And here is the article that most of you have been waiting for. As we’ve already said, 2019 was a pretty interesting year for PC gaming. This year we got some truly great looking PC games that ran like a charm on a huge range of PC configurations.
However, we should make it crystal clear that this is a “Best Optimized” list and not a “Best Graphics” list. As such, Quake 2 RTX, Control, Metro: Exodus and Red Dead Redemption 2 are not part of this list. While the aforementioned titles are easily the best looking PC games of 2019, they are not the most optimized ones.
But what do we consider an optimized PC game? In our opinion, a game that is optimized for the PC is one that can scale well on multiple CPU cores. We also take into account other issues, like stuttering and stability issues, mouse smoothing/acceleration, etc. Not only that, but the visuals/performance ratio plays a huge part here too.
In short, we’re examining a game’s technical aspect. This means that not only must game engines scale well on modern-day hardware, but developers must also ensure that things like PC-specific graphical features, PC technologies and PC controls are properly supported. We should also note that we’ve tested the latest patched versions of these games.
So, without further ado, here are our Top 10 Most Optimized PC Games of 2019.
Apex Legends is running well on the PC. The game does not require a high-end CPU in order to be enjoyed and we did not experience any latency issues. Thankfully, the game offers raw mouse input and does not suffer from any mouse acceleration or smoothing issues. Still, and while it’s for the most part a solid PC product, Apex Legends features some areas that are way more GPU demanding than we’d expect. Respawn has not addressed this issue, which is why the game is in 10th place.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order runs pretty great on the PC platform. Contrary to the console versions, the stuttering issues are not that awful on the PC. Respawn has released some patches that addressed some of the game’s issues. Moreover, the game can run with 60fps on a variety of PC configurations. While there is still room for improvement, the game now looks and runs great on the PC.
World War Z is a really optimized PC title. Even though the Vulkan API currently has some issues, the game runs like a charm on a wide range of PC configurations even when using the DX11 API. World War Z does not require a high-end CPU or GPU, and looks on par with what you’d expect to see in a current-gen FPS.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare runs great on the PC platform. At launch, the game suffered from some truly annoying technical issues. Thankfully, Beenox has minimized the awful stuttering issues while loading a level. There are still some minor issues, however, COD: MW now looks and runs great on the PC.
RAGE 2 runs like a charm on the PC platform. The game can run smoothly on a variety of PC configurations and scales amazingly well on multiple CPU cores/threads. Moreover, we did not experience any mouse acceleration or smoothing issues, though I do have to say that the default sensitivity values (when using iron sights) was a bit lower than expected. Naturally, the game displays proper on-screen K&M indicators and there is a Field of View slider for you to use.
Devil May Cry 5 is one of the most optimized PC games of 2019. Capcom’s latest action game looks beautiful and runs extremely well on a variety of PC configurations. Mouse controls are also great and there aren’t any mouse acceleration or smoothing issues. Unfortunately some of the default keys are not mapped correctly/ideally (I mean, who can press simultaneously Shift and CTRL while playing the game? Seriously Capcom?) however we could easily pull off most of the combos and get an “SSS” ranking so yeah. In short, Devil May Cry 5 is really enjoyable with a K&M. The game would have been higher on the list if it had larger environments. Unfortunately, and contrary to its “cousin”, DMC5 is not as ambitious as the following games.
While as a game Ghost Recon Breakpoint is a big disappointment, we can all agree that it looks and runs great on the PC. This is easily one of the best looking open-world games out there. The game looks and runs better than Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Watch_Dogs 2. Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s PC version has a lot of graphics settings, it can scale on older hardware, and it does not suffer from mouse acceleration/smoothing issues.
Similarly to Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Youngblood was a disappointing game. However, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is one of the most optimized PC games of 2019. MachineGames has offered a lot of graphics settings to tweak. The game also runs silky smooth on older PC systems thanks to id Tech 6 Engine and the Vulkan API. Wolfenstein: Youngblood also proves how underused older high-end CPUs — those equipped with six CPU cores that support twelve threads — are in most modern-day triple-A titles. Here is hoping that more developers will follow id Software’s example and make their engines run faster on already existing hardware.
Gears 5 runs exceptionally well on the PC platform. The game does not require a high-end CPU and we did not experience any stuttering issues. The game also packs one hell of graphics settings to tweak, and it plays great with mouse and keyboard. It’s also worth noting that Gears 5 runs incredibly well on AMD’s hardware. While it does not push the PC graphics boundaries, Gears 5 is easily one of the most optimized PC games of 2019.
Resident Evil 2 Remake is easily our most optimized PC games of 2019. Although the game does not require a high-end PC system, it looks gorgeous and can scale on multiple CPU cores. Capcom has also removed the Denuvo anti-tamper tech, and has implemented one of the best graphics settings menu we’ve seen to date. The K+M controls are also excellent with proper on-screen indicators. Now the main reason we consider Resident Evil 2 Remake better than Gears 5 is because it can sometimes look like a next-gen title. Yes, this is a more linear experience than Gears 5, however, the game looks and runs significantly better than it. Capcom has simply outdone itself, and we can’t wait to see what its next-gen games will look like.