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The best multiplayer games on the PS5

The PlayStation 3 certainly had its fair share of multiplayer games, but these kinds of games didn’t hit their stride until the PlayStation 4. Thankfully, multiplayer games are once again at the forefront of the best games on PS5. Despite the system being so new, there are already a ton of games to try out — whether via online or local multiplayer co-op games. Before picking up a new PS5, you might be wondering what kind of multiplayer games Sony’s new system has to offer.

There are lots to choose from, but in this list, we’ve rounded up the very best multiplayer games available on the PS5 right now.

Further reading:

It Takes Two

Cody and May shooting in It Takes Two.

Serving as one of the most inventive cooperative games of the past decade, It Takes Two is not playable solo. Designed with co-op multiplayer in mind, this is a game about two parents who are on the brink of divorce. While the story itself might leave a little to be desired, the gameplay is outstanding, offering smart puzzles and obstacles that must be overcome through jolly cooperation.

The setpieces are wild, the gameplay is varied, and the sheer imaginative design is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory. This game is true to its name, too, as it drives home the idea of working together. This theme is presented in the gameplay, as well as in the story, as the two still have to be there for their daughter. The best thing is that you only need one copy to play — each one comes with a pass so you can enjoy it with a friend without having to purchase two.

Destiny 2

Characters shooting in Destiny 2.

There’s never been a better time to dive into Destiny 2, a game that has come a long way since its launch in 2017. It’s even better on PS5, running at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. While you can definitely play Destiny 2 solo, much of it is designed with multiplayer in mind — whether you join friends to take on a raid or fight against them in the game’s PvP mode, The Crucible.

Destiny 2‘s greatest selling point is its gameplay loop, which constantly encourages you to grind to collect more loot. Beyond that, it simply feels incredible — we’d expect nothing less from Bungie, the creators of Halo. Though Destiny 2 was available for $60 at launch, it has since been converted to a free-to-play game, with paid expansions available periodically. But that means you can dive in and try it out without spending a dime.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Soldiers shooting on the Miami map in call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Of course, what best-of multiplayer list would be complete without Call of Duty? For this entry, we recommend Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the newest game in the series — and one that Activision and Treyarch intend to fully support for at least the next year. As the name suggests, this game sends you to the 1980s during the Cold War, where you’ll go through a campaign inspired by real events. Though, the campaign isn’t the reason to stick around.

As with most Treyarch Call of Duty games, Black Ops Cold War features the beloved multiplayer and zombies modes, full of different options for how to play. With multiplayer, there are various modes you know and love, and with a rotating playlist, things will never get old. You’ll also be able to enjoy zombies, which features its own story that can be played with friends or solo. But let’s be real, it’s definitely more fun with friends. Keep in mind, you can upgrade from PS4 to PS5 for free.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

Three fighters including Rambo from Mortal Kombat 11.

Perhaps fighting games are more your jam. If so, you’ll be happy to know that Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is available on PS5, serving as the definitive edition of the original. MK11 Ultimate features the base fighting game, Kombat Packs 1 and 2, and the Aftermath DLC — all in one package for PS5. Remember, if you own the last-gen PS4 version, you can upgrade to PS5 for free. The next-gen version includes 4K dynamic resolution, faster load times, and cross-gen/cross-platform play.

This means you can play with friends on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or PS4 while playing on PS5. You’ll now have so many different ways to unleash deadly Fatalities upon your friends and foes, regardless of their platform. Or, you can destroy the competition in local couch multiplayer. The Mortal Kombat series is an absolute classic, and this one ups the ante in nearly every way — bringing together famous fighters like Rambo and The Terminator while telling an interesting story. This is not a fighting game to miss.

Borderlands 3

Psycho on the cover of Borderlands 3.

The famous loot-based first-person shooter (or looter shooter, as it’s sometimes called) has made its way to next-gen, giving you more reasons than one to jump back into Borderlands 3 on PS5. For starters, those who owned the PS4 version will gain access to the game on PS5 for free. The next-gen version will feature up to four-player split-screen cooperative gameplay, 4K visuals at 60 frames per second in single-player or online multiplayer modes, and all the latest updates.

