The best free PS5 games don't simply offer no-cost gaming but are designed in unique ways to promote communities and multiplayer gaming. In this list we look at a selection of games you can download and enjoy on your PS5 right now, without ever needing to spend a penny on them. The majority of our picks are online, live service games, meaning they are titles that change over time and evolve alongside a growing community.
A number of these free games are available on PS4 too or don’t yet have a native PS5 version. Last generation titles obviously don’t have current-gen’s bells and whistles so we'd suggest you take a look at our best PS5 deals tracker to get hold of a console. If you do have some cash to splash and are looking for a new title, take a look at our best PS5 games guide and our list of the best upcoming PS5 games.
But if you are on the lookout for a free game to download and play right now we have the best ones below. Some of these have optional paid add-ons – from fancy skins to massive content expansions – but all of the games on this list offer months of free-to-play fun.
If you're still unsure if a PlayStation 5 is worth it, read our detailed PS5 review that explains the console and how Sony has updated and refreshed its games machine over the last two years since launch. And take a look at my feature 'PSVR 2: everything you need to know' for what's to come in 2023.
The best free PS5 games available now
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Fortnite is a phenomenon, so if you’ve not already had an earful about this gaming juggernaut, that’s truly an impressive feat. A synthesis of tower defence and battle royale shooter has spawned something that still shows no signs of slowing down in its quest for total world domination.
With massive free battle passes, and a ton of optional objectives to fulfil, you don’t even need to be that into shooters to get something out of this online game. Even better, you don’t need PlayStation Plus (Sony's online subscription service) to join in on the action.
There’s an in-game cash shop with skins and more but none of these offer gameplay advantages. The only downside is that, if you’re purposefully avoiding playing Fortnite, your days are seemingly numbered.
Final Fantasy XIV Online was so popular after it’s most recent Endwalker expansion that digital sales and free trial sign-ups were temporarily suspended. They’re both back now, and the free trial is so generous, it’s become a meme among its loyal player-base.
Offering both the base game, A Realm Reborn, and the very first expansion, Heavensward, for free, this trial version offers more than enough opportunity to see whether the long-running MMORPG is for you. There’s plenty to do solo and the community is known for its friendliness towards new adventurers, making it one of the best online games to dive headfirst into.
The free trial will allow you to play for months before you see all of the content and max out your level stats, then you'll need to buy the recent expansions to continue the adventure.
If you love battle royales, you’re going to love Call of Duty: Warzone. This 150-player shooter (and up to 200 during some seasonal events) is far from Warzone’s only bright idea. Alongside a variety of game modes and expansive maps to mess around in, what made us set our sights on this free-to-play shooter was its approach to death mechanics.
When shot down, and unlike in other battle royales, you’re not immediately out as your bid for survival is only just beginning. In a fraught 1-v-1 with another downed player, you can fight for the respawn – and your dead teammates can even throw rocks from the cheap seats.
Call of Duty: Warzone looks set to only get better thanks to regular crossover events with each new series instalment of the main Call of Duty, and special events are planned for 2022 to celebrate the shooter franchise.
Genshin Impact has been compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and this is not misplaced, particularly when it comes to this game’s expansive open world. From environmental puzzles tucked away in every corner to how vertical exploration can become, and then the appealing art direction throughout, this is a well-designed RPG.
Telling its own story about world-hopping siblings separated by a vengeful god, Genshin Impact boasts a sprawling playable cast. Many of them are unlockable through playing the story but most are rewarded through Gacha mechanics. You can spend real-world money to get another spin of the wheel but exploring the world doles out free pulls at regular intervals too.
Everybody loves ninjas, and Warframe features its own unique sci-fi take on these martial arts warriors. You fight as the titular, hyper-advanced combat unit and the game tries its absolute hardest to make you feel anywhere near as cool as that initial elevator pitch.
Melding a space-opera story with slick action combat and smooth movement, Warframe boasts a ton of style. It also features a variety of content, from run-and-gun dungeons to open-world exploration in later expansions and, at one point, even a musical number.
Warframe is a free-to-play title that resists simple definition, giving you all the more reason to investigate for yourself. The world constantly evolves with each update and developer Digital Extremes is constantly thinking up new ways to twist its universe in unusual directions.
Destiny 2 is the shooter from the original creator of Halo. With a new expansion – The Witch Queen – this shooter is back in everyone's radar. However, if you’re completely new to all things Destiny, now is definitely a weird time to start – and we’re not just talking about Bungie being acquired by Sony. Destiny 2 is a space-shooter with rich lore worth delving into, but it's incredibly dense.
This complexity is made a little awkward as since Destiny 2 went free-to-play some early story content has been locked in the 'vault' due to improvements introduced by later in paid expansions, and this may make it tricky for new players to pick up the thread of the science-fantasy story.
That said, satisfying gunplay and free-to-play dungeons make it well worth checking out before you go all in on picking up one of the paid expansions. The Witch Queen is the newest, and if you're simply after shooting through vibrant alien worlds with friends and can leave lore to one side, there's no better time to jump in.
In Apex Legends, 60 players drop into this sci-fi hero shooter but they won’t all make it. Thankfully, you can get a little help from your friends by either partnering-up or going in as a trio. An excellent contextual ping system makes the team play a doddle, whether you’re partnered with friends or strangers online.
Coming from the creator of Titanfall, there’s plenty more about this shooter to shout about. In that light, slick shooting and movement is to be expected but Respawn has continued to build upon that foundation with frequent events, new maps, and an ever-expanding, diverse cast of characters.
Rocket League is a vehicular sports game that is still revving its engines seven years after release. While a skilled player is a joy to watch behind the wheel, it remains an enduring favourite because of how easy it is to pick up. In basic terms Rocket League is football in sports cars, played on stunt tracks.
As you shunt the ball around the field, there’s a 'floatiness' to the physics that slows the action down just enough so you don’t get lost in the chaos, while also managing its fair share of surprises as the ball careens halfway across the pitch. This esports favourite went fully free-to-play back in 2020 and you don’t even need PlayStation Plus account to enjoy a kick about.
Splitgate is the hottest new free-to-play game. Talk about getting in on the ground floor – this arena shooter debuted on consoles last year, with its second season commencing in January. With a variety of weapons and modes to choose from, it’d be a solid online title if the story ended there. Then Splitgate throws portals into the mix.
The addition of portals, warping the otherwise simple arena spaces and introducing a whole new layer of strategy, gives Splitgate a completely new feel to other free-to-player shooters. Any player can pass through any portal but you can only see through the ones you’ve set up yourself. A leap of faith through an obscured portal could turn the tide of a match – or seal your fate.
Yes, Astro's Playroom a free pack-in but no one should be quick to count out the titular bot. Part PS5 tech demo, part tribute to all that came before, this 'demo' is also a fully-fledged 3D platformer with bags of charm in its own right.
Each level is in Astro's Playroom is themed around a chapter in PlayStation history, from the 90’s all the way up to now, and each one proves a showcase for the DualSense’s capabilities. As your first PS5 game, you can’t go far wrong – and once you’re done with it, you can free up some much needed space on your SSD.