20 of the Most Graphically-Impressive Video Games You Should Play

20 of the Most Graphically-Impressive Video Games You Should Play

When it comes to video games, good gameplay is the primary marker of quality. But for both developers and gamers alike, graphics are a close second. Modern games are capable of astonishing visual fidelity thanks to the latest consoles and graphics cards, and many players seek out titles that push their PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or gaming PC to its limits. The games on this list do just that.

The 20 games on this list are, in our opinion, the best graphically-impressive games available right now, meaning they feature a high degree of visual fidelity and realism, rather than impressive art direction. While some do feature fantastical worlds or hyper-stylised elements, we’re focusing on their technical merits like ultra-high resolutions, high frame rates, finely-detailed models, and cutting-edge lighting techniques like ray tracing. So if you’re wondering why games like Hollow Knight or Persona 5 Royal aren’t on this list, that’s why. But don’t worry — we’ll cover games with beautiful art styles in the future.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 features a richly detailed world with believable in-game physics and life-like scenery. Rockstar Studio’s vision of the Old West is jaw-dropping, especially on PC, where you can play the game at its highest graphics settings. We’re still holding out hope for an upgraded PS5 and Xbox Series X versions one day, but even the PS4 and Xbox One versions look great.

Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Next Gen

It’s easy to lose yourself in The Witcher 3’s monster-infested landscapes, and much of the game’s immersion comes from its amazing visuals. CD Projekt Red’s open-world epic was released back in 2015, but it’s still one of the best-looking RPGs thanks to the recent PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X next-gen updates: These iterations boost performance and add new graphical effects that make the immersive fantasy world feel even more life-like.

Available on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC. (Base version also available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.)

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut

Death Stranding — the latest game from famed developer Hideo Kojima — might not be for everyone, but its graphical fidelity is undeniable. The game’s expansive landscapes stretch on seemingly for miles, creating a sense of scale that few other titles achieve. Kojima’s games are known for striking imagery and unique takes on technology, but Death Stranding pushes beyond the comparatively grounded settings of Metal Gear Solid, and into realms that are more alien and unsettling. The point is, you see some weird stuff in Death Stranding. Some of it is unsettling, some of it is awe-inspired, but it’s all meticulously crafted and beautifully realised within the game’s graphics engine, especially the Director’s Cut version on PC and PS5.

Available on: PS5, PC. (Base version also available on PS4.)

Elden Ring

Elden Ring straddles the line between artistic beauty and technical fidelity. It runs on an older game engine with models, textures, and animations that are often inferior to its contemporaries, but none of that matters when you encounter the Liurnia of the Lakes vista the first time, gaze out at the vast subterranean Siofra River, or stand before the staggering height of the Erdtree. Elden Ring is a feat of not just art and graphics but of design and scale, and it’s impressive that FromSoftware’s first open world is this big, this varied, and this gorgeous to look at.

Available on: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC.

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade

Final Fantasy VII Remake is the first of a planned trilogy that reimagines the story of the original Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation 1, fleshing out the storyline and realising the world in greater detail than ever. The upgraded Intergrade version of the game looks excellent on the PlayStation 5 and PC with gorgeous character models and advanced lighting, making this the best-looking Final Fantasy game to date.

Available on: PS5, PC. (Base version also available on PS4.)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was arguably the best-looking game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 when it dropped in 2017, and the enhanced Xbox Series X and PC versions of this Nordic epic look even better. Instead of a sprawling open world — something that requires a lot of computing power to render — Ninja Theory focused on smaller, bespoke levels packed with detail and highly realistic motion capture animations.

Available on: PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch.

Cyberpunk 2077 (Current-gen and PC versions)

Despite its rocky launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has progressed into a great open-world RPG, and the sprawling sci-fi metropolis of Night City is one of the most eye-catching locations in modern gaming. The PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC versions are particularly striking, although we recommend skipping the PS4 and Xbox One versions. Just stroll down one of the city’s neon-drenched streets during a rainy night, and you’ll see why.

PC players lucky enough to have a GeForce RTX 40 series card can enable the “RT Overdrive” feature that add path-tracing lighting effects, as seen in the clip above.

Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, and Xbox One.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits combines a cartoonish art style with realistic lighting and high-resolution assets to truly astounding results. Kena’s visual fidelity is all the more impressive when you realise this is the first game that development studio Ember Lab has ever made. Prior to creating Kena, the Ember Lab team animated commercials and short films, then pivoted to game development in 2016. Those animating chops clearly benefitted the game’s visuals, which often look just as good as — and at times even better than — tentpole animated films from studios like Dreamworks and Pixar.

Available on: PS5, PC.

Ghost of Tsushima – Director’s Cut

Sucker Punch’s open-world samurai epic is an amazing thing to see in motion. While the story is based on semi-historical events, the developers added just a touch of myth and folklore to enrich the game’s visual design. Even during the game’s most mundane moments, Ghost of Tsushima’s world is subtly stylised, with cherry blossom petals and golden leaves tumbling in air, tall grass swaying in the breeze, and vibrant sunlight playing off realistic clouds and atmospheric effects. The Director’s Cut version upgrades the already great-looking game with 4K and 60 fps on PS5.

