The humble first-person shooter genre has developed a great deal over the years. Nowadays, the graphics on your average shooter look better than ever, with some titles out there showcasing truly impressive photo-realistic graphics.
With fan-favorite shooter Halo 3 finally hitting PC (after 13 years of waiting), we thought we’d to celebrate its upcoming release by looking at some of the top shooters out there we've been playing in the meantime that really push your GPU to the limit.
Modern games, particularly fast-paced shooters, put pressure on the GPU to perform so it’s important to have one that’s up to the task. Here are five of our top picks for GPU-demanding games that look amazing.
Battlefield V is an ultra-realistic shooter title, set in the conflict of World War II. This 2018 shooter title gives you a chance to explore a host of vehicles, weapons, and battlefield missions. You’ll play through previously untold war stories in Battlefield’s most immersive game yet. For multiplayer fans, there’s a 64-player multiplayer mode and Firestorm - a battle royale mode which is set on the largest Battlefield map to date.
The reason Battlefield V makes it on this list is for the simple reason that it looks stunning. That means you’ll want to ensure that you can run the game on high settings to fully appreciate the graphics and experience the immersion fully.
The recommended system requirements suggest either an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X or an Intel Core i7-4790. For graphics cards, you’ll want either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB or an AMD Radeon RX 580 8 GB. A massive 12 GB of RAM is also recommended. However, if you can, it’s always best to surpass the recommended requirements where possible. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to playing other games with high system requirements.
For more information on Battlefield V hardware, check out our article on Battlefield V system requirements.
Taking a break from realistic battle games for a moment. Doom Eternal lets you slay armies of demons and monsters instead. Doom Eternal is set in a world where Hell’s armies have invaded the Earth and it's up to you as a Slayer to conquer the demons across dimensions and save humanity. It’s the latest release in the popular Doom franchise and it includes plenty of fan-favorite weapons and new features to get stuck into. You see the return of the BFG 9000 as well as rocket launchers, plasma rifles, and combat shotguns.
This is a fast-paced shooter title with impressive graphics so you’ll want a graphics card and processor which can keep up with its demands.
The recommended requirements for Doom Eternal suggest either an AMD Ryzen 7 1800X or an Intel Core i7-6700K for your processor. The GPU suggested is either the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or the GTX 1080. For AMD graphics cards, a Radeon RX Vega 56 is suggested.
Interestingly with this game, there’s also a set of requirements called ‘Ultra-Nightmare’ to get the absolute best out of this fantastic game. To fully experience the game, the CPUs recommended are either an Intel Core i9-9900K or an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X. The GPUs suggested are either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti or an AMD Radeon VII.
CPUs - Ultra Nightmare
GPUs - Ultra Nightmare
These ‘Ultra-Nightmare’ requirements will definitely require a bit more investment when it comes to building your gaming PC. But it’ll definitely be worth it to see Doom Eternal in all its glory.
For our full list of system requirements and hardware recommendations for this game, check out our Doom Eternal System Requirements article.
Arma 3 is a massive military sandbox that allows you to experience true combat gameplay. Set in the near future of the 2030s, you’ll get to explore the twin islands of Stratis and Altis in the Aegean Sea.
You’ll get to play either a single-player campaign or team up with friends to play across three campaign episodes: Survive, Adapt, and Win. Arma 3’s gameplay lets you play around with 40 weapons, 20 vehicles, and has plenty of training sessions and firing drills to help you improve your combat skills.
For this game, the recommended system requirements suggest an Intel Core i5-4460 or an AMD FX 4300 for the CPU. For the graphics card, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series with 2 GB is recommended. However, these requirements won’t typically result in the best experience in terms of frame rates. As this game is a fast-paced shooter with some pretty impressive draw distances, you’ll definitely want to aim for better components than those listed in the requirements. If that’s not possible, you may need to turn down some of your settings.
If you want more information on Arma 3’s requirements and any hardware suggestions, take a look at our Arma 3 system requirements post.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the biggest games of the past couple of years and it still stands up as a fantastic shooter title. Set in America in 1899, the decline of the Wild West is well and truly underway. The story features Arthur Morgan, an outlaw, who must flee after a robbery goes wrong. Left to fend for himself in rugged America, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and his loyalty to the Van der Linde gang who raised him.
