The 25 best PC games to play now

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There's just something special and unique about being a PC gamer. The best PC games take full advantage of their platform, enabling all kinds of features, from online play to mods to graphics cards more powerful than the computers we used to first send man to the moon. In fact, if there's any downside, it's that there's simply too much to choose from. So let us help with that by giving you our list of the best PC games to play today.

Some ground rules: first, this ranking is based on what it's like to play these games today, so while you'll see games that are a few years old at this point, we think they're worth enjoying even in 2018. Second, while we won't be rating mods themselves (a feature largely constrained to the PC scene), there's no denying the ability to mod some games makes them exponentially more enjoyable. Along those same lines, we're also giving consideration to games that work better on PC than other platforms. So while you might be able to play Diablo 3 on a number of systems, the mouse-and-keyboard controls on PC earn it a bit more praise.

So, without further ado, here are the 25 best PC games to play right now. And if you need to upgrade your PC to run some of them, check out our high end gaming PC build guide!

25. 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.

24. The Sims 4

True, The Sims 4 hasn't been as beloved by players as much as The Sims 3 or even The Sims 2, but there's still nothing quite like this home / personal life simulator series. The Sims 4 nails that sense of voyeuristic fun that comes from making cartoon versions of your friends and watching as they burn their house down trying to cook mac-n-cheese, or the stress of watching a party go off the rails because your neighbor (who is a vampire) just kissed an alien (who is your husband). The Sims 4 launched in a sorry, stripped-down state, but recent expansions and patches have brought it back to the point it's worth your time.

23. XCOM 2

2012's XCOM: Enemy Unknown delivered thrilling tension in a candy-sweet shell, complete with upgrade mechanics, an expandable base, and that walking-the-razor’s-edge sensation of balancing several complicated systems at once all while trying to save the world. The follow-up builds on the success of the first game and preserves all of its best bits, from characters you get attached to as they succeed and grow, to the teeth-gritting way time passes, knowing the next game-shattering event may be only seconds away. But it also adds more of what we loved about the original: more devious foes to combat, more incredible gear to research and manufacture, and a storyline that puts the alien invaders in the driver’s seat of a planet spiraling towards hopelessness. Perfectly timed to release just when appetites for more turn-based action were reaching another high, XCOM 2 delivered another dose of some of the best turn-based strategy around just when gamers craved it most.

22. Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 takes the first game's play-how-you-want design philosophy and runs wild, giving you the option to once again go behind the mask as Corvo or try out a new suite of supernatural powers as Emily Kaldwin. The storyline is sprawling and engaging to the very end, with each level functioning as a bloody puzzle for you to solve, either by stealthy assassin skills or powerful brute force. Loads of games claim to let you play your own way - Dishonored 2 truly delivers that through the strength of its gameplay and the smart design of its worlds.

21. 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.

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