2023 is finally the year of the advent of stunning visuals from the latest games.
We saw some eye-feasting titles ranging from Alan Wake 2 to Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora to Spider-Man 2 and more in 2023. This year stood out as the first to define next-gen graphics for the PS5 and Xbox Series S|X.
Why it matters: 2020 marked the release of new PlayStation and Xbox consoles that promised a new leap in the graphical fidelity of modern games. However, after three years, this is the first year that put these machines to good use for jaw-dropping visuals.
Games looked brilliant this year, kicking off with Hogwarts Legacy. The entire castle, the surrounding areas, and the village of Hogsmeade all delivered something that fans of Harry Potter always longed for.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is another strong contender in terms of graphics. While a last-gen port of this title is now in development, Respawn Entertainment’s decision to make the game for new consoles allowed the studio to put Unreal Engine 5 to good use.
Dead Island 2 redefined gore with its flesh system that sequentially destroyed the entire body of zombies when hit repeatedly. Games like Resident Evil 4 Remake and Dead Space Remake also looked phenomenal.
However, certain titles towered over the others, especially in terms of graphics. We believe these games finally showed the potential of RTX graphics cards and the new consoles:
- Alan Wake 2
- Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
- Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
- Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores
Alan Wake 2 provides a striking and terrifying photorealistic world with locations like Cauldron Lake, Brightfalls, and more. The new Spider-Man game also took visuals to a new level through the use of ray tracing.
CDPR finally ditched last-gen hardware to maximize its REDengine for Phantom Liberty. Combining the already impressive visuals with path-tracing, Cyberpunk 2077’s visuals were a sight to behold in 2023.
Like CDPR, Guerrilla Games embraced the latest hardware for Horizon Forbidden West’s expansion. This decision allowed the team to produce one of the most spectacular boss battles in the IP, proving the excellence of its in-house Decima engine.
Finally, a game like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora impressed with dense foliage, dynamic ray-traced lighting, and interactive environments, capturing the look of James Cameron’s universe with stunning visuals.
Considering how great this year was, we expect to see more of the same in 2024. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Stalker 2 seem to be a few of the most promising games coming next year, and we can’t wait to see what else awaits us in the coming months.
Abdullah is an avid gamer who primarily plays single-player titles. If you can’t find him anywhere, he’ll probably be at his desk playing The Witcher 3 for the millionth time. When he isn’t playing games, he’s either reading or writing about them.