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Your earliest memory saying, "games can't look better than this!"


Oct 28, 2017
Probably Tekken 3.

I went from having a SNES to a PS1 with Tekken 3 and it was mind blowing


Oct 26, 2017
I've never quite thought graphics would 'never get better' but there have certainly been some impressive plateaus along the way that stood tall among their peers of the time.

Quake is sort of an obvious one for the old heads, but the turn of the milenium saw some crazy jumps all within the span of a few years.

We got the 'huge' open spaces of Ocarina of Time in 98.
The 'photorealistic' graphics of shenmue shown off in 99.
Also in 99 was Soul Calibur on Dreamcast. First example in my mind of a home game looking and running better than the arcade version.
Then the insane stuff the Xbox was putting out in 2001 like Dead or Alive 3.

So much changed so fast. Doom 3 came a few years later with their crazy lighting models, and Crysis 1 a few years past that.

As far as current games go, I don't know if I've had my socks blown off since the first Uncharted. A combination of newer performance capture tech and some real tech wizardry with the PS3 led to a perceived leap in quality. Now so many games use it its become standard, but it's so jarring to go back to the 'old' hand animated cutscenes. I feel like this is the standard going forward, where newer and creative techniques will be used to push the medium forward in percievably larger steps.

Castor Archer

Jan 8, 2019
Halo 3, zooming in on wall and ground textures and seeing more detail blew my 12 year old mind. I never noticed that Halo CE did the same thing.
Oct 27, 2017
I think Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. The smoothness, the colors and the image quality with a RGB cable on a CRT was A M A Z I N G


Oct 25, 2017
Resident Evil Remake for Gamecube is my earliest memory of claiming games can't look any better. I continued headstrong with that thought for a long time, too. While REmake is certainly a beautiful game, I think I championed it as having the best visuals for far too long. I recall even arguing as much well into the PS3 life-cycle.
This. Kept cynically telling myself they were rendered screenshots, then I played it.


Oct 27, 2017
Maybe this isn't really the answer this thread is looking for, but I can't really remember thinking this at all, but instead thinking:

"How could a video game possibly even look like this? What am I seeing?"

When I played Mario 64 for the first time at some random expo in Toronto in the mid 90s. Up to that point I'd never seen a 3D game, I had only played NES and played a lot of Super Nintendo (never played or had even heard of Star Fox though). Even my parents who were with me at the time (I was pretty young) were blown the fuck away. My dad couldn't believe it - and you bet your ass we got an N64 for Christmas that year.


Oct 25, 2017
Not my earliest but some of the most notable (for me) Uncharted 2. and God Of War 3. I expected ps3 era to just have games that ran and looked a bit better than ps2, graphically as a kid (i know) I was blown away when i saw LAIR. so it was probably that one or heavenly sword to be honest

edit: tried to play the ps3 version of uncharted 2 a year or so ago but ive since been spoiled with the collection on ps4.


Oct 27, 2017
Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast. It turns out that 60FPS on a 3D game was such a novelty after most of PSX and N64 sorry ass sub-20 FPS stuttery messes that it truly felt like games could never look better than that.
It wasn't 60 fps on dreamcast, it targeted 30 fps. However I agree that the image quality we got compared with N64 / PS1 was a huge leap.

My holy shit moment was with F-18 Interceptor on the Amiga 500. Was my introduction to polygons / 3D. My mind was blown to little pieces.


Oct 27, 2017
I can't remember thinking exactly like that with ingame visuals. Maybe when I witnessed pre rendered cutscenes on PS1, especially in later games like Final Fantasy 8 and 9, Resident Evil 3 etc. I thought and dreamed games might look that good in the far future, many console generations later.

These days, I think there is always huge room for improvements. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different technical aspects in video games. I think even the best looking games, like The Order, Naughty Dog games of this generation, Horizon etc. will look somewhat dated in the future. It might take a longer time than with other, visually less impressive games, but still. Look At the visually best games of PS3. Yes, they still look fantastic, especially in their Remastered PS4 versions, but take a look at the visual difference between the first Last of Us and Uncharted 4, or Last Of US 2. It's a massive jump, and the first Last Of Us game looks noticeable less impressive, next to the PS4 graphic kings. Hardware gets better, tools are getting advanced, new and creative techniques are getting developed by smart developers etc. If you have a little knowledge about how things do work, and a little bit of imagination, you will realize that the possibilities are almost endless.


Oct 25, 2017
Mario 64 easily.
That was the first and only time I said
“This is impossibly pretty how will it ever get better”

the move froM
2D to 3D was profound !!


