The Sony PlayStation 5 is the company’s most powerful console to date, though there’s still a lack of dedicated PS5 games for the next-gen console. Fortunately, it’s backward compatible with most PS4 games, many of which have seen updates that bring improved graphics and frame rates, along with other enhancements.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best PS4 titles you should play (or replay) on PS5, along with what upgrades you should expect from each. First, though, there are some things you need to know about these updated games. For one, not all upgrades are created equal; depending on the game, it may be a free upgrade (for players who bought the game on PS4) offering simple boosts to the resolution and framerate.
Meanwhile, more substantial updates can change the game’s lighting, utilize the features of the DualSense controller (like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers), or even add new content. Of course, these are a lot more interesting, but they usually cost something extra even if you had the game on PS4.
On top of that, while 4K and 60 FPS are the targets most of the time, it’s not always obtainable. Some titles need to break off these features into separate “Presentation” modes: one prioritizing a stable 60 FPS framerate in exchange for lower resolutions, and vice versa. Many games also make use of dynamic resolutions—this automatically shifts the resolution to maintain performance in system-taxing areas.
We’ll be laying out how each game’s PS5 upgrade works in their respective sections (at least, however much information has been specified by the developer). So, let’s jump into it.
Update, 6/2/22: Checked that everything is up to date. Added new TLOU 2 trailer.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake brings with it new, action-oriented combat and insanely detailed visuals to one of the best RPGs of all time. Every part of the original experience has been reworked from the ground up, so while the story and world are mostly the same as the original, there’s been a lot of changes. Plot points have been completely reworked, certain characters have been refined, and an entirely new chapter was added. In fact, so much new content is added the 30+ hour campaign only covers 30% of the original game’s story—whether you’ve played the PS1 classic or not, this will feel like a fresh experience.
The PS4 version ran well, but the PS5 can do better either with Performance mode, which keeps the action at 60 FPS; or Graphics mode, which offers dynamic, 4K visuals but is locked to 30 FPS. Regardless of which mode you play in though, improved lighting, fog effects, and textures all make the game look better than on PS4 (alongside other bonuses, such as the new photo mode and haptic feedback).
While everything we’ve talked about so far is free if you owned the game on PS4, there is a new story DLC called “INTERmission” that costs an additional $20 and is exclusive to the PS5. If you didn’t buy the game on PS4, then you can pick up the entire package, INTERmission included, for $69.99.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
A complete reimagining of one of the best RPGs of all time.
While Days Gone was originally released to mixed reviews, it still won over many people with its excellent open-world gameplay and well-written characters. The game takes place in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but the world has been ravaged by “Freakers,” which are basically zombies in everything but name. While that’s not exactly an original premise, Days Gone still manages to feel like its own thing as you explore this broken world either on foot or by motorcycle—there’s even a zombie bear, so that’s cool.
A ton of updates have been released since the game first launched fixing issues and adding in new content, but the game recently received its free PS5 upgrade, which adds in dynamic 4K and 60 FPS.
An open-world zombie adventure game that still manages to feel unique.
This is a big game that’s about fighting some big monsters with big weapons. While most games only include a few standout boss fights, in Monster Hunter: World, everything you do is in service of fighting the next intimidating monster. There are 14 weapons each with its own playstyle, in-depth character customization both visually and functionally, and so much content to work through that your playtime is likely to break into the triple digits.
The game has seen a major free update on PS5 that enables both 4K and 60 FPS at the same time, which is the perfect excuse to get back into this game (or play it for the first time).
Monster Hunter: World
A game all about fighting giant monsters with giant weapons.
The latest entry in the Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, sees Lara Croft exploring the ancient city of Paititi to find the mysterious Dagger of Chak Chel. Along the way, you’ll have to deal with enemies, platforming challenges, and puzzles to complete your goals, making this feel like a true adventure. And with a dramatic story and excellent visuals topping everything off, Shadow of the Tomb Raider not only stays faithful to the rest of the series but is a great time for those new to the franchise.
With two presentation modes in the free PS5 upgrade, you can now choose to experience this adventure in either stable 4K or at 60 FPS.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Another amazing action-adventure title from the Tomb Raider series.
Marvel’s Spider-Man was acclaimed for its excellent story, beautiful visuals, and gameplay that really made you feel like Spider-Man. Slinging around New York City as the iconic hero had never looked and felt so good, and the dramatic story built on top of that gameplay makes everything you do feel more important. With such a solid foundation here, it’s no wonder the same team would go on to release a sequel last year following hero-in-training Miles Morales. He plays very similarly to the normal Spider-Man, but the animations are all-new, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve (like electricity powers), and there’s a new story to enjoy.
The reason we’re talking about both of these games at once is if you want to play the original game with the PS5’s power, you’ll need to purchase Spider-Man: Miles Morales. After you buy Miles Morales, you’ll be able to purchase a remaster of the original for $19.99 (or just get the Ultimate Edition of Mile Morales for $69.99 to get both). This remaster comes with improved assets, textures, and lighting, along with three presentation modes: Performance mode for 60 FPS; Resolution mode for 4K; and Performance RT mode, which upholds 60 FPS on top of ray tracing.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Two high-quality Spider-Man adventures now playable with the PS5’s power.
When it comes to the PS4’s library, it’s hard not to mention God of War. This reimagining of the series captured the hearts of many thanks to its beautiful visuals, Norse world, and excellent story. You follow an older Kratos who has moved to Midgard to raise his son but don’t assume that means Midgard is a safe place to be. Kratos must defend his son in this dangerous new world with many enemies stripped straight from Norse mythology. While the game doesn’t have the chaotic violence prior God of War games were known for, the slower approach to story and gameplay allows for a lot more emotion as you get to experience fatherhood through Kratos’ eyes.
