As is DF tradition, we round off the year with a look at the team’s personal picks for the best game graphics of 2023. Covering off the very best in both PC and console rendering, Alex Battaglia, John Linneman and Oliver Mackenzie share their thoughts on the most impressive visuals of the year, leading to an open debate on which title did it best: Alan Wake 2, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora or Cyberpunk 2077’s RT Overdrive?
The history of video game graphics is a captivating journey marked by groundbreaking advancements. In the early days of gaming during the 1970s, games relied on simple, pixelated graphics due to technological limitations. The Atari 2600, released in 1977, featured iconic games like “Pong” and “Space Invaders,” showcasing basic shapes and limited colors. As technology progressed, the 8-bit era emerged in the 1980s with consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Master System, introducing more detailed sprites and vibrant colors, enhancing the gaming experience.
The 1990s witnessed a significant leap in video game graphics with the advent of 16 and 32-bit consoles such as the Super Nintendo (SNES) and the Sega Genesis. These consoles allowed for smoother animations, more complex character designs, and richer environments. The transition to 3D graphics became a game-changer in the mid-1990s with the release of consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64, enabling developers to create fully immersive 3D worlds. Technological advancements continued rapidly, leading to high-definition graphics, photorealistic textures, and lifelike character models in modern gaming, as seen in consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and powerful gaming PCs. The evolution of video game graphics reflects the relentless march of technology and human creativity, continually pushing the boundaries of what’s visually possible in gaming.