When video games first began appearing on the market, they were severely constrained by the technology available at the time. Although many games had unique stories that drew players in, the visual manner in which these stories were displayed was often underwhelming.
However, as technology advanced, games evolved to offer striking and immersive graphics that pushed the technology of their respective platforms to the limit. Thanks to this evolution in technology and the skill of game designers, many titles nowadays might make you wonder whether you’re playing a game or watching real-world footage.
The following games in particular feature exceptionally realistic graphics that will make you forget they are just a bunch of coded zeroes and ones.
The Last of Us Part II
Following the best-selling original game released in 2013, the much-anticipated Last of Us Part II finally hit gaming platforms in 2020. The sequel takes place five years after the events of the first game and continues in a post-apocalyptic US where zombies who want to tear you apart hide around every corner.
Using live recording techniques to map character movements, the game’s development team was focused on realistic gameplay, movements, and graphics from the beginning. And it is clear they achieved this in the finished product, which features stunningly detailed graphics that put you front and center of an epic story that few TV series could even match. And the thrills you’ll experience while exploring its rich world surpass those you’ll find anywhere, including US slot machine sites.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Wild West presents a unique opportunity for designers to stretch their creative muscles while recreating the era and region. Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018) takes full advantage of this and places players in awe-inspiring environments that showcase the talent of the brilliant minds behind the game.
From dust particles floating through the air highlighted by the sun streaming through a grimy window to deep tracks left in powdery snow, every part of the game vividly recreates reality in a way that makes it leap off the screen. Protagonist Arthur Morgan and all other characters in the game are also wonderfully detailed, further adding to the immersive experience.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Known for years as the most realistic flight simulator, this Microsoft title goes far beyond offering realistic physics. In addition to allowing players to fly some of the most unbelievable aircraft in the world (including the world-famous Antonov), the game is also drop-dead gorgeous.
With a mind-blowingly open map that comprises almost every region on the planet, the game presents its territories in spectacular detail. The weather system and position of the sun bring these graphics into even starker relief—with shadows of cliffs and the deep shade of lakes making the game a marvel to look at.
Forza Horizon 5
Released in 2021, Forza Horizon 5 is the latest offering in a franchise known for its realism in both visuals and gameplay. Employing the latest physics engine, this racing game gives each car a unique feel that matches its real-life counterpart.
However, how the cars drive is secondary to the meticulous detail each vehicle offers. From the gleaming sunlight on the chrome door handles to the intricate mesh of the front grills, cars in this game look like they’ve been placed there directly from dealerships. Complementing these are beautiful backdrops of Mexico that showcase the region’s natural beauty and vivid colors.
Giving you complete autonomy over the environment you find yourself in, Control (2019) places you in the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) as you try to fight paranormal forces. Unlike other titles, however, your weapon of choice is almost anything you find lying around the masterfully recreated open world.
The attention to detail in the realism of everything from old rotary phones lying around to the light streaming through smudged windows makes this game something to behold. The lack of a HUD (heads-up display) also allows players to pay more attention to each spectacular scene they get lost in while exploring.
Horizon Forbidden West
Set in a world that has been through the worst of times and is slowly being reclaimed by nature, Horizon Forbidden West (2022) takes you on an adventure against the robotic beasts bent on human destruction. During this, you’ll swim through sparkling creeks and scale mountain peaks that offer unforgettable views.
Winning an award for technical achievements, the game has phenomenal graphics that take virtual world-building to new heights, both figuratively and literally. Elements like fog rising from the valley between mountains to the shimmering colors on a creature’s wings, the game is a treat to look at and play.
Gran Turismo 7
In direct opposition to Forza, Gran Turismo has always been one of the most popular international racing brands and is easily among the best driving simulators. The latest iteration of the game, released in 2022, raises the bar yet again to offer realistic physics and the ultimate driving experience.
The game features more than 480 cars, each rendered in a photorealistic manner designed to match its real-life version identically. The tracks these cars race around are likewise fitted with the best possible renderings of the physical versions they represent and have stunning backdrops that make them more beautiful.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human (2018) places you directly into a dystopian future where androids are commonplace and coexist with humans to help build a united society. However, based on your choices, this civilization can quickly come crashing down and signal the end of peace if you’re not careful.
The game’s world is so detailed that mistaking it for real life at times wouldn’t be unusual. Moreover, the character animation and modeling take this game to another level. With such realistic characters, you might forget you’re just playing a game and will want to engage with them as you navigate their world.