My guess is that one of the top things that a lot of folks are putting at the top of their gift list this year is, just like last year, a PlayStation 5. Those things have been so damn hard to score ever since they hit the market. I’m exceptionally lucky that I had some fast fingers and was able to get one when they first went on sale back in 2020. Over the course of this past year I’ve had a chance to play a ton of games on the console. Here’s a list of some highlights that are worth getting for PlayStation gamers, either for the PS5 or the PS4.
For the sports fans, we’ve got two titles that really are a lot of fun. NBA 2K22 is the latest in the venerable franchise, and this latest edition includes:
- Best-in-class visual presentation and player AI, historic teams, and a wide variety of basketball experiences with online community features and deep, varied game modes.
- Veteran ballers and new players alike can step up their game and experience new journeys in The City or set sail for the high seas on the 2K Cruise Ship.
- This year comes with new Seasons featuring fresh opportunities to reap new rewards and new music in partnership with top record labels on First Fridays.
- Legendary players grace this year’s cover, featuring Luka Dončić on the Standard Edition and iconic big men – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant – on the NBA 75th Anniversary Edition.
One of the ongoing highlights that I appreciate about the NBA 2K franchise is the fluid commentary throughout the game. You definitely feel as though you’re part of the action, and on PS5, it’s easy to trick someone into thinking they’re watching a real NBA game. The graphics are absolutely stunning; I though they were fantastic on the PS4, but NBA 2K22 on PS5 is really next level. As it should be.
PGA Tour 2K21
I got the chance to play this one earlier this year and as a non-golfer in real life, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The graphics are serene, the commentary, like NBA 2K22, is solid though obviously less exciting, as you’d expect.
In PGA Tour 2K21, you “create your MyPLAYER — outfitted with equipment from top brands such as Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren and Under Armour — build your legacy in Career Mode to win the FedEx Cup, compete with friends online via Societies and more.“
There’s some handholding for newcomers, but it won’t take long for anyone to get the hang of the game. I’ve spent some Sunday afternoons chilling out with PGA Tour 2K21. While I’ve yet to sink a hole-in-one, I’m aiming to do it on the game, just like my grandmother did in real life when she was in her 80s!
All you have to do is look back to 2020 to see all the amazing accolades that Hades received, including 50+ Games of the Year accolades (but who’s counting?)
Here’s the 411 on the game:
Hades is “a rogue-like dungeon crawler in which you defy the god of the dead as you hack and slash your way out of the Underworld of Greek myth.”
Hades made its way onto PS5 earlier this year and I finally had a chance to give it a shot and, wow, I was surprised at how much I was into it. Dungeon-crawlers aren’t usually my favourite style of game to play, but the gorgeous graphics, enticing story, and excellent voice-work immediately hooked me in. Whoever you’re picking this up for better be prepared to die…and die a lot, but Hades lets you have a good time doing so.
Death Stranding: The Director’s Cut
Death Stranding first appeared as a PS4 exclusive back in 2019 (you read our thoughts on it here), but this past fall saw it souped-up/ upgraded for next-gen consoles with Director’s Cut. Now, normally I’d probably think twice about double-dipping for a video game, no matter how cool it is, but when the director in question happens to be Hideo Kojima, gamers probably want to give a game a second shot.
Here’s the story of Death Stranding: In the future, a mysterious event known as the Death Stranding has opened a doorway between the living and the dead, leading to grotesque creatures from the afterlife roaming the fallen world marred by a desolate society. As Sam Bridges, your mission is to deliver hope to humanity by connecting the last survivors of a decimated America.
Pushing the PS5 to its limits, Death Stranding: The Director’s Cut features:
- An extended storyline through new missions in an expanded area
- Additional weapons and vehicles
- New enemy types and explore new locations such as the Firing Range and Racetrack, featuring extra missions and minigames.
Any game that lets you take control of Norman Reedus and features a cameo by Guillermo Del Toro is pretty cool by my book, and for someone who would appreciate a unique, thoughtful gaming experience, Death Stranding: The Director’s Cut is the perfect pick
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
Want to give a PS5 owner a game that really demonstrates the power of the machine? Look no further than Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which makes you feel as though you’re in an incredible futuristic world. As I said in my original review, “From the moment you start playing, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart feels like you’re taking part in a Pixar film. There are no obvious transitions between what would be considered cut scenes and the actual game – everything is so seamless ands gorgeous. The controls are relatively simply to master; switching between weapons in fairly intuitive, while traversing walls and landscapes is easily understood and undeniably fun. so being able to pick up and play Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is not an issue. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the game you want to use to show off the absolute power of the PlayStation 5.”
Returnal is another PS5 exclusive, one that feels like a sci-fi Groundhog Day. It’s gorgeous, as you’d expect, and complex, so this is definitely one to pick up for a gamer who has a lot of patience. In my original review, I said “(In Returnal) you play as Selene, an ASTRA Corporation explorer who winds up crash landing on the planet Atropos, where she is caught in a seemingly never-ending timeloop. Each time she dies while investigating a mysterious “White Shadow” signal, Selene begins her story again from her crash landing while the world around her changed. It’s psychologically daunting as Selene finds traces of her previous experiences strewn across Astropos. Designed specially and exclusively for the PS5, Returnal is clearly making use of all the power the new system possesses. It looks and feels epic, and moves quickly with no discernible load times.”
Far Cry 6
Pardon my language, but I fucking love Far Cry 6. This is the first game in the franchise that I’ve ever played and man, oh man, Ubisoft Toronto absolutely knocked this game out of the park. In it, you play as Dani, a guerrilla soldier fighting for the freedom of the citizens of Yara, who are ruled under a dictatorship by “El Presidente” Antón Castillo, portrayed by legendary actor Giancarlo Esposito. Far Cry 6 is a first-person shooter that is absolutely gorgeous to play, and that’s coming from someone who has never been in love with FPS’s to begin with. I love that, even though the main story is great and extremely engaging, you’re still also able to wander the island at your leisure and really take in its beauty. You can see and feel how much hard work went into Far Cry 6. It might just be my game of the year.