Early games that used Nvidia's new RTX features focused on taking a modern game and adding a little bit of ray-tracing. The most obvious effect was killing your frame rate. That's really not a very good justification for buying a $1200 video card.
At the time, I said that what they needed to do is to sponsor a game that is fully ray-traced from start to finish. Scale things back however far they need to in order to make ray-tracing work. This week, Nvidia has released exactly that.
It's not a new game, really. It's Quake II, which released in 1999, modified to use full ray-tracing everywhere. It's also modified to use higher resolution textures. That makes it part tech demo and part real game. You can get it for free on Steam now, though you'll only get a limited portion of the game for free. If you don't already own Quake II, then for $5, you can get access to the entire game, fully ray-traced. That includes all of the single player content that was in the original Quake II, as well as multiplayer.
Going with such an old game with low polygon counts allows people with a GeForce RTX card to get around 60 frames per second at 1920x1080, even with full ray-tracing. The game will also run on Pascal or non-RTX Turing cards. Or perhaps "crawl" is a more descriptive word than "run". It will not run on Maxwell or older GPUs, nor on AMD or Intel, due to the lack of an RTX driver available. This is not a case of Nvidia pulling some proprietary garbage; AMD or Intel could release an RTX driver for GPUs that don't have hardware ray-tracing, but it won't perform well. The game uses Vulkan, so it will also run on Linux, and without needing to rely on some porting tool like wine or proton.
Using a modded version of a popular game allowed Nvidia to focus on the graphical effects that are their expertise, without having to fuss with game design or play balance issues where they have no meaningful expertise. It also allowed releasing a fully playable game, rather than something that was just a mere tech demo. Importantly, a full game means no taking shortcuts that a real game wouldn't be able to take in order to make the tech demo work. If this is the sort of graphics that people are clamoring for, it absolutely is repeatable, and there could be a ton of other games made with graphics about as advanced as Quake II RTX.
There are two possible paths to ray-tracing (no pun intended). One is starting with modern games and adding increasingly more ray-tracing effects, and hoping that people eventually think it looks good enough to justify the frame rate hit. The other is going all-in on full ray-tracing immediately and being able to replicate the same complexity that the early 3D games did 20+ years later. That doesn't mean that we'll get 2005-era graphics plus ray-tracing in 2025. GPU hardware isn't advancing nearly as fast as it used to. But if Moore's Law survives, we may be able to get 2005-era graphics plus full ray-tracing by 2030.
I think that the latter path of going full ray-tracing from the start is far more promising than the former. Companies that attempt the former will keep making games that struggle even with ray-tracing turned off, so that you can't add very much ray-tracing without killing your performance. That will get us to fully ray-traced games sometime around never. The question is how soon people will think full ray-tracing with much lower polygon counts looks better than the latest and greatest rasterized fakery.