As powerful as the PC platform can be, it is often overlooked in discussions about must-play games. On the one hand, it makes sense given there are very few “PC Exclusives” compared to the other main consoles, but on the other hand, you will often find additional reasons to play the PC version of a game that isn’t possible on Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo’s closed console ecosystems. So for anyone new to the PC gaming scene, or if you’re just a bit bored with your current library, here are 10 games you need to play on PC right now.

1. Elden Ring

Odds are, if you’re a PC gamer, you’ve heard of and likely already played Elden Ring. But no list of required reading would be complete without From Software’s capstone to the last 15 years of Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, Sekiro, and Bloodborne. It is the culmination of every beloved mechanic and storytelling technique they’ve perfected, and the PC version adds a user-generated layer of replayability with its robust mod scene.

If you haven’t played ER yet, the PC version allows for the use of any controller type that you prefer, including mouse and keyboard, and has a great community that will both provide a challenge in PVP and help tremendously in co-op. Add to that the aforementioned mod scene and there is a myriad of reasons to replay the game, like the recently released survival mod, and a seamless co-op mode that enables two players to journey through the Lands Between with virtually no limits.

2. Citizen Sleeper

This futuristic dystopian visual novel/resource management hybrid tells a deep story about disability, community, and what it means to be human at all. It is, in every sense of the word, the opposite style of game from Elden Ring, in that your only actions are to select dialog options and allocate dice that you’ve rolled to different resources that propel the story forward. While it is, mechanically, incredibly simple, the allure of Citizen comes from the deep potential to create storylines and examine the relationship between one’s mind and body.

3. Vampire Survivors –

Going back to the mechanical side of gaming, Vampire Survivors is about as simple as it gets. In a reverse bullet-hell roguelite where you are generating the screen-filling patterns of projectiles, your only mechanics are to move around an endless map and select the powerups you want to use to destroy your tens of thousands of enemies on screen. Still, in early access, VS has dozens of hours of content already, including various levels of secrets to unlock.

4. Disco Elysium

Ok, I’m aware that I’m probably giving some people whiplash with the back and forth between mechanics and story, but Disco Elysium deserves so much more attention than it’s getting, particularly with the recently released Final Cut version that added voice acting to every line of dialog in the game. You wake up after a night of hard drinking to discover that you don’t know who you are, where you are, or why you’re being called to the scene of a gruesome murder to help investigate. As the game progresses, your choices dictate what type of person you are and how you handle encounters, ranging from hyper-liberal empath to literal race supremacist, down to learning about the merits of groups from a guy named Measurehead. It’s hilarious, haunting, and no two playthroughs are similar.

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5. Metal Unit

The second roguelite on this list, Metal Unit is a game made by a very small team and sets itself apart from many other roguelites by having a deep story driving you through the hordes of deadly enemies. While it is a 2D sidescrolling platformer, the focus is on building an arsenal of weapons that you upgrade and combine through fusion to build a super weapon that will carry you through the levels and stunning bosses. It also features a gorgeous pixel art style and a retro-synthwave soundtrack to die for.

6. Rogue Legacy 2 –

Another 2D sidescrolling roguelite platformer, Rogue Legacy 2 is the decade-in-the-making sequel to Rogue Legacy, and it improves on the original in every way without breaking the tried and true formula of the first. Where Metal Unit is about upgrading and fusing weapons to build an unstoppable force, Rogue Legacy 2 is about slowly building a legacy to pass down from run to run by incrementally upgrading each class and trait over dozens – or hundreds – of runs. That, and it’s just plain fun to control, especially as you start upgrading your movement options.

7. Tangledeep

Tangledeep is another 2D roguelite – wait, don’t go! Yes, it’s another 2D roguelite, but it’s a top-down strategic RPG in the style of SNES classics such as Secret of Mana. Created by Zircon, best known for his work with OCRemix and the Impact Soundworks company, Tangledeep is a desperate love letter to the 16-bit era that manages to not only nail the nostalgia an older gamer such as myself would feel but modernizes it in a way that makes it approachable even if you didn’t grow up with the classics.

8. Unsighted –

This top-down action RPG combines gorgeous pixel art, in-world storytelling, and a layer of time pressure to keep you pushing forward from start to finish. In Unsighted, the player is tasked with solving the mystery of the dwindling lifeforce of the game’s automaton characters by exploring the world, defeating bosses, and deciding how to allocate resources to keep friendly NPCs from becoming mindless killing machines. It’s simultaneously touching and terrifying in that any NPC can be lost, and most have deep ties with the player character, Alma, which explore not only the backstory of the world but of Alma herself.

9. American Truck Simulator

From the creators of Euro Truck Simulator, ATS is the perfect game to play when you need to shut your mind off and just exist for a while. Though the focus of the game is to build a trucking empire that you run, the true appeal of the game is driving through the exceptionally realistic countryside and navigating the cities of the pacific northeast and the southwest of the US. While the base game only covers California, Nevada, and Arizona, the team at SCS Software frequently releases new states and regions such as DLC, which now covers Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, and will soon include Texas.

10. No Man’s Sky –

Sean Murray’s team at Hello Games has been hard at work over the last 6 years working to turn No Man’s Sky from the disappointing mess it was at release to the genuinely feature-rich experience it has become. The amount of free content released for NMS is genuinely astounding, and the multiplayer options added have made it a must-play. 

Next Up: Metroid Dread Review

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