If you’re a gamer and don’t yet own a 4K Ultra High-Definition TV, then here are a few good reasons why you should make the leap. Games are designed to transport you from the constraints of reality to fantastical worlds and dangerous situations you would only want to encounter within the safety of video games. So, experiencing this in 4K Ultra High Definition is truly the apex of modern gaming.
Modern-day visuals in games are becoming so hyper-realistic that you can sometimes feel the lines between reality and make-believe becoming increasingly blurred. As a gamer, this is what you’ve been waiting for ever since the day you picked up a controller and fell hopelessly in love with the freedom and immersion video games gave you.
Now that 4K graphics are slowly becoming the standard, there might be some games you should consider replaying, or if you haven’t played them yet, then playing them for the first time in Ultra High Definition will be even more impressive.
If you’ve played these games on a previous system or an older TV, then it’s really worth trying them out again if you’ve just levelled up your gaming platform and upgraded to a 4K UHD TV to enjoy them the way they were always meant to be played. If you haven’t played these yet, then you’ll be glad you waited.
In this list, you’ll find some games that not only look great from a technical standpoint but are also designed so well artistically that they transport your imagination right into the world the developers created. Some of these games you would expect to be on any list like this, others might take you by surprise and hopefully will encourage you to try something you normally wouldn’t, if only for the eye candy they provide.
Obviously, a 4K Ultra HD TV will need some hefty hardware to make the most of its display so these games will be limited to what can be played on current-gen hardware such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or a pretty powerful PC.
Ghost of Tsushima: Directors Cut took one of the most gorgeous games already ever created and improved it even more for the PS5. Developers Sucker Punch Studios created a visual masterpiece that brought a feudal Japanese island to life with a vibrant colour palette that just popped into every scene. The way the purple flowers, the white reeds, or pink cherry blossoms swayed in the breeze as you rode past on your trusty horse added a much-needed element of serenity to an otherwise ruthless and vicious game. The contrast, not just with colours, but between the violent gameplay and the emotional, reflective cut scenes, pull you into the island of Tsushima like very few action-oriented games do. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself just strolling slowly through the picturesque countryside admiring the breathtaking landscapes and taking advantage of the fantastic photo mode included with the game.
One of the first exclusive next-gen games for the PlayStation 5, Horizon: Forbidden West took everything its predecessor, Zero Dawn did well visually and turned the dial up to 10. The environments are larger and more diverse, the machines are more detailed and looked functionally impressive, the water is drool-inducing and the colours are rich and exotic. It’s the perfect game to play on a TCL C935 Mini LED 4K Google TV where the Quantum dot technology really enhances the colours and contrast quality of this magnificent-looking game.
When God of War was released as an exclusive for the PlayStation 4 in 2018, it was crowned as a masterpiece in storytelling, gameplay, and most of all graphics, and was duly awarded Game of the Year by several media outlets. In January 2022, it was released on PC with a bevy of graphical improvements and settings, giving the four-year-old masterpiece a much-appreciated revival. The already meticulous detail of the environments and the smorgasbord of enemy bodies being ripped apart suddenly had a coat of fresh blood and it looks glorious. The subtle nuance in characters’ faces, plus the fast-paced, brutal action is worth reliving in Ultra High Definition if you want to experience one of the best games of the generation.
Probably the first real PlayStation 5 exclusive, released during the PlayStation 5’s launch window and it still remains one of the platform’s best-looking games. Sadly, the current generation of consoles both launched without many true exclusives. Both platforms had to make do with backward compatibility and enhancements of previous generation games to fill the large hole left by any good current-gen games. But even if you play Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart today, the first thing you will think is, this is really what a genuine next-gen exclusive is all about.
Rift Apart almost acts like a tech demo created purely to showcase the power of the PlayStation 5. The over-the-top particle effects, bright flashy colours and the use of raytracing all combine to produce one of the most visually impressive games you’ve seen to date. It’s easy to see why this was a PlayStation 5 exclusive. At the time of release, previous generation hardware would not have done it justice.
Visual appreciation can come in many forms. Some people regard extreme realism as a measure of good graphics, others prefer a strong art style irrespective of how real the graphics look. Elden Ring is one of the latter. Sure, the graphics don’t have the highest technical quality out there, but its art style is what makes it stand out. Games with a good art style will always outclass and outlast games that attempt to get as close to photo-realism as possible.
If you’re familiar with the developers FromSoftware, then you know that their games are as challenging as they are atmospheric. The learning curve for their games is like being thrown into a cockpit of a fighter jet mid-flight and asked to land it without any prior experience in flying. You will die. But as hard as their games are, they’re also loved for their atmosphere and unique artistic design that draws you into a cruel and unforgiving world, and still makes you want to stay.
For the ambience and creative design alone, Elden Ring needs to be played on a display that can only help throw you deeper into its bizarre and brutal world.
By now, a lot of people are fed up with the Call of Duty franchise and its yearly iterations but it’s hard to deny that not many shooters have been able to pull you in and make you believe that you are on the battlefield quite like the CoD franchise has. Multiplayer aside, the Call of Duty franchise has almost always delivered on gritty and realistic single-player campaigns. So, remaking perhaps the most loved CoD in franchise history was always going to be a good idea. Graphically, it more than delivers as a current-gen title should, but it’s the way Call of Duty keeps the action and tension consistently high is what makes the game so aesthetically satisfying. The realistic set-pieces of a Call of Duty game never looked better than in Modern Warfare in 4K. With all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a AAA title, it’s well worth a replay, even if you’ve grown increasingly tired of the franchise.
When Cyberpunk launched on last-gen hardware, it took a lot of criticism. Mainly because the game was so buggy, and those consoles just didn’t have the grunt to run it. But now, with the next-gen console enhancements and a series of patches, it’s the perfect time to give this game another chance.
The Neo Tokyo-like world of Cyberpunk was always visually spectacular, but now with 4K support and a lot of the technical issues fixed, the game looks like what the developers always had in mind. The neon lights and bustling futuristic Night City just bursts with atmosphere and character. It’s like being thrown into a real-life anime that you’re free to explore and do as you please. Seeing the city come to life on a high-quality display feels like the game was really meant to come out now and not a few years ago.
Another game that was released across platforms generations and sometimes got overlooked even though reviews were mostly positive. Guardians of the Galaxy on a PS5 or Xbox Series X will remind you why you bought one of those consoles and a 4K TV in the first place. There are so many gorgeous action set pieces that it just screams for 4K quality mode over performance mode. The game is also pretty heavy on the cinematics, so if you’re a fan of the movies, then you’d want to catch all of those in its best graphical quality too.
When Red Dead Redemption 2 came out in 2018, it was one of the most stunning, beautifully crafted games ever created. But playing it now on a PC, an Xbox Series X or a PS5 is utterly breathtaking. This is one of those rare examples where both artistic style and realistic graphics came together to create the most realistic world that felt so authentic and lived in. Developer Rockstar Games created a wild west that felt like every rock, river, field, swamp or mountain was individually handcrafted instead of the usual copy-and-paste jobs you get in most open-world games. Even playing it on a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One back in 2018 was jaw-dropping, so if you haven’t played it again in 4K UHD, then get back on that horse and relive one of the most staggeringly visual games ever made.
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