The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (2024)

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (1)

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (2)

This story is part of our 2023 in Gaming series. Follow along as we reflect on the year’s best titles.

With the video game industry as busy as it is these days, there’s rarely ever a “bad” year for any console. Even in a less busy year, platforms like Xbox still tend to have highlights in exciting indie games. That was true for PlayStation this year, which continued its strong momentum this generation despite only having a handful of big-ticket games.


  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • Horizon Call of the Mountain
  • Humanity
  • Forspoken
  • Season: A Letter to the Future
  • Viewfinder

While not every big PS5 exclusive thrilled this year, there were a lot of strong experiences to dive into. Developers got more mileage than ever out of the system’s beefy tech specs, while PlayStation VR2 gave the platform some creative, immersive experiences. That’s not to mention a handful of indies and third-party releases that Sony locked down as console exclusives for a time. That list of heavy hitters even included Baldur’s Gate 3 for a few short months. In reflecting on another great year for PS5, we’ve highlighted seven games that stuck with us this year. Some were certainly divisive, but all of them helped give Sony’s powerhouse system some extra depth in a crowded year.

Recommended Videos

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (3)

Even if PlayStation barely got any games this year, it would still be home to one of this year’s very best exclusives. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is about as good as big-budget gaming gets, delivering top-notch spectacle and incredibly smooth superhero gameplay. Though players are sure to revere it for its refined combat and traversal, it’s the smaller moments that stick with me most. Sidequests that see both Spider-Men helping their community leave the biggest impact of all. It was also good to see this game backtracked on the uncomfortable police surveillance state setup of its predecessors. With an emphasis on criminal reform and being more of a friendly neighborhood helper, Spider-Man 2 is a more mature superhero sequel that ranks with the best of them.

Trending Deal:

Final Fantasy XVI

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (4)

Final Fantasy XVI may be the series’ most divisive entry to date. Even our own review was torn on it, criticizing its dry storytelling. No matter how you feel about its narrative, though, one thing is undeniable: the RPG contains some of this year’s most astounding action. The fully reinvented combat system makes Clive Rosfield one of Final Fantasy’s fastest, deadliest fighters yet. His Eikonic abilities, coupled with some jaw-dropping kaiju battles, bring the long-running series to a logical crescendo, fully realizing the scope implied in smaller games like Final Fantasy VI. It’s a blockbuster full of spectacular moments that you don’t want to miss.

Horizon Call of the Mountain

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (5)

While Horizon Forbidden West released last year, 2023 was a surprisingly big year for Sony’s open-world series. That game got a strong DLC chapter in the Burning Shores, but the real headline was its VR installment, Horizon Call of the Mountain. Taking notes from The Climb, the PlayStation VR2 launch title has players scaling mountains on top of engaging in classic Horizon combat. Though it’s a little too ambitious at times, it’s the kind of game Sony needed in order to make a statement with its latest headset. I can only hope that we see franchises like God of War get the same treatment down the line, adapting everything we love about the modern series into a tactile VR experience.


The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (6)

While Horizon: Call of the Mountain is a great game to try once you have a PSVR2, Humanity is a reason to buy the headset. The fascinating puzzle game has players directing an army of tiny humans through increasingly complex situations. That simple premise takes a dark turn in its back half, commenting on the terrifying power people possess when they coalesce into a mob. While it can be played without a headset (it’s available via PS Plus),the PSVR2 is the best way to experience all the diorama-like puzzles. It feels like you’re watching an ant colony at work. Few games released this year are quite as mesmerizing.


The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (7)

It might be surprising to see Square Enix’s Forspokenon this list. The open-world adventure was the subject of ridicule when it launched due to its quippy writing. While those criticisms were earned, that doesn’t mean the entire game is a joke. In fact, Forspoken is a surprisingly creative game filled with fast, fluid traversal and a magical combat system that’s not too far off from Final Fantasy XVI. If you can get past all the Marvel-esque one-liners, you’ll find a solid blockbuster that’s a lot more engaging than the less magical Hogwarts Legacy.

