In this list of best pc games of all time, we will focus on providing you with some of the classics as well as some niche games you maybe haven’t heard of. The list is maybe a bit biased since there are a bit more RPG and Strategy games than other types like sports or shooters. We usually played sports on a PS or Xbox and using a controller with a couch party is much superior to sitting in front of a PC when it comes to playing those types of games. Yes yes..we know you can plug a gamepad into your PC and play it on your TV, but you know what we mean.
Furthermore, we recognize that there are a huge amount of good games and different tastes so it’s impossible to put them all on one list. We are mainly focused on gameplay, innovation, and replayability. Graphics are important, but they are not the key factor in our enjoyment of the game. Let’s start:
20. Crysis Series
Genre: Shooter | Release Years: 2007, 2011, 2013
Let’s start with a shooter classic, Crysis. Even though there are similar games out there, there is just something that Crysis does better. The combat system is pretty fun and the story is a bit different than your typical soldier CoD story. To us, the use of the nano suit just reveals a new dimension to a classic shooter. The first iteration of the game has its problems but ultimately it’s the groundwork for further masterpieces that are Crysis 2 and 3. We recommend Crysis for anyone that is looking for a shooter action with a good combat system and a cool story and for those that are sick of playing Battlefield and CoD over and over again.
19. Magicka 2
Credit: Arrowhead Game Studios
Genre: Adventure | Release Year: 2015
We first stumbled on Magicka 2 on accident while browsing some PS5 co-op games. It was a revelation. One of the best co-op experiences we ever had. You can play up to 4 players and there is no split-screen or any of that nonsense. Each player controls a wizard that can make spells with 5 different elements.
Each combination produces a different spell. There are a lot of spells and figuring them out and making different combinations is one of the most fun aspects of this game. Friendly fire is on at all times so it adds an extra spicy layer to the game. You can play it single-player, but a 4 player campaign is just too much chaos and fun. Maybe it shouldn’t be considered as one of the best pc games of all time, but if you want a fun co-op adventure with a wacky spin on it, this game is a must.
18. Don’t Starve Together
Credit: Klei Entertainment
Genre: Survival | Release Year: 2013
If you want to play a co-op survival with a friend, but are bored of classic ones, Don’t Starve Together is a game you need to try. As the title suggests, you and your friends try to survive as long as possible. It has a system of gathering and building system that is just fun to play. Furthermore, the coop player experience just works since you need to play proactively and together all the time. It really forces players to cooperate and work with each other all the time. It also has some amazing lobbies and a big community around it so you can have a huge variety of modes to play.
17. Slay The Spire
Credit: Mega Crit Games
Genre: Dungeon Crawler card game | Release Year: 2017
Slay the Spire takes Magic The Gathering to a dungeon crawl experience. It combines card games with dungeon-style gameplay. The deck building and mechanics feel like models of what a card game should look like. We find RNG here really good since it gives that special replayable and “every run is unique” factor.
Also, we need to mention that there is no “catch” in this card game. A lot of quality high-end card games have pay-to-win microtransactions and a lot of traps laid out in order to lower your fun if you don’t pay additionally. This is not one of those games. If you like the idea of Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone, but prefer to play single-player and with some extra features, we suggest you look into this game.
Credit: Wube Software
Genre: RTS, Base Building | Release Year: 2016
Factorio is really the apex for good base-building games that add a special element which is automation. You start the game by crashlanding on an alien planet and the goal of the game is to wander off the “aliens” on this planet and build a rocket in order to escape. The only way you will do this is if you build automated systems that work for you.
It’s a game that’s revolved around automation and building the optimal base. Moreover, it combines an innovative way to progress into the game. You start from scratch by mining and building basic structures. Over the course of the game, you try to automate everything you need. There will be a lot of trial and error, but we really appreciate the freedom you have into exploring different ways of going about building things.
