The 20 Greatest PC Games – Forbes

There are a lot of great PC games.
There are likely millions of PC games you can play right now. From AAA blockbusters to tiny indie projects you will never have heard of, there’s a massive variety which can make finding the best PC games a bit of a challenge. But with so much variety, that means there is something for everyone, even down to the most niche ideas. Of course, with such a massive library many of the greatest PC games are all-timers that will forever be known as some of the best ever made. If you are looking to experience some of the best games ever then the ones on this list are a great starting point.
In the world of PC games, if you can think of a style of game or genre, then there’s almost certainly at least a handful of available titles. Compared to other platforms the PC has the widest variety of games as there really are very few limits to what a PC can do.
You likely won’t find too many games that require real world movement as PCs are generally quite static, but other than that you can find almost anything you can think of if you look hard enough, and what’s even better is that a decent chunk of the PC gaming catalogue is free to play. But with so many games available finding ones that are worth your time isn’t an easy task, so this list combines the best games you can easily play today on PC based on critical reception and popularity with players. If a game was initially a console exclusive, or can’t easily be accessed today it will not be included.
The annual soccer management sim from Sports Interactive is so consistently good that you can just choose the most recent iteration and have a great time. You’ll take charge of a real-life soccer team and try to guide them to glory which is perfect for soccer fans, but it comes with a premium price tag.
Released in 2020 by Supergiant Games, Hades is one of the best roguelikes ever made, and sees you battle through the depths of hell time and time again. Combat is fantastic and there’s a lot of variety so if you can handle fast-paced action this is one to try and comes at a reasonable price.
Disco Elysium is perfect for anyone craving a deep story with little action. Released in 2019 by ZA/UM you play as an amnesiac detective who has to solve a murder in a game that is like nothing else and doesn’t really fit a genre. If you shop around you can get it under $10.
Dota 2 is one of the best free-to-play games ever, with the MOBA only charging for cosmetics. A competitive 5v5 game released in 2013 by Valve, Dota is deep and complex so best if you want to commit to learning a difficult game where the only objective is to destroy the enemy’s base.
Vampire Survivors basically created its own sub-genre when it launched in 2022, with you moving around a character who has auto-firing weapons to take out the swarms of enemies coming your way. Developed by Poncle, the game is available for a few bucks and is so easy to play anyone can give it a go.
World of Warcraft is the iconic MMO from 2004 from Blizzard that is still going strong. It does still carry a monthly subscription, but you can start for free and experience the beginnings of the fantasy world with your friends. It’s perfect for anyone looking to get into an MMO and experience social gaming.
Civilization VI is the best strategy game you can find on PC right now, so if you want a slower and tactical style of play this is for you. Developed by Firaxis and released in 2016, you’ll have to shell out for all the DLC to get the best experience, but it’s worth the cost.
If you want a competitive FPS that isn’t just about hitting heads Rainbow Six Siege is the one for you, thanks to its strategies attack and defend system. Originally released in 2015 by Ubisoft, Siege has developed into a great FPS and you can pick it up very cheaply in regular sales.
Rockstar’s 2013 gangster epic is one of the greatest games of all time, seeing you control three different characters around a virtual open world L.A. as they do everything the law has stopped you from doing IRL. It still commands a hefty price tag but is one any player over 18 should experience.
One of the finest RPGs ever, The Witcher 3 is an epic fantasy tale with an incredible world and combat. Released in 2015 by CD Projekt RED, this is a must for RPG fans or anyone looking for a world to get lost in for 100+ hours. It is still pricey, but worth every penny.
Flying cars playing soccer is all you need to know about Rocket League. This competitive “sports’’ game is free to play and is the perfect example of easy to pick up and difficult to master. Developed by Psyonix and initially released in 2015, this is one for anyone looking for a family-friendly competitive experience.
2022’s Elden Ring is an epic RPG with a deep combat system that can be frustrating and rewarding. It’s not the easiest to pick up and play, but is the most welcoming of FromSoftware’s Souls series making it a great option for newcomers or veterans of the genre. However, it is still a full-price game.
Portal 2 is still the best puzzle game despite being released in 2011. Valve’s masterpiece gives you a gun to create portals to travel through and presents you with puzzles in a mind-bending experience. It’s one for those who like to test their mind rather than reflexes and can be picked up cheaply in sales.
A cosy farming game, Stardew Valley is a masterpiece that is perfect for anyone looking for a chill time. Released in 2016 by solo developer ConcernedApe, Stardew Valley gives you a farm to build and a town full of people to get to know and lets you live your life. It’s also only $15.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a cowboy open-world epic that should be played by everyone who appreciates games. With an incredible story and a world you never want to leave, it’s another masterpiece from Rockstar. It was released in 2018 and still carries a hefty price tag, but it’s worth every penny.
Baldur’s Gate 3 was the biggest RPG in 2023, channelling the Dungeons and Dragons spirit into video game form in what can only be described as a masterpiece. Any RPG or D&D fan should pick up this incredible experience from Larian Studios, but its recent release means it’s still pricey.
