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The Hardest Games on PS5

Like a challenge? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be here in search of the hardest games on PS5.

In the two years since the PS5 launched, many games have been released that are as hard as nails for the average gamer. Some players revel in the challenge provided by such games, however, and don’t mind dying, or failing, time and time again until they’re skilled enough to succeed. We have to admit, it is pretty rewarding.

If you are indeed after the hardest games on PS5, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of the hardest (and best) games available on the platform, that will test the skills of even most ardent of gamers. And remember, the PS5 is also backwards compatible, so once you’ve done with these you could give some of the hardest games on PS4 a try, too. Just promise us you won’t throw your DualSense controller across the room in a fit of rage, okay?

Want to support GameSpew? If you decide to buy any of the games on this list, please consider doing so via our affiliate links, included below each entry. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll get a small slice of the purchase.
This list was first published in February 2022 and has since been updated with new games.

1. Elden Ring

Elden Ring Review 2

Combining the brutal action FromSoftware has become known for with a vast open world ripe for exploration, Elden Ring will challenge you immensely, but always offer a way to level the playing field.

After choosing your starting class, which determines your base stats and starting equipment, you’re free to develop your character in any way you see fit in Elden Ring. You might decide to be a spellcaster, for example, keeping a distance from your enemies while casting powerful sorceries or incantations. Or you might decide to go toe-to-toe with your enemies, wielding a gigantic Greatsword. You’ll need to commit and carefully spend the additional stat points you gain by levelling up if you want to make your build as effective as possible, however.

Still, with the option to respec your character, and a world full of opportunities to increase their power, Elden Ring is perhaps the easiest of FromSoftware’s releases. You can even summon other online players to help you if you truly get stuck, and when playing alone you can call upon Spirits to assist you in battle. So, while Elden Ring is one of the hardest games on PS5, it’s not the hardest. But it is undoubtedly the best.

Read our review of Elden Ring

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2. Sifu

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A kung-fu-focused roguelike with a story centred around revenge, Sifu is certainly no walk in the park.

You have five targets to take down in Sifu, but to get to each of them you’re going to have to make your way past their cronies first. That means battling your way through a variety of environments, often taking on multiple adversaries at once. Needless to say you’ve got your work cut out for you. But a mysterious talisman gives you the upper hand.

Thanks to the talisman, every time you die in Sifu, you can get back up. But there’s a catch; every time you do so you age. Get too old and your journey is over. The trick is then, to improve your abilities so that you can reach each area at a younger age, giving you an improved chance of success. Undoubtedly one of the hardest games on PS5, some might find Sifu too challenging. But those who persist with it will find an action game that’s utterly rewarding.

Read our review of Sifu

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3. Returnal

Returnal 1 (1)

If you’re familiar with Housemarque, you’ll know that its games have never been easy. Returnal is its biggest and most challenging game yet, however.

Part roguelike, part third-person arcade shooter and part horror game, you’ve never played anything quite like Returnal before. As Selene, an astronaut who has crash-landed on an alien planet, it’s up to you to break a vicious cycle that sees you returned to the crash site whenever you die. And it happens often, thanks to the many hostile creatures that you encounter on your journey.

You need to think, move and shoot fast while playing Returnal. Making your way through numerous biomes, you’ll encounter a wide variety of enemies, each with their own devious attacks. Some will bombard you with projectiles, others strike at you with melee weapons. If you don’t keep your wits about you, you can die in what seems like an instant, especially when facing off against an epic boss. But that’s the kind of challenge you’re here for, aren’t you?

Read our review of Returnal

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4. WRC 10

WRC 10 1

Most racing games like to cater for players of all skill levels. WRC 10 attempts to, but still ends up only really being for the hardcore.

Let’s face it, rally driving is perhaps the most challenging of all motorsports. It’s easy memorising the corners of a traditional racing track, but a rally stage? Much less so. Granted, you do have a co-driver reading out what’s ahead of you to help, but make just one mistake, and your efforts will have all been in vain.

