One of the greatest moments in the life of a PC gamer is the moment you buy a new graphics card and get to run a bunch of amazing games that your old computer couldn’t run.

Best of all, you get to run these games maxed out.

What are the best games for stress testing your new graphics card? Which games push the boundaries of PC gaming graphics technology further than ever? Let’s find out as we count down the top 5 gorgeous PC games that will punish your new video card.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Not only is this game beautiful, but it makes your graphics card work incredibly hard. The sheer amount of detail in the world of The Witcher 3 will turn your video card fans on at their highest level.

the witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is a particularly good benchmark game if you use an Nvidia graphics card. The Witcher 3 was one of the best games to feature GameWorks technology, which means you see neat things like Geralt’s hair bouncing around as well as the ambient occlusion technology, HBAO+.

Yes, The Witcher 3 was downgraded a little bit in terms of graphics technology due to console gaming “peasants”. But it looks amazing nonetheless and will melt your graphics card (if it’s not cooled properly).

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 may not be the most photorealistic game available today. In fact, it’s not really photorealistic at all.

just cause 3

But what it does have is an insanely detailed environment packed with explosions and destroyable objects. All of the wingsuit flying, gas tank explosions, and fighter jet battles take an enormous toll on your graphics card.

Want to test your new graphics card to the max? Find a spot with a bunch of fuel tanks in Just Cause 3 and then blow them all up at the same time. The explosions in this game may be the best we’ve ever seen – but they’ll leave your graphics card crying.

Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar didn’t just port GTA V to the PC. They ported a vastly superior version of the game to the PC, complete with high-end graphics that were not available in the version for last-gen consoles.
gta v pc

You can scale GTA V all the way up to 4K if you have an especially powerful graphics card and gaming PC. But even at 1080p maxed out, this game looks absolutely amazing.

Oh, and in case the core game didn’t leave your graphics card crying, consider installing mods that bump of the detail even further.

Don’t let the fact that GTA V is 3+ years old fool you: it’s a game that will harm your graphics card and humble your PC.

Project CARS

The other games listed above look good, but none of them go for the photorealistic look.

That’s where Project CARS comes in. Project CARS is a racing simulation game, but it’s also one of the most photorealistic games ever made.

project cars 2

You have to see this game in action to see what I’m talking about. At times, when the lighting and track look just right, you’ll swear you’re watching a real race in action.


ARMA III has one of the longest draw distances of any video game in history. If you want to make your video card cry, just turn this game’s draw distance to 25 kilometers. I dare you.

arma 3

Of course, ARMA III isn’t just about long draw distances. It also pushes your video card to the limit using beautiful lighting and particle effects.

It’s not all good with ARMA III: the game is very bad at using multiple processors, so it will push your GPU and CPU to the max.

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