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From Elden Ring to Fortnite, these are the best games to play on PC

From Elden Ring to Fortnite, these are the best games to play on PC
Desktop gaming can be a great way to try the latest titles. Here’s our pick of the best games, from single-player, co-op, multiplayer and more

While the Playstation 5 and Xbox series X have an impressive library of third-party and exclusive titles, one of the best ways to experience new games is on a PC.

Not only can high-end PCs offer a more impressive experience graphically, it can also be a more flexible gaming solution on a number of different budgets, depending on your setup.

Most games can run on just 16GB of RAM, with only a few exceptions and there are plenty of indie games that don’t even require that much.

Steam, the games distribution service by Valve, is known for its frequent sales on different titles ranging from indie gems to blockbuster masterpieces and many of the games featured on our list can often be found at a discounted price. It’s also worth noting that some of them are also available on Xbox Game Pass, which can be used to play PC games as well as on console.

If you want to find out which are the best games for PC, then keep reading the rest of the article below.

How we tested

Our list of the best PC games are based on games that have come out in the last few years. Each title is a worthy enough entry on our list but we believe that each one represents the best PC gaming has to offer in its particular genre. As such, each one is priced differently based on its scope and how long it will take to complete meaning there should be something for everybody.

The best PC games in 2022 are:

‘Elden Ring’

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Release date: 25 February 2022
  • Age rating: 16+

Just when you think you’ve uncovered everything Elden Ring has to offer, it throws something new, jaw-dropping and challenging all in equal measure. It’s no wonder the game has become such a behemoth and has sold over 12m copies in less than a month.

Elden Ring offers plenty of challenges for players, while its improved combat mechanics and traversal provide ample opportunity for newcomers to get acquainted with the genre. If this is your first FromSoftware game and you relish a challenge, then there has never been a better time to jump in. If you’re already a veteran, then this perfects the formula of every FromSoftware title that came before it. This is gaming at its very best.

Read our full review of Elden Ring

‘Disco Elysium: The Final Cut’

Best: Role-playing game

Rating: 10/10

  • Developer: ZA/UM
  • Release date: 15 October 2019
  • Age rating: 18+

Waking up in a trashed motel room with a missing shoe, the world’s worst hangover and no memory of who you are is a dark way to start any game, until you realise you’re a detective who’s been sent to the city of Revachol to investigate a murder, then it gets darker. You must search the city for clues, speak to its citizens and put the pieces of your broken psyche back together in a poverty-stricken world where everybody has an ulterior motive. But first, you must find your shoe.

Disco Elysium harks back to classic role-playing games such as the first two Fallout games. It’s dense, text-heavy but within that it’s layered with depth and opportunities for multiple outcomes. You can play it old-school and solve all your problems with your fists or become an armchair philosopher, there’s really no wrong way to go about your detective work.

‘Tunic’

Combat is deceptively deep

Best: Dungeon crawler

Rating: 9/10

  • Publisher: Finji
  • Release Date: 16 March 2022
  • Age rating: 7+

Tunic is something really special. Before anything else, it’s a clear love letter to the old-school action-adventure games of the Eighties and Nineties. Beyond that, it’s an ingenious, brief and occasionally challenging masterclass of modern game design that feels much bigger than the sum of its parts.

Tunic can be completed in just 12 hours, but there are plenty of hidden secrets to be found beyond that timeframe. It’s the type of game internet forums will be pouring over to extract every detail from. To say any more about it would be pulling the curtain back too far. It really needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

Read our full review of Tunic

‘Sniper Elite 5′

Best: Stealth

Rating: 8/10

  • Developer: Rebellion
  • Release Date: 26 May 2022
  • Age rating: 16+

With its large and well executed environments, Sniper Elite 5 is a strong follow up to 2017’s previous entry in the series, with a healthy balance of open-ended approaches and a clear direction. Maps are large enough to revisit and rediscover new areas as well as acting as an endless playground to perform trick shots and discover its secrets.

Where it does falter is in the occasionally stilted AI that is either fiercely intelligent or completely helpless. That said, it’s a worthy follow up in its own right and fans will appreciate the continuity of previous games. A newly implemented invasion mode also allows players to enter other games as an enemy spy for a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Read the full Sniper Elite 5 review

‘Hades’

Best: Single-player

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Supergiant Games
  • Release date: 6 December 2018
  • Age rating: 12+

You play as Zagreus, the son of Hades who wants nothing more than to escape his father’s realm. With assistance from the gods of Olympus, players navigate through the ever-changing halls of the underworld as they journey to the world’s surface. If Zagreus fails in his attempts, he is sent back to the start and must make his escape again. The excellent writing, gameplay loops and soundtrack all amalgamate into a beautifully realised depiction of Greek mythology and its denizens with modern sensibilities. It’s a masterpiece.

‘Inscryption’

Best: Card game

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Daniel Mullins Games
  • Release date: :19 October 2021
  • Age rating: 16+

Part roguelike collectible card game and part escape room, Inscryption is hard to put into a box. At its core, it’s a game about trying to leave a remote cabin and a man who really likes card games but to say any more than that would be giving too much away.

Not only is the card game itself designed well with different creature types, abilities and an interesting combat system, the player can stretch his legs and explore the room he’s in. Hidden secrets can be found in the small spaces that ties in directly with the card game at the table. There isn’t any other game quite like it.

‘Doom Eternal’

Best: Shooter

Rating: 8/10

  • Developer: id Software
  • Release date: 20 March 2020
  • Age rating: 18+

“Rip and tear”, Doom Eternal’s mantra is a battlecry that dares to put meaning behind its senseless violence. Doom has always been a series about hunting down the forces of hell but in Doom Eternal, it dares to put context behind its source material and the origins of the mythical “Doom Slayer”, even if he himself couldn’t care less about it.