As racing games go, WRC 10 is easily the hardest of them all on PS5. Whether you’re taking on its career mode or playing online, you’ll need to be at the top of your game or you’ll simply crash and fail. It stands to reason, then, that if you’re after the hardest games on PS5 and have a need for speed, you should check it out. As long as you have the patience for it, that is.

Read our review of WRC 10

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5. Ghostrunner

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Love the idea of becoming a ninja, speeding around environments with your parkour skills and slicing up your adversaries? You need to play Ghostrunner.

Challenging you with working your way up a tower to deal with a troublesome Keymaster who rules with an iron fist, chances are you’ll die time and time again while playing Ghostrunner. It’s partly because the nature of the environment means you need to precisely employ your acrobatic skills without fail. And also because all it takes is just one hit from an enemy projectile or melee attack to kill you.

Or at least it used to. Updated since launch, there are now options available that make Ghostrunner a bit more lenient. It’s still still tough even if you do accept the help that’s offered to you though. And the action is so electrifying that you won’t mind so much. So, if you want to take on one of the hardest games PS5 has to offer, and get your adrenaline pumping, Ghostrunner is a must-play.

Read our review of Ghostrunner

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6. Nioh 2

Nioh 2 The Complete Edition 2

Originally released on PS4, Nioh and its sequel Nioh 2 are both games that will make you shout and swear at the screen. Both have been enhanced for PS5, and while Nioh is good, its successor is better in nearly every way.

Developed by Team Ninja, Nioh 2 takes the brutal template laid out by FromSoftware in titles such as Demon’s Souls, and fuses it with the fast-paced action of the likes of Ninja Gaiden. Needless to say, the results are spectacular. As you make your way across multiple maps, taking on a substantial number of missions, you’ll develop your character, choosing what weapons they use and the armour they wear. Each item has a variety of stats and perks to consider, and so finding the best can become somewhat of an obsession.

Nioh 2 can be made a little easier by playing in online co-op, but even then it’s still a tough cookie. It’s the bosses that will give you the most trouble – each and every one of them is a powerful foe with truly punishing attacks. Luckily for you you have some demonic powers of your own. But even then, this is still one of the hardest games on PS5.

Read our review of Nioh 2

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7. Demon’s Souls

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Challenging games set in dark fantasy worlds existed before FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls, but few have had as much impact. That’s perhaps why it’s been remade for PS5.

Since the release of Demon’s Souls, there’s been a steady stream of Souls-likes, all trying to ape its tough but phenomenally engrossing gameplay. Few have come anywhere near matching FromSoftware’s own efforts, however, meaning that even with the PS5 version of Demon’s Souls being exactly the same game with a fresh lick of paint, it still impresses.

Mysterious and obtuse, delve into Demon’s Souls and there will be many things you don’t understand. Add in numerous areas to explore, each filled with their own assortment of enemies that can cut your life short in a matter of seconds if you don’t keep your wits about you, and you have a game that can seem maliciously uncompromising. Put in the effort though, and you’ll find that as well as being one of the hardest games on PS5, Demon’s Souls is also one the most rewarding. Did we mention that it looks ridiculously good, too? And that it has brilliant DualSense support? Basically, if you own a PS5, you at least need to give this a try.

Check latest prices of Demon’s Souls

8. Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise PS5 1

The Monster Hunter series has always been viewed as being rather challenging, and with the latest iteration – Monster Hunter Rise – now available on PS5, it has earned itself a place on our list of hardest games on PS5.

Now, it’s probably not the hardest Monster Hunter game out there. Thanks to a wealth of improvements over Monster Hunter World, it’s easier than ever to get into the groove of hunting down great beasts like the Rathalos and Anjanath. But Monster Hunter Rise still isn’t a walk in the park, thanks to a steep learning curve and in-depth mechanics that take some learning. Basically, if you want to get good at hunting down beasts, you’re going to have to put in the time.

But when you do, Monster Hunter Rise is one of the best in the series, and its progression is endlessly rewarding. With plenty of gear to craft to improve your character, you’re going to want to keep going out on the hunt. Oh, and you can have a palico and palamute – a cat and dog, respectively – accompany you on your missions. What more could you want?

Read our review of Monster Hunter Rise

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