The must-own games on every platform

First-person shooter
The Orange Box

The brilliant evergreen Half-Life 2, two expansions, ace puzzler Portal and team shooter Team Fortress 2.

First-person shooter
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

You can’t escape it. One of the most compelling multiplayer experiences ever, even if the lack of dedicated servers grates.

First-person shooter
Left 4 Dead 2

Terrifying, beautifully-balanced co-operative gaming as you and three others try to survive a zombie onslaught.

Real-time strategy
Supreme Commander 2

Wildly imaginative sci-fi strategy fare (robot dinosaurs!), faultlessly constructed.

World of Warcraft

Not so much a game, more a way of life; the best in fantasy online roleplaying.

DiRT 2

The PC is awash with classic racing games, but Codemasters’ latest hits every high note.

Role-playing game
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The biggest and most convincing single-player fantasy world ever seen on PC.

Real-time strategy
Company of Heroes

Relic’s WW2 strategy triumph is dramatic, exciting and tactically cheek-flushing.

First-person shooter

Inventive, thinking-man’s blaster set in an atmospheric undersea city. Its sequel is its equal, too.

Real-time strategy
Napoleon: Total War

You can’t go wrong with any of the Total War RTS games. Napoleon is the latest.

The best PC first-person shooters

1. Half-Life 2
2. Team Fortress 2
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
4. Deus Ex
5. Counter-Strike Source
6. Battlefield Bad Company2
7. BioShock
8. Quake 3: Arena
9. STALKER: Call of Pripyat
10. Left 4 Dead 2