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Top 5 Most GPU Intensive Games of 2018: Can Your Rig Run Them All?

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A game’s graphics are always subjective. While some prefer performance over graphics, most of us gamers appreciate on-point details and high-quality graphics of a game — tiny dust particles floating around, realistic sunlight and reflection, and explosions that are seemingly on point and true-to-life.

If you think your rig can handle these elements with ease, then it will sweat bullets taking on the most GPU intensive games of 2018.

Top 5 Most GPU Intensive Games

1. Far Cry 5 – Your Rig Will Surely Cry

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is run on the latest and greatest version of the Ubisoft-modded version of CryEngine–Dunia Engine. What makes the game a graphically intensive title is the fact that players can explore a very wide open-world area in any direction. This means the engine has to continuously render great areas in great detail.

The recreation of Montana in the game is just stunning. Everything in the game–from the water physics in rivers, the mountain peaks, the details of the man-made cabins, the flowers around the crop field, the low-hanging morning fogs, and even facial hairs– is very detailed and on point, you’d almost mistake it as a real thing.

On top of having to render a wide area in great detail, players can also do other things such as blowing up a good area of the exotic America land and preventing the occurrence of enemies in waves. All of these are incorporated and handled at the same time while displaying quality lighting and stunning effects as cars blow up and fires go made.

Crank up those graphics settings to max and your GPU will surely have a hard time keeping things together.

2. Final Fantasy XV – A Graphics to Die For

Final Fantasy XV

You know a game should at least have good graphics when it takes up a ton of storage space to install (well, not every game but you know what I mean). But Final Fantasy XV live up to that expectation.

For starters, this game’s 155GB may be optional but you’re going to need it to see how stunning graphics really are. The game looks so stunning when maxed out and you will appreciate the details–especially the food selection in the game.

It is run on Luminous Studio, a multi-platform game engine developed and used internally by Square Enix. The game also boasts realistic graphics quality, incredible draw distance, shiny particle effects, and a handful of lush foliage that you’ll definitely notice and appreciate.

Aside from that, the game also has some of the most realistic hair and skin you’ll ever see. The lighting may not be something you should focus on but it sure does help in making everything look more realistic, especially how the hairs sway when you’re driving– or even when you’re not.

Each strand of hair and their clothing also works in sync with the game environment’s wind and physics. The graphics are just so detailed that your graphics card will surely have a hard time keeping things tied together.

3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Your Graphics Card will Go Wild

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 may be released in 2015 but it sure is one of the games worth mentioning in 2018, especially when it comes to being graphically intensive.

It utilizes the REDengine 3 tech and it lets you see a more advanced level of ambient occlusion(HBAO+) and depth of field that will surely suck all the life out of your card in 4K resolution at max settings.

Moreover, turning the Nvidia HairWorks on lets you see the premium feature of Geralt’s hair responding accordingly with the environment and dynamics. This also affects the fur and hair of beasts in the game. If you don’t have a strong rig, then you might want to keep this off because your graphics card will surely go loud and wild–unless you have it watercooled, but still…

Also, just like Far Cry 5, this is an open-world game that will continuously render great areas in great detail – not to mention the very obvious lighting effects that you will surely appreciate as you travel the open-world.

4. Crysis 3 – “Can it run Crysis?”

Crysis 3

What’s a GPU-intensive game list without Crysis, right?

The original Crysis that was released back in 2007 was so graphically demanding that it sparked the famous “But can it run Crysis?” meme. And like the original Crysis, Crysis 3 run at 4K resolution in max settings punishes any graphics card to date.

It’s so graphically demanding that if you have the right rig to handle this beast, then you’re well on your way to having a really good gaming experience.

Crysis 3 uses the latest CryEngine by Crytek and every bit of graphic detail in the game–from the environmental details, volumetric lighting, dynamic vegetation–sure is something you will want to go back to, especially when you can finally get your hands on an RTX 2080 Ti graphics card.

