Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

The best games to show off Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090

Nvidia’s monstrous RTX 4090 is finally here, and it’s powerful (just read our RTX 4090 review). It’s so powerful, in fact, that there aren’t a lot of games that truly showcase the GPU’s power. The RTX 4090 is the best graphics card you can buy, but you’ll want to install a few key games to show off what the GPU is capable of.

There are a few games that still push the RTX 4090, though many of our recommendations come on the back of Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). DLSS 3 includes a frame generation setting that’s only available on RTX 40-series GPUs, which helps a lot of games that are traditionally limited by your processor hit a high frame rate.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077
78 %
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Role-playing (RPG)
Developer CD Projekt RED
Publisher CD Projekt RED
Release December 09, 2020
Read our full Cyberpunk 2077 review
Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Reveal — 48-minute walkthrough

Cyberpunk 2077 is still an extremely demanding game, even two years after launch. Prior to the RTX 4090, you’d have to cheat in some way or another to get a smooth frame rate with all the visual bells and whistles. No longer. At native 4K with full ray tracing, the RTX 4090 was able to crack 40 frames per second (fps), which is nearly double the RTX 3090 Ti.

It’s an impressive tech showcase of just how powerful the RTX 4090 really is, and it’s sure to become more impressive once Cyberpunk 2077‘s Overdrive ray tracing mode is here. Once you sit down to actually play, you can take advantage of DLSS 3 to multiply your frame rate, even with ray tracing cranked up. Our 40 fps average jumped all the way to 135 fps with DLSS 3, all at 4K with ray tracing set to the highest setting. Other GPUs aren’t even close.

Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator
91 %
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Simulator
Developer Asobo Studio
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release August 17, 2020
Microsoft Flight Simulator - E3 2019 - Announce Trailer

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a terrible game to showcase a new graphics card, but the RTX 4090 is an exception to that rule. The game now supports DLSS 3, which really shines with its frame generation capabilities in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game is notoriously CPU limited, meaning that even the ultra-powerful RTX 4090 can’t stretch its legs.

DLSS 3 gets around that issue by generating new frames. Even when fully limited by your processor, the upscaling tech can double your frame rate by simply generating a new frame every other frame. Microsoft Flight Simulator may be a terrible showcase of graphics power normally, but with DLSS 3 now available, it’s the best way to show off the RTX 4090.

83 %
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer Remedy Entertainment
Publisher 505 Games
Release August 27, 2019
CONTROL Announcement Trailer - E3 2018 - ESRB

Control was one of the earliest showcases of ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS, and three years on, it’s remarkable how well the game runs on a variety of hardware. Still, it can humble high-end machines. With maxed-out ray tracing settings at 4K, no graphics card has been able to reach a smooth 60 fps without help from DLSS. Except for the RTX 4090, of course.

Control hasn’t received a DLSS 3 update, and it likely won’t, but the RTX 4090 marks an important milestone for the game. It’s the only graphics card right now that can maintain a high frame rate in the game without help from upscaling, assuming you want full ray tracing settings and you’re running the game at 4K.

Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2
93 %
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Rockstar Games
Publisher Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games
Release October 26, 2018
Red Dead Redemption 2 Launch Trailer

Similar to Control, the RTX 4090 reaches a major milestone in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s the only GPU that runs the game well above 100 fps at 4K with maxed-out settings. And it’s quite a bit ahead of that mark. In our testing, the RTX 4090 was able to push out nearly 130 fps, which is 52% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti.

With the assistance of DLSS — the second version without frame generation, in this case — you can push that up to the 150 fps mark. That’s a big deal if you’re running a 4K display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Prior to the RTX 4090, you simply couldn’t take advantage of that high of a refresh rate in Red Dead Redemption 2. Now you can.

Marvel's Spider-Man
Marvel's Spider-Man
88 %
Platforms PlayStation 4
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Insomniac Games
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release September 07, 2018
Spider-Man - E3 2016 Announce Trailer (Official)

Marvel’s Spider-Man is deceptively demanding. Although you can maintain a high frame rate with most GPUs thanks to DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), you need some serious power to run the game with full ray tracing at 4K. The RTX 4090 is up for the task, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we’re recommending it because the game supports DLSS 3.

Flying through the streets of Manhattan is much better at a higher frame rate, and DLSS 3 is the key to that high frame rate. Similar to Microsoft Flight Simulator, Marvel’s Spider-Man is notoriously CPU limited as well. DLSS 3 bypasses that issue.

F1 22
F1 22
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Racing, Simulator, Sport
Developer Codemasters
Publisher EA Sports
Release July 01, 2022
F1® 22 | Announce Trailer

F1 22 requires a lot of power to run at 4K with ray tracing turned on, but that’s not why we’re recommending it. Like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Microsoft Flight Simulator, the game is limited by your processor. But it now supports DLSS 3, so you can get past that bottleneck and run the game at a higher frame rate.

The F1 games have always been a litmus test for PC gaming performance, and F1 22 is no different. It’s a great showcase for new PC hardware in general, but DLSS 3 really pushes it over the edge for the RTX 4090.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
Nvidia RTX DLSS: everything you need to know
RTX 3090 installed inside a gaming PC.

Nvidia has two standout features on its RTX 30-series and RTX 40-series graphics cards: ray tracing and DLSS. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have both done a good job of introducing most people to ray tracing, but DLSS is still a little nebulous. It's a little complex, but it lets you play a game at a virtualized higher resolution, maintaining greater detail and higher frame rates without taxing your graphics card as much. It gives you the best of all worlds by harnessing the power of machine learning, and with the introduction of DLSS 3, the technology just got even more powerful.

But there's a little more to the story than that. Here's everything you need to know about DLSS, how it works, and what it can do for your PC games.
What is DLSS?

Read more
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 vs. AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: a close call
Two RTX 4070 graphics cards sitting side by side.

Nvidia's new release, the RTX 4070, shakes things up in the GPU market. After a long spell of only releasing overpriced graphics cards, Nvidia seems to have altered its pricing strategy for the RTX 4070. While it's hard to call it cheap, it's certainly affordable, and it offers performance that makes it a good midrange option.

However, Nvidia's latest addition to the ranking of the best graphics cards has an unexpected rival in the previous generation of GPUs. AMD's RX 6950 XT is similarly priced, but can it keep up with the RTX 4070? Check out our benchmarks and find out how these two cards stack up against each other.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Nvidia RTX 40-series graphics cards: news, performance, and more
A hand holding the RTX 4090 GPU.

Nvidia's current generation of graphics cards is here, and the range includes desktop and laptop models. Also referred to as Nvidia Ada Lovelace, the RTX 40-series debuted in 2022 and is set to continue being updated with new cards throughout 2023.

Below, we'll tell you all you need to know about each of Nvidia's best graphics cards, all set to rival AMD's RX 7000 GPUs.
RTX 40-series: specs
We have four RTX 40-series GPUs right now, but here's how their specs break down:

Read more