2017 was a great year for gamers! With releases from major franchises like Gran Turismo, The Legend of Zelda, and Assassin’s Creed, video game fans had plenty of reasons to log hours and hours of screen time. Now that the year’s winding down and we have a moment to digest the year before diving into 2018’s list of promised releases, let’s look back and see which games offered the best visual feast for fans.
1) Project CARS 2. We didn’t expect a racing game to top our list, but it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between Project CARS 2 gameplay and actual photographs. Each vehicle has been carefully rendered to mimic real life, and each course is absolutely gorgeous. In our side-by-side comparison, this young franchise even beat out one of its hottest and most-seasoned competitors: Gran Turismo Sport.
2) Horizon Zero Dawn. Perhaps a few years from now, bright green leaves blowing individually in the wind won’t be such a big deal, but Horizon Zero Dawn does such an incredible job detailing its landscapes, we’d be ashamed not to give it a place on this list. Like many on this list, this game nails the open world concept with a unique storyline and captivating characters.
3) Mass Effect: Andromeda. The team at BioWare committed to the open world concept in the fourth installment of the Mass Effect series, and they didn’t cut any corners in offering players a visual feast. With careful attention to light, color, and physics, gameplay is every bit as impressive as the mammoth photo-realistic cutscenes.
4) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Zelda franchise has never thrown itself into artistic realism, but the latest installment is also the most visually stunning, with a soft color palette, vast landscapes, and the same delightful physics we’ve come to expect from the series.
5) Red Dead Redemption 2. OK, OK, Red Dead Redemption 2 technically isn’t slated for release until spring of next year, but Rockstar dropped our jaws in September with the minute-and-a-half official trailer. With gameplay that travels through snowy mountain and muddy town centers, each frame is painstakingly detailed. Red Dead Redemption 2 snags our 5th slot for 2017 because it’s simply that impressive.
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