The Best PC Games for 2024 – PCMag

Whether you're looking for a quick gaming fix or one that lasts hundreds of hours, there's a great game just a few clicks away. Start your PC gaming journey with our top picks in 17 categories.
Since 2004, I’ve penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including the late, great 1UP; Laptop; Parenting; Sync; Wise Bread; and WWE. I now apply that knowledge and skillset as the Managing Editor of PCMag’s Apps & Gaming team.
In 2013, I started my Ziff Davis career as an intern on PCMag’s Software team. Now, I’m an Analyst on the Apps and Gaming team, and I really just want to use my fancy Northwestern University journalism degree to write about video games. I host The Pop-Off, PCMag’s video game show. I was previously the Senior Editor for I’ve also written for The A.V. Club, Kotaku, and Paste Magazine. I’m the author of a video game history book, Video Game of the Year, and the reason why everything you know about Street Sharks is a lie.
You’re faced with many purchasing options upon booting Epic Games Store, Steam, Xbox Game Pass, or any of the other digital marketplaces for PC games. Do you feel like shredding enemies with big weapons? Check out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Want to plot maneuvers as a team? Give League of Legends a try. Ready to go on a haunting RPG adventure? Download Elden Ring. Don’t get frozen by choice, though; we have more than 20 years of gaming-testing experience and you can trust our independent reviews to help you make a swift and wise purchasing decision.
Note that this is not a historical examination of the most groundbreaking PC games. It’s an ever-changing collection of what you should buy if you own a gaming desktop, gaming laptop, or Steam Deck OLED (or other handheld gaming device). To clarify, games don’t need to have been released within the calendar year to qualify for this roundup. Any release that’s still available and considered entertaining is eligible.
This page has a top pick for each of our 17 genre categories, from action games to stealth games. These top picks will change as exciting new titles get released. Right now, you can explore 284 PC games by diving into our standalone, genre-based lists that are linked below each entry.
And if you’re a console gamer who thinks we’re biased toward PC gaming because we’re PCMag—you’re right! Still, our staff has assembled their top picks for PlayStation 4PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Switch. In addition, don’t forget to visit the best video games coming out this year to know what’s on the horizon.
We now present the best PC games. Grab your keyboard, mouse, gamepad, flight stick, or fight stick, and enjoy.
Building off its experimental predecessor, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is an interactive arthouse action game where grappling with mental illness is just as harrowing as slaying monsters. As Senua, you trek across ancient Iceland meeting allies, solving puzzles, and surviving simple but intense sword battles. Streamlined gameplay lets Senua’s Saga focus on delivering a powerful narrative with gorgeous, photorealistic visuals.
For more, check out The Best PC Action Games.
For nearly three decades, atmospheric point-and-click game Myst has stood as one of the best, most successful, and most influential PC release of all time. This latest update enhances the beautiful visuals, adds virtual reality support, and randomizes puzzles to make each playthrough unique. Get lost on the island all over again.
For more, check out The Best PC Adventure Games.
Fortnite is the super-popular, mainstream face of the battle royale genre, but that doesn’t mean that the title is without merit. Fortnite has a lot going for it, including approachable gameplay modes, bright and zany graphics, and an excellent construction system. The heavy reliance on microtransactions detracts from the experience a bit, but fans of PUBG and other genre releases should still give this free-to-play game a shot.
For more, check out The Best Battle Royale Games.
A love letter to TMNT fans, Shredder’s Revenge sees developer Tribute Games pull from past games, comics, and TV shows to create what may be the definitive Turtles title. Featuring six-player action in local and online co-op, Shredder’s Revenge has all the humor and wonderful animation that you’d expect from a property that pits mutated reptiles (and a rat) vs. ninjas (and an alien brain). Like Streets of Rage 4, it incorporates fighting game elements to keep the combos flowing.
For more, check out The Best Beat ‘Em Up Games.
Street Fighter is back! With the sixth mainline entry, Capcom delivers a fighting game masterpiece. Loaded with content, this title introduces several gameplay mechanics tied to the new Drive Gauge that lets you fight with more freedom than any Street Fighter in the series’ history. This creative, fluid combat features newcomer-friendly counters, parries, and aggressive gameplay via its optional, simplified control schemes. Plus, the World Tour mode lets you build an avatar and go on a schlocky martial arts adventure that sees you test your skill in semi-open-world environments.
For more, check out The Best PC Fighting Games.
How does a company remake what many people consider a perfect game? Capcom found a way by updating the graphics, modernizing the control scheme (Leon’s can parry attacks with his knife!), and streamlining the overall experience. Although this new Resident Evil doesn’t redefine shooters as the original did way back in 2005, it’s just as fun to play, if not more.
For more, check out The Best PC Horror Games.
Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is a MMORPG that has evolved into a cultural icon over the past 12 years. The list of accolades that WoW has accumulated since its release is simply staggering. While it is certainly not the first or only entry in this particular genre, WoW is the standard by which all other MMOs are judged. The game, bolstered by many expansions and a recent visual makeover, is a rich and rewarding experience that boasts a large selection of customizable races and classes battling in a fantasy world.
For more, check out The Best PC MMO Games.
League of Legends, Riot Games’ free-to-play, multiplayer online battle arena title is, simply put, the best MOBA game you can buy. Its gameplay incorporates elements of role playing, tower defense, and real-time strategy—a combination that differentiates it from the many cookie-cutter MOBAs flooding the market. More importantly, the playable characters (known as Champions) show a deep level of variation, and each match’s competition level increases as the game sinks you deeper and deeper into addiction.
For more, check out The Best PC MOBA Games.
The original Portal was noteworthy for its witty dialogue and a creative blend of the previously incompatible puzzle and first-person-shooter genres. With Portal 2, Valve created a worthy sequel by updating the characteristics that made the first title a distinctive success. Limited multiplayer and post-campaign options slightly diminish the replay factor, but Portal 2 is just as amusing and exhilarating as its predecessor in almost every way.
For more, check out The Best PC Puzzle Games.
2010’s Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing was an enjoyable racing game that placed Sega’s many iconic characters in a kart competition. Its sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, expanded the game with new characters and unlockables, and introduced transformable vehicles that took to the land, sea, and air. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection, the series’ final form, adds free, PC-centric characters from Sega and Valve’s libraries, and bundles all the previous DLC goodies.
For more, check out The Best PC Racing Games.
Do you wish Dark Souls was about crustaceans and capitalism? Check out Another Crab’s Treasure. Thoughtful, brutal combat pushes you to the limit as you level up and equip new shells with custom abilities. Alternatively, you can give yourself a giant gun to blast away enemies. Meanwhile, apocalyptic undersea levels full of human trash turn into satisfyingly tricky 3D platforming stages.
For more, check out The Best PC RPG & Rouguelike Games.
On the surface, Vampire Survivors looks like shovelware, but this roguelite-shmup is a ridiculously addictive game, thanks to its simple concept and deceptively deep mechanics. Even in its Steam Early Access state, Vampire Survivors can take a big bite out of your day as you collect weapons and items and optimize your runs.
For more, check out The Best PC Shmups.
With Doom (2016), developer Id Software successfully resurrected one of the foundational first-person shooter franchises. Given the game’s critical and commercial success, it’s no surprise to see a follow-up. Doom Eternal takes everything that made its predecessor a wonderful, demon-slaying shooter and bumps it all up by several notches courtesy of ridiculous weapons, fresh navigation options, and a new multiplayer mode. It is almost too over-the-top at times, but that’s precisely what makes Doom Eternal one of the best shooters ever made.
For more, check out The Best PC Shooters.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of PC gaming’s most beloved series, a franchise cherished and supported by aviation enthusiasts. The 2020 edition, crafted by developer Asobo Studio in tandem with Microsoft, is a delight. Improved graphics aside, the near-magic addition of a fully recreated and explorable Earth, built and populated with Microsoft’s Bing satellite imagery and real-time weather conditions, elevates the franchise to new heights.
For more, check out The Best PC Simulation Games.
The odd thing about aging is just how often it makes you look to the past, perhaps as a way to cope with an ever-shrinking future. The resulting nostalgia can sometimes soften the rough edges of the things we love, making them seem better than they truly were when we first experienced them. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2—a bundle that remasters two iconic late-1990s and early-2000s skateboarding games—doesn’t fall into that trap. In fact, it proves that, yes, those brash and exciting action-sports titles are as good as our memories recall, but they now exist with a beautiful visual overhaul and new, bountiful options that make them even better than what we remember.
For more, check out The Best PC Sports Games.
Back in 2016, IO Interactive established a new era for its cult-favorite Hitman franchise with Hitman: Season One. While the episodic release model didn’t stick on PC or consoles, that game’s grand levels and inventive murder carried over to 2018’s Hitman 2. Now, the studio has delivered Hitman 3, the capstone to the World of Assassination trilogy. Featuring expansive levels, new ways to kill, and graphical improvements, this excellent stealth title makes it easy for anyone to become a bald, bar-coded assassin.
For more, check out The Best PC Stealth Games.
The third and final StarCraft II expansion is a fantastic conclusion to Blizzard’s five-year saga and a great entry point into one of the most complex, but satisfying, strategy games ever made. Unlike the previous StarCraft II expansion, Legacy of the Void doesn’t require you to buy any previous versions of the game to play this package. It’s completely standalone. Factor in a varied single-player campaign, gorgeous cinematics, and new noob-friendly co-op modes, and you’ll see that Legacy of the Void is one of the best PC games of all time.
For more, check out The Best Strategy & Tactics Games.
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