The 10 Best Game Engines of This Generation

Webster's Dictionary defines a 'game engine' as 'the word you've entered isn't in the dictionary,' but if it were to define it, it would probably explain that a game engine is used as the overall architecture to develop and run a game – it gives developers tools to create the disparate elements of a videogame and then pull them together to create a functioning whole. From the renderer to the physics system, sound architecture, scripting, AI and networking, game engines either natively power every aspect of a game, or they allow other specialised middleware to slot into the game's framework. In any case, game engines are the workhorses of modern videogame development.

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toaster3137d ago

Avalanche Engine for JC2 was phenomenal. Going from snowtopped mountains and transitioning effortlessly to desert plains and then to dense jungle was awesome. JC2 isn't a graphic powerhouse compared to other games and engines this gen but it did what it did so well and looked so seamless that it has to be my favorite among this list. And the open world gameplay helped a lot too, fighting off badguys on top of maintain fortresses and then taking a helicopter out to parachute down to the jungle all while blending realistic physics (except the grapple hook, lol), great gunplay and awesome effects make it one of my favorite games this gen.

Looking forward to RAGE engine for RDR, CryEngine3, and with Naughty Dog's powerhouse engine no doubt they'll put it to good use and expand it further in their next game.

8thnightvolley3137d ago

Rage engine for RDR is going to be beautiful, I.D tech 4 for rage game is another beautiful one, God of war 3 engine outstanding, Cryengine3 another gd one..., Halo Reach seems promising, Uncharted 2 engine.. is just beautiful.. if anything i appriciate the way sony is putting effort for its devs to make some beautiful engine tech on the console

N4GAddict3137d ago

Best looking console game is GOW3 IMO

dirthurts3136d ago

But maybe best looking console.
Crysis still has the edge on the best looking game out there. This is t he first year I've been able to play it at maximum settings, and wow.

wicko3136d ago

We get it waterboy you hate PC games

dirthurts3136d ago

Doesn't play them. Either way I think you're right.

BattleAxe3136d ago

GoW3 was beautiful, but I'll give the graphics crown to both Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2.

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Akagi3136d ago

Why, Bungie, does it fail?

Aikuchi3136d ago

How can you have a best game engine list and not have Killzone 2?

Inside_out3136d ago

Remedy and Alan Wake' engine look INCREDIBLE!!!...Also Forza 3 with/at 720p 60fps looks amazing....

HolyOrangeCows3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

The Dead Engine and Geo-Mod Engine are quite impressive.

Maybe for the next Remedy game, it could play in 480p! It would look incredible! He could have like, TWO flashlights and double the amount of bloom!

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N4GAddict3137d ago

Uncharted engine all the way.

Cevapi883136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

uhhh game engines running sub HD games?? those are suppose to be good and when did AC2 look good...the opening sequence to the game looked GOW 3 of KZ2...if these devs let other companies use their engines, game graphics would see an instant rise in quality...and its funny to see an engine praise Dantes Inferno when many reviews have said that the graphics quality takes a considerable hit

dgroundwater3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

An engine is more than just visuals. Assassin's Creed and PoP have the most fluid and flexible animations in all of gaming. A million objects, people and ledges in huge open worlds, all of which can be platformed, brushed against, murderized, etc. The game looks great 90% of the time too.

Cevapi883136d ago

good point...but how does IWs engine make it when CoD is a linear shooter??

SKCShifty3137d ago ShowReplies(5)
MajestieBeast3136d ago

unreal engine just no the engine is nothing amazing especially not with the vasaline effect.

El_Colombiano3136d ago

That's what I was thinking, why on Earth is that horrid engine on this list? I haven't seen a good looking game come out of that engine since GeOW.

Pandamobile3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

Mirror's Edge?

Batman: Arkham Asylum?

Medal of Honor?

There's tons of great looking Unreal 3 games.

It's also an incredibly efficient engine. For a game with graphics as nice as in Mirror's Edge, the game runs beautifully.

