Pc gaming is a form of entertainment that will never die out, until it evolves past being just your personal computer. But that’s long in the future. Hopefully we’ll all live to see virtual reality worlds with full-immersion systems, reminiscent of popular anime like SAO, NGNL, and Log Horizon. Hopefully you won’t end up trapped in the world though! Anyway, until then, we still have tons of amazing PC games to look back on, and look forward to. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 best PC games of all time! If you’re in dire need of a gaming keyboard to play these games, take a look at our article Gaming Keyboard: Top 10 Choices In 2018.
The reasons for these games to be listed up here is based on an array of factors. How influential the game was, how fluid the gameplay is, how well written the storyline is, the graphics, and more. This list probably won’t be everyone’s top 10, but we’re sure you’ll recognize all of these games being incredible in its own right. It’s also in no particular order, as we found it almost impossible to choose which one should take the podium.
Best PC Games Of All Time
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
This is no surprise listing. Beloved by so many, the final installment in the epic trilogy is by far the best of the three. With at least 70 hours of gameplay, and Projekt Red saying that there’s over 200 hours of gameplay if you care to find it, this vast expansion is one of the greatest free roaming games of all time. The story is so well written, and you can go from hating a character, to emphasizing with them by the end of their storyline e.g. The Bloody Baron.
The Witcher series is set in a world where monsters, dragons, elves, dwarves, witches, and so many more exist. Witchers are a rare breed of genetically mutated monster killers. So they’re stronger, faster, and more resilient than most other creatures. They begin as ordinary humans. Being taken in at a young age, they are forcefully to undergo extensive physical and mental training. This lasts for years. At the end, they undergo a final ritual, called ‘The Trial Of The Grasses‘. This ritual is what changes them genetically, and 60-70% of candidates die during the process.
The survivors though, gain heightened senses, strength and reflexes. They can also heal themselves at an incredible rate, and become resistant to toxicity and poison, and immune to almost all forms of disease. Among extra abilities, they also change aesthetically, gaining yellow cat-like eyes. They also live for an incredible amount of time. Geralt – the witcher you play in the series – is already over 100 years old, and that’s not even that old with witchers. One trade-off, however, is that all people that survive become sterile, and may never have children of their own.
With choices of walking, riding, or fast travelling, you can explore all corners of this world is so many different ways. You also have the option to automatically ride your horse to the destination, if you want to take the scenic route, but don’t want to focus on navigating yourself. The Witcher’s map is vast. About 3.5x the size of Skyrim, to be more accurate, meaning you will never tire of exploring the amazing landscape as you play through your game.
The character upgrading system is a simple system. You gain ‘ability points’ through leveling up, or visiting places of power. You use these points to increase your character abilities, and unlock new ones. This allows you to customize your style of gameplay even further.
When you take some Wither contract, you’re tasked with defeating powerful monsters. When you do, you get to keep their head. Gruesome, I know. But, you can equip it to your horse saddle, and in doing so, gain a wide array of buffs. These range from +10% chance to decapitate enemies, +5% experience for slaying certain races, and so forth. You fight enemies with any combination of swords, maces, crossbows, and axes. You also use your abilities to affect the outcome of any fight, however, just like with the weapons, some are more useful than others on each enemy.
With beautiful graphics, an immersive storyline, and incredible gameplay, this is definitely one of the best PC games of all time, if not THE best (in our opinion).
2. League of Legends
This is one of the most popular MOBA’s out there. As for why I picked this over DOTA, I much prefer LoL.
The way the game works, is that you pick from a variety of ‘heroes’. Each hero has their own special abilities, which are unlocked through leveling up. Every new game starts you at level 1, and while it was limited to level 30, the limit was removed in November 2017.
You also start with a small amount of gold, which is used to purchase items. You earn more gold by defeating enemies and turrets, and other monsters in game. These items can augment your character in a variety of ways, allowing you to customize gameplay throughout.
There are a total of 3 or 5 players per team, and two teams face off in 3 different arenas. These arenas are called ‘Summoners Rift’, ‘Twisted Treeline’, and ‘Howling Abyss’.
Each team has ‘minions’, that spawn in waves. There are also neutral monsters in the jungle that you can defeat for buffs and gold. The jungle is also a way to travel between lanes without being noticed, allowing for guerilla tactics to be employed.
The general goal of each match is to make it from your spawn point to the opponents, and destroy their ‘Nexus’. Matches usually last between 20 minutes to an hour at a time. The longest ranked solo queue game lasted 2:42:28.
Dependent on the map, there are different victory conditions.
