Helix mod is essential for 3D Vision users. If you don't already have it bookmarked, do it immediately. This is where broken 3D games go to be fixed. If it's high profile and broken, the geniuses there have likely fixed it.
The first link is a game list. Unfortunately for convenience, not everything gets listed there. You really have to go to the second link (front page) and view every page to see what the missing games are.
3D Vision blog used to be my old stand-by for fixes. He occassionally has 3D fixes for games (and in the comments sections) that aren't done at helixmod. Now I mostly keep it RSS'ed for news.
Yes. After months of being down, the Nvidia forums are back up. Honestly, though, much of the brain power towards user fixes has shifted over to Helix mod. Bookmark Helix mod.
For a more general PC 3D site, mtbs3d.com covers all 3D drivers. Not just 3D Vision.
They keep a user database ranking of all the 3D games and their known issues with each 3D driver.
Depth - If you're new to 3D, it can take a week or so to adjust. Once there, you'll probably crank it to 100 percent (unless it breaks the game).
Convergence - What is convergence? Depth is obvious. That's self-explanatory. But convergence? It sounds sinister. Like it's something that can break your picture. This is a classic mistake. When it comes to 3D, convergence is a man's best friend. Learn it. Love it.
Your instincts are going to be to ignore it out of fear. I did. It took me a week or two to even activate advanced settings. And another couple weeks before I stopped thinking too many button presses would launch nuclear missiles and start WWIII.
Learn to love convergence. Not only will it help you corridors stretch inwards forever, but it'll help you reduce ghosting. Ghosting issues can largely be addressed by getting your convergence correct.*
*A 3D display can cause uncorrectable ghosting, as can certain games, but properly dialing in convergence will reduce it to just those outside influences.
So what's the secret to a lot of depth and no eye fatigue? My motto: the more the merrier. I crank the convergence until either something breaks (ghosting), my body objects (a weird indescribable feeling that something is off), or the image separates. At that tipping point, I'll reduce convergence 2 or 3 clicks. Reduce until you don't have a weird feeling. It's pretty easy to instinctively know what your brain is objecting to (which will cause fatigue with long play sessions). For me: that's usually 2 or 3 clicks before the image separates.
NOTE: Changing your depth settings will require you reacquire the sweet spot for convergence.
Felipepl has an interesting tip regarding convergence:
Resident neogaf 3D guru Bee has multiple tips:
In my case, usually for third person shooters, I try to adjust the convergence without glasses, trying to align both images to be exactly in the same place when looking at the main character. The trick is to make it (the character) looking just like it would look in 2D, when 3D is activated, without the glasses.
For me, this is almost always the sweet spot for convergence setup.
two other things to mention are the depth hack, its just a script that spams the monitorsize registry key before and for 20 seconds or so after the game has launched. you can basically fool the system and allow it to produce 200% depth or whatever you want, just google it you should get great results with it tweaked to your liking. the other would be enabling the advanced settings in the nvidia control panel and setting the games up for high convergence with ctrl + f5/6 and low depth. most games are really just set up for depth but they can actually look better with less depth and more pop out, like torchlight or starcraft 2
couple of other points, if you have a monitor with large amounts of crosstalk in 3D then setting up the game with minimum depth and high convergence will usually completely remove the crosstalk, try it on fallout vegas for instance as that's a game that seems to test monitors quite well (daytime setting)
couple of little guides on the helix site that are super useful, first is to be able to use helix fix and other dll mods together e.g smaa
also you can use autohotkey to set different convergence levels on the press of a key e.g useful when aiming down the sight in fps games at high depth
there's another way to do this with this file https://s3.amazonaws.com/chiri/NVAPI.rar doesn't work in all games though
It's been pointed out that I should highlight that convergence needs to be unlocked in advanced settings:
I changed it from the default F1, F2 since certain games had vital functions mapped to F1 and it's annoying when you're just trying to up the convergence in a game.
Framerate - I'm someone who values framerate and appreciates 60fps gameplay. As much as I whore 60fps in 2D, I find it essential in 3D. If a 3D game can't hold 60fps (or at least come close), the incredible animation and illusion falls apart for me. The animation because very synthetic looking. It's my opinion that great 3D lusts for a high framerate. It's what turns your 3D world into something that's alive and magical. 3D animation loves it some 60fps. 1080P 3D @ 60fps is my Next Gen. It's that good.
If you're an Nvidia user, you can get a pretty good idea of how a game plays by looking in your Nvidia control panel. NOTE: Many games (especially recently) ship broken. Nvidia can list a game as broken and HELIX MOD may have fixed all the issue. VISIT HELIX MOD.
But back to the Nvidia control panel, if you sort by compatibility, you're pretty much guaranteed a good 3D experience if you stick to Excellent - 3D Vision. A game listed as good can still be very good. And often games aren't listed at all. But this is a rough guide to start from:
NOTE: Sometimes they are overly generous with their rankings towards big publishers. Crysis 2 has pretty lousy 3D, but since it has no rendering issues, it gets an "excellent" rating. Same with Square's Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The developers have chosen to integrate 3D. And unfortunately, it kinda sucks. Good 3D has an almost unlimited depth. The above games have that awful cardboard look with layers. Maybe it's easier to render and less resource intensive, but it looks like shit. If that was what typical 3D games looked like, my 3D glasses would be in the garbage can.
