The 12 Best Military & War Games for PS5
What’s the first game that comes to mind when the average gamer thinks about the military or war? Probably Call of Duty, and understandably so – it’s undoubtedly the biggest title in the genre.
There’s quite a bit more to these types of games than Call of Duty though, and you’ll do very well to “expand your horizons”, so to speak, with a few more varied options that may not be as huge as COD, but offer something arguably just as exciting.
As your in-house gaming recommendations expert, I’ve taken it upon myself to pull up a detailed list of the best military games for PS5. You’re welcome, and let’s get into it!
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
I know I said it’s not all about COD, but the list wouldn’t feel complete without a couple of titles from the series now, would it?
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was a beacon of light in the doom and gloom of 2020’s pandemic. It is the sixth iteration of the Black Ops series, the 17th Call of Duty game, and one of the most popular games in the world.
The last game in the Black Ops series, Black Ops II, was released in 2012, so Activision took their sweet time to publish this one. Is it worth it, though? Absolutely, yes.
One of the key selling points of Call of Duty games is the fact that there is so much to do. No matter how much you’re paying, you know you’re getting good value with the sheer quantity of content in there. Unsurprisingly, Cold War is no different with the campaign, multiplayer, and zombie modes.
Most gamers spend more time in the multiplayer mode than anywhere else, but the gameplay and story arcs of the single-player alternatives are pretty solid too. For Cold War, your character, Russell Adler is taken back to the period of the Cold War in the early 1980s.
Adler is a CIA official, and his mission is to find an alleged Soviet spy named Perseus before he can infiltrate the United States and hand the Soviet Union an advantage in the power tussle between the two countries.
On the PS5, you can feel the difference that the presence of the adaptive triggers makes. Every weapon feels different during use, and there are MANY of them.
Obviously, the PS5 version of the game is also the best-looking version of Cold War. The cutscenes look fantastic, and the increased level of detail in the characters and environment is noticeable. All of this also runs at a smooth 60fps – the icing on the cake.
Battlefield 1 may be getting on in age, but is still one of the best war games on the PS5.
When it was first published by Electronic Arts in 2016, Battlefield 1 was already a much-liked title among gamers that played within the “shooter” genre.
Although it was the fifteenth installment of the Battlefield series, it was also one of the most popular. Fast forward to the release of the PS5 and subsequent updates, and it does not look like slowing down.
There have been a couple of new expansions that feature new game modes, maps, vehicles, and weapons. As far as realism goes, Battlefield 1 tries to stay true to reality by including weapons and vehicles that were actually used in the Great War.
If you paid for the Premium Pass, you can get all of these additions and future additions without paying an extra fee.
With a daily database of tens of thousands of active players, multiplayer is definitely an attractive proposition here.
The single-player campaign is engaging enough too. It is set during the period of the first World War, and there are six different stories based on events that occurred at different locations – the deserts of Arabia and the Italian Alps, for instance.
Over the course of the campaign, you will be expected to complete six missions that run in the following order: Storm of Steel, Through Mud and Blood, Friends in High Places, Avanti Savoia!, The Runner, and Nothing Is Written.
It’s a lot of content that really boosts the replay value of the game, which is always key for me.
It looks pretty great and runs very smoothly on the PS5 at 60fps, and although the game can currently only be played in backward compatibility mode, it is still enough of a visual refresh to warrant a revisit, even if you’ve played it before.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Who else is a fan of sky combat? Bandai Namco’s Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is not just on this list of best military games for PS5 to add variety, it is also simply a genuinely good game by itself.
Ace Combat has come a long way since the arcade release of 1993 and the first PlayStation edition two years later. Skies Unknown is a product of years of taking feedback from gamers, and consistently fine-tuning such that each release is better than the last.
Here’s how the story goes. There is a war going on between the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea, and the Kingdom has successfully captured the Osean president along with a large portion of Osean territory.
Your character, Trigger, is an Osean pilot leading a squadron to fight back from the air and rescue the president. However, something goes wrong and Trigger gets court-martialed instead, losing his standing in the force.
To win back his reputation, you’re expected to complete several missions alongside various pilots and squadrons, eliminating the Erusean forces as much as you can in the process. As you progress and complete missions, you win points that can be used to unlock upgrades, parts, or even buy new planes.
