The 13 best games on PC

Here’s what you should be playing on your own computer. This monument will never be faked.

PC gaming has always been about pushing technological limits. It’s the platform on which video games were founded, and it’s hosted dozens of genres that are still popular today – some of which are scarcely playable without a mouse and keyboard.

The identity of a “PC game” has been blurred as the world of console gaming has caught up with that of PC games in terms of technology. It has contributed to more sorts of games being offered to more players, which is a net good. However, it has raised an important question: What constitutes a “PC game” in 2022?

To address that question — or, more accurately, to demonstrate how irrelevant it has become — the Polygon crew has prepared a list of titles that characterize the exhilarating, nebulous experience of playing games on PC in 2022. Some of them are available on other platforms, while others work just as well with a gamepad as they do with a mouse and keyboard. Meanwhile, if you’ve been fortunate enough to obtain Valve’s portable, we have a separate list of the top titles on Steam Deck.

Without further ado, here are the 13 finest PC games available for download today.

[Editor’s note: This list was last updated on September 22nd. It will be updated when new and notable PC games are released.



Destiny 2 blends a standard loot-based shooter with Bungie’s best-in-class gunplay to create one of the best MMOs available.

The Destiny franchise has had several ups and downs, and its first release was received with mixed reviews. However, in the eight years since its release, Bungie has significantly refined the concept with various expansions and a full sequel. In 2022, the studio will have one of the most well-supported live-service games.

Every few months, Destiny 2 receives a new season or expansion, which includes new objectives, activities, and endgame content such as raids. Each of these activities then delivers its own distinct reward, creating an infinite cycle of grinding new activities for new weaponry, which you’ll then use to grind the next season’s content. Bungie’s extraordinarily fluid gameplay, which can stay entertaining thousands of hours and nearly a decade afterwards, is what makes it fun and not tiresome.

Surprisingly, Destiny 2 keeps getting better. 2022 was not only the series’ finest expansion yet, but it also featured a terrific plot and introduced new weaponry that gamers had never seen before. Destiny 2 is worth all the time you’re prepared to invest into it in a world full with hobby games that you can play for years without quitting — especially on PC.

Destiny 2 is currently available on Windows PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store.



You can’t do much worse than Dwarf Fortress if you’re in the mood to play god.

As the title suggests, this is a simulation/management game about constructing, optimizing, supervising, and, accidently or not, destroying a dwarven stronghold. What the title does not tell you is that you must consider the soil type, elevation, and weather patterns of the location. You’ll also need to consider the features of each of your seven beginning dwarves, such as their skill sets, physical traits, and mental dispositions. After starting the building and administration in each new randomly generated globe, you begin developing your colony and observing, as any number of unknown circumstances might go extremely well or very badly.

As Chris Bratt (who went on to found People Make Games) explores in this excellent Eurogamer video, Dwarf Fortress is so nuanced and complex that a colony of cats has been known to die en masse because they walked through the puke of drunken dwarves, proceeded to lick their paws clean, and promptly died. The comments on this video are plenty of comparable examples of emergent simulation (varying from worrisome to amusing), demonstrating how deep, ridiculous, and fantastic Dwarf Fortress may become throughout any given game. Dwarf Fortress won’t convert you into the most benign deity — dwarves have free will, after all — but it will keep you entertained for hours. —Michael Mahardy

Dwarf Fortress is available on the Bay 12 Games website for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux, with a new version coming shortly to Steam.



Elite Dangerous is getting on in years, but she’s got it where it matters, child.

The spacefaring MMO offers everything you might desire in a game of its sort — it’s simply that certain parts are better than others. The first-person shooting, for example, is adequate. However, Elite more than justifies its place on our list because of the sense of adventure, discovery, and risk that comes with every flight.

This is due to the fact that this 2014 game offers a realistic recreation of every 400 billion star systems in our galaxy, each with thousands of bodies that you can explore and even walk on in first person. It is still one of the most compelling reasons to get a VR headset — or create a functional cockpit inside your home office. Charles Hall

Elite Dangerous may be purchased on Steam and the Epic Games Store.



