Digital Foundry’s Best Game Graphics of 2021 – PC, Xbox, PlayStation – Another Amazing Year!
Join Alex Battaglia and John Linneman for an extended discussion on the best game graphics of 2021. There’ve been some amazing visuals this year – remarkable achievements from the first year of the ‘next-gen’ consoles, and all delivered in the Covid era, no less. Please note: Flight Simulator would definitely have made the list, but remember that it was first released in 2020 – and we talked about it in depth in the Best Game Graphics of 2020!
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no the astheic for metorid is not a handled feel of a 4.1 gb game that is super super short at a full 60 dollars with no real story textures or well look at metoids line sof diolage vs bd3 with like 46k thousand lines the harddrive space in text alone is well well over 10x metroids and when the game is actuly done might be 15x ish… i so so sorry a tiny team for what would be a handheld game is being compaired to years longer and game s like bg3 that are in beta 150 gbs vs 4.1….and bg3 is so much better looking nintendo probaly paid to say why low low poly low framses and low resoultion in a 10 hour 60 dollar singleplayer only game isnt getting a f for a score…
@DF: I feel there's waaay too much filtering going on for the frame-rate graph – evident around 20:15. I always felt it was a bit off in other videos but I never determined root cause until now…
RE Village? Is this a joke?
The amount of pop in in Forza games has always been and still is very noticeable and rarely lets off. Forza 5 still looks good and is technically impressive in its own right but the pop in is just a constant annoyance. Just look at that tree at 34:35
i feel like psychonauts 2 got done dirty here
I had never seen Lego Builder's Journey before, and thought this was only on pc or something- but surprised to see it on console. A beautiful game for $20 that's supposedly pretty good? I wouldn't have found it without this video.
would like to play some of these games, but i don't have a console.
Great list guys. Seeing Ratchet as no 1 it did bring home to me that unfortunately with all the pixar level amazing visuals insomniac didn't really innovate anything gameplaywise but thats a different list entirely I think.
For me far cry 2021 is the best
A small team , making a game based on Lego…..
Lets hope that "small" team at least got a good pay check from Lego….. Its not like Lego can't afford an indie…….lol
One question comes to my mind. Why the hell did you put so much trash onto FFVIIR release about its launch stutter problems (which btw. could have easily be removed by mods 3 days after the release) whereas 2 of the so called "visually stunning titles" you present here have the same stutter issues? On Metro I've spent like a whole day trying to get HDR working and completely failed which is the most idiotic thing I've encountered in years.
Forza Horizon 5 throws me off because it seems like the vehicles are floating. It makes it look even more floaty when the back tires do not rip up the ground like it should and how unrealistic the vehicles do not get dirty. There is no way those cars would still be that clean ripping through a jungle.
The rocket railroad demo was insane!
Metro Exodus I could never finish before the Enhanced Edition released. My game would always hard crash at the crane in the Caspian sea after you get past the sniper. Even on different computers, new games and between different versions (GOG and Steam), that same spot, always. Finally after all these years since launch I was able to finish the game.
It's a shame the Ascent is isometric because it had great environments but since 3D I can't go back to the isometric veiw point
Why do we blame the failings and hold ups over the last couple of years on a mild disease that didn’t really do all that damage? Why aren’t we holding the governments and corporations responsible for fucking our shit up?
The Ascent's clutter system reminds me of Witcher 2's rockwork. The density and geometry is ahead of it's time in my opinion. And Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition runs so damn well. I get like 90 fps at 1440p at Ultra with DLSS and Ultra ray tracing. Used to get like 50-60 fps on old version. In the DLC's I get like 120 fps. It's dope. I only have a 2070 Super too. 38:57 And yeah, I miss Phys-X and it's real-time particles and smoke systems. Like in Batman games and Mafia 2's destruction with bullets hitting surfaces.
Yeah both ratchet and clank and returnal would be terrible on pc. Sorry but directstorage is not up to par with sony's custom solutions.
Look at ffviir intergrade. A port from ps5. It has terrible issues with asset load in, loading screens are back, it's just not that great. And you are expecting games that require much less time (around or under 2 secs) to be fully enjoyable on pc?
Then we have the dualsense. These games will feel flat or would need to be changed entirely to work with the Xbox controller. Yeah sure some of the button presses stuff could be further remapped for kb/m to get them to work but again the experience would be night and day different.
I hate playing a game without the dualsense support after experiencing it. Playing a game like ghost of tsushima DC with dualsense and then either going back to play the ps4 version or remote playing it, it just feels flat.
