Sci-fi, operas, adventures, shooters, action RPGs, and strategy could be part of the best space games for PS4/PS5.
The space category is massive, and it includes some of the best PlayStation experiences. And after trying one, you may be looking for something else, perhaps in another genre.
The reason for its success is the creativity it awards to the devs. A space set opens up endless possibilities for gameplay mechanics, lore, music, characters, locations, and aesthetics.
Selecting Space Games For PS4/PS5
Space is a broad category, but we’re not looking blindly into its alternatives. Instead, we’re detailing what it means to find the best games available.
- Genre: Space games for the console can be part of various genres. The idea for the list is to answer a simple question: is this game on space?
- Common genre: The best examples are action RPGs, action-adventure, survival, platformers, or platformer puzzles.
- Story: These are sci-fi games, and because they are futuristic, they have lore to explain. It means the story is often a great focus.
- Sci-fi: Sci-fi is unique, as it can add its own rules on how the story’s science, politics, conflicts, and systems work. We’re looking for this unique element.
- Setting: By space games, we mean there’re alien planets, space stations, and spaceships.
- Visuals: Even older games in space can look good, as the setting can easily catch our imagination. Still, we’re looking for exotic, top-tier, or creative graphics.
- Art: With the space as the backdrop, developers can create works of art to captivate your attention. That includes visuals, music, sound effects, special effects, and animation.
- Space mechanics: Commonly, you’d be able to drive your ship or use your ship as a hub to reach other planets.
- Ship mechanics: Modern space-ship driving, in games, is in 3D, either in first-person or third-person.
- Alien planet mechanics: We’re also looking at games featuring creative alien designs and mechanics such as zero gravity.
- Immersive element: Not all space games are immersive; it’s not very common. However, some titles use their systems effectively to convey the setting without “gamified” mechanics.
- Simulation elements: It’s also not common to play a space sim. But those that exist imitate real-life mechanics, like physics and light, to make it realistic.
- Enemies: These games either include hostile aliens, hostile ships, or environmental / puzzle challenges. In any case, the threats seem distant and unfamiliar.
The best space games for PS4/PS5 should use the setting to deliver unique mechanics, characters, and stories. They should also be able to capture our imaginations and leave us wanting for more.
Best Space Games for PS4/PS5
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
- Developer: BioWare
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: May 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
The Mass Effect Legendary Edition repacks one of the best action RPG franchises you can play. The entire adventure is available with remastered graphics, UI improvements, and other quality of life upgrades.
You play as Commander Shepard, a customizable avatar. You begin by customizing gender, aesthetics, background, and initial skills. Then, you begin an interstellar journey to stop the Reapers, an ancient AI threat from outside the Milky Way Galaxy.
Each game is different and improves gameplay upon the prior installment. Most fans would say Mass Effect 2 is the best part, though, as it’s a great blend between action, character customization, choices, and consequences.
The trilogy follows a formula, though. You have a ship, which you use to travel to the missions, and you can choose various times. These missions are linear, but you make game-altering decisions that carry on towards Mass Effect 3.
Then, you play in the third person with a mix of sci-fi weapons and powers. You have two companions on your squad, and bonding with the team is also a highlight of the title. Mass Effect is a sci-fi action RPG and space-opera adventure with unique systems, lore, and technologies.
- Developer: Mobius Digital
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Release Date: May 2019
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4
Outer Wilds is an indie action-adventure puzzle game. You play as a space explorer to solve a massive puzzle: a time loop. You do it in the first person with a mix of adventure, platforming, puzzles, and physics-based challenges.
The setting is a solar system. You can explore on your ship or on the ground. On the ground, you can use mech suits or vehicles. Your exploration has a time limit; after 22-minutes, the game resets to its initial state.
The only thing you gather in each loop is information, and there’re multiple ways to solve the puzzle. Additionally, there’re various mysteries to uncover and understand, most of which are connected to the greater mystery.
Also, there’re multiple tools and vehicles you can unlock on each loop, or forever, depending on the item. For example, you can unlock items that require a code or knowledge to use forever.
The idea is to learn the cause of the time loop, a phenomenon that makes the Sun go supernova. The journey is gorgeous, relaxing, but challenging: there’re no markers, no indicators, or enemies.
- Developer: Arkane Studios
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Release Date: May 2017
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
Prey is a first-person survival horror shooter with character progression and simulation elements. It’s also an immersive title due to the lack of in-game interfaces and surrounding music and sound effects.
You play as Morgan Yu, a space engineer in Talos I. The space station is orbiting around the Moon, and the team aboard was conducting mysterious research. The investigation stopped when a hostile alien force invaded the area.
