Our favorite games of 2019 so far

(Image credit: Activision)

We're over halfway through 2019 already, and as ever, there are always too many games to play on PC. Below, we've collected every game that's scored 80% or above from our reviewers since January, so you can browse through them in one place. Don't forget to check out our ever-updated list of the best PC games, too, for broader recommendations of what to play next. We'll keep refreshing this page as we get closer to the end of 2019.

Amid Evil

(Image credit: New Blood)

Our review (86%) | Buy it: Steam, GOG

"Part of Amid Evil's appeal is that it ignores certain annoying, speed-hindering FPS conventions scaffolded onto shooters since the '90s. There's no fall damage. You can breathe underwater. Elevators won't crush you if they catch your shoulder on the way down. They'll just clip through you as they should. Accidental deaths have their place in games, especially when they're comedic, but here they'd only get in the way of the fun and the speed. They aren't missed."

Verdict: At its best when the screen is full of enemies, Amid Evil is a badass monster mash.

My Friend Pedro

(Image credit: Future)

Our review (81%) | Buy it: Steam, GOG

"Along with the score, at the end of every level Pedro gives you a gif of a highlight to save or share. Postcards from murderland, they slice My Friend Pedro into a handful of enjoyable seconds. Its take on bullet-time is fun for more than seconds, though. Unlike Superhot or Max Payne I never got tired of its bullet-time thanks to short levels, high variety, and a storyline that's purest nonsense."

Verdict: Breezy fun that also rewards combo-chasing mastery. Barrel through the story once for a laugh, then replay the best levels until you are John Wick on a skateboard.

F1 2019

(Image credit: Codemasters)

Our review (91%) | Buy it: Steam

"Codemasters has had the handling down for years now. It's twitchy and frightening, and gives you just the right amount of rumble in your hands as you wrestle your car implausibly fast over an impeccably rendered apex. It feels in this game, as it has for many prior instalments, like a carefully struck balance between detailed physics modelling and 'sim-cade' accessibility."

Verdict: F1 2019 retains immaculate handling and visuals while adding cinematic spectacle and junior series racing.

Outer Wilds

(Image credit: Future)

Our review (89%) | Buy it: Epic Games Store

"Superficially, Outer Wilds is a first-person game about exploring a small solar system containing a handful of quirky planets full of weird and interesting phenomena. You fly to a planet, you look at some stuff, you die. You fly to a different planet, you look at some different stuff, you die. More significantly, though, Outer Wilds is a mystery sandbox. It reminds me a lot of Her Story or Return of the Obra Dinn, in that its solar system feels like a puzzle that I piece together by connecting small, often seemingly unrelated details."

Verdict: Beneath its charming and inventive worlds, Outer Wilds hides a cleverly unfolding mystery.

Observation

(Image credit: Future)

Our review (82%) | Buy it: Epic Games Store

"But what's interesting about Observation is that you don't play as Fisher. Instead, you play as SAM, her AI helper. The station is an extension of you, and its cameras are your eyes and ears. You can, when asked, open doors, cycle airlocks, assess damage, and all manner of functional duties. But something seems to have awoken in you. A flicker of self-awareness, perhaps. And an ominous command from an unknown party has infiltrated your programming: BRING HER."

Verdict: A stylish, understated, and subtly chilling psychological thriller with a compelling mystery at its core.

Mordhau

(Image credit: Triternion)

Our review (84%) | Buy it: Steam

"If you've got the patience and dexterity to take full advantage of its melee combat, Mordhau can be a real treat. Especially in the Frontline mode, slashing and stabbing across its beautiful and well-designed maps was really entertaining once I got my feet under me. The high skill cap and lack of good supporting roles can make it feel tiring at times, but it's mostly worth it for the satisfaction that comes with increasing mastery."

Verdict: High skill cap melee combat is equally rewarding and daunting, though the archery and support roles could use some work.

Yakuza Kiwami 2

(Image credit: Sega)

Our review (88%) | Buy it: Steam

"Where Yakuza Kiwami felt like an expansion to Yakuza 0, Kiwami 2 is larger, fuller and more varied than Yakuza 6, its Dragon engine predecessor (which isn't available on PC—the series seemingly being ported in order of storyline). While I still slightly prefer Yakuza 0, this is well worth your time."

Verdict: A triumphant remake of Yakuza 2, full of fun diversions and featuring one of the series' best stories.

Mortal Kombat 11

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Our review (85%) | Buy it: Steam

"But the good news is that the stuff that defines Mortal Kombat is also here in gore-soaked, self-aware spades. The fighting is the best it's ever been. The fatalities are sickeningly inventive. There are enough unlockables to keep you busy for months. But it's the story mode that stands out, stitching together 27 years of MK lore into something that resembles the best bits of a Marvel movie."

Verdict: A deep, customisable fighter that just happens to include the best video game movie never made.

Imperator: Rome

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Our review (92%) | Buy it: Steam

"I've spent whole days (and countless in-game years) invested in wars and plots, some ending less favourably than others, but Imperator is endlessly fascinating and I expect to be digging through it for ages."

Verdict: Huge, inventive and the reason I'm sleep deprived. It's brilliant.

Heaven's Vault

(Image credit: Inkle)

Our review (88%) | Buy it: Steam

"Heaven's Vault is exquisite. I've finished my first playthrough of the archaeological sci-fi adventure, so the main narrative mysteries like "What happened to roboticist Janniqi Renba?" and "What exactly is Heaven's Vault?" are known. The reason I immediately headed into New Game Plus is that the real puzzle at the heart of Heaven's Vault is translating the world's Ancient hieroglyphics. That's still unfolding and it's absolutely stunning."

Verdict: Heaven's Vault communicates the beauty of assigning meaning to symbols, and thus the people who wrote them.

Anno 1800

(Image credit: Future)

Our review (84%) | Buy it: uPlay

"Script carbuncles aside, Anno 1800 is a rich and sumptuous city-builder, easily the grandest and deepest Anno to date. Its early game is a wonderfully relaxing experience, while the later stages will have you scratching your mutton-chops and happily stretching your braces in equal measure."

Verdict: Despite an annoying story mode, Anno 1800 is the biggest and best entry in the series to date.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

(Image credit: capcom)

Our review (83%) | Buy it: Steam

"Ace Attorney hooks you the same way any good crime serial does: you want to know whodunit, and how, and once you do, you want to point your finger at the criminal in a heroic fashion and laugh. I dare you not to be sold on Ace Attorney as soon as the verdict hits the screen in big, bold letters, and the room erupts into cheers and confetti."

Verdict: Just what a visual novel should be—fun characters and the rush of solving mysteries make you eager to keep going.

Outward

(Image credit: Nine Dots Studio)

Our review (89%) | Buy it: Steam

"Outward's unusual design provides a different experience than I've found in most RPGs. It completely breaks the common habits of fast-traveling, gaining a fortune in loot, becoming an all-powerful god, and reloading saved games when things don't go as planned or you make a choice you regret. It makes minor setbacks feel like major obstacles to overcome and it makes small victories feel like utter triumphs. Outward is harsh and occasionally frustrating, but it does what so few games do. It requires you to put real thought into the choices you make, and it makes those choices feel like they really matter."

Verdict: A few rough edges don't stop Outward from being a gem of an RPG.