Speaking of which, Borderlands 3 has received multiple content drops since its release last year, so you’ll have no shortage of things to do when you jump in on PS5. As with many games, Borderlands 3 is best experienced with friends, and, thankfully, there are multiple options for doing so. There’s something so immensely satisfying about running around the open world with your buddies on the quest for loot, and Borderlands 3 sure delivers on that front.

Take a look at our list of the best weapons in Borderlands 3 and our character guide to get a head start.

Godfall

Characters fighting in Godfall.

Godfall on PS5 certainly isn’t the best reason to get a PS5, but despite its flaws, it’s a fun action game when played with friends. Referred to as a “looter-slasher,” Godfall takes the familiar loot-based mechanics popularized by Diablo, Borderlands, and Destiny and mixes in some fun, fluid melee combat. You can play in groups of three while taking down enemies, bosses, and, of course, gathering loot.

A healthy mixture of light and heavy attacks with a simple yet effective parry system help to make Godfall feel great, even if it’s a tad repetitive at times. It’s ever-so-satisfying to see those numbers go up when you find new gear, and that’s what makes this game fun. Just ignore the bland story, reused level design, and mission structure, and you’ll have a good time — more so with friends.

Fortnite

Team shooting at enemies in Fortnite.

Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny the importance of Fortnite, and on PS5, it will be playable in 4K at up to 60 fps across all game modes. You’ll also find better textures and improved performance thanks to the PS5’s solid-state drive — whether you play online or in split-screen multiplayer. Fortnite is one of those comfort food games that always feels great to jump back into. You don’t always need to stay on top of the latest updates to have fun, but if you do, you’ll be rewarded handsomely.

It’s a great game to boot up, play a couple of matches with friends, and then move onto something else. Even if you don’t secure a victory, it’s still a load of fun to see how long you and your squad can survive. Plus, it’s free, so there isn’t much of a downside to downloading it.

No Man’s Sky: The Next Generation

Exploring a base in No Man's Sky.

You’ve probably seen us praise No Man’s Sky ad nauseam, but the PS5 version, titled The Next Generation, is worthy of even more praise. The next-gen version features more assets spread out across the terrain to make for a thicker, more realistic-looking environment, the ability to build larger bases, cross-play, transferrable saves, 4K visuals at 60 fps, and most importantly, 32-player multiplayer. The large-scale multiplayer functionality is huge, making No Man’s Sky feel even more populated than ever before.

To be frank, there isn’t anything like No Man’s Sky. Being able to explore 18 quintillion (that’s 18 with 18 more zeroes after it) procedurally-generated planets that mostly feel unique is a wild experience — whether you play solo or with friends. But really, you’ll probably have a better time if you’ve got some buddies to help you stay safe from the harsh, hazardous weather found on many planets you’ll come across. The PS5 upgrade is free to all who own the PS4 game. No Man’s Sky goes beyond an open world game — it’s an open universe adventure, instead!

NBA 2K22

Player shooting ball into hoop in NBA 2K22.

NBA 2K22 is one of the highlights of the PS5, not just in its visuals, but also in the way it utilizes the DualSense’s haptic feedback features. Playable with up to nine other players online, NBA 2K22 is the best-looking basketball game to date, with a ton of modes to sink your teeth into. The next-gen version is playable in 4K at 60 fps and features an up-to-date roster with improved gameplay features.

Competition is one of the core pillars of the game, and you can enjoy it with — or against — your friends online or in local couch multiplayer modes. If you want something that is a well-rounded showcase for what the PS5 can do, look no further than NBA 2K22. Aside from the fun online pillar, this game also features a fully playable WNBA career mode

Overcooked: All You Can Eat

Characters posing for Overcooked! All You Can Eat cover.

Games like Mario Party and Monopoly always have been known for destroying friendships, but those pale in comparison to Overcooked! All You Can Eat. This definitive version of Overcooked! features both games and all their DLC, along with new content, such as 4K visuals, updated accessibility options, and cross-platform play coming in 2021. This package is ripe with content and is great for the whole family — provided you don’t kill each other in the process.