For what it lacks in terms of story development, Ace Combat makes up for in realism. Just as you would in real life, you need to take environmental factors into consideration when flying your jet and shooting missiles. For instance, flying into the clouds will obviously lead to reduced visibility, which can be good for cover but bad for aim.
It would be nice to see a PS5-specific version of this game introduced to take full advantage of the newer-gen tech, but it’s still a decent-looking game and it runs very smoothly.
If you’re a bit bored of the typical ground military war games, take to the skies with Ace Combat 7.
Speaking of enhanced realism, if it is one of the most important factors for you in military/war games, then you’ll love Enlisted. Published from the stables of Gaijin Distribution KFT in 2021, this is a squad-based MMO shooter based on the events of the Second World War.
In Enlisted, you’re genuinely just a statistic in a huge war with hundreds of soldiers. It is very easy to feel helpless at some point, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. I’ll explain.
One thing with arcade-style shooters, as fun as they are, is that they do not accurately present a realistic representation of how gun battles unfold. You take a bullet, and then one more, and then one more, but you’re still running and firing back.
In Enlisted, one bullet is enough to take an enemy out, and it’s also enough to take you out – just like real life. You’re not a superhero whose life matters more than any other character’s, you’re just a soldier like everyone else.
You do get to assemble a squad of customizable AI bots that you will command, and you will need to squeeze every bit of teamwork that you can from them to stand any chance of significant progress.
There are dozens of weapons accurate to the timeline of the war – guns, tanks, aircraft, all the good stuff, and the speed at which you can familiarize yourself with these weapons will also determine your fate.
Enlisted looks gorgeous on the PS5. Every building, vehicle, weapon, and uniform looks authentic, and the expansive environment is very detailed and pleasing to look at. It is also one of the titles that support 4K at 120fps on 9th generation consoles, a category to which the PS5 belongs.
Great graphics, great gameplay, excellent realism, and solid replay value more than qualify Enlisted to be one of the best PS5 military games out there.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone is another 120fps, 4K offering for the PS5. When the game was initially released by Activision in 2020, it was running at a lower 60fps, but the upgrade eventually came in mid-2021.
Warzone is mostly targeted at gamers that are looking for that battle royale experience, and this is by far one of the most enjoyable executions in the genre. You can join matches as a solo player, part of a duo, or part of a trio.
Whichever choice you make, you’ll have a massive world to run through. The attention to detail is especially impressive as every building is custom-built, which is a nice change of pace from the templates that many other games choose to go with.
There’s a nice little change in the approach to elimination too. If you get eliminated in the earlier stages, you’re imprisoned in a Gulag where you queue and wait to fight an opponent 1v1 for the opportunity to get back into the main action.
Apart from the battle royale mode, there is also a “Plunder” mode where you’re supposed to collect as much cash as possible before exiting the map. It’s a different way to explore, as whatever you find in there may be useful when you get back to battle royale.
Summarily, there is a lot of content to sift through, and the fact that Warzone has become a free-to-play game seals its status as one of the most attractive propositions when looking for the best war games for PS5.
War Thunder is another entry from Gaijin Distribution KFT, albeit an older one. The game was originally released back in 2012, but it is one of those types that get constant updates, regularly adding new content to keep players interested.
The most recent PS5 update arrived in 2020, and it is loaded with quite a bit of content in addition to the visually appealing 4K and smooth 60fps gameplay.
There are up to 2,000 aircraft, tanks, helicopters, warships, and other combat vehicles drawn from the recorded history of the events of World War 2 and the Cold War, and with up to 100 maps representing various battle locations from history, you’re not going to run out of places to explore very quickly.
The vehicles are all very well-built too, in terms of performance and aesthetics. They are designed to perform realistically, which means you actually have to pay attention to details such as engines, control surfaces, fuel tanks, and ammo racks.
War Thunder is also more versatile than most of the games on this list because of the variety in battle types. You will fight on land, in the air, and at sea at various points.
There are three game modes: Arcade, Simulation, and Realistic. The first is for players that just want to blow stuff up without thinking too much about spotting targets or completing tasks, the second is a more clearly defined mode where you participate in missions and complete sets of objectives while trying to distinguish between friend and enemy, and the third is sort of a balance between the first two.
