best. As more reviews are posted, be sure to check back for an update on the PS5 versions of Watch Dogs: LegionAssassin's Creed: ValhallaDestiny 2: Beyond Light, and Dirt 5.

Godfall

Godfall received a lukewarm response after early gameplay footage was leaked. When the launch trailer came out, however, gamers were hyped. Now that it's here, what are the critics saying?

EGM's Josh Harmon was not impressed, stating "Godfall's sluggish, overly complicated combat, hilariously paper-thin story, and numerous technical issues make it a lowlight of the PlayStation 5's launch lineup." He put a lot of emphasis on the fighting mechanics in his review and the excessive amount of incongruous systems at play. He was also critical of the way Godfall handles looting, the game's inconsistent difficulty curve, and the map layouts. The most positive thing he said was "There's the germ of an interesting game here," but otherwise his evaluation was mostly negative.

Adam Cook of God is a Geek was more forgiving, calling Godfall's combat "sensational." He pointed out that it feels familiar in its gameplay, comparing it to Diablo, God of War, and Destiny 2. While he did not love the art style, he did praise the graphics, saying it has "stunning visuals." Cook enjoyed Godfall but admitted that not everyone will love it, subtracting points for excessive grinding, repetition, and glitchy menus.

NBA 2K21

You've gotta get a sports game for your next-gen console, right? Well, NBA 2K21 is the sports launch title for both PS5 and the Series X|S. Does it deliver?

IGN's Ben Vollmer came in with a fairly tepid score, but in terms of all the on-court action, he called it "one of the best sports game experiences [he'd] ever had." Vollmer gave NBA 2K21 a three-pointer for fixing issues found in previous games. He also highlighted its graphics, smooth movement, and presentation. He called a foul on NBA 2K21 for its microtransactions, excessive grinding, subpar story mode, an underwhelming open-world setting, and more. All of these factors weighed the game down to a good — not great — score, ultimately leaving Vollmer disappointed by missed opportunities.

Sammy Barker at Push Square issued NBA 2K21 a higher score, giving it credit for being more than just a next-gen upgrade. Like Vollmer, Barker praised the movement, but admitted that "animations are beginning to show their age, and there's still work 2K Sports can do to emulate real basketball here." Aside from that, he felt the game had a more physical quality to it. Barker felt the story was silly but fun and agreed with Vollmer's assessment of the game's big and empty open-world city. He concluded by calling it "an impressive overhaul of an already excellent basketball simulation" that sometimes "over-extends."

Bugsnax

Who doesn't love bugs? Well ... a lot of people, unfortunately. Bugsnax, on the other hand, should be less polarizing — not to mention it's free for PS5 owners with a PlayStation Plus subscription. It's a cute concept — a puzzle game starring hybrid creatures that are both food and bugs. Your goal is to capture these critters and feed them to the inhabitants of an island called Snaktooth.

GamesBeat's Mike Minotti was not blown away by Bugsnax, though he did give it some positive marks. When playing the game, he enjoyed discovering new Bugsnax, calling it an unusual mashup of Ape Escape and Myst. The downside, as Minotti explained, is that the puzzles are too easy and repetitive. Overall, it wasn't enough to completely diminish his experience.

Sam Loveridge at GamesRadar+ also found Bugsnax a bit repetitive but was overcome by its charm. She instead compared it to Viva Piñata and Pokémon, expressing deep appreciation for its strange humor and imaginative concepts. She also enjoyed the game's story, rich cast of characters, and the Bugsnax themselves.

If you're on the fence but have access to PlayStation Plus, you might as well take it for a spin.

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War

What PlayStation or Xbox console would be complete without a Call of Duty game? Well, it's here, and this time it takes place during the Cold War.

Over at Hardcore Gamer, Kevin Dunsmore began his review by reflecting on the gimmicky nature of recent entries in the Black Ops series. As such, he credited Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War as a return to form. He praised the story, which he found gripping, intriguing, and mysterious, while also highlighting the more advanced integration of decision-changing plot points. 

Unfortunately, the decisions you make, according to Dunsmore, do not pay off as they did in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Dunsmore was also critical of the overall duration of the game and its side characters. Ultimately, he liked Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War as a more grounded entry, with a solid single-player mode and a fast-paced, if imperfect, multiplayer experience.

PlayStation LifeStyle's Chandler Wood gave Black Ops – Cold War points for its unification of single-player, multiplayer, and zombie modes. While his score was near perfect, he did admit that the campaign gameplay is par for the course, calling it "relatively basic." According to Wood, multiplayer stands out the most, which he felt would only get better as time goes on.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

If you're looking for a cute, fun adventure to have on your new PlayStation 5, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is here to deliver. You play as the lovable Sackboy on a quest to stop the villainous Vex from building his menacing machine.

