The 20 Best Sci-Fi Games for PS5

Sci-fi games are often centered around ideas that seem impractical in real life, but that’s one of the major reasons why I enjoy them so much.

Actually, it’s not so much that they’re impractical, because many of these things could actually happen at some point. I don’t think a future with a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, or a robot uprising is completely unrealistic.

Based on that, playing sci-fi games sometimes feels like I’ve been handed some sort of super telescope that can see into the future, and I can experience all of that cool stuff from the comfort of my chair in the basement (kidding, I have a whole room to myself).

Anyway, the genre is obviously pretty popular among gamers, and some of my favorite-ever titles are in there – especially on the PlayStation.

So, for this review, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list containing 20 of the best sci-fi games on PS5. Let’s get into it!

Prey

Credit: Steam

Bethesda Softwork’s 2018 release of Prey kicks off my list of the best sci-fi games for PS5.

Prey is worth revisiting to experience the differences that the newer features on the PS5 make to the overall quality of the game. It’s not the most unique game by any means, but it definitely brings its own fair share of flair to the first-person shooter genre.

The story is centered around Morgan Yu, an employee of the Trans Star corporation. Perhaps the most interesting bit of the premise of the game is the fact that it spins an alternate history that runs parallel to reality.

For instance, President Kennedy, instead of being assassinated in his prime, fosters a new age of space exploration. These small reality twists are part of the appeal that Prey offers.

As at the time of writing, we still await an updated PS5 version that supports 60fps, and if/when it does come, I bet there’s going to be a lot more conversations about this severely underrated title.

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut

Credit: PlayStation Store

I’ll start off with a disclaimer. If you’re familiar with the original iteration of Death Stranding, then you may have some grievances with the director’s cut, especially regarding the depth of the new missions that have been added.

However, if you’re experiencing the game for the first time, and on PS5, then clear your schedule for the next few days.

The new 4K graphics support and other PS5-specific features make the already-diverse world that the game is based in, extra exciting. Those new missions – albeit brief – are also a welcome addition that should not put you off if you’re new to the game.

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment in September 2021, and it is the brainchild of superstar developer, Hideo Kojima.

The game is set in post-apocalyptic America, a world where rainfall makes everything it touches grow older very quickly, and babies encased in some weird-looking equipment help you to detect enemies.

Those enemies are mostly BTs or MULEs, and you’ll encounter them more often than you will another human being. Thankfully, you get an array of weapons – assault rifles, shotguns, and the likes – to defend yourself to some extent.

Your character is a messenger whose job is to deliver cargo to various outposts all over the country. That’s the key mission, but there are extra missions to keep the storyline a bit diverse and multi-dimensional.

On the PS5, the haptic feedback and enhanced adaptive triggers make the whole game feel more immersive than it did on the PS4. For instance, your gamepad’s vibrations vary depending on which surface you’re walking on, which is pretty cool. The visual improvements are stunning too, but the PS4 version was also pretty good.

Even if you’ve played the older version on the PS4, Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is worth your time.

Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition

The first iteration of Mass Effect was released as far back as 2007, and it was initially only on the Xbox 360. Since then, the PlayStation version has been published, and there have also been a couple of sequels, all of which were remastered to create Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition.

This new take on the game was published by Electronic Arts Inc. in 2021. That’s 14 years after Mass Effect 1, 11 years after Mass Effect 2, and 9 years after Mass Effect 3.

It’s a long time for a game to stay relevant, but this remastered version is so good that it almost feels like a new game. It’s a trilogy of the first three versions, and your character remains the same – Commander Shepard.

If you’re familiar with Mass Effect already, then you’ll be more interested in the visual updates rather than the core of the game itself which is pretty much the same.

On that note, there’s a lot to enjoy on this PS5 version. Running at 4K and120fps, this is absolutely nothing compared to what you remember – it is so much better.

It looks and feels like a game released in 2021 should, and even the voice acting still sounds brilliant. The bulk of the visual changes is most noticeable in the first part of the trilogy, which is understandable because it is the most outdated of the three.

If you’re completely new to the game, or it’s been so long you don’t remember what the main idea is, I’ll help you out.

You’re Commander Shepard, a human Spectre (sort of a “space cop”) parading the Milky Way. As the game progresses, you’re faced with many situations where you’re expected to make important decisions.

The decisions you make affect the perception that other characters in the game have of you, and also affect the next sequence of events. The mission is to protect the Milky Way galactic society from various conflicts and prepare it for an even more significant threat that awaits.

In doing all of these, you can choose to be the stand-up, nice guy that everyone loves or a prick that only cares about results. Your call.

