Most Graphically Demanding PC Games 2023

Searching for the most graphically demanding PC games to push your machine to its limits? We've got you covered in this list.

If you’re looking for graphically intensive PC games to stress test your rig and see what it can truly do, you’ve come to the right place.

PC gaming has come a long way since simple text-adventure games, with many modern releases pushing the boundaries of our CPUs and GPUs until we eventually cave and decide to upgrade.

In this list, we’ll highlight the most graphically demanding PC games of 2024 that will push your machine to its limits, for better or worse.  

We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite PC games!

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Dying Light 2 offers a unique blend of parkour-based movement, visceral first-person combat, and RPG progression designed to keep players engaged for dozens of hours.

To this point, it features a ton of improvements over the original Dying Light while also requiring better hardware for optimal performance.

As such, players can expect to need at least an RTX 2060 or RX Vega 56 GPU to get steady 60 fps performance at 1080p on low to medium graphics settings.

For reliable performance on high or ultra settings at 1440p or above, we suggest a top of the line graphics card such as an RTX 3070.

Aside from voicing complaints regarding it’s ranking system and battle pass progression, players have been quite receptive to 343’s latest addition to the Halo franchise.

Halo Infinite boasts an open-world-inspired campaign along with a host of PvP modes that carry a surprisingly high barrier to entry.

The game’s recommended specs include an RTX 2070 or Radeon RX 5700 along with an Intel i7 or AMD equivalent and 16 GB of RAM.

If you’re looking to run the game on the Ultra preset and maintain consistently high frame rates, you’re looking at something closer to an RTX 3070 or better GPU.

Following the interactive madhouse that was RE7, Resident Evil Village takes the survival horror franchise to new heights with even bigger set pieces and bossfights.

It also happens to be the most graphically demanding Resident Evil title on PC, especially if you’re looking to use ray-tracing.

Furthermore, the recommended specs call for a GTX 1070 or RX 5700 to achieve 60 fps performance at 1080p.

However, anyone planning to crank up the resolution and mess around with ray-tracing will need an RTX card by default.

While definitely not without its flaws, Cyberpunk 2077 remains to be one of the best showcases for cutting-edge PC graphics.

With support for features like ray-tracing, deep learning super sampling, and a wide range of other graphical settings, the game is a stress-tester’s paradise.

The recommended specs are a GTX 1060 or higher with at least 12 GB RAM though as is usually the case with PC gaming, more is always better.

Assuming you have the latest patch installed, you should have no trouble getting it to run and fine-tuning your settings to see just what your rig is capable of.

For a less controversial cyberpunk action RPG, players are welcome to pick up Neon Giant’s cooperative top-down shooter The Ascent.

The game’s visuals consist of mesmerizing particle effects, detailed lighting, and intricate maze-like environments that call for an equally impressive PC build.

It’s recommended players have a GTX 1070 or RX 5700 to hit steady 60 fps performance at 1080p.

However, to get the most from The Ascent’s ray-tracing technology, you’ll need something closer to an RTX 20 or 30 series card or an AMD equivalent.

The Forza Horizon games have always taken a more arcade-style approach to racing and are generally a lot more forgiving than their Motorsport counterpart.

Forza Horizon 5 builds upon its predecessors by dropping players in an authentic recreation of Mexico complete with an assortment of new races, events, and activities to explore.

The game’s gorgeous environments and equally stunning vehicles make it the perfect title to push your PC to its limits.

While it’s recommended you have a GTX 1070 or RX 590 or above graphics card, the most demanding spec is actually memory, with 16 GB of RAM needed to run the game optimally.

While Horizon Zero Dawn‘s rough PC launch was a far cry from it’s stellar reception on PS4, the game’s PC port is in a much better state these days.

Along with a host of performance improvements, Horizon now sports better shader compiling and DLSS support on PC.

Despite the recommended specs calling for a GTX 1060 for 1080p, anyone looking to play at 1440p or above will need to invest in a more powerful graphics card.

Of course, this isn’t too much of a dealbreaker when you consider that Horizon’s dynamic resolution scaling still allows for steady frame rates even on weaker machines.

God of War is another PlayStation exclusive that can now be played at 60 fps or above thanks to a well-received PC port.

In addition, the PC version supports better-looking graphics and higher resolutions assuming you meet the suggested specs.

This includes a GTX 1060 or RX 570 for 1080p gameplay with 4K/60 fps calling for an RTX 3080 or AMD equivalent.

Lastly, while the game’s 8 GB of requested RAM isn’t too much of an ask, on the CPU side of things, players will need an i9 or equivalent to run the game at higher frame rates.

Control is notorious for having demanding graphics that can be quite taxing on mid-range machines, with even some higher-end PCs still struggling to keep up.

Thankfully, there have been several updates since the game’s release to scale back Control’s GPU-intensive framework, requiring a GTX 1660/1060 or Radeon RX 580 to maintain a steady 60 fps performance.

In it, you play as Jesse Faden, a woman tasked with exploring a secret government facility called the Oldest House, which just so happens to be overflowing with paranormal activity.

Control combines the best parts of Metroidvanias, third-person shooters, and sci-fi storytelling to create a thrilling rollercoaster of frenetic combat and dynamic exploration.

As great as Red Dead Redemption 2 runs on consoles, the PC port of the game was met with backlash at launch due to how poorly optimized it ran, even on more powerful high-end machines.

While Rockstar has stepped things up in this regard, you’ll want to make sure your rig is up to snuff before venturing into Red Dead 2’s sprawling open-world.

