You’ll have a lot of options when you go to the Epic Games Store, Steam, Xbox, or any of the other digital marketplaces for PC games. In a role-playing game, do you want to level up your characters? Disco Elysium: The Final Cut and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt offers all you need. Do you wish to knuckle down to your online adversaries? Play a fighting game like Tekken 7 or The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match Final Edition. In a nutshell, the PC gaming industry is large and varied. But don’t let yourself become ice-cold by accident; use our advice to make an informed decision.
Please keep in mind that this isn’t a look back at some of the most pioneering PC games. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain redefines stealth-based action, while the Forza Horizon series is the quintessential open-world racing franchise, yet neither of these games made it into this list solely based on those criteria. Simply said, if you own a gaming PC or laptop, this is an ever-growing library of exciting titles that you should get.
To be clear, games do not have to have been released in the same calendar year to be included in this roundup. Any game that is still available and regarded as good when compared to today’s finest is eligible. That, we believe, is the most effective method for determining which video games are worthy of space on your PC’s hard drive and which aren’t, even if their prices are reduced by 85% during a Steam sale.
We’ve added three additional games to our latest update: Football Manager 2022, Halo Infinite, and RetroMania Wrestling.
How We Pick ‘Em:
This tutorial took a long time to put together. Defining inclusion criteria was crucial because PCMag’s in-house and freelance reviewers have played an incredible number of PC games over the years. This is what we came up with after considerable deliberation. To be considered for inclusion, a game must have been reviewed by PCMag, be still available for purchase, and have a rating of 3.5 stars or above.
The first criteria are that we are able to provide you with more information about a game. Yes, this guide will tell you a little about each highlighted game, but the ability to link to a complete review is useful for those who want a more in-depth look. We’ve already discussed the second point. The final criterion required some thought. We didn’t want the star rating to be so low that practically all PC games qualified for the list, but we also didn’t want it to be so high that quality B-tier games like Dead Island and Split/Second were left out. For now, 3.5 stars is a good compromise, but as we review more games, we may need to be more selective in order to keep the list at a manageable length.
Explore Our Picks:
Because this PC gaming list presently contains over 200 titles, making navigating as simple as possible was a top priority for our creative commandos. The games are organized alphabetically by genre, with each category’s titles displayed in alphabetical order. Simply choose a genre, such as fighting games, and the page will be redirected to that section. Easy! We also have segments on action games, indie games, and role-playing games if you want more in-depth lists.
Additionally, while gaming, you should ensure that your PC is safe. Check out our roundup of the best VPNs for gaming, which includes virtual private networks that have been tested by PCMag. A VPN will not only keep persons with bad intentions from snooping on your network, but it may also allow you to spoof your IP address and play games in other countries. Learn about the VPN services that add the least latency to your gaming experiences by reading our reviews.
If you’re a console gamer who thinks we favor PC gaming since we’re PCMag, you’re correct. Nonetheless, our editors have compiled a list of their favorite games on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch. Those roundups aren’t quite as comprehensive as this one, because the PC has a considerably larger library, and this is PCMag, after all.
The top PC games are now available. Enjoy using your keyboard, mouse, gamepad, flight stick, or combat stick.
Metal Slug 3
SNK’s Metal Slug 3 is one of the best run-and-gun games ever made, featuring high-octane, shoot-everything-that-moves action. Metal Slug 3 was first published on the Neo Geo platform in 2000 and has since appeared on practically every console and handheld—and now it’s accessible for PCs. In this game, you command adorable, heavily armed soldiers who use rifles, rocket launchers, and the titular Metal Slug tanks to protect Earth against an extraterrestrial invasion. Due to its adorable (and hyper-violent) cartoony aesthetics, tough-as-nails difficulties, inventive weapons, and varied level design, Metal Slug 3 is a genre masterpiece.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection contains a mix of excellent, adequate, and poor components. Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is all fantastic action games with rich, exciting battle mechanics. Unfortunately, the faults that plagued later titles are still present in this collection, with no significant adjustments made to the architecture. Worse, this bundle eliminates the games’ multiplayer aspects and provides limited performance-tuning choices. Newcomers to the series will love the excellent action, but veterans wishing for the ultimate versions of these games will be disappointed.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The sequel to Red Dead Redemption is a bloody tale about the end of the Old West. You play as Arthur Morgan, a member of an outlaw gang who has grown disillusioned with the illegal lifestyle. Even still, Arthur can’t imagine himself doing anything but stealing and murdering. As a result, you’ll be tasked with a variety of dangerous assignments. Red Dead Redemption 2 marvels on PC, despite some performance difficulties. Its captivating tale, stunning graphics, a plethora of alternative quests, and constantly updated online mode may keep you enthralled for years.
