Watch 10 jaw-dropping PC games that were visually ahead of their time


How do you test one graphics card against another, short of sticking both on the end of your tongue and seeing how they taste? Over the decades, PC builders have fallen back on a foolproof method: the benchmark game. These are the titles we’ve turned to in the past to find out whether our new rigs are actually all that.

Why not play a great FPS, from the genre responsible for so many benchmark games?

Nowadays, GPU aficionados rely on the computational challenge of Ashes of the Singularity’s real-time strategy. But for what felt like a decade, Crysis was the go-to game to see how a machine handled foliage and first contact with hovering, ill-intentioned extraterrestrials. When it came out, even the best graphics card available could barely muster 30fps on the higher settings.

It’s pretty funny to look back at what we once swore was photorealistic, too. You can see plenty of aged titans of graphics in this week’s List Abyss video.

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