Astro’s Playroom may be a free game, coming pre-installed on every PS5, but that doesn’t make it a wash. Make no mistake: It’s a delightful platformer, oozing with charm and effervescence. You play as a cheery, emotive robotoid (an Astro bot). Each level is themed after some technological aspect of the PS5—Memory Meadow, for instance, offers winks and nods to the system’s technical guts, while SSD Speedway pays homage to the internal storage—and switches seamlessly between two- and three-dimensional perspectives. As you play, you’ll uncover various references to PlayStation history, which get stored in a museum-like collection. The main draw, though, is how it feels. No other game currently utilizes the DualSense’s cutting-edge haptics as well as Astro’s Playroom. You’ll use motion controls to scale a cliff one minute; the next, you’ll blow on the microphone to propel yourself forward. All the while, the controller hums with a responsive, reactive vibration that’s so much more than, “Hey, look, you just got attacked.” This may sound like sacrilege, but Astro’s Playroom may be the most Nintendo-feeling game released this fall.
A Good Match For: Anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of using the PS5’s DualSense controller. PlayStation devotees. Mario fans.
Not A Good Match For: Dude, it’s free, and is already installed on your console. Give it a whirl!
Watch it in action.
Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:
The Best PC Games • The Best PS4 Games • The Best Games On PS Now • The Best Xbox One Games • The Best Games For The Xbox Series X And S • The Best Games On Xbox Game Pass • The Best Nintendo Switch Games • The Best Wii U Games • The Best 3DS Games • The Best PS Vita Games • The Best Xbox 360 Games • The Best PS3 Games • The Best Wii Games • The Best iPhone Games • The Best iPad Games • The Best Android Games
How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:
Update 4/20/2022: We’ve added Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West, while removing Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Update 1/21/2022: The Pathless loses its way on the path, but three newcomers are found: Guardians of the Galaxy, Lost Judgment, and Life is Strange: True Colors.
Update 6/28/2021: And that’s 12! Returnal, Resident Evil Village, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart join the list. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, once a PS4-exclusive, knocks off Godfall, which will soon no longer be a PS5 console-exclusive.
Update 2/4/2021: Excellent work, 47. Hitman 3 joins the ranks.
Update 12/25/2020: Immortals Fenyx Rising has earned a seat on the pantheon. Also, Destiny 2‘s next-gen update and Beyond Light expansion make it feel like a new, and awesome, game.