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What are the most visually stunning games you've ever played?

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Graphics and visual fidelity have grown to make games look incredible over the last decade or so. What are the most graphically stunning games you've ever played, or seen, and why are they?

 

1) Halo 3 (original and MCC version). Still the top dog nearly ten years later. An incredible art style, lighting and shadowing are the reasons why it looks so darn good. Its beginning to age a little due to lower polygon counts compared to today's games, and there's obvious pixelation. The door is open for a new #1, but it will take a LOT for me to admit a new champ.

 

2) Horizon Zero Dawn. Absolutely beautiful art style; really pumps the most horsepower out of the PS 4. I just wish everything was in 60 FPS. From the color choices to the lighting and shadow, everything pops out. Aloy loooks great too... she's cute :p

 

3) The Last of Us Remastered. Juuust behind HZD. I noticed some rough polygon counts during my playthrough a couple months ago. A grim and gorgeous art style make Ellie and Joels' journey, not to mention themselves, looks awesome.

 

4) Battlefield 1 (campaign). The first time I booted up the prologue level and watched the cutscenes I was shocked, like with HZD. The campaign looks amazing, since it doesn't have to put so many resources to keeping multiplayer running smoothly. CG cinematics look gorgeous.

 

5) (EDIT: 7/15/17 UC 4 swapping with Skyrim. (EDIT 7/6/17: I have now finished the whole series)) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. By FAR the best looking Uncharted game, in my opinion. Everything about it is stunning. Nate, Elena, Sully, Rafe, Nadine, and even little Cassie look nearly lifelike in cutscenes. The levels are lush with detailed colors everywhere.

 

6) Halo 2 Anniversary. 343 Industries and Certain Affinity did a stellar job remastering the graphics with better lighting, higher polygon counts, a modern take on its art style. The CGI cinematics by Blur Studios are incredible. THE highest quality cinematics I've ever seen in a game.

 

7) (swapped with UC 4) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I last played this game a couple years ago. On Xbox 360 it was good for its time, but on PC I bet it looks stunning. I don't have the remastered Xbox One version. A great artstyle that brings out the nordic inspired countrysides and cities.

 

8) Rise of the Tomb Raider. Much cleaner than the reboot game. The artists made Syria and Siberia look grim, battle torn, and beautiful all at once. Lara looks so good. Best version of her that I've played, in my opinion, given that this was my second TR game.

 

9) Assassins Creed: Syndicate. My favorite AC game. I thought the developers rebuilt 1868 Victorian Era London beautifully. Just need a better framerate when I look around on the towers! Evie andJacob look quite nice a well.

 

10) Mirrors Edge: Catalyst. Forget what you say if you don't like the game, but at least admit the futurism looks amazing. So much nicer than the first game, obviously. Great looking cutscenes. The City of Glass' sleek dystopian art style gives the blues, reds, greys and whites a very...wait for it...mirror-like finish.

 

I like to edit things as time goes on due to changed opinions.

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I put equal weight on technicals and art style/atmosphere. So in no particular order:

 

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

 

It's so, SO relaxing, like a giant zen garden. The swaying grass, the rolling hills, the early morning fog...and no other game quite rocks the colour purple like this one!

 

Halo 1

 

The first console game I played that had visuals like a PC game. The bump mapping, the water shader, the ultra-high detail textures, the "glow effect", the specular highlights - pure artistry.

 

Project Gotham Racing 4

 

It has its rough spots, but when it shines, you almost feel like you're driving through real cities. Incredible attention to detail in the environments.

 

Star Wars Battlefront (2015)

 

I haven't played it yet, but I've never seen anything quite like this. Super clean, super clear, razor sharp, nearly flawless.

 

Dirt Rally

 

Solid all-around visuals.

 

Honorable mention: Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Xbox)

 

Dated in several areas, but the lighting engine and particle effects still shine.

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I think the list of most visually detailed games I've played would be radically different from the list of games that I find the most visually pleasing.

 

Dark Souls 1 and 3 have both going for them.

