There's no better time to be a PC gamer than right now, and that's because the best PC games offer some joys that consoles can't. We could point to its unparalleled modding scene, or the unmatched graphics you'll squeeze out of a powerful desktop – but the best thing about PC gaming is that there's simply more games to play than on console, be they big or small, indie or AAA, full-price or free-to-play. Regular sales on Steam and other stores means they're often cheaper than on console, too.
With hundreds of thousands to choose from, how do you know which to invest in? You've come to the right place, because this list showcases only the best of the best PC games. If you're a newcomer—welcome!—then these are the PC games you should buy right away. And if you're a long-time PC gamer, read this list to make sure you haven't missed out. Note that these are the best PC games you can play today, not the most important PC games ever made: as much as we love old-school classics like System Shock 2 and Half-Life, you won't find them on this list. Equally, if an older game crops up, you can be assured that it's still worth downloading.
If you need to upgrade your PC to run some of these best PC games, check out our high-end gaming PC build guide. Alternatively, if you need a pre-built machine, here are the best gaming PCs of 2019, and the best gaming laptops.
Without further ado, here are the 25 best PC games.
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Competitive shooters trace their lineage to the earliest days of multiplayer, when dial-up modems provided the glitchy bridge between copies of Quake. Overwatch succeeds in large part because of the way it hearkens back to those old school shooters, putting aside almost everything that doesn’t directly serve the gameplay and offering just enough of a sense of progression to keep players hooked from match to match. Overwatch doesn’t present a huge number of new ideas, but what it does so well is take some of those old ideas and refine them to near perfection. It’s the Blizzard formula, and it works like a charm for Overwatch, with elements drawn from class-based and objective-based shooters and arena multiplayer games that have dominated online multiplayer and streaming platforms for over a decade. And Overwatch is bristling with that distinctive Blizzard look, just cartoony enough to be charming without ever feeling childish or overwrought.
24. Total War: Warhammer 2
The Total War games have long been some of the best strategy games on the market, each iteration introducing new ingredients and refinements to a recipe that manages to satisfy hardcore grognards without alienating budding strategists. But they’ve also always been mired in historical accuracy, deep simulations of real world kingdoms and empires.
Total War: Warhammer shattered those real world shackles and unleashed dragons and demons on the huge, seething battlefields of Total War, and the sequel shows how much the team at Creative Assembly learned making the first game. It brings the tabletop game to glorious, spectacular life, complete with explosive fireballs, fantastical creatures, and the hideous armies of blackest Chaos, and with the Mortal Empires expansion allows players to conquer the entire, sprawling Warhammer world.
23. League of Legends
There are few games as emblematic of the PC gaming scene as League of Legends. Spawned from a mod for Warcraft 3, League features more than 100 champions for players to choose from as they coordinate with up to four teammates to destroy the enemy base. It's not so simple as all that though, as there are minions to farm for gold, items to buy and boost your power, areas hidden by fog of war, powerful turret defenses, and of course, the enemy team to contend with. Few games can teach you the importance of teamwork, situational awareness, and hotkey dexterity like League, where every gank becomes an invaluable learning experience. But hey, if you're feeling the pressure in League's standard 5v5 mode, try a 3v3 match or All-Random, All-Mid (ARAM) match for some more casual fun.
Undertale is not only one of the best games of the last decade, it’s also one of the most surprising. What appears on the surface to be an unassuming, weird little indie game slowly unravels over the course of several hours to be one of the most amusing and oddly compelling experiences to land on our monitors in recent history. Undertale combines masterful writing and deft manipulation of some of the RPG genre’s most tried and tested (and stale) tropes, as well as a healthy dose of fourth wall-breaking humor, into a delightful cocktail of surreal narrative and fresh gameplay. Saying too much about it would only spoil its many layers of delightful, often absurd, surprises - if you haven’t played it yet, run, don’t walk and grab a copy. You won’t regret it.
21. Dark Souls 3
The Dark Souls franchise is one of the best recent examples of a game series that spawned an entire genre. It’s the sort of concept that’s increasingly rare in a time when it feels like so many ideas have been so thoroughly mined, but Dark Souls proves that there are still new experiences to be had, and the third game represents the most polished take on the Souls formula yet. With its massive world, full of diverse, gorgeous, and deadly environments, and its black fantasy atmosphere and hideous creatures, Dark Souls 3 gives us the most engaging setting in the series’ history. And while it doesn’t stray too wildly from the established Souls formula, it does add just enough tweaks and improvements to please even jaded veterans like myself, things like weapon arts and improved bow mechanics, or multi-stage bosses. Dark Souls 3 is unquestionably the best starting point for newcomers to the series, but also, incredibly, manages to offer enough fresh angles to seduce even players who have exhausted all three (including Demon Souls) of the previous games into committing another 70 or so hours of their time.
Turn to page two for our picks of the 20 -11 best PC games to play right now...