The most popular map, Summoners Rift, it’s a 5v5 matchup. There are 3 lanes, and each lane contains 4 turrets. Half of the turrets in each lane are allied to that sides team. There are Outer turrets (closer to the center of the map), and Inner turrets (inbetween the center and your spawn point). Inside your base, there are 3 Inhibitor turrets (Just on the inside of your walls), and 2 Nexus turrets (Your spawn point).
The Inhibitor turrets guard the Inhibitors, which if the enemy team destroys, they gains more ‘super minions’ per wave. The Inhibitors regenerate after 5 minutes, and will need to be destroyed again to keep the super minions.
In Twisted Treeline, it’s a smaller map, with 3v3 matchups. Instead of the 3 lanes and 3 inhibitors in the last map, there are 2 of each. This reduces the number of turrets per team to 7. As an addition, there are two ‘Altars’, which if you control, the occupying team is granted a variety of bonuses.
Howling Abyss is the final map. It’s an “ARAM” (All Random All Mid” gameplay, and is 5×5. The biggest difference is that there’s only one lane, and no jungle. This forces emphasis on strong team plays, rather than skirmishes and hidden movement.
Not only that, but the ‘All Random’ part means that you do not get to pick your champion, which forces players to become at least adequate in playing every champion to stay in the game.
This game is one of the biggest eSports games, bringing in large amounts of money every competition. Winning teams have received well over $1m, and the largest payout to a winning team was a little over $2m.
Such a widespread and loved MOBA is bound to feature on our best pc games of all time.
3. GTA V
Grand Theft Auto is one of my favourite video game franchises. I played it ever since it was a top down RPG, and have continued to do so all the way to the current installment.
Los Santos – the map on GTA V is the largest yet. at 81km², it’s larger than every other GTA game combined (59km²). A free roamers paradise, you can travel on foot, bike, car, motorbike, plane, boat, or helicopter. Featuring the big city at the south of the map, and more green areas and mountains on the upper half, it’s got lush scenery.
In the campaign, you play as three characters, Trevor, Michael, and Franklin. These 3 characters are brought together after a series of unfortunate events. Michael and Franklin meet when Franklin attempts to repossess Michael’s sons car. They later become friends, and after Michael finds his wife sleeping together with the tennis coach, they both chase the coach down to a mansion, and destroy it. Turns out, the mansion was owned by the girlfriend of a Mexican drug lord. He demands compensation, so the two find Lester, an old hacker friend, and begin a life of crime to make the money. Trevor, an old accomplice, hears about it, and joins Michael.
The campaign on this game is only the beginning. The main attraction for most is the online multiplayer, where you can face off against people across the world, or work together, completing missions, and building up your war chest. You get to explore the span of this map with all the freedom you could want, playing how you like. If you want to drive around, mowing random people down, that’s your choice, although the police might have something to say about it. If you’re the sort of person who gets their rocks off following all the traffic and regular laws, then that’s your thing. The beauty of this game is that you’re not forced to play through the campaign to be able to explore the map, like you were in previous games.
In the game, the wanted level is based on the stars ranking system. While the previous games went up to 6 stars, GTA V only goes up to 5. When you are wanted, you cannot partake in any side missions or switch characters. As you get higher up the wanted status, it takes longer to lose it when hidden from law enforcement. The stars work as follows:
- One star – A police patrol car is sent to arrest your character. They will attempt to arrest you by gunpoint, or may shoot to kill depending on the circumstances. In Online, they only shoot to kill.
- Two stars – The police call for backup, and they are way more likely to shoot to kill. They also employ more aggressive driving tactics to stop you.
- Three stars – At this point, the police start wearing visible bulletproof vests. They also begin to set up roadblocks, and open fire when you approach. On occasion, they may also use spike strips. A police helicopter is also sent out, and there is a marksman with a rifle on board. If you’re in the water, it’s a police boat, and both the driver and two passengers all fire at you.
- Four stars – When you reach four stars, NOOSE is sent out. They are the Los Santos equivalent of SWAT. A second police helicopter is also dispatched. NOOSE officers also can rappel down from police helicopters, or it will land if there is space.
- Five stars – If you get to this point, you’re definitely in a bit of trouble. A third police helicopter can spawn. On the road, all law enforcement aggressively pursues and attempts to ram you off the road, firing while doing so. Collateral damage is second to capturing you, and you must use all your wits to survive, outrun, and hide from them long enough to lose your wanted status.
This would probably be number one on the Best Multiplayer Games Of All Time, but as it’s the Best PC Games Of All Time list, it didn’t get to land the #1 spot. Enjoyment of this game is almost never ending, as you test your wits against a variety of enemies, be they in game, or other players. It also helps that you can install so many different mods to the game to change it in unimaginable ways.
