Last year we published a selection of the ten best graphics games of 2020. In general, you liked that list a lot, and most of you agreed with the chosen ones, with some exceptions that generated a bit of controversy, such as Minecraft RTX. I fully understand it since, in the end, this game uses such simple geometry that it may be unfair to compare it with other games, in fact, I already commented on this in the original article.
In that list, we included both console and PC games, and today we want to share with you a much more ambitious, extensive, and interesting special, where you will find a selection of what are, in our opinion, the twenty games with the best graphics, and with a best technical invoice, which this generation has left us. And yes, when I talk about this generation I mean the PC exclusive titles, the PS4 and Xbox One exclusives, and also the ones that came to all those platforms, that is, we are leaving the PS5 exclusives out of the equation, and Xbox Series X-Series S. As you may have seen, in this special we have changed the approach a bit, and that is that we no longer limit ourselves to choosing the games with the best graphics, but we have also added the concept of “technical invoice”. With this, we refer to those elements or aspects that improve the game from a technical point of view, and that represents an important value in combination with the graphic finish. To give some examples that serve as a reference, we can mention the sound and the setting, the breadth and complexity of the scenarios, the optimization, and the use of new technologies, such as virtual reality or ray tracing. Without further ado, let’s get down to business, although before we start I want to remind you that you can leave your own list in the comments, and I also invite you to tell us if you agree or not with the titles we have chosen, since we tell why Now yes, let’s start. The twenty games with the best graphics, and technical finish, of this generation
Many of us were looking forward to Valve surprising us with the long-awaited Half-Life 3, but in the end, we were left with a crooked gesture when we saw the presentation of Half-Life: Alyx. This reaction was perfectly normal, and we all wanted the company directed by Gabe Newell to close, once and for all, the trilogy that narrates the adventures, and misadventures, of Gordon Freeman. What can I say, we will have to keep waiting.
Once the initial disappointment was overcome, we realized that Half-Life: Alyx was not only one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, but also had everything necessary to become the best game that has reached the reality sector. virtual, at least to date, thanks to its excellent technical finish and the fantastic use it makes of the controls adapted to virtual reality. Outstanding, and with graphics that take your breath away.
It is a game that has generated a lot of controversies, but it is increasingly clear to me that it is one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, and the one that has the best-implemented ray tracing, with permission from Control, since this title also did a superb integration of such technology, and did not limit it to a single element.
Cyberpunk 2077 puts before us a huge city that extends both vertically and horizontally and is loaded with detail. The quality of the modeling of the characters, and of all the elements that we find in the scenarios is fantastic, and thanks to the ray tracing it offers global lighting that is close to perfection, highly realistic reflections, and soft shadows that round off a graphic finish that is simply Awesome. It also takes great advantage of second-generation DLSS. It is demanding, yes, and we can also say that the AI of the NPCs could be better, but we must bear in mind that CD Projekt RED had to start from the limitations of Xbox One and PS4, and that is why it is understandable that this title presents some shortcomings that are a classic of that generation and a direct consequence of the low power of its CPU.
3.-Resident Evil 2 Remake
I had the opportunity to analyze it at the time, and the truth is that I not only think that it is one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, but also that it is one of the best remakes of all time. Capcom managed to push the RE Engine to its limits with this title, at least in its cross-generational implementation, and the result was technically fantastic. The modeling of the characters, and of the enemies, is outstanding, the setting is perfect and the recreation of the different locations borders on a high level and is totally faithful to the classic of the nineties. As if all that weren’t enough, the degree of optimization that Capcom achieved is so good that the game runs well even on very modest configurations, such as a 4GB RX 460 or a 4GB GTX 1050 Ti.
4.-Red Dead Redemption 2
It was one of the games with the best graphics on PS4 and Xbox One, and after its launch on PC, it improved significantly from a technical point of view, thanks to the greater power offered by the said platform. Its graphic finish is one of the best we’ve seen in a game of its kind (explorable open world), and the setting and attention to detail are so good that it makes us feel as if we’ve really traveled to the American Wild West. To kick things up a notch, it recently implemented second-generation DLSS, a performance-enhancing technology that only causes a slight loss in image quality when set to performance mode at resolutions below 4K. If you play in 1440p or 1080p, the ideal is to set the DLSS to quality mode.
An authentic work of art developed on the idTech 7 graphics engine. In addition to being one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, it is also one of the best optimized, since it scales perfectly at the hardware level, and offers an impressive technical bill, both in terms of the modeling of all the elements reflected on the screen and the effects of particles, lights, and shadows. DOOM Eternal puts before us an organic, alive, and tremendously detailed world where the graphic quality shines widely on all fronts. Special mention also deserves the damaging effect that is reflected in our enemies when they receive damage, and the recent integration of ray tracing applied to reflections and the second generation DLSS, which increase the already excellent graphic and technical finish of this title.
