Modern video games do a great job of mimicking real life visuals with highly detailed environments and smooth animations, but they generally lack in terms of simulating lifelike physics and destruction mechanics. But that’s not always the case, and some games do a great job of crafting worlds that not only look but also behave in a realistic fashion – and here are 15 examples of recent video games which have stunning physics effects.



Tuxedo Labs has delivered an enticing playground of destruction with Teardown, which lets you lose in complex levels with nothing but a set of tools and your imagination to pull off heists with increasing difficulty. The game features fully destructible environments with physics properties, and the game encourages you to smash walls and blow up stuff to chart the most efficient path to your objective and back to the starting point. The voxel based art style might look primitive at first, but it has its own distinct charm that will slowly grow on you as you spend more time with the game.


Returnal’s impressive physics might be tough to notice amidst all the brutal combat challenges the game throws at you, but they are certainly there and worth admiring. Different alien materials feature physics properties, which enable the particles that form those materials to scatter appropriately to gunfire before going back to their original state a few seconds later. Certain structures can also be destroyed from gunfire, and tentacles emerging from alien plants also react to your presence in a realistic fashion. Sure, the physics don’t really alter the gameplay in any meaningful ways – but it’s one of the highlights of the presentation nevertheless.

Heavenly Bodies

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Heavenly Bodies puts you in charge of a player character which in itself is a complex physics object, and you need to synergize different button presses to navigate through environments and complete your tasks. But what makes Heavenly Bodies different from other games of this ilk is how the zero g environments legitimize making movement an actual challenge on its own. Furthermore, the game also does a great job of keeping things interesting with varied scenarios, and you can have even more fun by inviting friends for some co-op madness.

Just Cause 4

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Just Cause, as a series, has always been about using your arsenal of tools in creative ways to wreak havoc upon entire battalions of enemies – and the latest entry is no different in this regard. Just Cause 4 ups the ante by introducing new elements like tornadoes and storms into the mix, which can cause some pretty nasty destruction on their own. The beloved physics based grapple hook also makes a return with increased utility, which allows you to come up with all sorts of creative ways to take down enemy forces in style. It’s a game that revels in its glory of virtual destruction, and players are encouraged to engage with this aspect through Chaos points which are used to level up your character to take on the toughest challenges in the game.

Session: Skate Sim

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Session: Skate Sim describes itself as a simulator made for the skaters by skaters, and we have to agree to this statement. Crea-ture Studios has crafted a complex physics model of the skater and the skateboard, and players have to use real world knowledge of the adventure sport to pull off tricks and stunts in some of the most recognizable skating parks. There’s immense depth to the gameplay, but getting your bearings will take considerable time and effort. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who gel with this game are sure to spend dozens upon dozens of hours with it.

Half-Life: Alyx

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Apart from the engaging story and memorable combat sequences, a strong physics engine has remained one of the highlights of the Half-Life experience. The latest release Half-Life: Alyx continues this trend of showcasing Source 2’s impressive physics capabilities – allowing for a wide variety of interactions in environment objects. This enables even static looking environment props like glass and utensils to have physics properties which allows them to react appropriately to throws and gunshots which looks really cool in VR.



Saber Interactive’s SnowRunner puts players in the shoes of a truck driver who has to complete cargo deliveries in some of the most unfavorable weather conditions. The driving model tries to mimic the real world experience of operating a truck, and it succeeds in that mission for the most part. As such, driving through different terrain isn’t a simple matter of pressing the accelerator until you reach your destination – but instead, you need to use your brains to come up with smart strategies to tackle these situations. Post launch content updates have added more stuff to this already gargantuan experience, but it’s the engaging driving physics at its core that will keep you hooked on this game for dozens upon dozens of hours.


Taking a sharp turn from the simulation heavy driving of SnowRunner, we have Wreckfest. Developer Bugbear has delivered a fresh spin on the usual racing formula by combining detailed destruction mechanics with high octane racing for a unique experience. But what makes WreckFest a game worth placing on this list is the surprisingly detailed driving model for cars, which requires the player to make important decisions between body strength, top speed, and handling for tackling the hardest races in the game. WreckFest treads a fine line when it comes to balancing in-depth racing and brutal battles of destruction, which makes it the perfect game for racing fans wanting to add a bit of umph to their races.