Computing

The Most Challenging PC Games That Push Your Computer to Its Limits

Introduction

Whether you’re a fan of gaming laptops or desktop PCs, it’s always exciting to push your rig to its maximum potential with the latest games. While older and indie titles have their own appeal, if you want to experience the best graphics that game studios have to offer, you need to check out some of the games released in the last couple of years. These games take advantage of cutting-edge technologies like Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and ray tracing, requiring a powerful graphics card to run them on maximum settings. If you’re in the market for a new PC equipped with the latest GPUs, you can consult our guide to the best gaming desktops and laptops. Once you have your shiny new monster PC ready, here are some games that will truly put it to the test.

Hogwarts Legacy: A Magical Experience

For Harry Potter fans, Hogwarts Legacy is a treat that can be played on a somewhat older PC, but it truly shines on a modern rig. Even meeting the minimum graphics requirements can be demanding, so to fully immerse yourself in the experience, you’ll need top-notch hardware, including ample amounts of RAM. This game provides four sets of recommended specifications, and running it at the minimum requires at least an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 4GB or an AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB, paired with an Intel Core i5-6600 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1400. However, even with these components, you’ll need a minimum of 16GB of RAM, and the required RAM increases as you move up the ladder. To truly experience Hogwarts Legacy at its best, you’ll need an Intel Core i7-8700 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600, along with a GTX 1080 Ti or an RX 5700 XT. While Intel’s flagship Arc A770 used to be recommended for maximum settings, it no longer holds up. For that, you’ll need an Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti or an AMD RX 7900 XT, 32GB of RAM, and a Core i7-10700K or a Ryzen 7 5800X. If you’re all set to run Hogwarts Legacy, be sure to check out our guide on optimizing the settings to get the most out of your system.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered: Swinging Through the City

Like other Sony games that have been ported to PC, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered offers enhanced graphics and a range of technical options from Nvidia and AMD. However, to experience the believable urban surroundings as Spider-Man zips through the city at high speeds, you’ll need a system that meets the game’s high system requirements. Playing at very low settings and limited to 30 frames per second (fps) is possible with an Nvidia GTX 950 or AMD equivalent alongside an Intel Core i3-4160. However, this is not the ideal way to enjoy such visually impressive games. For comfortable gameplay at 1080p, the developers recommend using at least an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or an AMD RX 580, paired with an Intel Core i5-4670 or an AMD Ryzen 5 1600. To achieve even better performance and higher resolutions, you’ll need a solid GPU such as the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080, or an AMD equivalent like the RX 6950 XT. The recommended CPUs range from the Intel Core i5-11400/AMD Ryzen 5 3600 to the top-tier Core i7-12700K or Ryzen 9 5900X, which are recommended for maximum performance with ray tracing. If you’re unsure about the optimal graphics settings for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, refer to our helpful guide.

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God of War: A Visual Masterpiece

Released for the PlayStation 4 in 2018 and later ported to PC in early 2022, God of War offers breathtaking visuals that require high specifications to truly appreciate. However, if you’re willing to compromise on settings, you can enjoy this visually stunning game even with lower-end configurations. The minimum requirements for 720p gaming at 30 fps include an Nvidia GTX 960 and an Intel Core i5-2500K, along with 8GB of RAM. However, the game runs at 30 fps on the PS4 and at 60 fps on the PS5, so playing on a PC allows you to push those frame rates even higher. For a smooth 60 fps at 1080p, a GTX 1070 combined with a Core i7-4770K or Ryzen 7 2700 is necessary. To upgrade to 1440p, you’ll need at least an RTX 2070, a Core i7-7700K, or a Ryzen 7 3700X. For 4K gaming, a powerful GPU like the RTX 3080 and a decent CPU such as the Core i9-9900K or Ryzen 9 3950X are required, along with 16GB of RAM.

Red Dead Redemption 2: A PC Benchmark

Despite being released towards the end of 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 remains notorious for its high demands on PCs, making it a popular benchmark for graphics cards such as the RTX 4090. While the game has a relatively low entry barrier compared to many other titles, smoother gameplay, improved visuals, and higher resolutions require better hardware. The minimum requirements include an Nvidia GTX 770 or an AMD Radeon R9 280, an Intel Core i5-2500K or an AMD FX-6300, and 8GB of RAM. The recommended specifications are higher but still allow the game to run on a 5-year-old PC with a GTX 1060 6GB or an RX 480 4GB, an Intel Core i7-4770K or an AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, and 16GB of RAM. However, achieving max settings at resolutions higher than 1080p may require even more powerful components, as Red Dead Redemption 2 can push even the latest hardware to its limits.

