10 games that are most often used as benchmarks

Benchmark is a specialized program, with its help you perform a performance test of a computer and its individual components. You get the results in conditional scores or in real terms like frame rate. There are synthetic benchmarks, purely theoretical: for the processor, for example, PassMark and Cinebench, for the video card – 3DMark, for the system as a whole – PCMark 10. And there are practical gaming benchmarks. Let’s say you start the game and at the same time monitor the data in the FPS Monitor. Or use the benchmark built into the game itself, usually it is placed in the menu with graphic settings.

In the new material, we have collected projects that are most often accessed by CPU and GPU reviewers. In parentheses next to the title is the year of release on the PC, as it may differ from the year of release on consoles.

Watch Dogs: Legion (2020)
Watch Dogs: Legion is the latest part of the hacker series at the moment. In it, you explore London and confront criminals, the government, terrorists, and overly aggressive PMCs. Missions can be completed in many ways, this is the “trick” of Watch Dogs. A feature of Legion was the ability to recruit any Londoner into the ranks of your group. On a mission, you possess him and use his skills accordingly. True, the statement about “any Londoner” is not entirely correct, because the characters are generated on the go from prepared templates.

WD: Legion, as is customary with Ubisoft, is equipped with a built-in benchmark. The press praises him and writes that the spread of values ​​​​after several runs is imperceptible, as it should be. For testing processors and video cards , WD: Legion is chosen because of the high requirements for hardware. So, the game needs a CPU with at least 6 threads and a GPU with 8 GB of VRAM if you want to play it in Full HD resolution.

London in the action is recreated in detail. Especially the system is loaded with reflections using ray tracing – in puddles, on cars, shop windows.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla (2020)
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla tells the story of a Viking who went to conquer England. Get ready to fight with the locals and Scandinavian neighbors, develop the settlement, sail on the drakkar and raid the coastal settlements. The world in AC: Valhalla is spacious and beautiful, the fights are spectacular and not stupid, the script provides entertaining historical details.

At the time of the premiere, AC: Valhalla functioned without problems on an average CPU, and 30 frames / s in Full HD was provided by a GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of memory. Initially, the RTX 3090 did not “pull out” 60 frames / s in 4K, but NVIDIA promptly updated the graphics driver, so that the RTX 3080 could also achieve this milestone. There is no doubt: manufacturers optimize drivers for popular games in tests in the first place.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

The disadvantage of the built-in benchmark in AC: Valhalla is that it takes about a minute to launch it and exit to the menu. The test itself lasts one and a half minutes. On the other hand, this is a trifle compared to the AC: Odyssey benchmark (2018): there, due to the effects of rain and thunderclouds, performance could drop by 20%, which negatively affected the accuracy of the results.

Game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (PS5)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar’s masterpiece, a transition between Grand Theft Auto 5 and the next GTA, which the company finally confirmed in early February 2022. Gamers appreciate RDR 2 for its believable simulation of the world, the abundance of small details and masterfully written dialogues.

A place in the tests RDR 2 knocked out for itself due to its mass character. It has sold over 39 million copies. But the built-in benchmark has something to blame: the run takes more than five minutes. You will have to spend half an hour or an hour if you want to find out the real performance of your system.

Horizon: Zero Dawn (2020)
Horizon: Zero Dawn is a post-apocalyptic action game about the hunter Aloy. Although the action takes place in the future, people live in primitive tribes. Metal beasts pacing here and there remind of the former civilization. Aloy fights with mechanical predators.

After the debut of Horizon: Zero Dawn on PS4, talk did not subside that she “squeezed” the maximum out of the console. On PC, the action has also appeared in all its glory, becoming one of the most demanding games of 2020. To run, for example, you need 16 GB of RAM and a video card, preferably with 8 GB of memory, otherwise you will encounter visual defects. As for the processor, Horizon: Zero Dawn has something to occupy even the top models.