Overcooked! is a game about — wait for it — cooking. In it, you need to effectively prepare and serve orders while making sure they’re made accurately. You can play it with up to three other players in local multiplayer and online modes. It’s a cooking game that will likely make you laugh throughout, even if you’re losing because it’s so much chaotic fun.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Sackboy posing for Sackboy: A Big Adventure cover.

If you’d like a family-friendly game that’s less chaotic but still playable in co-op, then you should check out Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Built on the foundation of LittleBig Planet, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a 3D platformer, similar to the beloved Mario games. It features gorgeous, vibrant visuals, light puzzles, and all the quirkiness you could hope for.

An online multiplayer mode will be available later this year. But for now, you can play the game in couch co-op with up to four players. If you want a fun platformer to enjoy solo or with friends, or if you’ve got younger gamers at home, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is worth checking out.

Demon’s Souls

Main character approaching Vanguard boss.

Demon’s Souls might not be the first game people think about when talking about multiplayer, but online play is at this game’s core. Playing Demon’s Souls is most enjoyable when taking advantage of multiplayer. You’ll be invaded by enemy players, get help from friends, and utilize the community to manipulate the game’s World Tendency. And trust us, you’re going to need the help when it’s time to take on the game’s toughest bosses.

The Souls games are notoriously difficult, as you probably already know, and Demon’s Souls for PS5 is no different. Remember, though, that the bosses gain extra health when you bring in real players to help, so keep that in mind before you go on a summoning spree. Typically, you’ll only ever need one additional player to take down a challenging foe. Make sure to be on the lookout for enemy invaders, though, as they can easily take you down from behind if you aren’t paying attention. Demon’s Souls is iconic for a reason, so do yourself a favor and check it out if you like RPG gaming.

Apex Legends

Fuse from Apex Legends.

Maybe you’d like to try a battle royale that doesn’t include a building system like Fortnite. Perhaps you might like Apex Legends, a battle royale that blends class-based characters with the popular last-person-standing formula. Each character or “legend” has their own identity and it shines through, not just in gameplay, but in story and lore, as well.

You’ll be hard pressed to find another FPS game that feels and plays as fluidly as Apex Legends. In fact, this game is based in the Titanfall universe, and with that in mind, you can clearly see the connections (though you won’t find any Titans in Apex). It’s a game that continues to evolve over time, and we’re excited to see how it changes with each update. Best of all is that it’s free!

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

Puyo Puyos and tetrominos from Puyo Puyo Tetris 2.

There isn’t much like Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 on this list. As its name suggests, it’s a mashup of the beloved Puyo Puyo and Tetris that doesn’t seem like it should work — but it does. In this sequel, you can play offline or online with your friends, across various modes. It’s just as quirky and lighthearted as the first game, blending together the iconic puzzlers fans know and love.

Although you probably won’t be playing Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 for its story, you’ll be happy to know it has a lovable cast of well-written characters that appear in between (and during) matches, so you have that to look forward to, as well. But above all else, this game is a masterclass in gameplay. Whether you’re playing Tetris, Puyo Puyo, or both at the same time, you’ll likely have a blast with this puzzle game — and more so online.

Rocket League

Cars headed towards ball in Rocket League.

Rocket League is yet another free-to-play game that has captivated its audience thanks to its tight gameplay and satisfying loop. The premise? Soccer with cars. And if that sounds absolutely bonkers, it is. What’s great about Rocket League is that it appeals to the general player since it’s so easy to pick up and play. It’s got an easy concept to grasp: Put the ball through the goal. However, things get out of hand since steering your car while pushing a ball isn’t as easy as it seems. Still, it’s something you can quickly get the hang of after a few games.

Skilled competitors will also find value in it, as matches can get heated very quickly, especially if the contestants are of equal experience levels. Beyond that, you can earn in-game currency to spend on what feels like thousands of different cosmetics, giving you even more reason to keep playing. It’s a game that you can quickly jump into and play a few rounds before bed, making it super appealing to a wide install base.

Best upcoming PS5 games

Above are all games that are already out, but if you’re curious about upcoming PS5 games, check out the list below. It’s full of highly anticipated titles, though many of them have suffered delays.

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