Best RTX games – enjoy ray-tracing at its fullest in these gorgeous titles

A character holding a torch in a cave
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

The best RTX games make use of a modern graphical innovation called ray tracing which allows high-end machines to provide you with the best possible picture to enhance your gaming experience. After its debut in 2018, ray tracing (RTX) technology is now prolific, spicing up games across all sorts of genres and making them visually more impressive. From the best RPGs to the best horror games, plenty of modern titles enjoy more stunning visuals courtesy of this innovation. 

But what is ray tracing, exactly? In plain terms; it's a new way of rendering light and shadows in real-time which involves simulating and tracking every individual ray of light produced by in-game light sources. 

As you might imagine, this takes a higher-end machine to manage, however, with the technology now in the mainstream, you don't necessarily need the best graphics card ever to enjoy ray tracing. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X both offer limited support for the feature, too, meaning that there's plenty of graphical gorgeousness to go around. Read on for our comprehensive list of the best games that employ this powerful feature.

Best RTX games

Alan Wake 2

(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)
Why we love it

With its distinctive visuals and thematic emphasis on light and shadow, it seems only right that Alan Wake 2 should benefit from the RTX experience. This extra level of graphical fidelity makes an already gripping title even more immersive.

Available on: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S

Simultaneously one of the best horror games and the best RTX games, Alan Wake 2 offers a gripping single-player experience full of style and substance. Mind-bending setpieces are made all the more realistic and immersive by the game's use of ray tracing. Haunting scenes become more chilling thanks to exceptional visual fidelity and stunning lighting.

In addition to this visual feast, Alan Wake 2 is an outstanding game in its own right, taking third place in our 2023 Game of the Year list. Following dual protagonists Saga Anderson and the eponymous Alan Wake, you'll venture into a profound horror tale full of twists and turns that you won't soon forget.

A Spartan in white armor runs from an explosion

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Why we love it

Halo Infinite delivers on the scale and spectacle of the series in a big way, using its visuals to add a sense of realism and tangibility to the game. There's nothing like watching the light reflect off of your shiny new rocket launcher as you lay waste to an enemy vehicle.

Available on: PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

In its current state, Halo: Infinite doesn't just offer a refreshingly open-ended main campaign, but also a robust and well-built multiplayer experience. With a constantly rotating selection of multiplayer modes and the much-anticipated addition of the player vs environment Firefight co-op mode, 343 Industries' latest is in strong condition. 

Graphically speaking, Halo: Infinite realizes the dreams of the old Combat Evolved days, presenting a sleek and immaculate sci-fi world. Thanks to the open-world campaign, you're free to enjoy these environments on your own terms, taking in soaring skylines and majestic vistas in one of the best RTX games of its kind.

Screenshot of Portal with RTX on. A blue portal with an orb of light emerging from it can be seen in a corridor with a Weighted Test Cube in front of it.

(Image credit: Valve, Nvidia)

Portal with RTX

Puzzling perfection
Why we love it

Portal With RTX isn't just a stunning reimagining of a genre classic, it's also free for anyone who owns the original Portal. The bar to entry is extremely low, meaning that you can check out the eye-watering RTX-powered graphics for yourself with ease.

Available on: PC

A remake of the classic 2007 puzzler, Portal With RTX allows you to revisit Portal's gripping puzzles but with a brand new coat of paint. This one’s also a collaboration between Nvidia’s Lightspeed studio and the original devs (via making the original assets available and retaining editorial control). And just like Quake II RTX, it shows ray tracing’s potential to transform a space. 

The puzzles aren’t any easier for being better lit, but it’s certainly more pleasant to stand flummoxed while surrounded by shiny reflective sci-fi facility panels than boring old 2007 textures. Even in 2024, the game's stellar writing holds up, offering one of the best RTX game experiences of our time.

Elden Ring key art - Malenia the Severed and General Radahn

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)
Why we love it

Elden Ring is set in a haunting, dark-fantasy universe where visuals, themes and sound design work together to create something that's more than the sum of its parts - a quality that RTX only enhances.

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One

Elden Ring is arguably the best soulsborne game ever made. Punishingly difficult yet consistently satisfying, FromSoftware's dark fantasy role-playing game has a great deal to offer for those willing to invest time and effort. With highly customizable characters and a cavalcade of terrifying boss encounters, there's plenty for you to sink your teeth into in what's undoubtedly one of the best RTX games around. 

Though RTX is only available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC versions of the game, it helps to make The Lands Between all the more breathtaking. Elden Ring is an open-world experience and uses this to its advantage, filling the world with eye-catching landscapes and jaw-dropping scenery.

Ray-traced sunbeams seen through trees in Minecraft

(Image credit: Microsoft; Nvidia)

Minecraft

Beautiful blocks
Why we love it

Though Minecraft's RTX functionality only works on PC so far, ray tracing does a great deal to bring out the scale of the game's limitless environments. Cubes have never looked this good!

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Minecraft is many things to many people. It’s a survival game, an architectural toolkit, a hangout space, an artist’s easel and a prototypical metaverse of varied experiences. From escape rooms to shooters, it's all built of blocks. The one thing it isn't, however? A graphical powerhouse. 

Until you install the RTX update for Windows Edition, that is. Like Quake and Portal, some retexturing has been applied here to ensure the advanced lighting is noticeable and hits surfaces that reflect and refract it in detail. The result is one of the best RTX games - it’s like looking at Minecraft 2. Familiar, but suddenly transformed, it’s the same old blocks now made into a work of art. 

