Up For Debate - What was the best looking game of 2020?

Written by Chad Norton on Sun, Dec 27, 2020 5:00 PM
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Video games have come a long way in terms of graphics since the days of Pong and Tetris. We’ve moved up from pixels to polygons and have now ushered in an era of revolution lighting techniques like ray tracing. There’s no doubt that video games have never looked any better than they do now, but what was the best looking game of 2020?

We have a couple ideas of our own, but of course the idea of graphics and what looks ‘good’ is entirely subjective. So whilst we’ve put a poll down at the bottom for you to vote on, we would absolutely love to hear your own thoughts in the discussion area below!

But before that, let’s have a look at some of the best looking games of 2020…

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Cyberpunk 2077

I mean there’s no doubt about it really, but Cyberpunk 2077 is downright one of the best looking games of 2020. I mean it’s on this list so it has to be right. The world of Night City is bathed in color and gorgeous lighting, all the characters and world designs are intricately thought out to feel unique and personal. I honestly find myself just stopping and staring at a lot of the vistas in the game, taking in the beauty of the world and environmental design, and that’s even without ray tracing enabled…

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DOOM Eternal

Not all games have to be about graphical quality though, and sometimes a beautiful game comes out of gorgeous art direction instead. DOOM Eternal is the embodiment of this. Sure, sometimes the quality looks great, but it’s nothing to write home about. However, the incredible environmental design certainly is...

From the awe-inspiring environments of Earth and Heaven, to the brutal hellscapes of, well… Hell, DOOM Eternal has some of the most incredible scenery seen in a video game. Giant demons the size of skyscrapers walk along the Earth’s surface, or lay trapped in stone on the outskirts of mythical worlds. There’s a certain melancholy of a world long gone, and creatures of unimaginable size here. And that’s just scraping the surface of what DOOM Eternal has to offer in terms of visuals.

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The Last Of Us Part 2

In a lot of ways, The Last of Us Part 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 are quite similar in their design (that’s why they went head to head in our 12 Games of Christmas tournament). One of the most obvious are the visuals. Both games have incredible graphical quality, but Naughty Dog took a more realistic and cinematic approach.

Not only does TLOU2 have some incredible texture work, but the world design is as gorgeous as it is harrowing. From skyscrapers to dilapidated buildings, almost everything is wrapped in grass and vines. It also has phenomenal animation work, making characters feel truly alive and real. So it’s no wonder it’s on this list.

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But there’s a boat load of games that came out in 2020, and a lot looked fantastic. Whether you agree with our picks of the best looking games of 2020, we’d love to hear your thoughts and if we overlooked some games of this year.

What do you think? What was the best looking game of 2020? Was it a game on this list? Or is there a title we overlooked here? And do you art direction or graphical quality in games? Let’s debate!

What was the best looking game of 2020?

What do you prefer usually?

Our favourite comments:

Horizon Zero Dawn and it's not even close. Nails both the art direction and pure quality

GDAnon_362599

Tbh i really like the Mafia remake graphics. Possibly my fav one this year

BlackReaper23

Best looking game of 2020 has to be hands down Microsoft flight simulator 2020. It is a technical marvel, and given the scope of it (literally the entire world), it is mind boggling how beautiful it looks. VR takes it to the next level. Just an amazing achievement.

medfreak

Can we just count in RDR2 each year until something else can finally beat it?

ZeyadBB

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14:10 Dec-30-2020

Cyberpunk 2077 its a blurry, hazy, grainy mess on my pc. Crysis 3 and Metro Exodus look better.

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19:53 Dec-29-2020

Cyberpunk 2077 hands down.

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03:24 Dec-29-2020

most disappointing game of the year



  • cyberbug 2077

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22:07 Dec-28-2020

Horizon Zero Dawn is beautiful looking game I just started playing few days ago, no hiccups so far
this year's remake of Mafia is also a great looking game

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19:59 Dec-28-2020

Tbh i really like the Mafia remake graphics. Possibly my fav one this year

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14:51 Dec-28-2020

HZD

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13:53 Dec-28-2020

Hands down CP2077 the best looking game ever made. And, it could have been even better!

