If you’ve just bought a brand new headset for your PS5, the first thing you’ll almost certainly want to do is play your favorite games with it.
That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to get started with, as the best PS5 headsets you can buy will often excel at getting the most out of a familiar game’s music, sound design and spoken dialogue.
However, some games are designed with the use of a headset in mind. Not solely for the ability to chat with your friends online, but also to heighten your immersion. And if you’ve shelled out for the hardware, you deserve to hear the very best the industry has to offer.
The following games are our personal recommendations for you to check out. We’ve broken the list down into separate categories, highlighting games that go above and beyond when it comes to various types of sound. Read on, then, to learn which games are perfect for testing out a new PS5 headset.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Tetris Effect’s main selling point is its marriage of music and gameplay. Developer Resonair has referred to its take on the popular puzzler as a “complete sensory experience”, and that’s not without merit. Tetris Effect seamlessly pairs its colorful, abstract visuals and classic block-clearing gameplay with a soundtrack that reacts to every button press.
Tetris Effect’s OST is nothing short of stunning. Populated by everything from soothing ambiance to pulse-pounding EDM, Tetris Effect’s soundtrack also has remarkable depth. As the music evolves throughout each level, additional layers of instruments are added to the song. The sounds and visuals intensify until you’ve cleared a certain amount of lines, and thus completed the level.
We recommend Tetris Effect when trying out a new PS5 headset, if only to test just how many of these instrumental layers your ears will be able to pick up on as a result of your new hardware. Of course, it helps that Tetris Effect is arguably one of the finest puzzle games ever made.
Final Fantasy 14 Online
It’s no big secret that Final Fantasy 14 has a stellar soundtrack, but it’s the settings menu that really makes it stand out from the crowd. At least when it comes to testing a new PS5 headset.
Within Final Fantasy 14’s system settings is an option to apply an equalizer to the game’s audio. This allows you to add even more depth to the soundtrack by boosting bass, treble, voice, and other aspects of the mix.
All presets are effective given Final Fantasy 14’s genre-spanning music. Relaxing piano melodies sit side by side with guitar-driven rock tracks. Plus, there are plenty of songs that heavily feature vocals. So all in all, you’re getting a wonderfully varied soundtrack that’s a feast for the ears when wearing a pair of cans.
Bluepoint’s PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls, much like the original, reserves its music for boss fights and the Nexus hub area for the most part. Thankfully, the game’s immaculate sound design picks up the slack, making for one of the most enriching and immersive experiences you could have with a new PS5 headset.
Demon’s Souls’ impressively macabre castles, shrines and towers are dripping with audible dread. Flickering flames, demonic shrieks and cacophonous thunder populate the game’s chilling soundscape. And much of it is truly hard to appreciate without a PS5 headset that’ll hook your ears on every grim detail.
Not only is Demon’s Souls one of the best PS5 games you can buy, arguably its greatest strength lies in that exceptional sound design. And if you’d rather not fork up the cash for the game at full price, it’s also available to download from the PS Plus Premium subscription service at no extra cost. If you’re a subscriber, then, Demon’s Souls is well worth downloading, if just to be treated to one of the creepiest atmospheres you can soak up on PS5.
Gran Turismo 7
One hugely important aspect racing sims need to get right is the look, feel and sound of the featured cars. Thankfully, Gran Turismo 7 leads the pack on this front. Whether you’re a motorhead or not, the game’s roaring sound design is a real wonder to take in.
From the humblest hatchbacks to the most bombastic hypercars, Gran Turismo 7 nails the noise of the track with astonishing accuracy. And it’s all enhanced even further by PS5’s excellent on-board 3D Audio support for headsets – that amplifies a game’s audio for a richer, full-bodied soundscape.
Whereas Demon’s Souls is a perfect sound test for overall immersion, GT7’s cars are ideal for testing moment-to-moment sound design that’s constantly moving between boisterous engines, screeching tires and chunky gear shifts.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Hellblade might be the oldest game on the list, but its revolutionary approach to immersion through voice acting still holds up incredibly well.
Hellblade’s audio is designed with headphones in mind, and you’ll need a decent headset if you want to get the most out of this terrifyingly intimate experience. Protagonist Senua suffers from a particularly severe form of psychosis, characterized by a salvo of voices in her head.
Wearing a headset will let you latch onto these voices’ every word. Some are loud and threatening, others are quiet and calming. All overlap with each other to create a voice-driven soundscape that adds something unique to Hellblade’s take on horror. This is not to be missed if you’re dying to test a new PS5 headset in a particularly unnerving setting.
Death Stranding: Director's Cut
Death Stranding has strong audio all-round that’s best suited to a solid PS5 headset. Its licensed soundtrack has a habit of kicking in at the most opportune moments. And the game’s sound design does a fantastic job of selling its setting of a post-apocalyptic, desolate America.
But something we especially love about Death Stranding are the powerful vocal performances across the entire cast. Hollywood actors like Léa Seydoux and Mads Mikkelsen are both excellent in their roles here, and it’s undoubtedly Norman Reedus as protagonist Sam Porter Bridges that brings Kojima’s post-Konami opus to life.
You’ll be hearing Sam’s gravelly voice a lot over the course of Death Stranding, both in cutscenes and out in the game’s massive world. He’ll often comment on his current predicament – whether that’s checking on his baby-jar companion, running from terrifying BTs, or simply taking a break to check on his cargo. When you’re all alone in the world, you’ve got to be vocal in keeping your own company.