Best PC Games 2018: What your rig needs

PC gaming allows access to the widest variety of titles – providing you’ve got a powerful rig and a sense of adventure, that is. Whether it’s on Steam, Origin, GOG or one of several proprietary systems (we’re looking at you, Epic Games Launcher), there’s a host of games out there just waiting for you to click the install button.

Right now, Fortnite is the biggest game in the world. You can play it on a PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or even iOS, but in Trusted Reviews’ humble opinion, it on the PC that it fits best. Here, mouse and keyboard controls and a second monitor can help you shoot accurately, build quickly and keep an eye on all the best places to loot.

Still, if the complete carnage of Epic’s candy-coloured Battle Royale isn’t for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best games on the PC, encompassing new, old and a couple of titles in-between.

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.

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 GPU with at least 4GB of vRAM is also essential, but the more your budget can allow, the better. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 is a fine GPU for multiplayer online battle games, while if you want to play 1080p at high frame rates, go for a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. For 4K gaming, a GTX 1080 is a must.

On top of this, around 8-16GB of system RAM, the maximum that the PC’s motherboard can handle, is also ideal.

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.

DOOM

Pros

  • Unremitting demon-slaughter action all the way
  • Brilliant Glory Kill mechanics
  • All your favourite Doom enemies and weapons
  • Solid multiplayer and DIY SnapMap modes

Cons

  • Repetitive level design
  • Semi-useless map

id Software has made the game for which Doom fans have been waiting 20 years. It’s one of the best single-player shooters of the past decade, offering fast, frenetic combat coated in viscera.

With three distinct modes – Campaign, Multiplayer and SnapMap (a mode where you can create your own bespoke solo, co-op and competitive experiences to be shared online) – there’s certainly plenty of game here to enjoy.

Glory Kills also add a new way to take out the demons of hell, with several new executions to enjoy.

While it may not present a completely new way of playing, Doom modernises a classic for fans young and adult to enjoy.

Buy Now: Doom from £12.43 / $20.99 at Amazon

Fortnite Battle Royale

fortnite

Pros

  • Building system adds valuable depth
  • Simple gunplay is immediately fun
  • Combat mechanics feel polished
  • Limited time events

Cons

  • There’s still a cheating problem
  • The junior atmosphere feels jarring

There’s a wide variety of Battle Royale games in the marketplace right now, but few handle the concept with the childlike joy seen in Fortnite. The most popular game in the world right now, it has an audience that stretches from those playing it in schoolyards on mobile phones to celebrities such as Canadian rapper Drake.

The addition of building to the game provides a unique tactical depth that lets you build chokepoints, sniper perches or even just comedy traps. You’ll never forget the first time you dig through the ceiling of a clock tower, all the way down to the ground, instantly killing anyone foolish enough not to look before they leap.

This is the only game on this list that has, briefly, featured Thanos as a playable character. If that doesn’t appeal, what will?

Get it now: Fortnite is free from Epic Games’ website

Stardew Valley

stardew valley

Pros

  • Fun, addictive and constantly rewarding
  • Gorgeously relaxing atmosphere
  • Building relationships with townsfolk feels meaningful
  • 100+ hours of content, with more to come

Cons

  • The Winter season can feel quite slow
  • 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!

Get it now: Stardew Valley on Steam

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege Chimera

Pros

  • Deeply engrossing tactical shooter
  • Teamwork isn’t only encouraged, but necessary
  • Diverse and well-balanced cast of operators
  • Consistent updates and additions

Cons

  • Can seem impenetrable to newcomers
  • Trolls can ruin matches with little penalty

Rainbow Six Siege has become a huge proponent of the ‘games as a service’ model. With consistent updates bringing patches, new content, new characters and plenty to keep a dedicated community invested, this is a shooter that’s very worthy of your time.

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.

Buy Rainbow Six Siege from Amazon UK

Overwatch

Pros

  • Fun and diverse cast of heroes
  • Deep and engaging lore
  • Addictive and endlessly rewarding to play
  • Seasonal events are a regular treat

Cons

  • Progression system relies on random cosmetics
  • Bad team composition can be frustrating

Blizzard Entertainment’s hero shooter Overwatch has become one of the biggest gaming properties across the globe since launching in May 2016. And for good reason, since the studio continues to support its beloved creation with new maps, heroes, cosmetics and regular seasonal events.

With heroes still being added to the game, this is a title that continues to reward long-serving fans with new content. Also, the newest hero to the game is a hamster in a ball, and the ball has guns. What are you waiting for?

Buy Overwatch from Amazon UK

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Pros

  • Well written
  • Wicked sense of humour
  • Incredibly deep RPG systems
  • Lots of replayability value

Cons

  • 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.

Get Divinity: Original Sin 2 from Steam right now

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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 

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

Pros

  • Amazingly deep world
  • Tactically satisfying combat
  • Nautical management

Cons

  • 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

XCOM 2

xcom 2

Pros

  • Tight, tactical gameplay
  • Dynamic and unpredictable
  • Wider strategy full of tough, meaningful decisions
  • New stealth options work well
  • Strong cinematic presentation

Cons

  • 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

Dead Cells

Pros

  • Fun combat
  • Environmental storytelling that conveys the game’s lore
  • Wide range of items that enable different playstyles

Cons

  • 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

monster hunter world pc

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Stellaris

stellaris

Pros

  • Vast amount of approaches for different empires
  • Constantly being updated with new features
  • Full of great mini sci-fi stories
  • Crisis keeps endgame interesting

Cons

  • 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.

Get it now: Stellaris on Steam

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