Benchmarking incredibly useful if your top priority in PC gaming is squeezing out high framerates from every game without sacrificing too much image quality. There are many standalone tools to help you test the performance in games, but if you don’t feel like being a total power user, there’s no shortage of games with built-in benchmarks as well.
A major benefit is that, unlike general-purpose software, games with benchmarks take you on a custom-made tour through resource-intensive scenes, not only measuring your PC’s performance (typically through readouts of CPU and GPU strain, and a graph of FPS through time) but also giving you a look at what the game itself is like. It’s a win-win scenario.
Below we’ve collected a few games which are not only very fun to play, but also can be fairly demanding, and feature built-in benchmarks, usually easily accessible through the setting menu.
This table features plenty of games you can use to test your PC’s performance. Not all of them have built-in benchmarks, but you can absolutely use them to push your machine to the limits to check its power.
|Crysis||2007-11-13||Action & Shooter||Crytek||68%|
|Borderlands 3 | Standard Edition||2020-04||Action RPG||Gearbox Software||85%|
|HITMAN 2 Standard Edition||2018-11-13||Action||IO Interactive||79%|
|Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||2016-08-23||RPG||Eidos Montreal||86%|
|Total War: WARHAMMER||2016-05-24||Strategy||Creative Assembly||79%|
|Total War: WARHAMMER II||2017-09-28||Strategy||Creative Assembly||80%|
|Middle-earth: Shadow of War Standard Edition||2017-10-10||Adventure||Monolith Productions||92%|
|Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One, Windows 10)||2018-10-02||Racing||Playground Games||70%|
|Watch Dogs: Legion | Standard Edition||2020-10-29||Action||Ubisoft||86%|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2015-04-14||Adventure||Rockstar North||62%|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||2019-11-05||Adventure||Rockstar Games||71%|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||2018-09-14||Adventure||SQUARE ENIX||83%|
|Horizon Zero Dawn | Complete Edition||2020-08-07||Adventure||Guerrilla||78%|
|Assassin's Creed: Valhalla | Standard Edition||2020-11-10||Action RPG||Ubisoft||81%|
|FIFA 22||2021-10-01||Sports||EA Canada||54%|
|Bioshock Infinite||2013-03-25||RPG||Irrational Games||88%|
|Diablo 3 Battlechest||2016-11-28||Adventure||Blizzard Entertainment|
|RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard / BIOHAZARD 7||2017-01-23||Horror||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||83%|
The third instalment of Gearbox’s irreverent first-person shooter came in hot in 2019 and turned out to be more of the good stuff fans of the series were hoping for.
There are four characters (AKA classes), tons of procedurally generated guns, and plenty of silly jokes. You’ll also find yourself travelling between three different planets instead of being confined just to Pandora for your lead-spraying activities.
Courtesy of TechAdys301
Borderlands 3 is, as appropriate for the series, best played in 4-player co-op, but nobody will tell you to stop having fun if you play solo. The story, as usual, involves a violent hunt for a Vault which turns into a much bigger adventure than a simple loot run would demand. The spectacle of tracer fire, enemies running around, and your own powers make BL3’s benchmark quite useful.
The second installment of the World of Assassination trilogy, Hitman 2 takes Agent 47 on even more trips to picturesque locales, giving the bald contract killer more chances to don disguises and kill people in (more or less) inconspicuous ways.
Like with the previous entry, in addition to the contracts provided to you by the story, there are also optional assignments, such as the Escalation contracts.
Courtesy of AJ Nguyen Gaming
The inclusion of the Contracts mode allows players themselves to set mission parameters and inflict these missions on others. The tools at your disposal are plentiful and include finding opportunities for causing a lethal accident which leaves your hands clean. Hitman 2 isn’t usually a fast-paced game, but the maps are large, detailed, and filled with NPCs, making the built-in benchmark quite useful.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The final instalment of the rebooted Tomb Raider trilogy is set in lush areas with plenty of enemies, traps, and environmental puzzles you’ll need good reflexes to deal with.
All of these can be ruined by a sudden framerate stutter, which makes benchmarking the game a good idea. Shadow of the Tomb Raider features a hub-based open world, centered around the hidden city of Paititi.
Courtesy of IGN
If you’ve enjoyed previous instalments, then you should feel right at home in this one. You still spend a lot of time fighting and sneaking, while crafting remains a vital part of the experience. Thankfully, SotTR brought back large tombs and complex puzzles, coming closer to the classic entries in the series. There are even DLC side-stories which add MORE tombs to explore. That’s commitment.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Adam Jensen, the heavily augmented protagonist of the previous game comes back, now working for an Interpol-ran anti-terrorist task force. The world, however, has turned hostile towards people with augmentations, which causes a lot of issues.
