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

S0ULZB0URNE

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You are such a clueless tool, man.

And you've got like 1 tired fucking horse of an argument you keep beating on.

Console warrior dork to the core.

That graph is of the game on ultra. Something consoles won't ever come near. And settings that aren't necessary to put consoles to shame.
What I said is true.
Consoles are better(get over it) but i play on most formats PC include.
Far from a dork as PC isn't my main.
PC can't play the game at those settings either and achieve 60fps.

Don't expect the patched console versions to be much different than the PC.
 

GymWolf

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Tlou2 is overall more impressive than morales and demons, fight me.

Also fucking lol at minecraft even being on that list just because it use rtx...

And i still think that rdr2 on pc is the game to beat, cyberpunk can look great one moment and dull a moment later, rdr2 always looks good, also far less wonky physics\animations in front of you breaking the immersion like cyberpunk did (and i'm playing cyberpunk on a decent pc with rtx)
 
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GymWolf

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Interesting list, everyone has a different opinion but that's fine as that's all this is.

All I know is I'm now consistently impressed with graphics in games.
The thing is, different people have different priorities when it comes to graphics

raw details and textures
world geometry
characters details
animations for movements\combat
IA and world interaction
care for micro-details
shadows\lights\reflections (rtx)
scope
facial animations\digital acting

is cyberpunk nextgen in all these aspects? simply no, exactly like demons, morales etc.
and that's why you have wildly different opinions.

yes lights and shadows and reflections in cyberpunk are better than anything on console, but in some aspects, he get beaten by last gen console games, even by ps2 games when it comes to npc ia in the streets.
yes IA is not exactly pure graphic, but realistic graphics means immersion, and immersion break when you see shitty animations or npcs acting like morons while looking realistics.

Not a post to shit on cyberpunk, just trying to explain why not everyone think the same.

for example only an rtx lover can admit the fucking minecraft on that list with a serious face.

p.s. flight simulator is probably the right winner, that game looks more photorealistic than anything even with his shortcomings like being far from the ground.
 
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Jon Neu

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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

Cyberpunk on PC it's pretty much a lock for the first position, the rest of games don't even come closer. MFS looks amazing, but it's a super surface level type of game.

And I can't still understand the ridiculous praise Demon's Souls gets. It looks very good, obviously. But it's clearly not on the same level as Cyberpunk tech wise, not even close. Hell, I would even argue that Spiderman MM, with it's open world setting and actual RTX it's more impressive than the corridor like and pretty empty scenarios of DS.
 

regawdless

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for example only an rtx lover can admit fucking minecraft on that list with a serious face.
I agree with most rest of your post (outside of the hyperbole PS2 NPC comparison regarding Cyberpunk. They don't look amazing, but that's a stretch, you know this).

But I kinda disagree with categorizations like "only an rtx lover would put it on a list". We could say the same about Ori and say only art lovers would put that on the list.
Or for HL Alyx, only texture lovers would put it on the list.

I think it's not debatable that the lighting in Minecraft is something else and really impressive. Nothing on that list compares in this department. How much you value it, is a different debate of course.

You could say that Spider-Man is also on that list only because of its RT reflections. Without them, I highly doubt it would've made the list.
 
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UnNamed

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Tlou2 is overall more impressive than morales and demons, fight me.


Render the vegetation (mostly) is simpler than render different surfaces, cause you need different materials, so different shaders al at once, etc. It's the main reason why Cyberpunk is a massive brick, tons of materials rendered in real time.
Also, IIRC, TLOU uses light probes for precalculate lighting, Spiderman uses real time lighting.

There are so many games with a big graphics impact but with poor engine. Rage (2011) for example, incredible visual, but no real time shadows or lighting.
 
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GymWolf

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I agree with most rest of your post (outside of the hyperbole PS2 NPC comparison regarding Cyberpunk. They don't look amazing, but that's a stretch, you know this).

But I kinda disagree with categorizations like "only an rtx lover would put it on a list". We could say the same about Ori and say only art lovers would put that on the list.
Or for HL Alyx, only texture lovers would put it on the list.

I think it's not debatable that the lighting in Minecraft is something else and really impressive. Nothing on that list compares in this department. How much you value it, is a different debate of course.

You could say that Spider-Man is also on that list only because of its RT reflections. Without them, I highly doubt it would've made the list.
I said npcs ia, not details.
The ia is atrocious and really ps2 level.

