Despite some notable delays (looking at you, Starfield), 2022 was a good year for PC games. Highlights include the gleeful destruction engine Teardown, backyard survival game Grounded, insta-classic Elden Ring, and a surprisingly friendship-centric Marvel game from the makers of XCOM. There have already been some exciting releases in 2023, too. If you haven't heard about Pizza Tower yet, you're about to.
2023 games: Upcoming releases
Free PC games: Freebie fest
Best FPSes: Finest gunplay
Best MMOs: Massive worlds
Best RPGs: Grand adventures
This list is specifically our answer to the question "What new PC games should I play right now?" with picks pulled from the best recent PC games, a few old favorites we think now is a good time to revisit, and some hidden gems. It's a reflection of what the PC Gamer team is playing right now, not a list of the all-time best games ever, although there'll be overlap. (Our highest review score of last year was 95%. Very few games have scored higher than that in PC Gamer's nearly 30-year history.)
For a more comprehensive list of great PC games past and present, check out our annual Top 100 (opens in new tab) list of the best games on PC. We have some fresh picks for the best Steam Deck games (opens in new tab) if you have one of Valve's handhelds on the way.
We also stay on top of the year's calendar with our guide to the new games of 2023 (opens in new tab), organized by month.
Some good news related to this list: The graphics card shortage is finally easing up, which means it's now possible to build a new gaming PC for a non-outrageous price. We have a guide to putting together an entry-level gaming PC (opens in new tab) for around $750, and we have some recommendations for pre-built PCs (opens in new tab), too.
Reference these emojis to narrow down what you're looking for in our selection of the best PC games.
- 💻 = Suitable for low-end PCs
- 🙋♀️ = Singleplayer
- 🙋♀️🙋♀️ = Multiplayer
- 🎮 = Best with a controller
- 🆓 = Free-to-play
What we're playing now
These are the games the PC Gamer team is currently playing: the up-to-the-minute (or at least, month) stuff on our Steam quick launch menus. For more, check out all of our recent game reviews as well as last year's GOTY winners.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (89%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️
The PC port wasn't exactly the best it could be at launch, but things are improving, and we're glad: "Wo Long is a master of its craft that future soulslikes should study under," we said in our review.
Company of Heroes 3 (82%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️
The big experimental Italian campaign is a dud, but down at the RTS layer, Company of Heroes 3 is "spectacular," Fraser said in our review.
Pizza Tower (90%) 🙋♀️💻
"Play as Peppino Spaghetti, the supersonic Italian middle-aged man" in this ode to Wario Land that's better than Wario Land.
Dead Space (84%) 🙋♀️
A remake done right. Dead Space updates the 2008 horror classic with gooier graphics and a seamless design, but doesn't lose track of what made our original dance with the necromorphs so fun.
Marvel's Midnight Suns (88%) 🙋♀️
A deckbuilding tactics game and a superhero friendship simulator. As we put it in our review: "Who knew Sid Meier's protégés had a secret, and completely brilliant, Persona game in them?"
Pentiment (88%) 🙋♀️💻
Obsidian, a studio known for creating vast RPG worlds, nails a very different kind of game here: a 20ish-hour narrative-focused murder mystery set in the 1500s. After one playthrough, Josh felt he'd only scratched the surface of Pentiment's multilayered story.
Dwarf Fortress (84%) 🙋♀️💻
After two decades, the ever-growing simulation classic now has a Steam release and, get this, graphics. No longer do you have to interpret a world rendered in ASCII to experience the strange and wonderous stories generated by this ultra-complex civilization builder.
The Case of the Golden Idol (89%)🙋♀️💻
Challenging detective puzzles with a fascinating story. The biggest problem with The Case of the Golden Idol is that we can't forget it all and play it again fresh.
Vampire Survivors (87%) 🙋♀️💻
The best value on Steam: This is a $5 bullet hell roguelike that would run on a toaster and is hard enough to stop playing that you might want a copy for your toaster. Pick it up on sale and the entertainment to cost ratio gets even more absurdly favorable.
