Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The PS5 games with the best graphics

While the jumps have been getting smaller and smaller between generations, there’s always a nice graphical bump to look forward to when picking up the latest hardware. We’re long past the days of going from 16-bit 2D games to full-on 3D, and even the jump from SD to HD, but the visual improvements we got between the PS4 and PS5 are still striking. Not only are resolutions higher, but new techniques like ray tracing are now possible and starting to show up in more titles as we get deeper into the console’s life.

Now that it’s been out for a decent amount of time, and we have a wide selection of both upgraded titles and ones made exclusively for the PS5, there are a few that have risen to the top that anyone looking to show off the power of their new console will want to grab. Not only are all the games on this list visually impressive — not just necessarily photorealistic, mind you — but they’re also a blast to play. Graphics don’t make a game fun, but it just works out that the best-looking games on PS5 are also some of the best-playing. Here are our picks for the PS5 games with the best graphics.

God of War Ragnarök

God of War Ragnarök
98%
4/5
M
Platforms
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre
Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer
SIE Santa Monica Studio
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
November 09, 2022
God of War was perhaps the best-looking PS4 game, so it should come as no surprise that its sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, also pushes the new hardware to the extreme. Despite the game also being available on PS4, you would never be able to guess that the PS5 version was being held back just by looking at it. Every detail on Kratos’ old, weary, wrinkled face is detailed to the point where his expression allows you to understand his emotions far better than his minimal dialogue. Environments are equally stunning in scale, as well as variety. From the snowy woodlands of Midgard to the jungles of Vanaheim, God of War: Ragnarok never sacrifices a single inch of quality. Once you tune your experience between the numerous graphics options, this is arguably the best game to show off what the PS5 can do.
God Of War Ragnarok - PlayStation Showcase 2021 Reveal Trailer | PS5

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

Marvel's Spider-Man 2
4.5/5
T
Platforms
PlayStation 5
Genre
Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer
Insomniac Games
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
October 20, 2023
When you’re swinging at break-neck speeds through New York as either Peter or Miles in any of the dozens of suits to choose from, it is hard to not find your jaw agape.  Spider-Man 2 somehow manages to be one of the most striking and gorgeous gaming playgrounds on the PS5 while not only maintaining a silky smooth 60 fps, but also implementing ray tracing no matter which graphical setting you choose. From the skylines of the setting sun bouncing off of the skyscrapers, to the minor details in each suit, this game is a visual treat from top to bottom. The only slight knock you could have against it is a lack of environments, though this time you get access to a much larger New York that feels as colorful and has as much character tucked away in its corners as the Spider-Men themselves.
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - PlayStation Showcase 2021: Reveal Trailer | PS5

The Last of Us Part I

The Last of Us Part I
100%
4.5/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 5
Genre
Shooter, Adventure
Developer
Naughty Dog
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
September 01, 2022
The Last of Us was the best-looking game on PS3. So much so that the PS4 remaster could stand toe-to-toe with games developed specifically for the newer hardware. While it is debatable whether or not a game so readily playable really needed a remake, the one thing no one can deny about The Last of Us Part I is that it is undeniably beautiful to look at. Every character model, environment, and animation (including a few new ones) are completely remade and created to look as close to reality as possible. Despite not having any ray tracing options, The Last of Us Part I does offer two graphical modes to pick between: performance and fidelity mode. Performance puts the game at a dynamic 4K resolution at a locked 60 frames per second (fps), while fidelity lets the graphics shine at a true 4K resolution and 30 fps. Either way, the apocalypse has never looked so disturbingly beautiful.
The Last of Us Part I - Announce Trailer