Morales is still a great looking game even without rtx, the details in the clothes are top tier stuff and overall he has great graphics (good characters and locations, same for effects, lights and fake reflections)

Minecraft looks like shit even with rtx, i don't care if the rtx in that game is the most advanced ever, the final result still doesn't compare with other games that have far more than only good lights and reflections.
It's just an incredible rtx demo, not a good looking game.
 
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GymWolf

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Render the vegetation (mostly) is simpler than render different surfaces, cause you need different materials, so different shaders al at once, etc. It's the main reason why Cyberpunk is a massive brick, tons of materials rendered in real time.
Also, IIRC, TLOU uses light probes for precalculate lighting, Spiderman uses real time lighting.

There are so many games with a big graphics impact but with poor engine. Rage (2011) for example, incredible visual, but no real time shadows or lighting.
Yeah but important characters, faces, digital acting, animations, gore, care for details, some incredible locations like the flaming village or the rainy location with the boat are better than anything in morales and demons for me, and it's even more impressive if you think that he run on a 1.84tf machine and not a nextgen console.

I mean cmon morales's mom (kinda of a main character in the story) looks more cartoony than a lot of characters in many ps4 games, and it's not the only one...( i know it's kinda insomniac style, but still...)
I can argue that isaac on tlou2 looks like a more realistic black person than morales's protagonist, same for all the black characters in detroit becoming human and the masked guy on death stranding.

And demons remake human characters are kinda laughable tbh...
 
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BlueXImpulse

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Finally a website that doesn't cater to popularity contest games. FS2020 should have been #2 though. I can't see how Spiderman MM looks better. All the other games are just fluff for me. Amazing that Demon Souls is ranked so far down at the bottom based on all the Sony Warriors crys for absolutely mind-blowing graphics. Doesn't seem so.. in any case, good list.

Do you really want to see this sony lose this badly? Really? Are you THAT much in love with PC dude??
 

kuncol02

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2020 $4000 PC's don't run CP 2077 good enough either.

LOL@ DF trying to spin this fact away.
38fps in ultra with full ray tracing on 2080Ti (2 years old card) with better quality 4k than on consoles (DLSS is much better than checkerboard rendering)? Good enough for me.
 
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Starfield

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Ofc Cyberpunk 2077 wins. They have made the visually best open world game ever and I doubt we will see anything better in the next 1-2 years
 

jm89

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Ff7 remake? I don't know man, maybe looks great during combat scenes i guess.
 
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Vognerful

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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.
Which ghosts? Tsushima or COD?
 

Clear

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The thing is, different people have different priorities when it comes to graphics

raw details and textures
world geometry
characters details
animations for movements\combat
IA and world interaction
care for micro-details
shadows\lights\reflections (rtx)
scope
facial animations\digital acting

is cyberpunk nextgen in all these aspects? simply no, exactly like demons, morales etc.
and that's why you have wildly different opinions.

yes lights and shadows and reflections in cyberpunk are better than anything on console, but in some aspects, he get beaten by last gen console games, even by ps2 games when it comes to npc ia in the streets.
yes IA is not exactly pure graphic, but realistic graphics means immersion, and immersion break when you see shitty animations or npcs acting like morons while looking realistics.

Not a post to shit on cyberpunk, just trying to explain why not everyone think the same.

for example only an rtx lover can admit the fucking minecraft on that list with a serious face.

p.s. flight simulator is probably the right winner, that game looks more photorealistic than anything even with his shortcomings like being far from the ground.

Agreed, the argument for Flight Sim is its unparalleled detail/scale thanks to the geo-mapping and photogrammetry tech involved. Its unique and deserving of praise for that.

As I pointed out, the thing about moving into next-gen console wise, base levels for geometry, texture, world population, animation quality and streaming-tech and the scope that it facilitates are all going to rise tremendously. As this becomes the expected norm Cyberpunk isn't going to look exceptional in those respects, so even though its lighting will remain on-point, the rest of it will start to show its age.
 

kyliethicc

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1. The Last of Us Part 2
2. Flight Sim 2020
3. CyberPunk 2077 (PC)
4. Spider-Man Miles Morales (PS5)
5. Demon's Souls
6. Death Stranding (PC)
7. Ori 2
8. Ghost of Tsushima
9. Final Fantasy 7 remake pt 1
10. Doom Eternal

So many beautiful games this year that the top 10 could really be in any order. Its obviously very subjective. I value the animation and character models of TLOU2 more than the sweeping landscapes of Flight Sim, but I get why others would feel differently.
 
