Best PC games 2023: the must-play titles you don’t want to miss

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Some of the best PC games out there have been released in the past decade, to the point of putting PC gaming on par with the latest consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. And thanks to services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it’s even easier to play some of the most popular and viral games without using valuable hard drive space or demanding expensive hardware.

In some cases, PC gaming can even be preferable to consoles due to the technical advantages that the best graphics card and best PC processor can offer. Some of these enhancements include higher framerates, resolutions, features such as ray-tracing and HDR, the best gaming monitor that can create incredible immersive experiences, and more. For those among you who prefer using a gamepad, we highly recommend the Xbox controller. Black Friday is the best time to get one, and this year, the deals start around November 25. Keep an eye on our Black Friday Xbox Controller Deals page to be in the know when the best deals drop. Wanna sit comfortably even during long gaming sessions? Then consider picking up a gaming chair during Black Friday. Our Black Friday gaming chair deals page can help you find the best options.

So whether you have a tricked-out PC gaming setup or looking for games to play on your productivity laptop, we’ve put together a list of the best PC games you can find right now. Of course, not every game is for every person, but there are definitely at least one or two titles on there for you.

Best PC games

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1. Elden Ring

Elden Ring tips

(Image credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Elden Ring is all anyone can really talk about these days, and for good reason. FromSoftware's latest punishment-simulator has all the familiar touchstones of a Souls-like, but expanded out into an open world with a story crafted by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, so you know it's not going to pull any punches.

The PC version of the game has had some performance issues that FromSoftware is working on patching. Still, even with these issues, it's unquestionably one of the best games, if not the best, that the studio has ever put out. 

As devoted fans of the studio's work since the original Demons' Souls on the PS3, we don't offer that kind of praise lightly, but like the Souls-like genre itself, you gotta earn it, and FromSoftware unquestionable does with Elden Ring.  

Read our full Elden Ring review

2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher battling a monster with his powers

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is aging like fine wine. Even several years after it hit the streets, it’s still one of the most impressive open world games that’s ever existed – mixing Skyrim’s unapologetic scale with Grand Theft Auto V’s incredible depth. It’s such a jam-packed game, which is why it's still near the top of the best PC games in 2022. 

Staggering, beautiful and an absolute time sink – in a good way – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn’t just one of the best PC games of 2022 or among the best open world games on PC. It might just be one of the best video games of all time.

3. Ghostrunner

Expect lots of violence in the post-apocalyptic Ghostrunner

(Image credit: 505 Games)

Ultra-violence and constant motion meet in this post-apocalyptic dystopian game. This FPP is not for the faint of heart – it’s tense, exhilarating, and you'll probably die repeatedly trying to beat it. If you ever wanted a game that came in equal parts Doom Eternal and Mirror’s Edge, you found it in Ghostrunner.

The game is set in Dharma Tower, a sort-of last refuge for humanity, where you ascend the tower through platforming and katana-induced carnage to take revenge on a ruthless ruler. You do so by slicing up your enemies, dodging bullets, and using a number of unique abilities to continue making your way to the top. This is the kind of game that will leave you out of breath just playing it. If that sounds like your kind of game, then you’re in for a treat.

4. Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 leg kicking bandit off roof

(Image credit: Techland)

Open-world zombie games may seem a little clichè these days but the Dying Light series has managed to keep things fresh with its parkour-style gameplay and day-night cycle, where the zombies go from slow and lumbering and extremely aggressive and much more dangerous.

In Dying Light 2, not only do you get to explore a map that’s four times larger than in the original game, you’ll be able to make decisions that fundamentally change the in-game world. That even opens up certain sections of the map depending on what you choose to do. And, like the original Dying Light, coop play allows you to tackle the game with up to three other players.

Read our full Dying Light 2 review

5. Hades

Zagreus in Hades trying to escape the underworld

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Supergiant Games made a name for itself thanks to the great reception that Pyre, Transistor, and Bastion received. Now, fans of the studio have a new entry to add to the studio’s pantheon of great games: Hades. Hades uses the same isometric view of the other games and tells the story of Hades’ son, Zagreus, trying to escape the underworld.

This roguelike dungeon crawler has a few new features up its sleeve. Not only can you romance some characters for extra bonuses, but dying in the game doesn’t start you at the last checkpoint. When you die, you might start at the beginning but you’re not starting over. You’re able to upgrade your character and weapons to improve your chances of escaping with each subsequent death. This leads to a sense of progression that makes for a very addictive game.

6. God of War

God of War screenshot

(Image credit: SIE Santa Monica Studio)

God of War as a series has been around since 2005. And, though it’s had many entries over the years, the one from 2018 has reinvigorated the series, whether that’s due to a new setting – you’re not exploring some hellscape version of Greece anymore – or the fact that Kratos now has a companion on his journey.

This former Playstation exclusive finds you playing as Kratos, the demigod that’s taken down just about the entire Greek pantheon in the previous games, as he and his son travel to the top of the mountain to scatter his dead wife’s ashes in a Norse-inspired mythological setting. Of course, being a God of War game, you’ll have to fight your way through all sorts of creatures and gods on the way.

