The best Steam games 2024 - download these top picks for PC

A close up of a Helldiver's mask, with the reflection of an explosion in the left lens
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The best Steam games account for the top titles that you can find on Valve's prolific online storefront.

However, thanks to the sheer volume of games on offer through Steam, finding the very creme of the crop can be a tall task, especially for those who might not be as familiar with Valve's online store. Fortunately, you've come to the right place. From the best single-player games to the best co-op games we've played them all, and we're ready to help you find your next great adventure. 

Below, you'll find some of the best RPGs and best story games, alongside the best PC strategy games and even a classic platformer. Our goal has been to curate a list consisting of the best of the best across as many genres as possible. Whether you like heartfelt fantasy adventures or blowing up aliens, we've got you covered. Read on to find your next Steam adventure. 

Best Steam games 2024

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An Elden Ring player squaring off against a giant knight holding a stave

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)
Why we love it

Elden Ring is the zenith of FromSoftware's soulsborne titles, taking the punishing, yet rewarding combat loop of the Dark Souls series and placing it within a stunning open world. This fusion creates a game that's more than the sum of its parts.

No list of the best Steam games would be complete without a nod to this iconic dark fantasy offering. Elden Ring is more than a typical soulsborne, adding a bleak yet captivating open world to the mix. By allowing you to explore and go at your own pace, Elden Ring invites you into its world more effectively than the Dark Souls series, while still maintaining the iconic difficulty for which the developers at FromSoftware are known.

Despite its size, Elden Ring manages to feel extremely structured at the same time. The title offers oodles of side quests and optional bosses, offering a non-linear experience punctuated by glorious setpiece boss battles. However, every inch of progression you make feels as though it's part of your greater goal: becoming Elden Lord and restoring The Lands Between to glory.

Two characters dressed in cowboy attire fire revolvers

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

9. Red Dead Redemption 2

Go west
Why we love it

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stone-cold classic, offering a complete narrative experience that immerses players in the Wild West. Rockstar Games' cowboy opus offers an emotional journey that'll stay with you long after the credits roll.

Easily one of the best Steam games of its genre, Red Dead Redemption 2 is an immersive open-world title from Rockstar Games. Released back in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 has you step into the dusty boots of Arthur Morgan, a well-meaning outlaw trying to make his way in the increasingly shrinking American frontier. 

Alongside this romantic premise, Arthur's journey plumbs dark emotional depths, telling a tale wrought with tragedy, but still sprinkled with the occasional glimmer of hope. In addition to the exceptional main storyline, the game boasts an impressive open world full of side quests and places to explore. If you ever wanted to be a cowboy, Red Dead Redemption 2 is easily the best way to live the fantasy.

A survivor fires blue magic spells at monsters in Vampire Survivors

(Image credit: Poncle)

8. Vampire Survivors

Simple but effective
Why we love it

Vampire Survivors is roguelike heaven. Beyond the charming pixel art beats the heart of a sophisticated yet accessible indie masterwork. An unholy fusion of complex RPG granularity and chill auto battler goodness, you'll soon find yourself pulled into the game's deeply satisfying loop.  

As well as being one of the best Steam games, Vampire Survivors is arguably one of the best indie games ever made. In this top-down 2D roguelike auto battler, the goal is simple: survive for 30 minutes against vampiric hordes. Contrary to many other roguelike specimens, your spells and attacks fire off automatically in Survivors, meaning that your main responsibility is to dodge enemies and select new buffs and items as you progress. 

It may seem excessively simple, but this fusion of player agency and mechanical automation hits a sweet spot, rewarding quick thinking from experienced sorts while remaining easy to approach for newer players. Despite the business of the spells and attacks littering the screen, this balance makes Survivors a surprisingly relaxing title, perfect after a long work day.

Key art for Crusader Kings 3 Wards & Wardens with an adults hands resting on a child's shoulders

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

7. Crusader Kings 3

Drama queens
Why we love it

Crusader Kings 3 lets you jump into medieval history and reinvent it. Thanks to its emphasis on player agency, every Crusader Kings 3 playthrough feels bespoke and meaningful, offering emergent stories that never cease to surprise and delight. 

One of the best Steam games when it comes to strategy, Crusader Kings 3 lets you loose across the medieval world, allowing you to make history your personal playground. In a Crusader Kings 3 playthrough, you'll take on the role of a historical noble, or make up a new one for yourself. In this position you'll guide your character as they live their life, managing their court, and deciding on their allies and enemies.

What distinguishes Crusader Kings 3, however, is its emphasis on events that offer decision points for your character that can have large ramifications, both for their political environment and also for their personal lives. You may have spent the last 10 hours playing as King Malcolm of Scotland, but, thanks to the choices you've made on his behalf, this is very much your version of Malcolm - an alternate history that belongs to you completely thanks to decisions made over the course of your playthrough.

Alisaie admires an exotic green vegetable

(Image credit: Square Enix)

6. Final Fantasy 14

The critically acclaimed MMO
Why we love it

Final Fantasy 14's story content rates amongst some of the best we've seen from modern RPGs. What's more, you'll experience this alongside millions of other players, allowing you to enjoy the tale as part of a welcoming MMO community.

No best Steam games list would be complete without a nod to one of the many MMO (massively multiplayer online) games available on the platform, and Final Fantasy 14 takes the crown. With a very generous free trial, Final Fantasy 14  has a low barrier to entry, giving you a chance to savor much of the story content before you commit to purchasing a subscription. 