Elden Ring (90%) 🎮🙋♀️🙋♀️
Surprise, surprise: The latest fantasy gauntlet from Dark Souls creator FromSoftware is brilliant. The real treat of this enormous RPG is that it's so open-ended, you can easily start up a second or third run to carry you through the quiet summer months.
Best of the best
These games aren't all piping hot out of the oven, but some things get better with age. They're the cream of the crop on PC, either scoring 90%+ in a review or appearing on our list of the Top 100 PC games (opens in new tab). If you just want a damn fine PC game from the past several years, check these out.
- Immortality (95%) 🙋♀️💻: Her Story director Sam Barlow's latest video mystery is his best yet.
- Teardown (90%) 🙋♀️: A physics-based destruction engine that would've been fun even if it weren't also a genius puzzle game.
- Grounded (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️: A survival game that doesn't forget that games are supposed to be fun.
- Disco Elysium (92%) 🙋♀️💻: Our 2019 Game of the Year and #1 best PC game for two years running.
- Crusader Kings 3 (94%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: The king is dead, long live the king!
- Hitman 3 (90%) 🙋♀️: The art of assassination, polished as finely as Agent 47's head.
- Slay the Spire (92%) 🙋♀️💻: The deckbuilding roguelike all others aspire to beat.
- Minecraft (96%) 💻🙋♀️🙋♀️: Build anything you can imagine, as long as it's made of cubes.
- The Witcher 3 (92%) 🙋♀️: Still one of our all time favorite RPGs.
- Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker (89%)🙋♀️🙋♀️: An MMO we can't get enough of.
- Total War: Warhammer 3 (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️: A brilliant final act with the series' most inventive and unusual factions yet.
- Strange Horticulture (90%) 🙋♀️💻: A beautiful and engrossing detective game packed with mysteries, puzzles, plants, and intrigue.
- God of War (90%) 🙋♀️🎮: The best game on PS4 is now one of the best games on PC.
- Monster Hunter: Rise (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: Arguably the greatest entry in Capcom's flagship series, and a game that simply never stops giving.
- Forza Horizon 5 (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️🎮: Even a marginal improvement on the best racing series around is worth celebrating.
- Wildermyth (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: Narrative design as genetic engineering, it will live in your head like an imaginary friend.
The best competitive multiplayer games right now
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (83%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️
Infinity Ward has again set the bar for gun design in Call of Duty. There's plenty to complain about (the crashes, for one thing), but a lot of changes that we find fun, both in Modern Warfare 2 proper and its free-to-play companion game, Warzone 2.0 (especially DMZ, the extraction mode).
Apex Legends (93%) 🆓🙋♀️🙋♀️
One of our favorite current battle royale games. The map is fantastic, the 'ping' communication system is something every FPS should have from here on, the guns and movement are great fun (no wallrunning, but sliding down hills feels great).
Hunt: Showdown 🙋♀️🙋♀️
Quietly one of the best multiplayer games you can play today. Morgan elaborated on why last year: "When enjoyed with friends, Hunt is one of those games that seems to magically manufacture special moments."
Rainbow Six Siege (90%) 🆓🙋♀️🙋♀️
Siege might lack the sharp hit detection and purity of CS:GO, but it's a more accessible and modern FPS that rewards clever timing and coordinated teamwork as much as aim.
The best PC games by genre
Find our selection of the best PC games just a bit too broad? Perhaps you know you're after a gripping story, or an intense racer, or the kind of sim you can spend a whole weekend playing like a second job. Our genre lists have curated recommendations for RPGs, racing, strategy, and more. Check 'em out:
- Best FPS games (opens in new tab)
- Best MMOs (opens in new tab)
- Best racing games (opens in new tab)
- Best RPGs (opens in new tab)
- Best strategy games (opens in new tab)
- Best survival games (opens in new tab)
- Best battle royale games (opens in new tab)
- Best cyberpunk games (opens in new tab)