Batman: The Telltale Series
Since Telltale Games began combining its exceptional storytelling chops with popular comic book properties, the point-and-click adventure game genre has enjoyed a rebirth in popularity. Batman: The Telltale Series, on the other hand, exemplifies what the company can achieve when it combines an action-oriented license with its successful story-driven formula. The game features all of the fisticuffs, gadgetry, and detective work that you’d expect from Bruce Wayne’s disguised character, while also allowing you to alter the story in both big and small ways.
D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die
Hidetaka “Swery” Hidetaka “Swery” Hidetaka “Sewer Suehiro, a former film student who now works as a video game creator, proudly displays his influences. The video game auteur was behind the strange, Twin Peaks-inspired Deadly Premonition the last generation, and now D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, another eccentric, David Lynch-like murder mystery, brings his own brand of creative madness to the PC. It follows the story of a widower, David Young, who is obsessed with finding out what happened to his wife, Little Peggy before she died. Because of its supernatural elements, hilarious characters, and fascinating investigation action, the game is worth playing.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead has returned! The Walking Dead, which vanished from digital marketplaces when developer Telltale Games went bankrupt, has been brought back to life by publisher Skybound Games. In this choice-based adventure game, you play Lee, a former professor and convicted felon who is attempting to survive a zombie invasion while protecting a young girl named Clementine. Keep some tissues handy at the conclusion.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone has joined the competitive battle royale ring, and it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve to mix things up. Based on the 2019 remake of Modern Warfare, Warzone offers new battle royale aspects like loadout kits and respawn matches that set it apart from the competitors and have a significant impact on how the game plays. Although these features are hit-or-miss, the entire product is well-polished and contains enough meat to appeal to classic FPS enthusiasts.
Fortnite is just another game that takes advantage of the battle royale genre’s popularity, but that doesn’t mean it’s without potential. Fortnite has a lot going for it, such as easy gaming types, vibrant and crazy graphics, and a fantastic construction system. Although the clumsy combat and prevalence of microtransactions detract from the experience, Fortnite is a free-to-play game, so fans of PUBG and other titles in the genre should still give it a try.
PUBG’s primary goal, like that of many other open-world survival or first-person shooter games, is to be the last person standing. PUBG, on the other hand, defies genre expectations. It mixes the greatest elements of open-world games with the mechanics of a solid first-person shooter, and it caters to an MMO-style user base. The gameplay aspects are also well-balanced. For example, you can choose where you want to parachute down on the battlefield, no one starts with a weapon, and there’s a lethal and massive shimmering blue dome that periodically reduces the playing area. It’s exciting and tense, but glitches take away from the fun.
Streets of Rage 4
Playing Streets of Rage 4 feels like returning to your childhood neighborhood and discovering that your childhood home hasn’t changed. Rarely does a successful media franchise get a well-crafted sequel years later, but LizardCube, Guard Crush Games, and Dotemu’s beat ’em up is pure Streets of Rage. A diverse group of new and old martial artists is entrusted with cleaning up a fictional city’s nasty streets from a criminal gang in Streets of Rage 4. Since its start in 1991, the series has been known for its hard-hitting action, gloomy urban landscapes, and unadulterated pleasure. Despite a few shortcomings in the design, it is widely recognized as one of the best modern beat-’em-up games.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is a fun and action-packed climax to Kazuma Kiryu’s mafia tale. The beat-’em-up game has simple controls, amusing boss bottles, and the bizarre events you’d expect to see in Kamurocho, a fictional Tokyo neighborhood. It is, however, a little too simple.
Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle
Following 1987’s groundbreaking—and money-making—Double Dragon, the arcade scene saw an explosion of side-scrolling beat ’em ups. Capcom, with a streak of noteworthy titles that allowed players to team up with a friend to pound enemy forces into pulp, was a big contributor to the genre’s meteoric rise in popularity. The Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle combines seven of these titles, including the legendary Final Fight, in one package with online play. Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a recommended package if you enjoy thumb-numbing, button-mashing action in alone or multiplayer sessions. It does, however, lack the detailed production design papers and historical comments contained in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, respectively.