You can start off solo and just enjoy the experience by yourself, but you can also use the in-game squad system to bring in up to three extra players to form a team.
War Thunder is free-to-play, so you really don’t have anything to lose. Not that you’re taking a gamble anyway, because this is genuinely one of the best war games for PS5.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
The title is a dead giveaway of what the game is about, but there’s more to Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts than what the title suggests. I mean, it’s still a title for gamers that love to reconstruct their enemies’ facial features from 1000 meters away, but there’s a deeper story.
The game was released earlier for the PS4, but we got a natively developed version for the PS5 in 2021. If you’ve played the PS4 version, then you’ll be happy to know that this one has bigger maps, more gadgets, more challenging contracts, and more polished sniping features.
However, the first thing you’ll notice is the visual upgrades. On the PS5, you can choose between performance, balanced, and resolution mode.
Resolution mode sets the game to 4K locked at 30fps while performance mode sets it to 2K resolution locked at 60fps. It’s pretty much a case of choosing between smoother gameplay or more detailed graphics, but it really looks and performs well enough in both modes.
The DualSense controller and haptic feedback on the PS5 are put to good use here too, which is nice to see. When you lock onto your target and pull the trigger, the force actually feels like pulling a trigger, and that’s just one use-case.
If you’ve not played the game before, the plot is simple. Your character is an agent called “Raven”, and he is sent to the Middle East as a one-man army to get rid of a powerful criminal syndicate.
Your main target, Bibi Rashida, is Kumar’s new head of state following the assassination of her husband who was president.
Her violent plans for revenge through military response are a big threat to the economies of Western countries, so it’s your job to take out her cronies one by one before eliminating her and bringing peace back to the region.
Like I said, one-man army.
Tannenberg is a standalone expansion of Verdun, a multiplayer FPS shooter published by M2H.
However, Tannenberg seems to have received better reception from gamers than Verdun has enjoyed, which is why it takes this spot on the list of best PS5 war games. It is based on events of the First World War and set on the Eastern Front of the war.
In a similar manner to Enlisted, realism takes center stage here. The war happened as far back as 1914, so there won’t be any modern weapons at your disposal.
Instead, you’ll have to make do with firearms that take forever to reload and try not to rip your hair out while you watch your character stick the bullets in the chamber one after the other. You get used to it after a while though, so it’s not so much of a big deal in my opinion.
You’re probably also going to experience a good number of sneak attacks, either by a single shot from an enemy you didn’t even see, or a melee attack from behind you, so be ready for a lot of respawns.
There are three game modes: Maneuver, Attrition Warfare, and Rifle Deathmatch. In Maneuver mode, you attempt to gradually deplete the opponent’s team’s resources and claim their territory with your squad. Attrition Warfare involves team deathmatches, while Rifle Deathmatch involves battle royale bouts.
The maps are really expansive, but the visuals are not as good as what you’ll get on some other PS5 titles, which is a little disappointing.
Regardless, Tannenberg fully deserves its place on this list based on the quality of the content and the authenticity in its execution.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
Five years after the release of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege on the PlayStation 4, the PS5 version was published by Ubisoft. It brings with it a nice little refresh that sustains the appeal of the game, even for people that are already familiar with the previous version.
Siege‘s approach to the “war game” idea is certainly unique. Two teams of five players each go to war against each other, and they take turns strategically executing attack and defense objectives.
This means that while one team is gathering intel and looking for weaknesses in the opponent’s defense, the opponent is strengthening and reinforcing in preparation for the attack – and vice versa. The best team in five rounds wins.
Shooters are not often as tactical as Rainbow Six: Siege is, so it’s a pretty interesting gaming experience. You’re not just blowing doors down and firing your weapon indiscriminately – that won’t get you anywhere. You have to gather data, plan, and execute according to the plan to give your team the best chance of winning.
There are a good number of game modes too, including Hostage, Bomb, Secure Area, Tactical Realism, Training Grounds, Situations, Outbreak, Arcade, and Seasonal Events, all of which offer varying solo or multiplayer experiences.
Running at 1080p and 60fps, Siege was already a nice-looking and fairly smooth game on the PS4, but it’s got nothing on the native 4K or 120fps that you can get on the PS5. The DualSense controller is excellently used too, improving immersion and realism while playing, particularly when using weapons.
