The Xbox One S and PlayStation 5 have been out for more than two years at this point, and with not enough native new-gen games out to this date (we are getting there), gamers have still enjoyed and witnessed the power these new machines pack all thanks to updates, patches, and optimizations made to their already existing libraries. Every single cross-gen game that has been released since these consoles came out provides players with better resolutions, texture quality, and framerates and gives them the best version of said game on the console if they play it on said console. The benefits don’t stop there, as games that came during the transition period or some even long before, enjoying these benefits are all thanks to developers putting in extra work and optimizing their games for new-gen hardware. Because of this, despite the lack of constant ‘next-gen’ games out and about in the market, gamers have benefitted regardless and got to enjoy some of their favorite experiences in the best possible quality. Despite that, however, there are still a few games that are still stuck in the past, and while they still look and play good, they can definitely benefit even more if some love is thrown their way as well. Let’s take a look at some of the games that would benefit if they were to get current-gen support, be it in the form of increased resolution or better framerates, thanks to the extra power of the new hardware. We are not asking for much here, just a few touch-ups so these games can hold up their looks on our shiny 4K displays and run a tad smoother on our fast 144hz monitors, and while I don’t know or understand anything about game development, I am sure this is not a very difficult task or too much to ask from these talented developers.
Batman: Arkham Knight
“Batman: Arkham Knight” came out in the year 2015 and was made by Rocksteady, who used a modified version of the Unreal Engine 3, and this game still holds up visually 8 years later to this day. This is because of the game’s brilliant art style, but the problem here is the resolution on consoles. On the PlayStation 4, it runs at 1080p, which is fine, and on the Xbox One, it runs at 900p, which is not so fine, and a simple resolution bump up to 4K or 1440p at the very least will bring the streets of Gotham back to life and make the game look even more gorgeous on our television sets. Right now, if you were to play the game on a 4K TV, despite it holding up visually, it would look extremely pixelated thanks to the lower resolution it renders at. The developers don’t need to rework any of the assets; they just need to update the resolution, and this game will look like it was released yesterday. That’s how gorgeous this game is as it stands. While they are at it, they can also up the framerate to 60 fps to make the already smooth free-flow combat system even smoother, as the game will benefit a lot from that. “Batman: Arkham Knight” is by far one of the best superhero games ever made, and it’d be even better if it ran at 1440p 60 fps or 4K 60 fps on modern-day consoles. Rocksteady, I know you guys are busy with “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League,” but please take some time out and work your magic on this game; don’t let this masterpiece be forgotten.
Watch Dogs 2
“Watch Dogs 2” is simply gorgeous and is perhaps the best “Watch Dogs” game in this series made by Ubisoft. It’s cheeky, funny, sometimes cringy, and overall just a very good time, and the world of San Francisco they have created for this game adds to the attitude and vibe they were going for. Everything here is vibrant and rich with colors, and despite the game’s age, it all still looks incredibly detailed and good. The problem here is the same as in “Arkham Knight,” in that the game runs at 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One. The weirdest part about all of this is that the game runs at 1440p on the PlayStation 4 Pro, but the Xbox players were left behind and got no updates. Why? I don’t fully understand it. On Xbox series consoles, the game takes advantage of the FPS to boost a program and runs at 60fps, but the resolution is still stuck at 900p, unfortunately. The chances of this game getting an update seems rather low because this franchise as a whole never reached its full potential, and if the rumors are to be believed, Ubisoft has already shelved this series internally. However, there’s still hope because Ubisoft is the one company known for going back and updating its games this generation. If the game can run at 1440p60fps or 4K60fps on current-gen machines with the help of a patch, then it’d be a great service to players and will be a showcase of just how good-looking games Ubisoft is capable of making.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The way Rockstar Games operates is weird. They re-released “GTA 5” three times, most recently on new-gen systems, despite the fact that this game initially came out in 2013, and yet “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which was released in 2018, was left behind. The game is gorgeous as is, and despite being almost 5 years old, it’s still one of the best-looking games in the market and gives new games a run for their money, so that’s not an issue. The hope here is to get a patch that will make the game run at 60 frames per second. If you can somehow make the already stunning visuals even better in the process, then be my guest. There are two reasons why this may not happen, the first being that they have already ended support for “Red Dead Redemption 2,” as the game didn’t end up becoming another cash cow like “GTA 5,” and the second being that if they had wanted to do it, they would have done it already. I am still holding on to a little bit of hope that this game will get a 60fps patch, and if it does, for the love of god, make it a free patch and don’t make us buy it once again as you did with “Grand Theft Auto 5” please.
Mafia: Definitive Edition
This is another weird one because, on paper, this game is pretty new-gen as is. “Mafia Definitive Edition” is the remake of the original “Mafia” game, and when I say it’s a full-blown remake, I mean it. Hangar 13 didn’t cut any corners while developing this title and painstakingly recreated and modernized the city of Lost Heaven while keeping the original story intact. The visuals are solid here, so a framerate bump will help, don’t you think? A simple 60 fps patch is all we are asking for with this one; sure, you can up the resolution from 1440p to 4K if you like while you are at it, but let’s not get too greedy as the game is very gorgeous as is, and better performance will make it even more of a definitive experience than it already is. Will we get a patch? More than likely not, as if it were to happen, it would have happened by now, but at the same time, you never know how these things go, and sometime in the future, maybe we’ll get to enjoy “Mafia II: Definitive Edition” running at 60 fps on our consoles.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
This is one that will never happen unless they decide to remake or remaster the game for some reason and charge us full price once more. Why? because of all the drama that surrounded when the game came out, the exit of Hideo Kojima, and Konami being Konami. “Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain” is one of the best stealth games out there that you can play right now, and rightfully so; it’s “Metal Gear,” after all. The game looks gorgeous even to this day and already runs at 60 fps on all consoles, so upping the resolution to 4K or 1440p at the very least will make this game, as I said already above, look even better on our 4K TVs so it can look crisp and not like a soupy mess of pixels. Will we get a patch? As I already mentioned, no, no, we won’t, and holding out any hope for this one is bound to be in vain, but at the same time, it’s worth mentioning, so let’s see what comes out of it.