7. Deathloop

Colt in Deathloop battling enemies

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

If you ever wondered what Groundhog Day would look like in-game form, wonder no more. Deathloop, from the makers of the Dishonored series, gives the first-person shooter a fun little twist with some added strategy.

In this stylish game, you play as Colt, who’s stuck on an island in a time loop with a rival assassin. To break the loop, you have to kill eight targets before the day ends; otherwise, you start over. However, as each day resets, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, changing playstyles and learning the terrain until you find the best way to break the loop.

Read our full Deathloop review

8. Microsoft Flight Simulator

An aircraft flying over a city at sunset in Microsoft Flight Simulator

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Beyond its impeccable graphics and its excellent peripheral support, it won’t take you long to realize that Microsoft Flight Simulator is a labor of love. There’s a great attention to detail here, as well as a level of realism and immersion you won’t find elsewhere. 

So much so that if you’re not a fan of flight simulations, you’ll want to start getting on the bandwagon. Though that also means this game won’t be for everyone. Still, if you’re a flight sim fanatic or you love planes and flying, you’ll relish the chance to fly iconic vehicles in some of the most beautiful yet dangerous locations and conditions in the world.

Read our full Microsoft Flight Simulator review

9. Hitman 3

Agent 47 on top of a building overlooking the clouds

(Image credit: IO Interactive)

Hitman 3 closes out the rebooted trilogy with another gorgeous entry that shows what makes these games so unique. It doesn’t redefine the gameplay, yet it does introduce six new maps and wraps up the story started in 2016’s Hitman. Just like the previous games, Hitman 3's maps will take you worldwide, between Dubai, England, China, and more.

If you’re not familiar with Hitman's gameplay, you’re in for a treat. As Agent 47, you play a calm and calculating hitman whose job is to move around large maps like an English manor, finding and eliminate your targets quietly and undetected. On top of that, you can play the same map multiple times to find fresh ways or new story paths to take out your targets, giving this entry, alongside the previous ones, the kind of replayability you don’t see in most games.

Read our full Hitman 3 review

10. Death Stranding

Sam Bridges traversing an apocalyptic United States to deliver valuable cargo in Death Stranding

(Image credit: 505 Games)

If the name Norman Reedus is what got your attention when someone mentioned Death Stranding, well then you’re in for a treat. However, this game is getting a lot of attention for more than just the big names attached to it, which incidentally include Mads Mikkelsen and Léa Seydoux. 

As porter Sam Bridges, you bravely traverse an apocalyptic United States to deliver valuable cargo, navigating lands overrun by terrorists, bandits and these invisible creatures called Beached Things. This award-winning action game is a treat to all the senses as well, thanks to its great storyline, which may be reminiscent of the current pandemic, good gameplay, fun quests, and impressive sound and visuals. 

Read our full Death Stranding review

11. Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Commander Shepherd in Mass Effect Legendary Edition battling an enemy

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Mass Effect Legendary Edition may not be a new game, per se, but it gets a shiny coat of paint as well as a few extras that make one of the most exciting gaming series ever worth revisiting. It’s not only been remastered with the ability to play in 4K, but it comes with just about all the content of the first three games including their DLCs. Additionally, there have been some technical and gameplay improvements for a more seamless experience. 

If you’ve never encountered Commander Shepherd and the vast ME universe, this is the perfect time. This epic space saga not only takes you across multiple galaxies and worlds but pits you against all sorts of enemies. Whether you follow the main story or one of the many side quests, the narrative is engrossing. Best of all, you get all three games in a single package.

12. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 characters traversing a snow-covered mountain

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The newest release from Rockstar Games was an instant hit at release. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an engrossing western following Arthur Morgan and his gang, trying to survive a fictionalized Wild West as outlaws on the run. However, the game is much more than just that.

Whether it’s getting lost in the story, following through on every side quest to its conclusion, or just bonding with your horse, RDR2 is one of those games where you can easily sink 50+ hours into and still have something to do. The gameplay is stellar, and the graphics are gorgeous. You can even run the game in 8K, if you have the hardware. Definitely give this a look if you haven’t already.

13. Doom: Eternal

Monsters in Doom: Eternal

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Doom Eternal takes everything from the remastered Doom (2016) and turns it up to 11. The game is intense, visually and sonically overwhelming, and is exactly what you would expect a fever dream inspired by Doom would feel like.

The gameplay is a seamless first-person shooter where you trek into hell to battle an assortment of never-ending demons and reclaim an overrun earth. Refilling your health sometimes requires quite literally tearing monsters apart, and there is some need to be creative with your weapon choice, depending on what demon you’re facing. However, this game is all about creating havoc and rushing into battle as loud and as brash as possible.

Not only is Doom: Eternal a hell of a ride (pun intended), it’s also a gorgeous looking game that takes advantage of the newest hardware. And, it’s a 2v1 multiplayer mode where one player takes control of the “slayer” and faces off against two more player-controlled demons.

