Here are the top PC games, ranging from high-fantasy action to first-person shooters.
The greatest PC games come in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from enormous open-world AAA blockbusters like The Witcher 3 to small yet absorbing indie games like Disco Elysium. But, with over 500 titles in your Steam and Epic Games Store libraries, how do you determine which to play first? That's where we come in, with a roundup of the finest PC games we're now playing.
Don't forget about our Xbox Series X and PS5 coverage, since we were able to examine these systems and their companion titles when they first became available. If you want to get into streaming, take a look at the best and worst of Elgato's streaming technology.
See our most recent Back 4 Blood, Call of Duty: Vanguard, and Battlefield 2042 reviews. If you enjoy pen and paper games, make sure to visit our best virtual tabletop software page. Also, see our System of the Stars feature, in which we meet a therapist who uses video games to educate mental health.
We know that the best PC games are in the hundreds, including titles such as Divinity: Original Sin 2, Doom, and Minecraft, but we can't mention them all. So, here are the top PC games we're currently enjoying (this list isn't graded from best to worst).
What are the best PC games?
Despite the current state of affairs, 2020 was a fantastic year for PC gaming. Doom Eternal comes to mind like a game of the year contender. Doom Eternal is everything first-person shooter fans could desire, with a terrific single-player campaign that well outperforms its predecessor. Doom Eternal was some of the most undiluted joy we've had playing a video game in quite some time, thanks to a beautiful setting, phenomenal original music, and important quality of life upgrades.
Action-horror in third-person Resident Evil 3 was recently released, and while it isn't as fantastic as Resident Evil 2, it still has a strong foundation with thrilling boss fights, captivating locations, and a polished fighting system. Looking for something similar to yet not the same as Overwatch? We immediately recognized that this may be one of the finest PC games after falling board-first into one of Bleeding Edge's bright levels and jumping into the hack-and-slash brawler-Esque pandemonium of battle — that is, as long as Ninja Theory can deliver post-launch.
Outside of 2020, there are other incredible PC games, such as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (fantasy adventure), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (how to die simulator), Fortnite (battle royale), and Rocket League (competition sports?). Gears 5 (cover-based shooter), The Outer Worlds (first-person RPG), and Mortal Kombat 11 (fighting game) all kicked ass so hard that they made our 2019 games of the year list. Monster Hunter: World (action RPG) and Beat Saber are two of our personal favorites (VR rhythm game).
The best PC games in 2022 are available today
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab's debut video game, and it was just released as a PS5 platform exclusive. When it was debuted at Sony's Future of Gaming conference, the PlayStation community was taken aback by its amazing Pixar-esque animation. But, as with any studio's first large project, there was some cynicism about the status of the gameplay itself.
While the experience isn't without flaws, Kena: Bridge of Spirit's biggest value is its heart. The weight of a mountain is carried by Kena's loving smile as she tenderly meets the lovely critters of the forest. Corruption robs the world of its sensitive color, and as the player sees it gradually regain its color, a great sense of fulfillment floods over them. The world's declining state tells a tale of the people who lived here, how their lives were robbed from them, and how there is yet a beauty to be discovered in the ruin.
A great, realistic Balinese music, a precise fighting system, the incentive to explore its vivid jungles, and a pleasant, attractive setting all intertwined with Kena's palpable character. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a familiar experience, yet its spirit is significantly greater than that of many of the titles from which it draws inspiration. It's without a doubt one of the finest PC games of the year.
Life is Strange: True Colors
I'd never played a Life is Strange game, so when True Colors was revealed, my attention was piqued until I watched the video. When I noticed that the protagonist, Alex Chen, had the singing voice of mom toon, a piece of pop music I like, I took a double-take. Then I was introduced to Haven Springs, a charming tiny town in Colorado, and you know how much I adore small places. But it wasn't until I met Alex that I decided to take the leap.
