Half-Life - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

The best shooters endure. While other genres warp beyond recognition, there is something solid about the first-person shooter that makes it as dependable as a nice big AK-47. Maybe it s the gung-ho simplicity – look down a barrel and pull the trigger. It’s as fun to fire a double-barrelled shotgun from an early 90s FPS as the slick shotties of today. For that reason, this list runs the gamut from genre classics to those released in the last year. There’s bound to be something for you in this, our list of the best 50 FPS games on PC. Let s lock and/or load.

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QUAKE II - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

Whatever your feelings are on Quake II RTX, it looks like it won’t be the only classic PC game getting Nvidia’s fancy pants ray tracing treatment. A recently posted job ad for Nvidia’s Lightspeed Studios has revealed a new “game remastering program” that aims to bring “some of the greatest titles from the past decades […] into the ray tracing age”. There’s no word yet on exactly what games they’re remastering at the moment, but the first will apparently be a game “you know and love”.

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Quake III Arena


Welcome to another week of Five of the Best, a series where we celebrate the overlooked parts of video games, like hands! And potions! And dinosaurs! And shops! They're the kinds of things etched unwittingly into memory, like an essential ingredient of a favourite dish you could never put a finger on. And I want to spark discussion, so please share memories as they flash into your mind. Today, another five. The topic...

Health pick-ups! Oh how very specific - but I need to be. I'm not talking about health systems but the things you pick up to heal yourself. Used to be all games did it this way, but then Halo came along with its recharging health and all of a sudden everyone wanted the same. Now that feels like the norm.

But there are old-fashioned health systems out there (and they'll probably take offence at being called old-fashioned, so I'm sorry, I don't mean it in a bad way!). I still see Overwatch health packs when I close my eyes at night, and potions, which I've written a whole Five of the Best on, are a dime a dozen in RPGs. They're still out there, still crucial to how we get through games.

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QUAKE II - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

It’s Gamescom this week, which can only mean one thing – more confirmed ray tracing games for Nvidia’s RTX and selected GTX 16-series graphics cards. Indeed, the big one that’s just been announced is Minecraft, which (like Quake II RTX) is getting full, real-time ray tracing support for everything from water reflections to its entire lighting system. That’s not all, though. Dying Light 2 will also be getting real-time ray tracing, while Tencent’s freshly-announced action survival game Synced: Off-Planet will be getting ray-traced reflections and shadow support.

In truth, the number of games on this list that you can actually play with ray tracing enabled right this second is still pretty small. A lot of the confirmed RTX games you’ll see below still haven’t received their promised ray tracing and performance-boosting DLSS support, so this is more of a complete ‘this is how many games will have it eventually’ kind of thing than ‘these are all the games you can play with ray tracing right now’. Still, if you’re currently on the fence about buying one of Nvidia’s RTX or RTX Super graphics cards as opposed to the new AMD Navi GPUs, this guide should hopefully help you decide whether ray tracing is something worth investing in. Here’s every confirmed ray tracing and DLSS game we know about so far.

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Quake III Arena - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

One of the last of the Id Software old guard is parting company with the studio soon. Tim Willits wasn’t part of the original team of founders, but was there early enough to be credited as level designer on 1995’s Ultimate Doom and have a credit in almost everything since. After working as a designer and creative director on the likes of Quake, Doom 3 and Rage, and acting as studio director through the release of Rage 2, he’s left a mark on the FPS genre as we know it. After QuakeCon next week he’ll say his goodbyes and announce his plans for the future.

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QUAKE II - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

The number of confirmed ray tracing games for [cms-block] and selected GTX graphics cards has just got a little bit longer. With E3 2019 in full swing, Nvidia have confirmed that both Watch Dogs Legion and the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will also be getting full ray tracing support, and in the case of Call of Duty, adaptive shading support as well.

That ray tracing games list is still pretty small, admittedly, and the number of games you can find it in right now> can almost be counted on a single hand. Indeed, a lot of confirmed RTX games are yet to receive their ray tracing and performance-boosting DLSS support, so the list below is more of a complete ‘this is how many games will have it eventually’ kind of thing than ‘these are all the games you can play with ray tracing right this very second’. Still, if you’re currently on the fence about buying one of Nvidia’s RTX 2060, RTX 2070, RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards as opposed to one of the new [cms-block] GPUs, this guide should hopefully help you decide whether ray tracing is something worth investing in. Here’s every confirmed ray tracing and DLSS game we know about so far.

