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The best free PS5 games in 2022

Best free PS5 games: Spider-Man and other characters fly over a colourful landscape
(Image credit: Epic Games)

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.

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.

The best free PS5 games available now

Famous comic characters pose in Fortnite, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Epic Games)

01. Fortnite

The best free PS5 game for battle royale fans

Specifications

Publisher: Epic Games
Genre: Battle royale, third person shooter
Players: 1-99
Game file size: 42.66 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Lots to do outside of picking off the competition
+
Frequent events, updates, and even concerts

Reasons to avoid

-
There is no escape

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.

Anime style characters stand in line in Final Fantasy XIV, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Square Enix)

02. Final Fantasy XIV Online

The best free PS5 game for fans of role-players

Specifications

Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Massively multiplayer online RPG
Players: Online multiplayer
Game file size: 56.31 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Sprawling mainline Final Fantasy story
+
Helpful community
+
PS5 has the fastest load times

Reasons to avoid

-
Login queues are famously long after an update

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.

A soldier poses in Call of Duty: Warzone, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Activision)

03. Call of Duty: Warzone

The best free PS5 game for fans of shooters

Specifications

Publisher: Activision
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 150 (sometimes up to 200)
Game file size: 9.38 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Bigger, better battle royale
+
Regular crossover events

Reasons to avoid

-
Won’t change your mind if you don’t like the series

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.

A monster roars at adventurers in Genshin Impact, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: miHoYo)

04. Genshin Impact

The best free PS5 game for anime fans

Specifications

Publisher: miHoYo
Genre: Open world, action-RPG
Players: 1-4
Game file size: 29.34GB

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant art direction brings a massive open world to life
+
A huge cast of well-designed characters
+
Masses of content with frequent free updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Co-op gameplay can be awkward

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.

Two sci-fi ninjas pose in a screen from Warframe, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Digital Extremes)

05. Warframe

The best free PS5 game for sci-fi fans

Specifications

Publisher: Digital Extremes
Genre: Massively multiplayer online RPG
Players: 1-4
Game file size: 26.54 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Features extremely varied content
+
A constantly evolving universe
+
It has been remade for PS5

Reasons to avoid

-
You often need to grind for stats

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.

A character in armour points a gun in Destiny 2, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Bungie Inc)

06. Destiny 2 - The Witch Queen

Fans of sci-fi shooter will love this free PS5 games

Specifications

Publisher: Bungie Inc
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 1-6
Game file size: 101.1 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly satisfying gunplay
+
Extremely cool science fantasy story and setting

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunks of story content no longer playable

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.

Characters fight in a scene from Apex Legends, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

07. Apex Legends

This great team shooter is one of the best free PS5 games

Specifications

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Battle royale, hero shooter, third-person shooter
Players: 1-60
Game file size: 23.09 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Strong team play mechanics
+
Diverse cast of characters
+
Satisfying gunplay

Reasons to avoid

-
No native PS5 version… yet

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.

A car nudges a ball in Rocket League, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Psyonix)

08. Rocket League

A free PS5 game that mixes car racing and football

Specifications

Publisher: Psyonix
Genre: Vehicular sports
Players: 1-8
Game file size: 1.46 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Cross-platform play between all versions
+
Easy to pick-up and play

Reasons to avoid

-
No native PS5 version

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. 

A portal opens for a character to run through in SpiltGate, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: 1047 Games)

09. Splitgate

The best free PS5 game for fans of Portal

Specifications

Publisher: 1047 Games
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 1-10
Game file size: 13.82 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Gameplay gimmick adds a lot
+
New season just started

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs more players

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.

Astro the robot swims in the sea in a scene from Asto's Playroom, one of the best free PS5 games

(Image credit: Sony)

10. Astro's Playroom

The best free PS5 game for console newcomers

Specifications

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre: 3D platformer
Players: 1
Game file size: 10.99 GB

Reasons to buy

+
PS5 owners already have it
+
A solid platformer in its own right

Reasons to avoid

-
DualSense haptic feedback is relentless

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.

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Jess Kinghorn
Jess Kinghorn

Jess is PLAY Magazine’s games editor, and is known for championing the weird, the wonderful, and the downright janky. A fan of cult classic JRPGs and horror, her rants about Koudelka and Shadow Hearts have held many a captive audience. Outside of writing about all things PlayStation, she’s also a lifelong fan of Nintendo’s handheld consoles. Having whiled away most of her college years playing The World Ends With You on the original Nintendo DS, she’s looking forward to uncovering all of NEO’s secrets too. Beginning her career as Official PlayStation Magazine’s staff writer in 2017, she’s since written for PC Gamer, SFX, Games Master, and Games TM.

With contributions from