Cyberpunk 2077

It was a long wait for Cyberpunk 2077, and when the game was finally published by CD Projekt RED in late 2020, there was so much said about it within a short period of time – and it was not all positive.

To be fair, that release was plagued by incredibly annoying bugs and crashes that took most of the fun away from the game. It felt like the release was rushed, possibly because fans had been waiting for so long. But Projekt really needs to get their money back from whoever advised them that releasing a clearly unfinished game was the way out.

Anyway, fast-forward 14 months later, and that PS4 version has been updated for the PS5. The developers have obviously been working hard behind the scenes because this is a significantly improved gaming experience in comparison to the initial release.

The plot remains the same. Your character, V, is a merc that takes on a heist gone wrong. The result is that an experimental chip is lodged in V’s head, and that chip contains the digital ghost of Johnny Silverhand (played by Keanu Reeves).

Johnny is a revolutionary from decades earlier that tried and failed to stand against a particularly tyrannical tech corporation. Apart from the main missions that you’ll get, there are enough side attractions to keep you busy. You can even take a break and just roam Night City for a while – there’s a lot to see, to be fair.

Running without bugs and crashes, Cyberpunk 2077 is a completely different game than it was, and that’s why it’s made this list of the best sci-fi games on PS5.

Fallout 4

One of the issues that the initial release of Cyberpunk 77 had was that NPC’s just behaved as if they were braindead at times. That was fixed, but it is an issue that occurs sometimes in Fallout 4 too – just a full disclaimer.

Additionally, this is a fairly dated game. It was published by Bethesda Softworks in 2015, but it is still one of the best sci-fi games on PS5 out there, based solely on enjoyability and replay value.

On the PS5, Fallout 4 features HDR support and runs at a smooth 30fps. Now, it was also capped at 30fps on the PS4, but there was occasional stuttering that appears to be completely gone on the newer console, making the gaming experience that much smoother.

The plot is simple. Your character’s son is missing, and you’re headed out to what is left of Boston to find him. This sequence of events succeeds a time in the future when the cities have been laid to ruin with bombs, and the new world that is emerging is filled with all sorts of characters – both good and bad.

On your journey, you will meet with these characters, and you will have to defend yourself against the unsavory ones. Challenges that have been prepared for you make the game…challenging (what were you expecting?), but it’s a lot of fun discovering secrets, hidden vaults, and unlocking weapons that help you scale through the mess.

If you’re looking for something a little less chaotic than many alternatives out there, then Fallout 4 is one of the best sci-fi options for the PS5.

Stellaris

Stellaris is sci-fi with more strategy than usual involved. Published by Paradox Interactive in 2019, this is not only one of the best sci-fi games on PS5, it is also one of the better strategy games out there.

I’ve lost count of how many sci-fi movies center their plot around the destruction of Earth, and how humans as a species have to look for another planet to live on before it is too late. Stellaris takes that same idea and builds on it in a quite imaginative manner.

The game is set in a period when faster than light travel has been discovered. Your race is looking to expand upon their empire, and they’ve taken to the stars (literally) to find suitable planets.

As massive as the galaxy is in reality, Stellaris gives you the option to make it even more. You can choose how big you want it to be, and what it should be shaped like. You can also select custom options that influence how aggressive the AI will be, and the level of technological advancement they have achieved.

The best part is, you don’t have to be human. You can choose from a selection of species and start off from their home planet. That home planet can be a pre-existing one, or you can have the game make a random one. From there, you begin your journey into space, researching new technology and collecting resources along the way.

Based on the premise alone, Stellaris is already worth a look. However, what really tips it over into the “best PS5 sci-fi games” category is how much personalization you can bring into the game to really make the experience what you want it to be.

Alien: Isolation

I’ve talked about Death Stranding: Director’s Cut and how the PS5 upgrade breathed new life into the game. That said, another game that would benefit a great deal from a PS5-specific refresh is Alien: Isolation.

Since the game was initially published by SEGA in 2014, it’s been nearly impossible to find a better horror game. Obviously, it is a bit dated now, but it remains one of the best sci-fi games for PS5.

If you’re familiar with the movie that the game is modeled after, then you will know that it is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies of its time. In the same fashion, Alien: Isolation is arguably the best horror game out there, and even if it does not get the 60fps and 4K visual upgrades of the PS5, it will rightfully remain on this list.

Although it is based on the movie, the game is actually set 15 years after the events of the movie. Your character, Amanda Ripley, sets out to investigate the Sevastopol space station after learning that her missing mother’s ship flight recorder has been recovered. There, she encounters the alien, the Xenomorph.