Read our full Doom Eternal review

14. Half-Life: Alyx

Protagonist in Half-Life: Alyx encountering enemies

(Image credit: Valve)

No game has been as anticipated for as much or as long as Half Life 3. While you'll need to wait a little longer for it, Valve has graced us with what may be the most compelling reason to get a VR headset: Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life: Alyx is set 5 years before Half-Life 2. What starts as a rescue mission for the protagonist’s father evolves into attempting to steal a superweapon from the alien overlords. From the interactive puzzles, the well-thought out combat and the fantastic story, this prequel is a welcome dive back into the Half-Life world that has been universally praised for its quality.

If you’re looking for an excuse to get into VR gaming, this might be the one for you. Half-Life: Alyx’s attention to detail shows what can be done with VR when taken seriously.

15. Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 cars racing around the UK

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's racing series is only getting better with each release, and in many ways this spin-off has exceeded the main Forza Motorsport line as the best racing games on PC at present. They're definitely more fun, adding a dash of arcade fun to the strikingly recreated cars and race tracks we've come to expect from Forza.

Forza Horizon 4 is easily one of the best PC games you can buy today, and this entry brings the racing to the UK after having explored America, France, Italy and Australia in the previous three instalments of the franchise. Now, you can rip through charming villages, seaside towns and the city of Edinburgh by way of many miles of country roads and dirt tracks in between. It's fast, frantic and a lot of fun.

You can purchase Forza Horizon 4 through the Microsoft Store. It's also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, or you can buy the Xbox One version and get a download code for PC using the Xbox Anywhere feature.

16. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Spider-Man swinging through New York

(Image credit: Sony / Marvel)

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is finally on PC, and it comes out swinging (pun intended!). Not only does the super smooth web-slinging and combat make the transition perfectly, but the enhancements to both resolution and framerate showcase just how much care went into this remastered port.

There are also plenty of other features in this PC version including ray-tracing,  NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA DLAA, and monitor setups like ultrawide 21:9, panoramic 32:9, and NVIDIA Surround multi-monitor. The PS5's DualSense controller is also fully supported alongside mouse and keyboard.

Read our full Marvel's Spider-Man review

17. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Young Wolf performing a maneuver in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

(Image credit: From Software)

From Software is a household name when it comes to designing the best PC games. The minds behind the critically praised Dark Souls series have transported PC gamers to some of the most forsaken landscapes and through some of the most challenging yet rewarding gameplay. From Software is back at it once more, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Sekiro places you in the shoes of the Young Wolf, a shinobi tasked with rescuing his young master. The game will take you through 16th-century Japan, but things will get eerie and supernatural: this is From Software we’re talking about. 

Don’t expect an easy time of it, however. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an awfully difficult game to master, and you’ll need quick reflexes to deflect enemy attacks, as well as to master stealth. You won’t be able to hide behind a shield all day, like you were able to in Dark Souls III.

Read our full Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review

18. Minecraft

Characters in Minecraft next to a pond and a tree

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The phrase "build it, and they will come" rings truer than ever with Minecraft, the survival-based sandbox RPG that has now been bought more than 100 million times since its release in 2009. In it, you can construct your own worlds using resources you find in the wild, or discover existing ones created by other players online. 

In Minecraft, you can either limit yourself to the numerous tools and blocks offered by the developer, Mojang, or you can install mods to truly capitalize on your investment. Moreover, sometime in 2022, you’ll be able to take part in the Super Duper Graphics Pack, an optional piece of DLC that offers more realistic lighting effects and textures to an already amazing game.

19. Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Building a civilization in Sid Meier's Civilization VI

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Sid Meier's Civilization VI is the most recent installment in the iconic turn-based strategy game, and it's without a doubt among the best PC games you can play to date. One of the things that make the PC the best platform for gaming on is the sheer breadth of different game genres on offer. And, what Civilization VI has to offer is its massive scope, despite the fact that it might seem slower paced next to the likes of Fortnite.

Spread your empire across the map and crush your enemies. You build up your empire from a simple settlement to a world power, and you can decide to do this through military might, technological supremacy or cultural influence. Since its launch in 2016, it has had two expansion packs that really cement this game as an epic entry in our best PC games list. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall released in February 2018, with Civilization VI: Gathering Storm following in February 2019.

20. Diablo 4

Diablo 4

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Diablo 4 is the latest entry in Blizzard's iconic action RPG series. With its distinctive gothic art style and modern open world layout, Diablo 4 offers a co-op-friendly dark fantasy experience. Join up with friends or play solo as you attempt to save the world of Sanctuary from the dark machinations of the nefarious Lilith. 

Customize your character with dozens of different abilities and hundreds of different gear options as you craft your own bespoke adventurer. Choose from five distinctive classes, each with its own unique mechanics and ability combinations. Diablo 4 also offers a seamless multiplayer experience, allowing you to enlist the help of friends as you delve into the game's foreboding dungeons.

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Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.

With contributions from