2020 has been an interesting year for gaming. So, before sharing our Top 10 Most Optimized PC Games of 2020, we’ve decided to share Top 10 Worst Optimized PC Games of 2020.
But what do we consider an unoptimized PC game in 2020? 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 various side-effects, like stuttering. Furthermore, a game that does not justify its GPU requirements is also a game that falls on our list.
Do also note that we judge the latest version of the games and not their launch version. For instance, Crysis Remastered is not on this list. While the game had major issues at launch, Crytek was able to resolve most of them. Yes, the game still relies heavily on one CPU core/thread, however, it runs better than its predecessor, and better than a lot of other games. It also received additional CPU & GPU optimizations, as well as K&M improvements.
So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Worst Optimized PC Games of 2020.
While Microsoft Flight Simulator pushes the best graphics we’ve seen in a game, it currently suffers from some awful CPU optimization issues. These CPU issues will bottleneck even high-end Intel/AMD CPUs. Asobo is aware of these issues, and is working on a DX12 API that will, hopefully, address these issues.
Dirt 5 suffers from some optimization issues on the PC. At launch, the game had a lot of tech issues, but Codemasters was able to address some of them via post-launch patches. Despite the fact that it uses DX12, it cannot take full advantage of multi-core CPUs. The game also performs horribly on Codemasters’ minimum listed CPU. Not only that, but it does not justify its GPU requirements, especially on the higher tier of its graphics settings.
Marvel’s Avengers is one of the most demanding PC games, and unfortunately, it cannot scale well on older GPUs. Even though it provides lots of graphics settings, the performance difference between Medium and Ultra settings is not that big. Moreover, the game lacks some effects that were present in previous games that were using this engine (like snow deformation). For NVIDIA RTX users, Nixxes has added support for DLSS 2.0. However, this is only a solution for those owning an RTX GPU, and not for everyone.
While Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition does not require a high-end CPU, it does not justify its GPU requirements. Seriously, an RTX2080Ti should be running this game way better (at least for what is being displayed on screen). For some unknown reason, the game was also constantly running below our monitor’s refresh rate, even when V-Sync was disabled. Due to this bug/issue, we experienced some stuttering and tearing issues on a 60hz monitor.
Project CARS 3 was a big letdown, especially since Project CARS 2 was one of our most optimized PC games of 2017. Project CARS 3 looks in numerous cases worse than Project CARS 2. The game suffers from some truly AWFUL pop-ins, even on Ultra settings. Shadows cascade is also really low, resulting in shadows that form/disappear right in front of you. Not only that, but there are numerous low-resolution textures. Oh, and let’s not forget that the game runs worse than Project CARS 2.
I was really, really looking forward to Serious Sam 4. However, the end product is not up to what I’d expected from Croteam. The game looks similar but runs worse than Serious Sam 3, a game that came out nine whole years ago. It has noticeable pop-in issues, performance/glitches issues in some of the available APIs, and it does not justify its GPU requirements. The game also had a lot of bugs, however, Croteam was able to address some of them via some post-launch updates.
The Wonderful 101 Remastered is another big letdown. The game suffers from frame pacing issues as PlatinumGames has locked the framerate at 59fps. The game also suffers from some, idiotic, default key mapping, and it does not support the mouse on the menus. Not only that, but the game is completely unplayable with a mouse due to awkward mouse sensitivity values. Seriously, we are in 2020 so these K&M are inexcusable. We are not in the 90s.
FAIRY TAIL is a KOEI Tecmo game so we all knew what to expect from it. I mean, I was hoping for something better, but hey… this is KOEI Tecmo. FAIRY TAIL does not support mouse look at all, and does not display keyboard on-screen prompts. The game is also locked at 60fps, and we did experience some frame pacing issues. Now I know that some will say <<Just use a gamepad>> but, again, this is inexcusable for a 2020 PC release. For instance, Yakuza: Like A Dragon is a turn-based JRPG and works WONDERFULLY with K&M. So let’s drop that <<Game is built for gamepads>> nonsense.
I seriously have no words about Fast & Furious Crossroads. I wasn’t expecting much from this video game movie tie-in, and I was still disappointed by it. The game does not scale well on older generation CPUs, and it certainly does not justify its GPU requirements. At launch, the game did not even allow you to remap your keys (though this is fixed). However, the game is still displaying gamepad icons when using the keyboard. In conclusion, Fast & Furious Crossroads performs horribly, looks bad, and lacks simple PC features.
And here comes another major disappointment. In its current state, XIII Remake still has A LOT of bugs, and it does not justify its GPU requirements. In fact, the game can look even worse – in some cases – than the original version. At launch, the PC version suffered from some truly awful mouse controls, though Playmagic has improved things via a post-launch update. Despite its efforts, though, the game still suffers from a lot of issues, and is, undoubtedly, the most unoptimized PC game of 2020.
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved – and still does – the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the “The Evolution of PC graphics cards.”