The ultimate video game playground is Fortnite. Is it a fight to the death? Is it a construction game in which you may create unique maps and games for your friends? Is it still the strange zombie game that it was touted as? Inexplicably, the answer to all of those questions is yes.

Importantly, Fortnite is the only game where you can swing around with an official Spider-Man web slinger while dressed as Goku before blasting Commander Zavala from Destiny with a shotgun, chopping down a tree with the Staff of Ra from Indiana Jones, and then getting sniped by Darth Vader as he rides by on a wolf. It’s crazy video gaming madness unlike anything else.

Fortnite has been the “it” game for the past five years, partly because it’s the only game that allows you dab as Kratos, but also because it’s a fantastic shooter that’s a lot of fun to play with friends. It takes the classic “fun for the whole family” tagline and runs with it – there’s certainly something for everyone. Fortnite has it everything, whether you want to battle for your Victory Royale or simply make ridiculous machinima with Rick Sanchez and a Xenomorph.

The Epic Games Store is where you can get Fortnite.



League of Legends is one of the most influential video games in the last decade, and it helped to define what a continuous game should be. It’s a fantastic live-service game with a ton of fresh stuff released every year. It’s a complicated strategic game that never repeats itself. It is one of the most popular esports in the globe. It’s also absolutely free to play. While League was not the first game to get any of these honors, Riot learnt from its predecessors (such as Starcraft and the original DOTA mod) to push the boundaries of what a prestigious competitive game might be, and has managed to keep it relevant for 13 years.

In classic MOBA fashion, 10 players form a match and are divided into two teams. Each player on each squad is then allocated a position, and they may help their comrades by selecting from over 160 distinct characters. The aim of the game is to go to the other side of the arena and demolish the opponent team’s base. This causes a tight push and pull between both teams as they acquire gold and boost their heroes.

It’s tremendously complicated — almost like learning a new language — yet it’s this intricacy that makes the game intriguing and exciting. Even after hundreds of matches, there’s nothing quite like spending a whole Saturday playing League of Legends and experiencing something new practically every time.

Riot’s client is required to play League of Legends.



Microsoft Flight Simulator is a technological wonder. It imports almost two petabytes of Microsoft Bing map data to create a high-quality, VR-compatible flying simulation. Then it adds in real-time air traffic and weather simply because it can.

Float aircraft, ski planes, combat jets, racing planes, and even Halo’s Pelican are all available after you visit the in-game third-party marketplace. While MSFS is also compatible with Xbox systems, it shines on PC, bringing up a world of tinkering for die-hard aficionados.

Just make sure your gear has enough USB ports to accommodate the joystick, throttle, pedals, head-tracking peripherals, and multi-function displays. Oh, I could have a ButtKicker as well as a cup holder… Charles Hall

Microsoft Flight Simulator may be downloaded via Steam or the Microsoft Store.



The Obra’s Return Dinn is one of those uncommon games that I wish I could forget. Not because it’s weighty or particularly terrible, but because I want to relive it with fresh eyes. It’s a game that, like Outer Wilds, is mainly reliant on discovery and the application of newly acquired information.

The less known about Return of the Obra Dinn before playing, the better, so take our word for it and go play for yourself… Still not convinced? Fine. I’ll tell you right now that you get to play as an insurance investigator. Nothing will get you to install if that doesn’t work.

Jokes aside, Return of the Obra Dinn places you in the shoes of an insurance investigator for the East India Company in 1807. It is your task, armed with a magical pocket watch, to investigate what happened to the good ship Obra Dinn, a merchant ship lost at sea five years ago.

Each part of the ship you explore will provide you with a short tale as well as some chat or music. You then utilize that data to populate your ledger and determine the fate and identity of each soul aboard.