This franchise is the one that started it all. The original, by the same name ‘Doom’, pioneered FPS games. It was released in 1993, and over the years, released on 14 different gaming systems. Succeeded by Doom II: Hell on Earth in 1997, then Doom 3 in 2004. There were also several other games in the series, and spin offs, but these were the core ones.
The game is set on Mars. The facility director of a research facility owned the UAC, decided it’d be a great idea to siphon energy from hell. While it was for a good cause (Energy crisis on Earth), it didn’t go so well. A research scientist formed a pact with the demons and opened up a portal, and they ravaged the facility. Before this happened, the director uncovered a sarcophagus. This contained the body of a Space Marine, who was imprisoned after his previous exploits through hell. When the demons have invaded, the director releases you, and tasks you with the destruction of the invading forces, and the closure of the portal.
A linear shooter, DOOM reverts to its roots. No long winded speeches about love and hope. No unnecessary chit-chat between characters. Just the simple goal to rip and tear your way through the demon horde, and survive. Fast paced, and offering a variety of difficulty levels (Some only unlocked after completing previous difficulties). To unlock ‘Ultra Nightmare’ mode, you need to beat Nightmare first. As the most difficult difficulty, it’s not for the faint of heart, and you’ll need all your skills and more to wade through the hordes of enemies that stand in your way. In Ultra Nightmare mode, you get one shot. If you die, it’s time game over, and you start again from the beginning.
You start off with only a pistol, which has infinite ammo, but is otherwise pretty weak. You can charge shots to make it more powerful, but they take a second to fire off. Throughout the game, you collect more weapons, having a total of 10 weapons. 11 if you include your fists.you can upgrade each weapon and most will have a secondary ability, such as either Charged Shot (Fire 3 rounds in quick succession) for the shotgun or Explosive shot (Fires an explosive round). Each secondary ability can also be upgraded to be more powerful, decrease recharge time, added abilities, and more.
This game shows that you don’t need super deep backstory and scintillating conversations between characters to make a stunning game. So if you’re looking for a game where you can switch off, and focus wholly on tearing through hordes of Demons, this is the game for you.
5. Assetto Corsa
If Forza is for beginners, Assetto Corsa is for experts. A racing game, through and through, Assetto Corsa makes the list of best pc games of all time, due to its hyper realism when it comes to driving.
With all of the addons, or just buying the Ultimate Edition, you have 178 cars to choose from. With the realism, they incorporated pretty much everything, from load changes, to weight transfer, loss and gain of tyre grip, you even get the option of having fuel loss and tyre wear, making pit stops a necessity. Most realism features are optional, meaning you can play it a little easier, or experience it at its rawest. This is a game best played with a proper racing setup. At least a wheel and pedals, if not a full racing rig.
You can play through the single player mode, where you start with a slow car, and work your way up. This game really shines in its multiplayer mode though. Being able to test your skills against other people over the world, in your chosen car, it’s a great feeling if you win, but a bitter pill if you lose.
This is the most realistic racing game out there. The other games, while less realistic, can be more fun because of it, but the steep learning curve, and difficulty of this game gives you great satisfaction when you get the hang of it, which is why its on this list.
6. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
PUBG is one the most popular battle royale type game there is. It’s only narrowly beaten in terms of players and revenue by Fortnite. However, I reckon that the higher level of realism in PUBG makes it a much better game overall.
There are currently 3 maps. Erangel, Miramar, and Sanhok. The maps periodically have red zones appear, which become dangerous, and explosions are caused in the area. A C-130 occasionally drops an air drop in these zones, and you have to decide if its worth the risk. Containing a variety of buildings, towns, and woodland, you have plenty of places to hide from, or ambush enemies.
The goal of this game is simple. Be the last man standing. You can die through a variety of means. First, is being killed by an enemy. You can also die from fall damage. Another way is through not staying inside the ever shrinking safe zone. If you are outside of it, you’ll suffer constant radiation poisoning until death.
You begin each match inside a plane. You drop out at any time of your choice, and parachute to the ground. Starting with nothing, besides clothing and a utility belt, you have to scavenge for weapons, armour, and vehicles. Some areas are known for having a lot of loot, and these areas will be swarmed first. So you can risk it, grab and run, or find a less popuated area and hope you find something good.
Finding good equipment is one of the keys to surviving. Getting body armour, a helmet, and a backpack can significantly better your odds of survival. The first two will give you protection from attacks, and the latter will allow you to carry more items. Without a backpack, you’ll have to make more difficult decisions like whether to keep a pistol that you have ammo for, or pick up that powerful rifle, and hope you find ammunition for it later.
