The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest

Graphics have always been one of the cornerstones of gaming. Now, whether it be discussions related to a game’s art direction or its photorealism, if there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s how video games have recently made a massive leap in terms of their graphical prowess. 

It goes without saying that the time and effort that devs have been putting into making their games just drop dead gorgeous is well-deserving of a ton of appreciation. 

So, let’s appreciate these absolutely breathtaking games then, shall we? 

That’s right –  it’s time to look at the most visually impressive games to date that have managed to blow us all away with their pure graphical fidelity and art style, ranked from, “That’s super good looking!” all the way to, “Why can’t real-life look this good?” 

10. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village - 3rd Trailer

Available on – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Microsoft Windows. 

Back when Resident Evil 7: Biohazard dropped on store shelves, people were absolutely delighted by how good (and horrifically scary) the game looked. So, when players laid their eyes on Ethan Winters’ second adventure for the first time, they knew that they were in for a visual treat. 

Whether you’re plowing your way through the snowy village area, roaming around the well or dimly lit corridors of the castle, or trying to make your way through the reservoir, the graphics alone would be enough to completely immerse you in this action-horror title. 

9. Horizon Zero Dawn

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Horizon Zero Dawn

Available on – PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.

Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, Horizon features one of the most beautiful worlds of all time, filled with things to do and discover. The first few hours of the game would be based in tightly spaced forests, but when it finally opens up in all its glory – oh boy, is it not a moment of joy. 

While yes, the facial animations in this game are kind of robotic and not the most pleasing, they’re not a dealbreaker by any means, especially with everything else being offered in terms of graphics and story. Considering it’s now on both the PlayStation and Windows, there’s no reason to not give this game a good shot – what’s stopping you? 

8. Control

Control - Gamescom 2019 Launch Trailer | PS4

Available on – Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch.

Enigmatic, mind-boggling, and stunning are three words that describe Control the best. Its art direction is elegant and its presentation, an absolute classic – it’s so entrancingly pretty that players can stay hooked to the game with these alone. As the world begins to lose touch with reality in this one, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Combine all that with fluid combat and a mysteriously gripping story, and you have one of the best action games out there. 

7. Ghost of Tsushima

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Ghost of Tsushima | Source: PlayStation

Available on – PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

Ghost of Tsushima’s version of the Japanese landscapes is so pretty that you can probably spend hours just walking through the fields and not get bored. This once highly anticipated title had some of the most breathtaking visuals of the last generation. 

Considering its unique and fluid combat, engaging story, and the full-of-life world, I would argue that Ghost of Tsushima is probably the best send-off that the last generation of gaming could’ve received. 

6. God of War (2018)

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
God of War (2018) | Source: Steam

Available on – PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.

Kratos’ latest odyssey with his son, Atreus is probably the best this series has ever been in terms of story, gameplay, and graphics.  

It has a captivating, grand, yet personal story packaged in with what can only be described as extremely pretty visuals and solid gameplay.  

Sure, it may have been a major departure from the previously established formula of this series, but none can deny that God of War (2018) is a major contender for one of the best-looking games of the last generation. 

5. The Last of Us Part II

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
The Last of Us Part II

Available on – PlayStation 4

If there’s one thing that Naughty Dog excels at, it’s making their games look absolutely gorgeous, and The Last of Us Part II is probably them at their finest. 

Not to mention, the performance by its cast and the animations done on the game’s characters are just straight up out of this world. You may not like this game for its story and somewhat outdated plan, but there’s no denying that Naughty Dog definitely knows what they’re doing when it comes to the visual department. 

4. Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)

Available on – Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, and OpenXR.

This game is just jaw-dropping – what else is there to say about it?  

The game’s scope, which it handles flawlessly, is enough to describe how satisfying an experience it truly delivers – you get to explore every corner of this beautiful, breathtaking planet in all its Glory. 

Flight Simulator is arguably the most photorealistic game on this list, far outclassing every other game here in this category, if not in others.  

This massive leap in visuals from the previous entries of this list goes to show how much of an enthralling visual delight the next few games on this list are. 

3. Demon’s Souls (Remake) 

Demon’s Souls – Launch Trailer | PS5

Available on – PlayStation 5 

When the gameplay trailer for Demon’s Souls Remake dropped, it was unlike anything that we’d seen in gaming so far (Except the next two entries on this list), showcasing what a true next-gen game is supposed to look like. 

However, if we take out the new animations, the updated graphics, and the visual effects, it’s just the original Demon’s Souls, in all its glory and amazing jank. Plus, it’s a bit debatable, but the atmosphere and art style of the original is still comparable to the remake, if not considered superior. 

Either way, the game’s visuals alone make it a must-play for any PS5 owner. 

2. Forza Horizon 5

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Forza Horizon 5 | Source: Steam

Available on – Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Man, the Forza series is already the epitome of the racing genre, but with Forza Horizon 5, they’ve truly made something special here. It may not be as photorealistic as the Flight Simulator, but overall, it is the best-looking game in the Xbox ecosystem.  

Built from the framework that Forza Horizon 4 established, the game removes everything that didn’t work in the previous title and filled it with a lot more exciting things to do. It’s the best Forza has ever been and the best Forza has ever looked. 

1. Red Dead Redemption 2

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Red Dead Redemption 2

Available on – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and Microsoft Windows. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the most visually impressive game of all time. It’s a top contender for the best game in terms of realism and art style and as of writing, its visual beauty continues to remain unmatched by any game from previous and current generations. 

If there’s one game that could top Forza Horizon in terms of graphics, it’s this one. With a unique and badass storyline, deep and complex characters that you easily get attached to, a world that sucks you in the moment you start the game, along with serviceable gameplay, there’s really nothing to dislike about here. 

It stands as one of the most critically acclaimed of 2018 for a reason, and it’s a reason that is fully justified by this game’s groundbreaking graphics and design. 

Honorable mentions 

I. Okami HD 

Okami HD | Reveal Trailer | PS4

Available on – PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch.

If there’s one game that straight-up refuses to age, it’s this one. This 2006 game has stood the test of time, and with its breathtakingly unique and timeless art style, it’s still one of the most good-looking games out there. 

II. Super Mario Odyssey 

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Super Mario Odyssey

Available on – Nintendo Switch

A great game with a great art direction. Odyssey may not be the most visually-striking game within the gaming industry, but it’s definitely one of the best on the Nintendo Switch. Plus, it’s Super Mario – so you know you’re in for some wholesome good time. 

III. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

The Most Visually Impressive Games to Date – From Good to Greatest
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Available on – Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and Microsoft Windows.

I was somewhat confused between AC Valhalla and Unity (it’s still a damn good-looking game) but decided on the former just because of the scale of its world and the varied environments that accompany it. It may be a little bloated and not without its fair share of flaws, but it’s an absolutely immersive treat because of its graphics.