After a strong launch lineup consisting of the likes of Demon’s Soul and Spider-Man Miles Morales, the PlayStation 5 has hit a bit of a quiet period in terms of new releases, making it a great time to revisit some titles that you might’ve missed on the PS4.
In most instances, PS4 games played on a PS5 will run and look better than ever before. This is because a number of PS4 titles run at an uncapped framerate and a dynamic resolution, resulting in an automatically smoother framerate and sharper appearance. There are also a number of titles that have received specific performance patches for PS5 that oftentimes make it feel like a full blown remaster.
The nice thing is that you won’t need to pay anything extra for these performance improvements either so if you already own these titles, you’re all set.
Here are eight PS4 titles that you’re going to want to experience on the PlayStation 5.
Ghost of Tsushima
Arguably the PS4’s best exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima was already one of the most visually impressive games from the last generation and it has received a notable boost to a locked 60fps on PS5. The result is an experience that feels transformative with the swordplay infused Samurai action feeling more responsive and enjoyable to play.
On PS4, the game has the option of running in performance mode which attempts to run the game at 60fps (frames per second) by dropping the resolution to 1080p. However, it rarely hit that target with constant frame rate dips in the 40-50fps range, resulting in stuttering performance that made it the least preferable way to play the game. As such, most gamers would stick with resolution mode which dropped the frame rate to a near locked 30fps on PS4.
On PS5, the resolution mode now runs at a buttery smooth 60fps while delivering 4K visuals and the game shines as a result.
Ratchet & Clank
2016’s Ratchet & Clank reboot was an excellent example of how a remake of a beloved classic should be done by taking the original PS2 platformer and modernising it in every way. From the breathtaking visuals and Pixar level cutscenes that drive along the entertaining story to the new gameplay elements that kept longtime fans on their toes, there is lots to love. It was also one of the few games in the long running franchise to run at 30fps.
However, ahead of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart’s June launch, the PS4 adventure received a surprise update in April that doubled the frame rate to a rock solid 60fps for PS5 players, making it a great time to play or replay this much loved action platformer.
The doubling of the visual update brings about big gains to overall fluidity with the reduced input latency making the game feel better to play. The higher frame rate also brings about greater motion clarity, which in a title like Ratchet & Clank where there are a lot of things going on screen at any one moment, makes it easier to appreciate all of the visual detail that the developers put into the game. The only disappointing thing is that the cutscenes remain capped at 30fps.
Days Gone was one of the first in-house developed titles to receive a performance patch for PlayStation 5 and it absolutely sings on Sony’s new console. On PS4, the game aims for 30fps which can dip in more demanding scenes but on PS5, the framerate is pushed to a silky smooth 60fps while looking very close to true 4K resolution.
Doubling visual feedback delivers an inherent boost that simply makes the game look and feel better to play. Load times have also been cut down to half.
God of War
2018’s God of War finally received a 60fps patch and, in common with similar updates for Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima and Ratchet and Clank, the impact is indeed transformative. The original release pushed the PS4 to its absolute limits with its hugely impressive 4K graphics, extreme detail, phenomenal lighting and excellent performances. The game pushed the PS4 so hard in fact that it spun up the console’s system fans to an obtrusive degree.
On the PS5, the 4K and 1080p modes of the PS4 Pro version (targeting 30fps and 60fps with varying degrees of success) are gone, replaced with a new ‘enhanced performance’ mode that syncs the game to 60fps at 4K resolution on PS5. The console achieves this while also remaining whisper quiet.
Oddly enough the option to go back to the 30fps modes is still present within the options menu but, thankfully, the game defaults to the new ‘enhanced performance’ mode when played on a PS5.
God of War also takes advantage of the enhanced feedback through the DualSense controller when opening Kratos’ shield or flinging that oh so satisfying leviathan axe.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Crash Bandicoot 4 saw a re-release on next-gen consoles, but owners of the last-gen version of the game also received a free upgrade. The enhanced PS5 version brings a host of improvements over the PS4 original including a native 4K presentation, locked 60fps performance as well as enhanced 3D audio.
