Nvidia recently revealed that Quake II RTX wasn’t a one-time thing, but rather it’s the start of something. The company is launching a program to remaster some beloved classics for RTX, and they’re even working on one already, not that they’ll tell us which one. Since they won’t say, it’s up to us to dream up what it might be. Here’s our list of 7 games that we’d love to see get the RTX treatment.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
This choice is a bit left-of-center, but I think it could be interesting. Morrowind was the game that came right before Oblivion in the Elder Scrolls series. For many fans of the series, it’s the last “true” Elder Scrolls game, with the series’ focus shifting from deep quests to accessible worlds when it moved to consoles.
Morrowind, though, offers a sweeping, huge open-world space. The world of Morrowind is a strange one, especially compared to the games that followed. There are sunny coastlines and entire regions where ash blots out the sky.
Morrowind is weird and big. 17 years ago, it crushed PCs. Now, it feels like a fun experiment. On top of that, Morrowind has a vibrant modders’ community that would let people further update the look with new materials and almost certainly with further RTX tweaks.
Max Payne (2001)
Like Morrowind, Max Payne was once a graphical powerhouse and the game that put Finnish game studio Remedy on the map for weird storytelling and exhilarating gunplay. This game is significantly more focused and linear than some of the titles on our list, but it has its share of interesting visuals. It would be a great way to focus on interior light sources when indoors, and to experiment with snow in an RTX rendering environment when outside.
Bullet Time happens to be perfect for admiring great graphics, too. And maybe we can throw an RTX remaster of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne in there for good measure.
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Half-Life 2 is the game that immediately jumped to mind when I started thinking about this. The game that launched Steam is on the very short list of truly iconic PC games. It features a variety of environments and environment sizes. It also uses the Source engine, and showing off how RTX performs in different engines isn’t a bad idea.
It’s also one of the few games from that era that I think you could simply drop a lighting refresh into and get people thinking about spending hundreds of dollars on a new graphics card just to play it.
And then there’s BioShock. This is the newest game on the list by a bit, but it might be the one that holds up the best of these, and even from its slightly-more-contemporary peers. BioShock was a game filled with incredible environmental art that looks great.
The underwater setting, though, feels like a perfect pick for RTX. You get the smaller space of an indoor environment mixed with all kinds of water mixed in. Some to play with reflections, others to filter lighting through. BioShock on RTX might be my personal most-wanted on this list.
Far Cry (2004)
The first of two “Cry” games on this list, Far Cry was the first “Cry” game made by Crytek. It was ambitious at the time, too, putting in place all the pieces we expect from a Far Cry game even today. A displaced guy with a gun in enemy territory, slowly trying to take it back. Wild environments to sneak around in and vehicles to crash around in.
At the time, this game had absolutely massive draw-distances that you could peep through a pair of binoculars. With the jungle setting, you have a single source of global illumination, but countless leaves and water sources to filter it through.
No One Live Forever (2000)
And finally, I’d love to see No One Lives Forever. At the very least just because the internet would lose its collective mind if Nvidia decided to figure out the licensing part. Nvidia didn’t technically license Quake II for RTX so much as make a wrapper for it, but maybe a powerhouse company like them could figure out the licensing hell that No One Lives Forever has been stuck inside since the game released almost two decades ago.
But that’s just 7 games out of hundreds of old games. What did we miss from the 3D era?