One of the main things that stands out about this game is the fantastic graphics. The setting is just stunning and the graphics do not let it down. For this reason, you’ll want to take extra care that you have a PC that can handle the high system requirements.
For the processor, an Intel Core i7-4770K or an AMD Ryzen 5 1500X are recommended. The graphics cards recommended are either the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB or the AMD Radeon RX 480 4 GB. However, even with these specs, you’ll likely have to fiddle about with the graphics settings to ensure a consistent frame rate. If you can, it’s always worth pushing beyond the recommended requirements and getting more powerful components. That way, you can fully immerse yourself in Arthur Morgan’s world.
For a full list of the system requirements and our hardware suggestions to get the most of it, check out our post on Red Dead Redemption 2’s system requirements.
Set in the ruins of the Moscow Metro, Metro Exodus is a gritty FPS title. You’ll embark on an epic journey across the post-apocalyptic Russian wilderness. You’ll lead a band of Spartan Rangers on a journey to find new life in the East. It’s a fantastic story-driven FPS that combines combat, stealth, survival horror, and exploration.
Key to this game is the atmosphere and immersion in the world. You’ll be able to pick out hundreds of tiny details such as frost on your gasmask to a tiny flickering candle in the distance. This all adds to the tension and horror you’ll experience with this game.
To fully immerse yourself in this great game, you’ll want PC specs that do it justice. Recommended for the CPU is the Intel Core i7-4770K or equivalent. For the GPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or an RTX 2060 is required. Alternatively, an AMD RX Vega 56 is suggested. Out of those, we’d recommend the RTX 2060 if you want to push your PC to the limit and play this on ultra settings.
For a full look at the requirements and to see any hardware suggestions for this game, we’ve got a post on the Metro Exodus system requirements.
Building For The Future
As technology develops, so do games. This means that nowadays high system requirement games are becoming more commonplace with great graphics, RAM, and storage needs than ever before.
To build a gaming PC for the future, the main things to concentrate on are the CPU, GPU, and RAM. If you are looking to play graphically demanding games, you may even want to look into GPUs that support ray tracing and have additional amounts of VRAM.
There’s a great deal of hype surrounding this game and from the images and footage we’ve seen, it looks pretty justified. This game looks absolutely stunning, especially the ray-traced effects and we can’t wait to play it.
It does mean you’ll need a PC which can run it though and the recommended requirements are fairly high. An Intel Core i5-10400 2.9 GHz or an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 are recommended so this might be the perfect time to splash out on one of the new 10th generation Intel CPUs.
The graphics cards recommended are either the NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super or the AMD Radeon RX 5700XT 8 GB. With NVIDIA lending ray tracing support to this game, that’s the one you’ll want the most but of course, the price tag is pretty high.
For more information on Cyberpunk 2077 and what you’ll need to get ready for it, take a look at our system requirements and hardware article.
Star Wars: Squadrons
Another much-hyped game coming out this year is Star Wars: Squadrons. This game will let you take to the skies and pilot some of your favorite Star Wars fighters. With an extensive single-player campaign and multiplayer mode, this is a game that a lot of people will be watching out for later this year.
The system requirements for this game are around medium to high and it can also be played in VR, so you’ll want to ensure your PC can handle it. The recommended requirements for non-VR gameplay include an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X or an Intel Core i7-7700 for the processor. For the GPU, an AMD Radeon RX 480 or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is required.
If you want to push the boat out and grab your VR headset, you may need a better graphics card. The GPU recommended requirements are listed as an AMD Radeon RX 570 or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.
To play this title, you’ll be looking at investing in a mid-range PC build. If you’re interested in learning more about ideal hardware for this game, take a look at our system requirements post.
If you’re looking for a new game to put your GPU to the test, any of these games would be a great pick. They’re all fantastic games that are highly rated and look fantastic (with the right kit to run them). Without the right hardware, you’ll have the depressing task of turning all the graphics settings down on your favorite games.
If you’re thinking of playing any of the above games and your PC is a few years old, it could be time for an important upgrade. Whether that’s building a completely new gaming PC or simply replacing a CPU, motherboard or graphics card, you’ll definitely see the benefits of upgrading.