Did you just get a new PC? Do you want to see if your PC can handle the latest and greatest PC games? Are you testing an overclock build?
Whatever the reason may be, we want to help you test your PC hardware and show off your rig to the world. Here are the most graphically intense PC games available today – and believe me, the most intense games may surprise you:
5) Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is one of the best-looking PC games ever made. Released in 2012, Far Cry 3 looks awesome to this day. You control a man who is trying to rescue his group of friends from a group of island rebels without losing his mind. It’s a great journey to play through and the game is made even better by its spectacular graphics.
Most PC rigs won’t be able to handle Far Cry 3 at its highest, maxed out settings. But if you can, you’ll be treated to a spectacular visual experience that will make it feel like you’re traveling through a real jungle nation fighting wild animals and evil men.
Far Cry 3 is graphically intense all the time, but it’s particularly hard on your graphics engine when you get into a firefight. Barrels explode left, right, and center and particle effects number in the thousands. It’s an amazing scene to behold but your graphics card will certainly warm up.
4) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher 2 is one of the best fantasy RPG games available for PC today. Made by Poland’s Projekt RED, the Witcher 2 features some unbelievable graphics.
The Witcher 2 was released all the way back in 2011 but it remains one of the best looking PC games to this day. Its graphics settings include one special setting that will push your graphics card into overdrive.
That setting is called Ubersampling and it effectively creates a “super anti-aliasing” effect in your game. From a more understandable standpoint, the Witcher 2 doubles your resolution to 4K, and then lowers that resolution back down to standard HD for a super smooth appearance and unbelievable graphics.
Unfortunately, most rigs in 2014 still can’t handle the Ubersampling option. But when you turn it off, the graphics still look amazing and you should be able to enjoy smooth gameplay at 60 or more frames per second.
3) Crysis 3
Crysis 3 uses the excellent CryEngine 3 engine to power its dynamic environments and insane particle effects. There are also realistic physics and, of course, fun gameplay and exciting missions.
Crysis 3 is very intense for your graphics card to handle. Try exploding a flaming barrel in the middle of a complex environment like a jungle, for example. Your graphics card will scramble to process all the crazy stuff that’s going on. Don’t expect to break into 30+ framerates at maxed out settings even if you have a high-end graphics card. The game tends to slow down particularly hard during firefights.
2) ARMA 3
The ARMA series has always been about realistic war simulations. ARMA doesn’t have the best or most realistic graphics around, but it’s certainly close. The main reason why ARMA III, the latest entry in the series, is so intense on graphics cards is because there’s lots going on.
Sometimes, you have to attack enemies that are several kilometers away. That means your graphics card has to render everything that’s between you and the target. There are complex shadows, motion blur, anti-aliasing, and anisotropic filtering which all take a heavy toll on your graphics card.
Where ARMA 3 really attacks your rig, however, is in multiplayer combat. I haven’t seen too many PCs that can smoothly handle the rigors of ARMA 3 online without noticeably chugging – especailyl at high resolutions and graphics settings.
1) Metro Last Light
Chances are, you’ve never played Metro Last Light. You may not have even heard of it. Nevertheless, it takes top spot on our list.
In benchmark testing, Metro Last Light consistently proves to be one of the most graphically intense PC games around today. It’s not even that good-looking graphically, but it does draw lots of graphics memory and resources from your PC.
The reason it’s so demanding is the PhysX effects and the crazy amount of tessellation. Tessellation refers to the small water and particular effects which appear as you wander through an environment. The dank, dark, swampland of Metro Last Light certainly isn’t the most colorful environment, but it is richly detailed with some amazing – and intense – graphical effects.
If your graphics card can run the games listed above smoothly at maxed out graphics settings, then you’re probably a liar or you spent over $4,000 on your PC.