Best Graphics By Year

KG-Prime90

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2000: Sacrifice looked far superior to Giants.
Loved Sacrifice, i actually have it on my machine right now, lol. I do remember Giants did have really good lighting that i recall seemed to pop. But Sacrifice was artistically better. I had to look, i thought Giants came out a year after Sacrifice, but came out within like a month. Those were good times. So many good games...what about Rune, best multiplayer ever. \m/,
102200_rune_28.jpg
 

shinotenshi

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far cry had much better graphics than HL2. played both at max 8800GTX on a viewsonic p225f. it's not close either. HL2 however has great artistic direction. I'm really looking forward to seeing what games can look like once, the scorpio and neo become the default.
 

horrorshow

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I never had the privilege, I was too busy getting laid, making money, and banging to play MP anything.

But I heard great things.
 

horrorshow

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Is there a server-base still alive?

I watch Vikings all the time and enjoy Chivalry.....
 

cthulhuiscool

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Is there a server-base still alive?

I watch Vikings all the time and enjoy Chivalry.....

Couldn't say. I've been too busy too busy getting laid, making money, and banging to try.

We absolutely cannot forget Doom 3.

2004 was a big year to say the least.
Ya I think 04 was probably the biggest jump technically, though that pic of doom 3 looks like it's using a graphics mod.
 

shinotenshi

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doom 3 was pretty terrible actually it was all "smoke and mirrors". it was pretty much all clever lighting. when the lighting was removed it was ugly. low poly textures, poor geometry, it was light years behind far cry, and even half life 2.
 

Armenius

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Couldn't say. I've been too busy too busy getting laid, making money, and banging to try.


Ya I think 04 was probably the biggest jump technically, though that pic of doom 3 looks like it's using a graphics mod.
That screenshot looks like it's the BFG Edition, which in my opinion actually looks worse than the original.
 

harmattan

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If I could bring it back a touch, I'm going to throw in Outcast as the best graphics on 1999. I recall starting it up and thinking "hold crap this game looks cool". Mostly done with ray casting engine which ran great on even lower-end hardware with a decent CPU - incredible. Helped that it was also a forerunner, in my view, to Half Life.

The only games that came somewhat close were System Shock 2 and Freespace 2, but neither really held a candle.
 

Porter_

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Good list! Fondest memories for me were RTCW in 2001 and pretty much everything from 2004. Crysis and BF3 were both big moments as well, giant leaps in graphics.
 

Wookie768

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regardless of difference in opinions of what was chosen, cool thread to see the progression, i played a lot of ut03 and i remember playing giants in awe back on 00. crazy how far things have came, but at the same time i think it could have been a bit better if developers didn't port things over from consoles.
 
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morningreis

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Assassin's Creed Syndicate looked incredible. Never did find the time to play through it though.
assassins-creed-syndicate2015-11-20-18-59-26-100630350-orig.jpg
 

piscian18

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To each his own but I thought all the Stalker games looked particularly amazing.

I have to side with Far Cry over HL2, FarCry's level of detail over such massive environments with 0 load was awesome to be in even though I didn't seriously play it until many years after it came out. Also you should not I think even HardOCP despite its complaints with the Engine used FarCry as a benchmarking tool for a couple years. I actually hate Farcry 2 possibly more than any other game I've played and I acknowledge that game looked indescribably good when it came.
 

Archaea

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If you are including console games then God of War should be nestled in there. I didn't play it till years later but man it still knocked my socks off. The sense of scale in the PS2 title was amazing. (I played it first as a rehash on PS3) and as a long time gamer I still was super impressed with that title.

I'll second the Order 1886 nomination. I'd give it priority over Ryse Son of Rome as far as A/B (not sure on the years they released) The Order had scenes where it seemed like real life. The character animations were excellent.

Also Kameo on Xbox 360 in 2005? was nothing short of stellar graphically. Again as a long time PC gamer my jaw dropped at some of the scenes.

I also really really appreciated Rune --- though probably not a graphical front runner it did have some really creative level design. Multiplayer LAN is some of the best ever with Rune, and Rune Co-Op to this day is one of my favorite gaming experiences with two other friends.
 

Decko87

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Nothing against Oblivion, loved that Game, but Gears of War launched in 2006. In November it's been 10 years!!!!! I'm getting so old
 

J3RK

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I agree with the Doom 3 people. Doom kills FC and HL2. (though I do agree that the polygon counts on models could have been higher in some places) Also the people looked better in HL2, but taken as a whole, I still think Doom has the edge overall.

Far Cry did look really nice for the time, but it was a lot more generic looking. It definitely didn't have the level of art or design that HL2 and D3 had. It was excellent, but didn't pop like the others.

Also, I would have put Escape from Butcher Bay in there. That game has an incredible engine, and still looks decent now. The texture work, lighting, bump mapping, etc. were very advanced for the time.

For 2016, Doom plain and simple. Nothing looks better. (though there are definitely a lot of good looking games right now) The new Mirror's Edge looks great too, though admittedly the style isn't to everyone's taste.

I really want to see what Quake Champions looks like in-game. Can't wait for QuakeCon to hit. Hopefully they'll have some footage.

I'd also put Quake 3 in. (it also powered some other pretty nice looking games like Alice and Heavy Metal FAKK2)
 
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horrorshow

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Almost forgot about Heavy Metal, that game was damn shiny upon its release.

windows-3163-61360322327.jpg
 
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Odellus

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doom 3 is objectively the best looking game of 2004. the lighting was absolutely ridiculous and the only game that beat it in that department was fear a year later, and then two years after that crysis. it had better models and textures than far cry as well, although it was just barely on par with HL2 in that regard. HL2 is immediately disqualified though because it didn't have dynamic lighting.

you are seriously out of your mind if you look at those fc1 screenshots on the last page and somehow think that that looks better than doom 3.

doom 4 will be the best looking game of 2016.
 
