Look at the best games of 2016 and they all required a powerful PC to play. Battlefield 1 recommends an Intel Core i7 4790 (or equivalent) and a Radeon RX 480 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. While Forza Horizon 3 will run best on a PC with an Intel Core i7-3820 and an AMD R9 290X/RX 480 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 970.
With 4K and HDR becoming more widely available, the best games of 2017 might demand hardware that’s even faster. Here are some to watch out for.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Bioware’s Mass Effect games have traditionally blended narrative cinematics with third-person shooter gameplay and Andromeda doesn’t stray from this path. Four years on from Mass Effect 3, Andromeda’s planets look suitably spectacular, its combat fast and joyously superpowered. The promise of 4K support will require a PC equipped with a top-end CPU and a high-end graphics card.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
How do you make Resident Evil scarier? Don’t just switch the view to a first person and set it in a dark and creepy house. But make a chunk of it playable in VR. This is a game that will make you hesitant to open every door, scared of what you might find behind them, knowing those ‘jump moments’ are coming, but not when. After all, Resident Evil isn’t just a survival game, it’s a survival horror.
Set on an abandoned space station overrun with shadowy monsters, Prey has a distinct System Shock vibe to it. And like the old Looking Glass game, weapons are hard to find, the puzzles are fiendish, and the alien threat a constant menace. Thankfully, our hero can unleash Neuromodded superpowers to fight back.
Beautifully detailed environments and non-linear gameplay mesh with survival mechanics to create a tense, lonely alien shooter that will look fantastic on a powerful PC.
Sea of Thieves
While it’s not the most graphically ravishing title in our list, Sea of Thieves’ shared, open world is bound to give PC processors a good workout. Recruit a band of scurvy pirates and set sail aboard your own galleon, roaming the high seas in search of treasure. Success (or hilarious failure) is down to how players work, fight and shout ‘yarrghh’ together in this fun-looking multiplayer adventure.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Open world games can push a PC to the limit and they don’t get much more ambitious and impressive than this. Set in Bolivia, players will fight to bring down the Santa Blanca drug cartel in solo or co-op missions. Where The Division was set in a bleak, wartorn cityscape, Wildlands benefits from a variety of vibrant backdrops including jungles, mountains and plantations.
Fallout 4 VR
Virtual reality looks here to stay. In the past, the technology wasn’t powerful enough to deliver a good VR experience. This time around that’s not an issue. VR Success hinges on compelling content and so 2017 will be an important year for the format’s development. Star Trek: Bridge Crew sounds exciting. But wandering Fallout 4’s post-apocalyptic wastelands is something we’re definitely looking forward to in 2017.
Red Dead Redemption 2
GTA meets the wild west. Rockstar doesn’t really need to give us much more than that, a rootin tootin, stagecoach-driving, cattle-rustling, train-robbing open world where we can play cowboy. Judging by what we’ve seen so far, Red Dead Redemption 2 looks stunning.
Yes, so there’s still no official confirmation on a PC version. But GTA V is hugely successful on Windows and surely it’s only a matter of time? When it does eventually land, you can bet you’ll need a powerful PC to run it in the highest resolutions. It’ll be worth it. Red Dead Redemption 2 is poised to be one of the biggest and best games of 2017.