For anybody who had an interest in playing games as a child, or maybe as an adult at one point in their lives, may have encountered or at least tried playing a PC game. Hundreds and even thousands have already been made in the last decade, and we would like to know which ones were the good ones? Even so, the best? Luckily, information is now available with the help of groups who collate such data and organize them into something useful.
In this review, we gather information on the 10 of the best PC games of all time. They are the combined data of users’ opinions, Metacritic rating, reviews, sales, and a little bit of our opinion on the greatest PC games of this generation.
1. Half-Life 2
Judging by today’s standards, Half-life 2 may look like it already needs an upgrade, its graphics may need work, and it may and even already have relinquished its next-gen status years ago. But mind you, this sequel won Metacritic’s 2004 PC Game of the Year Award. HL2 still carries with it its predecessor’s suspenseful visceral charge set in a post-apocalyptic future.
Occupied by aliens and monsters, the game enhances its realism with vivid graphics while being responsive to the point where you experience a virtual presence right into the game’s physical environment. Strangely, both friendlies and enemies seem to feel you when you are around, and vice versa. Still, as impressive as the day it was released, Half-life 2 is now sporting a physics-based action sequence.
In the game, you can float barrels to lift a floating plank of wood. This remarkably adds to the authenticity of the game as it makes it more exciting and realistic. Once again, research scientist Gordon Freeman will have to rescue our alien-infested world as people count on him to save them. Half-Life 2 is a classic game that will go down in the books as the number one best PC game of all time.
- Release Date: November 16, 2004
- Engine: Source
- Genre: First-person Shooter
- Platforms: PC, Windows Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS, X Linux & Android
- Sales: According to TeamSpy, the collector of data Steam Games buys, Half-Life 2 has already sold over 10 million copies.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
A must-own game, RDR2 was built by the same company that created GTA. Players rave at this games’ graphic quality and realism, calling it “authentic.” You can play Arthur Morgan, one of the senior members of the gang. And your group is known as the Van der Linder gang; together with other members, you will rob and steal your way across the land.
RDR2 captures the nuances of the end of the wild west era. Play along with a great storyline that will keep you playing till the end (watch for the twist). You will also love the realistic feature of maintaining your gun to keep it firing well and even take care of your horse to keep it strong. This way, your ride can keep up with you in moments where you need it the most. All in all, a great story combined with surprising realism makes for a great game such as RDR2.
- Release Date: October 26, 2018
- Engine: Rockstar Advanced Game Engine
- Genre: Action-Adventure, Open-World, Survival Game
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows
- Sales: As of August 2, 2021, 38 million units were sold.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
Set in the city of Los Santos, GTA 5 is filled with starlets, gurus, and former celebrities. The town is in a struggle for survival. The story itself revolves around three criminals working their way out and fighting for survival and success despite the pandemonium. All are looking for their next big score, as they carry out dangerous schemes that could get them set for life.
Immersion is the key to this game’s success. You can escape the humdrum of reality by driving through wealthy neighborhoods and spotting exotic supercars. You could also be going through the desert and encountering hitchhikers and muggers. This game offers hours of escape and excitement while driving a car to the tune of your favorite music with no real destination in mind.
Just don’t expect perfect realism since GTA is not a sim. In the meantime, experience and take on the role of either Micheal, Franklin, or Trevor and experience the rough and tumble of Los Santos.
- Release Date: April 13, 2015
- Engine: RAGE
- Genre: Action Adventure
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3,4, 5, Xbox One Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox Series X/S
- Sales: 155 million copies sold as of 2021 and counting.
An ultra-immersive game, Bioshock provides a dark and disturbing environment shown in detail by dead bodies and soda cans strewn around. It gives you the feeling of a place that used to have an everyday life, now barren and desolate.
With its expert storytelling, the creators of this game managed to keep it interesting and thought-provoking without being too overly textured. You can upgrade your gear with ionic gels, genetically modify your body with Plasmid stations, and discover all the other elements of the game that make it tastefully distorted. Enjoy advanced graphics and fascinating water effects.
Although some parts are not as exciting and sometimes clunky, Bioshock is not a perfect game overall, but you can say it’s a great one. The developers did improve the missing parts of Bioshock (2007) in Bioshock 2 (2010) and Bioshock Infinite.
- Release Date: August 21, 2007
- Engine: Unreal Engine 2.5
- Genre: First-person shooter
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X iOS
- Sales: 11 million units sold.
5. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
This game has remarkable depth and range. It offers its users hours and hours of play without the player getting bored. With a relatively simple interface, it boasts of interesting dialogue and even romantic options, which has not been done on an RPG game before. Anyone who has ever played role-playing games knows how exciting it can be to see details of people you meet, such as the NPC’s, who can join you and your party.
On the one hand, it is a long game and would take you weeks and even months to play. But isn’t that the purpose? Enjoy Gates of Baldur II, do side quests as you please for as long as it takes.
