Ultrawide monitors are often praised for their productivity advantages, but they can be just as great for gaming. Whether it enables you to see a wider field of view or grant tangible gameplay advantages, some PC games support ultrawide screens better than others—here’s just a few.
All the entries we’ll be talking about here natively support ultrawide gaming, which is important because native support guarantees the video games look and run their best at these wider aspect ratios. While you can get ultrawide working on some games that don’t natively support it (either through file tinkering or community-made mods), results will vary, so we avoided those for this list.
Just keep in mind that we’re assuming you have an ultrawide gaming monitor (or at least a good ultrawide monitor), a decent graphics card, and the rest of the PC to back up some power-hungry games. Most of the suggestions here require a beefy system, and gaming on 21:9 monitors only increases that requirement. And of course, the more pixels you put on the screen, the harder it is to keep a high refresh rate. So, you might have to make some tradeoffs.
Table of Contents
Robot Dinosaurs: Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is one the best open-world games of the past few years, and with last year’s PC port it’s the perfect time to experience it on an ultrawide. The beautiful world of Horizon Zero Dawn is a treat to soak in, but there’s more to do than just sightseeing. Horizon Zero Dawn also features an excellent story and a deep combat system for dealing with the robotic dinosaurs spread across the map. You can rely on your bow, take control of a robot to fight for you, or set traps all to stay alive.
Whether you’re looking over the world from a vantage point, running through a dense forest, or watching one of the game’s cinematic cutscenes (no black bars please!), the extra space an ultrawide grants just feels a bit (or a lot) better.
Kick-Off: Rocket League
Few competitive games will give you an advantage just because of your monitor, but Rocket League is one to buck that trend. Centered around fast-paced, high-flying car soccer, Rocket League has a large competitive scene with a low barrier to entry but extremely high skill ceiling. And because one of the most important parts of the game is scanning the arena for where the ball, your teammates, and your opponents are, an ultrawide display larger “peripheral vision” is definitely useful. And Rocket League has loads of different camera settings you can use to further fine-tune your experience.
Granted, this won’t immediately make you amazing at the game, but it’s nice to see a game where using an ultrawide display is a practical decision versus an aesthetic one. Rocket League’s even free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
Post-Apocalyptic Postman: Death Stranding
Death Stranding features a dark and empty world with nothing more than a few buildings and patches of flora spread across it. But that emptiness has a purpose—not only does it give the game a unique atmosphere, but the wide-open plains of Death Stranding manage their own form of beauty despite the sparse landmarks. And what’s better to capture these massive, wide-open spaces than an ultrawide display, which can also help out with scouting what’s coming ahead in your journey.
In Death Stranding, you must deliver a variety of cargo to help repair the world after a major incident. The story is great, the gameplay is one-of-a-kind, and it’s sure to pull you in no matter how boring the core concept of “delivering packages” may sound.
Dark Fantasy: The Witcher III
Often regarded as one of the best open-world games of all time, The Witcher III showcases an intricately designed, dark fantasy world with excellent quests and even better visuals. The landscapes and towns have plenty of smaller details an ultrawide display can enhance. And when it comes to actually playing in the world, there are plenty of enemies to fight with the game’s mix of magic- and sword-based combat. If you want to explore an excellent map and experience a great story, you should definitely play The Witcher III.
An Underwater Adventure: ABZU
The deep, vibrant waters of ABZU have a lot of secrets to uncover, from the beautiful wildlife to the strange robots hanging out everywhere. This is a game made to look great, and in that case, seeing more of it with an ultrawide can only be an improvement. While the gameplay mainly focuses on exploring the various biomes, there are some simple puzzles and setpieces to spice things up. But from the beginning to the end, ABZU’s goal is to be a treat for the eyes, and it definitely succeeds.
A Big World: Microsoft Flight Simulator
We’ve already covered a few open-world games, and there’s more to come, but no game’s world is as impressively massive as Microsoft Flight Simulator. The 2020 entry of this classic series came with a lot of improvements to the core flight simulation and visuals, but by far its biggest advancement was the 1:1 digital recreation of the Earth. You can fly across the entire planet in this game, and it will take just as long as it would in real life. (Fortunately, there is fast travel if you just want to check out something specific.) Even the weather is accurate to real-life forecasts, so, for example, if there’s a hurricane off the U.S. coast, you can visit it in-game.