God of War was able to maintain a 4K resolution on PS4 Pro, which is seen in the “Original Performance” mode with a more stable 30 FPS framerate on PS5. On top of that, the free PS5 upgrade adds the “Enhanced Performance” mode lowers the resolution to 2160p for a silky-smooth 60 FPS.
God of War
A modernized take on the God of War series with slower gameplay and more impactful storytelling.
The Mortal Kombat series is known for its quality fighting mechanics and over-the-top, brutal finishers, and 11 is no different. There’s a slew of new and old characters and even a few from outside the franchise like Spawn. If you love fighting games, you’re probably at least familiar with Mortal Kombat, and you’ll definitely be doing yourself a disservice not trying this game out. It’s not all flash and guts, the core fighting mechanics definitely hold up on their own, and there’s even a solid single-player campaign.
Mortal Kombat 11 already successfully achieved 60 FPS on the PS4, but on PS5 it can hit that mark more consistently alongside dynamic 4K and generally improved visuals.
Mortal Kombat 11
A brutal fighting game from one of the most iconic franchises in gaming.
When it comes to skateboarding games, nothing has beaten out the classic Tony Hawk series, and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake does a fantastic job bringing these titles to the modern day. This remake is truly something special with brand-new visuals, the same classic gameplay, and content from the first two games merged into one. Whether you played the originals or not, you’re sure to have fun shredding through these iconic warehouses and skate parks as you pull off tricks and stunts to rack up your score.
The PS5 upgrade comes with two presentation modes: one that runs at 120 FPS at 1080p, and one that runs at 60 FPS at 4K. On top of that, shadows, reflections, and textures have all been improved, so the game looks significantly better than on PS4. You have to pay extra for this upgrade even if you bought it on PS4 (unless you originally bought the Digital Deluxe Edition)—the upgrade costs $10.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2
Two of the best skateboarding games of all time remastered for modern systems.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order was EA’s answer to the many requests for a single-player Star Wars adventure, and it definitely delivered. With beautifully realized planets to explore, an excellent cast of characters, and some very well-designed lightsaber combat, Fallen Order captured the Star Wars universe excellently while still feeling fresh. So get ready to embark on a galaxy-spanning adventure to save the future of the Jedi—it’s Star Wars, what else would you be doing?
And if you owned it on PS4, then you can expect much better visuals out of the free PS5 upgrade. There are two presentation modes (one that runs at 60 FPS, and one for 4K while locked to 30 FPS) and improved textures and models to bring this game up to next-gen standards.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order
The singleplayer Star Wars adventure you’ve been waiting for.
The original Last of Us was praised for its masterful story and the well-written relationship between its two main characters: Joel and Ellie. But the Last of Us Part II turns things on its head in many ways—you now primarily control Ellie, the story is darker in tone, and the game takes place five years after the first.
With brutal combat, a beautiful, post-apocalyptic world you have to trek through, and one of the best stories in gaming, the Last of Us Part II made a big splash on PS4. So sit back and get ready to see this tale of death, revenge, and redemption to the end. Last of Us Part II looks fantastic on PS5 with dynamic 4K resolution, but you can pick whether to target 30 or 60 FPS depending on how consistently you want to stay at 4K—the upgrade is free.
Last of Us Part II
An excellent sequel with its own identity and story.
The Devil May Cry series is one of the best action game franchises around, and Devil May Cry 5 is not the game to break that trend. It has chaotic combat where you use everything from guns to motorcycles to defeat enemies, a cast of charming characters each with their own playstyle, and a story about fighting through Hell (literally). It’s a faithful, modern interpretation of the series, and a great action game all-around.
Unlike the other games here, Devil May Cry 5 has no upgrade for PS4 owners, rather it has a new Special Edition you can buy with PS5 enhancements and new content. The framerate and resolution have been significantly improved (there are multiple modes to use which range from adding dynamic 4K to lowering the resolution for 120 FPS), ray tracing was added, there’s a new character to play as, and the new “Legendary Dark Knight” difficulty cranks things up to 11. This edition costs $40 for all players and is without a doubt the definitive way to play the game.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition
One of the best, most chaotic action games you’ll ever see enhanced by the PS5.
The final true PS4 exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima, showed how far the console had evolved over the generation with a beautifully realized open-world set in ancient Japan. Your goal is to prevent the first Mongol invasion of Japan, with slick, stylistic combat. The gameplay, of course, takes heavy influence from real-life samurais, but with a fictional twist (like a grappling hook) to keep things interesting. Whether you’re interested in the time period or just want a new, big-budget open-world game to fall in love with, you’re going to enjoy Ghost of Tsushima.
And the free PS5 upgrade finally allows this open world to breathe at a stable 60 FPS and 1800p resolution the whole way through.
Ghost of Tsushima
Halt the invasion of ancient Japan as a lone samurai.
The long-awaited 2020 return for Crash Bandicoot impressed many with its colorful visuals, creative story, and incredibly difficult platforming challenges (at least you can disable game overs if you want). Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a faithful revival through and through, and it feels fantastic to jump around these frustrating stages as Crash once again.
The story follows Crash and the gang traveling through space and time to defeat Neo Cortex and N. Tropy, but you’re not limited to just playing as Crash this time around. There are multiple playable characters each with their own abilities and paths through stages, only giving you more content to sink your teeth into.
The free PS5 upgrade takes things to the next level with 4K, 60 FPS, 3D audio, and it even uses the Dualsense’s adaptive triggers for certain gameplay mechanics. No doubt about it, this is the way Crash 4 was meant to be played.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
The long-awaited Crash Bandicoot revival that doesn’t disappoint.