The bump up in resolution is immediately noticeable with an overall sharper presentation that makes the visuals pop that much more on screen. There have also been some slight improvements to colour and lighting as well as higher quality reflections. Another notable improvement is the load times with levels taking around 5 seconds to load versus the 20-30 seconds of the PS4 original.
The adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller are used to mimic things like the force of Neo Cortex’s DNA-changing blaster and the grip of Tawna’s Hookshot and they work well for the most part. Sadly, the haptic feedback is barely used which is a shame as it would’ve made the in-game action that much more immersive.
Crash Bandicoot 4 even supports the PS5’s Activity Cards, which given the game’s sheer amount of levels and challenges at hand, is a small but welcome feature that creates a helpful roadmap to completion.
Also available on Xbox Series X/S.
Nioh 2 originally debuted on the PS4 in March 2020 but with the recent release of the remastered collection for PS5, publisher Koei Tecmo is offering a free upgrade to owners of the original.
The upgrades are significant, offering 4K resolution with the option to play at either 60fps or 120fps. The latter is noticeably inconsistent and a downgrade visually with detail paired back quite a bit so I would recommend opting for the 60Hz mode (referred to as ‘standard’ mode in the options) which is rock solid and looks great.
The loading times – or lack of them – are exceptionally impressive and a night and day improvement over the last gen version. This is a big deal particularly for a tough as nails game like Nioh 2 where death is common. On PS5, it takes only about two seconds to respawn, making it near instantaneous and this significantly reduces frustration.
The game allows you to feel the pullback of a bowstring and the feedback of a weapon hitting an object thanks to full support of the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.
3D Audio is supported for those who like to game with headphones and there’s also deep integration with the PS5’s Activity Cards, providing a clear view of their progress in each level and what Trophies they’re close to earning.
Borderlands 3 received a sizable next-gen treatment that targets 60fps at a pin sharp 4K resolution as well as the option to play 120fps at 1080p. This is a big jump from the last gen versions which had trouble sustaining 30fps at 1800p.
The 120Hz mode isn’t perfect with noticeable dips, particularly during road combat, though this is admittedly more noticeable on the PS5 thanks to the console’s lack of variable refresh rate (VRR) support. For this reason, I would recommend PS5 players to stick to the 60fps mode which looks and feels great to play. The PS5 version does also throw in a few extra bells and whistles such as more generous draw distances for shadows and greater foliage density.
Developers, Gearbox Studios, also took things one step further by utilising the extra horsepower to add in support for a three or four player split screen mode for some couch-based cooperative play. Considering the dearth of titles that support split-screen multiplayer on consoles, this is a very welcome feature.
Borderlands 3 load times on the last generation of consoles was particularly egregious with booting up the game taking more than three minutes while fast travelling between large world hubs and smaller areas also taking minutes not seconds. On PS5, boot up time is cut down to a minute and load times between levels are completed in ten seconds on average.
While Borderlands 3 does support the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback of the DualSense controller, the implementation is disappointingly basic and feels like a missed opportunity considering the amount of weapon variety in the game. There’s an initial click down to start firing to mimic the pulling of the trigger but there’s no resistance or vibration after that, making all guns feel exactly the same to shoot. The LED light on the DualSense controller does at least change colour when weapons are swapped with different elemental weapons. For example, the DualSense LED glows orange when a fire weapon is equipped, and green for a corrosive weapon, and so on.
Still, this is a significant upgrade from the version that came out on the last generation of consoles and an absolute must play for looter shooter fans.
Also available on Xbox Series X/S.
Blood & Truth
One of the PlayStation’s best VR titles, Blood & Truth, recently received a sizable free update for PS5 players that boost the game’s resolution from 1440p (2560 x 1440) to 4K, resulting in a much sharper, clearer and more detailed image inside the headset.
Like most high-end PSVR games, Blood & Truth on PS4 runs at 60 frames per second, with a re-projected 120hz output on the headset. On PS5, it runs at 90 frames per second, with a 90hz output, leading to a more responsive game and better image quality under motion. Higher quality textures and better load times round out the package.
The host of improvements certainly make Blood & Truth well worth revisiting on the PlayStation 5. Just keep in mind that hooking up a PSVR headset to the PS5 will require a camera adaptor which you can order directly from Sony at no extra cost.