The things a developer can do with CryEngine can result in stunningly life-like graphics and Crysis 3 is the perfect example of this. Because even now, the 2013 game is still putting the most graphically-demanding games to shame. With that said, not all games that utilized CryEngine were able to maximize it to its full potential, or some— despite having great visuals, might as well be full-priced tech demos for how little gameplay they offer. As such, those looking for proper video games made with the CryEngine ought to see these masterpieces and trendsetters.
This is where it all began. A relatively small team of developers with their cutting-edge (for that time) game engine and with Ubisoft as their publisher, set out to compete with established FPS giants like Half-Life 2 and Doom 3. Needless to say, Far Cry contributed much to that FPS Golden Age back in 2004.
Far Cry, however, was already ahead of its time thanks to its sprawling, open paradise environment done unlike any other. The water, as well as the lighting, were Far Cry's best visual assets as it brings a far-flung provincial playground to life— a trademark that's sorely overused these days.
With Crysis, developer Crytek proved that Far Cry was no one-hit-wonder and demonstrated that lightning can strike twice. It built upon Far Cry's environmental wonder and cranked up the graphical quality to 11, much to the demise of even the top-end gaming systems at the time.
Because even the most powerful gaming computers had trouble running Crysis (and it wasn't due to just poor optimization). Crysis backed up its system requirements with the most photorealistic graphics a video game can render playable. It went down in history as both a meme and a performance metric for high-end gaming computers.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a significant development for CryEngine as it's one of the few RPGs to have chosen the engine as its graphical base. This did contribute to some rather high system requirements but that also made this RPG one of the most impressive knight life simulators.
It's overflowing with immersive details only possible with a game engine as meticulous as CryEngine. As for the game, it's also a good RPG with a combat system that's not only historically faithful but also unique as far as medieval video games go.
Seeing State of Decay's visuals back in its heyday, one would think that the system requirements would be high, but the game actually ran great even on low-end hardware and didn't demand much either in storage or processing power. It could be a testament to CryEngine's prowess.
In any case, State of Decay is an underrated gem that has spawned its own franchise as it's also one of the most in-depth zombie survival games of its time. Before State of Decay, most of the games in its genre failed to capture the true essence of living bandage-to-bandage in a zombie apocalypse.
Back when Star Citizen was first announced and demonstrated, it quickly gained a reputation as one of the most ambitious projects in the history of video games. It's a fully-fledged space sim from the eyes of one person. The possibilities are limitless and so is their budget it seems.
Sure enough, CryEngine was chosen as the sandbox tool here for the scope of the project. Players are supposed to be able to fly their own ships in a universe that's wondrously vast and even walk the city streets of spaceports and urbanized planets. That kind of scale requires support and time and the developers are surely taking both in spades.
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhen is also another unique CryEngine game since it's one of the pioneers of that game engine in its genre, which is the isometric action RPG a.k.a. Diablo clone. As expected of a CryEngine game, Wolcen is a beauty among its peers and even gives games like Path of Exile or Grim Dawn a run for their money, at least when it comes to visuals.
It has one of the most crisp and atmospheric imagery out of all isometric action RPGs. Also, partly thanks to CryEngine, the character movements and general action are smooth and weighty. This lends much to the combat as even low-level action doesn't feel floaty or boring.
Evolve, despite shutting down for multiplayer, is a trendsetter back in its heyday, building upon Left 4 Dead's streamlined co-op survival formula. It's a game where several human players try to gang up or hunt a beast or monster (which is also controlled by another player).
The concept seems simple enough, but it requires a certain kind of technology to not be clunky. CryEngine presumably provided a good platform for that kind of interaction. Back in its time, Evolve was quite a popular multiplayer game built upon asymmetrical matches.
Prey was one of the most celebrated horror games in the last decade. Even acclaimed horror heavyweights like John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween) praised the video game for its art direction and horror elements. The game has its atmosphere to thank for this kind of praise.
Of course, such visual mastery wouldn't have been as impactful as it was if not for the CryEngine's capabilities. While it's not the most beautiful-looking CryEngine game, Prey more than made up for it by using CryEngine's lighting effects to its advantage.
Ryse: Son of Rome is a short game (Call of Duty-level of transience). For some, it might even qualify as a thinly-veiled tech demo for the newest iteration of CryEngine at the time, but one can't deny that the game was ahead of its time, visually.
There are even comparisons where Ryse was pitted side-by-side with Ghost of Tsushima and at many spots, its graphics came out on top. The gameplay was decent enough, of course, and there are lots of QTE fun to be had with Ryse's legionnaire combat.
Crytek does it again and this time, Hunt: Showdown is more than just a pretty game. It's also a genuinely original and exciting twist to many aging formulas and genres. The game puts players into the shoes of American horror hunters who must fend off nightmarish creatures straight out of Lovecraft's books.
On top of that, there's also a cutthroat PvP element among the players while they contend with the game's imposed AI enemies. As always, the graphics are gorgeous as this is one of Crytek's most recent variations of the CryEngine. And it seems it wouldn't be the last.