8 Games that push your gaming laptop to the limit

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i surrounded by game screenshots
(Image credit: Future)

PC gaming is bleeding edge. It's ahead of the curve. It demands forethought and investment so that, in return, you get gaming experiences the likes of which you couldn't dream of on a console. 

This is why, sometimes, you really want to test your equipment's limits. You didn't get into PC gaming to only play with the minimum specs. You want tons of information, real-world physics, and facial textures that make you feel like you're sitting right next to your NPC companion. 

To get results like that, you need a computer that can keep up with developers always looking to push the envelope. Having a computer like the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i, the world's most powerful 16" AI-tuned gaming laptop with groundbreaking cooling technology and head-of-the-pack visuals on a 16" display, is a great place to start. Below are some games that will make your jaw drop.

(Image credit: Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty)

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

You already knew this would be on the list. It's one of the most stunning PC games in recent memory. The story is compelling with plenty of back alleys to navigate. Getting to explore a fully realized Night City, though, is the real appeal. When I played the pre-DLC game on my console, it sounded like my machine was about to blast through my entertainment center like a jet engine. Having a groundbreaking cooling system like the Legion Coldfront 5.0 makes your time with Johnny Silverhand a much more enjoyable experience. I can actually hear the dialogue now.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5-3570KIntel Core i7-4790
RAM8 GB12 GB
Dedicated Video RAM3 GB6 GB

(Image credit: Red Dead Redemption II)

Red Dead Redemption 2

Here's a moment of fun vulnerability in the middle of this listicle. Every few months, I find myself watching the trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC and getting really emotional. Seeing the depth Rockstar put into the environments just blows me away. Being able to dive into a rich experience like this with the highest possible graphical fidelity is the promise of video games made real. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch that trailer again. No, don't worry, that's just a speck of sand in my eye.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5-2500KIntel Core i7-4770K
RAM8 GB12 GB
Dedicated Video RAM2048 MB3072 MB

(Image credit: skyrim)

Skyrim (Modded Out Like Crazy)

Skyrim came out over a decade ago, and you can probably play it on your toaster by now. Still, in that intervening time, the modding community has invested time and energy into making it look gorgeous (and weird). You don't need to have a top-of-the-line rig to run Skyrim, obviously, but if you want 4K resolution, improved weather effects, and realistic lighting, a high-powered machine might be just what you're looking for.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5-750Intel Core i5-2400
RAM8 GB8 GB
Dedicated Video RAM2 GB4 GB

(Image credit: Kerbal Space Program 2)

Kerbal Space Program 2

Demanding games aren't all about graphical fidelity. Sometimes you just have a lot to keep track of. Kerbal Space Program 2 is a perfect example of why you need a heavy-duty CPU at your disposal. This sim is trying to keep a lot of complex physics calculations going at the same time. You can't let an old CPU get in the way of your Kerbals exploring the vast outer reaches of space.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5 6400Intel i5-11500
RAM12 GB16 GB
Dedicated Video RAM8192 MB10240 MB

(Image credit: Alan Wake II)

Alan Wake 2

The team at Remedy are pros at making haunting games with arresting imagery that look great even in non-optimal settings. But there's a lot of technology running under the hood of their follow-up to the similarly demanding Control. If you want the mesh shaders and moody ray tracing, you'll need an exceptional machine. Still, it's worth it to find yourself immersed in this Lynchian nightmare in the way Remedy intended.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i5-7600KIntel Core i7-11700K
RAM16 GB16 GB
Dedicated Video RAM6144 MB8192 MB

(Image credit: Total War: PHARAOH)

Total War: PHARAOH

One of the great questions of any RTS worth its salt is simple: How many units can I cram on screen at the same time? Sure, you might be covering up the beautifully realized Egyptian countryside, but I need just one more batch of Medjay Warriors to push us over the edge. A game like Total War: PHARAOH is going to push your processor, so make sure you've got a gaming PC up for the task.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel i3-2100Intel Core i5-6600
RAM6 GB8 GB
Dedicated Video RAM2048 MB4096 MB

Microsoft Flight Simulator

(Image credit: Microsoft Flight Simulator)

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Earlier this year, Jorg Neumann, the head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, said, "We are not a game. What we're doing is accurate aviation activities." That kind of boast requires nothing less than total fidelity. From physics modeling to real-time weather to the insane detail of its 1:1 world map, MFS requires a lot of buy-in. Your computer is going to need to be pretty beefy to manage such an intense workload, but hey, it's not like we're asking you to buy a $500 flight stick accessory. Yet.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel i5-4460Intel i5-8400
RAM8 GB16 GB
Dedicated Video RAM2048 MB4096 MB

Fortnite

(Image credit: Fortnite)

Fortnite

It's sort of surprising to see this on the list, isn't it? Hear me out. Fortnite is not the heaviest lift when it comes to computer hardware. In fact, Epic Games made sure this cultural monolith could run on everything from the newest consoles to phones your grandmother might get for free. That's exactly the point, though. You'll be playing this in the optimal conditions—no shuddering connection, slow-to-refresh monitor, or lackluster graphics cards to blame when you don't get the Victory Royale. The hardware won't be pushed to the limit, but you will be.

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SpecsMinimumRecommended
CPUIntel Core i3-3225Intel Core i5-7300U
RAM8 GB16 GB
Dedicated Video RAM2048 MB2048 MB

To play these games at their best, you can't go wrong with a powerhouse like the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i. The 7i equips you with everything you need to play all these games and then some.

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SpecsLenovo Legion Pro 7i
CPUIntel Core i9-13900HX
RAMUp to 32 GB
Dedicated Video RAMUp to 16 GB

If you want a laptop that’s going to crush these requirements, the Legion Pro 7i will provide the performance you’re looking for.

Jacob York
Editor, Branded Content

Jacob York is a Branded Content Editor and Writer for Future, focusing on the Games and Tech verticals. Jacob's previous writing experience encompasses everything from award winning plays to websites about tree removal services. The tree removal website also won an award.


A native of Fairdealing, Kentucky, Jacob has made Atlanta, Georgia his home for much of his adulthood. In his spare time, he enjoys learning how to bake, spending time at a theme park with his wife, and doing "product research" by diving into a video game. A creative through and through, Jacob would like to take a moment to remind you to support your local Equity hiring theatre.