For as long as I can remember, there have been those who claim “PC gaming is dead,” despite the fact that the platform keeps going from strength to strength. In recent times, however, the naysayers haven’t been as vocal as they used to -- barring the Batman: Arkham Knight fiasco -- the last couple of years have been a bit of a golden age for PC gaming, producing some incredible games that will be talked about and played for years.
But which ones are the best of the best? In our opinion, these are the eight greatest PC games you should be playing right now. Just pick up any and go.
- Genre: RPG, Open-World, Action
- Similar: The Witcher, The Witcher 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Kingdoms of Amalur : Reckoning
- Graphics: Breathtaking
- Gameplay: Third-person, moral choices, crafting, swordplay
Incredible, amazing, magical: the English language is running out of superlatives to describe The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The deserving winner of Game of the Year at the recent Game Awards, this open-world adventure is one of the greatest RPGs we’ve seen in a long time. In addition to its fantastic story, characters, and gameplay, CD Projekt Red’s title has a special something that stays in the memory long after you stop playing. And to top it all off, The Witcher 3 is an incredibly beautiful game.
- Genre: RPG, Open-World
- Similar: Fallout 3/New Vegas, S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Graphics: Not its strongest point, but certainly better than average. Can be improved with with mods
- Gameplay: First-person, third-person, FPS/semi-pausable hybrid combat, town building, crafting
One day after its launch, Fallout 4 broke a record for the most concurrent Steam users. Barely a month later and it's the 7th most searched-for Google term of 2015. Bethesda made a triumphant return to post-apocalypse Americana with its latest installment of the series. The game may not always put user-friendliness first, but this huge, densely packed world will keep you playing for hundreds of hours. Crafting, settlement building, various playstyles, the hybrid combat system, and a myriad of character customization options make Fallout 4 an RPG that's more addictive than crack cocaine.
- Genre: Stealth, Action-Adventure, Open-World
- Similar: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Hitman: Blood Money, Alpha Protocol, some of the other Metal Gear games
- Graphics: Amazing
- Gameplay: Third-person, base-building, lots of player freedom, story-heavy
Many critics’ game of the year choice comes down to two options: The Witcher 3 or Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It's easy to see why, as Hideo Kojima's title offers an almost unprecedented level of freedom in its two sandbox worlds. Like the other games in the series, MGSV focuses on stealth, but its huge-scale battles can be truly exhilarating. The various interlinking systems work together perfectly, the Mother Base aspect is engrossing, and the sheer number of toys you can play with in this stunning-looking game makes the fact that it's Kojima's swansong on the series all the sadder.
- Genre: Multiplayer-focused, Sports
- Similar: Supraball, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (prequel)
- Graphics: Acceptable
- Gameplay: Competitive, driving, online leagues, soccer
Who would have thought that combining soccer and RC vehicles would create such a brilliant game? This physics-based, multiplayer-focused title from Psyonix may be easy to pick up and play, but it takes a long time to master. Both exciting and addictive, you’ll find that Rocket League will have you jumping for joy one minute and grinding your teeth in frustration the next. One of the most enjoyable multiplayer games since Unreal Tournament 2004.
- Genre: Action, Open-World
- Similar: Watch Dogs, GTA III, GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV, Saints Row series
- Graphics: Brilliant, especially if you have the hardware to play it in 4K
- Gameplay: Third-person, first-person, driving, shooter
Even though it took almost seven months for GTA V to make its way from the Xbox One/PS4 to the PC, it was worth the wait. Rockstar's latest iteration of its criminals-and-vehicles series is arguably the best entry in the franchise. The level of detail found in this open-world game is extraordinary, especially considering the sheer size of Los Santos and the surrounding areas. With a slew of excellent mods, a fantastic multiplayer mode, and hundreds of different activities available, you’ll be playing GTA V until the next game in the series is released.
- Genre: Action Role-Playing, Hack and Slash
- Similar: Torchlight 1 & 2, Path of Exile, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing I & II, Diablo I & II
- Graphics: Pretty and detailed, still the best the genre has to offer
- Gameplay: Isometric view, loot-based, online co-op, dungeon crawler
Diablo III may have had one of the worst launches in PC gaming history, with Blizzard’s servers running into constant problems and many players unable to connect, but once these issues were ironed out, Diablo’s III’s dangerously addictive gameplay shined through. It still had elements that people weren’t too keen on, however, but these were all but eliminated with the Reaper of Souls expansion, which also brought some excellent additions such as the Crusader class and Adventure mode. With hundreds of hours worth of gaming and a fantastic co-op option, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is still the best isometric action role-playing game you can buy today. With new content constantly being addded, there are no excuses for not playing it.
Buy it from: Amazon
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Similar: Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Amnesia: A Machine for pigs, Penumbra series, Outlast
- Graphics: Detailed, atmospheric, Frictional Games' best
- Gameplay: first-person, no combat, puzzles
Not only does SOMA contains moments that are just as heart-stoppingly terrifying as those found in Frictional Games' other classic horror title, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but it also has one of the best and thought-provoking stories to come from a video game in years. SOMA is drenched in atmosphere, and the feeling of dread is ever-present as you stalk the various locations on the ocean floor. With exceptional sound and visual design that add to the tension, SOMA is a game you’ll find difficult to put down as the urge to discover more of this sci-fi world never abates.
- Genre: cRPG
- Similar: Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment, Divinity: Original Sin
- Graphics: Not exactly flashy, but it does have some beautiful artwork and excellent spell effects
- Gameplay: Party-based, real-time/pausable combat, story-driven, text-heavy, isometric
Pillars of Eternity is Obsidian’s Kickstarter-funded homage to the classic, infinity engine role-playing games of old - Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. Like those games, PoE puts a focus on the writing, which is some of the best you’ll find in any game. The real-time-with-pause, party-based combat can be complex and often pretty tough, but this makes Pillars of Eternity challenging rather than frustrating. The game is enormous, so expect to spend around 70 hours exploring this detailed world. A lot of those hours will be spent reading, but with writing this good, you’ll want to absorb every word. A ‘true’ RPG for fans of the genre.
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