The recommended system requirements call for an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 at 6 GB and 4 GB, respectively.

Much like Rockstar’s other high-profile open-world game GTA 5, you’ll want to have at least 12 GB of RAM to guarantee it runs smoothly. 

Open-worlds as gorgeous and lovingly handcrafted as Final Fantasy XV’s usually come at the cost of needing a remarkably powerful PC in order to experience it in all its glory.

And while we commend Square Enix for sticking to its vision, we wish it didn’t come at the cost of needing 16 GB RAM and 100 GB of storage to download and run the game smoothly.

Of course, many of these hurdles only apply if you’re trying to play FFXV at 4K 60 fps, but even after lowering the game to 1080p, you may find your machine’s still not up to snuff.

It’s recommended you have a GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 480 for the best results but players may still run into the occasional hiccup during bigger battles with lots of enemies on screen.

The latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise sees you exploring 9th century Britain from the perspective of Eivor, a Viking raider in search of a new home for their people.

Similar to PC ports of previous games in the series, Valhalla‘s complex open-world comes with the GPU price tag of needing a GTX 1060 or RX 570 to achieve optimal results.

Additionally, its recommended players have at least 8GB of available RAM, an i7 3770 or AMD equivalent, and 50 GB storage either HDD, though preferably SSD.

If you meet all of the above and are still experiencing issues getting Valhalla to run properly, you may consider adjusting the game’s draw distance and dynamic lighting effects.

The third entry in the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise depicts a much darker, morally gray Lara Croft than previous installments.

Therefore, it seems only fitting that Shadow of the Tomb Raider has some pretty harrowing system requirements, especially when it comes to memory consumption.

The game recommends at least 16 GB RAM for the best results, along with a GTX 1060, RX 480 or equivalent GPU, and an i7 4770K/Ryzen 5 1600 CPU.

However, if you have any hopes of hitting consistent 60 fps, you’ll likely need a GTX 1080 at the bare minimum. And don’t even get us started on the requirements for playing in 4K…

If you’re really looking to see what your gaming PC can do, Project Cars 2 is the perfect test case for several reasons.

For one, it features photorealistic graphics as well as dynamic weather and track temperature systems that affect acceleration, handling, and braking via the LiveTrack 3.0 physics engine.

It also offers several different racing modes, 140 tracks set in real-world locations, and over 180 vehicles, allowing you to experiment with different parameters.  

This all adds up to an impressive PC gaming benchmark that will push your machine’s CPU, GPU, and memory capabilities to their full potential.

Other than being one of the most realistic medieval RPGs on the market, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is no slouch in the graphical department and will put your PC through the wringer.

While it calls for a GTX 1060 or RX 580 graphics card, you’ll likely need a 1080Ti or above to get anywhere close to 60 frames in the game’s more populated cities.

That’s before even highlighting the game’s demanding 16 GB RAM suggestion.

Of course, this isn’t all that surprising once you realize Deliverance’s Dunia engine is based on the same CryTek engine that powers the Crysis games.

Another open-world title that utilizes the Crytek-based Dunia engine is Far Cry 6, much to the dismay of fans who play primarily on PC.

Although this allows for more beautifully-rendered environments, realistic physics, features like ray tracing, it can be tough on many mid to high-range machines.

It’s recommended you have a GTX 1080 or RX VEGA64 to get steady performance at 60 fps at 1080p or above.

Add to that an Intel i7 and 16 GB of RAM and it’s easy to see why Far Cry 6 deserves a spot on this list.

Hitman 3 wraps up IO Interactive’s World of Assassination trilogy while doubling down on the franchise’s immersive sim sandbox design.

Once more, players reprise their role as the eponymous hitman Agent 47 as he sets off on a globe-trotting mission to dismantle the criminal organization known as Providence.

However, to get the most out of the game, you’ll want to make sure to have a GPU in the ballpark of a GTX 1070 or equivalent.

On top of that, the game’s recommended specs call for an i7-4790 and a steep 16 GB available RAM.

At the time of its release, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided set a new standard for PC graphics, especially if you tried running the game on its Ultra preset.

Unfortunately, most of us will never get to witness such things firsthand since meeting even the recommended settings can prove challenging for most.

To start with, you’ll need a GTX 970 or AMD equivalent, though ideally you’re packing something closer to a GTX 1080 or above.

Then there’s the matter of memory consumption, a recurring trend in this list; for the best result, Mankind Divided calls for a whopping 16 GB RAM.

The Metro games have only improved with each entry, and Metro Exodus is by far the most impressive one to date, at least from a graphics perspective.

It features larger sandbox environments than any of its predecessors coupled with a tightly woven narrative and an addictive blend of action and stealth-based gameplay.

One of the game’s biggest selling points is its support for Nvidia’s ray tracing-enabled graphics cards, which greatly improve lighting effects in RTX-compatible games.  

It’s recommended you run Metro Exodus on a GTX 1070 or above for steady performance, though to unlock ray-tracing, you’ll of course need an RTX 2060.

The latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator harnesses data from Bing Maps in conjunction with Azure Cloud technology to generate 3D representations of real-world mountains, forests, and airports.

What makes the game so demanding are the textures that get rendered in to simulate realistic terrain and bodies of water.

As a result, you’re looking at a GTX 970 or AMD equivalent with 16 GB RAM to achieve steady performance.

On top of that, players will need to set aside a massive 150 GB of storage to house all of its map data and contents.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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