In terms of active players, Rainbow Six: Siege may not be doing numbers as high as it was in the past, but the new-gen refresh ensures that it remains one of the best military games for PS5.
Hell Let Loose
In terms of reproducing a significant portion of the action that happens in a war, Hell Let Loose is one of the best out there. I mean, titles such as Tannenberg and Enlisted have their charm, but Hell Let Loose just covers a wider scope. I’ll explain.
In a war, each army has a lot more going for it than just foot soldiers with arms. There are medics, riflemen, tank crews, spotters, snipers, and machine-gunners. Each group recognizes its duty, and they work together to complete it. The same is the case in Hell Let Loose, which is loosely based on the Second World War.
The game has two main game modes – Warfare mode and Offensive mode. The two teams competing against each other comprise 50 players each, and those two teams are further broken down into the various sections that I listed earlier.
In Warfare mode, the map is split between the two teams, and the team that manages to take control of the majority of the sector by the end of the battle wins.
In Offensive mode, one team is given total control of the map, and they have to defend it while the other team tries to run them into the ground and take over their territory.
It can be a lot to take in at once, especially if you’re bouncing between the various roles when you respawn, but it’s the best representation of true teamwork that you’ll get on a PS5 war game.
Did I mention, the game produces some incredible haptic feedback from the DualSense controller of the PS5?
When Titanfall 2 was published by Electronic Arts in 2016, it was a situation of unfortunate timing because it coincided with the releases of huge titles such as Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
The result of that was the fact that EA had to share the attention of the gamers with these huge titles, and as a result, Titanfall 2 received less of the spotlight than it might have if it had been released some other time.
However, while gamers pretty much know what to expect from the Battlefield and Call of Duty titles, Titanfall is more difficult to predict. I would go as far as saying it is even more innovative than the other two.
The gameplay is still PvP, like many other shooters, but instead of soldiers running around on a battlefield, you have the extra feature of summoning huge titans to fight on your team mid-battle. Obviously, this applies to both sides, so you’ll often see the battlefield overrun with multiple titan clashes.
It’s a nice little twist from what you must have become accustomed to with other military and war games, and that bit of uniqueness just about earns Titanfall 2 a shout as one of the best war PS5 games.
The storyline in the single player campaign mode is fairly basic. Your character, John Cooper is a militia fighter that gets stranded on a planet called “Typhon”. While trying to find his way around this strange planet, he encounters a titan whose deceased pilot is named KIA.
John and the titan decide to team up to complete the pilot’s mission, which is to stop an evil corporation from obtaining a power source that could help them build a planet-destroying weapon.
The multiplayer modes (there are eight of them!) are where the real battle action happens. From Pilot vs Pilot action to Deathmatches, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun waging war alongside, and against “mech militia”.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
I started this review with a COD title, so I might as well end with another. Considering the fact that there are tens of Call of Duty games out there, I think I deserve some credit for restricting the number to three for this list.
The release of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is definitely one of the most memorable ones in the entire history of the franchise. If only one game was ever going to get a remastered edition, it would still be this one.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered was published in 2016 by Activision, because let’s face it, as good as the original was, you can tell the difference between a game made in 2007 and more recent titles.
The 2016 release refreshed the game, and playing it on the PS5 just boosts the performance that bit more. 60fps was already available in 2016, but it looks and runs even smoother on the PS5.
When you start up the game, you have two options – Campaign or Multiplayer. The single-player campaign is still identical to the original, as is the plot, but the multiplayer has been updated with weapons, kill streaks, rewards, and other fun stuff that we’ve seen with more recent COD titles.
It’s all very straightforward, so if simple and casual is what you’re looking for, this is the best military PS5 game for you.
Re-enacting World Wars, fighting for your life in battle royales, dropping missiles from fighter jets…it doesn’t get a lot more exciting than what you get from the games that I’ve discussed here.
These are the best war games for PS5, and I’ll go on a limb and say that I fully expect them to survive the test of time. Most, if not all, are FPS games – you don’t find many third person games on PS5 that fit the title of being a great military game.
If you’ve not played any of the games on this list yet, I’d just like to say, shame on you. If you have, leave a comment and let me know which one it was and what your opinions are about it.