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30 best PC games to play right now

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

If you’re locked away at home then chances are you’re going to be spending more time on your PC, so you might want to give your best PC games library a refresh. March was one of the best months for PC gaming in memory, and the variety of games that came out – from AAA shooters to indie puzzlers to VR games – reminded us of what we love most about PC gaming. The platform simply has more games than any console, and the best PC games span every genre, and every studio size. What’s more, regular sales and giveaways on Steam and the Epic Store mean you’ll often find games cheaper on PC than you will elsewhere.

With hundreds of thousands of games 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  

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 2020, and the best gaming laptops

Without further ado, here are the 30 best PC games.

The best PC games 2020 – top 30 list begins on next page

Every few weeks, we highlight a handful of recent releases that haven’t quite made our top 30 list – which starts on the next page – but are worth playing nonetheless. Occasionally, we’ll slip in a few evergreen classics for good measure. Make sure you check back regularly to stay on top of the latest, best PC games worth knowing about. 

A slow January has given way to a sleepy February, but there’s still plenty of releases worth playing, if you know where to look.

 Ori and the Will of the Wisps 

The fact Ori and the Will of the Wisps isn’t in our top 30 is no mark against it – it’s just a testament to the near-perfection of many of the games on the list (most importantly, Hollow Knight, its most direct comparison point). This is still one of the best action-platformers you can play right now, and Ori’s movement abilities are more fluid and flexible than any other 2D game we’ve played. Double jumps, dashes, glides, water dives, bouncing off projectiles: every movement is animated flawlessly, and it makes simply moving through each of the game’s beautiful environments a true joy. Levels are livilier and more dangerous than the first Ori, the combat is better, and the story tugs harder on the heart strings. A must play.

Buy it now:
Steam
Microsoft Store

Call of Duty: Warzone 

Call of Duty: Warzone is the battle royale du jour, and if it keeps on like this it may well usurp Apex Legends (number 18 on our list) as the best PC battle royale game. It brings much-needed fresh ideas to genre, chief among them the ability to respawn. The first time you die during one of its 150-player rounds, you’ll face another dead opponent in a 1v1 gunfight, and if you win you’ll parachute back down to earth. It means less sudden ends to rounds, and more time to spend fighting alongside teammates. There are other twists on the now-familiar formula – you can start contracts that give you objectives within a round, for example – but we’ll let you find them out for yourself. It’s free, and constantly improving.  

Download it now:
Battle.net

Black Mesa 

If you’ve never played the original Half-Life but fancy seeing what all the fuss was about: play Black Mesa instead. It’s a fan-made, Valve-approved remake that’s bigger and better in almost every way. The visuals are spruced up, the combat and physics brought up to modern standards, largely by replicating Half-Life 2, and new puzzles are added. There are enough tweaks in each expanded level to give fans of the old game a reason to return. The biggest improvement is Xen, the alien world that frames the game’s climax. In Half-Life, it was the worst portion – here, it’s one of the best. It’s the strange, colourful, dramatic conclusion that the original deserved, but never got.

Buy it now:
Steam

 Bloodroots 

Bloodroots drops you into an arena and asks you to murder everything in sight with a one hit kill. So far, so Hotline Miami. But what sets it apart, aside from the colourful wilderness around you, is the imagination developer Paper Cult Games has poured into your weapons.  Every object, from a fence post to a carrot pulled from a farmer’s field, is deadly in Mr Wolf’s skilled hands. Chaining attacks together within a generous combo window while switching weapons feels glorious: chop one enemy in half with an axe, stick a plunger on another’s head, use a rowing paddle to vault up to higher ground and rain down hell with a Gatling gun. The revenge-driven story is hardly gripping, but the ridiculous combat, and beautiful cartoon levels, sure is.

Buy it now
Epic Games Store

Murder By Numbers 

Murder by Numbers mixes visual novel and Picross puzzles into a twisting story about robots, drag queens, and detective TV series, and somehow gets away with it. If you’ve never played a Picross puzzle, then don’t worry: you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Besides, the puzzles are just the connective tissue between story beats, where you, a TV detective called Honor, must investigate a real-life murder by questioning witnesses. You don’t actually use powers of deduction to find the culprit, but the story and characters you meet are believable and distinct enough to keep you puzzling through to the end.

Buy it now:
Steam
GOG
Humble

Turn to page two for our full rundown of the 30 best PC games you need to add to your wishlist immediately...

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.