Bronze: Far Cry 4 by Ubisoft Montreal
Some of you might be surprised to see Far Cry 4 on this list, but you have to keep in mind that we both played Far Cry 3 on the Xbox 360, which was certainly impressive for Xbox 360 standards, but Far Cry 4 is a very impressive step up on the Xbox One and is definitely one of best looking games of the year. The open-world featured in Far Cry 4 is extremely well detailed and does a splendid job of immersing you in the game. Far Cry 4 loses points for recycling a lot of assets from the previous game and there are some occasional framerate issues, but these are minor blemishes and you will get over such problems quickly. Far Cry 4 is one of the best games of the year and it really goes a long way that it looks as good as it does.
by: Ross Hartley
Silver: Alien: Isolation by Creative Assembly
Creative Assembly managed to accomplish the impossible: they made the Alien creature scary again. Not only in the context of the Alien video game franchise, but also science-fiction games as a greater thematic whole, it's hard to get scared of monsters that you have shot-up hundreds upon hundreds of times before. If it was just the single Alien character model and its animations, Alien: Isolation would've easily made Bronze on this list. How the Alien creature moves and stalks around is incredibly intimating and attention-grabbing, and really sells this Alien as a monster no one can truly deal with, especially you. Combine this with some of the most detailed textures, lightning and smoke so far this generation, and Alien: Isolation is easily one of the most impressive looking games of this year through its sheer technical prowess.
by: Isaac Wagner
Gold: Forza Horizon 2 by Playground Games
I am sure that some of you out there are going to groan at this choice. I mean, it's a boring choice. Bloody cars driving around, so what huh?
But let's get real, Forza Horizon 2 looks fantastic. The first game also looked superb and Horizon 2 is a nice step up, with its more detailed environments, higher resolution and the inclusion of really convincing weather effects. The framerate never suffers, despite driving through country fields and crashing through fences. The cars themselves look exactly as they should and overall, I really can't fault Forza Horizon 2 graphically. I know that it's a boring choice, but it's the right choice.
by: Ross Hartley