You discover you can learn the powers from the aliens, craft most tools you see and use an arsenal of sci-fi weapons. The game encourages combining these mechanics to explore, combat, and complete the story. The goal is to escape the station and help your fellow survivors.
The map is open-world and features a Metroidvania design. Finding items or learning skills can unlock areas you couldn’t access before. That said, the game grants freedom to develop your character in many ways.
Lastly, the game puts a great emphasis on stealth. Abilities like “Mimic” allow you to take the form of anything you see, even a cup, to sneak by any position. It’s a necessary skill, as the map will surprise you with dangerous boss aliens, and resources are scarce and hard to find.
Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition
- Developer: Squad
- Publisher: Private Division
- Release Date: April 2015
- Platform: Windows, Linux, macOS, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series
Kerbal Space Program is a space flight simulation and management game. In particular, the game has a realistic physics environment, which grants real-life orbital movement. Also, the ultimate goals depend on the game mode, as there’s a free-form sandbox and a campaign.
You manage a space program, including the staff, building, and resources. Gameplay is about managing these systems as you complete scientific research while orbiting or traveling in space. Completing these missions requires a successful and effective crew and spacecraft.
Your crew, a species of green humanoids, create a spaceship and launch into orbit. But from the space center, you can create other vehicles like rovers, spaceplanes, aircraft, and more. Each construction requires resources, which you get on space explorations and missions.
For example, you can use your ships to travel to other celestial bodies. Space traveling includes a series of calculations, though, like relative velocity, target direction, gravity, and more. Then, missions involve challenges, like reaching certain altitudes, achieving a stable orbit, or landing on a planet.
Lastly, you control the space astronauts, Kerbals, on extravehicular activities (EVA). EVA tasks allow you to maneuver in space, or on planets, with a suit. You’d need it for repairs, deploys, exploration, data collection, and other assignments.
No Man’s Sky
- Developer: Hello Game
- Publisher: Hello Game
- Release Date: August 2016
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5
No Man’s Sky is an open-world sci-fi sandbox with crafting elements. The game delivers a procedurally generated galaxy, and you’re free to explore any of the millions of planets you find. Also, it’s an “MMO,” as thousands of players share an online and persistent world simultaneously.
The gameplay revolves around driving your ship around space, finding a planet, and landing on it. There’re no loading screens in-between, so the exploration is seamless and endless. During some of your travels, though, you may find space pirates who force you to combat on your ship.
Then, each planet has its ecosystem, flora, fauna, secrets, sights, and alien species. Some aliens are hostile, but combat is scarce in the game. Other aliens are trades, and they can sell or assign tasks to you.
Also, you can explore each planet to gather resources and have fun. You can then trade or upgrade your ship and suit using these resources. You can also get help and craft parts and weapons by trading.
The game is open-ended, but an overarching plot revolves around a mysterious entity. You can seek it and follow a series of quests or engage the content in any way you like. Moreover, developers constantly release content to deliver new mechanics, locations, and possibilities.
The Outer Worlds
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Private Division
- Release Date: October 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The Outer Worlds is an action RPG with a first-person perspective. It’s also an open-world title with a blend of exploration, dialogue choices, and a companion system.
The setting is dystopian, and megacorporations rule humanity. Human colonies terraformed alien planets to take shelter away from Earth. In the year 2285, you take a primary role in colonizing Halcyon, a solar system with six planets.
The story allows you to choose either in favor of the colonies or the corporations. Then, gameplay revolves around exploring planets on foot and fighting with a mix of sci-fi weapons and powers.
You create your character and customize it as you level up and choose your paths. You also unlock a ship, which is your central hub in space. You also require and bond with NPCs, each featuring special attacks and specializations.
Lastly, the game includes a “Flaws” system, a permanent negative effect that comes with perks. You gain a flaw by doing certain activities repeatedly, like taking drugs that enhance combat capacities too often.
- Developer: Innersloth
- Publisher: Innersloth
- Release Date: June 2018
- Platform: Windows, Android, iOS, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Among Us is an online social deduction game in space. It became a massive hit around 2020, and while it’s not as big as before, it still has a large player base. It’s also quite fun to play with friends.
You play as a colorful, cartoon and armless astronaut. You’re part of a crew about to take off. Among the crew, though, there could be one or two enemies, the Impostors.
The crew must complete tasks across the ship to take off. Meanwhile, the Impostors must sabotage the vessel and murder the others to prevent the ship from taking off.
The setting grants simple gameplay: the crew must discover the Impostors, and the Impostors must mingle with the rest. It becomes a web of lies, manipulation, mimicking, and scheming.
