Couldn't pre-order a PS5? That's okay, 2021 is when the console will really start delivering

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Were you able to secure a PS5 pre-order before stores seemingly blew through their stock allocations in seconds? A cursory glance at social media sites would indicate that the entire process has been something of a colossal shitshow. With that in mind, I'm going to assume that you are one of the thousands of prospective players out there burning sage – consulting directly with the next generation oracles – to discern whether Sony will make any more PS5 units available ahead of the November 12 (US) / November 19 (UK) launch, or whether you're going to be stuck with the hyper-sonic sounds of your PS4 long into the new year. 

It doesn't need to be all Sad Times at Sony High though, because the truth is the PS5 isn't going to truly come to life until 2021. That's when the selection of games available will transform from pretty-damn solid to pretty-god-damned ridiculous, in what will surely be remembered as one of the strongest year one lineups any new console has enjoyed in recent history. Rather than wasting time working out if you can amass the cash to pick up a PS5 from an eBay scalper (don't), let's instead take a little look at the upcoming PS5 games for 2021 and get giddy over the prospect of waiting beyond launch to make a purchase.

Let's get down to business

(Image credit: Sony)

I want to be clear before we get into it: if you were lucky enough to lock down a pre-order, you're definitely in for a good time. You'll be able to enjoy the Demon's Souls Remake, which looks to be a true system seller, as well as other exclusives like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Destruction All Stars, and Godfall. If that weren't enough, you'll also reap the rewards of 2020's biggest releases being enhanced to take advantage of next-gen features including faster loading and crisper resolutions. Oh, and let me know what the DualSense controller is like, I probably won't find out for myself until early next year. Now go on and get out of here, go read about all of the awesome Final Fantasy 16 gameplay details we were able to spot in the big reveal. You did it; now go enjoy yourself.

Right, are they gone? Okay, now the lucky few are out of here, their pre-order purchase vindicated, it's just you and me – those of us locked into waiting for a PS5, be it by choice or necessity. Hey, listen, there's a strong argument to be made that Spring 2021 is the perfect time to make an investment into Sony's next-gen ecosystem. Not only will stock be more readily available, but that's when the lineup will begin getting real good, real fast

You've got the true Cyberpunk PS5 upgrade coming next year, a proposition that's making me question holding off on playing the game this November entirely. You've got timed-exclusives like Deathloop arriving in the same window, the stunning new shooter from Arkane that looks utterly out of this world. And don't even get me started on Returnal, Bugsnax, GhostWire: Tokyo, Goodbye Volcano High, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits – we'll be here all bloody day. 

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)
Essential reading

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Inside Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart: Insomniac details how it is leveraging the PS5, the game's biggest new features, and the mysterious new female Lombax

And if that weren't enough, the period between the launch window, which typically concludes around March, through to the console's first anniversary is going to be host to a slew of major first-party exclusives. It's a cycle that begins with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in the spring, before moving on to Horizon Forbidden West and God of War 2, with the rumoured 2021 release of Gran Turismo 7 thrown in for good measure. 

And, yes, I know that Aloy's next adventure is also launching on PS4, but… okay, let's be real for a second. Playing Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4 this November is one thing, but if you think I'm jumping into Guerrilla's latest on old hardware you've got another thing coming. If nothing else, the release date of Horizon Forbidden West will signal the last possible day that a PS5 can be in my household, ruining what little feng shui currently exists within my living room setup.  

Take a deep breath

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

"If you missed out on a pre-order for the PS5, it needn't be the end of the world"

If you're stressing about missing out on a PS5 this year, just take a deep breath and think of how good 2021 is going to be. That's when you should target a purchase. When it comes to new console launches, being there on day one is exciting – I won't lie and tell you that it isn't. But once you factor in the somewhat fluid nature of next-generational divides these days, suddenly there's less pressure than ever to make the leap on day one. 

The biggest online multiplayer games in the world – Fortnite, GTA Online, Warzone, the list goes on – are all supporting cross-gen, so you'll still be able to play with your buddies even if they were lucky enough to upgrade this November. The vast majority of the big 2020 releases will also be available on PS4, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. And if you're super desperate to join in with the Demon's Souls conversation you could always dust off your PS3 – the remake will be there waiting for you next year all the same. 

Look, what I'm trying to say is this: if you missed out on a pre-order for the PS5, it needn't be the end of the world. Just make sure you stash the money away in a safe place and ready yourself to make a purchase by the end of Spring 2021. Because that is when the PS5 is going to get wild.  

What did you think of the PS5 launch games? We took a trip down memory lane to find out how the PS5 launch titles compare to PS4, PS3, PS2, and PlayStation

Josh West
UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.