The 10 most graphically demanding PC games of all time

Push your PC to its limits with the most graphically-demanding PC games ever!

“Does it run, Crysis?” Back in the day, this was the question to determine the power of a person’s PC to handle the most intense games on the market. It was a symbol of a game that asked for the absolute best kind of hardware if you want it to really look its best. Since then, games have gotten even more powerful and the technology that runs them even stronger. But even with those advancements, there will always be those games that will demand the most from your PC, and we have the most demanding right here.

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Crysis 3

Yep, we had to reference the meme and acknowledge that the meme exists for a reason. While running Crysis 3 at moderate settings won’t necessarily break your machine, if you want to see it run at the max settings, you will need a great PC for it.

What the game lacks in terms of compelling storytelling makes up for some of the lushest, most vibrant, and detailed environments in any game. Even though it is seven years old at this point, it still is beautiful to look at.

Grand Theft Auto V

Everyone’s favorite open-world chaos simulator can really look like something special when you crank those settings up to max. A game that is full of details and processes going on simultaneously can really put a strain on your system. Then you take into account the mods you can play with to add even more details and graphical power to the game, and you very well could be looking at upgrading your GPU and pushing your computer even further.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar’s 2018 Western epic was finally released on PC last year, and it is such a demanding game that Nvidia recommended not running it at max settings on their top-of-the-line graphics card. Using a mix of medium-high settings was how they advised getting the best experience, which meant that the game was so demanding that it would need a new generation of graphics cards to run at max settings.

Having played the game, we can totally see how this is the case. The world is full of detail, from the NPC’s you meet to the animals running across your path. Everything feels vibrant, colorful, and amazing to behold.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

One of the greatest games of this generation can also come with a steep graphical cost. The game uses the REDengine 3, which allows the game to have realistic physics, depth of field effects, and ambient occlusion. With the sheer size of the game, it needs some powerful processing to run smoothly.

At max settings, this game looks so good that you may forget it’s just fantasy.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Using the CryEngine that runs the Crysis series is a surefire way to need a powerful machine. This historical RPG is rich with detail, and when played at its highest settings, you will see all of that detail popping off the screen. This means needing the most recent and up-to-date hardware. But once you’re in that world that is coming to life so spectacularly, it will all be worth it.

Final Fantasy XV

A game that sits at 100GB in file size is no slouch when it comes to graphics. Final Fantasy XV is undoubtedly one of the most stunning-looking out of the series. The physics are wonderful, and the character models all look fantastic, including their hair and skin tones. It becomes a real treat to drive across the landscape, taking all of the scenery beautifully-rendered sights in.

A world that is full of fantastical and crazy creatures can’t look any better than this.

Project Cars 2

It’s truly incredible, the amount of realism that is seen in many racing games and Project Cars 2 is one to prove it. Slightly Mad Studios worked hard to make sure the game can take full advantage of the Madness Engine. You can see it in the way the light bounces off the metal sheen on your car. It gets to the point where you may find yourself not paying attention to the race itself, resulting in a crash that utilizes some truly terrifyingly realistic physics.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

At its max settings, Mankind Divided can make running Crysis seem like child’s play. Despite having that insane amount of graphical demands, it is absolutely worth it. The art style of this game is one of our favorites in the entire industry. Add to this the graphical touches that permeate through the whole thing, including how smoke rises off your gun, and you’ve got something that is going to need some serious hardware.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics really showed the potential of the engine they built for Rise of the Tomb Raider with this latest outing. The way that jungle environments, beautiful landscapes, and realistic facial expressions are rendered is truly incredible. The game comes with real ray-tracing capabilities, volumetric fog, and particle effects that really push dynamic lighting in new directions.

Far Cry 5

Even at moderate settings, Far Cry 5 is an incredible game to look at. But this game’s graphical demands go beyond just the way the world looks as it also has to manage the explosions and chaos that come with every Far Cry game. It really is an immersive experience as you run through these lush forests, full of wildlife, all while being shot at by a helicopter or a group of cult members in a truck. You’ll need the best hardware to get that full experience, that much we can also guarantee you.

All of these games need the best kind of rig to run at their best. It may seem like a daunting thing, but we assure you that it is absolutely worth it. So if you want to push your PC to its limits, these games are the best way to do it.

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