The 10 Best Optimized PC Games Of 2016

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 12:19 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Optimization is a notoriously flaky term. Some complain they're not getting a buttery smooth 144 FPS, while others may be happy squeezing out 30 frames per second on Low. Get enough people weighing in on the matter and you soon get a good idea however, which is the thinking behind GD's Optimization Score. All of you have been letting us know throughout the last 12 months whether you think the biggest AAA games are well optimized, or pulling no punches and letting us know if they run like garbage. So here are the 10 most well optimized PC games of 2016.

Rank Game Optimization Score
1 World of Warcraft: Legion 9.8
2 Farming Simulator 17 9.5
3 Overwatch 9.4
4 Civilization VI 9.3
5 American Truck Simulator 9.1
6 Battlefield 1 8.9
7 DOOM 8.8
8 Titanfall 2 8.5
9 WWE 2K16 8.5
10 Rise of the Tomb Raider 8.4

I have to say that seems like a pretty solid list, although there are one or two surprises. Overwatch, Battlefield 1, DOOM and Titanfall 2 are all widely regarded as well optimized games. World of Warcraft: Legion is an expansion to a very old game so we'd expect that to run fantastically, but it appears as if plenty of you were pleased with it. I should add it did touch the visuals up with an improved draw distance and other visual flourishes.

One of the more surprising ones for me was WWE 2K16. Last year's outing ran terribly in our benchmarks, so presumably Visual Concepts and 2K managed it turn it around this year. Rise of the Tomb Raider is another game which don't blow me away in turns of performance, particularly during the hydrothermal valley part which tanks the frame rate. Still, it is absolutely beautiful so performance drops are practically inevitable.

What do you think of this list? Are these some of the best optimized games of 2016, or do you think others were worthy of a spot? How would you like to see a list of the worst optimized games?

Which games is best optimized?

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01:30 Jan-04-2017

For two months I played Overwatch on my integrated graphics at 60fps. Extremely low settings including resolution, but still it wasn't completely horrendous!

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16:16 Dec-28-2016

Funny how on this article people vote BF1 as the best optimized game and on the other one, exact same poll, people voted DOOM...

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12:48 Dec-28-2016

Rise of tomb raider i got 20 fps on ultra... it sucks ... great game but optimization sucks... DOOM is the best .. i get 120 - 150 sometimes 80 on hard combat ... but its great

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19:14 Dec-29-2016

Can't really compare them, even though you only get 20 fps on rise of the tomb raider it is a much more open game than DOOM so performance would be much lower anyways. So in this case it doesn't therefore mean its unoptimized its just more demanding than something like DOOM, for me tomb raider runs perfertly

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10:18 Dec-28-2016

BF1 is very well optimized, but Doom is the best. It's the only game I can play at highest AA settings without any difference in performance. Also don't want to sound mean or anything but Rise of the Tomb Raider is pretty horrible at optimization on my system.

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10:53 Dec-28-2016

Its not only on your system - compared to the previous Tomb Raider, this one is not optimized well - the first one could drop the visual settings and play good for a machine from 2008 (budget machine!)

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06:44 Dec-28-2016

Doom is the most optimized game i have ever seen/play (macbook pro/bootcamp win7 GT650m 1Go ssd 8Go ram) and i play it smooth (-)30,(+)45/50fps at medium/high with all settings on in 1368/768 with -USEALLAVAILABLECORES -sm4 in the parameter

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06:33 Dec-28-2016

Doom is by far the most optimized

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02:40 Dec-28-2016

Really easy, ALL BLIZZARD GAMES...

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10:55 Dec-28-2016

Well, they are aiming for a high player base, so this shouldn't really be a praise - it is expected

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21:22 Dec-29-2016

Yeah and BF was aiming for a high player base, but BF3, BF4 and BF:H had bad optimization, many MMO RPGs have poor optimizations and they are expected to have big player bases.

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11:47 Dec-30-2016

Many MMOs don't have a large budget, while blizzard has, thus they're products are expensive but offer premium quality, so yee, for that price, it is expected to be optimized.

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11:50 Dec-30-2016

As for BF series, ever since the first BF game, I've always thought of this game as a "rich kid's" game - very high system requirements to be able to run properly (the Muliplayer part), soo they will always have a limited player base

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12:26 Dec-30-2016

M8 excuses do NOT matter and I have the feeling you just hate high budget games...

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13:37 Dec-30-2016

Im just saying, that we shouldn't praise them for doing their job - this HAS to be expected - like, parents who look after their children - it is expected of them, they don't deserve an award for that...

