PlayStation 5 exclusives to look forward to in 2021

Getting a PlayStation 5 is still a herculean task, with new stock selling out mere minutes after appearing online. But if you managed to grab Sony’s latest console over the holidays (and if not, good luck with the hunt!), you might have already worked your way through the initial batch of launch games.

Fortunately, there’s plenty more in store for PS5 in the coming months. Below, you’ll find a list of all the exclusive games announced for 2021 so far. We’ll start off with those that have specific release dates or windows, and then move on to games that just have a vague “2021” date attached to them.

A few quick notes: It’s possible that some of these games will get delayed by a few months or maybe even slip into 2022, and some of the third-party releases are timed exclusives, but the exact exclusivity period can vary from game to game.

Destruction AllStars

Release date: February

Also coming to N/A

Originally part of the launch lineup before being delayed at the last minute, Destruction AllStars is a multiplayer car combat game from UK-based Lucid Games. It’s not just a rehash of Twisted Metal, however. The game has 16 colorful competitors to choose from, and each of them has their own unique abilities and vehicles. When your car gets destroyed, you can continue the fight on foot or take over someone else’s car by yanking them out of the driver’s seat.

This is one exclusive that a lot of PS5 owners should have, as it’ll be free for PlayStation Plus subscribers when it comes out next month.

Returnal

Release date: March 19

Also coming to N/A

Housemarque has a long tradition of releasing games right around the time of a Sony console launch, and the PS5 will be no different. Returnal is a third-person roguelike shooter where you play as an explorer trapped on a mysterious planet. According to the trailers released so far, you’ll be fighting aliens across a number of different landscapes. Since the world is procedural, each run should feel a bit different every time you die and restart your adventure.

Guilty Gear -Strive-

Release date: April 9

Also coming to PS4, PC

You can always count on Arc System Works to make a fantastic looking fighting game, and Guilty Gear -Strive- is the studio’s most impressive one yet. It’s just stunning to watch in motion. But the Guilty Gear franchise is also known for being incredibly complex (especially for casual fighting fans like me).

Arc has been aware of that accessibility issue for quite some time, and it appears that Guilty Gear -Strive- will have some features or modes that are designed to help newcomers.

Deathloop

Release date: May 21

Also coming to PC

Deathloop is the next first-person immersive game from Dishonored developer Arkane Lyon. You play as Colt, an assassin who’ll forever remain trapped in a vicious time loop unless he can kill all eight of his targets. But the residents of Blackreef don’t plan on letting him go, so you’ll have to fight back with a variety of weapons and powers. You’ll also have to deal with Julianna, an assassin tasked with protecting the island — and she’s controlled either by the AI or a real player who invades your game.

Interestingly, Deathloop (along with Ghostwire: Tokyo) will still be a console exclusive despite Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Bethesda.

Oddworld: Soulstorm

Release date: Spring

Also coming to PS4, PC

Soulstorm is the next chapter in the long-running Oddworld franchise (and the sequel to 2014’s Oddworld: New ’n’ Tasty). This time around, the reluctant hero Abe continues to lead his fellow — and formerly enslaved — Mudokons to freedom. The story revolves around the mystery of the Soulstorm Brew, a type of energy drink meant to push the Mudokons to work harder in the mega-corporations’ factories.

Soulstorm keeps the previous game’s 2.5D platforming gameplay while also adding in some light RPG mechanics.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release date: First half of 2021

Also coming to N/A

The next big triple-A game from a Sony studio most likely won’t be until Ratchet and Clank’s latest adventure, which is slated to hit some time in the next few months. Rift Apart has Insomniac’s intergalactic duo (along with a new female Lombax) traveling through different realities as they fight against an evil robot emperor. Ratchet & Clank is known for having a wide array of silly and inventive weaponry, so expect Rift Apart to continue that tradition as well.

Horizon Forbidden West

Release date: Second half of 2021

Also coming to PS4

As the name implies, the much-anticipated sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn moves the action-RPG to a new locale: the western United States. In Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy will meet new tribes and dangerous mechanical beasts as she attempts to solve a new mystery, one that involves the fate of the planet itself.

The first Horizon is still one of the best looking PS4 games, and Forbidden West looks like it’ll be a huge upgrade in terms of both detail and variety in the open world.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Release date: Fourth quarter of 2021

Also coming to PS4, PC

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was one of the standout titles from Sony’s PS5 event last summer, which is impressive when you consider that this is the first game from indie studio Ember Labs. In this whimsical action-adventure game, you play as Kena, a young spirit guide who is looking for an ancient mountain shrine. Along the way, you’ll collect tiny forest creatures known as the Rot to help Kena become more powerful and battle against evil spirits.

Goodbye Volcano High

Release date: Late 2021

Also coming to PS4, PC

Goodbye Volcano High is a narrative adventure game that a lot of us can relate to: It’s about a group of students making difficult choices during their senior year of high school. But the big twist is that everyone is a dinosaur, and judging by the meteor in the game’s logo, these teenagers will also have the threat of imminent extinction looming over them. No pressure, right?

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Release date: 2021

Also coming to PC

Not surprisingly, the next game from Resident Evil and The Evil Within creator Shinji Mikami also happens to deal with spooky ghosts and monsters. You’re the last person left in Tokyo after 99 percent of the population suddenly disappeared, and it’s your job to vanquish the horde of evil creatures that are now haunting the city. Luckily, you’ll have an arsenal of weapons and special powers to fight them with.

A new God of War

Release date: 2021

Also coming to N/A

Ragnarok is coming — that’s the only piece of information we have about the next entry in the rebooted God of War franchise. Whatever the sequel ends up being called, it’ll undoubtedly be the biggest PS5 game of the year.

Gran Turismo 7

Release date: 2021

Also coming to N/A

Polyphony Digital’s racing series has been around for as long as there have been PlayStation consoles, and Gran Turismo 7 looks to be the most realistic entry yet. According to the head of Worldwide Studios Hermen Hulst, the game will incorporate the “best features from past installments” while also introducing new ways to play.

Stray

Release date: 2021

Also coming to PC

There are a lot of games set in dystopian sci-fi worlds, but few, if any, have a cat as its main protagonist. Stray is an adventure game where you play as a lone cat exploring a so-called “cybercity,” one that appears to be mostly inhabited by robots. You’ll even become friends with one of these droids, a flying drone called B12, as you try and escape the city.

Solar Ash

Release date: 2021

Also coming to PS4, PC

Solar Ash is the newest project from indie developer Heart Machine, and it looks to be just as surreal as its first game, Hyper Light Drifter. It certainly seems to be more ambitious. On the PlayStation Blog, director Alx Preston said that his team has been working for years to build the tech that powers Solar Ash’s expansive world and that players will tackle “high-speed traversal challenges” and face off against giant monsters.

Jett: The Far Shore

Release date: 2021

Also coming to PS4, PC

With her people facing extinction, Mei and her fellow “scouts” set off on an interstellar journey to find a new planet to call home. As Mei, you’ll skim the surface of your new surroundings with your Jett ship, and you’ll study the planet’s flora and fauna, encounter huge alien creatures and escape hostile pursuers. You can keep exploring the open world once the story is over. 

Tribes of Midgard

Release date: 2021

Also coming to PS4, PC

If the God of War sequel isn’t enough to scratch your Norse mythology itch, there’s also Norsfell’s Tribes of Midgard. It’s a cooperative action RPG where up to 10 players can work together to protect their Viking village from all sorts of deadly monsters. You’ll have to gather resources from the forests around you to improve your town’s defenses and craft new weapons and armor.