You’ll have many options when you open Epic Games Store, Steam or Xbox. Do you feel like playing role-playing games? Disco Elysium, The Final Cut, and The Witcher III Wild Hunt have what you need. Are you looking to take on online opponents? You will be able to enjoy fighting games like Tekken 7 or The King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match Final Edition. The PC gaming market is rich and diverse. This guide will help you make an informed purchase decision.
This is not an historical review of the most innovative PC games. Metal Gear Solid V, The Phantom Pain, is a game that redefines stealth-based action, and Forza Horizon is the most popular open-world racing series, but these titles didn’t make the cut for this guide. This is a growing collection of entertainment titles that you should purchase if you have a gaming laptop or gaming desktop.
This roundup does not require that games have been released in the past calendar year. It’s possible to qualify for this roundup if a game is still available at empyreanrule.com and still considered outstanding when compared against the best games of today. This is our preferred method of helping you determine which video games are worth space on your computer’s hard drive.
Our latest update adds three new games: Aliens, Fireteam Elite, Eastern Exorcist and Myst.
How We Pick ‘Em
This guide was not an easy task. PCMag’s freelance and in-house reviewers have played an incredible number of PC games over the years. This made it essential to create criteria for inclusion. After much thought, here’s what we came to. A game must have been reviewed by PCMag and still be available for sale to be eligible for inclusion.
First, we must be able to give you more information about a game. This guide will tell you some information about each game. However, it also gives you the opportunity to link to a complete review for those who want a more detailed look. We’ve already discussed the second. It took some time to think about the third criteria. We didn’t want the star rating to be so low that not all PC games could qualify for the guide. However, we didn’t want the star rating to be too high that it excludes quality B-tier games like Split/Second and Dead Island. We are happy with 3.5 stars for now. However, as we review more games we might need to be more selective to keep the list manageable.
This PC gaming guide currently contains more than 200 games. Our creative commandos made it a top priority to make navigation easy. The games are organized alphabetically by genre. Titles in each category are listed alphabetically. Select a genre (e.g fighting games) and the page will jump to that section. It’s easy! We also have features for action games and RPGs.
You should also ensure that your computer is secure while gaming. Check out our roundup of the best VPNs for gaming. This roundup includes PCMag-tested virtual private network. A VPN will not only prevent malicious people from spying on your network, but also allow you to spoof your IP address in order to access other games. Check out our reviews to find the VPN service with the lowest latency for your gaming sessions.
You’re wrong if you think we’re biased towards PC gaming because PCMag is a console gamer. Our staff have compiled their top picks PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. These roundups don’t have as much depth as this one. The PC has a deeper library, and this isPCMag.
Here are the top PC games. Enjoy your keyboard, mouse and gamepad.
Adventures of Pip
Adventures of Pip by Tic Toc Games is an action-platforming side-scrolling game. It has an interesting premise. You can evolve and devolve a pixel-based hero from one of his 16-bit and 1-bit forms and fight bosses and goons at every level. Despite the limitations of its weapons and power-ups, this title is full of charm and heart, thanks to its unique premise and rich environments.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Since its 2007 debut, the Assassin’s Creed series took us to many historical locations, including Ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest installment. It focuses on the Viking invasion in 9th Century England through the eyes of some of the most famous raiders of history. Although Valhalla isn’t a new addition to the series it’s an excellent PC-game that follows the same path as its exceptional predecessors, Origins & Odyssey.
Tom Happ is a well-known developer for his work with EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchises and NFL Street franchises. He has now gone indie to create a charming tribute to exploratory action (AKA Metroidvania). This 2D platformer brings together the best of classic side-scrollers such as Castlevania Symphony of the Night or Metroid to create a refined experience that is both for veterans and newcomers. Axiom verge is an engaging and fun title. However, the plodding story elements, seemingly useless weapons, and slow gameplay make it a little boring.
Batman: Arkham City
“If you liked X, you’ll love Y!” Although it might not be the most expensive of critical plaudits sometimes, it’s worth it. Here’s the deal: Batman: Arkham City is a great movie for those who enjoyed Batman: Arkham Asylum. Rocksteady Studios takes everything that worked in Asylum (thrilling fighting and excellent voice acting), but it offers far less innovation. Arkham City is a derivative of Asylum, but it’s still packed with enough fun to be considered one of the best action games on the PC.