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yourgrandma

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Doom 3 is vastly overated imo.Half life 2 had far more realistic look then doom 3 did imo, Better detailed environments and physics. Far cry had indoor environments on par with doom 3 as well outdoor environments and view distance doom failed to do.

For 2016 so far uncharted looks far better then the new doom, not even close really.
 

Presbytier

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doom 3 was pretty terrible actually it was all "smoke and mirrors". it was pretty much all clever lighting. when the lighting was removed it was ugly. low poly textures, poor geometry, it was light years behind far cry, and even half life 2.

I agree with the textures definitely being low poly but the geometry and lighting sell it and where years ahead of their time.

Doom 3 is vastly overated imo.Half life 2 had far more realistic look then doom 3 did imo, Better detailed environments and physics. Far cry had indoor environments on par with doom 3 as well outdoor environments and view distance doom failed to do.

For 2016 so far uncharted looks far better then the new doom, not even close really.

HL@ looks pretty good, but IMO what seperates it from Doom 3 is the lighting and geometry, HL2 world is very flat, but well textured. Doom 3 is definately lower textured but the lighting and geometry really create a very compelling environment.
 

J3RK

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doom 3 was pretty terrible actually it was all "smoke and mirrors". it was pretty much all clever lighting. when the lighting was removed it was ugly. low poly textures, poor geometry, it was light years behind far cry, and even half life 2.

Ha! No. All gaming graphics are "smoke and mirrors". What sets them apart is the skill eith which all the tricks are used. Nobody is touching ANY id game in its year of release from Wolfenstein 3D up to 2016's Doom. Where other games finally catch up is in the years between id releases.

They may have had to do a balancing act between textures, lighting, geometry, animation, but they did it masterfully, and nothing pulled all of these together on that level of hardware the way Doom did.

Valve did pull off miracles considering that Source was basically a heavily modified Quake 1 engine. I also agree that the characters looked more believable as humans than the ones in D3, but Tech 4 was an absolute marvel in every other way.

The art direction and pseudo engineering of all the equipment, machinery, reactors, etc. in Doom 3 is also incredible. There is nothing do big and just jaw dropping in HL2. They had some cool effects, but nothing like any of the reactors or other beautifully articulated equipment in D3. You may prefer one style over the other and that's fine. However objectively, the machines and environments in D3 were larger than life, well animated, spplied more effects. Subjectively from my own point of view it just pulled me into the world more.

The one exception in HL2 for me was Ravenholm. That level was constructed flawlessly. Everything about it was spot on. The mood aesthetics, characters, were perfect. It even transcended the limitations of the engine. Very memorable.
 
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Odellus

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Doom 3 is vastly overated imo.Half life 2 had far more realistic look then doom 3 did imo, Better detailed environments and physics. Far cry had indoor environments on par with doom 3 as well outdoor environments and view distance doom failed to do.

For 2016 so far uncharted looks far better then the new doom, not even close really.
you need to replay all three games because your memory is evidently quite poor.
 

ChoGGi

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If we're weighing more on the technical side then shouldn't 2002 be GTA3 or Mafia?
No Splinter cell or PoP for 2003 (not that I really played DEIW)?

2009: batman aa?
 
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Brodaddy

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2016 has some pretty awesome graphics - I'm waiting for them to fully utilize environment destructibility though. Seems like a fading gimmick at this point
 

J3RK

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2016 has some pretty awesome graphics - I'm waiting for them to fully utilize environment destructibility though. Seems like a fading gimmick at this point

It wasn't full destructibility, but Ghostbusters did a really good job of letting you damage things, (take chunks out of walls and pillars with the proton pack) letting you toss around large objects, burn things, and tons of decals. There really hasn't been too much as of late that attempted things like this. (unless I've missed something...)
 

Ducman69

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2016 has some pretty awesome graphics - I'm waiting for them to fully utilize environment destructibility though. Seems like a fading gimmick at this point
Must be hard to do, as its always been a big wish, and Crysis wow'ed people with it the first time, where you could mow down trees.

Always retarded in GTA when you can ram your pinto through a light pole like its nothing, but take an 18 wheeler going 110mph into a park bench and come to an immediate stop.

Personally, I think rather than greater graphical realism, we need more immersion via VR. That's what has me excited, and its going to take some serious horsepower to get two 4K displays (one per eye) displaying video at 120fps.
 

Domingo

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Doom 3 was a good looking game, but you couldn't see 2/3 of it because of the lighting. Plus, because of the way the blacks worked, it was unnatural and either pitch black or visible with minimal in-between.
Animation and the characters looked good though. Half-Life 2 felt more realistic. It's like they knew what they were working with and made the world look good. With Doom, it felt like they had a shiny new engine and minimal idea what to do with it. Prey finally gave us a true taste of what that engine could do 2 years later.

Uncharted 4 is an absolutely amazing looking game and it might actually be my pick for this year, too. At least in still. However at 30fps, there's no comparison to a PC game running at 2-3x that framerate. If it was running at 60fps there would be no competition. Because it isn't, it's no match for even average looking PC games running at 4K/60.
 

readeh

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A 2016 contender for sure:





The Order 1886 is a beautiful game and ahead of its time when it comes to graphics, but it's much more of a cinematic experience than a game. Especially when you consider it being a PS4 game, it's quite amazing what can be achieved.
 
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