(Pocket-lint) – For a few years now we’ve been treated to the delights of ray tracing on PC. Thanks to DirectX and Nvidia’s ray tracing efforts with its RTX 20 and 30-series graphics cards we now get to experience realistic lighting like never before.
Ray tracing makes games more visually appealing with atmospheric lighting, reflections on surfaces and even diffused lighting affecting the environment around you. It can help create more immersive shadows but more importantly helps makes games feel more realistic.
But which games have ray tracing and which are worth playing? We’re exploring our favorites below.
Cyberpunk 2077 might have had a bit of a troublesome launch but things have improved a lot since and it’s always been undeniably good looking on PC. That’s in part thanks to ray tracing which makes the futuristic streets of Night City really shine.
It’s worth saying that Cyberpunk 2077 is fairly taxing on your gaming machine though. So it’s worth making use of DLSS if you can as well, especially if you notice frame rates suffering.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 is made that bit more terrifying and enthralling with the help of ray traced lighting. After all, if there’s something lurking in realistic shadows, isn’t it more likely to get your pulse racing?
Truthfully you’ll barely notice the lighting here as you’re often too busy running for your life or parkouring your way around the city, but without it the experience wouldn’t be half as good.
Metro Exodus was one of the first games we played with ray tracing. It’s already a wonderfully crafted game with beautiful visuals, a rich storyline and a distinctive feel. Ray tracing is just the cherry on the cake which gives it an extra boost to its personality.
The environmental lighting was particularly eye-catching in this game and helped to sell the depth of the game world and your surroundings.
Fortnite has had a bit of a resurgence in popularity lately and we’re not going to say it’s down to ray tracing but if it makes an already great looking game even better then it’s still worth turning on.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Ok, so this might be cheating a little bit as this is a mod for Red Dead Redemption 2 which adds ray tracing to it. But that’s one of the perks of PC gaming, isn’t it? Being able to mod games and make them even better.
RDR2 is already an absolutely stunning game but it can be made to look even better too it seems.
Control is a fantastic game for many reasons. Remedy Entertainment is a masterful studio behind the likes of Alan Wake, Max Payne and Quantum Break. Control continues a trend of intriguing games lovingly crafted by them. It has a rich story and incredible visuals which are even more convincing thanks to the glorious ray tracing used throughout the levels you explore.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was the biggest and best game of the reboot of the series and a gorgeous game too. If you’ve not played the recent Tomb Raider games then you’ve really missed out. Obviously, all the usual adventuring fun is there but there’s much more in terms of detail and intrigue for the eye as well the brain here. Tomb raiding is so much more immersive with more realistic shadows.
Sure, there might be a newer Battlefield game, but we were particularly struck by the gorgeous views afforded to the battlefields of World War II in Battlefield V. The horrors of war and the thrills are only amplified by the addition of ray tracing and this is a cracking PC game for sure.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is on the horizon but we’ve still got a soft spot for 2019’s Call of Duty game. The Clean House mission in particular stands out as one of the most striking and that’s in part due to the eerily accurate lighting and shadows afforded by ray tracing tech. Another superb PC game worth picking up if you haven’t already.
Minecraft with RTX
There are a couple of bonkers additions to this list from games that don’t really seem like they could benefit from ray tracing or that you’d notice much of a difference. Fortnite is one, Minecraft is another. And yet when you see what a difference ray tracing makes to Minecraft it’s obvious why it’s much better with it than without it.
God of War (with mods)
God of War is another game which is technically cheating its way onto the list with a little help from some mods. God of War’s PC debut saw the addition of 21:9 widescreen support and graphical options that made it playable in as much as 8K but it lacked ray tracing as standard. Still, it’s a great looking game on PC and even better with some tweaks.
Writing by Adrian Willings.