100 Great PC Games You Should Play Before You Die

The must-plays every PC gamer should know

Credit: FromSoftware

90. Beat Saber

Credit: Beat Games

While modern VR remains more novelty than necessity, it can’t be denied that games like Beat Saber go a long way towards proving the technology has promise when it comes to gaming. 

A fusion of rhythm game and sword fight simulator, Beat Saber lets you experience your favorite songs as neon-lit blade dancing ballet. It’s not quite deep enough to justify buying a VR headset outright but, if you’re already on the train, it’s a stop that can’t be missed.

89. Company of Heroes

Credit: Relic

While Relic Entertainment’s custodianship of the Dawn of War franchise has had its ups and downs, their record when it comes to Company of Heroes is nigh on unimpeachable.

The wartime RTS reappropriates the language of cover-shooters and redeploys the mechanics of modern warfare in a way that leaves it almost unrecognisable as among contemporary strategy games but intensely enjoyable regardless. Where other strategy games keep an invisible wall between you and the troops, Company of Heroes draws you in and closes that distance.

88. Donut County

Credit: Annapurna Interactive

Building on the legacy of titles like Katamari Damacy, Donut County turns the capitalistic drive to consume into comic humour and physics-based fun but it doesn’t shy away from thinking about what the implications of that framing might be. 

Ben Esposito’s Donut County is a lighthearted puzzler with writing that lights up your heart and puts a smile on your face.

87. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Credit: Warhorse Studios

Warhorse Studio’s sprawling Bohemia simulator isn’t perfect but it gets most of the way towards its audacious ambitions. Taking on the role of a blacksmith’s apprentice cast adrift when foreign invaders destroy your home, Deliverance is a game as navel-gazey as it is naive about meritocracy and privilege. 

Deliverance’s central fantasy isn’t just about one of returning to a simpler times, it’s about simulating a world where if you put in the work, it always yields rewards, mastery and praise from those around you. Every avenue the game offers, from cooking to archery to swordplay, has depth to it. You only need to put in the time to reap the benefits.

86. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Credit: InExile

Set in Monte Cook Games’ Numenera universe, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a very different sort of post-apocalyptic adventure to the game that inspired it but definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the original Planescape: Torment. 

Tides of Numenera tasks you with navigating you through a morally-challenging and rich-realised setting that you’ve probably never even considered an option when it comes to these sorts of games.

85. Dead Space 2

Credit: Visceral Games

With the original Dead Space starting life as an entry in the System Shock franchise before mutating into something else entirely, Dead Space 2 sees Visceral’s science fiction survival horror game ascend to the highest rungs of the pantheon.

Picking up right where the first game left off, Dead Space 2 ratchets up the tension and terror at every turn. It plays off what you know and revels in revealing that which you didn’t expect.

84. Cities Skylines

Credit: Colossal Order Ltd.

After 2013’s SimCity seemingly buried the biggest name in city-builders for good, Cities: Skylines proved there’s plenty of life left in the genre. It strikes a stellar balance between ticking the boxes and catering to nostalgia for its inspirations and introducing its own mechanics into the mix. 

Like the best sim games, Cities: Skylines begs you to dabble with it by providing a sprawling sandbox with levers to pull, crisis to manage and decisions to make.

83. Tetris Effect

Credit: Monstars & Resonair

Finding a new spin on a puzzle game as storied as Tetris might sound like the impossible, but Monstars and Resonair have managed exactly that with Tetris Effect. 

Pulling from experimental music games like Rez, Tetris Effect turns the classic block-turning you’re familiar with into an audio-visual feast for the senses. Even if you think you know Tetris, Tetris Effect is a must-play.

82. Rocket League

Credit: Psyonix LLC

Tossing racing games and sports games in a blender, Psyonix’s Rocket League plays on what you already know about either genre and sprinkles on some fun flair. It’s rare to find a game that’s so immediately fun to pick up and play as Rocket League - doubly-so with friends. 

Rocket League is the prime time mash-up you never knew you wanted.

81. Spec Ops: The Line

Credit: Yager

With Specs Ops: The Line, developer Yager didn’t just seek to update an aging franchise for a new audience, they looked to deconstruct the military shooter genre at the height of its popularity. 

More content to pull from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness than Band of Brothers, Spec Ops is unflinching and feverish descent into violence. Set amid the ruins of a Dubai devastated by natural disaster, Spec Ops hints at a world where gaming is able to offer more than just hollow platitudes about the horrors of war.

Next Page: #80-71

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