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Finally a website that doesn't cater to popularity contest games. FS2020 should have been #2 though. I can't see how Spiderman MM looks better. All the other games are just fluff for me. Amazing that Demon Souls is ranked so far down at the bottom based on all the Sony Warriors crys for absolutely mind-blowing graphics. Doesn't seem so.. in any case, good list.
PTSD?

classic film ptsd GIF by Turner Classic Movies
 
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thuGG_pl

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Actually it was 2012. But even 2015 is plenty of time to get at least the PC version running optimized.
But but RT is new! A few years of RT dev time is also enough time.
PC did get all the luv hence the last gen console versions being so bad and the XSX/PS5 versions not being ready.

In 2012 they were basically starting Witcher 3. At the time they weren't such big studio that can afford to work on W3 and CP2077 simultaneously. In 2012 they showed only the teaser to start searching for some talents. But actual work started after W3 release.
 
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Bernd Lauert

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People are salty about Minecraft but it was one of the few games I found truly impressive this year. The others were Flight Sim, Cyberpunk (at times), and DeS (certain boss fights). Ghost and Ori have the best art styles imo.
 
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Man the butt hurt over cyberpunk is never going to end on this forum. if you're complaining you clearly don't have a good PC as a matter of fact even a mid-tier PC you can see how amazing the game looks
It seemed to run mostly fine on my GTX 1060 (6GB) at 1080p. Kinda surprised, it wasn't 60fps locked but it was perfectly playable at high detail with some (shadows and such) on medium. Looked great.

I think the problem with this game comes when you enable RTX. I guess this kind of lighting and reflections is too much for an open world game? Other games like Control or DOOM run much better.
 
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It seemed to run mostly fine on my GTX 1060 (6GB) at 1080p. Kinda surprised, it wasn't 60fps locked but it was perfectly playable at high detail with some (shadows and such) on medium. Looked great.

I think the problem with this game comes when you enable RTX. I guess this kind of lighting and reflections is too much for an open world game? Other games like Control or DOOM run much better.

I'm on a 1070 and I can run it at ultra for better performance than consoles, I run mostly at medium tho to get closer to 60, the main advantage some consoles have... or maybe just 1? is the more locked framerate but it doesn't bother me much, there's a threshold where framerate dips actually bother me and this game doesn't hit it. Honestly if there was no commotion about console versions I have to wonder if I'd ever think the game was in a worse launch state than... well... 90% of PC games? Though occasionally someone does complain but I've seen some of the complaints are like "I have a 30 series and can't do max everything/RTX at 4K/60" which is... sure... whatever... plenty of PC games launch in a state where you can't max everything yet. Not just Crysis either, GTA IV was a notorious example at the time.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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I'm on a 1070 and I can run it at ultra for better performance than consoles, I run mostly at medium tho to get closer to 60, the main advantage some consoles have... or maybe just 1? is the more locked framerate but it doesn't bother me much, there's a threshold where framerate dips actually bother me and this game doesn't hit it. Honestly if there was no commotion about console versions I have to wonder if I'd ever think the game was in a worse launch state than... well... 90% of PC games? Though occasionally someone does complain but I've seen some of the complaints are like "I have a 30 series and can't do max everything/RTX at 4K/60" which is... sure... whatever... plenty of PC games launch in a state where you can't max everything yet. Not just Crysis either, GTA IV was a notorious example at the time.
I think (hope) that this game still has a wide margin for optimization.

My bet is on the code being shit, and with some patches down the line it'll be running much better.
 

Thirty7ven

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It makes sense until you reach Ori and it’s like “oh here you’re pretending to care about visuals and not graphic settings”. Needless pandering.

No way in hell Miles Morales is a visually more accomplished game than The Last Of Us 2 for example.
 

CatLady

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I'd change up the order and also eliminate Minecraft RTX and Demon Souls and replace them with Ghost of Tushima and Gears 5 Series X or Gears 5 Hivebusters

My list would be:
1. Flight Sim 2020
2. Cyberpunk
3. The Last of Us
4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
5. Gears 5 Series X or Gears 5 Hivebusters
6. Half-Life Alyx
7. Ghost of Tushima
8. Doom Eternal
9. Spiderman Miles Morales

Moving Ori up and adding Ghost is more about their exceptional art direction than technical achievements but art direction, at least for me, is also an important facet of great video game graphics.
 
