The PC Gamer Top 100

Personal picks

The list is done, but that is not enough. There are still games to be recognised, games that we personally love and feel deserve some recognition, even if they didn't quite have the votes to secure a place in the final 100. Here are our personal picks for 2016.

Tim Clark - Far Cry 3

“Douches abroad” story aside, my favourite of Ubi’s schlocky openworld shooters. Killing sharks to craft a high-end wallet proved an oddly compelling feedback loop, and I obsessed over owning all the signature weapons. Perhaps most importantly, it was completely malaria-free.

Samuel Roberts - South Park: The Stick of Truth

Probably the lightest RPG ever, but a fantastic representation of the show that cleverly captures South Park’s brutally immature, but often incisive, sense of humour. I admire any RPG I can play with just one hand.

Evan Lahti - Stellaris

It captures the wonder and virtuousness of space exploration better than any game in the 4X genre. The first phase is wonderfully, paradoxically calm and uncertain—each new event feels like a revelation for your species.

Phil Savage - Tropico 4

Not as deep a city builder as Cities: Skylines, Tropico 4 stands out due to its satirical theme. You’re not just a mayor, you’re El Presidente, a (possibly) benevolent dictator who’s just trying to do right by his people (and embezzle a few million dollars along the way).

Tyler Wilde - Lovely Planet

A strange, wonderful shooter, and far more challenging than it looks. Rush through the short levels shooting every enemy and every falling bomb, making zero mistakes. Each level is a superbly designed puzzle and an infuriating FPS acrobatics course.

Tom Senior - The Last Standalone

This mode for Dawn of War II: Retribution was so good it received a spin-off release. You and a couple of friends kit out some Warhammer 40,000 heroes and face hundreds of enemies in an arena survival challenge. Victory rarely feels this heroic.

Chris Thursten - Wolfenstein: The New Order

Who’d have thought Wolfenstein would form the basis for the freshest new FPS campaign in years. It’s astonishingly loud and astonishingly violent, big and muscular and Wagnerian in both its dumbness and its surprising cleverness.

James Davenport - VVVVVV

This side-scrolling platformer uses one button—V by default—to reverse gravity, sending Captain Viridian to the ceiling or floor in order to cross gaps and avoid death by spikes. It’s a challenging, charming game that I’ll never quit.

John Strike - Battlefield 4

With the undoubtedly broken launch now a distant memory, I’m still stuck deep in Battlefield 4. DICE’s first-person shooter has a large and passionate community. Three years on, it’s still the game I play with my friends more than anything else.

Tony Ellis - Far Cry 4

It’s the Far Cry formula, perfected. The biggest and best outposts, missions and fun things to do around every corner, but most of all, that setting: beautiful, pristine mountains looming over a fantasy Kashmir full of temples, tigers and tuk-tuks.

Wes Fenlon - Dungeon of the Endless

My favourite lazy Sunday co-op game is a bizarre hybrid of tower defence and roguelike, turnbased and realtime. It shouldn’t work, but it does: each run is a balancing act of hero micro and tower building. And the pixel art is just rad.

Chris Livingston - Plants vs. Zombies

It felt like a toy at first, another cute little casual game, until it completely took over my life. Beneath the adorably designed plants and zombie jokes is an addictive and engrossing tower defence game, easy to learn and nigh-impossible to quit.

Andy Kelly - L.A. Noire

Rockstar’s homage to film noir is one of the best period pieces on PC. Its recreation of 1940s Los Angeles is painstaking, and wandering the streets as Cole Phelps feels like stepping back in time. It’s more linear than it lets on, but the cases are intriguing and the acting superb.

Shaun Prescott - Ark: Survival Evolved

Survival games are like pulp novels: there are hundreds of them, they all play kinda the same, and most of them are forgettable. ARK is different, because you can (a) poop, and then collect your poop and (b) you can tame and ride dinosaurs. It’s the small things.

Jarred Walton - Heroes of Might and Magic III

It got its claws into me back in my college days, and my grades paid the price. Who can forget playing Sandro the necromancer wearing the Cloak of the Undead King, leading an army built on the husks of his foes?

Angus Morrison - Sunless Sea

It's the perfect game for a long voyage. Its sea of shifting landmarks, twisted tales and unforgiving survival mechanics can be exhausting in the course of extended play, but away from home, on a low-power PC, its dark miscellany comes into its own.

Tom Marks - The Witness

Even while it’s slowly teaching you how to play, it doesn’t really tell you what the game is actually about. The puzzles can be challenging, but learning how to understand them—or even discovering they exist at all—can be even harder. It’s a gorgeous world filled with secrets.

Steven Messner - Soma

It uses its isolating underwater setting to set up one of the most poignant sci-fi stories I’ve ever played. If there’s one thing that amazes me about it, it’s that in a deep sea lab populated by machines, I’ve never been more painfully aware of what it means to be human.

Daniella Lucas - Tales of Zestiria

It’s not a very modern or great JRPG, but its likeable cast, bright art style and predictable plot twists are comforting. It doesn’t compare to the great Final Fantasy titles, but sometimes you just want to smash up monsters in a pretty world.

Matt Elliott - Legend of Grimrock

I shouldn’t love a game that makes me eat snail meat in a wet dungeon, but by God, I do. This tile-stepping, nonsensical RPG discards every principle of modern game design except handsomely rendered slabs. Oddly, that’s what makes it feel fresh.

And finally...