Bayonetta, the original action game, is one of my favorite. It easily ranks alongside genre icons like God Hand, Devil May Cry 3 and Ninja Gaiden Black. Bayonetta is full of explosive action and tests your combination prowess against all the divine creatures in the book. This PC port of Bayonetta is great, despite its poor performance on the PlayStation 3. This version is the ultimate experience in angel-slaying. It has a solid frame rate and offers a wide range of unusual resolutions.
The JoyMash-developed Blazing Chrome, is simply one of the most powerful run-and-gun shooters ever created. You control characters with high-powered weapons that can destroy legions of mechanical enemies in the Terminator-like environment. You will experience massive explosions, intense multiplayer action, and intimidating bosses across the six stages. Blazing Chrome does almost everything right, even though it doesn’t do much in terms of pushing the genre forward with new gameplay features.
Devolver Digital has published Carrion, a Metroid-like 2D platformer. In it, you play as an alien parasite. This statement contains all you need to know about the game’s gameplay. The genre is a Metroid-style 2D platformer. Next, there’s the topic matter: you play as an alien parasite. The game was published by Devolver Digital. Carrion, in other words, is an extremely stylized, indie platformer that features lots of violence and blood.
Cuphead is a charming run-and-gun/shoot-’em-up hybrid that channels Konami’s iconic Contra series, while also taking heavy inspiration from the rubber-hose animation style that was prominent during 1920s- and 1930s-era cartoons. Cuphead is a fast-paced, arcade-style game that will appeal to those who are familiar with the Contra series. To complete their quest, the titular protagonist must overcome many perilous bosses and stages. Contra’s expansive level design is missing in Cuphead, but this action-packed game offers a slew of challenging boss fights that are both satisfying and complex, much like Treasure’s Alien Soldier.
Daemon X Machina
Don’t be surprised if you, while playing Daemon X Machina remember Mobile Suit Gundam, Super Dimension Fortress Macross or other mecha anime franchises. This mecha-action game has its inspirations on its metal-coated sleeves. Daemon X Machina is the brainchild of former Armored Core developers. It features blistering action, ridiculously many weapons and upgrades. Although the narrative is difficult to understand, it’s not hard to enjoy. The title is a must-have for genre fans.
Darksiders, a creative interpretation of the Christian end of the world scenario, follows the misadventures of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Darksiders III lets you control Fury, an unpredictable and irate character who is tasked to capture the Seven Deadly Sins. Fury, equipped with a barbed whip, wicked agility, explores the ruins and eliminates all threats in a Metroid-esque environment. There are some annoyances in the combat system, like a slow camera and annoying mobs that can hinder your experience. Darksiders III, a fun action game, is worth a try if you like the theme.
PlayStation 4 owners were baffled by Death Stranding, which involved extinction, isolation and mortality as well as humanity’s remnants trying reassemble a broken world. The controversial console game has been made available to PC gamers with enhanced graphics, Half-Life-themed missions specific to each platform, and a photo mode. Death Stranding takes inspiration from action, stealth and survival genres. It is more adventurous than your typical mainstream videogame title. It’s not often that a delivery man fights flying whales and then talks about the afterlife with Guillermo del Toro. It’s a slow, oddly satisfying experience.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition builds on the success of Capcom’s 2008 action title. The Legendary Dark Knight enemy Horde mode was added to the original PC port. There are three new characters, better visuals and subtle gameplay tweaks. The original release’s weaker points, like the repetitive story campaign, are still present and can slightly detract from a brilliantly polished title. Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is an action-packed game that’s well worth the investment for both action enthusiasts and fans of the series.
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry is an action series that redefines genres. It pits you and your demon-slaying character against the hell hordes. You’ll get a sword, guns and a wide range of special attacks to combine in insane and outrageous combinations. Devil May Cry 5 represents the latest iteration of the series. It incorporates elements from the previous games, including the much-maligned DmC: Devil May Cry reboot. However, it introduces new characters and gameplay systems that fans and newcomers can enjoy. The systems have been rebalanced, simplified, and made easier to understand and master. It is one of the most exciting action games ever created.
The Disney Afternoon Collection
Capcom, the developer of Disney Afternoon in the 1990s animated block, was responsible for some of the most memorable platformers on Nintendo Entertainment System. These games are now available in the Disney Afternoon Collection, 20 years after their original release. Six games, Chip ‘n Dae Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales and DuckTales 2, as well as TaleSpin, have a sharp 1080p resolution. They also offer the ability to save your progress and a handy rewind feature. This helps overcome the problems associated with old-school Nintendo games.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, 2020’s biggest surprise hit, is loads of chaotic, obstacle-course-navigating fun. This bright and cheery title, inspired by game shows, lets you navigate through colorful obstacle courses while competing against 59 other online contestants. The Big Yeetus are out!
