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.

Games used for PC benchmarking

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.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloperSale
Crysis 2007-11-13 Action & Shooter Crytek 80% Read more
Crysis Remastered 2021-09-17 Shooter Crytek Read more
Borderlands 3 2020-04 Action RPG Gearbox Software 78% Read more
HITMAN 2 2018-11-13 Action IO Interactive 86% Read more
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 2016-08-23 RPG Eidos Montreal 85% Read more
Total War: WARHAMMER 2016-05-24 Strategy Creative Assembly 82% Read more
Total War: WARHAMMER II 2017-09-28 Strategy Creative Assembly 78% Read more
Middle-earth: Shadow of War 2017-10-10 Adventure Monolith Productions 87% Read more
Forza Horizon 4 2018-10-02 Racing 73% Read more
Watch Dogs: Legion 2020-10-29 Action Ubisoft 71% Read more
Grand Theft Auto V 2015-04-14 Adventure Rockstar North 68% Read more
Red Dead Redemption 2 2019-11-05 Adventure Rockstar Games 61% Read more
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 2018-09-14 Adventure SQUARE ENIX 79% Read more
Horizon Zero Dawn | Complete Edition 2020-08-07 Adventure 71% Read more
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla 2020-11-10 Action RPG Ubisoft 58% Read more
FIFA 22 2021-10-01 Sports EA Canada 47% Read more
Bioshock Infinite 2013-03-25 RPG Irrational Games 85% Read more
Diablo 3 Battlechest 2016-11-28 Adventure Blizzard Entertainment 40% Read more
RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard 2017-01-23 Horror CAPCOM CO., LTD. 78% Read more
Battlefield V 2018-11-20 First-Person DICE 77% Read more

Borderlands 3

Release: 2020-04
Developer: Developer
Genre: Genres
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • A satisfying, long-awaited sequel
  • Memorable main cast
  • Tons and tons of guns, including powerful uniques
  • The story takes places on several planets, so you get your own spaceship-base

Hitman 2

Release: 2018-11-13
Developer: IO Interactive
Genre: Action
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • Sandbox maps: you can complete your contract however you want
  • Inherently replayable
  • You can create and share custom assignments
  • The story continues in Hitman 3

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Release: 2018-09-14
Developer: Developer
Genre: Adventure
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • The plot involves stopping the accidentally started apocalypse
  • More tombs to explore than ever before in the reboots
  • Hub-based open world
  • Deadly challenges and brutal enemies

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Release: 2016-08-23
Developer: Developer
Genre: Genres
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

A sequel to the prequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place two years after the historic events which happened at the end of DE: Human Revolution.

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.

Key features
  • Immersive cyberpunk world
  • You can unlock and upgrade powerful cybernetic augmentations
  • Set mainly in Prague, but takes detours to London and Dubai
  • Set 2 years after the previous game

Total War: Warhammer (series)

Release: 2017-09-28
Developer: Creative Assembly
Genre: Genres
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • Huge battles between fantasy armies
  • Excellent unit design takes straight from Warhammer Fantasy
  • You can merge the maps between instalments for a humongous campaign
  • A mix of great free and paid DLC adding new armies and heroes

Middle-Earth: Shadows of War

Release: 2017-10-10
Developer: Monolith Productions
Genre: Adventure
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

Following up on its predecessor’s cliffhanger ending, Shadow of War is bigger, bolder, broader than Shadow of Mordor.

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.

Key features
  • Responsive, fluid combat inspired by the FreeFlow system from Batman Arkham
  • Several large regions filled with collectibles and enemies
  • The Nemesis system was greatly expanded
  • Interesting DLCs showing the stories of major character you meet as Talion

Forza Horizon 4

Release: 2018-10-02
Developer:
Genre: Racing
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • Hundreds of cars
  • Tense races through beautiful locations
  • An open world map with a compressed, “best of” version of Great Britain
  • Multiplayer for even 72 players

Watch Dogs: Legion

Release: 2020-10-29
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Courtesy of Danu Hariosutejo

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.

Key features
  • Interesting approach to NPCs
  • Great recreation of many London locations
  • Built-in benchmark helps you prepare your PC for populated streets
  • Hack London and clear the reputation of the DedSec hacktivist group

Grand Theft Auto V

Release: 2015-04-14
Developer: Rockstar North
Genre: Adventure
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • Three playable protagonists with different specializations
  • Large open world
  • Extensive Online segment
  • Engaging story

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release: 2019-11-05
Developer: Rockstar Games
Genre: Adventure
Built-in benchmark: ✔️

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.

Key features
  • Interesting, character-driven main story, a prequel to RDR1
  • An incredible number of things to do outside of the main story
  • Gorgeous landscapes and detailed locations
  • You can also play it in multiplayer in Red Dead Online

Get stable framerates with a few simple clicks!

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.