There isn't a single title to date that brings this level of graphics/detail with DX9, and as my opinion goes, this has to be the best looking game I have ever seen.
Furthermore, I have screenshots of Crysis 2 and Metro2033 side by side in all their glory, there are a few scenes where Metro2033 trumps Crysis 2, but when it does its marginal and its usually in a dark tunnel with a flickering light, which is what Metro2033 does best.
Crysis vanilla (no mods) barely competes with Crysis 2, now you add a ToD mod and the HQ textures that fans went crazy making it, and the DX10 lighting and you have some competition.
Realifsis + Amazonia is superior to Crysis 2, however, I don't see how that level of detail (with respect to playability) could be applied to what Crytek did with New York City sized levels. Crysis 2 out of the box > Crysis.
The levels are extremely detailed, the line of sight, or level of detail as you get further way, barely decreases if at all ever, making them less like static objects just copy and pasted. This game boasts incredible detail in regards to destruction in a urban environment, I don't think I know of any title that even comes close to the level of detail in the environment this way.
Example - Random Screenshot:
All of that has to be done by hand, their SandBox 3 environment must have been a nightmare to look at with pipes, sewers, wires, broken iron reinforcements, cars, streets, fractures, is mostly physically there. Broken rubble on the ground can be textured at times, but mostly its a healthy blend of design detail and texturing. Not to mention in keeping with Crysis tradition, there are no painted walls depicting parts of the city you can't reach giving the illusion of depth or size. Those buildings are there. They are all physically there.
This game should be put in a showcase, so that other developers using DX10 and DX11 can see what a PC optimized (console port or not this game runs awesome) release can do. Then they can hold their heads down because they can see how they don't even come close to in design quality, and Crytek are using a older more seasoned API.
I haven't seen one legitimate claim of any game being graphically superior to this title (that does included being modded) I have seen Clear Sky and of course Metro2033, while both fairly decent titles, they don't look as good as the things I have seen in this game.
Furthermore, when people say it looks dated or should have been better, I seriously question what it is dated compared to, what graphics are missing, and what features does this game not have? Its just a case of people having no thoughts of their own and just mimicking what they hear and see others say. I haven't heard one graphical constructive argument against Crysis 2, with the exception of too much bloom or too much motion blur (which can be configured down by the way) which are understandable to players tastes, but other than that its straight up haterism.
Sadly though, I would of preferred a little tessellation just to make things stick out a tiny bit more, but as lighting goes, I am not sure how much DX11 would be different, the lighting is already superb. I have my own non-Crytek based conspiracy on this one. After seeing newer DX11 titles come out and given virtually no support at release (DA2 as recent example), I have a feeling there is something that no one is publicly mentioning, and part of it is related to DX11 being multi-threaded.Edited by RagingCain - 3/23/11 at 5:29am