Gameplay is designed to be fast-paced, rewarding aggression and momentum as opposed to crouching behind a chest-high wall. It’s the type of shooter that excels on the PC just from the virtue of being a better experience on a mouse and keyboard.

Read our full review of Doom Eternal

‘Fortnite’

Best: Free-to-play

Rating: 8/10

  • Developer: Epic Games
  • Release date: 21 July 2017
  • Age rating: 12+

In an already crowded live-service space, Fortnite has managed to achieve what few multiplayer games can: sustained relevance. While it didn’t invent the battle royale genre and certainly didn’t perfect it, its place in the cultural zeitgeist is inarguable.

It’s also the most successful example of a metaverse before everyone wouldn’t stop talking about metaverses. Name another property where Master Chief and Kratos could team up against Kylo Ren and Captain America before attending an Ariana Grande concert. We’ll wait…

Fortnite also isn’t afraid to challenge itself. It recently removed it’s fort-building mechanics (literally half of the game’s name) as part of its meta. This is a game that is constantly evolving, and if you haven’t played it in several years, you would be surprised to see how much has changed, for better or worse.

‘Sid Meier’s Civilization VI’

Best: Strategy

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • Release date: 21 October 2016
  • Age rating: 12+

The Civilization series is a seriously impressive strategy game for all difficulty levels and while its latest entry streamlines some of the more complex mechanics, it makes for a far more in-depth game than its predecessors.

Choose one of many civilisations, from Aztecs to Zulus, and lead them from the start of history to the modern era. There is more than one way to win, by conquering other civilisations, achieving world peace or winning the space race to name a few. Games can last for days and with plenty of downloadable content available, there’s never been a better game to play for just “one more turn”.

This game has been reduced by a massive 85 per cent (£7.49, Steampowered.com) as part of a promotion that ends on 12 May.

‘It Takes Two’

Best: Co-op game

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Hazelight
  • Release date: 26 March 2021
  • Age rating: 12+

A game about a married couple trying to navigate through a divorce as anthropomorphic dolls doesn’t sound like a good time, it sounds like a great time. Players must work together as either Cody or May to navigate through a series of different mechanics that tie into the themes of their marriage woes. In one instance players will be changing the flow of time or cloning themselves before finding themselves navigating a boat down dangerous rapids. The amount of different genres It Takes Two throws at you is as expansive as the story is endearing. Just don’t get attached to the elephant.

‘Forza Horizon 5′

Best: Racing game

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Playground Games
  • Release Date: 4 November 2021
  • Age rating: 3+

Forza Horizon 5 just wants you to have a good time. From its lush jungles to arid sandstorms, this fictional depiction of Mexico plays host to the Horizon Festival, where racers all over the world come to drive cars and drive them fast. With over 550 vehicles to race across 11 unique biomes, there is plenty of driving to be had across dynamic courses that make Horizon’s world feel truly alive.

‘Half Life: Alyx’

Best: VR game

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Valve
  • Release Date: 23 March 2020
  • Age rating: 16+

The chants for Valve to release Half Life 3 are a running joke in the games industry, with no updates in the series since the famously open-ended Half Life 2: Episode 2 in 2007. That was until Half Life: Alyx came along.

Probably not whatfans were expecting after so much time without an update, Alyx proved to be a worthy entry into the series in its own right. A VR-exclusive title, it’s an excellent tech showcase for the Valve Index. Players will step, quite literally, into the shoes of Alyx Vance, Gordon Freeman’s companion in Half Life 2. The game is set five years before the events of the last game as Alyx must try and seize a super-weapon from the recently invading alien Combine.

Combat, puzzles and survival all make a welcome return to the series and Alyx can interact with the environment using “gravity gloves”, a stand in for Freeman’s gravity gun. It’s exclusive to PC and as the first true AAA experience, if you have access to a virtual reality headset, this title is a must have.

‘Hollow Knight’

Best: Sidescroller

Rating: 9/10

  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • Release Date: 24 February 2017
  • Age rating: 7+

Hollow Knight is a 2D Metroidvania action-adventure game that puts players in the shoes of a nameless knight to explore the kingdom of Hallownest, defeat its bug-themed bosses and uncover its mysteries. It can be unrelentingly difficult but it’s never unfair, giving players ample opportunity to return to the site of their demise and reclaim their progress before its lost. The sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, has long been in development and fans of the original have been anticipating its release since it was first revealed in 2019. Until then, see what all the hype is about in this quietly foreboding indie darling.

This game has just had its price cut by 60 per cent (£4.39, Steampowered.com) as part of a promotion that ends on 9 May.

‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’

Best: Simulator

Rating: 10/10

  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Release Date: 18 April 2020
  • Age rating: 3+

If you’re looking for a realistic simulator to test your knowledge of aviation then look no further than Microsoft Flight Simulator – the closest you can get to sitting inside an actual cockpit. Fly anything from two-seater Cessnas to wide-body commercial jets from any airport in the world. With real-time weather mapping and accurate satellite imagery, the world is yours to explore in genuine awe-inspiring detail.

The verdict: Best PC games

Elden Ring takes the crown for our favourite PC game that you can buy in 2022. Not only is it one of the best games to come out this year it is also a very strong contender for one of the best games of all time.

If that sounds like too much of a time sink though then we would also highly recommend Hades as an excellent single-player experience. Another release that came out late last year, Inscryption, is also worthy of praise for its excellent and unforgettable gameplay.

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