While most of the world is built from map data that was then converted into a 3D world, larger cities and specific landmarks got the premium treatment with high-end models. Regardless, the game never stops looking great with fantastic lighting and weather effects—even the largest ultrawide monitors will struggle to show off everything this game has to offer.
Burning Rubber: Forza Horizon 4
Masterfully mixing typical racing simulators and the less realistic driving found in titles like Need for Speed, Forza Horizon 4′s gameplay is centered around going fast and looking good while doing it. The photorealistic world looks excellent, and the insanely detailed car interiors are always a joy to look around in. And with so much to see, there’s no wonder why the game benefits from an ultrawide—you get a better view of everything whether you’re in the driver’s seat or watching your car from third-person. Regardless if you’re rushing down the streets of England at 200 MPH or parked soaking in the visuals, Forza Horizon 4 is easily one of the best-looking racing games around.
Living in the City: Cyberpunk 2077
While Cyberpunk 2077 had its fair share of issues at launch, there’s no denying the game is a sight to behold. This game is often regarded as the first true next-gen title, and it’s easy to see why with the amount of detail packed into every room, building, and character. And because the entire game is played in first person, the extra FOV from an ultrawide helps you feel more immersed in this universe. After all, it only makes sense to experience such groundbreaking visuals on the best display possible.
While you explore the massive world of Night City, you can engage in shoot-outs, explore every nook and cranny, or just drive a car through the busy streets. There’s a lot to do and even more to see, with multiple storylines and a slew of sidequests—if you love RPGs, you’ll have a lot of fun here.
Start Your X-Wings: STAR WARS: Squadrons
While STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order might have satiated people’s desire to play as a Jedi, STAR WARS: Squadrons brought another dream from the galaxy far, far away to life—being a star pilot. Building off of previous flight sim games from the Star Wars franchise, Squadrons has some of the most robust starship flying gameplay we’ve seen from the series. Whether you’re fighting for the Empire or the Rebellion, you’re locked into a first-person view so the extra viewing angles you get from an ultrawide definitely comes in handy. And with such detailed ship interiors and beautiful galactic locales, there’s plenty to gawk at as well.
The Wild West: Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2, by almost every metric including world size, scope, and sales, is one of the biggest games to release in the past few years. The gameplay focuses on being realistic just as much as the visuals do, and like the other open-world games we’ve discussed, being able to see more of the landscape can only improve your experience. As far as the map itself goes, there are plenty of detailed locations to uncover all expertly connected by the same people behind the Grand Theft Auto series. The story follows the tale of Arthur Morgan as he finds his way as an outlaw in the wild west, and with fantastic cutscenes and great missions, it certainly lives up to that premise.
The Ultimate Roadtrip: American Truck Simulator
In American Truck Simulator you drive a semi-truck across the long winding roads of the continental United States (well, only nine states at the moment, rebuilding America takes time). Granted, that might sound boring, but with some nice visuals, solid gameplay, and addictive missions to complete, American Truck Simulator manages to be an immensely gratifying game to play. As you sit in your truck’s driver’s seat, you get to experience at least a facsimile of driving across America. And with the game entirely focused on making you feel like you’re driving a semi-truck, the extra FOV from an ultrawide is your best bet for feeling more immersed short of buying a VR headset.
A Simulated Universe: Elite Dangerous
The final frontier is ever-expanding, and while even an ultrawide won’t be able to cram all of Elite Dangerous‘ massive, procedurally generated universe on your screen, it’s at least a step closer. Taking a stab at realistic space simulation, Elite Dangerous features difficult-to-master space travel, a variety of things to find, and, of course, other players to interact with all trying to find their place in this universe same as you. The beautiful interstellar vistas of Elite Dangerous look great on an ultrawide as you sit in the cockpit of your ship, and having the extra screen real estate for the in-depth UI also helps out. If you’ve always wanted a game that lets you explore space for hours on end there’s hardly a better option on the market.