Skyrim HD mods are also very impressive.

 

Halo 1

The first console game I played that had visuals like a PC game. The bump mapping, the water shader, the ultra-high detail textures, the "glow effect", the specular highlights - pure artistry.

 

Also this.  Ironically the console version actually looks better than the PC port where all of that is concerned.  All the lighting aspects of the game are beautiful without being intrusive and blend well with the simplistic textures.

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How is Doom not on that list. They nearly handbuilt an entire engine with id tech 6 just for it and Quake. Not only is it probably the best engine out but the art in Doom is fucking other worldly good. That game throws around particle effects like candy. Probably the best looking game I've ever seen, in just about every aspect.

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How is Doom not on that list. They nearly handbuilt an entire engine with id tech 6 just for it and Quake. Not only is it probably the best engine out but the art in Doom is fucking other worldly good. That game throws around particle effects like candy. Probably the best looking game I've ever seen, in just about every aspect.

Because I have never played Doom and its not of interest to me. Good to hear that it looks great though :).

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Halo 1: At the time, getting out of the lifeboat and seeing that 360 skybox. Mesmerising.

 

Mirror's Edge (2008): The art style of that game just does it for me. Absolutely love it.

 

INSIDE: One of the must unique games I've ever played. The mood/art/atmosphere is so good I've played it four times through.

 

Crysis 1 (2007): Just. Wow. Holy shit. Most games still aren't on this game's level.

 

ArmA 3 Apex: Tanoa at full fidelity is incredible.

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Halo 1: At the time, getting out of the lifeboat and seeing that 360 skybox. Mesmerising.

 

Mirror's Edge (2008): The art style of that game just does it for me. Absolutely love it.

 

INSIDE: One of the must unique games I've ever played. The mood/art/atmosphere is so good I've played it four times through.

 

Crysis 1 (2007): Just. Wow. Holy shit. Most games still aren't on this game's level.

 

ArmA 3 Apex: Tanoa at full fidelity is incredible.

I really like Mirrors Edge's art style as well. I just think Catalyst was FAR better looking. 

I have Inside's demo on my laptop. Pretty neat game and I want to buy it eventually. It sure does have an erie atmosphere.

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I really like Mirrors Edge's art style as well. I just think Catalyst was FAR better looking. 

I have Inside's demo on my laptop. Pretty neat game and I want to buy it eventually. It sure does have an erie atmosphere.

 

Catalyst's art was ok, but a lot of areas looked like plastic to me which I didn't like as much as the first one. The first looks clean from a distance, but up close there was dirt and grime on the edges and stuff. Was really cool, but Catalyst had one incredible area (the first part of the whole game where you're on street level) that was nice and realistic, then everything had this weird plastic sheen that I didn't really like.

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Catalyst's art was ok, but a lot of areas looked like plastic to me which I didn't like as much as the first one. The first looks clean from a distance, but up close there was dirt and grime on the edges and stuff. Was really cool, but Catalyst had one incredible area (the first part of the whole game where you're on street level) that was nice and realistic, then everything had this weird plastic sheen that I didn't really like.

Hmm you have a point. It could have something to do with the lighting. Because of the futuristic setting, the idea of everything being mirror-like, it was nice. 

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I considered mentioning Battlefront. Great visuals and sound, but the game itself I don't like.

 

 

How is Doom not on that list. They nearly handbuilt an entire engine with id tech 6 just for it and Quake. Not only is it probably the best engine out but the art in Doom is fucking other worldly good. That game throws around particle effects like candy. Probably the best looking game I've ever seen, in just about every aspect.

 

 

Tied between DOOM and StarWars Battlefront for me. 

 

 

 

The photogammetry technique they used for StarWars BF was AMAZING. Yes the gameplay was not up to par(BF2 plzz) but clearly most of the art in the game was not hand drawn, which just gives it that feeling of knowing the difference between a drawing and a photograph. 

 

 

 

 

DOOM on Vulkan has a great art style and graphics. Id nailed it with the visuals of what a DOOM game should have. Performance is crazy good too. 