Some may think that it is a very old game and that it does not deserve to be on this list, but the truth is that they are completely wrong. Dying Light is, on its own merits, one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, and the passage of time has not affected it at all, perhaps because it was a game that, from the beginning, showed that PS4 and Xbox One were born “exhausted ” This jewel of Techland puts before us a huge city that has been recreated in great detail, modeled in a sublime way and that we can explore with total freedom. The day and night cycles have been wonderfully integrated, the character modeling is outstanding, and the light and shadow effects remain impressive, especially for a 2015 game.
I played it when it came to PS4, and found it to be one of the best sandbox survival horror games I’d played so far, although it was technically lacking in some major ways that were a direct result of PS4’s limitations . Thus, for example, the quality of the textures was very poor, the degree of detail and the level of sharpness left a lot to be desired, the loading times were very high, and the frame drops seriously affected the gaming experience. The version of Days Gone for PC, however, became a real wonder. All those problems that the PS4 version had were overcome in the PC version, and this one looks so good and has implemented so many technical improvements, that it deserves to be considered one of the games with the best graphics of this generation. You shouldn’t miss it, even if you already played it on PS4.
8.-Forza Horizon 4
It is one of the games with the best graphics in its genre, and also one of the best Xbox One exclusives, although it is also available on PC. The most interesting thing about Forza Horizon 4 is, at first glance, the level of realism that it presents when it comes to modeling the cars and representing each scenario, but without a doubt, the best thing is that it also offers outstanding optimization. At the playable level, it is true that Forza Horizon 4 leans more towards the “arcade” side than towards a pure simulation, but this is a positive aspect for many. Coming back to the graphical finish, Forza Horizon 4 is so well done that it looks great even on Xbox One’s modest hardware, and as you might have imagined on PC, with 4K resolution and max settings, it’s a real blast.
9.-Dark Souls III
It was the first game in the franchise developed exclusively for the then new generation of consoles, PS4 and Xbox One, and it had a PC version that is, without a doubt, the most attractive, not only because it offers better graphic quality, and because we can set it to a higher resolution, but also because it’s not limited to 30 FPS. On a graphic level, Dark Souls III presents a spectacular finish, especially for the quality and setting of the scenarios, for how careful the light and shadow effects are, and for the richness that each location presents in terms of detail, so much so that, in fact, it makes some locations manage to tell us things in a completely visual way, that is, without having to say anything.
It’s one of the games with the best graphics this generation, and it’s another one that has the best-implemented ray tracing and second-gen DLSS, although it originally came with the first-gen version, and admittedly that wasn’t there. to the height, since it generated a very marked loss of image quality. Even without activating ray tracing, Control has an impeccable technical bill. The character modeling and animations of these are fantastic, the quality of the geometry is superb and is taken care of even in the smallest object on the map, and both the physics and the particle effects are the best of this generation. The setting also deserves special mention, as it is spectacular.
When we turn on ray tracing, the game experiences a massive graphical boost that makes it, in my opinion, one of the best graphical games of this generation. Such technology improves lighting, reflections, and shadows. It is true that it has a noticeable impact on performance, but we can counteract it with the second-generation DLSS.
- Assassin’s Creed Unity
In this case, it is a very complicated choice, but I think it is the right one. It was the first title of the franchise that reached the new generation of the moment, PS4 and Xbox One, and marked a huge leap both graphically and technically in general, although it is also true that it arrived loaded with errors and that it had to go through an intense “patching” process. They highlight, without a doubt, its excellent recreation of Paris at the end of the 18th century, the breadth of said city, the degree of detail it presents, and the enormous number of NPCs it was able to show. Its graphic finish was so good that even today, almost seven years after its launch, it is still one of the games with the best graphics that exist.
12.-Crysis 3 Remastered
Its launch won’t take place until October 15, but I’ve already been able to see what the Nintendo Switch version looks like, and the result is simply fantastic, especially considering the limitations that the Nintendo handheld presents. This remastered version maintains the essence of the original but introduces some important technical improvements including, in the PC version, ray tracing. The original version of Crysis 3 already had an impressive technical bill, so this remastered edition deserves a spot on this list on its own merits. This version did not reach PS4 and Xbox One, and therefore we have had to choose the remastered version. The original has aged beautifully and is still one of the best graphical games to come to PC.
13.-The Witcher III
It was the subject of significant controversy because it suffered a notable downgrade due to its adaptation to the limitations of PS4 and Xbox One. CD Projekt RED itself recognized it at the time and argued that it needed to release a version that ran well on consoles so that The Witcher III was viable. In the end, the truth is that, even with this reduction in graphic quality, it managed to become one of the games with the best graphics of this generation , especially due to the breadth of its scenarios, the degree of detail they present, and the richness of its different locations. It goes without saying that its setting is also very good and that the modeling of the characters has held up quite well, although the secondary characters can be improved.