The biggest MOBA in the world, League of Legends is a great free-to-play option from Riot Games that is perfect for anyone looking to scratch that competitive itch. It is showing its age having released in 2009, but the battle against five other players with your team is as good as ever.
The Counter-Strike franchise has set the standard for PC FPS titles, with CS2 being a fantastic update to bring the 2012 game CS:GO into the modern era. If you want a competitive FPS that is all about clicking heads then Valve’s game is the one for you. It’s even free to play!
The 2017 survival title from Epic Games got another chance when it released the Battle Royale update you will know, becoming the biggest game in the world for a while. The shooter has now expanded to be every type of game you could want, meaning there is something for everyone to try for free.
Minecraft might just be the greatest game ever made, with a sandbox world where all you have to do is survive, mine and craft. Developed by Mojang and initially released in 2009, Minecraft lets you do whatever you want and is great for younger players, but not cheap for a 15-year-old game.
The PC is littered with amazing free-to-play games with there likely being something in every genre you can think of available for free. Some may have microtransactions that you probably need to spend on to enjoy the full game, but there are lots that are available totally for free. 
Fortnite from Epic Games is perhaps the best example, with an entirely free-to-play ecosystem that expands beyond the battle royale you know into racing, rhythm and even LEGO games. Then there’s the two big MOBAs of League of Legends from Riot Games and Dota 2 from Valve that are excellent competitive options and then Counter-Strike 2, another Valve game, as a free-to-play FPS option. If you look hard enough there are enough great free-to-play PC games that you never have to spend a penny to keep up your gaming for years. 
There are thousands of RPGs available on PC, ranging from timeless classics to modern masterpieces, and there is something for everyone. If you want the best traditional RPG experience in the style of Dungeons and Dragons then Baldur’s Gate 3 from Larian Studios is your best bet and is an epic fantasy adventure. 
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a great option for those looking for a slightly faster-paced gameplay experience with its great action combat and deep world. Developed by CD Projekt RED it still holds up as an all-time great. Despite being almost 13 years old, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from Bethesda still remains a great traditional fantasy option with epic dragon fights and a massive open world to explore. And if you are looking for a more Japanese style RPG then Persona 5 Royal from P-Studio, one of the best JRPGs ever made that sees you become a magical crime-fighting school kid is your best bet. 
Racing games on PC come in many different shapes and sizes, from hardcore simulations mimicking real life to more arcade-style options that are all about fun. If you are looking for the former then iRacing, developed by the creatively named Motorsport Simulations is the best option in terms of realistic motorsport action. 
Another simulator option is the fantastic Assetto Corsa Competizione from Kunos Simulazioni which simulates GT3 racing in the SRO championships, and it has the added bonus of not requiring a subscription as iRacing does. Sitting in the middle of simulation and realism are the annual F1 games from Codemasters, and Forza Motorsport from Turn 10 that may not be perfectly true to life but get close enough to feel great. Then on the arcade side, the undefeated king is still Forza Horizon 5 from Playground Games, which just drops you in a big open world with incredible cars and lets you have fun. 
The PC isn’t short of multiplayer action, with competitive and co-op games in almost every genre, however, some stand out above the rest. Fortnite from Epic Games is the top multiplayer game with its massive ecosystem of different experiences ranging from battle royale to racing that you can play with friends. 
If you’re looking for a more competitive shooter then Counter-Strike 2 from Valve and Rainbow Six Siege from Ubisoft are great options to let you click on heads, while the two big MOBAs in League of Legends from Riot Games and Dota 2 from Valve offer deep competitive matches against another team of five. If you want something a little more relaxing then the open-world survival of Minecraft from Mojang is great with friends alongside, while Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode by Concerned Ape is a great co-op farming experience. 
There are countless zombie survival games on PC and finding the best ones isn’t always easy, but you can never go wrong with the classic that is Left 4 Dead 2 from Valve. The shooter sees you make your way through multiple zombie-infested stories and locations, and you can even do it alongside friends. 
Other options include the fantastic Project Zomboid that’s a 2D zombie game from The Indie Stone that is more about surviving in the post-apocalyptic zombie land than killing as many as possible while Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a massive 3D open-world game from Techland that gives you a lot of story to progress through as you try to make it through a unique zombie infested world. 
Scary games on PC can be hit or miss, but there are some classics out there with one of the best being Amnesia: The Bunker from Frictional Games which sees you trapped in a WWI bunker with some kind of creature hiding in there with you. It’s spooky and challenging, making it a great horror experience. 
Another similar option is The Mortuary Assistant from DarkStone Digital where you play as an assistant in a mortuary that turns out to be haunted. You’ll not only have the uncomfortable horror of working on dead bodies but also have to deal with the supernatural around you. Then there’s the classic Alien Isolation from Creative Assembly that takes one of the most iconic monsters in cinema and turns it into a terrifying nemesis that will have you hiding in lockers for hours. 
Bottom Line
PC gaming is a fantastic place to explore the best games ever made, and with a massive back catalogue, you can go through gaming history, unlike consoles. PC has something for everyone and a lot of it is available for free, which makes it all the sweeter.

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