Season: A Letter to the Future

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (8)

While there was no shortage of big-budget releases on PS5 this year, it’s the smaller indies that landed console exclusivity on PlayStation that I enjoyed the most. Just look at Season: A Letter to the Future. Set before a mysterious event, players set out across a gorgeous countryside to capture as much of the world as possible before a new era changes it all. By taking photos and recording sounds, players engage in a meditative experience that reminds us to cherish the littlest parts of the world around us.


The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (9)

Even if you don’t traditionally like puzzle games, Viewfinderis the kind of thing you need to try. The indie hinges on an incredible magic trick that lets players snap 2D photos and seamlessly place them anywhere in levels, turning flat images into 3D spaces. It’s the kind of digital marvel that seems unreal, and that is thematically relevant too. Under all its ingenious puzzles, Viewfinder is about researchers looking for impossible answers to impossible questions. It’s a celebration of human ingenuity, one that inspires hope that we may one day save our planet from the seemingly irreversible threat of climate change.

Editors' Recommendations

  • The 10 best video games of 2023
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 sets an incredibly high bar for future PS5 games
  • Sony’s cloud handheld, the PlayStation Portal, will only stream certain games
  • Everything announced at Summer Game Fest kickoff 2023
  • The most exciting PlayStation Showcase trailers you shouldn’t miss

I am an avid gamer and industry enthusiast with a deep understanding of the gaming landscape, spanning from the latest hardware developments to the most anticipated game releases. My passion for gaming is not just recreational; I have hands-on experience with various gaming platforms, and my knowledge extends to the technical aspects of gaming technology.

In the article you provided, the author reflects on the gaming highlights of the year 2023 for PlayStation, emphasizing the diverse range of experiences available on the platform. Let's break down the concepts mentioned in the article:

  1. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2:

    • Highlighted as one of the best exclusives of the year.
    • Praised for delivering top-notch spectacle, smooth superhero gameplay, and refined combat.
    • Noteworthy for its mature superhero sequel narrative and emphasis on criminal reform.
  2. Final Fantasy XVI:

    • Acknowledged as a divisive entry in the Final Fantasy series.
    • Criticized for its dry storytelling but praised for its astounding action and fully reinvented combat system.
    • Clive Rosfield's character highlighted as one of the fastest and deadliest fighters in the series.
  3. Horizon Call of the Mountain:

    • A VR installment for the Horizon series, released on PlayStation VR2.
    • Inspired by The Climb, the game involves scaling mountains and engaging in classic Horizon combat.
    • Mentioned as an ambitious title that makes a statement for the capabilities of the PlayStation VR2 headset.
  4. Humanity:

    • Described as a fascinating puzzle game available on PS Plus.
    • Involves directing an army of tiny humans through increasingly complex situations.
    • Explores dark themes about the power of people when they come together as a mob.
  5. Forspoken:

    • Initially criticized for its quippy writing.
    • Highlighted as a creative game with fast, fluid traversal and a magical combat system.
    • Compared to Final Fantasy XVI in terms of its engaging gameplay.
  6. Season: A Letter to the Future:

    • Emphasizes the enjoyment of smaller indies with console exclusivity on PlayStation.
    • Season is described as a meditative experience set before a mysterious event, encouraging players to cherish the world through photography and sound recording.
  7. Viewfinder:

    • Recommended as a unique puzzle game that employs an incredible magic trick.
    • Allows players to snap 2D photos and place them seamlessly in 3D spaces within the game.
    • Thematic relevance includes a celebration of human ingenuity and a hope for solutions to global issues, like climate change.

These insights demonstrate the diverse and engaging experiences that the PlayStation platform offered in 2023, ranging from blockbuster exclusives to innovative indie titles. The article captures the essence of a thriving gaming ecosystem and showcases the platform's commitment to providing a broad spectrum of gaming experiences.

The best PS5 games of 2023: Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, and more | Digital Trends (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated:

Views: 6207

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.