Tell Us Dammit: Best Looking Game Of Last Generation

Okay, this is going to be a good one, I know it! What do you think is the best looking video game from last generation? There are no rules for this: it can be a technically gorgeous game like Uncharted 2, or it can be a game with great art direction like... say Super Mario Galaxy. What's your choice?

It's a tricky one. I'm tempted to say Rayman Legends on the Xbox 360, but I don't know if that counts since it was released on next gen platforms. I also thought Super Mario Galaxy was gorgeous — the Uncharted series too.

Gears of War was the first game that made me go... wow on the Xbox 360. Actually, Fight Night Round 3 might have been the first.

Man, this is tough. What's your choice?


    Technically gorgeous: The Last of Us

    Stylised? Journey.

      +1. Having just played Journey I thought it was easily one of the most visually appealing games of last gen (or really, to date since the current gen hasn't really "wowed" me yet. But I feel like giving it to Journey ignores the technical accomplishment and rich varied environments of The Last of Us.

        Yeah... that bit where you're sliding along the sand with the sunset... making the sand look like liquid gold... still gives me chills every time I see it even now.

    The Last of Us, I likes me some post-apocalyptic urban decay. (Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a serious contender as well, for similar reasons.)

    ohh this is hard. for me it's a few.

    * ACIV Black flag
    * Rayman Legends / Origins
    * GTA V
    * FFIV Online (PS3)

    There's a stack of games that made me stop to smell the graphics, if that's how we define 'best looking game'. But Mass Effect 2 was probably the one that did it the most. RAGE also had some pretty damn good graphics for a console that came out in 2006.

    Back in the day Mass Effect 1 blew me away. Ditto with Oblivion when it came out, but they got eventually superseded by other games.

      Mass Effect certainly had some of the best "production design"- definitely felt like a world where all of the technology was consistent.

      I loved the graphics in Mass Effect 2 and 3. The scale of the imagery was breathtaking at times.

    The motion capture in LA Noire deserves a special mention. I know it was kinda cheating, but go back and look at it again, and the very best modern talking headshots look average by comparison.

      I'm really surprised that technology hasn't resurfaced.

        I think that's because it was so damn expensive to capture.

      I actually went back to LA Noire a few months back and it didn't feel like the game had aged at all!

    The Last of Us and Red Dead Redemption stopped me in my tracks personally. Ni No Kuni?

    Really, any Unreal Engine game looks pretty damn... well pretty :P
    But Red Dead Redemption has to be one of the prettiest last gen games (excluding PC games because mods)
    but in terms of overall style, i can't go past Limbo... SO PUUURDY!

    Last edited 22/05/14 11:29 am

    LA Noir and Journey for me.
    First time characters had felt like they were real and not zombies was in LA Noir.
    Journey just had me stopping and looking all the time, running in and our of sand-waterfalls to shake the sand off my coat. Just beautiful.

    Ni No Kuniiii! Hot damn thats a purdy game, purdyest in my mind.

      Except when it goes into the animated cutscenes which are done with terribly low budget and actually look jarringly worse compared to the way the in-game visuals look.

      But IMO for stylized art, Okami HD beats Ni no Kuni by a mile.

        No ways! Low budget or not, I was super impressed by what they did with the cutscenes, they were amazingly well done! I think we saw different cutscenes.

          True, I hated the gameplay so I didn't play very far. Maybe it was just the opening cutscenes that were awful.

          Okami HD's super smooth framerates, no tearing, 1080p and 4xMSAA is a sight to behold though. Pure artistry aside there's not much like it this generation. Actually fun as well, which is a nice bonus

    FFXIII. Didn't like the game that much but, boy, did they make it look purdy.


    I'll go with New Super Mario Bros U

    And just to be a loser: LOZ Ocarina of TIme with HD texture packs and AA etc enabled on the emulator. It had better textures than Crysis 2 when it came out.

    Last edited 22/05/14 11:35 am

      How does Ocarina on the 3DS compare cuz I'll vouch for the 3DS port being a substantial graphics upgrade

        3DS is 800x240 pixel display, so it can't come anywhere close to full-resolution emulation plus AA. Then add in high-res texture pack, and you are so far away from the 3DS version that it's not funny.

    GTA V for the horizons and water! Damn, I need to get my 360 fixed asap.

    While the game disappointed me, the halo 4 cutscenes blew me away.

    On the Wii, it had to be Xenoblade Chronicles. Considering the hardware it was running on, that game looked phenomenal.

    On PS3 - I'll go a bit less mainstream and say Darksiders 2 was very impressive. I'll also concur with @batguy that the facial animation in LA Noire was groundbreaking - however I think the rest of the game also looked fantastic and doesn't get the recognition it deserves. That was a mammoth, historically accurate city they created, with authentic cars, clothing and weapons ti boot.

    PC - I dunno, pretty much anything looked awesome once you cranked everything up to maximum. The Assassin's Creed games in particular looked stunning.

    Last edited 22/05/14 11:38 am

    At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, the art in Halo: Reach is amazing with its colourful yet grit textures and the designs come off as practical in a futuristic and alien setting.

    I love the atmosphere and design of Dark Souls.

    Journey was great.
    Raymen: Legends is amazing.
    Mark of the Ninja was stylised to perfectly fit its theme.
    Both Castlevania games look fantastic.

    Last edited 22/05/14 11:39 am

    Best realistic graphics: Max Payne 3, GTA V, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Hitman Absolution

    Best style: TF2, Borderlands 2, Mirror's Edge

    Best Animation: anything by Rockstar, TF2, Assassins Creed anything, Splinter Cell

      I should point out - early in the cycle GTA IV and Assassin's Creed were basically system sellers (to me) thanks to their incredibly photo-realistic graphics and animation.

    I'm going with Mass Effect 3 and Final Fantasy XIII.

      Going to add Remember Me for style.

    The last of us, gta 5 where the better ones for me. Also for me beyond two souls was a fantastic looking game .

    This really is tough. From a purely technical point of view, it's hard not to be amazed at what Rockstar managed to get out of the 360 with GTAV. Another technical stand out has to be the tech used to bring LA Noire's characters to life.

    In art direction though, this generation has been great to gamers. I adored Bastion's art. Mass Effect's sprawling universe was gorgeous. Mark of the Ninja had some great comic styling. Borderlands 2 deserves special mention for adding some much needed variety that was missing from the first game.

    I just can't pick one. The more I think about it, the more games I want to add to the list.

    Despite it's awfully bland gameplay and story, Remember Me had some really pretty looking environments and characters. Aesthetically speaking, Dark Souls was really nice looking too.

    God of War: Ascension. Absolute witchcraft on a ps3.

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