The game may give you a decent frame count in medium settings but it will punish every graphics card down to its last bit of VRAM at 4K resolution in max settings.

5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Your Graphic Card’s Attention: Undivided

Deus Ex

At the top of the food chain is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Name the best rig you could think of and run this game in 4K resolution at max settings–Crysis 3 would be like nothing.

It’s so graphically demanding that a 99% utilization of a GTX 1080 graphics card sits only around 31 frames per second on average. Even 2 980Ti’s in SLI doesn’t go below 90% GPU utilization when running this game.

The game displays a top-of-the-line volumetric smoke, atmospheric fog, and physics. But all of these also require a top-of-the-line hardware, especially if you want to see Adam Jensen’s hair and coat float realistically at maxed-out settings.

Special Mentions

There are a handful we could add in the list but sadly, there’s only room for 5 so here are some of the special mentions that’s worth mentioning.

6. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

This game is also worth mentioning as one of the graphically intensive games in 2018. Crystal Dynamics, the developer of the game, specifically built its own engine, Foundation, just for the game.

It’s even seen as the equivalent of Uncharted 4 in the graphics department. But when it talks about 4K resolution and max graphics settings, Rise of the Tomb Raider easily surpasses Uncharted 4.

The graphics are so stunning in the game and you could see all the fine detail right at the start of the game as you trek along the mountains.

The light of the sunlight reflected by the mountain, the snow, the details and texture of the rocks, the ice, even the graphics of the ax at the beginning of the cutscene, is very sharp and crisp that your graphics card will surely need more than 99% to give you a decent output.

All these things add up together is what makes the game look real and graphically demanding.

7. Metro: Last Light Redux

Metro - Last Light Redux

The moment the game was made available, it took the title as the most graphically demanding game in a snap. It’s so demanding that the game even became a benchmarking tool to test a GPU’s performance.

4A Games, the developer of Metro: Last Light Redux, used the 4A game engine to build every bit of stunning graphics the game has to offer. The game also uses top-of-the-line shaders and lighting technology on top of utilizing neat immersion-boosters like condensation, frost, and fog that forms on your mask as you play the game, making it more realistic.

And though it was initially released back in August of 2014, it still is a beast of a game to this day, especially if you turn the tessellation, sharp textures, bokeh, and volumetric fog on at 4K resolution.

8. Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 is all about blowing stuff here and there–literally.

It was developed by Avalanche Studios and the Avalanche Engine incorporates very complex physics into the game, making it not just great in the graphics department but also a great experience overall.

Aside from vast draw distances, everything in the game can be blown to pieces and the explosions are what makes it graphically demanding.

9. Project Cars

Project Cars

Racing car games shouldn’t be demanding in the first place but not Project Cars–especially if you crank the graphics all the way up to max.

The graphics of the game when every setting is maxed out is just stunning you’d mistake the game as a 4K movie like the Fast and Furious. However, the good-looking graphics come at a price, and your graphics card will be put to the test.

Developed by Slightly Mad Studios using the Madness game engine, your graphics card will surely go mad. They incorporated heavy mods to the engine and this is what’s responsible for all the on-point, realism damages as you collide with other race cars or anything in the game.

The realistic roads and weather are also on point, where puddles can be seen here on the road as your wipers do their thing cleaning your windshield to give you a better view of the road.

Final Words

And there you have it!

There are new RTX graphics cards released by Nvidia just recently on top of AMD’s 2nd gen Ryzen processors. With the new hardware, it’s likely that you’ll be able to run these games smoothly at 4K resolution–even on max settings.

Just make sure you pair this with the right monitor because choosing the right one is the only way for you to experience the best graphics output. Which one is your favorite? Comment down below!

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About Author

Mehul Boricha
Mehul Boricha is the founder of Tech Arrival & Astute Links. He is a computer and smartphone geek from Junagadh, Gujarat, India. He is a Computer Engineer by Education & an Entrepreneur by Passion. Apart from technology geek, he is an audiophile & loves to connect with people.


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