It’s a difficult game to describe, but I’ve been thinking about it nonstop since its release in 2018. The music and graphics are captivating, and the game continues to amaze. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play it as a beginner again because I already know what happens to those on board, but I can improve your life by sharing it with you.

Return of the Obra Dinn is available for purchase on Steam.



Management and automation games are classic PC gaming stalwarts, and Satisfactory is one of the greatest in the present day.

In Satisfactory, you play a space corporate employee who is placed upon a dangerous and unknown world. Your mission is to exploit the resources of the planet to construct an extraordinary factory for your overlords, manufacturing increasingly technologically sophisticated things that you’ll finally transfer back to the mothership via a massive space elevator.

The trick with Satisfactory is that everything is in first person, and you’re only one little employee in what may grow out to be a massive factory. Not only will you have to imagine how to set out your manufacturing floor without a bird’s-eye perspective, but you’ll also have to gather materials from kilometers away — regions that are tough to access on foot — and make difficult decisions. Do you wish to run a thousand-meter oil pipe to your factory? Or do you want to mine the oil, package it in barrels, and create a railway to carry it to your facility on a regular basis?And how will you handle the power problem if you unintentionally blow a fuse and all of your other equipment stop working?

There are nearly infinite equations for new factory configurations, and each difficulty you encounter becomes progressively complex to solve. However, these problems are also incredibly gratifying, guaranteeing that each sector of your industry — the refineries, the power plants, and so on — has its own set of memories and victories.

Satisfactory may be purchased on Steam via the Epic Games Store.



Video games can’t always help themselves. They expand vertically, with such systemic complexity that all prospect of balance or grace is lost. They expand horizontally, with larger maps, more characters, or more magical spells, until they’re completely bloated. They eventually fall under the immense weight of their own creation.

Total War: Warhammer 3 is not among them.

What started off as the first fantasy entry in a history-based franchise has evolved into a trilogy-ending grand strategy game in which armored mammoths, sex-crazed demons, bipedal machine-gunner rats, dragon-mounted high elves, and four-headed hydras struggle in enormous battles.

Warhammer 3 is, like the other two games in the trilogy, half empire-building and half real-time tactics. You enlarge your territory, enhance your towns, raise troops, and march them off to battle. When they come to an opposing army or attack an enemy city (which may contain vital resources? Is it a strategic chokepoint? Perhaps it’s simply that it looks fucking cool?) The camera zooms in on real-time tactical conflicts on unprecedented sizes in any previous game.

However, unlike its predecessors, Warhammer 3 is an exercise in excess. It merges the campaign maps and every single group from all three games into one enormous mode dubbed Immortal Empires, in which a world war between ogres, dwarves, vampires, and undead Egyptian pharaohs is just as likely. Immortal Empires is a sandbox video game that has all the makings of a desert island title. —Michael Mahardy

Total War: Warhammer 3 is available for purchase through Steam and the Epic Games Store. It’s also accessible through the Microsoft Store on Game Pass.



Riot Games’ take on tactical shooters is Valorant. However, because it is created by the same people who created League of Legends, it mixes its severe, hyper-accurate gunplay with distinct heroes in a vivid, colorful world. As a consequence, the game is one of the greatest and tightest shooters available, with far more personality than its drab, military contemporaries.

In Valorant, you’ll be able to play both attack and defense on a number of maps. The offensive must plant a bomb at one of many important locations on the map, and the defense must defuse that device. If the bomb detonates or all of the defenders are dead, the offensive wins. The defenders win if the bomb is defused or the offensive is completely destroyed.The basics are straightforward, but the characters add a degree of complication.

Each round, players can purchase weapons and skills, the latter of which are exclusive to the Agent they choose at the start of the fight. Some characters may set up cameras to spy on enemy players, while others can revive after death. Some characters have the ability to shoot arrows, while others can produce enormous clouds of poison to block off areas. These characters interact in diverse ways, allowing coordinated teams to construct devastating combinations with their skills.

