Some players just love to put their top graphics card to great use and while we don’t think that visuals are enough to make a good game, they definitely help with the appeal. That’s why with this top we’re assembling 10 games that feature plenty of eye-candy and will make you pause to stare at the tiniest details or the awe-inspiring horizon. If you like your graphics top of the range, you should start saving for a good graphics card, with Unreal Engine 4 and all the new engines that are just around the corner. But before that, take a look at our Top 10 Visually Stunning Free MMORPGs 2014-2015.
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10: TERA RISING (UNREAL ENGINE 3)
Out of all the games from this list, Tera Rising is the only one that is already released and quite some time ago. This is proof of the high graphical quality that Tera had by the time it launched in 2011 in Korea. It still stands as one great looking MMORPG, with its widely varied environments, plenty of big ass monsters to take down and smooth animation all-round.
9: ARCHEAGE (CRYENGINE 3)
ArcheAge isn’t the most consensual game when it comes to… well, almost everything, really. The extremely ambitious sandbox gameplay had a lot of holes that hopefully the US version will have fixed by the time of release, but overall it is one of the most impressive MMORPGs that we’ll be able to play in 2014. Graphics range from definitely amazing to “this seems a bit off”, but considering the extraordinary amount of work gone into making this game, we can’t help but praise it and be delighted by the beautiful sunset and the Kraken fury.
8: PERIA CHRONICLES (SELF-DEVELOPED ENGINE)
Peria Chronicles is looking like a true anime turned into an MMORPG. While it’s not the first time we see this cel-shaded graphic quality in a game, the ambition behind Peria Chronicles made it so that the developers had to build their own engine to support their ideas and long-term plans. This is cel-shading done right and the way that you can transform the terrain and still make beautiful scenarios is a testament to the impressive quality of this upcoming game.
7: PROJECT BLACK SHEEP (HAVOK VISION ENGINE)
While NSquare decided to put Mabinogi 2: Arena on hold, Neowiz is still pushing development on its own action MMORPG called Project Black Sheep. Running on the Havok Vision Engine, this is a game that tries to take what Vindictus did to new heights, meaning that the fast-paced combat will feel weighty and explosive, with things such as wall jumping possible for more spectacular moves. Best of all, the game world will offer several destructible elements that affect combat – for example, you can destroy a pillar and the pieces will hit the enemies that were standing right next to it. Sounds like a great fighting game supported by some awesome visuals and physics.
6: MONSTER HUNTER ONLINE (CRYENGINE 3)
Nowadays, besides the odd proprietary engine, the fight is always between the Unreal Engine 3 and the CryEngine 3. Monster Hunter Online runs on the latter and the result is a stunning chapter on the monster hunting series from Capcom. If there’s an MMO where we expect to see amazing creatures – and then slay them without showing any mercy– is Monster Hunter Online, and the game seems to truly deliver. This game can turn out to be another one of our biggest regrets, alongside Phantasy Star Online 2 and Blade & Soul, since it is only available in China so far. We would love ourselves some big-ass monster slaying, Capcom, do you hear us?
5: KINGDOM UNDER FIRE 2 (SELF-DEVELOPED ENGINE)
Kingdom Under Fire 2 is a game of two halves: one where you’ll appreciate the very detailed playable characters while strolling in the beautiful and peaceful towns; and other where you’ll struggle to spot your fighter among the dozens of enemies that are attacking him from all over the place. While this is a nice looking game on its own, most of all we were impressed at the level of optimization that it showed even during the first experience beta test. A good game that looks great and plays without major hiccups on average PCs? We’re in!
4: ICARUS ONLINE (CRYENGINE 3)
Icarus Online is shaping up to be everything that Dragon’s Prophet still didn’t manage to become. In this game you chase and tame several types of mounts and you can even enter in some exciting aerial combat with dragons. All this running on the CryEngine 3, which provides some impressive characters, creatures and game world visuals.
3: BLESS (UNREAL ENGINE 3)
While the Bless closed beta didn’t set the world on fire, it was enough to see just how beautiful it looks. It’s like a much more beautiful Tera but the beta wasn’t enough to give us a good taste of everything the game has to offer. But since we’re talking graphics, the game truly delivers and it’s a joy to simply explore the game world and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
2: BLADE & SOUL (UNREAL ENGINE 3)
Much has been said of the original and somewhat adult art style of Blade & Soul and the truth is that there isn’t another MMO that compares to the work of Hyung Tae Kim. NCsoft perfectly realized his vision in-game and the result is a mix of anime with exaggerated features that is amazing. The characters blend perfectly with the detailed world in a game that is a complete joy to behold and play. Blade & Soul is a pretty unique game that is taking a hell of a long time to reach the US and Europe.
1: BLACK DESERT ONLINE (SELF-DEVELOPED ENGINE)
We’ve expressed many times our opinion on the way that Black Desert looks. This is the most visually stunning MMORPG we’ve seen and we just can’t get tired of the character models – the sorceress and female ranger are just amazing, in a beautiful yet realistic kind of way. But it’s not just playable characters, the entire game just oozes with charm – the enemies are detailed and extremely varied, towns are exquisite and built in a way that looks like every stone was placed there with incredible attention and the fauna and flora just round everything perfectly. If there’s an MMO where you’ll spend a lot of your time hearing your jaw drop, Black Desert is the one.
That’s it for now, 10 games that should give you good reasons to get a better graphics card. Most of them are still in development so this is a great time to begin saving some cash. Any other beautiful games you’re keeping an eye out for? Let us know in the comments.