The Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games: GPU Melting Games

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The Tom's Hardware Definitive List of PC Games: GPU Melting Games

Are we living in a new "golden age" for PC Gaming? Of course, it is impossible to give a definitive answer. The distance of time and a heaping dose of nostalgia are both necessary prerequisites for any "golden age". And, while it may be easy to argue the merits of one generation over another, one thing is abundantly clear: PC Gaming in 2017 is more widespread and more accessible than ever before. The maturation of digital distribution, a new diversity of platforms, and the adoption of x86 CPU architecture by console manufactures have together, created the perfect environment for a PC Gaming renaissance. PC Gamers have access to more games than ever before, including overlooked titles from past generations and current games that would have been either too costly or too difficult to port. Games are so ubiquitous that you're more likely to hear complaints of having too many games, rather than too few. The number of "good" games is now so great that even the hardest of the most hardcore gamers struggle in their search to find the very best.

To help navigate this brave new world for gaming, Tom's Hardware is in the process of assembling the definitive list of PC games in a number of genres. We've already put a few lists together, but the number of titles is lacking. While the Tom's Hardware Editorial team is few in number, the Tom's Hardware Community is legion. With your input we hope to assemble a list of the best and worst PC games that can truly be called definitive. Over the next few weeks we'll be collecting Community feedback across multiple categories. Once we have a sufficient number of submissions, we'll have the Community vote on the most popular, with a showcase of the winning games on the Tom's Hardware homepage.

This thread will decide the best GPU melting PC games.

To help get you started here are the Editorial Team's list the best GPU melting PC games. Remember we're looking for suggestions that aren't on the list below.

May the best game win!


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt



Star Citizen



Grand Theft Auto V



Battlefield 1



Hitman

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Reply to _Johnny5
25 answers Last reply
More about tom hardware definitive list games gpu melting games
  1. Is this 2017 specific?

    Coz . . . Crysis
    Reply to Maarsch
  2. Metro Last Light was/is demanding.

    Ashes of Singularity.
    Reply to Jerrar
  3. If modding is allowed, not even Leonidas will be able to shout as loud as the dragonborn that mods hammer GPUs.
    I just build a new PC with a watercooled 1080 and got Morrowind with graphics overhaul to the max.
    Getting dips to under 30 FPS in some areas on 4k.
    Reply to cats_Paw
  4. Has anyone ever played lord of the rings shadow of mordor? That's definitely a GPU melter if I've ever seen on. Disk activity says it takes up to 10 gb of RAM when i checked it. Absolute firestarter.
    Reply to brucewithatemper
  5. Well I have to ask if this includes setting ALL game settings to max at 4k/50-60+fps),

    If so,

    both Metro's w/ AA maxed still bring down either my 1080SLI or 1080TI
    Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider-same
    Crysis 3
    Batman Arkham Knight(it's o.k. to laugh but still worth for benching)-BTW though none of the NV drivers since 379.92 allow all the gameworks settings.
    Fallout 4-Remastered-not completely demanding but it has its moments.
    Assassin's Creed IV

    I forgot to add Dead Island Special Edition, w/ max settings this too needs a tank and looks great.
    Mass Effect Andromeda, sure it's got it's issues but at moments looks awesome but at max settings needs some serious hardware too,
    Reply to ledhead11
  6. Maarsch said:
    Is this 2017 specific?

    Coz . . . Crysis


    ohh yeah +1 for that
    Reply to chechito
  7. brucewithatemper said:
    Has anyone ever played lord of the rings shadow of mordor? That's definitely a GPU melter if I've ever seen on. Disk activity says it takes up to 10 gb of RAM when i checked it. Absolute firestarter.


    SOM runs well on a very modest GPU. GTX970 gets you 1440p, ULTRA details. (unless you choose the stupid hires texture pack that adds very little)

    Not sure what memory you talk about when you say "10GB" but that sounds like system memory since the game doesn't normally use much more than 3GB of VRAM. (and the system memory the game actually uses is likely closer to 2GB)
    Reply to photonboy
  8. Black desert online and Revelation online.. blew both my HDMI ports for my r7 when trying to run on mid-high, not even max settings.
    Reply to otakucho
  9. Like how others have said; Crysis, metro, Rise of the tomb Raider, witcher 3. While mass effect Andromeda does require a lot of GPU, I have 2 x 1070 at 4k and still cant max it, I think its more of an optimization thing. It may look a little better then Star wars Battlefront but not at less then half the performance.
    Reply to opforce
  10. well...i donno if unoptimized games count...but some in this list definately are

    like arma 3 or playerunknowns battleground or ark or conan exiles

    but then there is
    battlefield 1
    rise of the tomb raider
    the later assassin's creed games
    Reply to beowulf6666
  11. Mankind Divided. Only game I've had to lower settings on to run smoothly. 6700K / 980 Ti / 1440p /60hz
    Reply to anort3
  12. Here a little list of mostly older but also demanding games not only at their releases:

