CPU Intensive Games – For Processor Benchmarking And Gaming

Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad Bilal
CPU Intensive Games

The gaming world is dynamic, and you can’t predict a single thing. When developers release the game into the markets, they try their level best also to publish the benchmarks for certain types of systems. These benchmarks prove the credibility and durability of the game. At times, games turn out to be relying on a single entity: Either the GPU or CPU. That’s the sole reason for the percentage usage skyrocketing out of nowhere. 

It could be because of the bottleneck and a plethora of different reasons, but you can’t ignore the fact that some games rely more on CPU than GPU. Let’s take the example of MMORPG games. You have waged war against an empire, and now your opponent and you are on the battlefield. This densely populated screen pushes the CPU to work more than the GPU. The job of the CPU will be to process all the generated queries from the game. 

The CPU intensive tasks are not restricted to MMORPG games only. For instance, if you are playing a recently released AAA title, then the CPU’s chances of being clocked more than its normalized clock speed are high. The latest claims require more CPU cores to perform mathematical and geometrical calculations for picture generation.

It’s also worth mentioning that most CPU intensive games use more RAM sticks. It’s because RAM allows temporary storage, and the CPU needs it to run multiple processes simultaneously. That’s why you need to bear in mind that RAM should be sufficient to withstand any CPU intensive game without freezing or lagging the system.

In this article, we will be enumerating all the short-listed titles that require CPU more than the GPU itself. You can use these benchmark results to either stress your CPU to its extreme ends or simply educate yourself about the CPU intensive games. 

I would also like to add that the list is not finite. Countless games might have been missed out, just to limit the word count of the article. 

Without any further ado, let’s begin the benchmarking!

Prime 10 CPU Intensive Games in 2023

NameYear of releaseDeveloperEstimated CPU Usage
Assassins Creed OdysseyOctober 5, 2018Ubisoft Montreal90-100 %
Battlefield 5September 4, 2018DICE90-100%
Star Wars Jedi: fallen orderNovember 15, 2019Respawn Entertainment70-80%
Grand Theft Auto 5September 17, 2013Rockstar Games70-80%
Assassins Creed OriginsOctober 27. 2017Ubisoft Montreal80-90%
Far Cry 5March 27, 2018Ubisoft Montreal70-80%
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderSeptember 12, 2018Crystal Dynamics70-80%
Final Fantasy XVNovember 29, 2016Square Enix80-90%
The Witcher 3: Wild HuntMay 19, 2015CD Projekt70-80%
Quantum BreakApril 5, 2016Remedy Entertainment60-70%

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin Creed Franchise has taken its standard a notch further by introducing new settings, playable characters, and seasoned RPG mechanics. It was utterly unorthodox of them to release something different than the existing prequels. Odyssey takes you on a journey of a family who has been battered and shattered in ancient Greece. If you are into historical entities, then Odyssey has something special for you. 

What’s the reason for Assassin Creed Odyssey to take such higher system requirement grounds?

Your first thoughts will be to compare the animations and the detailing factor. Well, you are correct. Assassin Creed Odyssey uses real-time rendering objects to portray realistic displays. The lightning in the game is crisp; the textures embellished with proper Anti-Aliasing solution turned on. Since the game is in ancient Greece, developers have ensured that every detail stays with you until the credits. You can witness the grass dangling as you cross by, small thuds of wind caressing your character’s skin, and the birds whooshing by. It’s ethereal and heavenly. 

No doubt that the game requires a more advanced CPU and GPU to run. These minor and significant rendering has led the game to munch more on CPU for the systematic generation of the objects. Recorded on most of the User’s system that Odyssey was most of the time on 99% CPU Usage. That’s insane because there’s no space left for background applications to run. Even the visual aspects push your GPU to the extreme ends. I’ll be honest; you need a beast rig also to play the game with smooth transitions!

Recommended System Requirements

CPU4.0 GHz AMD FX-8350, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-3770
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290

Battlefield 5

Battlefield 5

If you are a fanboy of the Battlefield series, you must have come across this hungry title. Battlefield 5 is phenomenal in that it portrays and foreshadows WW2 events so accurately that you feel drowned in the digital world of WW2. You take over the campaign story, which focuses on War stories of different heroes that either survived to tell the tale, or died within the ashes. These stories take on a third-person narrative environment where the detailing of the world is so accurate and feels real. 

What’s the reason for Battlefield 5 to take such higher system requirement grounds?

It’s nothing but the use of detailed texture in the game to feel the intensity of the narrative. You also experience mild seizures because of fine details on the blood and lighting effects. Not to mention, the recorded statistics bring into the notice that the majority of the time, the game remained at 90%+ usage, which is again quite high for most of the mid-range systems.

