And it’s that time of the year. Before publishing our Top 10 Most Optimized PC Games of 2022 article, we’ve decided to share the worst ones. The following games really let us down (tech-wise), and we consider them to be the worst optimized games that came out on PC in 2022.
In our opinion, a game that is not optimized for the PC is one that cannot scale well on multiple CPU cores, that is plagued by ‘console-ish’ side effects (like really low FOV, controller-only on-screen indicators, awful K&M controls and mouse acceleration/smoothing issues). We also take into account the stuttering issues that affected a lot of PC games in 2022. Furthermore, a game that does not justify its GPU requirements is also a game that falls on this list.
Do also note that we judge the latest version of the games and not their launch version. And yes, we’ve reinstalled and replayed all of the following games. Lastly, this list is in random order. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at them.
A lot of us have been looking forward to the Next-Gen version of The Witcher 3. However, and as we’ve already reported, TW3NG is currently in a really awful state. The game has major CPU optimization issues. Due to these issues, even high-end CPUs can drop below 60fps when enabling its Ray Tracing effects. And then we have the visual/graphical glitches that can occur with RT shadows/reflections. And, let’s be honest here. The only noteworthy thing here are these Ray Tracing effects. Otherwise, PC gamers can stick with the older version (which also runs significantly faster) and mod it in order to make it look even better than the DX11 version of The Witcher 3 Next-Gen. CDPR dropped the ball on this, and there is simply no excuse for this.
The Callisto Protocol is another game that disappointed us. When it launched, the game had MAJOR optimization issues on PC. Thankfully, Striking Distance Studios was able to improve things and the game is enjoyable without its Ray Tracing effects. However, its Ray Tracing effects expose the optimization issues from which the game still suffers. Similarly to The Witcher 3 Next-Gen, The Callisto Protocol cannot take advantage of multiple CPU cores/threads. As such, the game frequently drops below 60fps, even on high-end CPUs/GPUs. The game also does not support DLSS 3, meaning that there is currently no PC system that can run it with constant 60fps with RT. And again, this is mainly due to low CPU utilization.
It’s laughable at this point, but here is another triple-A game that cannot take advantage of multiple CPU cores/threads. When it launched, Gotham Knights had major stuttering and CPU optimization issues. Warner Bros recently released a patch that minimized the game’s stutters, however, there are still framerate drops and frame pacing issues. Still, this latest version is at least better than the stutter-fest launch version. However, things go downhill once you enable its Ray Tracing effects. As with The Witcher 3 Next-Gen and The Callisto Protocol, these RT effects bring an additional CPU overhead and expose the game’s CPU optimization issues. And let me be clear here. We don’t mind when a game is CPU-heavy and can use all available CPU cores/threads at 80%. However, we do mind when a game uses only 3-4 CPU cores/threads on modern-day CPUs that are equipped with more than 12 CPU cores. It’s 2022 and developers should be offering proper multicore CPU support. We’ve criticized in the past Turn10 and Creative Assembly for this and to their credit, both of them released performance patches for Forza Horizon 3 and Halo Wars 2 that significantly improved CPU performance and scaling on multiple cores/threads. If those developers did it, then there is no excuse for CD Projekt RED, Striking Distance Studios and Warner Bros Montreal/QLOC.
Well, we all saw this coming. After all, this is KOEI Tecmo we’re talking about. DYNASTY WARRIORS 9 Empires has awful mouse camera controls, and is unreasonably demanding at 1440p and 4K resolutions.
When Syberia: The World Before came out in March 2020, it had major performance issues on NVIDIA’s hardware. However, and after reinstalling the game, we experienced the exact same optimization issues. Below you can find a screenshot, showing the RTX4090 being pushed to the limits at 1440p/Max Settings. Take a really close look at the GPU utilization and the framerate. This game runs and looks worse than other open-world games that use Ray Tracing. The fact that both NVIDIA and Microids left the game in this state speaks volumes about its awful post-launch support.
Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin still suffers from major performance and optimization issues on PC. The game has major framerate drops during combat, especially when using the finishing moves. There are also numerous frame pacing issues. Yes, Team Ninja has added support for DLSS 2, however, it did not address any of the aforementioned issues.
Saints Row is in an average state right now. The game suffers from some unoptimized scenes and the mouse controls feel really weird. And while the game does not require a high-end CPU, its visuals do not justify its high GPU requirements. There are also major shadow pop-in issues (that Volition has not addressed yet).
Steelrising has major optimization issues. Although the game does not require a high-end CPU, it certainly requires a powerful GPU, even for gaming at 1080p. Not only that, but it requires more than 13GB of VRAM for Ultra Textures at 1080p. And, to be honest, these Ultra Textures look similar to what we’ve seen in other games that use way less VRAM, even at 4K. Not only that, but there is nothing on screen to justify its high GPU requirements. Yes, Spiders is a small team so we can’t expect miracles from it. However, the team should simply ditch the Silk Engine if it’s unable to properly optimize it.
Although ELEX II does not require a high-end CPU, it certainly does not justify its huge GPU requirements. And, contrary to other games, ELEX II does not even support DLSS 2 in order to at least somehow improve its overall performance.
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed uses Unreal Engine 4 and has major stuttering issues. Not only that, but the game is unable to take full advantage of multiple CPU cores/threads. Yeap, this is Gotham Knights and The Callisto Protocol all over again. To its credit, Black Forest Games added support for DLSS 3 which significantly improves CPU performance on the RTX40 series GPUs. However, developers should not rely on NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 tech and call it a day. Instead, they should be optimizing their games for everyone, plain and simple.