(Pocket-lint) – Since the days of Pong the graphics in video games have only got better and better as the years progress. Now with 4K screens becoming the norm, games developers are constantly pushing to improve the graphics in their games and deliver a breath-taking experience for their fans.
We’ve been through a recent crop of truly astounding looking games to present you a list of the very best screenshots we’ve found. We’re sure you’ll agree there are some really incredible screenshots in here. Some so photo realistic they could almost be snaps from everyday life.
Hitman 3 has a wealth of stunning locations to explore from around the world. These include this magnificent manor which is both eerie and foreboding.
Gran Turismo 7
On PS5, Gran Turismo 7 is a real eye-pleaser with stunningly realistic graphics. Cars are faithfully and believably re-created in the virtual world and the surroundings are stunning too.
Escape from Tarkov
Escape from Tarkov is known for being insanely hard to play and challenging even when doing so with friends.
It’s also another stunning game with plenty of eye-pleasing appeal.
Assassins Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity is a bit old now, as it was originally released in 2014. But that doesn’t take away from the stunning beauty of the game.
The game received mixed reviews at the time, but still had a vast amount of praise for its visual upgrades over the previous games.
The images show just how immersive the game can be, even if the parkour in it may be well over our actual physical ability.
Assetto Corsa is billed as the ultimate racing simulation, designed with an emphasis on a realistic racing experience. Part of that experience clearly includes a heavy focus on stunning and believable graphics.
With support for both the HTC and Oculus Rift, Assetto Corsa not only offers fantastic standard visuals but astounding Virtual ones as well.
With Battlefield 1, EA and Dice set about creating a realistic and awe-inspiring WW1 experience for gamers. Beautiful (mostly) historically accurate visuals from the Great War are recreated in a series of single and multiplayer maps to offer FPS gamers the best possible experience.
Battlefield 1 was one of our recommended games of 2016 and for good reason.
Days Gone was a PlayStation 4 exclusive that released at the end of 2017. Designed as an open-world action-adventure game it’s was set to bring a new level of zombie madness to the PlayStation. The visuals are stunning for sure.
Rally drivers are incredible as are the cars that they drive. It seems like this is the ethos Codemasters took when they set about building this installment of the Dirt franchise. The graphics are superb and you can see from the screenshots just how believable it is.
2016 marked the return of the action-adventure stealth video game Dishonored in a second outing that saw you able to assume the role of two different characters. Like its predecessor, Dishonored 2 received much praise for its graphics, gameplay and creative game design.
When wereviewed Dishonored 2, we called it “one of the finest stealth games ever made” and it was our recommended game for 2016.
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice is an action-adventure game that to includes high-quality production values, a superb storyline and ninja-class combat mechanics.
Metal Gear Solid V
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the most recent release from the franchise that we gave the editors choice award in 2015. In developing this game, Konami promised to deliver photorealistic graphics, a thoughtful game design and a true new-generation game production quality.
The screenshots pictured here only show half the story as the game itself also ambitiously explores the psychology of warfare and the atrocities that result from caught up in its vicious cycle. A superb and beautiful game and a great addition to the Metal Gear Solid series.
Mordhau is a multiplayer game set in medieval times with a strong focus on skill-based combat which basically seems to involve a lot of blocking, parrying and combining attacks to charge to a glorious and blood-curdling victory.
A stunning game both visually and in terms of the visceral gameplay which is utter carnage.
Outlast 2 is the second outing of the critically acclaimed survival horror game of the same name. In it, you play an investigative journalist who for some reason thinks it’s a sensible idea to poke around in deep, dark and scary places that no one else would dare go.
Clearly, if you plan on frightening gamers then the best way to do it is with scarily realistic graphics and these screenshots only give you a glimpse of the horror awaiting you.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider is another of the games on our list which we chose as a recommended game in our review and for good reason.
A grittier, more rounded Lara Croft appears in a brilliantly crafted environment that includes superb graphics that were even used toshowcase new Nvidia technologies. The game pushed boundaries that included HDR and a mass of the graphical improvements that even allowed it to be played at 4K and 8K resolutions.
Enhanced graphics on characters in the game even included 30,000 strands of hair on Lara Croft’s head supported byNvidia’s hairworks technologies. Wet textures and particle effects were also included to give the game the ultimate in immersive and impressive graphics.
From the creator of Wing Commander comes Star Citizen. A 100% crowdfunded game that aims to create a living, breathing science fiction Universe.
