Best GTA V Graphics Mods: Our Top 15 Picks You Have to TryThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
GTA 5, back when it first released, was a major graphical fascination for everyone who owned an Xbox 360 or a PS3.
The game shipped with graphics that were only enhanced when the PS4 and the Xbox One dropped, and it made our favorite GTA title ever more beautiful. However time has passed and the expectations that we have for graphics are higher than ever.
But worry not, my game-loving friend. As I’ve brought my 15 favorite graphic mods that you can install into GTA 5 and improve the way it looks by a landslide.
Some of these mods are simply small graphical changes. But I’ve also decided to include them as some do work really well together(the colored HUD mod is a favorite of mine, I admit).
These mods are sure to change the way you perceive GTA V so stay with me and check ‘em out!
15. Insane Rain
Some mods give you complete graphical overhauls. Others do wonders to change the way the map feels.
This does none of those two things.
It does, however, make rain look much more realistic. Which consequently improves the way the game feels when rainstorms occur and makes it quite a bit more immersive.
If you’re looking to get a basic mod in place to set the tone for the next few graphics mods that you’ll be downloading, this is one you want to try out.
Insane Rain is simple, easy to install, and changes the game for good. Sure it’s not a complex mod, but it’s super cool anyways.
14. Colored Map Icons
Colored Map Icons does what the name implies: colors the icons that you see on the map. That’s it.
Why does it take a spot on my list, you ask?
Well, it makes the map look cool. Don’t judge me, I think it’s a great mod.
Jokes aside, this does add a bit more depth to the icons and it fully deserves a spot on this list. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I do – even if you’re not one to open the map quite often.
13. Realistic Thunder
Also known as Real Life Thunder, this mod changes the way thunder works in the game.
If there’s one trivial thing I didn’t really like about GTA 5 on release, it was thunder.
This mod completely changes it, and in my opinion it’s for the better.
This basically makes storms feel like real storms, as it doesn’t only replace thunder sounds with real thunder sounds but it also changes the way wind sounds while a storm is happening.
If you feel like GTA V storms aren’t immersive enough then please try out this mod. It’s going to make you fall in love with the game all over again – especially if you have another graphic overhaul installed.
12. Awesomekills Graphics
This is the first graphical overhaul of the game that takes a spot on my list. It makes the game feel so much better by adding a ton of shadowing and lighting effects, which turns the game into a photorealistic version of the GTA we’ve all grown to love and adore.
I fully recommend you to give this mod a try. Maybe with others that add cars to the game.
11. HD Blood
Are you tired of smashing the skulls of your enemies and thugs only to watch the blood fall to the ground unenthusiastically and unrealistically?
Well, that’s quite a specific thing to complain about. But I did too!
That’s why I got my hands on the HD Blood texture mod. I have to say, it does give me an eerie feeling with how realistic it looks.
The madman that created this mod was probably browsing pics of actual murders to get the texture just right.
And as disturbing as that is, he did one hell of a job. I love this mod!
10. LA Vegetation
My God, these damn textures look so amazing that the mod makes me feel like I’m looking at a picture.
That, combined with the fact that I actually have other graphic mods installed. In any case, the textures of plants and trees look so good with this mod that it’s going to make you rethink why the devs didn’t just start with this.
The vegetation really fits what you see in Los Angeles. And given where you’re playing that’s basically what you’re looking at when you see Los Santos.
I have to say that LA Vegetation adds a ton of new images and pictures to trees, basically retexturing the entire natural look of the game. It’s a fantastic mod.
9. Mod Community Graphics ENB
Now I love this mod because even though it increases the graphical quality of GTA V, it still feels like you’re playing GTA V and not some brand new game.
It’s like a graphical enhancement of the basic GTA graphics, and I love it.
It doesn’t make the game look as good as the Awesomekills Graphics mod that I mentioned further up in the list. But that’s part of what makes the mod so good!
You’ll find yourself in love with this mod if you prefer stronger graphics yet don’t want to lose the vanilla feel when modifying your GTA experience.
8. Colorful HUD
As I said in the intro of this article, Colored HUD is a true pleasure of mine.
I adore this mod, even though the changes that it brings to the table are as simple as it gets.
But as its name suggests, this mod only changes the way those gray dull icons look while adding color to every single one of them.
But this doesn’t just change the guns. It changes radio station icons and the entire grey wheel display too.
Super cool mod, and as simple as it is, I think it’s one of those things that you didn’t know you wanted until you got it.
7. Project RELOAD Texture Overhaul
This is the graphical overhaul that was made to be used with Project RELOAD, but they’ve released it as a standalone version in case you want to use it without changing the graphics of the game.
It’s a cool mod for sure, and I’m sure you’ll love Project RELOAD if you look into it. This is basically a suite of mods that focus on different aspects of GTA 5. And the craftsmanship on this stuff is just plain amazing.
6. R☆hancer Photorealism
Much like Mod Community Graphics ENB, this one changes the way vanilla graphics work without losing the feel of GTA.
If you tried out the former mod and liked it, then try this one out too. I have a feeling you’ll absolutely love it.
And I’m sure you’ll have a great time rediscovering GTA V with this running in the background.
5. Project RELOAD
Project RELOAD feels like the ultimate enhancer of GTA vanilla graphics.
And once again I must urge you to try it out if you don’t want to lose the original style of the game, but do want to change the way some things look. That is the goal of modding, right?
This is a massive project that includes the retextures that I ranked at number 7 on this list, along with a whole lot more. And it’s such a complete mod that you’ll struggle not to fall in love with it in seconds.
But note this is heavier than just the texture overhauls so maybe start with that one first, and then if you like it you can always expand.
4. GTA Realism
So this mod doesn’t only change the graphics of GTA.
It just makes the game feel much more realistic by adding other mods that strive to make the game play more like a simulation of the real world.
You can see this one as a pack of mods that make the game look better in terms of graphics as well as in terms of gameplay quality too. So it’s a bit like a classic immersion mod, but focused on the GTA universe.
3. 2k Water
As its name suggests, this mod makes water look much better by completely retexturing it.
This might not be a super complex mod, but it does quite a bit to make the game look better when complemented with other graphical enhancement mods. It definitely stands out on this list!
And besides, it’s easier to stay hydrated with HD water.
VisualV aims to have GTA V look more like the real world.
It changes the way the moon looks and completely rewrites the weather as we know it in the base game. Plus it does a lot of other smaller tweaks that add up to one incredible experience.
Bottom line: it’s a fantastic mod that works hard in the background to make the game look and feel much better than it does in its original state. Well, at least in my opinion.
1. Natural Vision
To start off: yes, the original mod is outdated. Yes, I’m including it anyway.
Because the newer version from 2020 is absolutely insane.
Granted you’re probably reading this well after release and it’s likely the newer version is already on your PC pumping up those GTA graphics for you. But really, this still has to take the #1 spot.
Natural Vision has been regarded as the best graphical overhaul of GTA V in the history of the game. And the new version was developed by some of the community’s most talented contributors so the 2020 release is clearly a leap ahead of an already incredible mod.
With these graphics we’re probably going to get as close to GTA VI as possible without even having to change the disk.