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10:49 Dec-28-2020

seriously lads how is Cloudpunk not here???

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09:33 Dec-28-2020

It depends on what you consider best looking, you could say CP2077 looked amazing graphically, same for The Last Of Us 2 and Ghost Of Tsushima. Final Fantasy VII Remake also impressed me!


But if we're talking about art direction Ori and the Will of the Wisps is ranked very high, so is the recent Call Of The Sea.


It's a good time to be a gamer though if you care about the looks!

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08:06 Dec-28-2020

Horizon Zero Dawn and it's not even close. Nails both the art direction and pure quality

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06:47 Dec-28-2020

The best looking games for me this year have been CP2077, Ori 2 and Resident Evil 3 Remake. Also AC: Valhalla's autumnal England is so far proving to be a beautiful place to roam.

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03:58 Dec-28-2020

Best looking game of 2020 has to be hands down Microsoft flight simulator 2020. It is a technical marvel, and given the scope of it (literally the entire world), it is mind boggling how beautiful it looks. VR takes it to the next level. Just an amazing achievement.

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03:03 Dec-28-2020

Solid art direction is must. Quality itself can work short term, but usually that won't age well without good direction. As for best looking, Cyberpunk definitely takes award there, its one part of game you really can't argue about. If only other systems and bug fixing got as much attention.

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02:17 Dec-28-2020

Ori and the Will of the Wisps to me is the most beautiful game of 2020, but in terms of graphical quality I think CP77 takes the cake.

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22:45 Dec-27-2020

Ghost of Tsushima for me definitely. It's visual style is stunning, even while playing it on ancient PS4 hardware I found it jaw dropping in some scenes. Sure, if it was on PC and had higher resolution and things like that it would look even better, but even on PS4 I consider it to be more visually appealing than for example CP77 on it's highest setting.

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22:21 Dec-27-2020

Cyberpunk 2077 looks great on screenshots and stuff buuut it looks mediocre in motion because of the poppin. Lighting, textures, npcs, cars even the ads.

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03:56 Dec-28-2020

I agree with this.

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21:10 Dec-27-2020

Art direction definitely. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is just about the best looking game I've ever played. Annoyingly I didn't see 'other' so voted Cyberpunk, which I guess is fine as it's my second favourite looking game of the year anyway.

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18:55 Dec-27-2020

Ahhh see, this is going to be highly subjective, while games like Cyberpunk might squeeze in all of the technical graphical bells and whistles...... a cityscape just doesn't appeal to me visually. To me the most visually appealing game of 2020 would probably be the PC release of Horizon Zero Dawn.

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18:46 Dec-27-2020

Can we just count in RDR2 each year until something else can finally beat it?

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19:21 Dec-27-2020

you mean like Cyberpunk 2077 which beats it? I think we have to look at it from this perspective: RDR2 is the best looking pre-modern game, and Cyberpunk 2077 is the best looking modern/sci-fi game. Because i honestly think Cyberpunk 2077 is the better looking game due to it's attention to detail. And you obviously think RDR2 is the better looking game, so we would never get to an agreement.

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20:04 Dec-27-2020

The fawk, RDR2 came out in november 2019 (PC) and it's pre-modern already? Lol.

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20:21 Dec-27-2020

Pre-mordern as in cowboy shooty time vs "present" time... jesus dude

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20:34 Dec-27-2020

I will retreat in shame.

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21:28 Dec-27-2020

cyberpunk 2077 is present?


how so?

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09:41 Dec-28-2020

howlincoyote i wrote present/sci-fi in my original comment :)

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19:57 Dec-27-2020

I agree. RDR2 is stunning. The incredible amount of detail is unmatched and will stay that way probably until Rockstar beats it again.

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20:06 Dec-27-2020

That's the new Crysis. Go on maxed and 2x MSAA in Strawberry and the cascade physix will bend your computer. Imagine if it had RT.

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18:35 Dec-27-2020

Demon Souls remake imo

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