PC gaming is a continually relevant force in a world many think is dominated by consoles. Most adult gamers still play using a PC rather than a console, so any notion that PC gaming is dying or obsolete should be discarded immediately. The PC is a treasure trove of wonderful gaming experiences, and we’re going to collect the best of them. Here are the 15 best games available on PC right now.
Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope’s paean to old Macintosh adventure games is one of the smartest detective experiences available right now. You must piece together the fate of the good ship Obra Dinn using a magical device that allows you to see the last moments of its crew members. Trust us – it’s genius.
We’d be foolish not to mention the single most popular MMORPG in the world, and World of Warcraft very much still wears that crown. Despite a few wobbles with less-than-stellar expansions in recent years, WoW is still tightly designed, dripping with atmosphere, and deeper than the Mariana Trench.
If World of Warcraft isn’t scratching your itch and you’re looking for more competitive play, check out League of Legends. It’s a MOBA, which means two teams face off on an intricate map and attempt to destroy one another’s bases. With huge champion variety and oceanic gameplay, LoL is the thinking person’s PvP game.
Through sequels and remakes, the first Dark Souls is still the one that shines. This remastered edition has been optimised much better than the original, which means Blighttown won’t chug like a faulty steam train anymore. There’s never been a better time to experience this dark fantasy action-RPG than right now.
Each iteration of Civ improves on the last, and the sixth instalment is the most addictive to date. Civilization VI maintains the franchise’s turn-based empire-building strategy gameplay but adds a wealth of new features sure to appeal to newcomers and franchise old hands alike.
What else to say about Minecraft? It’s the creativity toy that sparked a thousand memes, pretenders, and YouTube videos of people recreating the entirety of Westeros within its boundaries. Minecraft is at once sedate and deep, involved and relaxed, casual and hardcore. Check it out if you want to lose days of your life.
If you love games like Planescape: Torment and Baldur’s Gate, you’ll adore Disco Elysium. If you just love great writing and an innovative approach to CRPG character-building, you’ll adore Disco Elysium. Heck, if you don’t mind reading and want to play an incredible game, you’ll love Disco Elysium.
Yes, it’s the game that launched a hundred “buy it on a fridge” memes, but Skyrim is still an utterly absorbing and unique experience. Its massive open world takes hours to traverse, and you’ll never discover all of its myriad secrets, even across hundreds of hours of play time. Skyrim is a world in which to truly get lost.
The first Half-Life is a benchmark-setter, but Half-Life 2 is where the series truly became unmissable. Gordon Freeman’s physics-heavy first-person shooter adventure across the ruined City 17 is as compelling and addictive now as it was back in 2004, and the Gravity Gun has aged incredibly well.
From the sublime to the sublime. Portal is, quite simply, perfect. Its short length belies a masterfully-written dark sci-fi adventure through a facility that may not be all it claims. GLaDOS earns her right to occupy a space in the pantheon of the greatest video game characters, and the gameplay’s pretty excellent too.
Although XCOM: Enemy Unknown is excellent, its sequel is even better. More alien types, better strategic options, and gameplay streamlining make this turn-based strategy sequel a much easier ask on newbies and returning Commanders alike. The narrative may be a little too “to be continued”, but the journey along the way is unforgettable.
Quadrilateral Cowboy is an experience so offbeat it could only appear on PC. It’s a coding puzzler in which you must type commands to open doors, control drones, and pull off the perfect heist. Its slightly clunky interface will put off the more casual gamer, but if you’re up for a puzzle game with a difference, give this one a try.
This is a survival game with a difference. Subnautica eschews the randomly-generated worlds beloved by its stablemates, preferring instead a hand-crafted underwater paradise rife with danger and intrigue. There are survival mechanics, but exploration is the order of the day here, and it works beautifully.
If you’ve got the rig to run it, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a cowboy adventure for the ages. Set during the dying embers of the Wild West, RDR2 follows Arthur Morgan, a member of the notorious Dutch Van der Linde’s gang. Attention to detail is the order of the day; you’ll spend hours just soaking in the meticulously-crafted atmosphere.
Described by its creators as a “90s internet simulator”, Hypnospace Outlaw is a weird, wacky, and wonderful game. If you remember what it was like to sign Geocities guestbooks, you’ll love this one. If not, it’s still a glorious journey down the old-school rabbit hole, complete with many mysteries to solve.