15. CS GO | Half-Life 2 | Left 4 Dead 2 | Team Fortress 2
Genre: Shooter | Release Years: 2004-2012
While we must admit that shooters are not our favorite type of game, we do enjoy some classics like Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. It is important to note that these shooters blazed the trail for next-gen shooters like Overwatch, Apex, Back 4 Blood, Half-Life: Alyx, etc. Left 4 Dead 2 is a co-op masterpiece and is really fun with friends. Half-Life 2 takes the cake with the campaign and CS GO is the king of online competitive shooters. There is something for everyone and we have no doubt that these shooters are one of the best PC games of all time.
14. God Of War
Genre: Adventure | Release Year: 2016 (2018 on PC)
Even though God Of War was a PS exclusive, we can’t turn a blind eye to the PC port. The formula of this game is pretty standard and while we are not the biggest fans of mundane adventures, God Of War just takes everything to another level. The graphics are beautiful, there are RPG elements in the game, and the story is very rich. The game just feels “complete” and straightforward from the get-go. We appreciate the art style and the legacy that this game has so it deserves to be on our list of best PC games of all time.
13. LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2
Genre: RTS | Release Year: 2006
If you are a Lord Of The Rings fan and love strategy games, you must try BFME 2. In our opinion, it’s an underrated game that isn’t talked about that much at all. Back when EA was making bangers, they made this RTS which really encompasses a lot of things in LOTR. You can build almost everything from the LOTR world. Rohirim, Nazgûls, Berserker Trolls, Dragons, Balrogs, Goblins, Orcs,…you name it. If you are a fan of RTS or LOTR, you won’t be disappointed with this one. We are surprised that this game isn’t usually considered as one of the best pc games of all time since it has it all.
12. Civilization V
Genre: 4x Turn-based strategy | Release Year: 2010
Civ V took everybody by surprise back in 2010, that includes us too. We were really surprised by how the mechanics of the game made it fun to play. It introduced and improved a lot of mechanics and systems that similar games had. The best thing about the game is the tech tree and just the overall feel of history. You start off as an ancient civilization and work your way up to AI tech and robots. The progress you make in order to get there is very engaging.
Building Pyramids, The Great Wall, Eiffel Tower, and Hubble Space Telescope throughout the game are just one of the things that make this game feel like you’re playing through time. We recommend you try Civilization VI too, but the V just feels better and it has a more serious art style. We are not fans of very cartoonish styles in these types of games, which Civ VI has. Nevertheless, both games have their strengths and flaws and we do appreciate each version they can be considered one of the best PC games of all time.
11. Hearthstone: Battlegrounds Mode
Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Card Game | Release Year: 2014
You probably know Hearthstone. It’s a popular card game that is honestly ruined by microtransactions and it’s pretty much pay-to-win. What you may not know is that there is a mode called Battlegrounds which is completely free. It’s extremely fun and addictive, and to us, it’s even better than the base game.
Basically, you’re in a game with 7 other players and you all compete for first place. Each player drafts their cards and builds their armies turn by turn. The game has a lot of builds and RNG elements which make every new run very unique. We also love that there is a mobile version that is also completely free. It gives you literally the same experience as when playing on PC which is extremely convenient given the quality of the game.
10. Command & Conquer Series
Credit: EA Games
Genre: RTS | Release Year: 2004 (Generals), 2007 (Tiberium Wars 3)
Without a doubt one of the best RTS series ever. It seriously defined what a good RTS war strategy should look and feel like. There are a lot of titles in these series but we recommend you play Generals: Zero Hour or Tiberium Wars 3: Kanes Wrath. These games have everything that you need to fall in love with RTS games. The only downside is that they are 15-20 years old. Graphics can feel a bit outdated on Generals while Tiberium Wars are a bit more modern and easier on the eyes. The official servers are down but you can find Revora Servers that are community driven and can be used to play multiplayer with zero issues.
The series had a downfall with bad EA management and people generally didn’t like the “modernized” Tiberium Wars 4: Tiberium Twilight which was a miss. EA wanted to make Generals 2 but corporate greed destroyed the series completely. On the other hand, there is a new similar type of RTS coming out this year (no date yet) called Tempest Rising which is aiming to be similar to the CnC series. We hope all the best for this game since the scene of RTS games has been dead for years.
