One of the big themes in the history of gaming has been the pursuit of photorealism, and it`s only in the last few years that hardware has become powerful enough that we can produce titles that look more like movies than games traditionally could.

For sure, photorealism isn`t the only way to build a game—a photorealistic Peggle Blast would be a bit grim, and it`s hard to imagine a Jeff Minter game that wasn`t a crazed neon din—but it`s certainly true that some developers have been trying to make their first-person shooters, racers, and more look as completely believable as possible. In other words, a photo on the box could pretty much match up with what the game itself would look like once you slipped the disc into your console or your Mac.

`Twas decidedly not always thus.

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