Give your eyes a treat with our pick of the top 4K games
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One struggle to always hit the coveted 1080p Full HD at 60fps. As a result, PC gaming is sneaking ahead with 4K UHD.
Playing games at a stunning 4K 3,840 x 2,160p resolution on a 16:9 panel is the stuff of dreams, but you’ll need to open up the wallet if you’re serious about going 4K with your rig. Once you’ve made the investment, though, there are plenty of games available to make the most of it.
Related: What is 4K TV and UHD?
What do you need to go 4K?
A 4K monitor or TV
The market for 4K monitors and TVs has come a long way in the past year. On the monitor front, there are plenty of options available from the likes of Dell, Asus and AOC. For 4K TVs, you’re spoilt for choice – even if they can cost a pretty penny.
Head to our roundup of the best 4K UHD TVs for some top tips on picking a panel, or our roundup of the best monitors for some great 4K gaming.
A top-notch GPU or two
If you want to achieve a buttery smooth 60fps at a 4K resolution, you’ll have to opt for an SLI or CrossFire setup.
The two best single-card solutions for 4K gaming at 60fps at the moment are the Nvidia Titan X, retailing for a whopping £920, or the Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, which costs around £600.
A two-card SLI setup is better. Here we’d recommend a pair of Nvidia GTX 980s, which you’ll be able to pick up for around £800.
Games, games and more games
Of course, you can’t have a 4K PC rig without some games to play on it. Here’s our pick of the eight games you need to experience in 4K Ultra HD.
Related: Best Games 2015
1. Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V landed on PC back in April, and it’s one of the best games to experience in the full 4K resolution.
It offers a huge range of customisation options, including configurable settings for texture quality, shaders, tessellation and more. But all of that falls into the dust when you play at 4K.
Even at Full HD at 1080p/60fps on our gaming rig at home, GTA V on PC wipes the floor with the Xbox One and PS4 versions. Ramp that up to 4K, and everything becomes extra special.
Everyone should have the opportunity to step off the cable car on a 4K Mount Chiliad, or bask in the serene views below of Blaine County and Los Santos.
Buy Now: GTA V at Amazon.com from $59.99
Related: Best GTA V Mods
2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Okay, so Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might be a little old, but that doesn’t stop it supporting – and looking fantastic – in 4K.
Everyone who’s played Skyrim will know that it’s a great-looking game, regardless of platform. The varying landscape across the nine holds and its epic realism make for a visually impressive title.
We’d recommend the Skyrim Ultra HD texture pack as a mod, or you could try Skyrim HD – 2K Textures, which has a number of 4K textures, despite its name.
Buy Now: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at Amazon.com from $20
Related: Best PC Games 2015
3. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Although Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is going to have the edge on last year’s CoD, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is certainly a graphically intense game – even on the Xbox One and PS4.
Dial up the graphics to 4K, however, and you’ll see what the game is really capable of.
You’ll never have seen Kevin Spacey look so realistic – except for in real life, that is.
Related: Best 4K TVs 2015
4. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
The PC version of Shadow of Mordor features an optional, Ultra HD texture pack that requires a whopping 6GB of memory for optimal performance. But by golly is it worth it.
Locating the file is a bit of a mission, but there’s now a Steam URL for easy access.
The attention to detail in the Ultra texture mode is stunning, especially when you get up close and personal with buildings and foliage. It’s one of our favourite games to play in 4K.
Buy Now: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.com from $17
Related: Best Monitors 2015
5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Possibly the best game to arrive in 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looks amazing, no matter what platform you’re playing it on. We dread to think how many photos we’ve taken of Geralt and Roach staring off into the sunset.
But in 4K it’s another beast altogether. We’ve never seen the waters of Novigrad sparkle so, or the Skellige islands look so imposing. The mist drifts across the hills in the dawn light – we could wax lyrical about 4K Witcher 3 for hours.
It would be better if you just tried it for yourself.
Buy Now: The Witcher 3 at Amazon.com from $25
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Related: Witcher 3 tips and tricks
6. Tomb Raider
Ahead of the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider, we suggest you revisit the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot in 4K – just to get yourself excited.
We’re always distracted by the way the rain runs down Lara’s face in 4K, and how her ponytail flicks in the wind.
It’s a great game made even better in 4K. We challenge you to find a better-looking Tomb Raider.
Related: PS4 vs Xbox One
7. Project Cars
4K isn’t only about sprawling landscapes and skin textures. There’s nothing better than seeing the sun glint off the back of a supercar, or watching the rain droplets run down the windscreen as you pelt round the track at 100mph.
And our favourite racer in which to experience 4K? It has to be Project Cars.
This is the way that Project Cars is meant to be played – it’s just drop-dead gorgeous. It puts all other racers in the dust when it comes to graphics – even the stunning Forza Horizon 2.
Related: Metal Gear Solid 5 tips and tricks
8. Metal Gear Solid V
With this the last game made by Hideo Kojima, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t play Metal Gear Solid V. And, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t experience it in 4K either.
What could be better than seeing fresh blood glisten on Snake’s face, watching an ultra-realistic goat being yanked into the sky via Fulton, or experiencing a 4K sandstorm.
It’s one of the best games of all time, and 4K serves as the best reminder of that.
What games do you think are a must play in 4K let us know in the comments below.