The Xenomorph is one of the most interesting/unique villains you’ll see. It is invulnerable to bullets, which pretty much makes a host of weapons useless, and the eerie way by which it creeps up on you will make your skin crawl – quite literally.

Unfortunately, this supervillain is hellbent on clearing out the space station and making sure that no human makes it out alive, so you have quite the job to do trying to stay out of sight while fighting the feeling of being trapped.

Nier: Automata

Nier: Automata is another game that’s gotten a huge performance boost on the PS5. An older title, Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139 (don’t ask me) was published by SQUARE ENIX CO. LTD in 2017, and it was good, but this remastered sequel is where all the juice is at.

Your character, 2B, is an elite android soldier that has a sidekick – 9S. You exist in a timeline where Earth has been abandoned as an alien-robot army seeks to completely eradicate the species.

The best part of the game is the varied types of combat and battle settings. You can go from raining bullet-hell on a giant single robot to hacking and slashing a robot horde in the twinkle of an eye.

The camera view also switches to match the action, which is a really nice touch. For instance, a sudden switch to a bird’s eye view should tell you to expect aerial combat.

Music and dialogue are two sometimes overlooked or underrated pieces of a complete RPG, but the manner by which Square Enix has nailed both makes a noticeable impact on the overall realism and immersion of the game.

In backward compatibility mode on the PS5, you can run Nier: Automata in upscaled 4K, although I wouldn’t recommend that as it can make things look a bit blurry. 1080p works just fine instead, in combination with 60fps.

Bioshock: The Collection

Much like Mass Effect: The Legendary Edition, Bioshock: The Collection is a combination of the last-gen versions updated to take advantage of the newer tech in the newer console.

This collection includes Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite, each of which has its own story and characters. The collection is from the same publisher, 2K, and it was released in 2016, so it was initially made with the PS4 Pro in mind.

Regardless, the PS5 is an even better upgrade on the PS4 Pro, and there is still an improvement – however slight – in the game’s mechanics.

On the PS4, some users reported a bit of stuttering and framerate drops, but all of that is history with stable 60fps performance on the PS5. Also, there are more noticeable visual changes in the first two editions than in the third.

The first edition is a shooter loaded with an arsenal of weapons for you to choose from, and it even gets to that point where you modify your DNA to build the ultimate weapon – yourself.

The events of the second edition take place ten years after the first, along the coastline of the Atlantic. A monster is “kidnapping” children and taking them to the city of Rapture beneath the water. Your character has to travel through this city in search of the monster to put an end to the madness.

Bioshock Infinite, the third iteration is set in the flying city of Columbia, in 1912. Your character, Booker DeWitt has one job – to save a girl that’s been locked away since she was a child. It has a very “Disney-ish” plot, now that I think about it, but the gameplay of the whole series is fantastic and that’s what earns the collection a shout as one of the best PS5 sci-fi games.

Life is Strange Remastered Collection

Life Is Strange is a nostalgic throwback to simpler times. This remastered collection was published by Square Enix in 2022, but the original release dates as far back as 2015.

I should begin by saying that if you already own the original release or Life is Strange: Before the Storm, then you can just skip right on to the next game on this list.

However, if you’ve never played the game, then this remastered collection is a great way to experience it for the first time. I say this because gamers that are already familiar with the storyline are experiencing the same thing, only in higher fidelity.

On the PS5, the art style is unique, but it may feel a little dated in comparison to the glorious 4K and ray-trace-supported games out there. However, the appeal of the game is less about graphics and more about storytelling.

The game is set in Arcadia Bay, where Max and Chloe live. Max has the ability to rewind time, and as she tries to navigate her world while harnessing her gift, her best friend Chloe is there for the ride.

Life is Strange will take you through a host of emotions – anger, loneliness, loss, acceptance – and more than anything, the depth and the power of the story are two reasons why it deserves to be named as one of the best sci-fi games on PS5.

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds was published by Private Division in 2019. If you’re familiar with Fallout, then you’ll be accustomed to the pre-written dialogues and response options.

It’s an even bigger part of Outer Worlds than it is on Fallout, but they are intelligent conversations that actually affect the course of the game, so it should not be too annoying. If anything, it just adds to the realism and immersion quality of the whole experience.

Gameplay-wise, this is a single-player first-person shooter RPG. It is not an open-world game, so you’re restricted to walled towns and cities on a handful of planets.

The story is set sometime in the future when humans have started to actively colonize other planets, and this colonized solar system is called Halycon.

Your character starts off locked in a hibernation cell and is then released in a pod to the nearest planet where you’re supposed to meet a Captain to show you the way around.

