Ah yes, graphics. A big point of discussion ever since video games have been around. Some may argue that graphics in games don’t matter at all, but is that really fair to say? After all, the visual component is an important part of the game experience, or, more accurately, most games we can only experience trough their visuals. Good graphics may not salvage a bad game, but a well polished visual presentation can certainly add to the overall experience. With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the best looking games of 2016.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
This one should come as no surprise. Naughty Dog is known for its technical wizardry, and has produced some of the best looking games of the past two generations. Even with this reputation, what they’ve been able to create with Uncharted 4 is simply stunning. Characters that look so real you’d think you can touch them, environments saturated with detail and color, breathtaking moments… the visual presentation manages to amaze all the way through the end. Without a doubt the best looking game released in 2016.
Gears of War 4
The Gears of War games have always been graphical showcases and this entry is no different. Crisp colorful graphics, great lighting and tons of effects make this one of the best looking games of the year. Especially nighttime scenes look great, with moonlight lighting up the swaying leaves on each tree, making for a moody atmosphere.
Ratchet & Clank
This list would not be complete without mentioning Ratchet & Clank. With this game, Insomniac Games has managed to create something that looks very close to high quality animation movies. The entire game is simply stunning, from its rich colors to its shiny metal surfaces to its great use of depth of field. For something that does not even make use of a realistic artstyle, it sure looks as if you could reach trough the screen and touch it.
The Last Guardian
Director Fumito Ueda has a knack for creating jaw dropping sceneries that overwhelm you in their vastness and depth. The sense of scale in this game is unprecedented. The creature Trico looks fantastic as well, you can almost feel the softness of its back as you see each feather move independently. Rays of sunlight give the boy and Trico a golden glow. The animations also deserve to be mentioned, looking at Trico’s movements you’d swear you’re watching a living, breathing animal. Udea’s games have never been technical marvels in terms of performance but his clear sense of style shines through to form something that just feels right.
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV presents us with an impressive looking open world you can explore on foot, Chocobo or car. As you drive across the roads you’ll see the landscapes change from deserts to coastlines to lush grasslands. Battles look impressive with elaborate animations and a variety of visual effects. As they day passes and the sun begins to set the look and feel of the world changes along with it, and the lights of hotels, cities and other havens penetrate the darkness in a believable manner. Oh, and the food! Videogame food hasn’t looked this realistic since Pikmin 3.
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