If you’re one of the lucky few that’s been able to nab a PlayStation 5, you’re probably psyched for a few of its next-gen games, like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. But if your PS4 backlog is still bursting at the seams like mine—or you want something to re-play while you wait for new titles to trickle in—some of those old PS4 games are going to look and run better than ever on the PS5.
This isn’t true of all games, but any game that uses an unlocked frame rate—or is patched to include one—will be able to take advantage of the PS5's extra CPU and GPU power. Games that were locked to 30 frames per second will stay locked, but unlocked games that couldn’t quite reach 60 can now achieve smoother, more stable performance. Some may even be able to hit higher resolutions. So break out that backlog or fire up your New Game+, because there’s a lot to play.
Maybe it’s because I just finished God of War—like I said, my backlog is hefty—but it’s hard to think of a better game to test backward compatibility on the PS5. Easily one of the best games of the PS4 generation, the default mode in God of War is locked to 30 frames per second, with a 1080p “Favor Performance” mode bouncing around the 40s. It was certainly an improvement, but the PS5 will be able to dedicate its extra power to a smooth framerate in this 1080p mode, making it a game worth playing on a next-gen console.
If you haven’t gotten around to Ghost of Tsushima yet (after all, it just came out in July), now’s a great time to try it out, as it’s gotten an update to take advantage of the PS5's hardware. While the samurai adventure aimed for 30 frames per second on the PS4 Pro, the latest version targets a much smoother 60 frames per second, making it a great last-gen title to play on next-gen hardware.
Not everyone was a fan of Days Gone, but it deserves a spot on this list for being one of the first PS4 games to actually receive a PS5 patch for improved performance (as opposed to some of the other games on this list, who were running unlocked frame rates to begin with). Bend Studio announced on Twitter earlier this month that the open-world zombie adventure will run at up to 60 frames per second with dynamic 4K resolution. That’ll be a nice upgrade over the checkerboarded 30 frames-per-second experience on the PS4 Pro.
If you’re a fan of FromSoftware’s Soulsborne series, you know how hitchy these games can be on consoles when they first come out. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice bounced between 40 and 50 frames per second on the PS4 Pro but should have no problem keeping a fairly steady 60 on the PS5—that is, if you aren’t playing the Demon’s Souls remake. Oh, and Dark Souls III is in a similar boat—but Bloodborne fans will be disappointed to see that it’s still locked to 30 frames per second.
The two most recent games in the Tomb Raider franchise—Shadow and Rise—have been impressive graphical showcases for this generation, but the aging PS4 just couldn’t quite keep up. The 4K mode was (and is) locked to 30 frames per second, while the 1080p High Frame Rate mode couldn’t quite get to 60 frames per second in all areas. Thankfully, the PS5 gives these games enough horsepower to work with, giving both a stable 60 frames per second in that still-beautiful 1080p mode.
Final Fantasy XV actually had three performance modes on the PS4 Pro: High, Steady, and Lite. If you’re willing to drop the resolution down to 1080p, that Lite mode—which hit around 40 frames per second on the Pro—now sticks to a much smoother 60 frames per second for a satisfyingly fluid experience. I don’t know why they haven’t unlocked the other modes—the PS5 can hit 4K/60 for a lot of these older games—but at least us framerate nuts can finally keep things smooth and steady in FFXV.
“BuT CaN tHe Ps5 RuN CrYsIs?” I can hear all the jokesters asking. The answer is yes—yes it can. Crysis: Remastered has its problems, and most of those haven’t gone away. But as a benchmark of the PS5's ability, it’s pretty impressive—while the PS4 hovered around 40 frames per second, sometimes dipping to 30—in Performance Mode—the PS5 can run Crysis Remastered at a much smoother 60 frames per second. Is it enough to overcome the game’s other issues? I’m not sure, but here it is for the sake of one overplayed meme anyway.
Hopefully, we’ll see even more games patched to take advantage of this new horsepower, but for now, this is a pretty solid list that should keep you busy for a while.