Recommended System Requirements

CPUIntel Core i7 4790, AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
GPUNvidia GTX 1060 6GB, AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB

Star Wars Jedi: fallen order

Star Wars Jedi: fallen order

The Star Wars franchise has ensured that whatever title you get, it stays up to the expectation. After releasing the Force Unleashed 2, the franchise went into oblivion and came out after years with Battlefront. In 2019, they released another outstanding game, known as “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” which takes on a narrative of an exiled Jedi to reclaim the order.

You get to experience the vast fictional world of Star Wars, where the intergalactic battles ensue forever. The lighting effects are at an all-time high, with a detailed textures pack. It’s worth mentioning that you can’t lower down the graphics settings below Medium. It is what it is, and to generate/render those graphics; you need a high-end CPU.

What’s the reason for  Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to take such higher system requirement grounds?

As I said, the detailing is fierce with proper anti-aliasing technology implemented; hence you need such a processor that can withstand intense calculations without freezing. Notwithstanding, Star Wars can be enabled on RTX GPUs, therefore making the CPU use more cores/threads. Surprisingly, the game’s CPU usage becomes constant at around 75-80%. Ultimately, leading to little to no room for background applications to run at ease.

Recommended System Requirements

CPUIntel Core i7-6700K / AMD Ryzen 7 1700
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5

I’ll be blatantly honest; Grand theft Auto 5 doesn’t take a toll on your components in any specific way, as far as the settings are on the reasonable threshold. You have to keep in mind that, over the years, Rockstars released many HD texture packs, including RTX, enabled option, and 4k resolution, hence making the game CPU intensive. If you plan to crank up the settings to its maximum potential, then do expect the CPU usage to shoot straight above 70 percent. 

Not to mention, Grand Theft Auto 5 is a game where you can MOD the game as per your demand. Install different packs, and tweak it as per your will. 

What’s the reason for Grand Theft Auto 5 to take such higher system requirement grounds?

The reason is nothing but the use of great MODs and near-photorealistic graphics of GTA 5, which wasn’t the case in 2013. The game evolved, hence the graphics. Statistically speaking, on most of the gaming rigs, GTA 5 with all the MODs enabled, and RTX on, the CPU usage simply shoots up to 80 percent, and at times 90 percent depending on where you are in the game. Some of the game areas are more CPU and GPU intensive because you need to render more to project the object’s fine details.

Recommended System Requirements

CPU3.2 GHz Intel Core i5 3470, 4 GHz AMD X8 FX-8350
GPUNvidia GTX 660 (2GB), AMD HD 7870 (2GB)
Storage72 GB (with online-94 GB)

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin's Creed Origins

Assassins Creed Origins is the prequel to Odyssey. Both the games are set in the ancient era, hence making them unorthodox in some oddly satisfying way. Assassin Creed Origins is based in Egypt, taking over the crusade of Cleopatra and Assassin Lineage. The intense environment used in the game makes it another CPU intensive game. The quality texture packs, anti-aliasing option, Bloom, Vsync, and surprisingly, RTX enabled choice had made the game CPU hungry.

It’s because when you are rendering places like Egypt with dunes, and scorching sun ( realistic), it requires the CPU to make more enhanced calculations, so the game doesn’t go haywire.

What’s the reason for Assassin’s Creed Origins to take such higher system requirement grounds?

It’s nothing but the use of high-end graphics in the game, which seemingly perpetuates extended core work hours, making your CPU usage skyrocket. Expert recorded that most of the users experienced 99 percentage CPU usage at the initial stages of the game, making the game freeze, lag, and lose a couple of generated FPS. The developers acknowledged this issue and decreased the percentage usage by 10, making the game playable for the Assassin’s Creed enthusiasts gamers.

Recommended System Requirements

CPUIntel Core i7- 3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD R9 280X 
Storage45 GB

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5

Far cry 5 is an open world game that was developed by Ubisoft in 2018. The game is set in the fictional world of Hope County and takes over a suffering protagonist who aims to destroy the order. This game is different from its prequels because of the increased number of antagonists. It’s reasonable to say that Ubisoft upgraded the game’s tactics and mechanics, which ultimately resulted in higher CPU and GPU demand. The combat style has a close-up that showcases most of the fine details.

What’s the reason for Far Cry 5 to take such higher system requirement grounds?

While playing the game, the CPU usage keeps skyrocketing to 70%+ because of the in-progress rendering. Since the world the game is set up is fictional, most places have spiking features that increase the usage, hence making your system at times unstable. 

Recommended System Requirements

CPUIntel Core i7-4770 @ 3.4 GHz, AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.2 GHz or equivalent
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290X
Storage20 GB

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I believe this game deserves all the praise. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is for the lovers of the Tomb Raider Franchise, which set the mark of releasing three titles in the years to come. Shadow of the tomb raider marks the sequel, and believe me; it’s one of the top-notch games you can get your hands on. If you want a game with an excellent graphics option, with volumetric fog and particle effects that tricks distorted light, then this is the game for you. Square Enix never ceases to surprise franchise lovers. Lara takes on another seemingly dreadful adventure, targeting Mayan civilization this time. The disruption caused in the game was because of Lara herself, and she looked forward to fixing it. It’s a game of redemption, self-recognition, and survival.