In his review on TheGamer, Kirk McKeand noted a difference in the way this burlap hero controls compared to previous games in the series, complete with new physics and a rolling move a la Sonic the Hedgehog. Unlike Sonic, however, Sackboy moves at a much slower pace. McKeand spoke highly of the game's visuals but called it "archaic" otherwise, while still being mindful of the intended audience. On the positive side, he brought up the pleasant use of licensed music, which reacts to the on-screen action. All in all, he liked many aspects and sections of the game but felt it missed the mark with its platforming and physics. 

Video Chums' A.J. Maciejewski gave Sackboy: A Big Adventure a big 9.3 out of 10, calling it Sackboy's "most enjoyable journey so far." Unlike McKeand, Maciejewski got to take co-op for a spin, which was where the game really shined for them. They also spoke highly of its gameplay, describing it as "tight, intuitive, and varied."

The Pathless

The Pathless puts you in the role of a character called "The Hunter," who is tasked with freeing a land from demon-turned deities and the villainous "Godslayer." Just as its name implies, The Pathless is about open-world exploration packed with puzzles to solve. Instead of a set of tasks, you are given free rein to explore and discover new areas as you go.

In his review on GameSpot, Mike Epstein was impressed by the environments, commending the settings for their sparse, yet compelling layouts. He then elaborated on a special headband, which helps you navigate this open world by highlighting completed puzzles and guiding you to notable destinations. He was also very pleased with the The Pathless' unique travel system, which gave him the sensation of flying. Overall, Epstein enjoyed The Pathless, calling out the combat and stealth segments as the only weak points.

IGN's Jonathon Dornbush gave The Pathless a similar rating, with a nod to the environments, puzzles, exploration, and travel mechanics. He also brought up the music as an enhancement to the overall experience.

The big takeaway from both reviews is that The Pathless is all about the journey and how you get to your destination.

Astro's Playroom

Whether you like it or not, Astro's Playroom will kick off your PS5 collection as a pack-in game. Fortunately, the verdict is in, and it's favorable.

Harkening back to the days of video game mascots, Astro's Playroom is a new adventure for the lovable tech-demo character. It's relatively short, comprising four levels and a secret bonus at the end. Each section has you explore a different feature of the PS5, along with a mix of platforming and driving. Chris Carter of Destructoid called it "just succinct enough to avoid becoming rote." He praised the game for its impressive display of the PS5's technical capabilities but felt it was a passable, yet unremarkable platforming game.

Over on DarkStation, Astro's Playroom earned a perfect score. In his review, Joel S compared it to Wii Sports, then called it "one of the best 3D platformers [he'd] played in a long time." He gave Astro's Playroom props for its collectibles and Easter eggs and considered its mechanics flawless. Further, he was thoroughly impressed by the game's use of adaptive triggers and motion controls.

Both reviews highlighted how Astro's Playroom strikes a great balance in its mechanics without becoming redundant. It is a short game, but according to DarkStation, it has plenty of replay value.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Spider-Man is one of the most beloved Marvel franchises, and Sony has mostly done well translating the series into video games. It's no surprise that Spider-Man: Miles Morales is scoring on the higher end.

For anyone who's had their fill of Peter Parker, this is the perfect chance to enjoy Spider-Man through a different protagonist. As a game that is a self-contained expansion of 2018's Spider-Man, the basic gameplay is mostly the same with some notable improvements. According to Shaan Joshi's review on We Got This Covered, "the underwhelming open world distractions" were minimized while still providing a fair number of in-game collectibles. One notable drawback mentioned in Joshi's review is that the available attacks and tools have been reduced from the previous title. Overall, Joshi gave Spider-Man: Miles Morales a 3.5 out of 5, saying it's "far from the home run fans might have been hoping for."

In contrast, Digital Spy's Owen Gough gave Spider-Man: Miles Morales a perfect score, calling it "a brand new adventure with incredible graphics, wonderful storytelling, and different enemies to tie up." Gough praised the speed, visuals, frame rate, story, combat, and the overall enhanced fidelity afforded by the PS5's hardware. According to both reviews, Miles Morales shouldn't take you much more than 12 hours to complete.

Demon's Souls

Fans have been waiting a long time for a new Demon's Souls game. Now that it's here, will gamers feel it was worth the wait?

Screen Rant's Dylan Warman certainly thought so. In his review, he spoke highly of the demanding combat system and the variety of enemy weaponry. He was also impressed by the grim settings, all of which outshined the game's predecessor. His two biggest complaints centered on the camera and the parry system, the latter of which he referred to as "janky combat flow." Despite that, Warman considered Demon's Souls a satisfying experience that recaptures the essence of the original game.

Demon's Souls received a perfect score from Kirk McKeand of TheGamer, who was blown away by its visuals and soundscape. McKeand claimed that the dev team had a difficult task in "bringing the original game in a series that spawned an entire genre up to modern standards," but it appears that they pulled through. In his review, he felt that it was just like the first Souls, with a glossy shine courtesy of the PS5's next-gen power. Even with his high praise, he had a few minor issues with the title, like its platforming, bosses, and progression. Despite any minor flaws, it's an improvement on a classic, fixing the majority of the bothersome technical hiccups from the original.

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