Lastly, the game has four maps, which slightly alter the rules and tasks. Also, each map supports a minimum of four players and a maximum of 10.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
- Developer: 2K Australia, Gearbox Software
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Release Date: October 2014
- Platform: Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
People don’t often recommend The Pre-Sequel, as it’s instead of the least popular Borderlands game. However, we included the FPS because of its unique space mechanics.
Most of the story happens on a satellite, meaning you play with low gravity. It allows you to jump further, use jumping pads, do ground slams, and other fun mechanics to spice up the formula.
If you’re familiar, the story happens between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 1. It follows a group of mercenaries completing an important task for Handsome Jack, the leader of the interstellar company Hyperion.
You start the game by selecting one of the available mercenaries, which are your classes. Each has an active power and three skill tres. The trees can further modify your power and grant different passive buffs and modifiers.
Lastly, the world is linear. You complete main and side quests on maps and advance through the worlds by defeating enemies and bosses. That said, combat is fast and frantic, and the story and the characters are hilarious and over-the-top.
Journey to the Savage Planet
- Developer: Typhoon Studios
- Publisher: 505 Games, Stadia Games and Entertainment
- Release Date: January 2020
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Journey to the Savage Planet is an adventure sci-fi game with an alien planet setting. You play with a first-person perspective, and the task is exploring ARY-26.
ARY-26 is a colorful alien planet that conveys wonder. Discovering the alien mystery is the best part of the experience. And as you travel, you’ll uncover hostile and friendly flora and fauna.
You can also collect resources to craft items and weapon upgrades. You can also create jetpacks and grappling hooks to reach previously inaccessible areas in the open world.
Then, you can defeat enemy creatures with simple sci-fi weapons like laser guns, acid grenades, etc. Also, you can do it alone or co-op with another player online.
Lastly, you play as an explorer for Kindred Aerospace, the “4th Best Interstellar Exploration Company.” Your job is to see if the planet is suitable for human colonization.
Star Wars: Squadrons
- Developer: Motive Studios
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: October 2020
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PSVR, PC VR
Squadrons allow you to fly a Starfighter ship and join a furious space battle from a first-person perspective. You can join multiplayer battles or play the single-player campaign.
The combat system is class-based and faction-based. You’re either part of The Galatic Empire or The New Republic. Each faction has its own ships, the classes, like TIE fighters or X-wings, and these ships have their skills and mechanics.
After you pick the ship, you can further customize the cosmetics, loud outs, weapons, shields, endings, and more. In particular, you are the pilot in the cockpit.
The gameplay is about managing the ship’s systems (shields, weapons, boosters, etc.) while maneuvering in a 3D space. You fight on planets or outer space, and some of the scenarios mimic locations from the Star Wars movies.
As form multiplayer, there’re two game modes, either co-op or team-based PvP, with up to 5-players per match. Then, the single-player campaign revolves around the Battle of Endor and the fall of the second Death Star.
- Developer: System Era Softworks
- Publisher: System Era Softworks
- Release Date: February 2019
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game with a nice and easy crafting system. It’s also a no-pressure game, as there’re no enemies and no PvP. There’re only environmental challenges, puzzles, and procedurally generated worlds.
You play as the Astroneer from a third-person perspective. You can travel to various planets in a solar system to complete the game. Alternatively, you can have a free-form adventure and enjoy the crafting and terraforming mechanics.
The campaign is about activating cores on the planets. Each time you activate one, you get a reward, like a new suit or a new visor. These are optional tasks, though, as the game doesn’t have a storyline.
Instead, you begin on a mysterious planet, Sylva. Your first steps are about finding an alien Gateway Chamber deep within the planet. As you dig and explore, you’ll find different hazards.
Lastly, you can craft vehicles, tools, storage, and various buildings. Buildings and tools allow you to refine and gather the different resources you need, like fuel and oxygen. Also, you have a Terrain Tool to reshape the landscape so that you can build anywhere, at any time.
- Developer: No Code
- Publisher: Developer Digital
- Release Date: May 2019
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
We’re ending the list with the most special game on the list. Observation is a sci-fi thriller, a puzzle adventure around a derelict space station orbiting in space in silence.
Your job is to determine what happened to Dr. Emma Fisher and her crew. You play as S.A.M, the station’s artificial intelligence, which allows you to control cameras, tools, and other systems within the station.
SAM (Systems Administration & Maintenance) is aboard a multi-national space station. At first, your movement and view are limited due to your core’s location. As the story moves along, you’ll be able to reallocate your core, use other station systems, and move freely through the station.
For instance, you can operate hatches, safety, and other electrical systems. You can also use station modules, check data, and survey outside the station for extra information.
Lastly, the game uses photo-realistic graphics, an eerie soundtrack, and fully-fledged surround audio. The result is a haunting and unsettling experience with horror elements.