Nvidia GeForce Now is missing some RTX games - but still has more than Stadia

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia GeForce Now launched today after one of the longest beta tests of all time, taking the fight directly to Google Stadia's doorstep. And, while it's got a bulky library, GeForce Now is missing some huge titles. 

This first came to our attention when both Ars Technica and The Verge put out some brief impressions pieces noting that some games were missing, apparently due to licensing issues with some major publishers. 

Chief among these publishers are behemoth companies like Rockstar Games and Square Enix, who are behind some of the biggest games around like Red Dead Redemption 2 and, well, the entirety of Final Fantasy. That's right, the entire Final Fantasy series is missing from a platform that advertises itself based on the ability to play your PC library wherever you go. 

Either way, even if Nvidia GeForce Now is missing all of these games, the fact that you can use your existing Steam, Origin or Epic Games Store accounts means that there are thousands more titles than Google Stadia offers - a service that's currently stuck at 27 available games. 

We're not sure when or if the missing games will make their way onto Nvidia's nascent-but-still-somehow-ancient game streaming service, but we reached out to Team Green for comment, and we'll update this article as soon as we hear anything. 

What happened to all the RTX games?

Even though they've been out for awhile, there are three games that serve as an excellent showcase of what ray tracing powered by Nvidia Turing technology could be capable of: Metro Exodus, Control and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Right now, the only one of those games that are available on GeForce Now is Metro Exodus. 

And, we don't mean to knock Metro Exodus - it's a fantastic game and an even better showcase of technology - but the lack of Control and Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn't a great look. Back when we tested ray tracing in Control with a bunch of Nvidia RTX cards, we were blown away by what this technology could do. 

Before Control, in fact, we thought that ray tracing was a neat little gimmick that looked cool, but wasn't absolutely necessary. If any game out there makes the case that ray tracing is, like Nvidia wants us to believe, the future - it's Remedy's Control. 

Nvidia GeForce Now could have easily been an excellent way to give folks that couldn't afford an expensive Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 a way to actually live in Nvidia's ray traced future without breaking open the piggy bank. It's entirely possible that this early lack of ray tracing heavy hitters is only temporary while Nvidia works out licensing agreements, but it's still an odd way to launch the service. 

If you do subscribe to GeForce Now and want to experience ray tracing, you can still do it through games like Metro Exodus, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Deliver Us the Moon. And that's definitely more than the zero ray-traced games that Google Stadia has. 

Look, as time goes on and more PC games adopt ray tracing, this will likely be much less of an issue. But as it stands right now, some of the best ray traced games aren't on the platform, and we hope they find their way onto GeForce Now as soon as possible.  

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.