CD Projekt Red's fantasy epic, The Witcher 3, is not wanting for gorgeous vistas. Stand atop a snow-kissed mountain in Skellige and witness the cruel sea swirling around you underneath a hazy, gray sky. Find yourself in southern Velen, where every direction you turn brings you to more treacherous bog and marsh. The scale of the game is breathtaking, but it is the attention to detail that really makes The Witcher stand out when compared to its contemporaries. Most scenes of dialogue are accompanied by a good amount of character animation and camera angles. Very rarely are you stuck looking at two "copy and paste" faces, from the shoulders up, as they spout words at each other. The game does a great job of setting the scene. The first time you enter Velen, you are greeted by a wide shot of crows soaring from a dead tree bearing strange fruit as Geralt rides by on Roach. The focus on graphical fidelity and presentation in areas like this, are what truly earn The Witcher 3 Best Visuals.
Writeup by Colin Burns
There are several ways for a game to stand out visually. When it comes to The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED managed to include a level of detail in its world that was unmatched in 2015. Realistic character models inside landscapes that are so detailed and alive made it hard to top. Xenoblade Chronicles X definitely can't compete in terms of realism — especially its character models — but it's not trying to. Instead of offering a visual presentation that can't be outdone on a technical level, with a strong focus on realism, Xenoblade does what it does best in general, by focusing on the world of Mira. The new home for humanity is the star of the game, and MonolithSoft spared no expense in creating a stunningly gorgeous world. From the elevated landmasses in Primordia that look like the result of an ancient calamity to the remnants of an ancient civilization in the desert of Oblivia, Mira is a never-ending treasure trove of amazing locales. Traversing the planet is to constantly want to see just what's beyond that ridge and to marvel in the creativity and diversity of this massive land.
Writeup by Mike Salbato
While the RPGFan staff votes were close, the reader votes were anything but: Witcher 3 accounted for more than twice as many votes as Xenoblade Chronicles X. Geralt would be proud.
And the winner is...