Not only is the PC the best platform for enjoying games, but it also offers the broadest range of titles. That means the choices we face when deciding what’s going to take up hours of our lives can be overwhelming. That’s where this guide comes in, suggesting the best PC games you should be playing right now.
In addition to factors like overall quality and being fun to play, we take into account each game’s lasting appeal. For this edition of the best PC games we have included a few more games than the usual ten considering all the quality titles worthy of your time in a few different genres, including some not-so-new titles that are simply great and available at a nice discount.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
If you’re a fan of the other two rebooted Tomb Raider games, you’re pretty much guaranteed to love this one. Some might say it’s a little too much like the previous entries, but if it ain’t broke…
While there are plenty of ways that ‘Shadow’ is similar to ‘Rise’ and 2013’s ‘Tomb Raider,’ there are enough differences to make it stand out on its own. For a start, there’s more of an emphasis on puzzles, such as the excellent challenge tombs that manage get your brain working without making you scream at the monitor (probably). Players run into actual combat less often than before, but it’s still great fun, and the game encourages a more stealthy approach – until everything goes wrong and you run in all guns blazing.
This is another Tomb Raider that looks absolutely stunning on the PC, especially if you’ve got the hardware to push it to its limits. The South American setting will take your breath away, especially when you come across the hidden cities and dense jungles. And while there are plenty of optional side quests, not all are as entertaining as going off on your own to discover the many tombs, crypts, and secrets.
Regular series staples including skill trees, campfires, and weapon upgrades remain, as do the cinematic set-pieces. And the ability to independently adjust the difficulty of the puzzles, combat, and exploration allows you to make individual elements easier or more difficult, which is highly welcome.
There are some weak elements within SotTR, and ignoring many of the optional extras will see you complete the main questline incredibly fast, but with plenty to see and do, and a total of seven DLC episodes on the way, it has the potential to keep you busy for a while.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Remember when AC: Origins came out and people called it the series’ best entry? Ubisoft wasn’t content to sit back and feel pleased with itself; instead, it went on to release an Assassin’s Creed that builds on the previous entry’s best elements to create a stunning, memorable title, and one of the best open-world games ever seen on the PC.
As was the case with Origins, the star of the show here is the meticulous, open-world recreation of an ancient era. Egypt was fantastic, but Greece in 431 BC looks even better, especially when all the settings are cranked to max. Standing atop of mountain as Ikaros swoops around you and the orchestral score soars is a truly cinematic experience that can elicit a “wow” from players.
This is unarguably the most RPG-like AC game ever. It’s not quite The Witcher 3, but the influence of CD Projekt Red’s genre-defining title is felt here: dialogue options, consequences, branching quests, and quite a lot of sex.
The abilities tree has been streamlined so players can better spec characters to suit specific playstyles. The Mercenaries and conquest systems are like entire subgames in themselves. Some side quests are both brilliant and hilarious. And the combat remains satisfyingly meaty – expect to find yourself shouting “THIS. IS. SPARTA,” every time you boot an enemy off a cliff.
Yes, the naval battles aren’t as good as the cannon-infused ship combat found in Black Flag, and it can at times feel a bit grindy, which brings us onto its worst element: the microtransactions. They’re optional, true, but being able to pay extra to speed up your experience and resource gathering feels cynical, and Ubisoft’s excuse that it’s for “those who value their time” is laughable. Who doesn’t value their time? Immortals? Luckily, it’s still a breathtakingly brilliant game, and one that probably would have got more attention had it not been released so close to Red Dead Redemption 2.
Forza Horizon 4
If you enjoyed the excellent Forza Horizon 3 on PC, you’re pretty much guaranteed to love the next game in the Horizon series to hit the platform. This time, the action moves from Australia to the roads and fields of the UK.
The Horizon series is often labeled as driving games for people who don’t like driving games – at least not hardcore ones – and the arcadey feel remains in this latest entry, though you can crank up the realism to make it more sim-like.
The games have always looked stunning on powerful rigs, and Horizon 4 is the prettiest by far. The seasons, which change every real-time week, alter the look of the landscape with winter snows and autumnal leaves, which also force you to adjust your driving style.
Probably the best thing about Forza Horizon 4 is that there’s so much to keep you coming back: a live, online event every hour where you work cooperatively with other players, seasonal challenges, a ridiculous number of vehicles, story events, skill chains, leveling, stunts, and all those races scattered about the open-world map.
Forza 4 is better optimized than its predecessor, though you still have to endure the pain that is the Microsoft Store. But it’s worth it for what is undoubtedly one of the best racing games ever made, and one that is guaranteed to hold your attention for months.