I can now state that Alex is a well-crafted character. I connected with her on a level that I couldn't achieve with most genuine people. Her ability as an empath originally attracted me. I've recently started thinking of myself as an "empath," someone who is sensitive to the emotions of others around them. To put it another way, I consider myself emotionally perceptive. I've spent a long time treading on the eggshells of those around me, and I can tell when they shatter — I can sense when people are hurting on the inside. When I first saw Alex's power depicted on screen, and how another person's emotions influenced her, a link between her and myself was quickly forged.
Life is Strange: True Colors seems tailor-made for me. I adore the people, the plot, the decisions, and everything in between. When I made those decisions, I completely submerged myself in this environment and became Alex Chen. I was harsh when I needed to be, nice when I could, and badass all of the time. Life is Strange: True Colors is without a doubt one of the greatest PC games available.
Resident Evil Village
When a new Resident Evil game is released, certain expectations are met by the highly renowned action-horror series, and while Resident Evil Village satisfies some of them, it fails to satisfy others.
Resident Evil Village is, in terms of gameplay, the love child of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7. Capcom, on the other hand, was able to turn the isolated premise of Resident Evil 7 into the fairy tale-esque plotline that we receive from Resident Evil Village. It's like witnessing a fantasy gothic horror movie come to life.
The farther I got into the tale, the more immersed I grew in the adventure, which is unusual for a Resident Evil game since most are corny and center on a complicated plot, but Resident Evil Village is very straightforward in its goal. As a result, it's simple to relate to, and while the protagonist, Ethan Winters, maybe as uninteresting as a bag of bricks, he's undoubtedly one of the most relatable characters in the Resident Evil world.
As a consequence, Resident Evil Village is unquestionably one of the finest PC games on the market right now.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Because Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is Kazuma Kiryu's swan song, it was difficult not to study it more closely than previous entries in the series. When it originally appeared, it also held the distinction of being the first entry in the series created entirely on the PS4 hardware. With so many new fans seeing Kiryu for the first time with the blockbuster success release of Yakuza 0, it seemed almost too soon for Yakuza 6 to come when it did. We were, after all, just starting to know him.
Yakuza has been a cult sensation for years, but it wasn't until Yakuza 0 that the series began to gain traction in the West. Because of the franchise's growing success, much of the Western audience has a very different take on it. Kiryu and Yakuza are popular among newcomers because, well, they're fantastic games. Many, though, lack the years of experience with the series that longstanding fans possess.
As a result, Yakuza 6 risked alienating one of the two audiences, especially because those who began the series with Yakuza 0 are unlikely to have had the leisure to go through each game. Fortunately, Yakuza 6 manages to find an excellent balance. It provides new players with the information they want from prior titles without being so reliant on previous titles that it alienates people who have previously gone through previous Yakuza games. And now that the game is available on PC, more people from all around the world may enjoy it.
Deathloop is a wild, violent mash-up of Groundhog Day, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and my all-time favorite game, Dishonored. Indeed, Arkane Studios is the skilled team behind the latter, and they're the same people that worked on Deathloop - and the parallels are apparent. Deathloop has all of the renowned Dishonored elements, such as supernatural powers, dual-wielding fighting styles, gritty, explorable settings, and cruel, infuriating adversaries that summon the entire freaking town for support.
Deathloop, on the other hand, takes a more current approach, dumping staid ol' 19th-century royal guardian Corvo in favor of au courant Colt, who has a colorful, sarcastic demeanor like Samuel L. Jackson and amusing remarks that make you laugh. With Colt's volatile personality and penchant for cursing, he's just one step away from exclaiming, "Enough is enough! I'm sick of these [expletive] time cycles on this [expletive] island!"
When you first step into Colt's shoes, you're just as ignorant as he is. You, too, are attempting to piece together the broader picture of what the heck is going on here and how you're going to halt this crazy time loop.
It Takes Two
It Takes Two is the definitive co-op experience, delivering a mash-up of mechanics and concepts from the most respected multiplayer genres. It refuses to let the player relax, bombarding them with a slew of brilliant ideas. Although not all of these concepts stick, they are all unique enough to warrant their existence.