What’s the reason for Shadow of the Tomb Raider to take such higher system requirement grounds?

The game makes use of interactive environments where Lara can take advantage of—hence making the game use more CPU at an average rate. You can hide under the bushes, use ropes to climb, and the world with foliage seemingly perpetuates intense and crowded scenes. This simply indicates that the CPU will need to use more processor clocks to render the graphics. Not to mention, after enabling the RTX option, the CPU can shoot up to 90% without a single drop. 

Recommended System Requirements

CPU3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 4770K, 3.2 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 1600
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
Storage40  GB

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV

It’s already here. Final Fantasy XV is one of those CPU heavy games that will remind you of upgrading your system. We’ll speak of this shortly! The game is about Noctis (protagonist), who ventures on a journey to eliminate the evil forces. You have four companions you can rely upon till the end. The game has immersive content and narrative which will make you sit through countless nights.

What’s the reason for Final Fantasy XV to take such higher system requirement grounds?

The game captures every grain of grass and fine particle details, resulting in the CPU’s economic use. It’s mandatory to mention that most of the time, the CPU usage remains on 85%+ because of normalized 4k rendering in the game. You have the option to choose between 720P, 1080P, and 4k. Regardless of the possibilities, 1080P feels like 4k, and there’s no specific reason for that. The engine the game uses is something out of this world. So, get ready to burst your CPU to ashes you don’t play to upgrade your mid-range CPU.

Recommended System Requirements

CPU3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3770, 4 GHz AMD FX-8350
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, Radeon RX 480
Storage100+ GB

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The game can still catapult itself fine without causing any problems, regardless of it being an eons-old game. But, if you plan to push the limits, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was initially released in 2015, making it a simple to-go game without causing turmoil, but with time, new MODS and workarounds came in to suit the latest generation technologies. Now the same game can be launched on 4k, with breath-taking graphics, and this is only possible if you have a beast rig, regardless of it being an old generation game.

What’s the reason for Witcher 3 to take such higher system requirement grounds?

If you are looking forward to amplifying your graphics, with Nvidia HairWorks enabled (supposedly, RTX, too), then do remember the CPU usage will catapult to its highest value possible. Most of the users reported that around 70%+ usage was recorded on medium settings, whereas Ultra only bashed the 90% mark up. With 4k, HBAO+, and other enhancement options, the game exceeded 95% markup. The game is heavily dependent on the CPU because of the time required to render the graphics.

Recommended System Requirements

CPU3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3770, 4 GHz AMD FX-8350
GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 770, Radeon R9 290
Storage35  GB

Quantum Break

Quantum Break

Speaking of Quantum break, it was nothing but a complete abomination to the Microsoft lineage in terms of optimization. The game had abysmal FPS generation and unusual spikes in CPU usage for a couple of months. At least the problem was solved, but not entirely. The game is attractive in terms of narrative and the generated environment but lacks a full optimization aura.

What’s the reason for Quantum Break to take such higher system requirement grounds?

It was nothing, but a few bad ports, that made the game skyrocket to 60-70% CPU usage, which was still somewhat within the prescribed threshold. The game never delivered the indicated performance. Regardless it was fun to play.

Recommended System Requirements

CPU3.9GHz Intel Core i5-4690
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 390 
Storage43 GB

Final Wrap Up

It doesn’t matter which CPU intensive game you play first. As long as you are satisfied with the narrative and how it unfolds, it’s enough. I recommend you to go through the list once more and select the title you are looking forward to playing.

Do remember, you need a mid-range system to run the games on medium settings. Have fun, lad!

Related Article: Best Games Like Ratchet & Clank

Frequently Asked Questions

It entirely depends on how the game developed, and what anomalies it had incorporated in its initial stages. The complexity of the game and how it demands the processor to process all the information can lead the game to use a more substantial proportion of the CPU. If an X game involved more physics and AI calculation, then expect it to require a high-end CPU to work stably.

In short, CPU intensive games use 90% or more CPU to function correctly. The percentage can vary inherently, but the concept remains the same.


Hey, I’m Muhammad Bilal. I’m a tech fanatic (also read: Gamer), who loves scrutinizing fine details. I aim to strive hard in my respective fields (as a writer and software programmer). Before pursuing my majors in a university (right now in A-levels), I want to spend time exploring and reviewing the latest technology.

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2 years ago

Total war Series, Minecraft servers, City Skylines, CIV 5 or 6 last, but not least Cyberpunk 2077. Cyberpunk is the only exception due to poor development.