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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 gap 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 box will want to grab. Not only are all the games on this list visually impressive — not just necessarily photo-realistic 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.

Further reading

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.
Read our full Returnal review
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.
Read our full Gran Turismo 7 review
Gran Turismo 7 - Announcement Trailer | PS5

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
82 %
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Insomniac Games
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release November 12, 2020
Another PS5 launch title, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a smaller game based off the already spectacular Marvel’s Spider-Man, but with plenty of visual improvements. First of all, the new snowy version of New York is so well realized that even those who live in the city will feel right at home. Miles himself, in all his various suits, looks even better than Peter did, especially with all the different graphics modes to pick from. You can opt for a native 4K experience at 30 FPS, dynamic 4K at 60 FPS, or 1440p, 60 FPS performance mode with ray-tracing for however you want to customize your experience. No matter which you go for, this new neighborhood Spider-Man certainly has the looks.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Gameplay Demo | 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

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