Last Gen Games - Max IQ and Perf on Today's GPUs Pt. 2

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Monday , June 18, 2018

It is time once again to play some older PC games on the latest GPUs of today using the latest drivers. We pull from three 5-year-old games and one 8-year-old game today and see if we can maximize the IQ settings in those games at 1440p and 4K. The theme of the day: Older games that still hold up today in terms of IQ.


Nearly a month ago, on May 24th 2018 we debuted a unique article topic we had not explored before. The article was titled: Last Gen Games - Max IQ and Perf on Today’s GPUs. In the article we installed older games from years past from our gaming library and played them again, on today’s GPUs. The goal was to find out if we can now run certain older games at the highest IQ settings on today’s GPUs. In addition, we looked at 4K performance as a way to expand and experience old games anew.

In our original article we explained that if it went over well we could delve into this topic again, and again, choosing from a plethora of games from the past. There are a lot of older games worthy of trying out once more and seeing how those play today. It is almost a never-ending amount of games, certainly enough to keep making evaluations such as these. There is a large library dating way back we can pull from. This might be an ever-evolving article topic.

On our forums we had a lot of great feedback with many interesting game suggestions. We appreciate all the suggestions. With the exceptional feedback and interest, we decided to hit up this topic again and this time use games that were directly suggested by our readers on the forum. While we are only covering four games today, this is the type of review we can do more of in the future pulling from more games. Keep in mind that using real-world gameplay to evaluate GPU performance is very resource-intensive endeavor.

Game Selection

Today’s game selection carries a bit of a theme this time, to make it more interesting. We chose games that are both older than the games we used in the last evaluation, yet still hold up today in terms of 3D graphics forward looking features and image quality. That’s right, older games that are years old, yet still hold up today and look great. Games that were made well ahead of their time in terms of graphics. Further, most games were 2013 game releases, with one being even older in 2010.

The four games we are going to use are Crysis 3 released in 2013, Tomb Raider released in 2013, Metro 2033 released in 2010 and Metro Last Light released in 2013. Each of these games supports some kind of unique graphics feature which at the time was killer on graphics cards in terms of performance. It will be very interesting to find out how they play today and also how they play at 4K.

Testing Format

We will be using the same format as we did in our original article. We will focus on the games being playable at the highest settings at 1440p. If the games are playable at the highest IQ settings at 1440p then it is successful. We will test 4K performance, but once again we only expect the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to handle that resolution well. However, we will find what is playable at 4K on the Radeon RX Vega 64.

We are of course using only two video cards, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and AMD Radeon RX Vega 64. Once again, this review is not about comparing these two video cards to each other. They are in different performance and price classes. The goal is to look at each game and video card individually to see what is playable. We chose these video cards because these are the fastest consumer gaming graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD respectively.

The Focus of this Evaluation

Using the latest drivers our goal is to find out how each video card performs in each game, individually. Instead of comparing by video card, we are comparing by game features. This will also show you Radeon RX Vega 64 performance in older games which we have not tested yet because that GPU did not exist when these games were released. Therefore, it should also give you some new GPU performance we haven’t shown before.