The long-term mission is to overthrow the current government of Halycon because they’re doing a terrible job. To do that, you need accomplices, so you need to look to gather some. At various stages of the game, a couple of these accomplices, armed with their own special weapons and skillset will fight alongside you.

You’re pretty stacked with options when it comes to weaponry for your personal use too. There is a range of guns, melee weapons, rifles, grenade launchers, and some other pretty neat stuff that you can use.

The Outer Worlds already looked good on the PS4, but thanks to a simple patch, it looks and runs even better on the PS5. The preexisting framerate cap has been removed, so it runs at a smooth 60fps on the newer console.

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human is another classic from the stables of Sony Interactive Entertainment. The game was published in 2018 and it is one of the many attempts that we’ve been seeing from developers to create an “interactive-film-type” game.

You can probably hazard a pretty accurate guess of what this game is about based on the title and the picture attached. It’s based on an android uprising – a common theme in films that have been hitting the studios in recent times.

Here, the uprising is set in Motor City in the year 2038, and the focus is on three specific androids – Kara, Connor, and Marcus – that embark on a journey of freedom for all the androids in Detroit City.

In a similar fashion to Fallout and The Outer Worlds, the events that play out in Detroit: Become Human are hugely influenced by the decisions that you make when choices are presented to you. This means that there are multiple possible endings, which spikes the replay value of the title.

The game already looked stunning on the PS4 Pro, so you can imagine what it looks like with 4K on the PS5. The skin, the hair, and other facial features are extremely detailed and sharp, and the same applies across the board for non-human graphics too.

Certainly, there is room to improve, but Detroit: Become Human is already one of the best sci-fi games on PS5.

No Man’s Sky

Hello Games published the first iteration of No Man’s Sky for the PS4 in 2016 and has since released an updated version in time for the release of the PS5 back in 2020.

Things felt a bit bland on the original PS4 version, although it was still a decent game. However, the PS5 upgrade is worth every penny that the publishers are asking for it, as it is a much-improved game in almost every area.

There are the obvious visual improvements with 4K support and 60fps, but they’ve also really taken full advantage of the haptic feedback and other sensory features of the PS5 to help you feel the effects of your actions in the game much more.

The core experience is the same. You’re still mining resources, flying from one star in the solar system to the next, surviving planets that present you with various types of challenges, and upgrading your equipment as you do so to ensure you’re battle-ready for any major threats.

However, this is not the same game as the one that was released in 2016. You’re still traveling across the galaxy, but there is more for you to enjoy while you’re at it, in terms of character customization, a multiplayer mode, side missions, upgraded weaponry, on-planet events, etc.

If the original No Man’s Sky got a thumbs up, this one gets two.

Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal is not just one of the best PS5 sci-fi games, it is one of the best PS5 games, period. id Software and Bethesda Softworks can pat themselves on the back a thousand times for a job well done.

The original 2016 release was really good, and the PS4 sequel in 2020 was possibly even better, but this PS5 upgrade? It’s up there with the best first-person shooters you’ll ever play.

If you’re familiar with the events of Doom (2016), then you should know that Eternal is set 2 years after that. About two-thirds of the earth’s population has been wiped out, and demons and monsters have pretty much turned the planet into their playground. You, the demon slayer, are humanity’s last hope.

It’s all pretty straightforward, but there are many things that make playing Doom a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For one, whoever is in charge of imagining the grotesque creatures that you have to fight in the game needs a pay raise, and then probably therapy.

The weapons are incredible too, and it’s a case of “A thousand ways to die” as you will continuously come up with new, creative ways to send these demons back to hell – you can imagine the resulting gore.

Don’t forget, this is the PS5, so all of this is happening in 4K at 60fps, so it is a gorgeous visual presentation of the goriest scenes you’ll see on your gaming monitor or TV. Lovely.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Yeah, I know the merit of this “best PS5 sci-fi games” list will be called into question if it doesn’t include a Star Wars title. Even apart from the games, Star Wars is synonymous with the word sci-fi to the noobiest of noobs (I know that’s not a word), and for good reason.

The franchise has established itself as an authority in the genre, and the fact that they’ve been trying to match their success with films with their exploration of gaming is fair play to them.

Honestly, publishers, Electronic Arts have stuttered a bit with previous iterations of the title, but the release of Fallen Order in 2021 brought proof that they can actually make a really good game for their teeming fanbase.

The story is set somewhere in between the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. Cal Cestis, a runaway Jedi, joins the resistance and begins a journey across the galaxy that raises more questions than answers about the force, and the new allies that he has now intertwined his fate with.

On the PS4, Fallen Order was up there with the best sci-fi games in terms of the game mechanics and story presentation, but with the PS5 upgrade, it is also now one of the best-looking games out there.