There are several game modes. First is the most popular, Solo. In this mode, it’s you against the rest, in a free for all. The second is Duos, where you are teamed with another player, and must fight other pairs until you’re the last team left. The same is with the latter, Squads. You are in a team of 2, 3, or 4, and must fight against other teams to win. If you want, you can go it alone, against the rest for an added challenge. There is also a forced first-person perspective setting for each mode.
While not the first, it’s the one that really brought the Battle Royale system mainstream. A worldwide loved game, this secures its place on the best pc games of all time, with its various maps, and pulse pounding gameplay.
7. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
This was by far my favourite game growing up. I still play it occasionally. A dedicated strategy game, this is by far one of the best of all the strategy games, never mind in its own series.
The game is centered around strategy. The campaign plot is a sequel to RA1, which was based around Albert Einstein going back in time and killing Hitler, and subsequently causing the Soviet Union to grow in much size and power. It’s set in 1972, and the Soviet Union has just invaded the USA. You play either the Allied or Soviet campaign.
There is also Skirmish mode, where you can play against AI, or other human players online. In Skirmish mode, you generally start with only a Construction Yard, and 10,000 in cash. You spend this money to create buildings, which unlocks military units, or other buildings. The goal is to defeat the opposing players.
You can adjust the difficulty of the AI, and how many total players, but each map has limits on how many you can have. For example, Isle of War can only have 2 players, whereas DEFCON 6 can have up to 6 players. The AI is quite predictable on the easy settings, but as the difficulty level increases, so does the intelligence of the AI. You also have the option to ally certain AI with you, or the enemy’s, to make the game more interesting. If you want a challenge, you can pit yourself against a team of 5 other bots.
You can also choose certain features to have within each skirmish game before it starts. These include the option for Superweapons, the ability to move your Construction Yard around, and random crate drops, that provide a variety of goodies.
Red Alert 2 comes with 48 ‘Skirmish’ maps. These maps vary in size, number of player slots available, what structures are generated, how much resource there is, and more. One great aspect of the game is that you can create your own maps with the application Final Alert 2. You can upload your created maps to C&C forums, and download others, and play on so many variations. Some people have made replicas of the Earth in maps.
To sum it up, Red Alert 2 is an amazing tactical game. While lacking the graphics and effects of today’s blockbusters, it stands up with it’s gameplay, need for forethought, and just general nostalgia (for me anyway).
I was thinking about making number 4 The Orange Box, but Portal is the best game that comes with it. Half Life 2 is a decent game, and Team Fortress 2 was a game that was played massively in the past, but neither compare to Portal in my opinion.
You play a female character named Chell. Waking up in a laboratory, you are informed by the electronic voice of GLaDOS that you are to partake in a series of tests. These tests get more difficult, more convoluted, and more dangerous as you progress. The goal is to complete all the levels, and reach the end. There’s also cake promised!
You gain a tool, called the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, or ASHPD for short, early on in the game. This device allows you to fire portals onto certain surfaces. You get two portals. When both portals are active, stepping through one will allow you to step out the other. You are tasked with using this device, your wits, and a lot of timing to progress through each level.
This game, as well as it’s sequel Portal 2, has incredibly well thought out levels. Some levels can have you stumped for ages, until you figure out that one simple trick and you wonder why it was so hard. The best thing about Portal 2 is the multiplayer aspect that wasn’t there in the first one. You have to work together with your teammate to progress. It’s a fun game to play with your significant other, provided you’re not prone to heated arguments cause one of you is doing something completely wrong!
The brainteaser aspect, coupled with the amusing jabs by GLaDOS, and the great gameplay, rank this highly in our Best PC Games Of All Time list.
9. Rainbow Six: Siege
Back when I used to play Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, this was already an awesome series. But when Rainbow Six: Siege came out, it went above and beyond all its other games.
I’m going to focus on the multiplayer aspect, as it does not have any single player mode. You can play casual or ranked. Ranked rounds last 3 minutes 45 seconds. 45 seconds prep/recon, 3 minutes action. Casual matches give you 4 minutes action time. There are different goals in Rainbow Six: Siege, such as planting/defusing the bomb, holding/saving hostages, or secure/hold area. You play as either the attackers or defenders. There are 40 different operators to choose from, each with their own strengths. It’s up to you, and your team, to decide the best picks for the job.
In the prep/recon phase, each team has 45 seconds to prepare. This means the defenders set up equipment that will help them defeat the enemy, such as barbed wire, surveillance cameras, and barricades. The attackers must use remote controlled drones to survey the inside of the building, locate the objective, make note of any traps, and enemy positions, including what operator they are playing as. The defending team must slow down the attackers recon, and can destroy their drones if located.