Star Citizen is still in alpha stages of development (and available for play) but the goal is to deliver a game that offers more than just space combat, with a mix of MMO and FPS styles that will allow for unlimited gameplay.
Even considering the game is only in Alpha, the quality is breathtaking and we fully expect the final game to be a graphical marvel.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a captivating game that, for our money, is the best RPG since Skyrim. Which is why we gave it theeditor’s choice award in 2015. In the most recent game of the franchise, the graphics were pushed to new levels that would only have been possible with the next-gen consoles of the time.
Wild environments, staggering monsters and incredible views support a beautifully immersive experience in the monster hunter’s world. The Witcher 3 received much praise for its graphical quality and it’s easy to see why.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator is a beautiful game if you have a beefy machine to run it on ultra-high settings. The planes and the surrounding environments are magnificent.
Flight Simulator is so good looking it’s starting to replace Crysis as the meme for testing whether a PC can handle good visuals and a decent FPS. With an entire planet to fly over, there are plenty of awesome sights to see.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 might be getting on, but it’s still a staggeringly beautiful game. Even more so when played at 4K with HDR turned on.
Grab your horse, ride out into the hills and capture some stunning views of the game world.
The original Crysis was designed to be so future-facing that gaming hardware at the time couldn’t handle maximum settings. The result was a gorgeous game that became the benchmark for ultra visuals and benchmarks for years to come.
Crysis Remastered attempted the same and the result is a stunning game that really pushes the limits of your gaming machine.
On PC, Death Stranding really shines, with beautiful landscapes, staggering visuals and some incredibly chilled out vibes.
It’s been on PlayStation for a while, but the visuals are much more impressive on PC and result in some breathtaking views of the bleak landscape.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of our favourite PC games to play. A gorgeous story-driven open-world RPG that thrusts you into medieval Europe as a blacksmith who’s life is suddenly in turmoil.
Beautiful rolling countryside, ancient villages and castles and incredible landscapes. This game has it all.
Half-Life: Alyx might be a VR only game but that doesn’t make it any less stunning.
A brilliant addition to the franchise, this game is wonderful for any player, but especially impressive for fans of the series though.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is one of those games that just keeps getting better and better with every update. It’s always been a stunner though and if you love the idea of travelling through space and wonder what that might look like, then this is the game for you.
Control is one of the main games people use or talk about when trying to demonstrate the power of Nvidia’s ray tracing technology. It’s a gorgeous game, with all manner of visual enhancements that make it aesthetically pleasing.
It’s also a cracking game.
Project CARS 2
Project Cars 2 claims to deliver the “ultimate driver journey” and it does so with incredible visuals, authentic cars and the most “technically-advanced racing” mechanics around.
It supports virtual reality too.
Custom Minecraft maps
As you might know, Minecraft is now available with ray tracing capabilities, which means that there are some seriously nice views and worlds being created in the game. But this custom map is on another level. You have to look twice before even realising that it’s a game screenshot, not a real photo, nevermind a Minecraft world.
Painstakingly crafted, it took two months to create and this image just shows a small portion of an enormous map that includes four large continents. Impressive stuff!
Cyberpunk 2077 might have been plagued with bugs and all manner of problems when it first launched, but that didn’t stop it from being a visually stunning game. So much so in fact that we put together a gallery of 90 of the best screenshots we managed to snap in the game.
Absolutely breathtaking and not just because it features Keanu Reeves.
Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is an absolutely stunning game, with gorgeous locations and masses of staggering cars as well. This shot by virtual photography enthusiast @kaz142kh is just one example of the awesome views in the game.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes a fantastic trip into ancient England at the time of the Viking invasion. As with any other game in the series, it presents some staggering views with wonderful lands to explore and adventure around in.
This shot by virtual photograph NoviKaiba23 shows off one of the many awesome landscapes you’re likely to see when playing this one.
Dying Light 2
Although it might seem a bit odd to have a zombie game included in a list of best game screenshots, we still feel it’s valid as there are some stunning views in Dying Light 2.
Character models are also strikingly good, like this view of actress Rosario Dawson who plays Lawan in the game. The likeness is superb.
Metro Exodus is one of those games that pushes graphics to the limit. It had some seriously nice settings on PC including wonderful ray tracing which really highlights the awesome views in the otherwise bleak world.
Writing by Adrian Willings.