Returnal

Returnal
86%
4/5
T
Platforms
PlayStation 5
Genre
Shooter
Developer
Housemarque
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
April 30, 2021
Returnal was one of the earliest PS5-exclusive titles made by a team formerly known for some of the best arcade-style experiences on past PlayStation consoles, including the PS4 launch game Resogun. Returnal, however, is something of a hybrid of an arcade-style bullet-hell game, but presented as a third-person shooter with rogue-like elements thrown in. The different environments you are dashing through all look great, but it’s the monsters and bosses that really steal the show. They’re all unique in design and animation — looking both horrifying and somehow beautiful in ways at the same time. The game packs in tons of particle effects that interact with the environment, and all the lighting work just pulls you into the world of Atropos and never lets go.
Returnal - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West
88%
4/5
T
Platforms
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Guerrilla Games
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
February 18, 2022
The original Horizon was one of the best-looking games for the PS4, so Horizon Forbidden West had a lot of high expectations when it was announced. While it did get a PS4 release as well, the PS5 version is where the game world really shines. There’s no inch of Horizon Forbidden West that doesn’t feel like it was handcrafted. All the lush environments that mix together nature and ruined remnants of our world, with dynamic lighting, fog, mist, snow, and other weather effects make the world feel like an actual place that could exist. Character models are amazing, with a special shout-out to Aloy’s hair always looking amazing, but it’s the machines that still reign supreme. Each one moves with detailed, interconnecting parts that most people probably wouldn’t even notice playing normally, let alone how sharp and detailed all those metal plates and joints are up close.
Horizon Forbidden West - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut
96%
4.5/5
M
Platforms
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
August 20, 2021
While this is technically a re-release, there’s just no way to make a list of games with the best graphics without including Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut. The PS5 upgraded version doesn’t completely overhaul the island of Tsushima, but it didn’t need to. The art direction already made the base game perhaps the most beautiful world you could explore on the PS4, but not it looks somehow better on PS5. The diversity of the landscapes, paired with the minimal to non-existent UI, gives you breathtaking views at every turn. Whether you’re wandering through an autumn forest, galloping through the snow, or sitting in a hot spring in the rain, every horizon feels like a masterful painting.
Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut - Announcement Trailer | PS5, PS4

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
89%
4/5
E10
Platforms
PlayStation 5
Genre
Shooter, Platform, Adventure
Developer
Insomniac Games
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
June 11, 2021
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a Pixar movie made playable — there’s no better way to describe it, really. This game isn’t trying to look like the real world, but the art direction is so on point that you can’t help but gawk at the sights you’re being shown. The fur on Ratchet, the reflections on Clank, and the alien worlds are all perfectly detailed and expressive in the same way a movie like Wall-E or The Incredibles are. Combine all that with some of the smoothest animations, and the option to lower the frame rate but add in ray tracing, and all of a sudden you’re looking at a world you could only dream of as a child.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - Reveal Trailer | PS5 Reveal Event

Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls
87%
M
Platforms
PlayStation 5
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Hack and slash/Beat 'em up
Developer
Bluepoint Games
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
November 12, 2020
The original Demon’s Souls is one that desperately needed a remake. Not only because it was locked to the PS3 but because the graphical power of that game couldn’t live up to the aspirations of the team’s art goals. With the Demon’s Souls: Remake, however, we see how this game was really meant to be viewed. Where the original was muddy and bland, the remake is sharp, eye-catching, and oozing with atmosphere. Almost more than any other game we can think of, the Demon’s Souls remake’s entire atmosphere, mood, and tone is far enhanced by the graphical update it received. This was a PS5 launch game, and somehow still looks better than most games coming out over a year later.
Demon's Souls - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
90%
3.5/5
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 5
Genre
Adventure
Developer
Kojima Productions
Publisher
505 Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
September 24, 2021
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is in the same boat as Ghost of Tsushima. Both were already pushing the PS4 to its limits, only to somehow squeeze out even more visual fidelity with a PS5 version. Also similar is the focus on nature. Death Stranding: Director’s Cut features less variety of landscapes, but every single mossy rock, creek, cliff, and patch of dirt looks like it was somehow photographed and put in the game. The lighting here really shines, to make a bad pun, and creates depth in shadows and reflections everywhere you would naturally expect. In a game where you’re almost exclusively walking from place to place, you will never mind the trip when every step is so beautiful.
Death Stranding Director's Cut - Teaser Trailer | PS5

