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Our highest review scores of the past 10 years

Snake from Metal Gear Solid 5.
(Image credit: Konami Digital Entertainment)

Since its first issue in the early '90s, PC Gamer has scored games on a scale of 1-to-100. You can safely accuse us of not using that whole scale: After nearly 30 years, we've never scored a game higher than 98% (Alpha Centauri, Half-Life 2, and Crysis). Clearly, the first PC Gamer 99% will have to be a life-changing game. And 100%? I think we'd have to adjust the score graphic to fit three numbers.

For us, though, games in 80% range are brilliant—at least in moments—and even games in the 60s are recommendations with caveats. In this list, I've only included games we scored 88% or higher over the past 10 years, which means we had exceptionally strong feelings about them. Many are games we consider important to PC gaming as a whole, especially those in the 90%-and-up range. 

You'll also find some of our most controversial scores ever here. (Opinions on Dragon Age 2 are going to change any day now, I can feel it.)

The highest score on this list is 96%, which is also the highest score ever given in the UK edition of PC Gamer magazine. That leads to an important note: These days, PC Gamer's global team produces one web and print publication with multiple editions, but that wasn't the case in 2011. Back then, the US and UK versions of the magazine sometimes published different reviews of the same games with different scores. I've used the UK magazine scores in this article. 

When a game name isn't linked, that's because the review didn't make it online for some reason. (There are a number of possible reasons, but they're all some variation of "that's what we decided to do at the time" or "oops, we forgot.")

A few more observations before the list:

  • We like 88% and 90% much more than 89%. (My guess is that 89% feels like saying "oh, so close," and so we tend to slide to 88% or 90%.)
  • We reviewed the Director's Cut edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in the UK magazine and gave it a 95%, one point higher than regular Deux Ex: Human Revolution. It's the only 95% we've given since 2011. Kind of weird!
  • We were having a great time in 2011. We gave out two 96s and four 94s!
  • RIP to Tribes: Ascend and Monday Night Combat. We sure liked you!
  • Two of the 96% games involve digging. One involves going up into space. The other is Team Fortress 2, ruining the symmetry.

Final note: Review scores reflect opinions that are usually written down the same week a game releases. It's interesting to look back on them, but they're hardly a comprehensive record of every game we've loved. For example, Death Stranding isn't on this list (it got an 85%) even though it was our 2020 Game of the Year.

For our current game recommendations, check out our list of the best PC games right now. Every year, we also pick 100 games as our current favorites. 

We'll add to this list as we review more games in 2021. Head to our reviews section for our latest verdicts.

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89% reviews

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91% reviews

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92% reviews

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  • Dishonored

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93% reviews

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94% reviews

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  • Guild Wars 2

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95% reviews

2013

  •  Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut

96% reviews

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Tyler has spent over 1,200 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.