Ya know, I had this whole spiel about how CD Projekt Red just understands that gaming is for everyone, including adults, and that they aren’t afraid to release a game with controversial content because their games lean heavily into adult territory, and how their sales are not affected by this at all.

But I just really don’t feel like writing all of that right now, so instead I’ve decided to write about the games that I feel look the most amazing, whether they’ve already released or will be releasing at some point. And of course if I don’t mention or list a game that you feel deserves mentioning, feel free to leave it in the comments below. An image also goes a long way to proving a point. I’m probably not even going to bother writing a lot for this since a picture is worth a thousand words.

Note: For the games on this list that have been released already, I have played them and can confirm what is and is not pre-rendered. Also keep in mind that next-gen prides itself on being more real-time. So don’t just call everything out as pre-rendered.

Final Fantasy XV

Platforms: PlayStation 4(With a NEO patch presumably in the works.), Xbox One, PC(Inevitable.), and NX(Rumored, nothing official or concrete yet.)

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Release Date: September 30th, 2016

Development Timeline:

-November 2005 - Pre-production begins as Final Fantasy Versus XIII for PS3.

-May 2006 - Final Fantasy Versus XIII unveiled to the public at E3 2006.

-2008 - Crystal Tools development prioritized for XIII proper, Versus XIII’s team reassigned to XIII, development on Versus XIII is halted.

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-2011 - Development on Versus XIII resumes, is then shuttered in fall 2011 with only 15 to 25 percent of the game completed.

-2012 - Final Fantasy Versus XIII is rebooted as Final Fantasy XV, plot points and characters carry over, but more expanded, PlayStation 3 is dropped and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are added.

- June 2013 - Final Fantasy Versus XIII is rerevealed as Final Fantasy XV and development begins in earnest.

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-September 2014 - Hajime Tabata takes the director’s chair as Tetsuya Nomura is reassigned to Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake.

-March 2015 - Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae 1.0 is released to those who purchased a Day One copy of Type-0 HD, giving players proof that the game is real and playable.

-August 2015 - Final Fantasy XV’s marketing campaign kicks into high gear.

-Match 30th, 2016 - Final Fantasy XV is shown for the first time with its finalized graphics as development wraps up, post-production optimization work begins, and its release date of September 30th is revealed.

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So I decided to go through that whole timeline specifically for this game because it has been a long time coming and it has changed a lot since its initial debut. And to understand how much, you need to understand just what this game went through to get to this point. Square has invested a lot of time into this game and they want it to be the new bar for next-gen open world RPG’s. Here’s what the game looked like as Versus XIII:

While that last claim has yet to bare druit, and it won’t until this September, it has certainly stunned in the graphics department. Open world RPG’s are often plagued by graphics limitations due to just how much needs to be loaded and everything that is going on. The Witcher 3, Grand Theft Auto 5, and Far Cry Primal are thus far three of the most graphically stunning open world games, and Final Fantasy XV looks to be joining them at the top.(I mean come on, how many developers would actually spend 24 hours measuring light for the day/night cycle, or dissecting a fish just to see how light penetrates its scales all for Leviathan.) Also, keep in mind that the game’s real-time to pre-rendered ratio is 7:3, meaning the odds of these images being real-time cinematics rather than pre-rendered is higher.

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Umbra, a dog that serves Lunafreya and acts as a messenger between her and Noctis.
Cid Aurum

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Cindy/Cidney Aurum, granddaughter of Cid and the groups mechanic.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Platform: PlayStation 4

Release Date: May 10th, 2016

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Persona 5

And here’s a fan-subbed non-HD version for anyone that wants to understand the story:

Platforms: PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4

Release Date: September 15th, 2016 in Japan, TBA 2016 for the US.

You may be wondering why Persona 5 is here. Its a cross-gen game that clearly has some rough edges because of it. The reason its here is because it is probably THE most stylish game that I’ve ever laid eyes on. Screw photo-realism, this game lives by the rule of cool. It’s unique. It’s beautiful.(Plus I needed something to break up the flow of photo-realistic titles.)

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Sorry there aren’t better ones. I’d take screencaps from the above trailer myself, but that’d take me all night with how slow I am.

Halo 5: Guardians

Platform: Xbox One

Release Date: October 27th, 2015

I felt bad not having an Xbox One game on here yet, so here’s the first.

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DOOM

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC

Release Date: May 13th, 2016

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The Order: 1886

Platform: PlayStation 4

Release Date: February 20th, 2015

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Gears of War 4

Platforms: Xbox One & PC

Release Date: October 10th, 2016

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC

Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to put this game on here at first. Sure, it looks nice. But something about its graphics rubs me the wrong way. I’m not sure what it is though, something about the character models(I think there’s a lack of subsurface scattering, something I’ve become used to seeing now, and without it the models look kind of solid or plasticy. I don’t know. It might be there, it might not. It might be something else altogether.). But in a way it makes up for that with sheer artistic beauty, so that’s why it’s here(And also because if Persona 5 can get here, then there was no reason this couldn’t.).

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Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Release Date: June 7th, 2016

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Yakuza 6

Platform: PlayStation 4

Release Date: 2016 in Japan, probably 2018 for the US since I got a hunch they’ll localize the Yakuza 1 remake for next year and Yakuza Zero is this year.

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Disaster Report 4 Plus: Summer Memories

Platform: PlayStation 4

Release Date: N/A but likely 2017

So, you’ve probably never heard of this game. And if you have, you likely know the history behind its development. It was originally a PS3 game slated to be released the day before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It was delayed because of that and cancelled that Spring. Last year it was re-revealed as a PS4 exclusive and was remade from scratch with a new art style, and quite frankly I think it looks gorgeous. A little rough around the edges, but its likely still a year or more out from release. The above trailer is the only trailer thus far for the PS4 version, so don’t go looking for more, otherwise you’ll stumble onto the PS3 version and get the wrong impression. And for a title that doesn’t look to have a major publisher attached, this level of graphical quality is astounding.

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Everything else:

- Battlefield 4

- Crysis 3

- Rise of the Tomb Raider

- Quantum Break

- Horizon: Zero Dawn

- Detroit: Become Human

- Skyrim on Mods

- Far Cry Primal

- Ark: Survival Evolved

- Yakuza 5

- The Last of Us: Remastered

- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

- Pokken Tournament

- Kingdom Come: Deliverance