40. Kerbal Space Program
Released 2015 | Last position 17
Wes: I'm psyched for KSP2, out in 2021, which will include co-op. Until then, there's nothing else on PC like Kerbal, a game that will inspire you to learn basic rocket physics and feel like a damn genius for every accomplishment.
Chris: As kind of a dummy, it's nice that a game filled with complicated science stuff is still fun even when you fail. Blowing up a rocket or stranding an adorable astronaut in space is met with laughs, not frustration.
Phil: I'll admit it: I'm still not very good at Kerbal Space Program. I'm fine at getting stuff into space. Bringing it back can be tricky. But one of my favourite things about KSP is that you don't need to be good at it to earn a sense of achievement; you can just put lots of rockets on things and hope for the best. For all its rigorous physics, KSP is still mostly about celebrating creativity and fun.
39. Street Fighter V
Released 2016 | Last position New entry
Emma: Street Fighter V may not have been in the best shape when it launched, but Capcom has nursed it into a fighting game that lives up to its prestigious legacy. Its roster of iconic returning characters—alongside a few new challengers—accommodates a wide range of playstyles that are fun to learn how to counter. More than anything, I respect it for how welcoming it is for beginners. Perfect execution is still a steep grind for novices, but it's more forgiving than previous iterations.
38. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Released 2012 | Last position 38
Emma: I can't imagine a Top 100 list that doesn't feature Counter-Strike. For me, it's synonymous with PC gaming. Its community is frequently highlighted for its toxicity and this can make it daunting to queue into competitive matches solo. That said, I've made some lovely friends while grinding through its skill groups, and forming a premade squad took over my Friday nights for the best part of a year.
CS:GO offers a precarious balance of electrifying highs and rock bottom lows that make it just as easy to criticise as it is to fall in love with it. In a good session, the thrills of clutching an important round, or annihilating the other team with a 16-0 finish can put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. On the flip side, seeing my performance dip low enough to have me questioning why I haven't deranked already will leave me sulking in defeat.
No other game has managed to replicate the same weight behind its weapons, or the heart rate spikes I suffer as I creep onto its bombsites. From the pride I take in lining up a perfect smoke, to the satisfying one-taps I land with the USP-S, there's no substitute. Especially not Valorant.
Released 2018 | Last position 18
Jody: When I want to have a good time in the ocean, frolic with some dolphins and swim through schools of tropical fish, I play Abzu. When I want to have a bad time in the ocean I play Subnautica. There's no frolicking in its alien sea. There are behemoths with eyes bigger than your body who look at you like just maybe you're a morsel worth opening their colossal maw for. There are razormouth jerkfish who will saw through your bones because you had the audacity to swim near their weeds. There are things beyond describing in the crushing depths where it feels like physics don't apply.
I don't know why I play Subnautica actually, but I'll never forget it.
36. Forza Horizon 4
Released 2018 | Last position 35
James: It's been a stressful year. And whenever I'm stressed, which is always, I meditate. Find a center, breathe, step outside my thoughts. But Forza Horizon 4 is home to perhaps the most potent meditative technique I practice: driving expensive cars through fences and over hummocks in the English countryside. The Horizon series is still the most blissful, accessible, whatever-you-want-it-to-be car game around. I tend to spend a lot of time applying dumb liveries to vans and driving them off cliffs because a van suspended in mid-air feels like a form of existential protest to me. To hell with gravity and roads and lightweight chassis. I'm a van and I can fly. Anyway, you can race cars in Horizon 4 too, I guess.
Phil: Here's a secret, just for you: I don't love Forza Horizon in spite of its dumb, brash tone; I love it because of it. Yes, most of its characters are annoying. Yes, its festival conceit is overbearing. But here's the thing: everyone is having a good time, and they want you to have a good time too. And you will, because doing dumb shit in the countryside is just good.
35. Monster Hunter: World
Released 2018 | Last position 12
Robin: There are few things in games as tense and exciting as one of Monster Hunter World’s monster fights. It’s essentially a game of endless boss battles, with exploring and RPG tinkering in between, and they’re the best boss battles in the business—dynamic, unpredictable brawls where you can be about to lay the killing blow on a fire-breathing tyrannosaurus rex, only to be interrupted by a screeching dragon furious you’ve stumbled into its territory. All the more riveting with friends.
Wes: World's big expansion, Iceborne, is a great addition. It brings back some of the series' most popular monsters and adds several new ones, adds two giant new maps, and makes a lot of convenient updates to the UI and multiplayer experience that you'll instantly appreciate. It also has the most fun new game weapon of the year: the clutch claw, a grappling hook that lets you punch monsters in the face and ram them into walls.
34. Super Mega Baseball 3
Released 2020 | Last position New entry
Chris: It's been a real pleasure watching this cartoony baseball series grow from a fun but casual action game into a sim with real managerial depth and challenge. Franchise Mode is excellent, allowing you to enhance the skills of individual players over the course of the season, sign and release players, and see veterans retire and rookies appear over the winter break, giving your team an evolving history and continuity. Customization lets you control everything from the logo on your team's caps to the structure of the post-season. And Pennant Race is a great online mode challenging you to climb the ladder in a series of games against friends or other players. Metalhead Software swung for the fences, and really connected.
33. Company of Heroes
Released 2006 | Last position 33
Dave James: Where do you go after the vast scale of the Homeworld games, and 40,000 years into the future with Dawn of War? Super small-scale squad-based WWII, obviously. It might not have been the most obvious choice of theatre, but Relic made an RTS that was intimate, brutal, engaging, and intricately tactical. The campaigns themselves were a blast, added to with smart standalone DLC introducing tangibly different factions, and the multiplayer experience delivered some of the most intense, entertaining experiences I've ever had mowing down hordes of Nazis. It was the blueprint for future Dawn of War games, and is a title that still gets installed on my rig for a quick blast whenever I find myself coming down off a Dan Carlin binge.
32. Cities: Skylines
Released 2015 | Last position 31
Fraser: Cities: Skylines has maintained its position as the best city builder for five years now and shows no signs of giving up the crown. The modders have played a big role in its longevity, churning out a mountain of cosmetic and mechanical changes. I've got something like 200 mods that are just cyberpunk. Every time I think I'm tapped out and can't build another district, I'm seduced back in for another urban experiment. I'll be here until there's a sequel.
Wes: I can attest that Cities: Skylines gets the all-important uncle vote. I gifted the game to mine more than a year ago, and I think he's put more time into it than I've spent with all videogames combined since then.
31. Dark Souls Remastered
Released 2018 | Last position 34
Wes: I still marvel at the audacity to put an entire area, Ash Lake, behind an invisible wall that many players will never find. Dark Souls' commitment to player discovery is what makes its unforgiving world so entrancing. And the multiplayer is still one-of-a-kind, which is why the hourlong standoff I had with another player over what I thought were traps—but were actually harmless glowing pebbles they put down to taunt me—is still one of my favorite gaming memories.
James: Dark Souls isn't perfect, but it's perfect enough to forgive the Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith, which is why I'm highjacking this space to put out an important PSA. Everyone knows Dark Souls is good. But Dark Souls 2? It's the one to play right now, especially if you haven't yet. It's not as tonally or visually consistent, but the breadth of monster designs, especially in the bosses is unmatched. Fight a frog that pukes out a huge desiccated face. Take down the entire skeleton hierarchy. Trip up a ghost carriage in an ancient coliseum. And do it all dressed as a human butterfly, maybe a jester, perhaps some wooly mammoth cosplay. Stage dive into the heart of chaos in the most metal boss fight in possibly any game. Give the unloved middle child its own special day.