I have never been a fan of rumble until the dualsense. It makes such good use of its haptics and then combining that with the adaptive triggers. It gets insane.
The ps5 is an experience in both visuals, and immersion (still hate this word). It's hard to go from feeling it to not. You don't want to play the game without it after experiencing it.
So yeah… while pc can give that higher fps, you are sacrificing a lot of other things.
And honestly I felt no need to touch performance or performance RT with R&C due to how much of a joy 120hz 40fps is. Literally couldn't care less about it.
i hope a lot more other games implement a 120hz 40fps setting. Cause if they do so rhat would be my default way of playing.
The ultra high quality on new consoles sure is impressive, but we still gotta give credit to how beautiful these games look on 8 year old hardware, now that's a feat.
Aye! I've been really happy with Deathloop, Guardians, and Ratchet in 2021 🙂 PS5 was well worth it! Happy New Year!
If you are playing a game at 60 fps and the Xbox Series X is set at 120 are there any negative effects on the game?
Again No PC Games in top Grafics. Man i really think PC is Dead. GPU Price is crazy, loading times are a joke. Performance from Nextgen to PC Gaming is terrible, or simalr or a little bit better. All not acceptable for a PC Gamer!
I have to share a funny joke with you all at Digital Foundry, as I was laughing for days after hearing it, How do you make someone hate your game and have nothing to do with your franchise ever again? Stick NFT's and MTX in it. I thought this was awesomely hilarious 😅
Lots of fun in this video, going through Ratchet and Clank today and I was wowed.
2023 is gonna be something when it comes to graphism.
It's sad that people hate 30FPS now
Is anything in 30fps really next gen? Maybe technically… But is it really?
For me forza is the best. The detail is photo realistic
Watching this in 2022…. While taking de decision to take out my NES and move on from there… Maybe I'll have a PS5 in 2028 xD
Lego Builder's Journey originally came out in 2019…
very nice video, I feel hitman 3 had a spot on there with how incredible ssr, performance and res was across the board. especially with games like death loop on there but awesome video, cant wait for more content!!
I'm surprised The Suicide of Rachel Foster isn't in the list 😏😏😏 I'm biased…
I've played most of these games, and Far Cry 6 and House of Ashes are way better looking than almost all of them. I guess I always take performance into account, though. A 'graphically impressive' game at sub 60 still looks like dog shit to me, unless I just want to enter photo mode then lay the controller down and stare at a frozen image — which I don't.
Ratchet and Clank has great graphics in a good TV with decent HDR the game looks stunning
Surprised to know there’s a top 3. What a list gentlemen!
52:05 the reflections in the eyes are crazy.
Oh man, now that I k is the Guardians engine is the same as Deus Ex, they need to remaster both games and re-release them. I loved those games.
After playing Exodus I completely flipped on ray tracing from, this is a cool tech I guess, to now thinking it's one of the substantial graphical revolutions in gaming, and would love to see the next Naughty Dog title with a full GI RT for example, even at 30fps if need be. It is just so mind-boggling. No comparisons of "RT vs no RT" on Youtube give justice to the raw experience of just walking in the game and feeling so damn grounded.
Best graphics of 2021 is Demon’s Souls Remake. I thought this even wasn’t a discussion. Hands down. Demon’s Souls Remake has the best graphics of console gaming so far.
How is VRR still missing on the PS5? I wish Ratchet and Clank had a 40-60fps mode, if only the damn console wasn't four years behind the competition in supporting these A/V features.
The best part of RE8 is that you don’t end up in yet another laboratory
Those HD595's never go out of style huh?
I've had mine for over a decade and I still get a little excited to see other people using theirs
man its like I'm living in an alternate reality where games sucked up till the last few years ago.
would be nice to see suspension overload when you jump on the car in forza and ability to break it
Forza horizon 5 for me. Everything I see it , I forget I'm in control it looks like real life. Then in photo mode you can zoom in on stuff that has crazy detail that most people will never even see. I will never forget driving past a house and looking in the windows to see that they spent time detailing inside.
Resident Evil 8 is a #2 for me but mostly the castle and puppet house the rest of the areas didn't shine as bright.
I never completed RE7 but I absolutely loved RE8. Especially the Doll House part. That part scared the living daylights out of me.
So who won best graphics of 2021??
My personal favorite has got the be Resident Evil: Village with their use of Motion Graphics. Awesome stuff!