The First 5 Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

First, you upgrade your PC. Then, you fire up all the games that used to give your PC a hard time and obliterate them.

It's a time-honoured tradition, and the only thing that changes from year to year and GPU to GPU is which games you choose. Which games do you bring before your towering new rig? Which games do you lay on the altar of VRAM and CUDA cores, cranking up texture detail while maniacally watching the counter in the corner of the screen?

Everyone does this a little differently. Today, I thought I'd share the first five games I play on a new or newly upgraded gaming PC.

Crysis 3

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

It stands to reason that at some point, Crysis 3 will be dated enough that we'll stop using it to benchmark new PCs. That day has not yet arrived. Crysis 3 is the main reason I even bother to install Origin on a new PC. I just need to see how good the dude-faces will look at an even higher detail setting, and an even higher resolution. Can a dude's face look so real it bends space and time? Eventually, Crysis 3 will show us the answer.

Elite: Dangerous

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

I haven't had much time for Frontier's Elite: Dangerous lately, but when I play, I've been experimenting with getting out of my Oculus Rift holodeck and playing it on a monitor like a normal human being. That's where the game's beautiful visuals really shine, and where it becomes an ideal testing ground for new hardware. With all the light flares, atmospheric detail, and textures cranked up, this game can look amazing. It can also be pretty taxing on my PC.

Divinity: Original Sin

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

The question of "How smoothly can this computer run Divinity: Original Sin?" didn't initially strike me as a one that I'd be asking all that frequently. But this game is a real looker, especially at high resolutions — everything looks like a tiny, well-lit diorama that just happens to explode from time to time.

Metro: Last Light Redux

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

The Metro games remain early go-tos for me for when I've upgraded my PC. For games that take place mostly in the dark, they're unusually beautiful, thanks both to strong art direction and some high fidelity visuals. These games used to pulverize my old computers, to the point that it's still satisfying to watch my newer PCs muscle them into line.

Far Cry 4

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

I don't know why I like to throw my PCs up against Far Cry 4. It had enough issues in the early goings that it appears to be a somewhat crusty port, and it's hard to say whether any graphical slowdown I may encounter is actually the result of slow hardware of if it's simply due to weird software. Regardless, Far Cry 3 was one of my go-to games for testing new hardware, and nowadays, Far Cry 4 has taken its place. Look, I just want to hop on an ATV and ramp off a mountain with dropping a single frame. Is that so much to ask?

The First Five Games I Play After Upgrading My PC

Those are my five, though of course there are a few others, too. What are yours?


    Lol, I havent upgraded my PC in like 5 years. The first game I played was a flash browser game on that chugged on the PC I had prior. I can't remember what it was but I know it ran smooth as warm butter.

    Should add Assassin's Creed Unity to the list. I don't think there is a PC yet capable to run that 60fps maxed out. So badly optimised.

    Last edited 10/03/15 11:30 am

      With the latest patches PCs should be able to run it at 60 fps maxed. I've got a gtx 980, a i7 4790k (I think thats what it is) and an Asus Sabertooth motherboard and I was able to max it at 60 without any issue. Was even able to put on all that fancy nvidia tech like soft shadows and their AA.

      The newer line of CPUS and Motherboards should have even less trouble.

      Game looks absolutely beautiful at max.

    I opened Crysis 3 on my computer, went "Wow, nice graphics!" exited it 20 minutes later. Haven't gone back since.

    Doom 2 without doubt is the best test of a new rig.

    I installed Divinity: Original Sin recently and the framerate was atrocious. My GT 220 wants to call it quits but I just won't let it.

    If I was to ever upgrade my graphics card I would check out Planetside 2 to see if I can get to run on High. Then do the same for ARMA 3.

    As it stands, I'd love to benchmark with these games, but don't have the $$$ for an upgrade ;)

    In all seriousness though, have they fixed they FC4 stuttering and glitches?

    Edit: For testing I normally grab:
    - GTA IV (Modded and a bad port)
    - Crysis 1 (Modded)
    - Emulators
    - Metro
    - Other games I was playing recently that I could compare with for sh1ts and gigs. (Especially ones I couldn't already max out/ run well.)

    Last edited 10/03/15 12:46 pm

    Original Crysis. Still make PC cry.

    Also original Far Cry with 64 bit mod, because it used to strain and now it's hilarious at hundreds of FPS.

    You missed: Skyim - Loaded with mods edition.

      He said he was upgrading his computer, not developing a super powerful AI capable of computing at hundreds of petaflops...

      ... which is what you need to run Skyrim with heaps of mods.

        Aren't they combining Skyrim mods into super mods now to help ease 'The burden'?

        Last edited 10/03/15 1:50 pm

          Yes. But it was Bethesda that placed that burden.

        As someone spending weeks trying to mod up Skyrim. The struggle is real...

    I gave Ryse: Son of Rome a run on my new rig, got a smooth 60fps out of it at 1080p. Tht and Crysis 3 made me feel good about my purchases! Seems like Crytek games are the ones to go too!!!

    Can't believe no one has mentioned the Witcher 2 (im sure #3 will bring most pc's to its knees). With bloom off that game is just gorgeous.

    Yep it was Witcher 2 for me.

    Then Skyrim... my old PC didn't like it. I played a couple of hundred hours on medium with bloody awful frame rates.

    Good times now ..

    Far Cry 4 has serious issues IMO. I got a GTX 980 the other day and it feels like it almost runs the same as it did on my GTX 680.

    Its as if its capped at 30FPS or something sometimes.

    Definitely Metro Last Night - looks nice with my new card and was unplayable with my little old GTS 250.

    I feel that the way things are going in the pc gaming space this process will be tougher to do. I recently upgraded my gpu to an r9 295x2 and I stupidly thought that I could run games at 60 fps for the next few years. However, with amd and nvidia trying their best to segment the pc gaming market, it's going to be a bit of hit and miss. Games like farcry 4 and dying light run terribly on amd hardware because they've been optimised for nvidia gpus. The most disappointing thing is that the witcher 3 is also using nvidia gameworks so that is another game amd user will struggle with. So unfortunately it won't matter that you got a new upgrade because it might be gimped on the software side by the developer.

      NVIDIA: The Way It's Meant to be Played

      And yes, I hate seeing this come up, since I currently have an AMD card.

    I don't get all the fuss. I am running FC4 on High with a R9 280X with an i5 4670k.

    I have not noticed any 'stuttering' and have only noticed one glitch where a mission objective did not update.

    But that said - i have not bothered to check what FPS I am getting. That's not why I game.

    Update: Oh, and I test my upgrades with whatever my son and I had been playing before the upgrade. This time it was FC4. Last time it was Fallout New Vegas.

    Last edited 11/03/15 7:08 pm

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