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Tied between DOOM and StarWars Battlefront for me. 

 

 

 

The photogammetry technique they used for StarWars BF was AMAZING. Yes the gameplay was not up to par(BF2 plzz) but clearly most of the art in the game was not hand drawn, which just gives it that feeling of knowing the difference between a drawing and a photograph. 

 

 

 

 

DOOM on Vulkan has a great art style and graphics. Id nailed it with the visuals of what a DOOM game should have. Performance is crazy good too. 

I feel some of the photorealism of Battlefront was somewhat cartoonish. Much of it looked super nice though.

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Definitely Bioshock.

Have heard they're nice looking games. I've seen a few minutes of Infinite when I tried it years ago. Didn't like it though. Bioshock has an interesting vibe to it. I remember my dad playing B1 back when I was in high school. 

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Have heard they're nice looking games. I've seen a few minutes of Infinite when I tried it years ago. Didn't like it though. Bioshock has an interesting vibe to it. I remember my dad playing B1 back when I was in high school. 

 

I wasn't a fan of Infinite or Bioshock 2. The Bioshock series was a one-hit wonder imo.

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I wasn't a fan of Infinite or Bioshock 2. The Bioshock series was a one-hit wonder imo.

I shocked one of my co-workers by telling him I tried Infinite and didn't like it, and the series all together. He claimed I was the first person to tell him that lol. Yeah, doubt it. They visually look unique, but not my type of game.

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I shocked one of my co-workers by telling him I tried Infinite and didn't like it, and the series all together. He claimed I was the first person to tell him that lol. Yeah, doubt it. They visually look unique, but not my type of game.

 

I would play Bioshock 1 still and wouldn't let Infinite be a representation of the series.

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I would play Bioshock 1 still and wouldn't let Infinite be a representation of the series.

Ehhh maaaybe. When my dad played it, it looked really weird. I'll play it by ear.

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Bioshock 1 was kickass. 2 changed the formula a lot, and infinite was fun but completely abandoned the atmosphere that defined the series.

 

Bioshock 1 for life.

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Mad Max is a really good looking game (its not that bad of a game either) though most of it is a barren wasteland

 

 madmax.jpg

 

 

Bastion and Muramasa aren't crazy good looking games, but their I could see these games last generations without ever looking all that dated.

 

1408083032113_Bastion_112010_0002.jpg

172738-muramasa-field.jpg

 

 

Dead Space looks pretty dated, but its atmospheric perfection to me 

 

 Dead_Space_2015-03-11_03-09-40-10.jpg

 

 

The Order: 1886 its a good game, its just extremely short, well worth the pick up at $20 or under

 

 MDcwQ0a.gif

 

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I shocked one of my co-workers by telling him I tried Infinite and didn't like it, and the series all together. He claimed I was the first person to tell him that lol. Yeah, doubt it. They visually look unique, but not my type of game.

Infinite is a very different branch of gameplay from the rest of the series. Its a repetitive first person shooter. 1 & 2 run in the same vein as things like Half Life and more recently Prey.

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Infinite is a very different branch of gameplay from the rest of the series. Its a repetitive first person shooter. 1 & 2 run in the same vein as things like Half Life and more recently Prey.

I'm thinking about getting Prey. Looks fun. I hope the storytelling is good too, but the gameplay looks pretty neat. 

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Infinite is a very different branch of gameplay from the rest of the series. Its a repetitive first person shooter. 1 & 2 run in the same vein as things like Half Life and more recently Prey.

 

Half-Life? lol. Bioshock was always just the awkward, dieselpunk bastard child of System Shock. Do people keep comparing Prey to Half-Life because they are unaware of its most blatant influence?

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Half-Life? lol. Bioshock was always just the awkward, dieselpunk bastard child of System Shock. Do people keep comparing Prey to Half-Life because they are unaware of its most blatant influence?

Because some are calling it similar to Bioshock and Dishonored, but in space, as well as System Shock. 

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