Courtesy of JouMxyzptlk
Like a true DE game, Mankind Divided features immersive open levels with many ways of reaching your goal. The cyberpunk version of Prague is densely packed with detail, and much it is interactive: NPCs to talk to, panel to hack, boxes to toss at people, and more. As a result, the game can be resource-intensive, and especially older systems can’t hope to run it on an integrated graphics card.
Total War: Warhammer (series)
The “regular” Total War series has always been taxing enough for the PC: rendering hundreds of units interacting in every battle can test your graphics card’s limits.
When you add the spectacle of spells, magical creatures spewing bile and flame your PC’s cooling system might start working in overdrive. Thankfully, TWW games have benchmarks ready to test your system.
Courtesy of Benchmarks
Each installment of the TWW series features a different set of Warhammer species and nations, ranging from the usual humans, elves, and dwarfs (sic) to the weirder ones, like ratlike Skaven and ancient undead. While the big draw are real-time, tactical battles, the grand strategy element of maintaining your armies, conquering provinces and engaging in diplomacy is just as important.
Middle-Earth: Shadows of War
The core of the gameplay remains the same: you’re running around as a functionally immortal ranger Talion, who’s equally talented in climbing and combat. You can also still brainwash orcs to do your bidding when you want to game the uruk hierarchy to your benefit.
Courtesy of DigitAI
However, now you also get to collect loot, which might include powerful item sets. Your orc minions can grow into an army which can capture strongholds. You get new powerful abilities for both parkour and combat, and challenges to test them for a reward. You also get a benchmark, because combat can get crowded, so it’s just common sense to pick your battles and adjust setting appropriately.
Forza Horizon 4
Smooth cruising isn’t important just when you’re driving actual car. It’s also valuable when you’re playing a racing game and need stable framerates to focus on driving, instead of compensating for a framedrop-induced mistake.
Seeing how in Forza Horizon 4 you’re going to drive fast against other racers, shaving off every possible split second is going to make or break many of your victories.
Courtesy of TechRacoon
Horizon 4 might well be one of the prettiest racing games you could play on PC, featuring lovely English countryside, changing seasons, and hundreds of meticulously detailed cars. Between participating in races, you can freely explore the open world, create your own custom routes. It’s a unique way to have road trip through some of the most picturesque locations of Great Britain.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Coincidentally, Watch Dogs: Legion also takes place in Great Britain, but limits its area to a cyberpunkish London, and instead of being cars, you’re taking control of a hacker resistance members.
The neat twist is that instead of having one, preset character you’re recruiting NPCs and make them playable. Each features a unique collection of traits and quirks, some of them possibly detrimental.
Yes, that does mean you can play a hacker grandma if you can recruit one. The gameplay can be quite varied, capable of handling stealth as easily as gunfights and melee combat. The dynamic hacking element remains important, of course, letting you play all kinds of goofs on the Albion forces, inspect people you see on the streets, and gain access to places you aren’t welcome in.
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA5 is getting long in the tooth, having originally launched in 2013, but the Online segment is still running, and regardless of age the region of Los Santos remains a lively, populated, vast area for your destructive hijinks and dramatic stories.
Following the lives of three criminals: retired thief Michael, violent Trevor, and repo-man Franklin, Rockstar’s game tells a compelling crime story.
Courtesy of Will Thomas
The plot has many twists and turns and might go in different directions depending on some of your choices throughout the game, especially regarding the relations between Michael and Trevor. GTA5 is mostly played from the third-person perspective, but it also features an FPP mode, if you want the precision and immersion when you’re sightseeing Los Santos or looking for secrets.
Red Dead Redemption 2
2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2 amazed many people with its scale and level of detail, complemented by its beautiful graphics.
The price for this stunning experience is being rather taxing on the hardware, making the built-in benchmark indispensable for nailing these perfect settings. You wouldn’t want a dramatic duel ruined because your framerate stuttered, making you miss.
Courtesy of Kent Jhon
RDR2 is a game best described as sprawling. The map is massive, and littered with NPCs going about their business, animals (both docile and aggressive), and reason to go off the beaten track and start exploring for secrets and hidden stories. You could go hunting the wildlife, snapping photos with a brand-new tech, or engaging with the core story of Arthur Morgan, a bandit, but not a total scoundrel.
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This concludes our list of games which can help you test your computer without having to find suitable custom benchmarking tools. We’ve covered a few genres and playstyles, so hopefully you’ve found something that’s just a perfect fit for you, your custom PC, or perhaps your laptop if it has a decent dedicated graphics card.