Sony has finally launched the PS5 in many territories around the world just in time for the holidays. But the PS5 is only as good as the accessories and games around it. This PS5 holiday gift guide should help newfound PlayStation players get the best games and accessories to go with their new console.
PS5 Holiday Gift Guide | Consoles
PS5 disc-based console
This is the system itself in all of its glory. This version of the PS5 comes with a disc drive, HDMI cable, DualSense controller, and power cable. It also has a 825 GB that shakes out to around 660 GB of useable space. Even though the console is in its early days, it’s looking quite promising.
PS5 digital-only console
The digital-only PS5 has everything the other PS5, including the same amount of horsepower, has except the disc drive. Even though this PS5 can’t play discs of any kind, it is $100 cheaper, possibly making up for anyone who plans to only use digital media with the console.
PS5 Holiday Gift Guide | PS5 games
Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is one of the best launch games ever made. It takes all the right cues from 2018’s amazing Spider-Man game, boiling the game down to its essence and expanding on it when necessary. Combat is an acrobatic thrill and uses Miles’ new powers to give it that extra oomph and swinging through New York is still a joy that does not grow stale. The story also has no fat, telling its tale about Miles’ newfound powers and his place within the world. It’s a crucial chapter in Insomniac’s series and a fantastic follow-up to the 2018 game, which is beautifully remastered in the Ultimate Edition.
Miles Morales looks and runs fantastically on the PS5, but it is also tied to the previous generation of consoles, which is not something that weighs down Demon’s Souls. This PS5 exclusive is an expansive remake of the 2009 original that helped jettison From Software into the limelight. The difficult but fair swordplay will punish those who don’t pay attention, but reward those who do. Soulslikes aren’t for everyone, but this is a great chance to see how it all started or relive the early days before Bloodborne was a twinkle in Hidetaka Miyazaki’s eye.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
Mortal Kombat 11 was already one of the better fighting games to come out in the last generation and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate helps bring that greatness to the new generation. It’s got the whole suite of DLC fighters made available after the game’s initial launch — from Shang Tsung to RoboCop— but it also has three new fighters: Mileena, Rain, and Rambo. The expanded cast gives more ways to play through the game’s many online and local modes, showing that this package has both quantity and quality. Mortal Kombat 11‘s enhanced visuals on the PS5 make it an easy buy, but its nearly instant load times are a game changer and show bright future for the genre as a whole.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Call of Duty is usually a dependable series and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War upholds that tradition. Black Ops Cold War has the trademark multiplayer that has made the shooter such a juggernaut in the online space, but doesn’t slouch on the other modes, either. The campaign is a spy thriller that may not reach the heights of the other installments, but is a good adventure that holds a surprising amount of variety. Zombies is, of course, a cooperative joy, making this quite the well-rounded package.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Astro’s Playroom is a surprisingly good platformer that’s packed in with system and Sackboy: A Big Adventure is another surprisingly good platformer that’s not packed in with the system. This LittleBigPlanet spin-off takes a bit from the 3D Super Mario titles as well as Rayman Legends and results in a joyous combination that’s good for a variety of different players. It’s got tight jumping and some clever levels, too, and makes a for a perfect palette cleanser after being impaled multiple times in Demon’s Souls.
PS5 Holiday Gift Guide | PS4 backwards compatible games
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
While quite a peculiar title, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is an excellent and faithful remaster of the first two installments in the series. This well-made skater excels because of its replayable, combo-driven gameplay that has something for both hardcore fans and newcomers alike. Even though this is a PS4 remaster of a PS1 game, the game looks and runs well on the PS5, making it a great title regardless of its native platform.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 might have been a faithful remaster of an old game, but Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a faithful sequel of an old series. Crash 4 takes all the right lessons from Naughty Dog’s original trilogy and wonderfully applies them to a modern platformer. It’s the most expansive game in the series and also the best, thanks to its vibrant visual style, fantastic controls, and varied platforming levels.
