The 10 worst optimized PC games of 2020

Written by Stuart Thomas on Sun, Jan 3, 2021 11:00 AM
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2020 has proven to be a pretty mediocre year for game optimization, as yesterday's 10 best optimized games of 2020 dropped to a score of 6.8 at Number 10, which is pretty low for 10th place. This year though doesn't see any optimization scores drop below 2.3 which is not bad, and the top spot has certainly been worse in previous years.

Finding out whether a game is well optimized is easy - head to it’s game page here on Game Debate and you will see it's GD Optimization Score, as voted for by you (the lower the number, the worse the optimization is according to the GD community). 

We've also got a dedicated page for all the scores in the link above, and if you ever head to a game page on your travels do remember to vote and add your opinion as it helps immensely. The more votes there are, the more accurate the scores. As such, to aid accuracy, we have ruled out any games which have received fewer than 25 votes.

Over the past year, you guys have been voting on what you think about the performance on some of the latest AAA titles, and whether you thought they were optimized like a well oiled machine, or if they run like garbage on a hot day. So here’s our official list of the 10 worst optimized PC Games Of 2020...

Rank Game Optimization Score
1 Call of Duty Warzone 2.3
2 Godfall 2.9
3 Back 4 Blood 3.1
4 Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord 3.5
5 Horizon: Zero Dawn 3.6
6 Phasmophobia 3.7
7 F1 2020 4.1
8 Marvel's Avengers 4.2
9 SnowRunner 4.6
10 Genshin Impact 4.7

Just like yesterday, there are quite a few surprises and expected titles here. First of all COD Warzone takes the top spot this year as the worst optimized game of 2020, most likely due to the sheer number of players. This is then followed by Godfall and Back 4 Blood in close 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Obviously, Back 4 Blood isn't officially out yet and what's shown here is mostly from the Closed Alpha that just happened. Considering it's in Alpha stages poor performance is a given as the developers work on optimizing the game before release, so we'll most likely see better performance at launch.

I'm surprised to see that Watch Dogs Legion didn't make the list, and was sure I'd find it somewhere here. Alas, it looks like WD Legion runs okay on most systems, so did not make the top 10 this year.

Obviously these number change around as more and more people play these games and vote for them on their respective game pages. So scores may vary, but the more votes means more accurate results, and this is just a general guide as to what are the best and worst optimized games of the year based on your own feedback.

So what do you think of this list? Are these some of the worst optimized games of 2020? Or do you think there are others that should take their place? Let us know!

Which game is the worst optimized of 2020?

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22:59 Jan-03-2021

People really had a lot of problems with horizon huh? It was smooth as butter for me from day 1

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20:02 Jan-03-2021

why is Horizon Zero Dawn considered badly optimized? I get over 60 fps all the time at 3440x1440 very high settings, fair to say though gpu usage is often around 9.5GB vram,
can't say the same about Cyberpunk for example..

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21:55 Jan-03-2021

It was at the start, perfomance wasnt that bad for me tho, but i did have some flashing glitches from time to time, and a little bit of stuttering but got used to it to the point i forgot about that problem, other than that not a single issue

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13:30 Jan-04-2021

hmm I gotta admit I started playing with patch 1.08 or so, game would have been patched rather well by then :)

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18:10 Jan-03-2021

I consider Warzone one of the most optimised games from the latest years. Yes i had some problems but considering games like pubg apex it runs like butter

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16:15 Jan-03-2021

why is marvels avengers on this list?
it runs completly fine maxed out at 1200p and i get around 70fps

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15:37 Jan-03-2021

The most unoptimized game is Cyberpunk 2077. Cod Warzone runs great on my PC. I did not know that it is considered an unoptimized game.

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15:47 Jan-03-2021

I disagree. Cyberpunk 2077 can be really buggy at times, but optimization isn't that bad overall. I have played it in 1080p Ultra with FOV at maximum with a Ryzen 2600X and a Vega 56, having a very consistent framerate.

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15:59 Jan-03-2021

Cyberpunk 2077 runs unplayable for me. Horizon Zero Dawn runs good. Red Dead Redemption great 1080p medium-high 50-60
FPS. Death stranding 1080p max out 60 fps.

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06:12 Jan-04-2021

Apart from bugs CP 2077 gives consistent framerates and frametimes, for most it's just that the game is too demanding and graphically intensive.
Whereas HZD does not give consistent framerate and frametimes, hence the stutter.