Returnal

Speaking of the best-looking PS5 games, if I was to make a list of that, Returnal would be somewhere around the top.

This is not just a PS4 game that got a facelift, it is a game that was built specifically with the PS5 in mind, and the difference shows. It was published in 2021 by Sony Interactive Entertainment, and it was one of their big-budget titles for the year.

The premise of the story and the gameplay sequence is so varied that Returnal fits quite nicely in various genres – sci-fi, action, adventure, you name it. In fact, it also made my list of the best roguelike games for PS5.

In Returnal, you play Selene, an astronaut that has crash-landed on the planet Atropos. She’s a big girl that can take care of herself, but that job becomes a tad more difficult when she has to relive the same day over and over again. It also does not help that she’s stuck in unfamiliar territory.

Your job is to figure out why the time loop keeps happening and put an end to it.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Where Returnal doubles as one of the best roguelikes on PS5, Horizon Zero Dawn makes an appearance on my list of the best hunting games on PS5.

It was published from the same studio, Sony Interactive Entertainment, but Zero Dawn came much earlier in 2017. Since then, it’s gotten a PS5 upgrade that breathed new life into the epic adventure of the protagonist, Aloy.

How does a hunting game fit into the sci-fi genre? Well, it does when you’re hunting robotic animals that are roaming the planet in a future where humans have to share their lands with malicious machines.

The story is centered around your character, Aloy. She was exiled as a kid, and as she grows and asks the obvious questions, she takes it upon herself to find out why she was exiled. It is during her journey across the open world that the game is set in that she encounters these machines and occasionally has to hunt or fight them.

It’s a pretty interesting premise and a very well-executed story. Combined with the fantastic visual upgrades on the PS5, Zero Dawn is undoubtedly one of the best PS5 sci-fi games.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human

Dying Light 2: Stay Human is a classic zombie thriller, but it is not your typical one. It is a sequel from publishers, TECHLAND PUBLISHING, of the original Dying Light title that was released back in 2015.

As such, the events of this sequel come 15 years after the viral outbreak of the first iteration. Your character, Aiden, is plunged straight into the action on a quest to find his missing sister, Mia.

He ventures out of the safety of the walled cities headed for the city of Villedor where he expects to find clues that will lead him to Mia. If you’ve ever seen a zombie movie – at least a good one – then you have a pretty good idea of how that journey pans out.

Thankfully, Aiden has some sick parkour skills, so he can navigate his way across the city fairly quickly even with zombies on his tail. Regardless, it’s not going to be a smooth trip by any means.

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 was originally released for the older-gen consoles in 2019, but the reference for this list is the newer update from 2K in 2020.

The game itself is a looter shooter that has retained a hint of comedic relief right from the first iteration many years ago.

It has a broad cast of characters that contribute in various ways to the overall presentation of the story, but your character is the Vault Hunter who, as his name implies, is on a mission to loot the famed Vault.

That’s the general premise of the story, but even more intriguing especially for old players are the upgrades on the PS5 version.

The framerate is unlocked, and you can run the game at up to 120fps on performance mode, although you will lose 4K at that rate. 4K at 60fps remains the sweet spot unless you prefer some extra bit of smoothness to picture sharpness and detail.

Additionally, you can now set up four-player mode in local split-screen play in the PS5 version, which is pretty cool. Then, there is the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that just make shooter games like this one feel loads better than they did on the previous-gen consoles. It’s all pretty neat and mad fun.

X-Com 2

X-Com 2 is another release from the stables of 2K. When it was first released in 2016, it was widely regarded as one of the best strategy games on the market at the time, but there was more than a bit of frustration from fans due to the ridiculously long loading times of the game.

With the much-publicized speedy SSD on the PS5, the loading times are still fairly long, but they are reduced enough to earn the game a merited place in this list of the best sci-fi games for PS5.

Yes, it is a turn-based, tactical strategy game, but there is a sci-fi spin in the story. Earth had been invaded and subsequently occupied by alien forces many years earlier, and you are the leader of the Xcom organization that tried to stop the invasion when it initially happened.

Now, 20 years post-invasion, your new job description is to unite various rebel factions in a bid to win control of the planet back from the alien forces. It sounds difficult, but rest assured that it is even more difficult than it sounds.

Final Words

There you, my list of the 20 best PS5 sci-fi games. Many of these games come from publishers and developers that already have a reputation for churning out the best games, but there are a couple of indie studios in there that I particularly love to see.

As always, leave a comment, and let’s talk about the list, particularly if you have any additional suggestions for titles that I might have missed out on.

0 comments

Leave a Comment