Each operator may also have their own unique equipment. This adds a wild card, as unless the enemy knows what operator you chose, and what unique ability/weapons they have, they will find it difficult to plan for it.
Ranked matches are usually best of 5, but you need 4 rounds won minimum to win the match. You also need to be 2 points of advantage, or it will keep going. The match can last indefinitely if there are repeated draws, but this is unlikely. Matches can last between 15-45 minutes, but it varies match to match.
This game relies extremely heavily on teamwork. If you are not a team player, you won’t be well liked. You need to plan well, with a slap dash team made of players you may have never played with before, unless you go in with a team already. You need to be in constant communication with your squad, reporting anything relevant, as it could be the difference between life and death.
This game is most likely the best co-op game there is. This is a game best played with your closest gaming friends, ones that you can work well together with. If you play with unknown players, it teaches you adaptability, and you are forced to learn each others play styles quickly to succeed. This is what ranks it on the best PC games of all time list.
10. Fallout 3/NV
It was a difficult choice of which Fallout game to rank. So I chose Fallout 3 and NV, as I found it very difficult personally to get into the original two, but I believe that you’d enjoy the original games more if you played them back when it was released. Fallout 4 doesn’t compare. Yes, Fallout 4 had better graphics, and better action gameplay, but it was let down severely by its decision to have a fully voiced protagonist, and its laughably bad options when it came to speaking to someone. It’s pretty much Yes, No, Info, Sarcasm, most of the time, but sometimes it’s worse, and generally you got the same outcome.
The world of Fallout is set in a post apocalyptic wasteland. The Earth was decimated after America, China, the USSR, and others fired nuclear warheads to start and end the Great War on October 23rd 2077. The world was in a very retro style setting before that, and it shows in the bleak future. Cars were 50’s style, and a lot ran on nuclear power. Some cars will explode violently if fired upon as a result. Most Fallout games start with you as a Vault Dweller, leaving your vault, and traversing the wastes. Fallout NV on the other hand, you play as a Courier, who was shot in the head for the product they were delivering. You wake up in Goodsprings, healed by a helpful doctor, and given some clothes, and a Pip-Boy.
Fallout 3 is set in Washington DC, now called the Capital Wasteland. New Vegas is set in the Mojave Desert. The plot of FO3 is about you, a vault sweller, who’s father left the vault (Something which you have been told has never been done since the vault was sealed 200 years ago), and you’re on a mission to find him. With Fallout NV, you’re a courier, out to find the person that shot you in the head and left you for dead.
The game engine used in FO3 and NV is very jumpy at times. There have been many glitches and bugs, and NV upon release was known to crash incredibly often. Luckily, most of these bugs and glitches were fixed with patches and mods.
At the start of each game, you put points into certain attributes. They are referred to as S.P.E.C.I.A.L. That stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Your choices on how many points to put where will affect your options and gameplay further on. There was also a skills section, where you can put points into skills to increase your proficiency in specific areas. This included skills such as Small Arms, Lockpicking, Medicine, Science, Bartering, and more. All of this allows you to sculpt how you play each playthrough from the get go.
Another great part of Fallout is the character customization. While it’s not the most wide range, you can customize your characters looks, including hair style, facial hair, hair colour, skin colour, facial structure, age, and more. It was best in Fallout 4 though, but there are many mods you can add to make the customization better.
Combat in Fallout has the option of using VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). This system stops time and allows you to select which body parts you want your character to attack, and gives you the likelihood of striking each part in percentages.
The best part of the gameplay of the Fallout games is the role playing aspect. You can choose to be ‘good’, or ‘evil’, through so many different actions throughout the game, and these actions can change the way you are treated by certain communities.
I reckon the storyline of New Vegas was better, but the nostalgia of Fallout 3, and its originality on the playing field, evens the score. The best part of these games though, is the modding. There are mods for everything, from texture changes, to added weapons, more quests, to entire voiced companions. Modding was always one of the best things about Fallout games, and I hope it never changes in the future. This is definitely, one of the best PC games of all time.
There you have it! Our 10 best PC games of all time! I know many of the picks wouldn’t have been on your own top 10, but like I said earlier, these are our top 10.
Our list featured a lot of open world, free roaming games, because they are by far my favourite. The ability to go where you want, do what you want, and not even have to focus on the main quest for as long as you like, I live the freedom of it.
Let me know in the comments just how wrong I am and what choices I should have put in. Throw in a couple insults about my gaming sense as well if you like.