In this day and age, video games are at the pinnacle of graphical excellence like never before. Hardware and software are constantly evolving and challenged to better themselves with each generational leap. Even when in possession of the best possible graphics cards, monitor and sound system, finding a title worthy of the highest specs can limit your options significantly. With subjective factors like genre, gameplay and platform, it may be difficult to find the perfect game; but these are currently the best PC games in 2021 to look at if you’re searching for the most realistic graphics.
Best graphics PC games in 2021
Forza Horizon 4
Starting off with one of the best genres to demonstrate graphical realism is Forza Horizon 4. The series has been viewed as one of the most successful racing games to date and its latest iteration was scored at a whopping 9.6 out of 10 by none other than IGN. With graphics that almost perfectly captures the real world and one of the largest rosters of real cars in its arsonal, there’s very little to find in this title that falls short of stunning.
The game suggests that the Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card is the bare minimum to run this game properly, which isn’t exactly a low-end suggestion. Additionally, your PC will need at least 12GB of RAM freed up to house this game, and anything short of that will leave this game contending for space that your other games may be occupying. If you’re looking for THE racing game that’s hot right now, Forza Horizon 4 is the natural choice.
Grand Theft Auto V
For a game that came out in 2013, you’d expect Grand Theft Auto (GTA) to be graphically outdated, but that is not the case. One of the rare games to score a perfect 10 out of 10 by IGN, the game has the backing of the community to boot. As of June 2021, GTA 5 is the most watched game on Twitch which is a testament to how a well maintained game can truly go the distance.
From actual grand theft auto to elaborate criminal activity, the in-game world is fully fleshed out and has the graphics to immerse any player into its complex, yet entertaining narrative. The franchise has always rewarded the player’s creativity and curiosity in previous generations, but utilizing a Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD HD 7870 graphic card turns the enjoyment up quite a bit.
Red Dead Redemption 2
It appears that games that provide breathtaking openworld experiences tend to demand high graphics, but they also happen to be some of the best games in the business. Red Dead Redemption 2 is no exception to this and has one of the most interactive open world experiences for players who want to travel back in time to the Wild West.
Like any RPG, players will participate in a main campaign that is both a narrative and visual treat, followed by side quests that can satisfy your desire for more upon completion of the main storyline. The world is one of the most expansive in all of video games so far and has a vast natural setting; from creeks to mountains and much more! To play this game the Nvidia GTX 1060 or Rzen 5 1500X is the bare minimum needed to have the proper experience.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed has been a fan favourite since its debut and each title has upped in terms of graphical quality over the years. While not every iteration has been favoured over the last (as some of their time periods of choice have divided fans), the title is still beloved and recognised enough for the game developers to take the genre to the greek setting.
Facial features, the open world and general controls are a treat for every player and the story is rich with engaging lore that will keep you playing for hours. If this stealth-oriented RPG is up your alley, then this would be a natural choice. It isn’t the newest game out, but it does demand the bare minimum of a 4GB graphics card GTX 970 or a 17-3770 processor.
Far Cry 5
Ubisoft made waves when they released Far Cry 5 and for good reason. This first person shooter puts the focus on large open spaces that lean towards outdoor landscapes over tight closed architecture. This iteration takes place in a fictional country in the United States and presents a world of hunters, preachers and more.
The vibe is heavily military and will give you a good experience if the classic trope appeals to you. The storyline is good and the characters in the game are wonderfully detailed. To get the best out of this game, a GTX 1080 or an i7-6700 is your best bet. Like any graphically intense games, a huge part of their success comes from visuals and setting them to the lowest possible mode isn’t the most optimal way to enjoy the game.
Possibly one of the most renowned titles in the market specifically for its graphics, Crysis has taken its reputation as such and is possibly THE game to play if you are willing to see how far your computer specs can go. The game has had quite the track record for shutting down graphics cards and processors that cannot handle its intensity, hence anything below the Nvidia GTX 560 or AMD Radeon HD 5870 is not recommended. The game is a science fiction first person shooter, which means players will still be treated to incredibly detailed maps, characters, weaponry and more.