60fps Soapbox

I've always been an advocate of the hallowed 60 frames-per-second. Even back on the PlayStation 3, when we had the excellent Killzone 2 running at a not-so-smooth 30 frames-per-second, I was desperate for that sweet 60. What I didn't realise at the time, was that 60fps wouldn't become the console norm for another decade. With the advent of the PS5, we finally have most new games offering 'performance' modes — graphical settings that prioritise frame-rate over resolution — and it's a beautiful thing.

PC gamers will no doubt be scoffing at this level of adoration. After all, higher frame-rates have been a staple of PC gaming for generations. But being a lifelong PlayStation enthusiast — it's my job, believe it or not — I've never felt compelled to fully explore the PC realm. There was that stint back in 2013 where I spent about 1000 hours playing modded Skyrim on my work computer, but that's a different story entirely!

Anyway, we've finally reached a point where PlayStation games hit 60fps — and there's simply no going back. The PS5 has turned me into a total 60fps snob; returning to 30 might as well make my eyes bleed.

Yakuza Like a Dragon

I recently reviewed Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PS5. Being a turn based RPG, it's not the kind of experience that necessitates 60fps, but it has a performance mode on Sony's new system all the same. It runs great, but out of curiosity, I ventured into the options menu and switched to 30fps at a higher resolution. It was an immediate and stark reminder of just how bad 30fps both looks and feels if you're used to 60. Again, once you're in, there's just no going back.

Now I'm not saying 30fps is unplayable... But in certain situations its implementation should be considered a criminal offence. Take Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, for example. Try jumping between 60 and 30 in Capcom's slash-'em-up and it's like playing two completely different games. The latter is nothing short of a disaster; dropping those additional 30 frames actually makes the action much more difficult, and it feels terrible. Reaction timing and button pressing can't be as precise when you only have half of the animation frames to work with, and in a fluid combo-based brawler like Devil May Cry, that's a death sentence.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne

The same applies to any action-based game that you can think of. Monster Hunter World is one of my all-time favourite PS4 games, but after sampling it on PS5, where it hits that 60fps cap, I don't know how I ever managed to sink 400 hours into it on last-gen hardware. A disgustingly choppy nightmare that only fools could enjoy.

Obviously I'm being dramatic, but hopefully you understand where I'm coming from. I've always championed the idea that games are much more fun when they feel good to play. A lot of different in-game factors can bleed into this interpretation: character animation, sound effects, button inputs, and environmental reactions — just to name a few. But on a technical level, the simple jump from 30 to 60 frames-per-second can make a world of difference. I'm not saying that every game running at 60fps automatically feels amazing — if only — but there's no denying the inherent smoothness of a higher frame-rate.

Cyberpunk 2077

I'm at a point now where 30fps can be a genuine deal breaker; full snobbery has been achieved. As is probably the case with many of you reading this, my PS4 backlog is still significant. I'll find myself scrolling through my PS4 library on PS5 when I don't have anything to review, and it always boils down to one question: does it run at 60fps on PS5? If the answer is no, I likely won't bother. After the whole Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco, I thought about going back to The Witcher 3 for the eightieth time. But at 30fps? No chance. Who do you think I am?

Complaining about games that can only manage a rock solid 30fps is a prime first world problem, but ever since I nabbed a PS5, that's what it comes down to. Who knows? Give it another ten years and I might be back writing another soapbox on how 120fps is our new lord and saviour.

Are you a fellow 60fps snob? Are you happy to see more games give us additional graphics options? Have your say in our poll, and be sure to double your frame-rate in the comments section below.

Are you a 60fps snob?