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

Tunnel vision
Why we love it

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition on PC reminds us that, when it comes to graphics, less can sometimes be more. The post-apocalyptic world on offer may be bleak, but this allows the RTX technology to make the occasional slivers of beauty all the more moving.

Available on: PC

Another early adopter of Nvidia RTX technology, 2019’s Metro Exodus has subtler ray tracing implementation that you might see in a modern release. Still, it makes its way onto this list for using ray tracing as just one part of an incredibly atmospheric graphical toolkit, all enabled by the PC Enhanced Edition

Your train ride across post-nuclear Russia and Kazakhstan embodies a cold and desolate beauty in every direction you look, and there’s actually a lot of artistic restraint on display in Exodus’ environments, making it unique on this list of the best RTX games.

Rather than drop you into a hall of mirrors with neon signs every five paces, it places you in a world that’s almost monochromatic at times, but when the fog lifts and the natural world bursts through the gloom, it’s breathtaking. It’s a very well-wrought shooter too, melding old-school corridor sequences with more freeform combat scenarios and letting you take a variety of approaches to each fray. 

A screenshot from the game Doom Eternal

(Image credit: iD Software)
Why we love it

Doom Eternal and ray tracing may seem like an odd couple, but, by maximizing visual fidelity, RTX technology makes the blood, gore and spectacle of the pulse-pounding shooter all the more powerful.

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Poor old Doom Eternal was slightly overlooked when it released in 2020, possibly because we were all so freaked out by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that we couldn’t face playing a game called Doom and needed therapy time in Fall Guys instead. What everyone’s subsequently realised is that Eternal is every bit as compulsive, brutish and immaculately designed as the 2016 reboot, and with even better visuals. 

Available on the PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X versions, ray tracing casts a sheen across its sci-fi hallways and glass surfaces, and really sells those laser-filled doohickies that the scientists of these outposts seem intent on building everywhere. You wouldn’t call it subtle by any measure, but the RTX implementation here makes the chaos of each gunfight look that bit more cinematic and bombastic.

So Mi at Colonel Hansen's gala

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077

Neon lights and thrilling fights
Why we love it

With RTX enabled, Cyberpunk 2077's vivid neon-lit sci-fi environments are brought to life with eye-popping fidelity. Rain slick surfaces and towering city spires paint a grim yet beautiful picture.

Available on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One

Cyberpunk 2077 may have had a rocky past, but with the wide range of improvements brought about by its monumental 2.0 update, CD Projekt Red's gritty sci-fi adventure has never been in a better place. With a gripping storyline, oodles of character customization and immersive Bladerunner-esque locales, Cyberpunk 2077 easily stands as one of the best RTX games 

The PS5, Xbox Series X and PC versions all have access to RTX technology, with PC offering the widest range of options for ray tracing. Patch 1.62 even brought with it a feature called Overdrive Mode, designed especially for high-end PCs which includes path tracing - a special form of ray tracing designed to render 3D environments. If you have a high end, RTX-friendly PC, then Cyberpunk 2077 will help you get the most out of your investment.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Miles Morales

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)
Why we love it

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a comic-book fan's dream come true. Dramatic, visually impressive and full of charm, Insomniac Games' superpowered action title never skimps on the fun.

Available on: PS5 

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is proof that you don't have to own a super high end PC to enjoy ray tracing. Insomniac Games' action-packed Spider-Man adventure makes excellent use of the PS5's capabilities. Ray tracing helps you get the most out of the game's delightful traversal sections, letting you admire the gorgeous streets of New York as you web-swing your way across town. 

Arguably one of the best superhero games ever made, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is a gripping adventure from start to finish. Dual protagonists Miles Morales and Peter Parker give two contrasting perspectives as you make your way through the story, offering a broader experience than you might get with other superhero titles. All of this amounts to one of the best RTX games of its kind.

Best RTX games: FAQs

Idris Elba broods

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Which games support RTX?

All of the games on our best RTX games list support ray tracing. From the colorful heroics of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 to the gritty transhuman sci-fi of Cyberpunk 2077, a wide range of games are available for those looking to try out RTX for themselves. 

However, when it comes to RTX, what's most important isn't the game but your hardware. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both support ray tracing for certain titles, however, those looking to get the most out of this technology will find the most milage on the best gaming PCs.

What was the first RTX game?

The first game to use RTX was Battlefield 5, which famously implemented the feature to introduce photorealistic reflective surfaces back in 2018. Since then, a wide range of titles have embraced the feature. Even games that might seem graphically 'simplistic' like Minecraft and Portal, benefit from the sophisticated lighting and eye-popping fidelity offered by ray tracing. 

Our list of the best RTX games may be broad, but there are plenty of other great RTX-friendly titles out there, too. For instance, grim thriller A Plague Tale: Requiem and superpowered tactics game Marvel's Midnight Suns both use ray tracing to enhance their visuals, provided you've the hardware to support it. 

How we made our best RTX games list

This best RTX games cross a wide range of different genres and graphical styles. However, no matter the type of game we're considering, all of the titles we've included on this list all use distinctive visual styles to make the most out of the technology. Having played thousands of hours of games at TRG, we're well placed to pick the creme of the crop when it comes to RTX-friendly titles.

Cyberpunk 2077's neon lights and Metro's desolate wastelands make for very different locales, but both use contrasting colors and sophisticated approaches to lighting. RTX works best in these sorts of titles, transporting you to new worlds with awe-inspiring sights.

The best RTX games offer some of the best single-player games, making them well worth diving into. Even some of the best Xbox Series X games and the best PS5 games can offer some impressive visuals. 

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.

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