PC Gaming is the best way to play a range of experiences at the best quality. That is, if your machine is capable of pumping out fitting performance and visuals. Whether you’re on Steam, Origin, GOG or other services, thousands of titles are just a mouse click away!
To get the most out of these games, a good mid-level machine will have a dual or quad-core CPU that can handle multi-threads – something that’s essential for RTS games with numerous sprites on the screen at once or titles with a demanding amount of effects being thrown at any given time.
At the moment, Intel’s 8th-gen CPUs lead the field in terms of clock speeds, but if you want to do video work when you’re not playing games, for example, we’d recommend looking at processors from AMD’s Ryzen or Threadripper ranges.
A graphics card with a minimum of 4GB of vRAM is almost essential for modern PC gaming, although cheaper alternatives can be found. For starters, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 is fine for multiplayer titles like Overwatch and Call of Duty, while higher framerates can be achieved at 1080p with the GTX 1060 or 1070, although they cost a little more.
4K Gaming is more complicated, requiring significantly more power to achieve a meaningful performance alongside the improved resolution. The GTX 1080 or the newly released RTX 2080 will work perfectly, with the latter able to achieve Ultra HD picture quality at 60 frames per second.
If you’re shelling out for a gaming PC, you’ll also need to think about the monitor. You’ll want a model that offers high refresh rates, at least 60Hz. High-end monitors currently offer 144Hz at the higher end. FPS gamers will also want to pay attention to low input-lag times; in fast-paced multiplayer games it’s wise to take any edge you can get on the competition.
- Unremitting demon-slaughter action all the way
- Brilliant Glory Kill mechanics
- All your favourite Doom enemies and weapons
- Solid multiplayer and DIY SnapMap modes
- Repetitive level design
- Semi-useless map
DOOM (2016) has no right to be as good as it is. The reboot of id Software’s classic shooter is a slice of explosive brilliance, boasting one of the finest solo campaigns in recent memory. It hold no punches, handing you an abundance of weapons and asking you to go nuts.
The campaign is the obvious star here, taking you from the surface of Mars to the depths of hell as you slaughter countless demons that come your way. Whether you’ve got a shotgun, chainsaw or machine gun; there’s plenty of grotesque enjoy to be found in DOOM’s gunplay.
Multiplayer and Snap Map are enjoyable little distractions as well, with much of the former’s downloadable content now available for free. Here’s hoping that DOOM Eternal will build upon everything we love about this fantastic shooter.
Buy Now: Doom from £12.43 / $20.99 at Amazon
- So much variety
- Snappy, genuinely funny writing
- Great sidequests
- Good story and main characters
- Basic combat
- Can be a bit cringy
Yakuza 0 is a wonderful, daring and truly unexpected experience. Previously exclusive to PlayStation platforms, it comes to PC with what is arguably the best entry for newcomers wanting to jump in. You play as Kazuma Kiryu, a young member of the Yakuza who finds himself framed for a murder he didn’t commit.
This sets the stage for an epic adventure set across Kamurocho and Sotenbori, two fictionalised versions based on real-life locations in Tokyo and Osaka. The authenticity is striking, and exploring the brightly-lit streets of these absurdly detailed places is as close as we can get without booking a flight to Japan ourselves.
Alongside a great sense of place, Yakuza 0 presents a fast, satisfying combat system with two playable characters. The world is filled with shops, locations and side quests to complete alongside the massive main story.
Return of the Obra Dinn
- Compelling detective story
- Makes you feel like a genius
- Distinctive visual style
- Pacing oscillates from slow to fast and back again, but never gets it quite right
Return of the Obra Dinn is a detective game that requires real smarts, and by placing the player into the shoes of an insurance agent with a magic watch in the 1800’s has created the most bizarre Bernard’s Watch reboot of all time.
Obra Dinn is dense with information, meaty chunks of the stuff falling out of every brutal tableau. Whether you can use that information to piece together the mystery of what happened to the 60 unfortunate souls onboard the Obra Dinn is something else entirely, but when you make a grasping guess, with nothing more than a flimsy theory and a hunch, it’s the best feeling in the world when it comes off.
By far, the most unique game on this list, and the weirdest.
- Fun, addictive and constantly rewarding
- Gorgeously relaxing atmosphere
- Building relationships with townsfolk feels meaningful
- 100+ hours of content, with more to come
- The Winter season can feel quite slow
- The pixellated aesthetic isn’t for everyone
Stardew Valley takes clear inspiration from the likes of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, while simultaneously surpassing them. ConcernedApe has crafted a beautiful experience, where you’re thrust into an idyllic town and expected to make a living as an amateur farmer.
You’ll grow crops, befriend townsfolk, and explore the mysterious mines beneath town in search of mythical monsters and invaluable treasure. If that’s not your bag, become a fishing tycoon before marrying your village sweetheart.
It’s arguably best on PC thanks to a bustling modding community, dedicated to ironing out any of the game’s issues with better, more accessible alternatives. Fancy changing your dog into a pug or pimping out your farm with bespoke furnishings? Go nuts!
Rainbow Six Siege
- Deeply engrossing tactical shooter
- Teamwork isn’t only encouraged, but necessary
- Diverse and well-balanced cast of operators
- Consistent updates and additions
- Can seem impenetrable to newcomers
- Trolls can ruin matches with little penalty
Starting with a relatively small base of players, Rainbow Six Siege has grown into one of the biggest and brightest multiplayer shooters on the planet. Frequent updates have introduced new operators, weapons and maps that can take players hours upon hours to master.
