Graphics in video games have come a long and exciting way, from uncomplicated pixels to photorealistic images that capture our imagination. From the first arcade games and 1 pound deposit casino in the 1970s to today’s virtual worlds, video games have evolved thanks to rapid advances in technology.

In this article, we’ll look at the basic stages of graphics transformation in video games, from the first pixel images, through the transition to 3D graphics, and up to modern releases with VR and AR integration. Learn how graphics have changed games and what technological innovations have helped achieve such impressive results.

The development of the first video games with pixel graphics: from 2D to 3D

The first video games like ‘Pong’ (1972) and ‘Space Invaders’ (1978), were the simplest graphic solutions consisting of a few pixels on the screen. They were characterised by minimalism and a limited colour palette, which was due to the technical capabilities of the time. Pixel graphics became the basis for the first arcade and console games, such as Pac-Man (1980) and Super Mario (1985), which shaped a whole generation of gamers.

The first computer games

With the advent of more powerful consoles and computers such as Nintendo (NES) and Sega Genesis, developers were able to create more complex and detailed 2D games. However, the real revolution was only made possible with the advent of technology that allowed the transition from two-dimensional worlds to three-dimensional ones.

The first truly landmark game in this regard was ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ (1992) by id Software. This game started the era of three-dimensional shooters, paving the way for such hits as ‘Doom’ (1993) and ‘Quake’ (1996). It was these games that demonstrated the potential of 3D graphics and laid the foundations for the creation of complex virtual worlds.

First 3D releases

The transition to 3D graphics was made possible by the development of hardware and new image processing algorithms. The use of texture maps and polygonal models made it possible to create more realistic and detailed images. Fifth-generation consoles such as the Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64 were the first systems to take full advantage of three-dimensional graphics.

Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 (1996) was one of the first games to show how three-dimensional space could be used effectively to create an engaging gaming experience. Players could explore three-dimensional levels and interact with objects and characters in a freer and more intuitive way than was possible with two-dimensional games.

Examples of popular games

To better understand how the evolution of graphics from pixels to realistic worlds has affected video games, let’s look at a few examples of popular games that illustrate key stages in this development.

Super Mario (1985). This game became iconic for its gameplay and memorable characters embodied in pixel graphics.

Doom (1993). One of the first first-person shooters that demonstrated the possibilities of 3D graphics and became the founder of the genre.

Half-Life 2 (2004). A game known for its innovative approach to storytelling and the introduction of a physics engine, which made the world around it more lively and interactive.

The Witcher 3 (2015). One of the most acclaimed role-playing projects with a vast and detailed world that comes to life through graphical and technological advances.

Cyberpunk 2077 (2020). A game that, despite a difficult launch, showed how modern technology can create an incredibly detailed and atmospheric world.

Development of modern graphics: integration of VR and AR

One of the key factors in the development of modern graphics has been the use of new ray tracing technologies. Thanks to this technology, realistic lighting and reflection effects can be achieved, which increases the visual perception of the game many times over. For example, such games as ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ and ‘Battlefield V’ you can see the most realistic scenes thanks to this technology.

However, the most significant breakthrough of recent years has been the development of VR and AR. These technologies have opened up new horizons for interactive and immersive gaming experiences. Virtual reality immerses the player in a fully three-dimensional world where they can interact with their surroundings using motion controllers and other devices. Examples of such games include ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ and ‘Beat Saber,’ which demonstrate how VR can transform traditional game genres.


The evolution of graphics in video games is a fascinating story of innovation and creative solutions, stretching from the simple pixels of the first arcade games to the photorealistic worlds and immersive virtual realities of today’s projects. At each stage of development, technology has allowed developers to push the boundaries of what is possible, creating richer and more interactive game worlds.