Far Cry Primal
Ubisoft has abandoned all political pretensions with Far Cry Primal and instead focuses on the unique feature that made Far Cry stand apart from its peers: the open-world sandbox. Takkar is a Stone Age hunter. Your goal is to create a safe haven in Oros for the wandering Wenja tribe. Primal is a Far Cry game unlike any other. It features melee combat and beast companions that make exploration more personal and interesting. Primal’s storyline is simpler and less complicated than you might expect.
Two faces can be found in For Honor, a medieval-themed combat video game. The first is a superb multiplayer mix of small- and large-scale battles. One is a single-player campaign, which unfortunately requires an internet connection. For Honor’s strategy combat, which is a beautiful combination of positioning and pacing, awareness and timing opponent readings, lifts the whole package from the sub-par AAA bog it might have otherwise fallen into.
GalaxyTrail’s Freedom Planet retro-platformer feels and looks like an old 16-bit mascot video game. Freedom Planet’s 14 levels have a variety of colorful and interesting levels. Most levels have Sonic the Hedgehog-style loops and ramps. Every level introduces its own elements such as keys, colored switches and disappearing blocks. Although these elements may sound like simple platforming obstacles, they are so well-crafted and varied that they never feel dated and out of place. There are some downsides. Some cringe-worthy voice acting
Video games love cyberpunk. Cyberpunk excels in exploring the chaos that can be found in a society where technology and corporations rule. Watch Dogs: Legion and Cyberpunk 2077 delivered cyberpunk with an open world spin. But if you want something a bit more lean and meaner, the brutal Ghostrunner is for you. Although this first-person action game is difficult for some, it’s a great choice for those who are serious about the challenge.
Immortals Fenyx Rising
Despite being pushed into the holiday season after its larger siblings, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Watch Dogs Legion, Immortals Fenyx rising is Ubisoft’s best-selling game of 2020. Ubisoft Quebec, the developer of Assassin’s Creed, has shifted from its epic quest to a more action-adventure game. This makes this story about Greek gods and monsters stand out. The PC game Immortals: Fenyx Rising was crafted from the parts of other titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda. However, it has its own identity.
Jet Set Radio
Sega offered us a glimpse into the future with Jet Set Radio in 2000. This cel-shaded action-game featured a group of miscreants rollerblading who battled delinquents and avoided cops. The PC version is updated with high-definition graphics and developer interviews. It also includes all the bells & whistles that you would expect from a Steam title. The grind-happy Jet Set Radio, which is full of manga-influenced hip hop flavor and has one of the best soundtracks ever created for a videogame, belongs in every player’s library.
PlayStation 2 gamers will likely recall how difficult it was for them to ignore the Katamari Damacy hype. Namco Bandai’s puzzle-based action game had you rebuilding a damaged cosmos. It was a huge success thanks to its addictive gameplay and charming graphics and incredible score. Katamari Damacy Reroll has been remastered the original game. It features updated graphics and keyboard support. Katamari Damacy reroll offers the same fun and whimsical experience as the original in 2004. However, the game has been given a fresh coat of paint. This makes it a PC game you shouldn’t miss.
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition
Goichi Suda, also known as Suda51, is the Robert Rodriguez for the videogame industry. Although the Japanese developer is known for his style, edginess and violence, once you look beneath the cool veneer, it’s a rather boring, if not fun experience. Suda51’s Killer Is Dead Nightmare Edition is a Steam title that features a cybernetically enhanced assassin, Mondo Zappa, who kills vampires and other monstrosities in order to help a government agency. Killer Is Dead has Suda51’s trademark humor and character swag. However, it lacks the killer design and supporting elements that would elevate it to the top of its category.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
TT Games’ Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a fun and whimsical take on the story and action. It’s possible to hear Nightwing talking about his past while uttering “holy” exclamations. The subtle 1978 Superman theme plays when Nightwing is flying. Lego Batman 3 feels like a love letter for all things DC Comics. Although the gameplay isn’t too different from the standard Lego experience, it’s still solid.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a wonderful combination of comic books, video games and Lego. Steeped in Marvel Comics goodness, Lego Marvel Super Heroes puts players in the role of superheroes–including the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man–who are tasked with recovering all-powerful Cosmic Bricks before top-tier baddies such as Loki, Dr. Doom, and Magneto get their hands on them. This open-world game offers brick-bashing fun and light puzzle challenges.