The Last of Us 2
A deeply divisive title, The Last of Us 2 is an experience everything PS5 owner should go through. It’s grueling and hard to stomach at times, but it’s an incisive look at humanity that, much like the first game, goes beyond the typical surface-level examinations found in other zombie or zombie-adjacent fiction. The stealth gameplay and shooting have also been considerably improved and make it quite a tense, thrilling experience on the pad, as well. And even though its a PS4 game, it can even act as a showpiece for the PS5, given how advanced Naughty Dog’s technology is.
Ghost of Tsushima
People have been waiting for Assassin’s Creed to venture to Feudal Japan, but Sucker Punch beat Ubisoft to the punch with Ghost of Tsushima. This open-world action game doesn’t completely reinvent any one aspect of the open-world genre, but it does everything with competence and with a stunning amount of color and life. Subtle cues guide the player to objectives instead of blatant waypoints so it is more immersive to wander around, collect various items, and kill an assortment of invaders with the game’s brutal and sharp melee combat. And not only does it look remarkably better on PS5, it also runs at a much higher frame rate.
PS5 Holiday Gift Guide | Peripherals
The DualSense is the default controller for the PS5 and the only one currently out for the system. However, it’s still rather excellent and is necessary for games like Overcooked! All You Can Eat and the local multiplayer modes in PS5 games like Mortal Kombat 11.
PS5 Media Remote
The PS5 is quite a media machine, thanks to its many different and the PS5 Media Remote helps it better realize its potential. It’s sleek and white, which matches well with the console and DualSense. Some buttons even shortcut to popular streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube and work with the built-in fast forward, play, and rewind buttons. It can even move through the base PS5 menu.
PS5 HD Camera
The PS5 HD Camera is for those who want to stream with their system. It can shoot in 1080p and has a built-in stand and the ability to separate the user from their background; a feature that’s built into the system. This is a big step beyond the PS4’s camera..
KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks
The DualSense is a great controller but some are going to want an edge, which is where the KontrolFreek Performance Thumbsticks come in. These nubs give players more room to move their thumbs for added precision. They even work on the PS4 and come in a variety of different types.
Stealth 600 Gen 2
The PS5 works with many headsets but the Stealth 600 Gen 2 wireless headset is a good one to start out with. It’s got a flip mic that folds right into the headset when it isn’t being used, soft ear cushions, and easily accessible buttons to ensure that players always always quickly able to change their settings. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 also has great sound and even has slots for those who wear glasses, showing that it has everything down from the big selling points to the smaller features.
The Astro A20s are also another great PS5 headset, but this one thrives on versatility. Not only does it have the signature Astro quality sound and feel, but it can also easily work with the Xbox consoles. Players only have to buy a small $20 Xbox dongle to make it work on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S (both dongles work on the PC). Switching between console families may be a tad fiddly at first, but it makes up for it in functionality.
SteelSeries Arctis 7P
The SteelSeries Arctis 7P is for those who want a little more of a premium headset for their PS5. This excellent headset is comfy, has “consistently satisfying and accurate audio,” and has a solid build quality. It’s even got USB-C for charging and a 3.5 mm port.
PS5 Holiday Gift Guide | Online gift cards and memberships
PlayStation Plus membership
PlayStation Plus was a good value during the PS4 generation and it looks like Sony is continuing that trend with the PS5 with the first PS5 game on the service, Bugsnax, as well as the PlayStation Plus Collection. This new collection has 20 well-received PS4 games, making it perfect for those who missed the last generation or just bits and pieces of it. PlayStation Plus is also needed to play online multiplayer, upload cloud saves, use the new in-system tips menu, and use Share Play, meaning that this subscription can mean different things for different people.
PlayStation Store vouchers
Sony regularly holds big sales on the PlayStation Store and that means that PlayStation Store vouchers are a must for just about everyone looking for a hot deal. This come in a few denominations and are great for those who want to instantly add money to their cart without grabbing their credit card.