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Digital Foundry's Best Game Graphics of 2020 - PC, Xbox, PlayStation - An Amazing Year For Visuals

BlueXImpulse

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1) Cyberpunk 2077
2) Spiderman: Miles Morales
3) Microsoft Flight Simulator
4) Half-Lyfe: Alex
5) The Last of Us Part 2
6) Demon Souls
7) Doom Eternal
8) Ori and The Will of the Wisps
9) Minecraft RTX

Others:
Dreams
Teardown
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Call of Duty Black Ops - Cold War
Ghost of Tsushima
 

Senua

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a multiplatform game at num one


might GIF
 

Aguero9320

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Mostly agree except I was thinking FS2020 should be #1 and Cyberpunk #2. Also where is Gears 5? That game looks beyond amazing especially on the Series X after essentially a remaster
Actually wouldn’t disagree there - if FS was number one I would have nodded my approval.

Feel like #2 was awarded mostly to try and reduce the amount of abuse they are going to get :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

Fredrik

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I don’t even have ray-tracing on Cyberpunk on my 1080ti and I still think it looks mind-blowingly good.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps would’ve been higher on my list though, one of the prettiest games I’ve ever seen on console. Ghost of Tsushima would’ve been there as well. But all in all, a solid list!
 

Guilty_AI

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Sure but I'd be more impressed with a linear game that's photorealistic than an open world that isn't. Graphics are how good something looks rather than what it is technically.
No, the tech being used totally matters. After all its far easier to make a linear game look photorealistic than it is for an open world with dynamic day-night cycles and weather.
The later definitely deserves more credit.
 
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Alexios

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Eh, Cyberpunk has many flaws, almost like a Bethesda game. Maybe you can capture some great vistas often enough but when actually playing and going through its world you will notice, regardless of your PC power (and aside from bugs that aren't consistent like T-pose and floating NPCs and objects), a lot of shit like pop in, flickering textures/distant assets, distant traffic effects looking completely different to when you approach the area (and clearly cardboard cutout 2D that only looks convincing if you don't pay attention), bad water surface/underwater effects (especially for a game that lets you swim), occasional super low resolution shadows, random hitches and a lot of NPC related crap that ruin the overall look. Maybe it's not a real graphical flaw that traffic & npc characters fully reset/disappear/get replaced with other stuff as you turn around and it has more to do with the game logic and how most is just background fluff but it counts to the overall visual result. Their often bad and mismatched animations are definitely another flaw while many of the random filler objects are of pretty bad quality too, whether it's food items or garbage bags that litter certain areas. I also don't think much of the city is designed very realistically, it just looks very off and also breaks the effect when you have stores, buildings and structures that make no sense, futuristic architecture or not. Very juvenile design essentially, sort of what a toddler may think a store looks like and how it functions (Yakuza does this so much better) and it's similar for their off putting fashion design. Anyway, I prefer how more consistent games look by far, even if their moment to moment visuals can be lesser technically (and in that case you can probably max out their view distance, resolution and framerate with super slick results). Also, in their own Cyberpunk optimized settings guide, I don't understand how Digital Foundry can recommend, for non-RTX rigs, reflections set on low claiming a small difference compared to the visual quality and performance hit of higher settings. I'd rather have them off at that point, low gives a very grainy look almost like you're using CAS or aggressive DLSS and it applies to so many surfaces in the game, from roads, floors and walls to the car you drive and many of your weapons so it's often evident everywhere. It's mostly fixed on Ultra and Psycho settings but yeah, that's pretty taxing, obviously (but you can probably still use it if you don't mind playing with the settings and locking at like 40 fps which isn't hard to get used to, especially with VRR, for a single player shlooter like this).
 
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BuffNTuff

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Don’t completely agree with that. My list:

1. Flight simulator
2. Demon Souls
3. Cyber Punk

Last of us 2 gets an honorable mention for demonstrating what a big budget can achieve regardless of “power”

Final Fantasy VII also gets an honorable mention, but for how inconsistent it is. Certain segments look downright incredible and unbelievable that it is last gen, then other segments have had very minimal attention paid to them and look like ps2 level trash.

There’s also a lot of other titles that are very strong such as Spider Man MM, ghosts, etc. but I think the 5 listed above are really all that’s necessary.
 

SlimySnake

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Minecraft with rt still looks generations behind everything else on that list. Bizarre inclusion.

Flight sim needs to be in first place. It looks a generation above all the other games on the list.

Ghosts needs to be on that list over doom. But other than that, pretty decent list.
 
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Spokker

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Cyberpunk would not be in my top ten. Graphics encompass more than still images and shiny streets. They failed to create a convincing and dynamic world due to the amount of bugs and nonexistent AI. Animation is part of graphics and characters t-posing more than any other game in recent memory is not top 10 graphics material.

When you consider the context of what they are trying to do and what they started with, Flight Simulator has the best graphics of the year.
 
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dottme

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There's few one I disagree with. especially starting with Minecraft make it hard to take anything seriously.
But Cyperbunk can look really good.
But Half-Life Alyx is that good? It looks ok form the video on the web but nothing exceptional.
 
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-Arcadia-

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Feels like things went off the rails at Demon’s Souls.

#6? TLoU2 ahead of it? Half Life Alyx? Spider-Man #2? Microsoft Flight Simulator feeling a bit low?

Love DF, but it looks like they threw darts at positions for most of this list. I think they might have gotten too obsessed with weighting games that did new things (Ray-Tracing, VR) heavier than objective visual quality in both a technical and artistic sense.

This is a list that would appear more logical:

1) Microsoft Flight Simulator
2) Demon’s Souls
3) Cyberpunk
4) The Last of Us Part 2
5) Spider-Man: Miles Morales
6) Doom Eternal
7) Ori and The Will of the Wisps
8) Minecraft RTX
 

Tripolygon

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Actually in the top 9 are 4 games that ms (I am including doom in ms) and 3 from Sony
No, Doom Eternal was announced and released before Microsoft intent to acquire ZeniMax Media. The deal has not been finalized yet and Microsoft does not own it until second quarter 2021. There are 5 Sony games on that list, i am counting the honorable mentions as well as those are strong contenders.

Sony - Spiderman: Miles Morales, The Last of Us Part 2, Demon Souls, Dreams, Ghost of Tsushima

Microsoft - Microsoft Flight Simulator, Ori and The Will of the Wisps, Minecraft RTX
 
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Heartkiller

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Ghost Of Tsushima definitely deserves more recognition than "other". Some of the best art direction that I have ever seen. My eyes were bleeding from the use of color in that game. It doesn't have the gimmick of being impressive for a VR game or adding RTX to Minecraft though, I guess.
 

-Arcadia-

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At least there was a lot of cool footage to gawk over. We had a wonderful year in terms of both tech pushing and artistry.

I still can’t get over how good Flight Simulator looks. Those clouds and sunsets, and the sheer detail.
 

MastaKiiLA

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Flight simulator should be #1
While Flight Sim is indeed gorgeous, and worthy of making the list, it kinda falls apart visually when you get in close, which is part of the game, like when landing.

C2077 PC deserves its honors. Pleased to see MM a #2, honestly. A decent number of console exclusives made the list. Props to Sony for another year of visually-stunning games. I look forward to seeing what they extract from the PS5 over the course of this generation.