With Sony riding a wave of success from the PlayStation 4 era, the newly released PlayStation 5 may prove one of the most desirable gifts this holiday season.

The standard PlayStation 5 console ($499) features an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, 1 TB Solid State Drive for extremely fast load times, a haptic feedback controller, and 3D audio.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the PlayStation 5 also comes in a Digital Edition ($399). The Digital Edition has all the advanced features of its sibling, minus the Blu-ray disc drive. Digital-only is probably the way of the future, though it means replacing traditional game-gifting with gift cards, and limits backwards compatibility for those with physical games.

The biggest PlayStation games of the year include Demon’s Souls, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Every game on our list except Demon’s Souls is compatible with both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The Demon’s Souls remake is exclusive to PlayStation 5.

Younger Kids (Under 10)

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

For fans of: Skylanders, 3D platformers

The first new Crash Bandicoot platformer in over a decade was developed by Toys for Bob, best known for the Skylanders series. The developer has a proven record on creating enjoyable 3D platformers with engaging level designs. It’s About Time includes five playable characters, and a Modern mode that replaces limited lives with a death counter. To catch up the Crash series, the N. Sane Trilogy features remasters of the first three games, available on PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Also available on : Xbox

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

For fans of: Mario Party, Ninja Warrior

This goofy game about little egg-shaped runners racing through a series of zany obstacle courses exploded into mainstream gaming thanks to its hilarious animations, simple controls, and widespread appeal. Fall Guys is designed like a Battle Royale, as up to 60 players compete in a series of single-elimination mini-games. Unlike most Battle Royales, which involve guns, violence, and high levels of skill, Fall Guys uses movement and jumping to reach the finish line, or complete a team-based objective, making it the perfect online multiplayer game for kids.

Also available on: PC (Steam)

Streets of Rage 4

For fans of: Retro games, Beat ’em up, Sick beats

A modern sequel to a 90’s side-scrolling Beat ‘Em Up series may not seem like a winning formula for a kids game. Streets of Rage 4 features simple yet engaging controls as you punch and kick your way through a variety of brightly colored enemies. The action-packed, character-drive story resembles a Saturday Morning Cartoon, and the head-bopping soundtrack is one of the best you’ll hear all year. What makes Streets of Rage 4 a great family game for kids is the local co-op, proving that an old-school genre still has much to give us.

Also available on: PC (Steam), Switch, Xbox

Minecraft Dungeons

For fans of: Minecraft, Hack and slash, dungeon crawls

Minecraft Dungeons is a dungeon crawling spin-off of the most popular game on the planet (sorry, Fortnite). Whereas Minecraft is all about building and crafting your world, Minecraft Dungeons is about adventuring through a linear campaign, battling enemies and earning loot. Dungeons are procedurally generated, and up to four players locally and online can adventure together.

Also available on: PC (Steam), Switch, Xbox

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

For fans of: Mario Odyssey, Little Big Planet, 3D platformers

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a platformer spin-off of the Little Big Planet series. Unlike Little Big Planet, Sackboy drops the user-creation level designs for a traditional platforming experience with hand-crafted levels, creating a delightful adventure in a whimsical, Mario-like world. Sackboy also supports up to four player co-op so families can play together.

Also available on: N/A


For fans of: Trains, Overcooked, local co-op

If you’ve enjoyed previous local co-op games like Overcooked, you owe it to you and your co-op partner(s) to check out Unrailed. In Unrailed you’re tasked with keeping your mostly unstoppable train from derailing by harvesting nearby trees and stone, converting them to tracks, and laying tracks through the randomly generated land. It’s a simple yet joyful cooperative experience that gets progressively more challenging the longer you can keep your train going.

Also available on: PC, Switch, Xbox

Older Kids & Teens (10-16)

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

For fans of: Final Fantasy, JRPGs, Brooding heroes

Final Fantasy 7 blew up the console RPG genre back in the late 90s, and remains one of the most cherished RPGs of all time. Square Enix went all out with this HD remake, rebuilding the entire game in the modern Unreal Engine 4. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is actually Part One of a larger planned series, as this game takes place entirely within the opening city of Midgar, expanding on areas, characters, and quests that we only saw glimpses of over two decades ago.

Also available on: N/A

Immortals Fenyx Rising

For fans of: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Greek Mythology

Once known as Gods & Monsters, Immortals Fenyx Rising (releasing Dec. 3) is Ubsioft’s answer to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Copying amazing games is rarely a bad move, and unlike Link, Fenyx is fully customizable, including gender. The open world of the Golden Isles is based on Greek Mythology as Fenyx battles minotaurs and cyclopses and gains weapons and powers of the gods, like the wings of Daedalus and the spears of Ares.

