It's been a year since I last looked into the mightiest storage hogs on the market, but I'm back and these games are bigger than ever. Inevitably there are some new additions to this list for 2021, those games that just can't help but suck an entire SSD dry, and they must be corralled up and logged, in the name of science.
I've been searching around to find the most byte-breakingly big games on the planet today. My journey has taken me across land and launcher to find the most expansive, detailed, or simply downright massive game install directories you may find on your gaming PC—some so chunky that they often won't fit on 128GB SSDs. Hell, some are too dense for even 256GB drives.
I'll admit I cheated a little the first time around by tweeting out 'Which game takes up the most storage space on your PC right now?' on the PC Gamer Twitter account. Thank you to everyone that got back to me—except you, person that said Chip's Challenge. This year I've done something similar, and I've bothered the PC Gamer staff and checked over the comments to find out what you all have suggested.
And of course I've checked my own gaming PC's many libraries, though turns out point and click detective games don't actually take up much space.
Which game takes up the most storage space on your PC right now? pic.twitter.com/lLMaLDxqRmOctober 7, 2020
It's pretty unlikely that you're searching for the biggest games with which to load up your gaming PC, but considering some of today's storage-battering games are also the most popular—Call of Duty and Forza Horizon 5, for example—it can be difficult to avoid byte-hungry applications eating away at your new SSD.
If you've got to be careful where or to what you allocate your precious bits to, then there's likely some use in knowing which games are storage hogs before you drop $50 on one. This is a public service after all.
All game install sizes are correct at the time when I checked, and only relevant to PC. These are likely subject to change over the year, especially considering how some game developers are mastering the art of dark magic and somehow shaving install sizes down to a fraction of what they once were.
Fortnite, for example, shaved 60GB off the overall game install size, taking it down to around 30GB overall. Tim Sweeney's probably awoken some great evil and doomed us all to the Seventh Circle of Hell to do it, but it's a great move for budget-friendly Fortnite PC builds in the meantime. Both Battlefield and Call of Duty appear to have managed similar feats in 2021, too.
The list before you isn't the be-all and end-all of storage hogs, but it should give you a bloody good idea. There are also heaps of games with mods, maps, and DLCs that can really help push up those numbers, too, so even some of these whoppers aren't as big as they come.
The largest game install sizes (in ascending order)
While the base games of all four of these titles aren't all that massive, comparatively anyways, you could certainly make them that way in a flash. All it takes is a mod manager and a trigger finger...
- Gary's Mod
- Assetto Corsa
- Fallout 4
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Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.