3D gaming on PC has moved on in strides over the last year, since the early promise of titles such as Batman: Arkham Asylum back in late 2009
Nvidia has been leading the 3D charge on PC, with loads of games now getting a 3D 'retro-fit' to work with Nvidia's 3D Vision tech. Providing you also have a decent new 120Hz monitor, that is!
"The big hitter for PC that will be in 3D is Crysis 2," says Nvidia's UK PR manager Ben Berraondo, the man charged with promoting 3D PC gaming for the graphics specialist.
"It looks incredible and will be a great follow on from other big titles that came out on the PC with full 3D Vision support – Call Of Duty: Black Ops and World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm."
The 3D Devil's Advocate
Yet there are those in the PC gaming community that still need to be fully convinced by the allure of 'proper' 3D gaming, one of whom is Dave James, reviews editor over on PC Format magazine, who told 3Dradar: "As much as the hardware manufacturers want you to believe the only way to properly experience 3D gaming is via a 120Hz 3D-capable monitor with either GPU manufacturer's 3D setup it's still not true.
"Realistically 3D graphics engines have been fooling your eyes into believing in a three dimensional world for years, and even with this new 3D tech your eyes are still being fooled.
"This is why the active shutter glasses and 120Hz screen combo still inevitably leads to eye-strain. Within the flat plane of your screen your eyes are constantly having to re-adjust their focus and with such a short focal range on a desktop PC your eyes will soon be overworked.
"There is a bell-curve effect even with the best 3D hardware. To start with it's uncomfortable, then you get used to it and half an hour to an hour later and it becomes uncomfortable once more.
"For casual gamers that's not going to be a huge problem, but as yet there's still no Peggle 3D…
Play new 3D PC games on your TV
That said, 3D continues to grow at a rapid pace and now that we see there is increasingly more 3D hardware out there, developers are really starting to show off just how amazing their games can look, according to Nvidia's Berraondo.
"On the PC, NVIDIA 3D TV Play means you can play the newest PC titles on the latest 3D TVs at 720p and at well over 60FPS – the very best 3D experience for your home! Call of Duty: Black Ops literally comes to life and looks incredible. 3D is really hitting its stride in films, photos, and online content but I truly believe, just like when HD first launched, games are where we're seeing the biggest strides first.
"Already being made in a 3D world helps obviously, but it also means the creative brains behind the titles have much more experience 'thinking' about 3D – where to place characters, vehicles, explosions, camera angles etc that all add to the effect. It means games are now more realistic. For example, in action games explosions actually have depth to them and placement while in racing games the extra depth gives you a much better sense of speed."
Most new 3D-ready PC titles are now being properly designed from the ground up to work with new 3D displays, unlike many titles in the past, which had been given a quick (and often unsatisfactory) 'conversion' from 2D to 3D post-release.
All of which means that many more PC gamers are now realising that the investment into 3D-ready monitors and 3D hardware and glasses from the likes of Nvidia is no longer simply a nice extra gimmick, but something that is unquestionably worth paying for to improve their gaming experience with the vast majority of new and major AAA-PC titles coming onto the market.
With no further ado, here are the top ten best 3D PC games out now or due very soon for those gamer that have invested in a new 120-Hz monitor and 3D Vision kit from Nvidia of late.
Top ten 3D PC games out now or out soon:
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops
2. Need for Speed: Shift
3. Batman Arkham Asylum
4. Battlefield Bad Company 2
5. Tomb Raider Underworld
6. Metro 2033 – The Last Refuge
7. Mafia 2
8. Just Cause 2
9. Lost Planet 2
10. Crysis 2
Yeah, we know that last one's not due till spring 2011, but still, this is surely one of the biggest PC titles on the radar right now, not to mention one of the games that is going to convince many 3D-naysayers that they may actually have been wrong about the value of 3D gaming on PC….
For the full list of these and all the many other 3D-capable games that work with Nvidia's 3D Vision kit, you can check out Nvidia's guide to 3D Vision gaming titles.