It presents a steep learning curve and requires plenty of teamwork, but get a few friends together and there aren’t many more rewarding shooters on the market right now. Destructible environments, and quick, structured rounds make working together a priority, with each character owning a repertoire of unique gadgets to use.
Buy Rainbow Six Siege from Amazon UK
Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Well written
- Wicked sense of humour
- Incredibly deep RPG systems
- Lots of replayability value
- Progression system relies on random cosmetics
- Bad team composition can be frustrating
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a spectacular RPG positively brimming with new races, locations, quests and more just waiting to be uncovered by the player.
Twenty hours in, you’ll still be discovering new mechanics you never knew existed. In this respect, Original Sin 2 is a little daunting for newcomers, requiring a bit of persistence to penetrate.
That being said, the quality of writing and world-building here is almost unmatched in terms of its sheer scope and detail. An experience not to be missed.
- Good shooting
- Good way to show dominance over 99 other players through firepower
- Each of the three maps in the game brings a totally unique playstyle
- Proper support means new items, maps and vehicles on the regular
- Can be intimidating to learn
- Sometimes you get shot in the head from a mile away without a chance to react
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the latest Early Access title to become a phenomenon. Like DayZ, Minecraft and others before it, this game has spread like wildfire, with thousands upon thousands of players picking it up and diving into its Battle Royale-style world.
Players jump into a huge map and simply have to fight to the last man standing. Up to 100 players dueling to the death on a remote island is as intense and thrilling as you’d expect, as players fight for dominance and the inevitable chicken dinner.
Buy PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds from Amazon UK
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
- Amazingly deep world
- Tactically satisfying combat
- Nautical management
- Sailing is underwhelming
- Not accessible for curious newcomers
Pillars of Eternity II is lighter in tone than the original, and if nautical nonsense is something you wish, this is one of the best ways to get your boat on. The game is dense and fascinating, offering an experience you won’t find elsewhere: it’s Obsidian at its very best. And if you can stare into the watery deadfire abyss, you’ll find it also stares into you, providing deep characterisation and a thoughtful pace.
Combat is tight and interesting, and looking after a boat is fascinating. There’s questing, conversations and everything a good CRPG needs. It’s easy to see why it made a splash at launch.
Buy Pillars of Eternity 2 from Amazon UK
- Tight, tactical gameplay
- Dynamic and unpredictable
- Wider strategy full of tough, meaningful decisions
- New stealth options work well
- Strong cinematic presentation
- Views don’t always provide necessary information
The sequel to the 2012 reboot of Julian Gollop’s famous turn-based tactical masterpiece, XCOM 2 is set 20 years after the events of the original game, but showcases the same deep and engaging strategic gameplay.
New to the mix is faster combat and the introduction of secondary mission objectives, which add a bit of variety and extra challenge to proceedings – as if XCOM wasn’t tough enough already.
Outside of combat, researching and building new weapons and gadgets plays a major part in ensuring success, and you’ll spend hours mastering all of the character classes and their respective load-outs.
It’s rare that a sequel manages to improve so comprehensively on the title that precedes it; this is one of those cases.
Buy XCOM 2 from Amazon UK
- Fun combat
- Environmental storytelling that conveys the game’s lore
- Wide range of items that enable different playstyles
- Confusing progression system
- It’s a bit grindy
If there’s one rogue-like with Metroidvania elements you play in 2018, make it Dead Cells. The game boasts some of the best 2D combat around, and a compelling cycle of life and death that has a chance of sucking away all of your free time.
A standard run of Dead Cells will only take you 20 to 40 minutes and during that time you could find yourself cowering from giant worms behind a huge shield, freezing zombies with an ice bow and trapping zombie pirate fishermen with wolf traps before leathering them with a broadsword.
This variety is exciting, and as soon as you die you’re dropped back at the start to do it again. Sure, it’s going to eat your life, but you’ll enjoy it every step of the way.
Get it now: Dead Cells on Steam
Monster Hunter World
- Incredibly deep and rewarding gameplay
- Beautiful and varied worlds
- So much depth to its systems
- Each monster is a new challenge
- Story is actually engaging
- Multiplayer matches can be fiddly to set up
When it launched back at the start of 2018, team Trusted was blown away by Monster Hunter World. Now, with it’s launch on Steam, PC players are allowed to join the hunt. It’s a great port, and the game is every bit as impressive on the PC as it was on the other consoles at launch, and if you want to cut off a monsters tail and make it into a cloak, this is as good as it gets.
If you’ve previously bounced off of Monster Hunter titles, this fixes nearly all of the flaws that the series has previously had with accessibility and difficulty, allowing rookie hunters to come in and start fighting giant monsters. In many games, this would get old fast, but each of the giant beasts you hunt and slay has their own quirks and intricacies, making the game constantly compelling.
Get it now: Monster Hunter World on Steam
- Vast amount of approaches for different empires
- Constantly being updated with new features
- Full of great mini sci-fi stories
- Crisis keeps endgame interesting
- Diplomacy not as interesting as war
- Managing large empires can get fiddly
- Generally not as fun to play as a good guy
Stellaris is a masterpiece of strategy, a game of creating an empire amongst the stars and exploring and shaping those stars to fit your whims.
The genius of the game is the anomaly system, which sees your science vessels find something unusual: a giant skeleton of a planet, a depowered automated shipyard or perhaps a small ceramic pot orbiting a sun, and deposits you into a choose your own adventure that feels like it’s been torn from an episode of Star Trek. A good episode of Star Trek.
Stellaris also bits the stale end game that is the hallmark of 4X strategy titles by introducing a late game crisis which brings carnage to the universe, letting the game come to an explosive end no matter how establish everyone feels as the game enters its final stage.