Review – MXGP 2020 (PS5)

Playing DIRT 5 on the PlayStation 5 made me realize how much of a game changer the brand new DualSense controller actually is. The way the controller’s improved rumble features and adaptive trigger resistance acted during races added a brand new level of immersion. Especially to a genre I never thought anyone would be able to find anything new to add to. I really wanted a brand new racing game to see if other developers would follow in Codemasters’ footsteps. That racing game ended up being a revamped version of last year’s MXGP 2020, developed by motorbike racing specialists, Milestone.

MXGP 2020

I’m only going at like 55mph, but the motion blur is going through the roof.

I’m no stranger to Milestone’s MXGP games. I played MXGP 2019 a year and a half and thoroughly enjoyed its visuals, sheer amount of content, track editor, and most importantly, its excellent “playground mode”, even if the controls took some time to get used to. I was already expecting for MXGP 2020 to feature basically the same kind of content, just like most yearly sports titles based on licensed seasons, and that’s exactly what I got. Sure, it’s a bit of a bummer, but what I really wanted to see was how Milestone would take advantage of the PS5’s horsepower to bring their franchise to a brand new generation of consoles.

Here’s the thing… I may have played a brand new PS5 build of the game, but it did not feel like a next-gen game at all. The PS5 version of MXGP 2020 is good, it gets the job done in terms of content (even if it’s exactly the same amount of content featured in its predecessor) and overall gameplay. It has similar physics and controls, but just like most early titles that come out right after the initial launch lineup batch, it feels more like a slightly prettier last-gen game than a proper showcase of what’s to come in future years.

MXGP 2020

Textures have been improved, as you can see. HDR support is also present. But all in all, MXGP 2020 doesn’t exactly look like what the next generation of gaming should look like.

Sure, the game runs at a much higher resolution, it does feature HDR support, the texture quality has been improved, and for the most part, the framerate has been improved. But honestly, I’ve played countless PS4 games that looked and ran much better than this one. For instance, the actual PS4 version of DIRT 5. The sole fact that the framerate has been improved for the most part already showcases one of MXGP 2020‘s issues: occasional framerate drops that will hinder gameplay. It usually drops whenever there are too many bikers onscreen at once, especially at the beginning of each race. 

There is one thing the developers took advantage of, thankfully: MXGP 2020 does utilize the DualSense’s adaptive triggers just like DIRT 5 did. It might not seem like a lot, but considering the fact you’re constantly climbing slopes with slightly underpowered dirt bikes, that does add an extra layer of immersion to what would have actually been a very run-of-the-mill racing experience. Haptic feedback is also present in here, with the controller vibrating according to the angle and type of terrain you’re currently running on.

The Playground mode is still MXGP’s highlight.

The PlayStation 5 version of MXGP 2020 feels exactly like most early titles released right after a console’s initial launch period. It’s midway between the last generation and what the next generation of gaming will actually look and feel like, and a game that utilizes some of its new hardware’s capabilities. But at the end of the day, it feels just like a slightly prettier last-gen title. It’s not much better than MXGP 2019, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re either a massive dirt bike fan who needs every single off-road game in the market, or a racing enthusiast who owns a PS5 and wants something other than DIRT 5 to test the DualSense’s adaptive trigger functionalities.


Graphics: 6.5

Some slight improvements over its predecessor in terms of framerate and textures, but all in all, it just looks like an improved PS4 game, not what the next generation of gaming should look like. Also, there are occasional framerate drops.

Gameplay: 7.5

The controls and physics are the same as before, albeit occasionally hindered by the aforementioned not-so-stable framerate. The game does feature haptic feedback and uses the R2 trigger’s sensitivity just like DIRT 5 did, however.

Sound: 7.0

Annoying (but realistic) bike engine noises are blasted during races, and generic yet decent music is played when you’re in the menus. 

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s more of the same, with not a lot to justify a brand new installment. It’s easily the best dirt bike simulator on the market, but I expected more from a brand new PS5 version.

Final Verdict: 7.0

MXGP 2020 is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of MXGP 2020 was provided by the publisher.