The game asks the player to move at a breakneck pace as they discover new worlds, acquire new powers, and solve smart riddles. To top it off, all of this is set against an endearing backdrop of a squabbling couple urged forward on their trip by an obnoxious book of love.
Little Nightmares 2
Little Nightmares 2 will not only provoke explosive emotions with its hard levels (nothing is more irritating than missing a monster by a hair's breadth), but it will also throw you from your seat with scream-inducing jump scares and exciting chases that need parkour ability.
The Bandai Namco-published IP had me on the point of tears more than I'd like to confess, from heart-tugging "oh, no!" moments to replaying levels a billion times. Little Nightmares 2 is a frustrating game, but when you eventually escape that persistent monster without dying for the umpteenth time, a joyful sense of pleasure takes over and neutralizes the frustration-filled rage that drove you to flip a table. Little Nightmares 2 is like a poisonous relationship; it takes you through a tumultuous emotional rollercoaster, but you're not ready to get off since it's simply too exhilarating.
Exploring the terrible hellscape of Doom Eternal is significantly more enjoyable than one would think from a game that promotes cruelty and bloodshed. Players explore futuristic extraterrestrial worlds, urban metropolises ripped apart by demonic evil, and massive buildings inspired by Renaissance-era architecture. Doom Eternal's settings are so breathtakingly gorgeous, heightened by its broad color pallet, that every moment demands time to think and savor the views.
Doom Eternal understands the series far too well, becoming so engrossed in its own memes that it's tough to interact with the game's more serious moments. The plot, as confused as it is, swiftly takes a back seat, thrusting the player right into the demon-slaying action. Thankfully, the plot thickens in the second half and concludes in grand style.
Bugsnax is the game we need as we head towards 2021; it serves as a reminder that creativity can heal. While the concept is inspired by past works, the execution is completely unique. Bugsnax is the next invention from Young Horses, the group responsible for the humorous and strange adventure game Octodad.
This current release is more ambitious than the studio's earlier games, and I'd argue it's more successful, if not as memorable. Bugsnax is a simple game that is tough to define. It takes you on a colorful trip in which you must use various equipment and ways to capture Bugsnax, half-snack, half-bug creatures. This aids you in unraveling the secrets of Snaktooth Island, the setting for the game. Along the way, you'll meet a colorful ensemble of characters brought to life by superb voice acting.
Bugsnax is a game that everyone of any age may enjoy. It combines a Pixar-worthy story with tough riddles, an intriguing mystery, and engaging characters — but it is the completely pure whimsy that will leave you speechless.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
The game Assassin's Creed Valhalla is my first AC game since Unity, thus I missed out on the RPG metamorphosis that occurred in Origins. I'd barely dabbled with Odyssey, so I had no idea what to anticipate from Valhalla. The cynic in me expected to see a bloated, pointless open-world action RPG but instead saw something more thoughtfully built.
Don't get me wrong: Valhalla has its flaws, and it falls short of competing with other major action-adventure RPGs that are presently available or will be released shortly. However, when I was roaming the bustling snowy peaks top of Norway and randomly found the Elk of Bloody Peaks, only to go ax-to-antler with it at the side of a bright pool of water on a hilltop, Assassin's Creed Valhalla connected with me. It was engrossing and amazing.
If you can find Assassin's Creed Valhalla on sale, it's a terrific game with entertaining combat and stealth features, deep exploration, and magnificent environment design. Valhalla might be one of the top PC games to play for a reduced price.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator, a visually stunning, spectacular virtual experience that transports you to Earth's boundless sky, will have you humming "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado. Bora Bora's magnificent sanctuary of blue lagoons will capture you. Thailand's vegetation-covered limestone cliffs will captivate you. The brilliant and bulbous churches of Moscow will take your breath away.
"I have no idea where my soul is!" "I'm not sure where my house is!"
"Sometimes you have to go up incredibly high to appreciate how little you truly are," skydiver Felix Baumgartner once stated. From the deep coastal fjords of Norway to the towering baobab forests of Madagascar, the world appears limitless in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Despite Earth's vastness, Microsoft has managed to cram Bing's immense satellite data of Earth — all two petabytes of it — into this hypnotic game, leaving simmers astounded by the sheer number of cities (over two million) that may be visited.