By the way, don’t miss the sequel – Horizon: Forbidden West (PS4, PS5). Release date is February 18th.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the finale of the modern tomb raider trilogy. Miss Croft travels across South America in an attempt to stop her own apocalypse.

The creators of the trilogy from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal have always tried to impress the audience with graphics. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, they have adopted, among other things, the rendering of shadows using ray tracing.

The game includes a handy benchmark. It contains three scenes separated by black screens. All of them are loaded: either with light sources, or with vegetation, or with characters. You can launch the next test directly from the results screen, just like in Forza Horizon 4 – it would be like that everywhere!

Hitman 3 (2021)
In Hitman 3, as before, you control Agent 47, a master of disguise and a silent killer. The variability is off scale: they offer to replay missions in a variety of ways.

IO Interactive provided the stealth action with a decent benchmark. You can test your computer for strength by running a level in Dartmoor (UK) or Dubai (UAE) in the benchmark. On Dartmoor, an estate awaits you with exploding statues, falling chandeliers, and so on. In Dubai, the bet is not on the physics of destruction and particle effects, but on the demonstration of crowds of NPCs.

Control (2019)
In Control, Remedy digressed from the adventures of Max Payne and Alan Wake. The main character, Jessie Faden, is brought into a miracle building in Manhattan, where she encounters all sorts of paranormal phenomena.

Control pleases with “grafon”, especially with ray tracing enabled, which affects global illumination, shadows and reflections. It is also distinguished from competitors by its impressive destructibility. Before such “iron” publications can not resist.


Total War: Three Kingdoms (2019)
Total War: Three Kingdoms is dedicated to the feudal wars in China from the beginning of our era. Like previous releases of the strategy series, it offers large-scale battles and a pretty picture.

Achieving 60 fps on “ultra” in Full HD is really only on a computer with a Core i7-8700K and GTX 1080/RTX 2060. At the same time, 8 GB of RAM is enough.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Total War has been a frequenter of PC tests for many years now, Three Kingdoms has taken over the baton out of habit. In the game you will find two built-in benchmarks: one simulates a battle, the second – a global map.

Don’t forget about Total War: Warhammer 3. It will be available on February 17th.

Metro: Exodus (2019)
Metro: Exodus is the story of the Spartans’ desperate dash from Moscow to Lake Baikal on the Aurora train. The profile press and gamers greeted the shooter warmly. This confirms the average score of the PC version on Metacritic – 82/100.

Metro Exodus game (Xbox Series X) 2 999 *
The brainchild of 4A Games is known for its serious requests for hardware, including without ray tracing. The built-in benchmark runs separately – find the benchmark.exe file in the game folder, click on it and select the graphic preset that suits you. During the test, the camera flies in and out of the room, you observe fire and weather effects. This benchmark can be safely called a stress test. As you progress through the game, your framerate will be slightly higher.

Metro: Exodus

Resident Evil: Village (2021)
Resident Evil: Village continues the line started in RE7 with a first-person perspective and Ethan Winters in the title role. Noticeable differences from the seventh part are more emphasis on gunfights and the open nature of locations. The horror action game owes its popularity to getting into the “hardware” tests. Well, Lady Dimitrescu could not do without magic.

Resident Evil: Village

In RE: Village, many video cards take the bar to 60 fps in 1080p. However, in 4K at “maximum speed” it is no longer so easy, you need to have more than 8 GB of video memory on board. No wonder AMD took part in the promotion of RE: Village – to spur sales of 12 and 16 GB cards.

Let’s summarize. CPU / GPU reviewers choose games because of their “voracity”, mass character and the convenience of built-in benchmarks. You can also take into account the above top when checking a newly assembled computer or new components. It is better to spend money on a game with a built-in benchmark than to buy a specialized application. However, sometimes you don’t even need to spend money, as in the case of the Final Fantasy 14 benchmark. And finally: remember that there is no universal set of projects for tests, another worthy contender constantly appears, like the recent God of War and the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo.

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