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A few years ago, I made a post that is still one of my favorites to this day. It was the ten most visually stunning movies of the last ten years, and it was a joy to put together. I decided that games have advanced to the point where a similar list is possible for that type of media, and here we are.
I racked my brain to come up with the titles that have stood out the most from a visual perspective over the last decade. Yes, sometimes that means amazing graphics, skewing the list toward this generation, but sometimes it can be a game having a visual style all its own.
These are my ten picks, and I’m sure you’ll have a few of your own by the end. Let me know in the comments.
1. Red Dead Redemption (2010)
There are many open world games these days, but few as consistently breathtaking as Red Dead Redemption. From forests to deserts to snow capped mountains, the game constantly made your jaw drop each time you played.
2. Mirror’s Edge (2008)
A fantastic game that not only had striking visuals, but made them a core part of gameplay as well. Here, red meant go, and and the cityscapes you ran through were modernist masterpieces of primary color art.
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2007)
Yes, it’s true that the two subsequent Modern Warfare games (and Battlefield 3), might have technically better graphics, but this was the first time in a game that the visuals made me actually feel like I was in the middle of a warzone.
4. Assassin’s Creed II (2009)
The first game had sweeping landscapes as well, but the moving the game to Italy produced what might be the most gorgeous city environment ever in a game, with classic landmarks digitally rebuilt with an insane amount of detail.
5. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (2011)
If this was a ranked order list, Skyrim might just be on the top. Quite simply it’s the best the open world genre has ever looked, and you could explore for a hundred hours and still find new areas that were worth taking screenshots of.