Microsoft Flight Simulator will never bore you with its seemingly unlimited amount of locations to visit.
Gears Tactics seemed ridiculous when it initially debuted at E3, but it should have been obvious at the time that a Gears of War-meets-XCOM game is a match made in blood, guts, and glory. Gears' turn-based strategic fighting works well since it's a cover-based shooter, thus the concept is the same, only you can plan out your actions more methodically.
Aside from clever turn-based gameplay, what Gears Tactics brings to the table is how expertly the creator's Splash Damage and The Coalition tackled cosmetics and character customization — everything is free of both cash and gender. Even exploring the options was beneficial, as I uncovered a plethora of performance and accessibility choices.
While the gameplay was enjoyable, the plot failed to engage me in its pre-Gears setting. I played for 8 hours before coming to an intriguing plot aspect. Despite this, Gears Tactics remains one of the finest PC games you can play right now based just on its gameplay.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red's Witcher trilogy is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to the success of the Netflix miniseries "The Witcher." And The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is not just the finest game in the series by far, but it's also one of the best PC games to date. The last chapter of Geralt of Rivia's video game journey has all of the sword-wielding and spell-casting you'd expect, as well as loads of dialogue and morality trees and a vast bestiary of mythological monsters to battle.
In the last entry, you're on the trail of an adult Cirilla who is fleeing the titular Wild Hunt. Along the journey, you'll run across series regulars such as Triss, Dandelion (Jaskier), and, of course, Yennefer of Vengerberg. So, toss your coin (and many hundred hours of your life) to your Witcher and immerse yourself in a delightful and interesting adventure.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is a fantastic game. If you missed Guerilla's critically praised RPG back in 2017 and have powerful enough hardware to handle the badly optimized mess that is this PC port, I recommend buying it up at a big discount.
Horizon Zero Dawn immerses the player in a vast open environment where they must gather resources, hunt robotic and biological monsters, and create an arsenal of elemental weapons and armor. The game's already treacherous areas grew much more deadly as I played on Ultra Hard, which frequently required me to sneak across landscapes to evade its extensive collection of vicious robots. Most fights were genuinely terrifying for me because several opponents had the capacity to crush me in a single strike and set me back by up to 10 minutes of progress.
This design concept stresses how stunning the end of the world maybe. Stories about a lifeless planet are certainly interesting, but Horizon Zero Dawn brilliantly knows how to best show what will truly happen after nature reclaims the Earth.
How to Select the Best PC Games
Choosing the finest PC games for you boils down to what you want to get out of the game. Do you want to read a well-written story? The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is an excellent choice. Or perhaps it's just a nice multiplayer experience? Try out Fortnite. If you're looking for something more focused on gameplay, you could always try the VR rhythm game Beat Saber.
There are additional genres and gaming styles to think about. Are you a fan of first-person shooters? Apex Legends may be the game for you. Or do you like third-person action games? If you enjoy games with a high level of difficulty, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fantastic pick. None masters the third-person cover-based shooter more than Gears 5. If you're searching for a hyper-realistic third-person western to play, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the game for you. Do you enjoy fighting games? Take a look at Mortal Kombat 11. There are thousands upon thousands of games available; you're sure to discover something that appeals to you.
How We Test the Best PC Games
We haven't evaluated or tested every game on this list, but we have played them all and know which ones belong here. However, for the ones we've examined, we put them through their paces on a PC.
First, we run the game on a laptop to check how it operates, and then we look into any issues or glitches we saw while playing. We also evaluate the game's graphical options. Some games, for example, have only one choice for overall graphical quality, but others go all out and provide twenty distinct options for each graphical component that makes up the game. We also go through the minimum and recommended system requirements for each game, so you know exactly what sort of laptop you need to play it. As an extra benefit, we describe what launcher the game is on, as this is a role in someone purchasing a game (though it really shouldn't be).