During Gamescom 2018 in Cologne, Germany, NVIDIA announced that ray tracing–a graphics technique capable of rendering special effects on par with motion pictures–was finally coming to video games. The event also marked the introduction of the concept of AI for gaming with the introduction of Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).
And right now, there are over 500 games and applications that take advantage of any combination of these features! NVIDIA is kicking off an RTX 500 celebration for reaching this milestone. Celebrate this benchmark with NVIDIA by following the GeForce social channels on X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, YouTube TikTok, or Reddit, Discord and other social media platforms.
We have our own list of games that make excellent use of RTX technologies. From the top:
5. Minecraft with RTX
Unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars with your fingers stuck in your ears since 2011, you know all about Mojang’s enormously popular sandbox-style game. But Minecraft isn’t just popular for its endless creative potential, but also for the big, chunky blocks that give the game a distinct visual style.
You wouldn’t think Minecraft’s simple blocks wouldn’t benefit from ray tracing, but NVIDIA proves everyone wrong. Minecraft feels like the progenitor to the RTX-OFF and RTX-ON graphical fidelity comparison, and for good reason. You can see there’s a clear upgrade.
Minecraft with RTX debuted in 2020 with full ray tracing (also known as path tracing), meaning all the lights in the game benefit from ray tracing. A lot of people were surprised at how much the implementation of full ray tracing transformed the game. Ray tracing lets you witness beautiful effects like rays of light bursting through cloud cover, but the upgrade to Minecraft.
RTX isn’t just visual. Diving into Minecraft RTX’s caves and mines means navigating through an unsettlingly realistic darkness. This makes Minecraft a much more intense game, and it’s a good example of a mainstream audience getting to see how ray tracing can enhance games.
4. Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus is another example of a marquee AAA game that was transformed by ray tracing integration. Metro Exodus originally launched with ray traced global illumination in 2019, making it one of the first games to use ray tracing effects. This visual beast of a game underwent a complete overhaul with the re-release of the game in 2020. Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition features a reworked method of global illumination that also adds new RT effects.
Metro Exodus is already a creepy game in its vanilla state, but the Enhanced Edition’s use of RTX tech ramps up the fear factor with creepy shadows that seem to dance around you when you spark any kind of light. It makes the haunted tundra that much more chilling, and it’s just one example of how ray traced lighting can add so much to a video game.
IGN’s Twenty Questions – Guess the game!
Our third example of games that make especially good use of RTX technology is Control by Remedy Entertainment. In August 2019, Control became the first game to combine multiple RTX lighting effects such as reflections, shadows, and indirect diffuse lighting. It’s no wonder people still regard this supernatural, avant-garde shooter as one of the best-looking games of all time.
Control became the first game to combine multiple RTX lighting effects such as, ray-traced indirect diffuse lighting, shadows, and reflective surfaces.That’s why the Oldest House will always feel creepy enough to sweep you away from reality.
2. Alan Wake 2
Speaking of Remedy Entertainment, Alan Wake 2 continues the studio’s relationship with NVIDIA’s RTX implementation through use of ray traced EVERYTHING along with serving as a launch vehicle for DLSS 3.5 – the latest iteration of DLSS that uses a technique known as ray reconstruction, a new AI model that creates higher quality ray-traced images for intensive ray-traced games and apps.
Alan Wake 2 is a dark game, both narratively and mechanically. Remedy makes expert use of RTX technology to carpet Alan Wake’s misadventure with thick darkness that contrasts perfectly with whatever small bits of light Alan Wake can manage to hold onto.
1. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
When Cyberpunk 2077 was first released in 2020, it was a visual feast that pushed computers to their limits with its cutting-edge implementation of ray traced lighting and DLSS 2. Then in January 2023, developer CD Projekt Red updated Cyberpunk 2077 to feature DLSS 3 with Frame Generation, further using AI to accelerate and stabilize framerates. And thanks to the continued efforts of developer CDPR, Cyberpunk’s new expansion, Phantom Liberty, levels up the game’s graphical fidelity further with Full RT and DLSS 3.5 with Ray Reconstruction which further improved RT quality on all RTX GPUs.
Like all the entries in this list, Phantom Liberty makes full use of its overhauled ray traced lighting by way of its secret agent storyline that sees the main character V get recruited by the New United States of America to uncover a plot that could change the course of history forever. Phantom Liberty revolves around stealth, so stick to the shadows and light up the dark mysteries that envelope characters with backstories filled to the brim with various shades of gray.
And that’s just five out of over 500 titles that make great use of RTX features. What are your picks? How do you plan on celebrating RTX 500? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to IGN.com for more on all things NVIDIA.
Credit : Source Post