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The most fun I’ve had with my PS5 has been playing PS4 games

When I got my PlayStation 5, I (along with anyone else who managed to get their hands on the ever-elusive console) was extremely excited. I couldn’t wait to get into Sony’s latest piece of hardware, try out its exclusive titles, and finally feel the difference a DualSense controller makes. But now, just over two months into owning a PS5, my experience with the pricey machine hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Consoles are made by their games, traditionally their exclusive ones. Without a solid library of exclusive titles, there’s hardly a reason to buy one console over another. I already have a beefy gaming computer, so any third-party games are usually played on that. But I love Sony’s first-party games so much that dropping $500 on a PS5 was worth it to me.

While a majority of the games I’ve been playing on my PS5 have been Sony first-party titles, the truth is that they’re not PS5 games. The most fun I’ve had on my new, ray tracing-capable machine has been playing my old PS4 games.

Last-gen

Prior to picking up my PS5, I was in the middle of running through Uncharted 4 again. After the console arrived at my house, it was still all I was playing. Next was 2018’s God of War, finally followed by an actual PS5 game, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. In the time since, I’ve also played Returnal, which is probably the best PS5 exclusive to come out this year.

Ratchet tethers through a portal in Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

But the shame is that the best game I’ve played on my PS5 so far wasn’t Rift Apart or Returnal; it was God of War. Three years later, that game is still a trip, with a story that’s rich and deep, as well as combat that thrills and excites every single time Kratos takes out his ax. It’s a premium experience, one that has me more excited than ever for God of War: Ragnarok. It also just goes to show how weak the PS5’s first year has been.

The console has certainly had some hits; Rift Apart is a technical masterpiece and Returnal, as I’ve proclaimed before, is the second-best roguelike game I’ve ever played. They’re fantastic pieces of software, and with game of the year discussions around the corner, they’re both sure to be brought up at any given outlet. But are they enough to justify a $500 purchase? That’s up for debate.

This has been the year of the PS5’s growing pains. With a number of acquisitions under its belt, Sony is beefing up PlayStation Studios to produce more high-quality PlayStation exclusive titles in 2022 and beyond. In fact, this year would’ve been a bigger one for the platform had Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, and Gran Turismo 7 not been delayed to next year.

Selene Vassos from Returnal.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

But as of right now, the PS5 is best used as an upgraded PS4. If your favorite games have received an update patch, they can be experienced in a new light. God of War running at 4K and 60 frames per second changed the game for me. It may seem like a minor upgrade, but with a 4K TV supporting a higher frame rate, I was able to appreciate the game’s visuals and combat even more.

Suffice it to say that there isn’t an experience on the PS5 that can rival God of War just yet. That shouldn’t be a shocker, though; the console has only been out for a year. While nobody should rush to get a PS5 right now, 2022 is shaping up to be a better year for the platform, and might just be the one where owners of the console find that their investment finally pays off.

Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
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