People are obsessed with ray tracing old video games

Ray tracing isn't just for next-generation games. People are going to great lengths for a new look at the classics.

Ray tracing is arguably the biggest boon to next-generation consoles' graphics performance, allowing a more precise rendering of light inside games that helps to bring shadows and reflections to life.

🎥: 'Control' with ray tracing turned on.

And while next-gen games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales for the PlayStation 5 have been excellent showcases of just what ray tracing has to offer, new titles aren't the only beneficiaries of next-gen technology.

Thanks to some clever feats of software engineering and powerful new graphics hardware, older games are now getting the ray tracing makeover you never saw coming. That includes classics like...


Super Mario 64

This preview was made by modder named Dario who says he purchased a "$1,500 GPU" to play Super Mario 64 with ray tracing.

Super Mario 64 with ray tracing by Dario on YouTube

Or Batman Arkham Knight

by Slim420 on YouTube.

Or Minecraft

Actually, lots of Minecraft...

Though these games obviously weren't designed with ray tracing in mind, software like ReShade, which injects games with extra code, allows modders to envision the titles with extra shading, light physics, and overall, just more graphical fidelity.

Halo 3 with ray tracing from Late Night Gaming

Reshade is the creation of Pascal Gilcher, who has written code for companies like NVIDIA. Gilcher offers numerous tools to members of his Patreon, including the Ray Traced Global Illumination (RTGI) shader.

'Resident Evil Remastered' by Harry101UK on YouTube

With Gilcher's code inserted into games, light can be rendered in real-time. As one might imagine, such graphical improvements still require a pretty powerful GPU, making Reshade something suited for those with powerful gaming PCs.

GTA V with ray tracing from Gamesource on YouTube

It's not all just Resahde in the world of remastering old games, however. NVIDIA, a recent pioneer in the world of ray tracing, released some footage of a ray traced Quake II that definitely brings a whole new appreciation to the game.

Quake II trailer with ray tracing from Nvidia.

Needless to say, the cutting edge benefits of ray tracing are colliding with nostalgia in a pretty eye-catching way, and whether you're among them or not, there are loads of people who just can't resist the appeal of seeing those beautiful rays of light grace the world of Super Mario 64 in ways that weren't possible before.

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