It's been over five years since Nvidia launched it's RTX 20-series GPUs back in 2018. There were a lot of promises made, about how ray tracing would become the next big thing for graphics. Also announced at the same times was DLSS, Deep Learning Super Sampling, an AI-trained upscaling solution that was supposed to make RT possible at decent levels of performance. Fast forward to today, and many of the best graphics cards are indeed Nvidia RTX models — just two generations on from the original, with a lot of other changes for good measure. Not only has the hardware changed, but Nvidia has now surpassed the 500 DLSS and RTX games and applications milestone.
You can see the full list — updated regularly — of all the RTX-enabled games and applications over at Nvidia. At present, there are 388 games that make use of one of the RTX features: DLSS, ray tracing, or AI. There are also 119 applications listed, so if you only care about games, Nvidia still has a long way to go before it reaches the 500 mark. There are some other interesting bits of information.
So far, only eight games have reached the holy grail of offering full ray tracing support, and two of those are basically duplicates — Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty are effectively the same listing, as are Portal RTX and Portal: Prelude RTX. Not coincidentally, three of those games (two if you don't give Phantom Liberty a second tally) are the only DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction offerings so far.
By far the most abundant category is for DLSS 2 upscaling support: 375 total games and apps support the feature, of which 361 are games. Many of these also feature ray tracing support, but that number in total still only stands at 138 games and 72 applications. Also telling is that only five games had DLSS 1 support (technically there were more, but several of them were later upgraded to DLSS 2).
What about anti-aliasing without upscaling? That was originally discussed clear back in 2018, but the official feature — DLAA, or Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing — didn't show up until 2021 with The Elder Scrolls Online. There are currently 41 games with DLAA support.
Nvidia's latest AI technology is DLSS 3 Frame Generation, which requires an RTX 40-series GPU. It uses the enhanced Optical Flow Accelerator (OFA) that's part of all Ada Lovelace GPUs to run the AI workloads that generate a new frame from two fully rendered frames. It ends up being more of a frame smoothing technique, as it adds latency, but there are now 65 games and apps (four of which are apps) that support DLSS 3.
Considering we now see thousands of new games released in a year, 500+ RTX-enabled games and apps might not seem like a lot. However, we've noticed a marked increase in the number of major releases that now support one or more RTX features. It took some time, but we're finally getting to the point where ray tracing, upscaling, and even frame generation are becoming standard fare for a lot of releases.
There's also plenty of buzz about the future potential for AI to continue to enhance games. We've only really seen AI used for upscaling and image quality improvements so far, but there's a lot of experimenting going on with using AI to allow real-time generated conversations and even quests in games. And hey, maybe EA will soon allow you to play yourself (badly, we presume) in future games.
Outside of games, AI has caused a major change in content creation in just the past year or so, with Stable Diffusion, ChatGPT, speech recognition, video generation, and more. Certainly, there are concerns about what's happening in the realm of AI, and the U.S. government is working hard to limit China's access to the fastest AI hardware with its latest export restrictions — which have also extended to blocking the RTX 4090 from export to China (only about a year too late on that one).
So, congratulations on five years and 500 RTX-enabled games and apps, Nvidia. It's been a bit of a bumpy road at times, and the RTX 20-series certainly hasn't held up as well as some would have liked (at least with full ray tracing), but it paved the way for future architectures that are opening the door to new experiences. I can't wait to see where we are in another five years.
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Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.
When you actually look at the list only 5 games with ray tracing so far (3 of these being ancient engines), all the other are gimmicks with dlss support (aka sharpened lower resolution). Minecraft, Portal, Cyberpunk, Alan Wake, Quake 2 (btw where is Duke RTX?). Fun fact.. Red Dead Redemption 2 still best looking game, no RT.Reply
FTFY. I definitely wouldn't say RDR2 is the best looking game, as there are plenty of aspects that don't look particularly great when rendered. It's not bad, but to call it the best looking overall? No, I don't agree with that, and that's fine. It does look better than a lot of games that have released since it came out, however.oofdragon said:Fun opinion: Red Dead Redemption 2 still best looking game, no RT.
Yay! Nvidia's gimmicks have finally conquered 0.1 percent of video games..Reply
Once again, Nvidia is still trying to make it sound like game developers want to use Ray Tracing, when they still super-don't. Exactly 9 titles are listed as supporting "Full-RT", really 7 because Portal and Cyberpunk are both counted twice.Reply
I don't like how they're always weasel-wording tech unrelated to ray tracing under the "RTX Enabled" banner. If anything, this list should be called "DLSS Enabled", Except DLSS doesn't even mean one specific thing anymore either. It looks like most of the RTX list's growth is because they've started lumping in "AI", whatever that means.
Also, "Applications" aren't games, obviously. But the listing of apps is very repetitive. One wonders if "Adobe Substance 3D Sampler" and "Adobe Substance 3D Stager" are materially different enough to be counted as separate apps. Corsair iCUE is on this list for "AI". I wonder what that does with AI, considering it's a tack-on bloatware for driving RGB lights. That's not anywhere close to Ray Tracing, but it's being bundled in and counted on a list that is trying to sell you Ray Tracing.
I don't think it's smart for Nvidia to be sending out press releases for this pathetic list, because it comes across a desperate attempt to cover up the sad state of RT, which is practically a dead technology at this point.
personally, I think that Alan Wake 2 has really good graphics, (I have not played it) but I have heard that there is nothing else really noteworthy about the game.Reply
I picture us fighting the machines in 5 years. Unfortunately numerous terminator and matrix movies have taught us nothing about ai xDReply
wow, of that whole list, i only play/use 3 on that list.. the majority of that list i have never heard of....Reply
I only play 1, Minecraft RTX.Ogotai said:wow, of that whole list, i only play/use 3 on that list.. the majority of that list i have never heard of....
that one, i dont play :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:Order 66 said:I only play 1, Minecraft RTX
I can readily name over half of the games on the list, and counted 145 that I would consider relatively known games. Of course, there are probable ten or so that are "duplicates" again (how many times does Call of Duty count, and Death Stranding plus Death Stranding Director's Cut are clearly the same game). I would certainly say over 100 major releases incorporate some form of RTX (DLSS or RT).Ogotai said:wow, of that whole list, i only play/use 3 on that list.. the majority of that list i have never heard of....
If we just want to look at ray tracing games, though, I would say there are only about 25 major games that use a significant amount of ray tracing — as in, it causes an at least moderately significant change to the visuals. Obviously all of the "full path tracing" games make that list, though I only counted Portal and Cyberpunk 2077 once each.