The power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X has given us the luxury of pushing the fluidity and performance of games to a level that we didn’t think was possible in consoles before. Instead of 60fps, which for the longest time has been kind of the sweet spot for a lot of games, a number of recent and upcoming releases are now taking advantage of the new hardware and doubling the frame rate to 120fps.
However, to experience the benefits of higher frame rate settings, you’ll need to hook your console up to a compatible TV, one that has a refresh rate of 120Hz and HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 ports.
Before we get to the games, it’s worth explaining the difference between frame rate and refresh rate. Refresh rate refers to the number of times your display refreshes per second, which is measured in Hertz (Hz). Frame rate, on the other hand, refers to the number of images rendered by your console per second, measured in frames per second (fps).
Your display should have a refresh rate of 120Hz if you want to play a 120fps game. You can still technically play a 120fps game on, say, a 60Hz display, but there’s no way for you to perceive the increased frame rate. If you do this, you might also notice a choppy image.
That out of the way, here are our picks of games that support 120hz displays:
Call of Duty: Vanguard
Anyone who’s ever played Call of Duty before knows how important it is to have the game run at a high frame rate. The fast and frantic nature of its multiplayer firefights and relatively short time-to-kill usually means whoever shoots first usually gets the kill. So spotting your enemies before they spot you and being able to shoot them accurately as they move across your screen is critical to surviving online.
This is why the 120Hz mode is so essential in this franchise as it not only makes the game feel more responsive but also, theoretically speaking, renders visual information faster. And in the heat of the moment, those split-second reactions to what’s happening around you can mean life or death in the virtual battlefield.
Much like last year’s Black Ops Cold War and the ongoing Warzone live service, Vanguard has a 120Hz mode on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The game launches on November 5.
The Nioh Collection
Nioh and its sequel Nioh 2 are punishing games. So much so that they drew comparisons to Dark Souls for their demanding difficulty, brutal boss battles, and labyrinthian levels. So when it was announced that the two games were being ported to the PS5 with a 120Hz mode, fans of the franchise all rejoiced.
The high frame rate makes it a tiny bit easier to telegraph your enemies’ attacks and highlights how smooth the combat of the game is. Slashing with your katana, perfectly timing a parry, and, well, dying in the hands of a Yokai has never looked or felt this fluid before.
The Nioh Collection is available now on PS5.
Doom Eternal is a tense shooter where you always have to be on the move as you try to get from point A to point B, shooting, burning, and chainsawing your way through the creatures of hell. It’s a game that never relents and lets you pay for careless mistakes.
As such, having a 120Hz option on next-gen consoles is almost essential if you want to be able to keep up with the fast-paced action. While it doesn’t exactly make the game any easier, the higher frame rate makes animations and movement look much cleaner, which should help you process the visual chaos more effectively.
Doom Eternal is out now on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
When playing Devil May Cry, there’s nothing more satisfying than nailing a Smokin’ Sexy Style (SSS) rating for your combo. With the expansive moveset of Devil May Cry 5’s four playable characters (including DLC), it’s even more fun to play around and chain different attacks together.
Devil May Cry 5 already ran quite smoothly on the PS4, targeting 60fps. However, when the game was re-released for next-gen consoles, a 120Hz option was included to make slicing and dicing the demonic hordes feel even better. The mode was prone to frame rate dips early into launch, but it has since been patched to get the game running as smoothly as possible. And it all helps in timing your attacks and landing hits to extend the length of your combos.
Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is available now on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Those split-second response times are just as important in racers as they are in shooters. And Dirt 5 is a robust racer where you’re burning rubber on off-road tracks with ultra-realistic driving controls. So there’s a noticeable benefit in doubling the refresh rate from the usual 60Hz to 120Hz. It allows the game to give the impression of seamlessness as the camera tries to keep up with your vehicle. The notion of speed is also best enjoyed when there’s a fluidity to the visuals and the motions.
Dirt 5 is out now on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. – Rappler.com
Kyle Chua is the editor of gaming and tech site Solid State Now.