Treat your PC to a Baptism of Fire (and Particles)

Source: Project CARS on Facebook.

A new graphics card or CPU is only going to be as useful as the most demanding task out there. And while there’s still something exciting about launching an older game and seeing it as the developer intended  (we’ve all felt that rush of pride when a launcher auto-detects graphics quality as “ultra”), there’s nothing quite like being able to run a modern game at top-spec right out of the box.

So, with that in mind, here are a few games that will give new hardware a run for its money – without the obligatory mention of Skyrim and Witcher 3:

Arma III

Approaching its fourth year of release, Bohemia Interactive’s military shooter earns a mention due to the sheer amount of stuff going on at any one time. With a draw distance of up to 25km and some of the finest lighting outside Assassin’s Creed Unity, Arma III is a huge CPU hog, keeping most players under 60FPS in multiplayer games. Bohemia’s ability to optimize for different systems leaves a lot to be desired though.

Source: Fallout on Facebook.

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 gets a mention for a rather ignominious reason; the vanilla game isn’t particularly pretty and the official HD texture pack (all 58GB of it) doesn’t really help – but out of all the mods on the market the latter is one of the more demanding, requiring an i7-5820K and 8GB GTX 1080 as standard. It’s a great way to push new hardware with hardly any rewards, especially as the modding community has already beaten Bethesda at their own game, visuals-wise.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara Croft has been making a name for herself in the casino industry recently, starring in Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword, a game that has slot wins paying out real dollars according to one of the top Canadian review websites, The game, playable at Royal Vegas, includes the innovative Rolling Reels feature, which give out free spins if three or more key symbols appear. However, the big development in the gunslinging archaeologist’s career of late was the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider in January last year. The game needs a GTX 970 and i7-3770K so getting through snowy Siberia can be a slog. We don’t believe the same is the case with the aforementioned slot though.

Source: Apex Minecraft on Facebook.


There’s an old joke about a kid buying a top-of-the-line PC and using it to play Minecraft and watch YouTube videos but Mojang’s seminal sandbox game can be as graphically demanding as hardware permits. As far as components are concerned, the base game is about as exclusive as the Windows calculator app but mods that add cinematic lighting, real-time cloud generation, and HD graphics take a lot of horsepower to run.

Project CARS

Going right back to the first Gran Turismo game on the PlayStation, racing games have long held the monopoly on realistic graphics but Project CARS, a motorsport simulator, is probably the closest gaming has come to photorealism. With aspects like dynamic weather, lighting and time of day, realistic damage, surface water, and more exhaust flames than any driving game really needs, Project Cars is a stern test for mid-range systems.

There are of course plenty of other games that have demanding requirements (Grand Theft Auto V, Dishonoured 2, and Just Cause 3 for example) but there’s something for almost everyone above – provided they can run it.

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