100 Great PC Games You Should Play Before You Die

The must-plays every PC gamer should know

Credit: FromSoftware

20. Minecraft

Credit: Microsoft

Lego for the iPhone generation, Minecraft is the ultimate make-what-you-want-of-it game and that quality has only deepened over time through the maturing of the mod ecosystem around it. 

Like the name suggests, the fundamentals here - mining and crafting - haven’t changed too much over the years. Regardless, when the ends those means reach are as malleable as they are here, you’re left with a game that really does let you mix and match to create the experience you want. 

Minecraft is infinite in scope, endlessly replayable and customisable without limits.

19. Dishonored 2

Credit: Arkane Studios

Arkane’s sophomore effort in the immersive space is more than just a tidy and predictable follow-up to what came before. Instead, Dishonored 2 is a game with - and about - ambition. 

The introduction of Emily as a playable character allows for new ways to flavor your story and the level design here pushes up against the boundaries of the genre. Rare is it for any single immersive sim to have a level as iconic as the Clockwork Manor, let alone have multiple such stages. 

Discontent with providing new playgrounds for players or expanding the scope of its eerie whalepunk setting, Dishonored 2 critiques everything the first game introduced and asks you to do the same.

18. Mass Effect 2

Credit: EA

Boasting a more stylised look, darker tone and an increased focus on combat, Mass Effect 2 lets you be the wisecracking, rule-breaking space captain of your dreams. It’s cinematic when it needs to be with the lulls and silences between the action between easily filled by the space opera’s all-star cast of companions. 

Mass Effect as a series has never hesitated to steal from the best. With Mass Effect 2, the fullest riches of that bounty are laid bare.

17. Team Fortress 2

Credit: Valve

The best days of Valve’s class-based multiplayer shooter may be behind it but - like World of Warcraft - it’s hard to understate the impact that Valve’s shooter has had on modern live-service titles. 

Boasting a roster of nine different characters, dozens of maps and a lively community, Team Fortress 2 isn’t just the typical class-based shooter, it’s the genre at its peak. Originally launched as part of Valve’s Orange Box bundle, TF2 later shifted to a microtransaction-driven model akin to many contemporary shooters like Destiny and Overwatch.

16. Titanfall 2

Credit: Respawn

Pitched as a sci-fi flavoured challenger to the dominance of Call of Duty, the first Titanfall eschewed a traditional single-player experience for a purely multiplayer experience for both good and ill. 

The sequel looked to remedy this by adding a story-driven campaign back into the mix. Each level of Titanfall 2 pushes the boundaries for not just the series’ fast-paced gunplay but for the FPS genre writ large. It’s a jaw-dropping showcase for what the team of veterans who reinvented the modern shooter can do when given the right combination of freedom, time and resources.

15. Total War: Three Kingdoms

Credit: Creative Assembly

If Total War: Warhammer brought new life into the historical strategy series, Three Kingdoms may well have perfected the existing formula. It takes all the key learnings from Total War’s jaunt into Games Workshop's fantasy setting and uses them to bring the warmongering and politicking of its source material to life. 

Three Kingdoms is the closest the Total War series has ever come to getting it all right. Regardless of whether you play in the more authentic Romance mode or the more realistic Records mode, Three Kingdoms brings with it all the diplomacy, military strategy and larger-than-life characterisation you could want in a grand strategy game.

14. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Credit: Infinity Ward

Infinity Ward’s reinvention of the World War 2 shooter took action to the modern day and embraced post-2001 American jingoism to problematic but popular effect. 

Though perhaps dwarfed in scope by later instalments in the series, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the perfect storm of tactile and tactical gunplay, a superb sense of level design and an addictive multiplayer progression that set a high bar that many shooters today still strive to live up to.

If DOOM shaped the first generations of first person shooters, then it can be said that Call of Duty 4 is the progenitor for the genre’s latest incarnation.

13. Fallout: New Vegas

Credit: Obsidian

A spin-off to the main series, New Vegas is considered a more faithful successor to the themes and legacy of the original Fallout games. Though it was released in a very buggy state, the game has since been cleaned up and earned a reputation as a diamond in the rough of modern roleplaying games. Bethesda walked so that Obsidian could run.

Fallout: New Vegas rolls the dice by migrating the action to the Mojave desert but it pays off big-time.

12. Field of Glory II: Medieval

Credit: Byzantine Games

Field of Glory II: Medieval is a turn-based tactical game set in the High Middle Ages from 1040 AD to 1270 AD.  Gameplay revolves around moving units of different capacities and skill sets around a map to defeat your enemies. 

Needless to say, you'll need more than a rudimentary knowledge of each unit's strengths and weaknesses to make headway against your foes, but with a little patience you'll soon know whether or not you should, for example, pit heavy cavalry against pike men or send in your archers instead. 

There are plenty of layers to this game and we really like how you can choose to play to your own personal desired level of complexity - whether that be intensely studying your unit's stats, or just sitting back and taking a more casual approach to battle. 

Next Page: #10-#1

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gamingpc gamesbest gamesYou Should PlayTop 100 PC Games100 Best Games100 Top Games

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?