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02:31 Dec-28-2016

bf1 not at all hitting 100% on old cpu

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23:50 Dec-27-2016

It can be me, but i would like to add black desert online as well.
It runs like a dream for me, but the only downside there is that i had to install it to an ssd.
For the rest i have nominated bf1 for this list :) Never played it (and i wont untill theres a big price drop) but according to the stories/forums/etc it must be amazing

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22:56 Dec-27-2016

for all the games i played the best one imo is CoD IW. I think i played it on high on 60 fps, great optimization they made. You totally forgot this game. IW is more optimized than Raider. I hate roughly 30-45 fps on Tomb on low settings, lul. Best optimized games for me are: Titanfall 2 and CoD IW.

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22:57 Dec-27-2016

Overwatched is optimized well too i forgot to say.

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02:41 Dec-28-2016

Mm123456 M8 the FPS you get does NOT determine optimization, you have to realize that some games are more demanding than others.


Optimization is how good a game runs for it's Graphics and gameplay + mechanics. Of course IW runs better than Tomb raider, but Tomb Raider's Graphical Quality technically is about 3-4x times higher.

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13:25 Dec-28-2016

ty, i get it now. But still i prefer playing a game on 60 fps than 45 on low settings.I dont care about the graphics. I just want to enjoy the game itself.

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21:23 Dec-29-2016

Same! :)

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22:23 Dec-27-2016

The Witcher III GOTY Edition and DOOM 2016 (with Vulkan and denuvo plague free!) are the best optimized video games of 2016!


Games like this should be a standard for PC optimization.

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11:54 Dec-30-2016

Very true! It is the best looking Witcher game, yet more optimized than the previous ones - Especially Witcher 2 - that game was like Crysis one in 2007/8/9 - if you can run it properly, you can play anything!

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19:48 Dec-27-2016

Witcher III Wild Hunt GOTY Master Piece of Optimization........ :D :P

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18:03 Dec-27-2016

I'm amazed at how optimized BF1 is for how it looks. I just recently started playing it, and, granted, I'm just doing the single player missions right now before I jump into multiplayer... I did play the open beta, which was multiplayer only, and it ran amazingly then. Of course, that was only one map. I've heard some of the maps have so much more geometry that it can cause some slowdowns, but nothing major. And in both the beta and now, I'm running with the ultra preset on. I hardly ever let a game set anything to ultra, but it just seems to run great.

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18:12 Dec-27-2016

Overwatch runs very well, too, with all maxed settings, at least for me anyway. But it isn't quite as complex as BF1, graphically anyway.

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18:13 Dec-27-2016

I've got the same problems with Rise of the Tomb Raider's performance, but I'll admit it is a beautiful game.
I've got DOOM and Titanfall 2 but not installed yet. I'll try them soon but I've heard great things.

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02:42 Dec-28-2016

Pwnstix It's NOT that BF1 is epicly optimized, it's just that previous BF titles are NOT... which fools us into thinking so. :D

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17:20 Dec-27-2016

The worst optimized game would probably be ARK you almost need a Titan XP to run 1080p 60 fps on epic settings.

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18:37 Dec-27-2016

Lol 100% true though TECHNICALLY it's not released. I'm sure that's their excuse anyway though they've had plenty of time to optimize it in my opinion.

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21:14 Dec-27-2016

You're not even kidding! lol I get around 30 FPS on epic..... my poor 750 TI could barely manage going past low!

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22:58 Dec-27-2016

i would say BAK and M3.

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17:11 Dec-27-2016

I feel that Battlefield is very well optimized. Although, I just bought DOOM off the steam sale so I'm about to try that out right now!

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16:45 Dec-27-2016

Considering that Overwatch has a pretty simplistic art style, I feel like I should be getting more fps. But... DAT HDD OPTIMIZATION DOE!!! 8GB install size? A game developer that understands the value of compression!!! Overwatch is a winner for decent performance and great HDD optimization! GG Blizzard.

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16:38 Dec-27-2016

Overwatch was pretty nicely optimized. Back when I had my GTX 560 Ti 448, I played the game on Low settings with some things on Medium / High (mainly textures) and managed to pull 55-80 FPS at 3200x1800


Pretty impressive for a 5 year old card at 3K, especially considering it had 1.2GB of VRAM

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16:27 Dec-27-2016

TOTAL WAR:WARHAMMER DX12!!!


small font Let's just imagine Nvidia doesn't exist here - but for AMD it was pretty much spot on, gaining a tremendous amount of FPS on dx12 vs dx11*

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15:23 Dec-27-2016

what about the witcher 3: wild hunt - blood and wine dlc :/

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14:53 Dec-27-2016

The detailed texture and high visuals in battlefield wins by a huge margin.
Dice sure knows how to optimize their games well

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18:39 Dec-27-2016

Yeah that's been turned around though. Never used to be able to say that for their games on PC.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Gigabyte D5 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte Windforce 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
80% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
APU A8-7410 Quad-Core Radeon R5 7410 8GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 30FPS, Low,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-10400 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX 540X 2GB Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [3 votes]