PC games remains on the front lines of innovation.
Why 10 PC games, though? Any less makes it hard to narrow things down, and any more might be overwhelming. Twenty-two games is a solid number of titles, spread across multiple genres, with selections for just about every age group. And, when possible, we’ve included a link to our guide for each game, in case you need a little help to get started.
So, a warning upfront: Unlike our other Essentials lists, this one covers a catalog that’s spread across multiple decades, and focuses on the 10 games on the platform we think everyone should play if they want to get the most out of PC gaming. That includes some of our personal favorites, but also older games that cast a long shadow.
Also, this list is constantly evolving. We’ve included the games that have been cycled out at the bottom for a little additional inspiration.
Critics and players have raved about Remedy Entertainment’s Control, a third-person action game unlike any other. Here at Polygon, we called it both an artistic and a technical achievement. While it’s available on modern consoles, the game looks and runs the best on a high-end PC, especially if you have an Nvidia RTX video card to enable real-time ray tracing.
“Tactical stealth” isn’t exactly a booming genre, but developer Mimimi seems to have the format perfectly dialed in. After the success of Shadow Tactics in 2016, the team took those same design tenets — small squads of specialized units tackling armies of soldiers with precision and quick-saving — to the Wild West with Desperados 3.