Just Cause 3
The reason I put “Just Cause 3” here and not “Just Cause 4” is simple: “Just Cause 3” is the better and superior game among the two. The gorgeous Mediterranian island of Medici was as gigantic as it was beautiful, and thanks to the nature of this game, the gameplay here was fantastic, with tons of action and explosions and just an overall very good time. The issue that cropped up was that this game could not even hold onto the 30 fps target it was shooting for because there is so much going on on your screen all at once. Why not fix that and make the game run at a solid frame rate and higher resolutions now that the technology will finally and easily let it? This is the best game in the series to date, and we don’t know if we’ll get “Just Cause 5” or not, so why not preserve that by making this game run at 1440p/60fps at the very least, Avalanche Studios? We know the hardware is not a limitation now, so please give us a patch so we can enjoy the chaos of this game the way it was intended to.
Another game that will more than likely never get a patch is because it is an Xbox exclusive, but the studio that made it, Insomniac Games, is now owned by Sony, so you can see the conundrum. “Sunset Overdrive” is gorgeous, and because of the stylized visuals, the game is timeless when it comes to its graphical fidelity. Despite that, it suffers from the same issue that most Xbox One games suffered from and runs at 900p. Upgrading the resolution to 4K will make this game look even more vibrant and beautiful than it already is, and the game’s fast-paced action will benefit a lot if it were to run at 60 fps. As I stated earlier, this is a pipe dream that will never become a reality anymore unless Microsoft can strike a deal with Sony somehow, which is, again, not going to happen. Because of this corporate drama, we gamers will never get to experience the definitive version of “Sunset Overdrive.” That is unless Insomniac makes a sequel for the PlayStation, but judging by Sony’s portfolio and the types of games they make, this is also something that more than likely will never see the light of day.
A couple of months before the release of “Just Cause 3,” Avalanche released “Mad Max,” which went completely under the radar, and barely anyone played it as it was released the same day as “Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain” and was completely overshadowed by it. I was one of the few gamers who chose this over “MGS 5” on release day and let me tell you, this game was fantastic, and it’s so sad that it remains so underrated. A giant open-world and a wholly original Mad Max tale that was true to the tone and vibe of the source material is what’s on offer here. Don’t quote me on this, but I think that Avalanche is working on a sequel, and if that’s true, I will welcome that with open arms. Until that day arrives, however, why not update this game to run at 4K60fps on our current-gen machines, please? If you are on an Xbox Series console, then you can play this masterpiece at 120 fps thanks to FPS boost, but a native version that gives us better resolution and framerate would go a long way in preserving this title and giving new players reasons to dive into the wasteland of “Mad Max.”
Dishonored 2: Death Of The Outsider
Finally, we have “Dishonored 2” and its standalone expansion, “Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.” These two games are another case of timeless art, which will make them look good no matter when you play them, and the resolution on offer here is also great as these games run at 1800 p. So what am I on about? Well, 60fps. That’s it; that will make a huge difference and make these games even better than they already are. The weird part about all of this is that you can play “Dishonored: Death of the Outsider” at 60 fps on Xbox One consoles thanks to an FPS boost, but that will drop the resolution, and while “Death of the Outsider” takes advantage of that, “Dishonored 2” does not, and I don’t understand why. This whole system of pick and choose is weird, and while I appreciate the option, can we please get a native version running at 60 fps while maintaining the 1800-pixel resolution? If the game can’t handle both, you can easily drop the resolution to 1440p while maintaining 60 fps. I know Arkane Studios went ahead and released “Deathloop” after these games and are on the verge of releasing “Redfall” in May, so chances of this happening are slim, to say the least, but at the same time, we are not going to get a new “Dishonored” game anytime soon as stated by both Arkane and Bethesda so why not update the old games and give us more reasons to revisit them?
The Evil Within 2
This reason “The Evil Within 2” can be even more glorious with a new-gen patch is that the game is solid on its own, it looks good and plays better than its predecessor, and finally, we still have no idea if “The Evil Within 3” is in the works or not. Tango Gameworks has been keeping busy as they released “Ghostwire: Tokyo” last year for the PlayStation 5 and PC, and the Xbox release is imminent. They also released “Hi-Fi Rush” just a couple of weeks ago, which came out as a surprise, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they are busy working on one if not two more projects, one of which could be “The Evil Within 3.” Asking for a patch in the middle of all of this is a tad greedy, I know, but hey! It’ll benefit both the games and the players, and I don’t see a reason why they shouldn’t do it. The game already runs at 1800p on Xbox and at 60fps thanks to the FPS boost program, so it technically doesn’t need an update, but what about the players on PlayStation? Either way, I added this here just for the sake of novelty; patch or no patch, this game runs incredibly well.
There you have it, a handful of games that could benefit from a current-gen patch. One thing you may have noted is that for most of these games, I noted that they would more than likely not get one, but that was the point of this entire list. These games would benefit if they got a patch, not that they should or are getting one. All of these games are fantastic in their own right, and despite a few hiccups here and there, they still look and play incredibly. Game preservation is important, especially in this day and age where we are moving forward at such a fast pace that something that was released less than two years ago can already look and feel dated. The answer is not to remaster or remake everything but to make it so that it still stands the test of time and holds up, and I hope these games get the attention they deserve and aren’t simply lost to time. See you at the next one!