- Release Date: September 24, 2000
- Engine: Infinity Engine
- Genre: Role-playing video game
- Platforms: PC Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
- Sales: Baldur’s Gate II was released in 2000 and sold over $2 million units. Estimated BG 1 and BG 2 collectively sold about 4 million units.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Now available in handheld, this game boasts of graphics at 4k HDR. It is surprisingly clear and pristine. It is one of those RPG games that look fantastic on a portable device ( since not all are).
It features exciting side quests and fights against the Empire attacking Kingdoms of the North and Wild Hunt. Travel through a fascinating open world and make decisions about communities that you come across. One downside to this game is that there are not many big bosses. It would be much more challenging and exciting if a giant dragon or some other bosses from part 2 appeared. You are Geralt Rivia, a great swordsman and monster slayer. Travel your worlds and continue your conquest.
- Release Date: May 18, 2015
- Engine: REDengine 3
- Genre: Action role-playing
- Platforms: PC Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
- Sales: By April 2021, The Witcher 3 has sold over 30 million copies.
7. Portal 2
A smashing upgraded version of Portal 1, Portal 2 exceeds the expectation of fans of the original version.
Apocalyptic and strange, the game immersion factor will leave you in awe. Check out the old parts of the Aperture organization and be amazed by the scale and detail of the surroundings. Meet Glados, the fantastic lead character, and some other new addition that adds so much more flavor to the game.
However, Portal 2 could use more stories to make it more exciting and more awesome. Overall, Portal 2 is nothing short of fantastic, with interwoven stories that are well rolled out.
- Release Date: April 18, 2011
- Engine: Source
- Genre: Puzzle-platform
- Platforms: PC Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Sales: 4 million units sold worldwide
8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
An open-world fantasy epic, Skyrim creates a virtual world for you to explore and move whichever way you choose to go. Pick your character and do whatever you want with it. This game has great storytelling, freedom of choice, and adventure factors. Check out the rolling clouds, mountains, cities, and even dragons. Choose from hundreds of potions, spells, weapons, and other abilities that will bring with you to your journey of infinite possibilities.
Some downsides to this game are it is sometimes glitchy, and alchemy requires much grinding. Also, scaling difficulty is lacking. On the other hand, there are many dungeons to explore, plenty of quests, and lots of fun. Skyrim is loved by Playstation and Xbox gamers as well.
- Release Date: November 10, 2011
- Engine: Creation Engine
- Genre: Action role-playing
- Platforms: PC Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3,4, & 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S
- Sales: Released seven times in the last ten years, Skyrim has already sold over 30 million units over the previous decade.
Touted to be the most popular video game in history, Minecraft was recently played by a total of 166 million players in August 2021 alone. This game involves player’s building and destroying structures in blocks that are laid in a 3-dimensional environment. The game has no storyline, no genre, no characters, no cutscenes. Its attraction lies mainly in the player’s ability to do pure unadulterated creation.
Go ahead, shape your world with your digital hands the way you want it, how you want it, and when you want it. Use an avatar that can both create and destroy structures that are artworks and other unique creations. The game is available in multiplayer mode and several game modes.
- Release Date: November 18, 2011
- Engine: NA
- Genre: Sandbox, survival
- Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Playstation 3 & 4, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon Fire
- Sales: Released in 2011, Minecraft today has a total valuation of 1.7 billion dollars.
10. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Choose your political destiny with the definitive version of the hit RPG game Disco Elysium. Play and discover new quests, talk to city locals, and explore more of the game’s open worlds. Get into your detective gear and interrogate memorable characters in the game, solve murders and receive bribes. Your choice of becoming a hero or the ultimate villain is entirely yours to decide.
For lack of a better description, this game might not appeal to everyone as it is very diverse in subject matter. Some of the dominant topics include forensic science, psychology, and politics. The character situations could have been less complicated without the challenge of having to discover yourself as a person in the game who drank to stupor and at the same time tried to solve a case of murder.
Nevertheless, the game has its unique moments, like the scene in “Spirited Away.” It effectively brought the game to a beautiful and reflective close. It ended with anticipation of wanting to play it again, which is a hallmark of a good game. Disco Elysium is genuinely entertaining with just the right depth to keep you riveted to the end.
- Release Date: March 30, 2021
- Engine: Unity
- Genre: RPG single player
- Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 released last March 2021, Google Stadia, Xbox Series X, Series S, and Nintendo Switch
- Sales: Over 2 million copies sold
We can conclude that there has to be some combination of Metacritic ratings, sales, and user reviews to pick out the best from hundreds of games in the ranking list. However, like all other reputable gaming sites, we rely heavily on Metacritic rating, a numeric aggregate of reviews for actual rankings. This is because the companies that create and sponsor these games see that metadata reviews directly affect sales in the present and the future. As of today, this is the most reliable means of ranking in a balanced way.
Of course, popularity and sales also come into play, but these are results, and what we are looking for is the key to influencing sales and positive user reviews. So far, metadata satisfies this. And that, my co-gamers, is how we came up with this distinguished list. Play on, play hard.
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