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Dying Light 2: Stay Human: Surviving the Apocalypse

Dying Light 2: Stay Human may have a high price tag, but there’s room for flexibility, especially if you’re not concerned about ray tracing. For 1080p gaming at 30 fps, you can get by with an Intel Core i3-9100 or an AMD Ryzen 3 2300X, along with at least 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti or an AMD Radeon RX 560. However, achieving optimal frame rates will require more powerful components, such as a Core i5-8600K or Ryzen 5 3600X, paired with an RTX 2060 6GB or an RX Vega 56 8GB, along with a minimum of 16GB of RAM. Ray tracing comes at a high cost in this game, with a smooth 60 fps requiring an RTX 3080 10GB. If you’re unsure about the graphics settings to use, consult our helpful guide.

Uncharted: The Legacy of Thieves Collection: Epic Adventures

Uncharted: The Legacy of Thieves Collection is another PlayStation 5 exclusive that received a PC port. This iteration of Uncharted offers outstanding visuals, provided your PC can handle them. The minimum requirements for playing at the lowest settings include a GTX 960 or an AMD Radeon R9 290X, combined with a Core i5-4430 or a Ryzen 3 1200. To achieve 30 fps at 1080p, you’ll need at least a GTX 1060 (or RX 570) and an Intel or AMD CPU of choice, such as the Core i7-4770 or the Ryzen 5 1500X. For a smooth 60 fps at 1440p, you’ll need more powerful hardware, including an RTX 2070 or an RX 5700 XT, paired with a Core i7-7700K or a Ryzen 7 3700X. Moving on to 4K gaming requires beefier components like an RTX 3080 or an RX 6800 XT, along with a decent CPU such as the Core i9-9900K or Ryzen 9 3950X.

Forspoken: Visuals to Impress

Forspoken is a more recent release available on both the PlayStation 5 and PC. While the PC port has received mixed reviews for its storyline, the game compensates with impressive visuals that require a powerful PC to showcase. The highest performance tier necessitates a whopping 32GB of RAM, and even the minimum requirements call for 16GB, which could be costly if you’re using high-end DDR5 RAM. The minimum specs include an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or an AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB, along with an Intel Core i7-3770. The recommended tier raises the bar considerably, requiring an RTX 3070 or an RX 6700 XT, along with a Core i7-8700K or a Ryzen 5 3600. This tier also increases the RAM requirement to 24GB. To run the game at max settings and in 4K, you’ll need either an AMD Ryzen 5 5800X or an Intel Core i7-12700, along with an RTX 4080 or an RX 6800 XT. Although the choice of an RTX 4080 may seem odd since it surpasses the AMD card, Forspoken may be better optimized for AMD with its support for AMD FSR 2.0. If you already own a PS5 and don’t want to invest much in a PC, you’ll likely have a better experience playing Forspoken on the console, as the PC port requires a high-end PC to run smoothly at high settings.

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Cyberpunk 2077: Demanding and Controversial

Cyberpunk 2077 faced controversy upon its release due to being under-optimized. However, two years later, the PC version has improved significantly, though it remains a demanding title. Unless you have a powerhouse of a PC, playing with ray tracing enabled may not be feasible. To run the game at a smooth 60 fps with ray tracing, you’ll need an RTX 4090. Cyberpunk 2077 offers a wide range of system requirements, starting from a conservative minimum tier with a GTX 780/RX 470 and a Core i5-3570K or an FX-8310. However, gaming at high settings and 1440p will require more powerful GPUs like the RTX 2060 or RX 5700 XT, along with 12GB of RAM. If you want to play the game at 4K resolution, ultra settings, and with ray tracing enabled, you’ll need at least an RTX 3080 and a Core i7-6700 or Ryzen 5 3600. However, to achieve great frame rates with this setup, you’ll need to wait for the release of the Nvidia RTX 40-series, as the first generation of cards capable of fully supporting such specifications. Running Cyberpunk 2077 may be costly, but the visuals are truly breathtaking.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided by OnSpec Electronic, Inc. For more information about our products and services, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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