We gave Marvel’s Spider-Man on PlayStation 4 a perfect score in our review, back when it launched in 2018. We found Insomniac Games’ open-world adventure to be one of the best, if not THE best superhero game ever created, with an engrossing narrative, fluid, satisfying swinging mechanics and charming characters. None of that has changed, so this review will focus on the improvements which this new version of the game on PlayStation 5 brings, but spoiler: they’re fantastic!

Firstly, Spider-Man: Remastered includes the entire original game plus its three DLC packs and can only be purchased by owners of Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5, at present. The game is included in the Ultimate Edition of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which is an excellent value option for those who have never played either game. It can also be purchased via the Miles Morales menu on PS5, for those who only purchased the standard edition of said game initially. Miles Morales is a fantastic spin-off title in its own right and we believe it is a must-play for new owners of the PS5, read our full review for more!

In terms of new content, you’re out of luck if that’s what you’re looking for. Spider-Man: Remastered doesn’t add any new stuff to the game with the exception of three new suits for Spider-Man. The Armored-Advanced suit and Arachnid suit are entirely new designs created by Insomniac’s artists, while the Amazing suit has been added from the The Amazing Spider-Man series of films. These are all great designs and add some fresh looks for those who have already played the game on PS4, however, Insomniac have also gone back and added them to the PS4 version of the game, as a nice touch. Save data transfer was also added in the same patch, meaning you can transfer your original game save over to the Remastered version, should you wish.

Spider-Man: Remastered instead focuses on using the PS5’s feature set to deliver a polished, next-gen version of the original game. This comes in the form of three graphics modes, the most recent of those being added in the 1.0002 patch which arrived only a couple of days prior to this review. The original modes were fidelity and performance, the same as those which exist in Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS5. Fidelity delivers a beautiful native 4K presentation at 30 frames per second with ray traced reflections. Just as in Miles, the ray traced reflections in Spider-Man: Remastered are a stunning addition and add so much depth and life to the recreation of Manhattan. The performance mode sacrifices reflections to achieve a 60 frames per second target, which renders at dynamic 4K, which is then upscaled to a 4K output. This mode offers an incredibly fluid image in motion which makes swinging through the city feel completely different than before; you can really feel the speed as you swing around.

In our Miles Morales review, we lamented having to choose between these two modes, as each of them have huge advantages and provide such an improvement to the gameplay experience, making the decision incredibly difficult. However, along came Insomniac Games to solve that issue for us by offering a brand-new Performance RT mode to both Miles Morales and Spider-Man: Remastered in a recent patch. This mode truly is the best of both worlds, offering ray tracing reflections in combination with a 60 frames per second target. The output resolution is dynamic 4K, which usually renders around the 1440p range, however, it uses Insomniac’s custom temporal injection upscaling method, the same used in the original game on PS4 Pro, to upscale the image from its dynamic resolution to a 4K output. The result is a mindblowingly sharp image with fantastic picture quality. I am both stunned and amazed at Insomniac Games’ ability to get such a beautiful, crisp image while running in 60 frames per second with ray traced reflections turned on; no mean feat for any hardware, never mind a console GPU. As impressive as the PlayStation 5 is, even cutting-edge, top of the line GPUs sweat when tasked with ray tracing at 60 frames per second in games which push high levels of fidelity. Hats off to Insomniac Games for going back and delivering this excellent new mode to both titles. In our opinion, it is a no-brainer to choose this mode over the other two.

We have played a substantial amount of both games in all three modes, meaning that we can report an incredibly solid, consistent experience across all of them. There were no moments across both titles where I could visually notice frame drops with the naked eye, which I think is an excellent achievement for a studio putting out two launch titles during the pandemic which has caused many delays. Spider-Man: Remastered looks absolutely outstanding, with improved, higher-detail textures, greater pedestrian density, increased draw distance and many more subtle improvements. All of these come together to deliver what is, without a doubt, the best version of the game.

One major change that those who have played the original game may notice is that the character model of Peter Parker himself has been completely changed. This caused quite a bit of controversy when first revealed, however, our stance would be that the new model looks exceedingly better than the original one, with much higher level of detail and a more natural, youthful look, suiting the actual age of Peter in the game better. This is undoubtedly a hugely positive change and an unquestionable upgrade over the original model, feeling far more like Spider-Man than the 2018 version’s model. Insomniac stated that the main reason for the change is that it will allow better matching of lip movements going forward, due to a better fit with the voice actor’s cheekbone structure.

Overall, Spider-Man: Remastered is well worth the $20/€20 price of entry, despite the slight disappointment of not adding a little bit of new story content. This remaster is more than a simple framerate and resolution bump, with almost every aspects of the visual experience improved, delivering a breathtaking experience with ray traced reflections at 60FPS in the newly-added graphics mode. If you’ve never played Spider-Man (2018) but are interested in both it and Miles Morales, the Ultimate Edition offers excellent value for the amount of high quality content you receive and will be sure to keep you busy for a while on your new PS5. However, even if you’ve played the original game, I think the improvements in this version make it well worth a replay, provided you enjoyed your first experience with the title.