I've had it only 6 months, but these are the games I've personally played (at least partway) and would absolutely recommend their 3D (at least with 3D Vision):
The Showcase Games (You have one game to turn a skeptic into a believer):
Trine 1 & 2 - A demented fairy tale brought to life. If you can play these games in 3D and not be impressed, 3D is not for you.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Might need to install some mods to fix the sky, but I'd assume these fixes are available for all 3D drivers. Open world games with unlimited depth are just jaw droppers in 3D.
Just Cause 2 - Whether zipping around on cars or flying in the air, you can't believe what you're seeing. Bonus points when you're in the air and flak is exploding around you.
Mafia 2 - If you thought the winter segments oozed atmosphere before, your eyes will bug out the first time you're driving in snow.
Batman: Arkham Asylum + City
Metro 2033 - Need to turn the settings down quite a bit (don't even try DX 11), but it's a showcase for 3D if you can keep the framerate up. On record as not being the biggest fan of this game, but the 3D is spectacular.
F1 Race Stars - The second Codemasters' racing game with good 3D. Only have the demo, but it's a showcase for 3D. The art style comes alive in 3D. Gameplay impressions seems mixed at best.
Hard Reset - Don't really like the game, but it is beautiful in 3D. Think the demo might be broken with 3D Vision, but somewhere along the line they patched the full game into a 3D showcase.
Darksiders - Awesome with stock settings.
Darksiders 2 - Broken with stock settings. With the Helix mod, every bit as good as the original. Not sure how other versions are.
Dead Space 1 & 2 - Broken with the default 3D Vision profile. Fantastic with the Helix mod. Think the 3D Vision version was always the black sheep version until Helix went and fixed everything.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - Glorious top down 3D with stock settings.
The Witcher 2 - The second is considered one of the 3D Vision showcase games, but even the first game is damn good.
Renegade Ops - Like Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, a showcase if you like top down games.
Wouldn't be your first choice to convert somebody, but damn fine 3D:
Dear Esther - Not perfect and has some minor issues here and there, but usually incredibly beautiful.
Portal 1 & 2 - Fantastic 3D. Some of the scenes where you're whisked around in tubes are especially fun.
Dungeon Siege III - Like a lot of top down games, the 3D shines in this game.
Sid Meier's Civ V - A board game brought to life.
Sonic Generations - The 2.5 and 3D sections are equally great in 3D.
Audiosurf - I'm a heathen who doesn't really care for the game, but the 3D toyificaation was good enough to almost make me give it a second chance.
Alice: Madness Returns - Really good 3D with 3D Vision, but requires the Helix mod to fix the 2D crosshair. Not sure if all version have fixes and it's difficult to aim without the crosshair at proper depth. So the fix is a must.
Bang Bang Racing - Top down arcade racing. Nice 3D. Can't recommend enough if it's on sale and you like old-school racers from the top down. I've demo'd quite a few top down racers, and this is my favorite in 3D.
Dirt 3 - Probably the best looking arcade/sim 3D racer. Most Codemasters games are borked in 3D. Excellent 3D is the only reason to recommend Dirt 3 over 2.
Inversion - I'd put it a step below showcase, but still really good.
Mirror's Edge - Broken with 3D Vision, but with the Helix mod, pretty awesome.
Nimbus - Enhances a fun little game.
OutRun 2006 - No longer available on Steam, but really nice looking if you have it.
Sonic and Sega All Star Racing - At least with 3D Vision, beautiful Sega arcade racing in 3D.
Tomb Raider Anniversary - Really good 3D. Brings the tombs alive and helps with spatial awareness when solving puzzles. Own Legend and Underworld, but haven't played yet. Supposed to be just as good.
Rayman Origins - Only rated a good by Nvidia, but play the demo. A sight to see.
Enhances gameplay, but probably too hardcore for most of GAF:
Racing Sims - rFactor, rFactor 2, iRacing, Race 07, Power & Glory 3.0 (GTR 2)
Most of the hardcore race sims take pride in rendering properly and having really good 3D. Why? Because 3D is more than just pretty eye candy (although it most certainly is candy and makes a lot of these rather modest games look much better than they should).
Having natural depth in the distance allows you to more naturally attack corners. It removes some of the alien qualities if you're used to driving in real life. In real life, I'm always focused on the horizon up ahead. In sims, I had a tendency to stare just in front of me (which I'd never do in real life). With 3D, I'm now focused on the distance like I should be.
Demoes that have impressed enough to move them up my Steam Wishlist in anticipation of the Winter sale:
Pid - Not perfect, but definitely enhanced the demo considerably. 2.5D games are a sweet tooth of mine.
Unmechanical - Wasn't expecting much considering it's an Unreal game without 3D mods, but it looks GREAT in 3D. Turns a rather ugly game into an animated beauty. Plus I love 2.5D games with physics.
Ys Origin - Didn't even realize there was a demo until today. And totally shocked that it actually significantly enhances the graphics. You wouldn't think a 3D world with 2D characters would work, but it's more than playable.
Special mention to 3 games sitting on my wishlist for the winter sale, but which look absolutely fantastic with Helix Mod fixes (watch some videos):
Dark Souls - Think gaf likes this game.
Sine Mora - The depth in the background is incredible. Really was stunned by how pretty it is.
I Am Alive - An under the radar game that absolutely loves the 3rd dimension.
So that's it. There are a ton more great looking 3D games. I just wanted to give 3D recommendations on titles I've personally played. Follow the above links and you'll find hundreds more that look great. Old games especially are rendered properly. There's no cheating being done that needs elaborate shader fixes. And let's face it, older games can be kind of bland. So the third dimension gives them a much needed shot in the arm visually.