This PS5 game might have the worst performance we’ve ever seen

Chrono Cross Serge close up
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Chrono Cross Remaster on PS5 runs worse than the original PlayStation version, at least in the game’s ‘New Graphics Mode’ – a bizarre feat considering the 28-year gap between the PlayStation 5 and PS One.

The remaster of Chrono Cross, which was released on PS One in 1999 in Japan but never came to Europe, struggles to hit its target frame rate of 30fps, performing significantly worse than the PlayStation original running on almost three-decade-old hardware.

As revealed by Digital Foundry, Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition fluctuates wildly from 30fps to as low as 10fps during battles, resulting in a chugging frame rate that is anything but stable. That’s the case for both the PS4 version and when the game is played on PS5 via backward compatibility, which is surprising, to say the least. 

The original PS One version manages to outperform the remaster of Square Enix’s classic JRPG in almost every area, apart from the title screen, which obviously shouldn’t be the case.

Thankfully, the remaster’s ‘Classic’ mode matches the performance of the PS One original, though you’d like to think the PS4 and PS5 would be able to run the game at a locked frame rate in this mode.

With a frame rate that barely hits 30fps and visuals that are incredibly basic by today’s standards, Chrono Cross Remaster is easily one of the worst-performing games on PS5 and PS4.

This problem isn't reserved for the PS4 or PS5 versions of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, though. The same poor performance is present on Nintendo Switch and even on PC. Even a Titan RTX can't overcome the game's unstable frame rate.

An unacceptable port 

PlayStation 1 console

(Image credit: Sony)

It’s hard to defend the performance of Chrono Cross Remaster, as there’s no reason why a game that is frankly ancient by today’s standards can’t run significantly better on modern hardware. The remaster, even in the new graphics mode, is sparing in its visual upgrades – the game runs at 900p to 936p with a 1080p HUD according to Digital Foundry – so it’s not like we’re seeing a new engine, a 4K resolution or loads of fancy visual effects that could impact frame rate here.

The state of the game will come as a disappointment to European JRPG fans who have waited so long to play Chrono Cross and may have been looking forward to playing a superior version. Unfortunately, though, it’s clear that this isn’t the case, but we can only hope that Square Enix can significantly improve the game’s performance with updates in the future.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.