20 THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON 1
Release year 2012 Last position 82
Ben After playing I wondered: why did I feel more for the cast of a pointand- click than any other virtual characters in recent memory? Oh right: because they're well-written.
Phil The standard complaint is that your choices don't affect the bigger plot. My counter is that those choices affected me.
Richard It's sad that simply having heart and humanity can make a game stand out so much from the crowd. But here we are, I guess.
Ian I know you're supposed to replay these games, but I refuse to go back. What happened, happened.
19 PORTAL 2
Release year 2011 Last position 48
Andy Exploring the history of Aperture, seeing the visual style shift as you move through different eras, that was great visual storytelling.
Wes It's a master's thesis on game design. It takes one idea, and studies it as deeply as it can, and every feature it adds serves to underline and improve its core.
Samuel Stephen Merchant's performance is a rare example of voice acting being fundamental to the success of a game. A West Country English accent in a popular videogame? How quaint!
Ian Merchant is great as Wheatley, but my love will always go to JK Simmons's spitting, furious portrayal of Cave Johnson.
Release year 2011 Last position 8
Tyler We didn't know we wanted it until we had it. And then we spent lifetimes punching trees.
Philippa Minecraft rarely sustains my interest for more than a few hours. What I love is seeing what other people have built—I'm far happier as a Minecraft tourist!
Craig My girlfriend and I moved in together in a server before we moved in together in real life. It was a good primer, as our flat is full of spiders.
Ben Minecraft really is what you make it. During my first brush with the game it was a lifestyle simulator, myself and a mate blissfully tending a farm by day and sleeping under the stars by night. As I pushed further into skeleton-infested caves in pursuit of riches it became a dungeon-looter, and once I'd crafted the weapons to fight back, a rollicking actioner.
17 DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION
Release year 2011 Last position 11
Samuel Jumping off rooftops and performing an Icarus Landing into black-and-gold streets—Revolution contemporised Deus Ex while only slightly condensing its systems. My favourite game of the last few years.
Andy A faithful sequel, but also one that wasn't afraid to break away from its predecessors. Some of the best art direction on PC.
Tom You can spike two men at the same time with a retractable arm chisel. Best game ever.
16 DOTA 2
Release year 2011 (beta) Last position 21
Chris Dota 2's developers are the stewards of something bigger than themselves: a game so absurdly complex and competitively exciting that it could have only come from a modding community. It is the prodigal child of PC gaming.
Philippa I have spent more time playing Dota than I have on the rest of this Top 100 combined. Wizardly showboating and dickbaggery combine in endless permutations. In every match I learn something new.
15 DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
Release year 2009 Last position 24
Samuel It's the most complete BioWare game in terms of narrative scope and player expression.
Chris It's well structured despite its long length, which I suspect is why so many people remember it fondly—it really feels like a journey.
Cory As fun as your companions are, I love Origins' combat more than the story. Pausing and setting orders before my party destroys a wave of darkspawn never gets old.
14 COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE
Release year 2012 Last position 37
Evan Few FPSes have a matchmaking system today, and fewer have the pedigree for balance and tight map design that GO inherited. Playing GO five-on-five is as close to a team sport as you can get on PC.
Chris Matchmaking is the key. It opens up the experience of playing LAN CS to an online audience, and that's what got me back into the game after a ten-year absence.
13 BIOSHOCK INFINITE
Release year 2013 Last position 16
Tony Putting the action literally on rails was at once a great metatextual pun, stupid good fun, and the most original thing to happen to FPS combat in years. And Infinite is full of innovations like that.
Samuel So the story doesn't survive logical scrutiny: I kinda don't care. I think Columbia is a triumphant creation. The pacing of the setpieces and story beats shows what rare talent resided at the incomparable Irrational.
Release year 2013 Last position New entry
Evan By simply trusting players to find their own fun in a high-fidelity milsim playground, DayZ stimulated a whole culture of gangs, doctors, hitmen, and survival roleplaying.
Andy The most fun I've ever had in an online game, and the most powerful anecdote generator on PC.
Philippa The only game where I've started a book club and traded trinkets with anonymous strangers for the release of a kidnapped friend.
11 FTL: FASTER THAN LIGHT
Release year 2012 Last position 18
Samuel The Advanced Edition has renewed interest, and rightly so—there are more outcomes than ever in this spaceship strategy sim.
Tom Micromanaging the internal processes of a beleaguered spaceship cleverly centralises the drama around your crew members. Weep as they die horribly again, and again.
Cory The constant surprises are my second favourite part. Suffocating Mantis invaders is first.