Whenever the newest and most competent computer components are released to the public, so are the video games that fully utilize their potential. And with leading hardware manufacturers competing to push out highest performing parts for the best price almost on a yearly basis, it's clear why the gaming industry has been consistently experiencing a technological incline. Now, lots of games can be played on a decade-old system without a problem, but it's the ones that require the very best rigs to push on maximum settings that we're particularly interested in today.
These games are created not only as a gaming experience but also as a way of exploiting the most advanced new graphic technologies (with developers boasting their technological prowess in the process).
10 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Despite being 4 years old, Witcher 3 is still a benchmark for high-end gaming systems considering how high its visual settings can be tweaked. If you're an Nvidia user, you can punish your GPU even further by turning on HairWorks feature to make the characters in the game even more life-like. Apart from that, it' the absolutely massive open world, covered in beautiful textures and illuminated by HBAQ+ light occlusion, that really makes the game so demanding.
Running Witcher 3 on anything less powerful than a GTX 770 and a solid processor will result in sub-30 FPS image reproduction. However, even ballers sporting cards like the new RTX 2060 and above won't be set to play this game at over 1440p, especially if they hope to get more than 60 fps.
9 Final Fantasy XV
In 2018 we finally got to see Final Fantasy XV on our desktop monitors as well. But there was a price: utilizing top-notch graphics and some of the most stunning graphics and advanced physics (GameWorks technology), the game will truly test your system's mettle. We're still baffled by the required 155GB free space to play this game in 4k - that's right, 155GB for a single game! And even then, we can't guarantee 60 fps with anything tamer than a straight-up RTX 2080 or GTX 1080Ti (some of the best commercially-available graphics cards), as well as 16 GB of ram. You can always tone it down to 1080p, though.
8 Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
One of the most beautiful and immersive open-world experiences in recent gaming history, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is all about graphic power. As such, it will require a hefty card to run. The game allows you to freely explore the landscapes and detailed locations of Ancient Greece, while the biggest drag on your graphics card will be the draw distance setting. Maxing this out will reveal beautiful and detailed landscapes, hills, and glistening waters as far as the eye can see.
But, one of the biggest reasons why Odyssey boasts one of the most gorgeous open worlds we've seen is its dynamic lighting effects. To experience the whole shebang, you'll need at least a moderately powerful, 4GB graphics card (such as the GTX 970), something like the i7-3770 processor, and about 46 gigs of disk space.
7 Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The latest chapter in Lara Croft's story is more visually stunning and diverse than ever. Players will also be faced with consistently innovative and challenging puzzles necessary to progress in the game. The previous game was no piece of cake when it comes to system requirement, and this one continues the tradition. Even at mediocre refresh rates, you won't be able to enjoy this game with anything less than a GTX 1060 graphics card (the game is particularly graphics-intensive) combined with the brain power of something like an i7 4770K processor. To consistently make the 60 FPS mark, most of us will need at least a GTX 1080, and we won't even go into 4K resolution gaming for this one.
6 Project CARS 2
Hands down one of the most stunning autosport games out there, Project Cars 2 improves tremendously on its predecessor. The graphics are completely photo-realistic, and the fact that you need at least 50 GB of free space to even install this game should be a testament of the amount of detail it includes.
However, it's the CPU that's getting the lion's share of the work in this game. You see, this is not an arcade racer like NFS games; it's a pure racing simulation. Meaning, higher emphasis is put on physics - something CPU is solely in charge of. And Project Cars really goes all out, with things like weather, road incline, tire temperature, and car damage all constantly affecting how your car handles. Because of this, the processor recommended to run the game is a hefty i7 6700K, along with a high-end GTX 1080 graphics card. And that's just for 1080p. No joke.
5 Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Foliage. That's the word that's probably going to be on your mind as your overpriced system struggles to push out 60 FPS in this game. The reason for that is that the game's Dunia engine is based on the CryTek engine developed for the notorious Crysis. And while we're not sure why Warhorse Studios chose an engine developed for high-end shooters for their game, we can't say it's ugly.
The system requirements for this game still make little sense. Despite allegedly needing a GTX 1060 graphics card and a solid processor (and we can't forget the necessary 16 gigs of RAM), players running GTX 1080Ti's will still get under 60 frames at some points in the game. But hey, at least the foliage is so photo-realistic, you can admire each and every separate, perfectly-rendered blade of grass.
4 Far Cry 5
For the fifth sequel of their renowned first-person shooter, Ubisoft decided to employ the same engine that made Kingdom Come: Deliverance your system's worst nightmare - the CryTek-based Dunia engine. Of course, the game's fictional Montana offers plenty of beautiful scenery with a strong sense of freedom and excitement, while the franchise's signature action and brutality remains the main ingredient of its success. However, If you hope to run this game at anywhere near 60 FPS and a decent resolution, you'll need a high-end card like the GTX 1080, paired with at least an i7-6700, and 16 GB of ram.
3 Hitman 2
Over the last two decades, Danish game studio IO Interactive has put out 7 popular Hitman titles, with the latest one joining us last year. Hitman 2 is the most beautiful Hitman yet, brimming with cutting-edge visual tech features, the most eye-catching being their faithful object reflections.
All the textures, filtering, lighting, and foliage have also been updated to make the game as taxing as possible for your system. Especially surprising is that, impressive as it may be, Hitman 2 runs on the company's self-developed Glacier 2 engine. Though, don't think of running this game at 1080p without at least a decent 4-GB graphics card. Maxing out settings on 4K resolution is still possible, but will require a god-card such as the RTX 2080Ti, paired with a fast CPU.
2 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
This game set the standard of graphics quality and technology when it came out 3 years ago, while offering an incredibly detailed and flexible video settings menu for fans wishing to enjoy the game without having to invest into an expensive rig. Nevertheless, with the ultra preset, the game competes with the most demanding titles out there, even three years later. To max out your texture settings, you're gonna need at least 6 GB of memory on your GPU.
According to a benchmark test conducted by ETeknix, a dependable 60-FPS on maxed-out settings will happen only on a GTX 1080 or better. This is incredibly demanding of a game that was released at a time when the GTX 1080 was the one card to rule them all.
1 Metro Exodus
This year we've finally welcomed Metro Exodus, featuring the fabled real-time ray tracing technology support to use the full potential of the new Nvidia graphics card lineup. Players planning on running the game on lower settings might have issues, as the game offers only a few possible tweaks to improve performance for lower-grade systems. Benchmarks by PC Gamer on lowest settings reveal an average of under 60 FPS on anything worse than a GTX 1070 (a powerful card). Cranking everything up to the max (while keeping the 1080p) will make even the most powerful cards in the world, such as the RTX 2080 Ti or the Titan RTX, struggle to hit 40 frames. That's right, 40! We're not joking.