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06:18 Jan-04-2021

I'd rather have a game run without heavy dips in fps and frametimes running @ 30fps, than a game running @90+ fps but seeing frequent and huge dips as low as 20 fps.
30<->24 fps isn't too bad but 90<->30 fps is.

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06:47 Jan-04-2021

But you can limit fps in HZD(like -30) and have no stutter. But if the fps its to low on Cyberpunk like 10-20 FPS in my case you cant play.

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19:35 Jan-03-2021

At 1440p my 6 core i7 8700K @4.8 ghz is bottlenecking pretty hard, to the point that my gpu usage at times drops below 60%.
As amazing as the game looks, it's way too CPU heavy for no apparent reason.

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06:46 Jan-04-2021

To me the game looks bad. Grainy, blurry, hazy, textures not loading. https://ibb.co/Dgt9PTS
Crysis 3 looks better to me. https://ibb.co/CntHKP7 . It's crisp, clear, more detailed.

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14:36 Jan-03-2021

I got COD Cold War for free with my 3080 so I gave it a shot (singleplayer) and it's just weird. My CPU is running at about 20-40%, no thread over 50%, yet my GPU usage is stuck at like 50-70% most of the time with FPS sitting at rather unsmooth feeling 80 at 1440p ultra with or without dlss.
It's not on the list, but that's my vote.

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12:36 Jan-03-2021

Detroit Become Human should be in the list

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21:56 Jan-03-2021

yes, but i still enjoyed that game

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12:14 Jan-03-2021

wow, how is Genshin Impact on this list, I'm curious tho
my friends use some pretty out of date laptops but can still manage to play it above 30fps tho, and when I say out of date, I mean either with no dedicated gpu or very bad ones, non GTX

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12:14 Jan-03-2021

I just realised apart from doom eternal and cyberpunk I havent played a single 2020 game. Even more strange is how far apart in optimization both of the mentioned games are. Doom eternal could run on an Ipod while cyberpunk would get dips in framerate on a super computer.

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14:00 Jan-03-2021

Completely different game engines, cant compare them two in this regard.

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14:03 Jan-03-2021

Your argument makes no sense because by that logic we couldn't compare any game since most AAA games use different engines.

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15:32 Jan-03-2021

And that is why you cant compare most games directly which one is better OPTIMZED but you can compare which one is more demanding. Thats the issue with most people, they see demanding game and instantaneously shout "UNOPTIMZED!" some engines leverage hardware better and other worse also often each game engine suits better for different type of games, unless you modify them heavily.

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16:11 Jan-03-2021

but if the game is demanding for no reason thats called unoptimised, like if one engine can do one thing and then there is another engine that can do exactlly same thing but is more heavier on peformance i call that unoptimizes and not demanding

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17:00 Jan-03-2021

"like if one engine can do one thing and then there is another engine that can do exactly same thing but is more heavier on peformance" Could you elaborate that? i dont really understand what you meant.

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11:43 Jan-03-2021

Genshin Impact ? Back 4 Blood ?
I run these games easily without much trouble at 1440p with a stock 1060
I'm running Genshin at 4K30 (maxed out) and Back 4 Blood I was running at 1440p medium at 50fps
For me, the worst in this list is Horizon which ran awfully with stutters because of RAM consumption and disk usage

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11:13 Jan-03-2021

Warzone runs pretty badly, but Cold War runs even worse. And Cyberpunk definitely deserves a place here. It runs horribly, reaching stable high framerate(140plus) is almost impossible on any hardware while the popping is incredibly bad even for a 5 year old game and lighting is also very broken at times.

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17:41 Jan-03-2021

140+ would be possible on the super latest, demanding AAA only in Battlefield or something, otherwise 80-100 is the norm from what I can see, at 1080p even.

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23:36 Jan-03-2021

Depends on the person I guess. I consider 80-100fps literally unplayable, but even if I didnt..honestly Cyberpunk doesn’t look that good, to run that bad. That’s simply a fact.

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09:33 Jan-04-2021

Well true, a lot of games don’t look so good to run as bad.

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11:11 Jan-03-2021

no cyberpunk?

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11:14 Jan-03-2021

it's based on the ratings on the website, and cyberpunk is among the best rated games because people use the optimization rating as a rating for the game itself, so it is often inaccurate.

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Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-2310 2.9GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz GeForce GT 1030 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 Sapphire Pulse 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Core i7-8700K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming X Trio 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Athlon 3000G 2-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 550 2GB 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i3-10100 4-Core 3.60GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-4710MQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 960M 2GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 PRO 1600 Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus Dual OC 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus ROG STRIX Gaming Advanced 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]