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I keep wondering if I should say this or not but whatever I'm just going to go for it I don't care who gets mad. I legitimately do not understand Gears 5 being listed by anyone I feel like it's a practical joke being played on me or at least people of like minds to me. I've seen the complaints about digital foundries list but as far as I can tell everything that they included has a legitimate reason for doing so. They certainly spend enough time mired in the subject that any choice I think is wrong I would rather jump to understanding why than just assuming it's wrong which is the reverse of how I feel about other suggestions some other people are throwing up.
 
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My personal top 5:
  1. Cyberpunk 2077 - Their implementation of real-time lighting is insane. Ray tracing is the future of games, no two ways about it. Imagine a world where real-time lighting can achieve TLOU2's appearance or better without all the tedious manual placement + baking of lighting in the materials.
  2. Demon's Souls - Liberal use of tessellation makes all that geometric detail pop, especially in Cinematic/Quality mode. I'm also very pleased with the real-time shadows.
  3. Half-Life Alyx - Valve consistently pushes the boundaries of game-design with each new title, and at high visual fidelity in VR to boot!
  4. TLOU2 - Say what you will about Naughty Dog, but the motion-matching and character models are top-tier. Some of the most fluid animation I've ever seen. I feel pretty meh about the story, but the game itself is insanely polished.
  5. Ghost of Tsushima - I'm a sucker for good sword combat (Sekiro was my GOTY last year). Add in the great art direction and dramatic real-time lighting and you have you one of the most magical experiences to end the generation.
 
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DJ Shalad

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#1 Flight Simulator (even though it has as many cardboard cars driving around as Cyberpunk 2077 does :p)
#2 Demon´s Souls Remake (lighting, effects, textures, npc quality next level)
#3 TLOU2 (assets, animation, quality), GOT (style, open world "feel"), Ori (artistic)
#4 ??
-
#10 Minecraft RTX ?? Is the mod available? is it playable? Might add one of those UE4 techdemos then (walk thru living, bed room) to the list, they look better than RTX minecraft ...

Cyberpunk may look nice at times (only during night imho), but it´s strange to hear them mention things like "for a good immersion, you need more than visuals ... like a good a.i" /facepalm
 

-Arcadia-

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Cyberpunk on PC it's pretty much a lock for the first position, the rest of games don't even come closer. MFS looks amazing, but it's a super surface level type of game.

And I can't still understand the ridiculous praise Demon's Souls gets. It looks very good, obviously. But it's clearly not on the same level as Cyberpunk tech wise, not even close. Hell, I would even argue that Spiderman MM, with it's open world setting and actual RTX it's more impressive than the corridor like and pretty empty scenarios of DS.
Art. These are the best visuals of the year, not necessarily just the best tech. The combination of amazing tech + amazing art in Souls, makes a sizable impression on me.

Tech wise, I’d probably put Cyberpunk in front of Souls as well? It’s difficult. Souls is a bit of a two face. It has areas where it looks great. And it has areas where it looks, ‘Get on Neogaf and yell at everyone how amazing this is.’

I’d give it to MFS no matter what. The skies are maybe the most amazing thing I’ve seen, all of Earth is up to explore, and it utilizes cutting edge streaming + local assets to give you a quantity and quality of detail that cannot be found anywhere else.
 
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Zefah

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I have a mid range pc, looks like shit and runs like shit, fuck cdpr, never going support them again

What is a "mid-range PC" to you?

The game ran rather well and looked great at 1440p with High settings on my i7 6700k and GTX 1080 w/ 16GB DDR 3000 RAM. It was over 4 years old.
 
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Ev1L AuRoN

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I am happy to see Cyberpunk at # 1. Well deserved, the most visually impressive game I have ever had the pleasure of playing. I imagined that if someone could appreciate what CDPR achieved this year, this would be DF. I can understand the frustration of those who cannot play the game at its best, really a pity, I believe that CDPR lacked the courage to cancel the last gen version. I hope they can come back strong with the patch for the next-gen in 2021.

As for the rest of the list I think is solid, Miles Morales is an amazing fun game to play and is a looker. Same goes to the Demon Souls, I think the place TLOU2 got is fair, and I'm glad to see Flight Simulator receiving some love, absolutely fantastic game. I'd miss some mention to GOW5 Hivebuster DLC.
 
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Ev1L AuRoN

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In a way, Minecraft RTX is one of the most impressive things I've seen rendered in real time.
Gotta say, very impressed with Minecraft RTX. Such surreal game to play, primitive graphics with amazing light and shadows. I had to learn how to play Minecraft just to enjoy that visuals. it's like playing a Showcase tech demo. Great stuff.
 
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