    Half Life 1
    Unreal 1+2
    Aquanox
    Dungeon Keeper 2
    Morrowind
    Max Payne 2
    Far Cry
    F.E.A.R.
    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Splinter Cell: Double Agent
    Crysis 1+3
    Metro 2033
    Battlefield 3
    Reply to Tri-Tra-Troppa
  13. Assassin's creed: Unity
    Reply to theInvincibleGamer
  14. opforce said:
    Like how others have said; Crysis, metro, Rise of the tomb Raider, witcher 3. While mass effect Andromeda does require a lot of GPU, I have 2 x 1070 at 4k and still cant max it, I think its more of an optimization thing. It may look a little better then Star wars Battlefront but not at less then half the performance.


    I agree,
    Whether using my 1080SLI @ 4k or 1080ti @ 1440p it can be pretty choppy at times and not just the cut scenes. At moments it can look great but definitely not a well optomized game.
    Reply to ledhead11
  15. Rise of the Tomb Raider.
    Reply to Trev30
  16. Crysis. could anyone play it with max settings when it was released?
    Reply to Baelzaden
  17. The Solus Project in room scale VR.
    Onward.
    NVIDIA VR Funhouse.
    Total War: Warhammer.
    Edit: Oops I forgot about Project Cars it should be on top of the list with the VR mode.
    Reply to Magical Hippy
  18. Not well optimized but Ark:Survival Evolved can tax most systems to their knees if you want to get decent frame rates at 1440p and up with all options maxed out. I've finally got it running well at 2560x1600@60Hz with a 1080 Ti mated to a 4.6GHz 2600K!
    Reply to Tocamac
  19. Quote:
    [Here a little list of mostly older but also demanding games not only at their releases:

    Half Life 1
    Unreal 1+2
    Aquanox
    Dungeon Keeper 2
    Morrowind
    Max Payne 2
    Far Cry
    F.E.A.R.
    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Splinter Cell: Double Agent
    Crysis 1+3
    Metro 2033
    Battlefield 3


    FEAR was a bigger system crusher when it came out then Crysis ever was. Maxing out that game on release day was insanity, it made the beefiest systems cry and beg for mercy.
    Reply to WashclothRepairman
  20. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. only game i've played at 1080p my GTX 1070 SC had any trouble keeping at 70fps.
    Reply to JohnBonhamsGhost
  21. Deus Ex Mankind Divided for me too.
    Reply to chimera201
  22. Isn't Mankind Divided more a result of poor optimization? It has good graphics, sure, but to my eye they aren't significantly better than Witcher 3 or DOOM. And this brings up a new point, one we all knew was coming. Graphical improvement is an asymptote, they have diminishing returns. Going from 16bit color sprites to 32bit 3d models is huge. Visually going from a human face with 100 polys to 1,000 polys makes a greater difference than 1000 to 10000 and much more than 10000 to 100000. The graphical advancements of today are really just showing off if a pointless and expensive arms race with little tangible benefit. I love Witcher 3, but I wouldn't love it any less if it "only" looked as good as Witcher 2. Basically, graphics have reached a level of "good enough." Games are no longer held back by the current graphical capabilities. In the early 90s, sure, this was true. Portal would not have been possible in 1992. But a game from 2030, 13 years in the future would be possible to make for modern systems.

    I appreciate every new, fancy graphics engine from a technical standpoint, I just think it's unnecessary. FEAR is a better FPS than the last 10 Cod games combined. Not only have graphics reached that level of good enough, gameplay and story are now and always have been more important. Amazing graphics on a bad game only leaves you with a tedious benchmarking tool.

    /rant
    Reply to WashclothRepairman
  23. ArmA 2 and 3 take the prize for worst running games and absolute shamer of systems of all time in my book. They don't really melt anything though since they hardly use what you have. And since they care little about your hardware overall; that means they run the same @7680x1440p as they do @2560x1440p.
    Reply to loki1944
  24. Baelzaden said:
    Crysis. could anyone play it with max settings when it was released?


    I wouldn't exactly say it runs great today.
    Reply to loki1944
  25. loki1944 said:
    Baelzaden said:
    Crysis. could anyone play it with max settings when it was released?


    I wouldn't exactly say it runs great today.


    I agree. I spent some time a few weeks ago going back to it to revisit in 4k & 1440p with all my new upgrades. It looked as awesome as I would hope but definitely not smooth. The original 32bit version has all the limitations you would expect from 32 bit architecture. For all the gpu power, vram, and ram my current rigs have they we're capped at those limitations. I then spent some time trying to rig a 64 bit version and mostly got one working(but not completely stable). After that I went to Warhead since it was the only 64 bit legally available to buy in the original run but it too isn't fully stable with modern drivers/OS. Thankfully 2 & 3 were current enough that the newer rigs rock 'em, but the originals take some work.
    Reply to ledhead11
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