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QUAKE II

For the past several months, Nvidia has been adding a fresh coat of ray-traced paint to Quake 2, which originally released way back in 1997. It is now available to download and play for free, in part or in whole, depending on whether you already own the original game or not.

Anyone who already owns Quake 2 can play the ray-traced remaster in its entirety at no cost. For everyone else, the first three levels are free. If you want to keep playing, you'll have to shell out a modest $4.99 to buy the original game, which then unlocks the complete RTX version.

Even though Quake 2 is more than two decades old, the official ray-traced version is taxing on graphics hardware. The RTX version uses path tracing to render almost everything on the screen, giving it "the highest workload of any ray-traced game released to date."

That means you can't play it with a GTX card, even though Nvidia adding ray tracing support to Turing and Pascal-based GTX variants. To play it, you will need a GeForce RTX 2060 or higher RTX graphics card, along with an Intel Core i3-3220 or AMD equivalent processor, 8GB of RAM, and 2GB of storage space.

Obviously a 22-year-old game with prettier visuals is the not the promised land for ray tracing, and for most people it's not reason alone to consider an RTX card. However, it's at least a nice bonus while we wait for more ray-traced games to appear. As it pertains to Quake 2 RTX, it's been upgraded with realistic reflections, refraction, shadows, and global illumination.

If you have the requisite hardware and want to check it out, you can grab Quake 2 RTX from Steam or download it directly from Nvidia.

QUAKE II - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

With the arrival of Nvidia’s new GTX ray tracing driver, the number of graphics cards that can now take advantage of the tech giant’s fancy new lighting tech has grown exponentially. In addition to the four new [cms-block] cards, everyone with a 6GB GTX 1060 and up can now get a taste of that ray tracing magic. Sort of.

Alas, the number of confirmed ray tracing games is still pretty small. There have been a couple of new, notable additions to the list in recent months, including Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, but even now the number of games you can find it in right now> can be counted on a single hand. The same goes for Nvidia’s performance-boosting DLSS tech, which is still only available on the RTX 2060, RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. So I thought I’d do the hard work for you and put everything in a nice, big list, detailing every confirmed ray tracing and DLSS game we know about so far.

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QUAKE II - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Katharine Castle)

When Nvidia showed off their ray traced Quake II demo at the beginning of the year, everyone (including our own Alec, RPS in peace) went a bit nuts for it. Despite being a heck of a lot older than all the other shiny RTX games on show, it was Quake II that really made people sit up and pay attention to what Nvidia’s new fancy pants reflection tech could really bring to the table. And now, Nvidia are releasing a full version of Quake II RTX on June 6 from GeForce.com, with the first three levels available for absolutely nothing – just like they were back in the good old shareware days.

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QUAKE II

Nvidia first showed off its remaster of Quake 2 at this year’s GDC, and you’ll be able to play it yourself June 6—provided your hardware is up to the task.

The announcement video above shows off the rocket jump forward ray tracing represents. Working with modder and Ph. D student Christoph Shied, Nvidia has replaced all the original effects in Quake 2 to create Quake 2 RTX, and it looks absolutely lovely.

Using real-time ray tracing for global illumination has meant that they’ve been able to add several new options, including the ability to select the time of day in a level. The team has also updated all of Quake 2s textures, some from the Q2XP mod pack and others they’ve enhanced themselves. 

Better yet, Nvidia will be posting the source code for Quake 2 RTX on GitHub to make it easy for modders to use this as a starting point either to enhance Quake 2 further or to use it in mods.

Nvidia says this version of Quake 2 uses path tracing to render just about everything you see on screen, which gives it “the highest workloads of any ray-traced game released to date.” Thus, the recommended system requirements are on the steep side: Nvidia recommends at least an RTX 2060 for this version of Quake 2.

Starting June 6, anyone will be able to download the first three levels of Quake 2 RTX, the same way id released the shareware version back in 1997. If you own the original Quake 2, you’ll be able to point Quake 2 RTX to your install folder and then play the full game with all the new ray-traced bells and whistles enabled.

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