Also available on: PC, Stadia, Xbox

Journey to the Savage Planet

For fans of: The Outer Worlds, First-person Exploration, Metroid

Don’t let the aggressive name and quiet launch fool you, Journey to the Savage Planet is one of the hidden gems of 2020. The first-person game is technically a shooter, but it’s more about exploring an alien planet, scanning creatures and plants, finding upgrades, and unlocking new tools. It’s a modern Metroid Prime with a much cheerier world wrapped in corporate satire that should delight fans of Fallout and The Outer Worlds. Best of all – it supports two player online co-op.

Also available on: PC, Switch, Xbox

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

For Fans of: Marvel comics & movies, Superheroes, Into the Spider-Verse

Marvel’s Spider-Man was one of the biggest PlayStation games of 2018, and Sony is repeating the web-slinging success with the Miles Morales sequel, starring the titular hero from the Ultimate comics and the excellent Into the Spiderverse animated film. When Peter Parker and Mary Jane leave on a trip, Morales is left to defend New York City. An Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 5 includes Miles Morales and a next-gen upgrade version of 2018’s Spider-Man.

Also available on: N/A

Star Wars: Squadrons

For Fans of: Star Wars, Flight simulators, Team vs team multiplayer

Star Wars Squadrons does one thing, but does it very well: space combat. Climb into the cockpit of an X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and other iconic spaceships from the Star Wars universe. Squadrons is designed for 5v5 multiplayer matches, but also features a single-player campaign that alternates between the Empire and the Rebellion, bridging the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Also available on: PC, Xbox

Older Teens & Adults (17+)

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

For fans of: Huge open worlds, Vikings, Medieval history

The Assassins’ Creed series has spanned multiple gaming generations, and it’s never been better. Valhalla continues the expanded RPG gameplay from Origins and Odyssey, shunting us forward into ninth century England. Viking raider Eivor (who can be male or female) must lead their people to a better future across a brutal war, while navigating the secretive conflict between the Assassins and the Templar.

Also available on: PC, Stadia, Xbox

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

For fans of: Shooters, Reaganomics

Call of Duty is a consistently solid shooter series, with Cold War putting players in the 1980s. Competitive multiplayer and cooperative zombies mode are still excellent, but it’s the epic single-player globe-trotting (and mind-warping) campaign that highlights Cold War as a memorable entry.

Also available on: PC, Xbox

Cyberpunk 2077

For fans of: Cyberpunk, Deus Ex

One of the biggest releases of the year has been delayed so many times it’s become a joke among gamers (release date: Dec. 10). What’s not a joke is the pedigree: CD Projekt Red (The Witcher 3) are experts at crafting gigantic yet story-driven RPGs. With Cyberpunk 2077 we’re trading in our horse and swords for sportscars and blade implants as our customizable hacker-mercenary explores the mean streets of Night City, based on the original Cyberpunk tabletop RPG.

Also available on: PC, Stadia, Xbox

Desperados 3

For fans of: The Wild West, Stealth, Tactical Strategy

There aren’t many western games, and most tend to be first-person shooters. The Desperados series is all about stealth and tactics, however, as you guide a small party of outlaws through a series of challenging heists and missions. The third game acts as a prequel, so no prior series knowledge is needed, just a love of stealthy takedowns and underhanded tactics – using loud guns only as a last resort.

Also available on: PC (Win, Mac, Linux), Xbox

Demon’s Souls (PS5)

For fans of: Souls-like, Hardcore games, Horror-fantasy

The original Demon’s Souls released over a decade ago and spawned several sequels with the Dark Souls series, creating an entirely new subgenre of challenging, skill-based action games called Souls-like. The remake proves that the progenitor is still in fine form, with next-gen updates like 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, as well as new voice-acting and motion-capture animations, creating the first must-have PlayStation 5 game.

Also available on: N/A

Ghost of Tsushima

For fans of: Medieval Japan, Open World Action Games

From the makers of the Infamous series comes an action-adventure set in a time period rich with video game potential: 13th century Japan. You may be a samurai warrior, but stealth is just as important as you explore the land, gather allies, and defend your home from the invading Mongols.

Also available on: N/A

Persona 5 Royal

For fans of: Anime, Huge JRPGs, Urban Fantasy

If you missed Persona 5’s release back in 2016, or are looking for an excuse to dive back into this phenomenal 100 hour RPG, Atlus released an expanded version in 2020 called Persona 5 Royal. Royal adds an entirely new playable character to the Phantom Thieves, along with another palace dungeon, and a third semester so you can continue changing hearts and minds using the power of friendship… and demons.

Also available on: N/A

Watch Dogs: Legion

For fans of: Urban adventure, Hacking, Human resources

The third game in the near future hacker series Watch Dogs eliminates any pretense of a central protagonist. Instead, players can recruit from a roster that includes literally anyone they meet in London, from tech-savvy drone experts to sneaky grandmas. You’ll need a wide variety of skill sets to help DedSec fight criminals, oppressive government forces, and a rival hacker group.

Also available on: PC, Stadia, Xbox

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.