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
90%
3/5
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 5
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Square Enix
Publisher
Square Enix
Release
June 10, 2021
Let’s wrap up our picks of PS4 games that got new versions for PS5 with one of the best PS4 RPGs there is. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (try saying that five times fast) actually had some room to improve on the base game. Sure, the character models, particles, effects, and most environments were already punching above their weight class, but there were some obvious flaws (we’re looking at you, bad-texture door). On the PS5, no corners had to be cut, and it shows. Not only were minor issues cleaned up but the game was given new lighting effects and up to 4K resolution. Cloud’s hair has never looked so good.
FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE INTERGRADE – PS5 Announcement Trailer

Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7
81%
4/5
E
Platforms
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre
Racing, Simulator, Sport
Developer
Polyphony Digital
Publisher
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release
March 04, 2022
Racing games have always pushed graphics more than most genres. Gran Turismo 7 hit the PS5 running with some of the most realistic cars and tracks ever displayed. Every inch of every single car is hand-crafted to match their real-life counterparts exactly, and the dynamic lighting on the tracks shimmers off the pavement just as it would in the real world. Plus the effects of going into a dark tunnel and back out into the sunlight mimics reality to a T. Gran Turismo 7 does offer ray tracing, but not during gameplay, which is a disappointment. However, you can still use it to take screenshots so high quality you could fool your friends into thinking you own a multimillion-dollar race car.
Gran Turismo 7 - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits
80%
4.5/5
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre
Adventure
Developer
Ember Lab
Publisher
Ember Lab
Release
September 21, 2021
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is in the same sphere as Ratchet and Clank in terms of not trying to be a perfect re-creation of our world, but again shows its beauty in its stylization. The characters in particular ride that line where they have realistic features, but with small exaggerations and smoothed-out edges. You won’t see anyone’s pours on their skin in Kena: Bridge of Spirits, but their eyes will shimmer with delight, or their body language shrink with fear. Despite a not over-saturated color palate, the world is expressive and a character in itself.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
Best video game deals: PlayStation 5, Xbox S and X, Nintendo Switch

While gaming PCs can be pretty great, a lot of folks don't want to spend the money, or time and hassle to get involved with PC gaming, which is why consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch are perfect. Not only are they relatively budget-friendly, but they also offer a quick and user-friendly way of playing games that don't involve having a lot of PC knowledge. So, if you've already bought one of these, then be sure to check out our roundup of some of our favorite game deals, including some of our lists of PS5 games, best Xbox Series X games, or best Nintendo Switch games.
On the other hand, if you're just doing a bit of window shopping, then check out some of our other favorite PS5 game deals, Xbox game pass deals and Nintendo Switch deals for more specific offers.

Best PS5 game deals
Deathloop -- $25, was $60

Read more
Doom: The Dark Ages launches next year, and Xbox is bringing it to PS5
Doom: The Dark Ages Doomslayer

During the June 2024 Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft revealed Doom: The Dark Ages. It's a medieval take on the first-person shooter series that's typically set during contemporary times. It's set to launch in 2025 for PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5. The game will also launch on Xbox Game Pass.

Doom: The Dark Ages is a prequel, with the Doomslayer donning animal fur and spikes on his shoulder-blade armor. With his trusty and classic shotgun, he's ready to take down demons. However, he now has a new shield with blades that he can rev up like a chainsaw. The trailer shows the Doomslayer even throwing his shield at them like Captain America. He will also be able to ride a dragon at some point in the game, highlighting the fantasy elements of the game.

Read more
You’ll be able to play Phantom Blade Zero multiple times this summer
Phantom Blade Zero protagonist Soul

During Summer Game Fest 2024, developer S-Game showed off a new gameplay trailer for Phantom Blade Zero, an upcoming action-RPG. A release date wasn't revealed, but the game will be playable at certain upcoming events.

One aspect to note is that the gameplay trailer was all captured in-game, so what was shown is accurate to what the game will look like when playing it. Phantom Blade Zero appears to be a Soulslike game with an emphasis on parrying, similar to games like Rise of the Ronin and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Its monster design and gray color palette tones are reminiscent of Bloodborne.

Read more