Oct 25, 2017
Halo 2, 3, ODST, REACH, 4 all did this to me as well. say what you will about 4 but shit looked like I was getting a next gen game on current gen consoles in 2012 (especially compared to black ops 2 which i believe released the week after)


Oct 28, 2017
I've actually never said this...even back in the days of SNES/GENS, I was thinking to myself that games would progress until we had 100% recreation of what we see through our eyes in the real world. Even then, when we reach that point where visual fidelity matches real life and the graphics race is over, the question might shift to "games can't feel/taste/smell/etc. any better than this", because why not chase gaming that stimulates your other senses as well?


Oct 25, 2017
Super Mario Bros. Up until that point I'd never seen anything more advanced than an Atari 2600.

I think the next big jump was Myst when I rented a 3DO. The game actually scared the hell out of me because it looked so much more realistic than anything I'd played before, plus the idea of a game where nothing was gonna jump out and kill you was practically a foreign concept.

I also remember seeing footage of Mechwarrior 2 on TV, the tech program in question was presenting cutscene footage as actual gameplay and my mind was absolutely fucking blown to bits by it. At that point I knew PCs were more advanced than consoles but that kind of a jump seemed absolutely insane to me. I was pretty disappointed when I finally got Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries and it was a lot of blocky polygons, but I still loved the game. Wasn't that many more years before games had caught up to MW2 cutscene quality, at least.

I guess I had the typical starry-eyed view of FMV games early on, I mean, it's REAL LIFE, can't look better than that. But when I got access to a bunch of them on the PC I realized they mostly weren't that impressive. Rebel Assault 2 was an exception though, I thought it looked incredible at the time.


Nov 27, 2017
When playing on the GameCube I was thinking that. Welp, we don't need any more power, all games pretty much look like Toy Story now. In hindsight, I was somewhat in line with what Nintendo was thinking and so went from GameCube to Wii (innovating in other areas).

Gears of War (the gen after Xbox/PS2/GCN) shook things up quite a bit though. That was an 'oh...!' moment.

To be fair, games don't look that much different nowadays compared to Gears of War 1. Sure the scope is bigger (the fighting game excuse) with the open worlds and more pixels on screen, but to me they look similar. I think the only real next-gen jump would be towards VR where a lot more horse power is needed. I don't really care for ray tracing or more pixels. I wonder if it's different for people born with 20/20 eyes. I'm slightly near sighted but I don't think the world is uglier without my glasses. I just need it to read.


Oct 27, 2017
Luigi’s Mansion for GameCube comes to mind. The fact that you could see dust particles with the flashlight was incredible to me. Also the cloth physics when suctioning with the vacuum


Oct 27, 2017
Powell, Ohio
Not the game itself, but I remember watching the pre-rendered intro to Tekken 2 when my brother-in-law said, "I can't wait until games actually look like that"

And I was like, "it won't happen, that's a pre-rendered movie and has anti-aliasing, that doesn't happen real-time in a game engine"

Yeah, we've blown was past that now.


Dec 28, 2017
I'm not sure of the earliest moment I had this thought, but this topic has reminded me of a time when I was reading Official PlayStation Magazine and was floored by some Gran Turismo 4 screenshots. I remember showing my mum and saying something like, "This is a game! Not real life! It's a GAME"

She wasn't bothered.


Gotham's Finest
Oct 28, 2017
Possibly games like Final Fantasy VII and VIII with their CG cutscenes.


Oct 27, 2017
I remember playing Shadow of the Colossus and wondering to myself:

"Do we really need something better than this? This is already breathtaking."


Oct 25, 2017
I got me a Game Cube and Resident Evil 4 after a 5 year gaming break.

I could't believe how good it looked. Before that i was used to ps1 level gfx.


Oct 27, 2017
Tomb Raider. The first fully 3D game I played. I couldn't believe my eyes. Last game that gave me this feeling was RDR2.


Oct 30, 2017
I don’t ever remember thinking that but I do remember a period in the late 80s when were more about the art style and not trying to be realistic... it was just not possible to even get close. The race to realism for people really sucked some magic out of gaming for me.
Dec 6, 2017
Tomb Raider. The first fully 3D game I played. I couldn't believe my eyes. Last game that gave me this feeling was RDR2.
Actually, the scope of its 3D levels blew my mind back then. It wasn't just a visual gimmick but a real gameplay component, like it was tangibly 3D somehow. I remember this being a big thing in general in gaming mags etc. at the time.


Aug 10, 2019
The Hoth level of Shadows of the Empire. The rest of the game was ugly as sin but those AT-AT’s looked like they came straight from the film...

They look like shit now.