Available on: PS5, PS4.

Resident Evil 4 (Remake)

Capcom’s RE Engine powers some of the best-looking games of the past several years, including Monster Hunter World, the upcoming Street Fighter 6, and every Resident Evil title since Resident Evil 7. However, the most recent game in the series, the Resident Evil 4 remake, is the best use of Capcom’s powerful graphics engine yet.

The many grotesque sights and monsters Leon Kennedy encounters in his mission through rural Spain — from dead-eyed Ganados to undulating parasites — are rendered in unsettling detail. However, where the game truly shines is in its lighting and atmosphere. Eerie fog, pouring rain, and stark shadows make the game’s forests, villages, and caverns you explore more believable — and much scarier.

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

When you first start up Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, you might find yourself waiting for gameplay to start after the gorgeous intro cinematics … only to realise the game looks just as good as the pre-rendered cutscenes. However, one of the game’s most impressive visual feats — seamlessly jumping between levels using in-game warp portals — is made possible thanks to the PS5’s super-fast SSD rather than its graphical power.

Available on: PS5.

The Last of Us Part I

The Last of Part 1 is a remake of the PS3 original, enhanced for PS5 and PC. Despite being set in a post-apocalyptic world infested with fungal zombies, The Last of Us Part 1’s visuals impart a verisimilitude to the world that eclipses most other games. At times, the graphics can be, well, graphic. Players witness every aspect of this story in intense detail, including the violence. But we also see characters express hope and healing through their body language, and they glimpse moments of beauty in the detailed wildernesses and plant-choked city ruins players explore as Joel and Ellie.

Available on: PS5, PC.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Few cities look are lifelike as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ New York City. It’s amazing how well Insomniac Games captured the look and feel of a real place, but the real accomplishment is making the city look so good when you’re swinging past skyscrapers at high speeds. Web slinging through Manhattan is exhilarating, thanks in large part to the sense of speed the game’s visuals convey. There’s a reason the “this game makes you feel like Spider-Man” meme exists: because it’s true.

Available on: PS5, PC.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Everything in A Plague Tale: Requiem looks good. Characters convey emotions with believable facial animations, while the medieval European cities and lush wildernesses the game takes you through showcase what the latest consoles and graphics cards a capable of. But you won’t really understand A Plague Tale: Requiem’s graphical prowess until you see a river of plague-infested rats coalescing around a hapless guardsman, each individual rodent fully animated and rendered, the entire swarm undulating like a single fetid organism. It’s equally gross and gorgeous.

Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch.

God of War Ragnarok

God of War’s 2018 reboot was one of the PlayStation 4’s best-looking games, but its 2022 sequel, God of War Ragnarok, is even more impressive, especially when playing on PS5. Thanks to Sony’s latest console, the game’s ornate Nordic architecture, lush fantasy realms, and massive creatures are realised with a staggering level of detail, but rarely at the cost of gameplay or level design. Making a game look good and still convey important “video-gamey” visual information to the player is getting harder and harder as games strive for more realism, but God of War Ragnarok manages to skirt the line with impressive results.

Available on: PS5, PS4.

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West might be the most detailed video game world we’ve ever seen. Every leaf and blade of grass in this far-future world is modelled and animated realistically. Even the life-like character models sport granular features like visible pores, wrinkles, or hair follicles that few other games would take the time to model. We’ll be honest: There are times Horizon Forbidden West is too detailed to the point of overwhelming the player’s senses, but that only underscores the game’s life-like effects.

Available on: PS5, PS4.

Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7 on PS5 and PS4 continues the series’ legacy of setting the bar for realistic graphics on each of Sony’s previous consoles.

In terms of both gameplay and visuals, Gran Turismo 7’s goal is realism. Rather than wow players with fantastical worlds or flashy effects, Gran Turismo 7 focuses on presenting the game’s many cars in hyper-realistic detail using cutting-edge lighting and rendering techniques.

Available on: PS5, PS4.

Forza Horizon 5

Racing games often feature some of the best graphics of a given console generation, and Forza Horizon 5 is easily in the running for the most impressive visuals on the Xbox Series X. The open-world racing game is a joy to explore, utilising the Series X’s hefty graphical power to render gorgeous virtual reimaginings of the Mexican countryside. And then there are the cars, which look damn-near lifelike.

Available on: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC.

Demon’s Souls (PS5)

It’s impressive that one of the prettiest games on PS5 is built on the bones of a PS3 game that wasn’t necessarily lauded for its graphics. To be fair, Blue Point does take some artistic liberties that alter the atmosphere and lore of FromSoft’s original Demon’s Souls in ways some fans disagree with, but there’s no denying it is a triumph of technical fidelity. Demon’s Souls’ enormous castles, crumbling ruins, and twinkling particle effects look incredible and highlight the PS5’s graphical capabilities.

Available on: PS5.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Flight sims might not be the most popular genre, but there’s no denying Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most photorealistic games ever made. The detailed aircraft, dynamic weather effects, and gorgeous sunsets are unparalleled, and we frankly can’t think of any game that beats it in terms of realism and technical fidelity. Even if you’re not normally into flight sims, it’s worth checking this one out just to see it in motion.

Available on: Xbox Series X, PC.

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