14.-The Evil Within 2
From an artistic point of view, I like the first installment better, especially for the excellent rural locations it presents. However, The Evil Within 2 introduced a significant graphical improvement compared to the original, thanks to the abandonment of Xbox 360 and PS3 (it only reached PS4, Xbox One, and PC), as I told you at the time in this analysis, and it has outstanding details that make it one of the titles of its genre with the best graphic finish.
Among the most notable are the modeling of characters and enemies, the quality of the settings, the setting, the richness of the internal spaces in terms of detail, and the effects of light and shadow. Before starting this article I played it again, and I reaffirm, it is one of the games with the best graphics of this generation, and of its kind.
15.-Microsoft Flight Simulator
The most impressive thing about Microsoft Flight Simulator is, without a doubt, its extremely high level of realism. With him, we feel, from the first minute, as if we were really at the controls of an airplane, and not only because of the excellent level of detail that the cabins present, but because all the elements of the game have a marked photorealistic character. The cities, the airports, the modeling of the planes, the effects of lights and shadows, and the transitions in the day and night cycles have been taken care of to the millimeter, and make this title one of the games with the best graphics, without discussion possible. It is wonderful, to such an extent that it is worth giving it a try just to enjoy its technical finish.
One of the most important PS4 exclusives, and also one of the “cult” games that From Software has developed. On a technical level, this title has a similar approach to what we saw in Dark Souls III, but it poses a different setting and puts before us a scenario with Victorian overtones that has been taken care of down to the smallest detail.
The richness of each location, each scenario, the modeling of the characters, and the excellent execution of each construction are combined with well-resolved light and shadow effects to achieve, as a whole, a very personal, unique, and unrepeatable technical section. No PS4 game has managed to impact me, in this regard, in the way that Bloodborne did. Unfortunately, From Software pushed the graphics to the max, and as a result, Bloodborne has performance issues (frame drops and stuttering). Being a PS4 exclusive, we do not have any list of requirements to share with you, but we hope that this can change very soon.
17.-Horizon Zero Dawn
The PS4 version looks great, but it has significant performance issues, so much so that I stopped playing it. In the end, I decided to give it a second chance on PC, and I have to say I don’t regret it at all. In the version of Horizon Zero Dawn compatible, this title reaches graphics quality quotas that were impossible on the Sony console, and we can also run it at 60 FPS, something that is greatly noticeable in the gameplay since the version of PS4 was running at 30 FPS, but with noticeable drops. The breadth and quality of the scenarios is fantastic, the modeling of the characters and all the elements of the game is excellent and the technical invoice of the title is, in every way, spectacular. One of the games with the best graphics of this generation, but also one of the worst optimized in its PC version.
18.-Batman: Arkham Knight
His debut was disastrous, we cannot deny that. The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight arrived so broken that I vividly remember Warner Bros deciding to offer refunds . Yes, they had to return the money. However, after the release of a good wave of patches, the game ended up being in a pretty good state, and it must be recognized that graphically it is one of the best games of its kind, and of this generation.
The breadth of Gotham City and the degree of detail it presents, the modeling of the characters, the light and shadow effects, and the weather transitions border on an outstanding level and make Batman: Arkham Knight a visual delight. I finished it twice, and on my second run, I enjoyed it more than the first.
19.-The Last of Us Part II
Another one of the best PS4 exclusives. Naughty Dog managed to squeeze the hardware of said console to such an incredible level that, of course, it must be given the recognition it deserves. The Last of Us Part II offers an outstanding graphic section in every way, both in the modeling of the characters and in the scenarios, their detail, and the key effects (lights, shadows, weather, and particles).
The Last of Us Part II is one of the best graphical games on PS4, and it also has one of the best post-apocalyptic settings I’ve ever seen. However, to achieve this excellent technical invoice, Naughty Dog had to make some important sacrifices, and that is that we are not facing a title with an open-world approach like Days Gone, but rather it adopts the same approach as other games like God of War, that is, it presents us with a world that seems very wide, with a good viewing distance outdoors, but that in the end is closed and very linear. There is also no PC version, so we can’t talk about requirements.
20 God of War
With this title, I have mixed feelings. At the playable level, I must say that I did not like it. I have it on PS4, I’ve tried to play it several times, but it always ends up boring me, so I haven’t been able to get to the end. However, this does not prevent me from recognizing that, from a technical point of view, it is wonderful. God of War is one of the games with the best graphics of this generation due to its excellent character modeling, it’s careful setting, and fantastic post-processing, lighting, and shading effects. There is no doubt that it is also an example of the technical ceiling of PS4.