What are your favorite graphics engines?

I was watching the Digital Foundry video about CDPR moving to UE5 from Red Engine, and about how maybe it wasnt such a great move.

Historically the Red Engine was pretty unoptimised on CPUs if I remember rightly. The Witcher had alot of frame rate issues, and was seen as one of those games that stressed CPUs. Now with Cyberpunk, the Red Engine is ridiculously optimised now, and yet the UE5 is poorly optimised.

So with that in mind, what do people think are the best engines, and why?

The ones I rate are. Red Engine - Optimised engine with excellent RT. IE9 - Highly optimised engine Idtech 7 - Highly optimised engine Forzatech - Highly optimised, and now capable of more than just racing games. Rage Engine - RDR2. Say no more RE Engine - Great engine. Cryengine -Still capable of delivering stunning looking games. Northlight Engine - Its adopted alot of new tech in RT and Mesh Shaders before alot of others have. 4A Engine - Stunning looking RT effects on even consoles.

And of course, the in-house engines used by Sonys studios such as, Naughty Dog, SMS, Insomniac and GG. The Sony studios really got their game engines sorted out with the PS3, which demanded they be good at optimisation across multiple cores and SPUs. The lessons they learnt busting their arses on the PS3, have really helped them with the consoles that came after.

As an outlier, I do rate Asobos engine, which can produce stunning looking games like A Plague Tale (stands up to the best that Sonys studios can put out) and Flight Sim, but its not as optimised on the CPU front as some of the others.

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It’s hard to say really because if you want a powerful engine that’s equipped to do many different things then UE is going to be the best, it’s what it’s designed for and why so many people use it, it obviously has it’s issues but would these other engines not if they were trying to cover as many genres and systems as UE does?

Meanwhile you have other studio specific engines that put out amazing looking and performing games like iD tech, Insomniac’s Engine, Decima with Guerilla/Kojima etc they all look amazing but when they are being used on such a small scale it’s hard to say how good they actually are or if they aren’t equipped to make very different types of games

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If we go by sure number of gamers, any and all Xbox engines are top notch. How can you argue with the results, where there are millions of gamers?


Bingo - argumentum ad populum at its finest :wink:

Tacking on, I tend to dislike these discussions for two reasons:

  • Most gamers have no clue what an engine does, less have the ability to talk with any semblance of understanding, and fewer have any actual coding/dev experience to say with any degree what is “good” or “bad” about an engine.
  • There is no “best engine” because there’s not a single engine that can do everything, including the world’s most ubiquitous middleware engines like Unreal and Unity, There’s a reason Fable ditched Unreal Engine to begin with, for example. Middleware engines have come a long way and are fantastic for plenty of devs across a variety of budget/scope, but there are plenty of examples where proprietary engines were better suited.

Point is, unless you can tell me where exactly “Asobo’s engine” starts working and ForzaTech isn’t involved in Flight Sim (not sure OP realized that game uses multiple graphics engines), I don’t think this conversation as it’s been posed has any merit. Now if you were to say “what’s your favorite engine” or something akin to that line of thinking, there would be something there that doesn’t rely on the same level of knowledge and removes the argumentative elements.


Xplainin, I think you’ve actually demonstrated that there are a lot of good engines out there and that particular games really make them shine.

Around 20 years ago I wrote an article for my university computer science department’s magazine about making music on the computer. Which was still pretty early at that time. I don’t think Fruity Loops was even out at that point. But still there were a handful of options and they were all unique in their own way. I tried to answer a common question, “which DAW should I use?” and so what I said was: You could start off by choosing one used by your favorite musicians or the one commonly used in the genre you want to make. But ultimately the quality of your music boils down to your knowledge and experience of that particular tool. And you can get so good to the point where people will want to use the DAW you use because your productions sound so great.

I think the same holds true for game engines. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and ultimately it’s the knowledge and experience that you (or development teams) have that would really make it shine.

I look at Halo Infinite now and I’m actually really impressed by some of the visuals of all the newer content because of their growing familiarity with the engine. When it launched with maps like Fragmentation I wasn’t too impressed. But then they added Oasis and it looked incredible. Live Fire is serviceable, but Forest looks amazing. Forbidden, one of the most recent additions, does look rather simple but the combination of the lighting, artistic choices, and texture work make a simple layout look very, very good. So it goes beyond the technical ability aspect and delves into the familiarity with the tools that the artists have to really make it shine.


Unity is horrible, I know when I see unity then the game will runa nd look like crap.

I thing UE5 will be the best game engine soon. Already games like Robocop, The Invincible show that small devs can get a leap frog jump in graphics with UE5, 2 of the best looking games this gen just came out using it.

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  • Recore (post patches)
  • Deaths Door
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Cuphead

idTech, RE Engine

I still think it’s a shame that Crystal Dynamics have moved to Unreal from their engine (Foundation).

As others have said I’m not sure it’s possible to define a ‘best engine’. Take Starfield I can’t think of another game where you can practically pick up or interact with any object across hundreds of planets.

Could another engine have done it better than Creation Engine 2? Possibly. I would however like to think Bethesda know what works and what doesn’t more than you and I. Many people consider the visuals ‘ugly’ but the texture work is incredible and personally I have witnessed some mind blowing stuff in that game (visually).


I don’t know shit about shit, and even less about what makes a good or bad engine. Far be it for me to criticise, or even have an opinion on, a developer choosing to use a particular engine.

That said, I know what games I like and don’t like, and right now I’m still completely in love with Starfield and the absolutely bonkers amount of gameplay systems and variety that game contains. It truly is multiple games in one. So my vote goes to Creation Engine.


Creation Engine from Bethesda Game Studios, Decima Engine from Guerrilla Games and Snowdrop Engine from Ubisoft Massive for me.

One of the major reasons for devs switching to unreal is for atteacting and keeping quality staff.

As Unreal is the industry default, as much as it can be, most devs are both familiar with it, and like it. Alot of devs want to be proficient on UE, as it makes a more attactive CV. Take 343 and Slipspace. By all accounts it was not a fun engine to work on. MS had its 18 month cut off for contractors and so they would then have to bring new people in who would have to then spend the next few months coming to grips with Slipspace, before they really become productive. Same goes for a company outsourcing to their game, like Playground has done with Fable and Edios. The entire Edios team working on Fable have had to get aquanted with Forzatech, which then makes it a slow ramp up. If they were using UE, there would be a far quicker transistion.

Alot of devs that are really good at their jobs, and really like Unreal, they might pass over a job at 343 because they dont like what they have heard about Slipspace, and would rather go to another studios working on UE. Now, there is a variation to that, where a dev is happy to work on a new engine if its a premier studio, where it makes his CV look good, and he gets his name on the credits of it. Naughty Dogs engine is proprietary, but working with one of the most acclaimed studios, where you are going to learn from some of the absolute best, is worth it.

I am in favour of more proprietary engines, as it gives more diversity of visual experiences. Remember the Unreal engine 2 and 3 games, where they all looked the same?

One thing that does make me scratch my head is that apparenty Machine Games have chosen to run with Unreal Engine 5 for Indiana Jones, and ditch idtech, which they had used to amazing results with Wolfenstien. There has to be a reason they made that switch.

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Can you show me where it has been said that they are using UE5?

Blam/Slipspace, Creation Engine, Forzatech.

Okay so you ignored the entire point of my post and disregard actual discussion to that point to spin whatever narrative you’ve wanted to since the thread started. Case and thread closed.