Unlike League, the UI is quite plain and simple to grasp. However, the skill ceiling is equally as high as in Riot’s other competitive games, and better players may simply outmatch you. This makes Valorant both intimidating and intriguing. It’s a game where you can genuinely feel your skill level improve over time, making setbacks seem like learning experiences and successes feel amazing.

Valorant is accessible through Riot’s client.



What began in 2012 as a game of ninja battle in cramped spacecraft hallways has evolved into one of the oddest, funniest, and most magnificent science fiction universes in video games over the last decade. It’s also completely free.

Warframe is a game about gathering the titular cyborg space assassins and annihilating tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — of adversaries on planets, moons, and star bases around the solar system. It contains hundreds of crafting systems, customisable dojos and landing craft, three open worlds, daily and weekly activities, and even an annual conference in London, Ontario.

Warframe may be a slog until you spend real money in its marketplace, but the gameplay, which is a hybrid of third-person shooters and Musou melee battles, is engaging enough to keep you playing for several hours until you get your next new character, weapon, or upgrade. Frost, the protective ice warrior; Secura Lecta, a harsh whip that enhances your credit yield; or Corrosive Projection, a mod that reduces the armor of foes in your area, there’s something new around every turn. It’s a collector’s item, and it’s chock-full of excessive sci-fi brutality. —Michael Mahardy

Warframe is available for purchase on Steam and the Epic Games Store.



World of Warcraft is the most well-known MMO brand, with Final Fantasy 14 only recently catching up. However, unlike Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft has remained a PC-only title with mouse-and-keyboard capabilities. It has also been in operation for 18 years and is still going strong.

World of Warcraft, as one might assume from a game old enough to vote, hasn’t always been one of the greatest PC games available. It has had brilliant moments as well as periods of major disappointment. Even as the quality of WoW’s content has ebbed and flowed, it has always provided a wonderful world to explore in, whether alone or with a raucous group of friends.Over nearly two decades, it has become a fixture in the lives of millions of fans, and it is always available for players who wish to do a fast quest or improve a piece of gear.

With the impending Dragonflight expansion, World of Warcraft appears to be leaving its most recent dark era in 2022. While the game isn’t yet publicly accessible, I’ve played the most of it on the beta, and it already seems like a great reminder of why I — and others — have enjoyed World of Warcraft for so long. It’s a return to pure imagination and simple mechanics that reward your time rather than requiring you to grind for days for minor but necessary upgrades. is where you can get World of Warcraft.



Since Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen has had one of the finest video game comeback stories. What began as a flawed and occasionally frustrating sequel to Firaxis’ acclaimed XCOM reboot was revitalized with the War of the Chosen expansion, and is now one of the finest strategy games in recent memory.

XCOM 2 is all about repelling invaders from another world with your army of men, much like the original game. Because it’s a tactical turn-based game, you’ll move each of your characters separately before finishing your turn, prompting the computer to move in reaction to your actions.It’s similar to a chess game in which you improve and bond with your pieces between games, only to say goodbye if the opponent ever gets them. (You may disable the permadeath setting, but I recommend leaving it on.)

War of the Chosen, on the other hand, introduced new enemy kinds and friendly groups, eventually leading to the introduction of totally new army types for you to command. That added material is fantastic, but it’s the way it flows into the basic campaign that solves the aggravating and breakneck pace of vanilla XCOM 2. With the expansion, gamers have so many additional hurdles to face and paths to take that it seems like a totally new experience – one where you’re always doing something new.There are new bosses to chase, a broader range of task types, and zombie adversaries that might disturb your play style.

It’s a cruel game that lives up to the numerous memes of high-percentage shots that eventually miss at the most inopportune times. But every contact, whether it’s a single battle between two opposing soldiers or a whole operation, tells a tale. Not one authored by Firaxis, but one shaped by your choices.

If you enjoy base/resource management, strategy games, or both, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is a game you’ll want to play again and again.

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen may be purchased on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

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