El_Colombiano3136d ago

Besides Mirror's Edge, I don't think those games look all that stunning. The engine gives those games a "dead" feel and look to them. Had any of those games you posted been on propriety engines, the outcomes would have been indefinitely better.

8thnightvolley3136d ago

its the medal of honor that stuns me the most i still get my head around it being an unreal engine 3 game.

BYE3136d ago

I was thinking the same: it makes character models look like plastic, it's outdated...

Then Mass Effect 2 and Batman made me shut up and convinced me that Unreal 3 is still a good engine if used by capable developers.

mcslick1013136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

What do you mean? Unreal Engine is absolutely amazing. It's user friendly, lightmass and photon emmition is quality and beautiful with radiosity, linear, spot dominant and a range of different lighting mechanics other engines do not provide, it has Cascade, one of the best particle editors I've ever used. The easy-to-use, no programming involved Material Editor which saves a large amount of time and has 100's of features. Kismet the in-game level WYSIWYG trigger editor editor. With Unreal ActorX it's easy to get your weapons, characters and vehicles and their animations in-game in no time. Unreal also has a unique rendering feature where only what's displayed on screen is rendered, which allows less VRAM usage. UnrealScript is another easy-to-use feature for developers.

You've gotta think too, It's the developer that utilizes the engine that makes the most out of it and without a shot of a doubt UE3 is ideal for ANYONE. Engines don't only render visuals, they compile coding, they provide audio and much, much more. UE3 is the best engine out thus far and we'll just have to wait and see what features CryTek will pump out with CE3. Remember CE2, it was breathtaking when Crytek made the games, but when modders and other pros got their hands on it, the visual quality seemed to be lost. UE3 seems to keep it around par.
Did you ever think that those games that look 'dead' are mean't to look a little worn and macabre? Because UE3 can be full of life, if you want it to be. Look up the mod "Airborne".

Unreal also has easy middleware integration.

booni33136d ago

come on with the sequel EA, day one for me.

likedamaster3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

...Borderlands, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Gears PC. Different looks to them but stunning and running efficiently. No need for killer hardware like Crysis either.

Not to mention, most of these games are on multiple platforms. No other engine can do that right now.

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Inside_out3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )

Unreal UNTOUCHABLE...developers use the tech...Epic shows you how...Best rubbery, life like graphics with amazing physics...throw in amazing AI and the best character/enemy animations around...In GAME and in your face...Gears 3 will ride out this gen with the graphics crown that was placed on their head in 2006...And never the games, KNOW the truth...

Darkfocus3136d ago

just because an engine doesn't look good on consoles doesn't mean it doesn't look good on PC some Unreal engine games look really spectacular and the engine has none of the problems it has on consoles on PC(texture pop, low res textures,poor effects, etc.)

OpenGL3136d ago

Mirror's Edge almost exclusively uses pre-baked shadows, so it's not exactly a technical marvel.

Still, this comparison should really only include engines that are licensed to other developers. Sure Uncharted 2 may look better than everything on consoles, but Naughty Dog does not license the engine.

The amount of support Epic has to provide for developers is staggering. Naughty Dog and other exclusive developers simply do not have the time or resources to deal with all of that extra work of licensing a game engine.

waterboy3136d ago

then what looks better elsewhere

let me guess crysis which has no game art

iamgoatman3136d ago (Edited 3136d ago )


Crysis' aim was to be as photo-realistic as possible, and it did pretty damn well in that respect. But of course, in your eyes it doesn't stand up to other games because it lacks "art".

Maybe I should work on a mod that adds the odd bugs bunny cut out in the trees, then would you be happy?

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hi23136d ago

or did they just mention dante's inferno engine and not god of war 3 engine?

Strange_Evil3136d ago

They said....

"Note: It is important to understand that not all developers are vocal about their game engines and instead play their cards close to their chests. Quite a few of the in-house engines have no public personality and thus are not included on this list. Great games to run off such engines include Metal Gear Solid 4, FIFA and God of War III. "

So in short, since the devs haven't named it or have come out with details, the engine won't feature... But at least we know it's still as awesome as Naughty Don 2.0 Engine ;)

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