Credit: Paradox Interactive
Genre: 4X Grand Strategy | Release Year: 2016
If you love space sci-fi, this game has it all. It’s the best grand strategy space game of all time. The basic idea is that you start off as a custom civilization and role-play as much as possible. You can create any empire you like. An egalitarian and eco-friendly bird republic, a hivemind of fishes with religious practices, a mushroom slave empire, a militaristic plant dictatorship, an AI Exterminator consciousness…you get it, literally anything.
Furthermore, these names are not just a gimmick but rather represent a complex system of mechanics within the game. The vast content of the game is difficult to explain. You have a lot of different systems, from population control, planet management, federations, slave market, vassal system, scientific progress, ascensions, and much more. Although it has a lot of flaws, they are understandable considering the game content and variety. This game is really extensive and any summary of the game doesn’t do it justice.
Check out our Full detailed review of Stellaris.
8. Starcraft 2: Co-Op Mode
Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: RTS | Release Year: 2010
We all know Starcraft. What you may not know is that right now, Starcraft 2 is completely free to play! You can finish the base game campaign and play multiplayer with absolutely zero cost. The thing that really shines is the co-op mode which is also free (There is a catch with buying additional Heroes, but it’s only optional and costs 5$). The main story is a fun ride but we are looking for that multiplayer spice.
To us, competitive Starcraft is not that fun to get into and is a bit of an old concept. However, we strongly suggest you look into the co-op mode of this game. This mode shines as it has everything an RTS co-op game needs to have. It seems to us that they decided to combine some elements of Warcraft and the Command And Conquer Series and make it into one of the best co-op experiences you can have in an RTS game.
7. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Credit: CD Projekt RED
Genre: Open-world RPG | Release Year: 2015
The Witcher series has been popular since the first Witcher came out in 2007. Although the first two games were pretty good, it was nothing compared to the masterpiece of the third part, which is regarded as one of the best pc games of all time. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won more awards in 2015 than any other game up to the point. It was the Game of the Year for a reason – Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an example of how a fantasy RPG game should be done.
To put it simply, the story is what makes this game good. Surely, some other games have better combat mechanics but none have a more compelling story. Not only that, the whole point of this game is not just to hack and slash through monsters but to make your decisions wisely as they will affect the game’s ending. The players are the ones that control this story and that’s what makes it so interactive. If you decide to play Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the first time, take your time and don’t just follow the main plot since the open world is rich and there are a lot of things to be explored.
6. World Of Warcraft
Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: MMORPG | Release Year: 2004
World Of Warcraft is probably the best MMORPG game of all time. Its environment, gameplay, and online synergy made it one of the most played games ever. If you ask us, we probably would put this game at the top of the list if it was 2004-2010. Unfortunately, there are inherent problems that come with a massive MMO RPG game. The annoying thing about this classic is that it’s really hard to play the game casually. You can’t just play it a few hours a week. It needs to be a daily job, hustle, etc. This is because the players that are playing this game are veterans and you are by nature competing and cooperating with them.
Furthermore, there are things like boosters and buying gold that are impacting the experience. These types of games are best when they are fresh because now you have to “catch up” to 15-20 year old veterans with gear, experience, and overall skill whilst spending a lot of time on the game. In conclusion, it is an amazing game, but the required playtime and hyper-competitive veterans are swaying us away to revisit this phenomenal classic. If you have a lot of time on your hands, go for it.
5. The Elder Scrolls Series
Genre: Open-world RPG | Release Year: 2002, 2006, 2011
This one feels a bit nostalgic since a lot of time has passed since the release of the main games in the series. Since it’s an RPG, the mechanics feel a bit outdated but the rich world still can’t be ignored. It’s literally the peak of RPGs in the 2000s and these games have a special feel to them, especially Morrowind and Oblivion.
You have three games to choose from; Morrowind (2002), Oblivion (2006), and Skyrim (2011). We are not gonna discuss which one is the best but to us, Oblivion feels like the most complete game even though some claim Morrowind is number one or that Skyrim just has a more “modern” feel to it. Nevertheless, The Elder Scrolls series are a timeless classic and are arguably the best PC games of all time.
4. Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne
Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: RTS | Release Year: 2002-2003
The only reason we are not putting Warcraft 3 at the top of our list is that it has really outdated graphics. Warcraft 3 dominated the RTS genre for a whole decade and Dota 2 took the torch and furthered the reign. The mechanics are phenomenal, and the introduction of heroes in an RTS gets a more RPG element to it. We never really liked Starcraft as much as Warcraft since it doesn’t have that “Hero factor” in the base game (although the co-op experience introduces that). We recommend you play the campaign since it’s an old-time classic with a rich story. It’s what made Blizzard so big, they simply poured their heart and soul into this game and it shows.
3. Dark Souls Series | Elden Ring
Genre: Dark Fantasy RPG, Open-world (Elden Ring)
Release Years: 2011 (DS1), 2014 (DS2), 2016 (DS3), 2018 (DS1 Remastered), 2022 (Elden Ring)
Without a doubt, the Dark Souls series dominated the RPG experience last decade and it made a big impact on the future of RPG games. We put Elden Ring and Dark Souls in the same space because Elden Ring is extremely similar to Dark Souls. In our opinion, the best thing that these series demonstrated is that players don’t want to be catered to and don’t need a helping hand to play a game.
It really showed that the model in which the games like Assassins Creed (or similar games) are made is filled with flaws. Usually, the games explain every little detail of how it’s played and what to do. You have a minimap, quests on the screen, suggestions, advice, etc. On the contrary, Dark Souls just gives you a weapon and throws you into this dark fantasy world with a lot of challenges and possibilities. This too is the key ingredient of Elden Ring, the game of the year in 2022.
People usually don’t find fun in being treated like a new player every game they play. Instead, what Dark Souls did was create an unforgiving environment with amazing level design and an unparallel atmosphere. Couple that with a good combat system and RPG elements, and you got yourself one of the best pc games of all time. Some games have tried these formulas before, but they are either too barebones or just too frustrating. It’s important to maintain some level of balance. With that said, we hope that the future of RPG games will look to games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring and not try to copy them, but use the same concept (rich and challenging in a fun way) and apply it in their games.
2. Dota 2
Genre: RTS | Release Year: 2013
Dota 2 is one of the best PC games, especially if you consider that its mechanics were not changed for over 20 years and it works like butter to this day. On the other hand, the main “flaw” of the game is that it’s just too unfriendly to beginners. While you can learn to play League of Legends in a matter of weeks, Dota 2 will take a lot longer since there is a bigger difference between items, heroes, and mechanics. It just takes a lot to get into.
Without a doubt, it’s one of our most played games, and it easily stood the test of time to this day, for a good reason. Extremely good PvP is what makes this game so much fun. There are a lot of interactions with your teammates and enemies that make the game a strategic masterpiece. Furthermore, it has flexible gameplay, and a lot of choices and builds that make the game extremely replayable. Not to mention that the game is completely free with absolutely zero “catches”.
1. Heroes 3: Might & Magic
Credit: The 3DO Company
Genre: Turn-based strategy | Release Year: 1996
Ok, we might be biased here, but we simply love Heroes 3 and are proud to put it on the top of our list of best PC games of all time. It is a game that is almost 30 years old and that followed us throughout the years. Although it has a very creative art style, the worst thing about this game is, of course, the graphics from 1996. Since it is a turn-based game, it doesn’t impact the gameplay that much. Think of it like chess, the graphics of pieces don’t really matter that much, but what matters is the gameplay and logic behind the game. We assure you, if you play a few games and get into it, you will love it.
The game flow is superb since everything is super snappy and it doesn’t bore you at any moment. Furthermore, it can be run on the oldest PCs and laptops that you can find so that’s always a plus. If you are willing to try some old-school strategy games, you’re gonna love this game. It’s a timeless classic and can be considered one of the best pc games of all time. Moreover, it’s one of the only old-school games that have a very strong community to this day.
The community even made a fully legit expansion of the game that is today’s standard. The servers are up and running and the game can be played online with ease. We recommend you buy the “Heroes 3: Complete” version of the game and download HoTA (community expansion) and the HD mod. Despite its graphics from 1996, this game really stood the test of time like no other.