Final Fantasy 14 is set apart by three things: its exceptional single-player story content, its famously welcoming community, and its loving references to the breadth of the Final Fantasy canon. Beyond this, there's plenty to do. Players have the option to build their own houses and even go to player-owned nightclubs. Fishing, crafting, questing, and exploration are all available in the world of Final Fantasy 14 for any who wish to look for them.

So Mi at Colonel Hansen's gala

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

5. Cyberpunk 2077

A bleak, neon future
Why we love it

Thanks to the 2.0 update Cyberpunk 2077 offers a a range of truly customizable character paths. As you level up, you can choose from a wide range of traits, becoming anything from a katana-wielding ninja to an indestructible brute with grenade launchers for arms. 

Cyberpunk 2077 had a rocky launch back in 2020, but, in its current state, the game stands as one of the best Steam games available on the platform. With the advent of patch 2.0, Cyberpunk 2077 runs smoothly, allowing you to experience its well-written and poignant sci-fi story without any interruptions. The character progression system has been massively retuned since launch, letting you meaningfully customize your character - a step you'll need to take given how much smarter NPCs have become in combat. 

The game's expansion, Phantom Liberty, develops these themes further, offering more engrossing storytelling and more than a few tough choices for the player character to make. The Cyberpunk 2077 of 2024 artfully pulls you into a quagmire of neon lights, sci-fi gunfights, and moral ambiguity, immersing you in its bleak yet fascinating setting.

Helldivers 2 key art showing four divers saluting on a cliff as yellow smoke rises in the background

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)
Why we love it

Helldivers 2 is a sci-fi co-op wonderland, making it ideal for Steam, where you can use friends lists and communities to easily build squads of like-minded warriors. Thanks to Valve's online infrastructure, you'll be blasting bugs in no time.

Helldivers 2 is a fun-fuelled sci-fi romp, delivering co-op third-person action that combines satisfying, pulpy violence and playful irreverence. You play as a team of drop troopers in a flavorful future dystopia reminiscent of Paul Verhoeven's satirical adaptation of Starship Troopers. Fighting for 'Super Earth' and 'managed democracy', you'll take the fight to alien bugs and cyborgs from your own spaceship as part of a wider, ongoing campaign. 

Explosions, frenetic gunplay, and constant action define Helldivers 2. Orbital strikes, flamethrowers, and high explosives all help to stoke the drama, making for a title that, while simplistic at times, is one of the best Steam games when it comes to pure co-op fun. While this may result in the occasional team-kill, it's a small price to pay for the glorious mayhem of the Helldivers 2 experience. Arrowhead Game Studios' sci-fi playground is best enjoyed with pals; if you can get the right crew you're in for a fantastic time.

Geralt casts Igni at a large-horned beast

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Hey Ciri
Why we love it

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was an absolute masterclass in open world design when it launched, and remains one of the best examples of the RPG genre to this day. A gripping story, genuinely interesting side quests, and heaps of DLC content help keep this game fresh, even all these years later.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt continues to feature on best of lists across the internet. Much of this is down to just how devoted developer CD Projekt RED has been in updating and modernising the game post-launch. Thanks to visual tweaks, The Witcher 3 still looks absolutely incredible, and somehow, it's able to be played on even low-end hardware.

If you've yet to give The Witcher 3 a spin, it's absolutely worth your time, even all these years later. Geralt is one of gaming's most beloved protagonists, and in this game, he searches for Ciri. You'll battle against fearsome beasts, using Geralt's unique Witcher abilities to gain the upper hand. There's a devilishly moreish card game in Gwent, and plenty of side quests to keep you busy as you explore. 

While there's more than enough meat on the bone in the base game to satisfy most players, the DLCs are where The Witcher 3 truly shines. The Blood and Wine expansion in particular, features a truly beautiful new map, newly designed monsters, and a hilarious fairy tale plot.

Madeline atop a tall purple tower in Celeste

2. Celeste

Moving mountains
Why we love it

Celeste is as much a game about personal struggle as it is about platforming. Protagonist Madeline must not only attempt to scale a literal mountain, but she must also battle with the darkest parts of herself. This is reinforced by challenging level design which is as tough as it is fair.

Easily earning a spot on our list of the best Steam games, Celeste is the most rewarding pixel platformer in years. As you climb the titular Celeste mountain, flame-haired heroine Madeline battles her innermost demons just as much as the harsh and dangerous conditions around her. Celeste is a tight, 2D, twitch-style platformer, but, scratch the surface, and you'll find one of the most unforgettable games we’ve come across in many years.

With a poignant story to match its unforgiving gameplay, Celeste has over 700 ‘scenes’ to traverse, a myriad of secrets to uncover, and a story that will grip you as much as the muscle-memory-building formula of its platforming. For a game built around the simple mechanics of jumping, air-dashing, and climbing, there’s an incredible amount of depth to be found as you claw your way to the summit. Full of surprises, Celeste isn't one to miss.

Alfira the Bard singing Weeping Dawn

(Image credit: Larian Studios)
Why we love it

Baldur's Gate 3 gives you a staggering amount of control over your adventure. Your choices both in and out of cutscenes have wide-reaching effects on the storyline. In Baldur's Gate 3, you truly have to live with the consequences of your actions.

Baldur's Gate 3 offers a modern, cinematic take on the CRPG. Based in the universe of the global roleplaying phenomenon Dungeons & Dragons, you'll take on the role of an adventurer infected with a nasty psychic parasite. Once you've created a character drawn from one of the Baldur's Gate 3 classes, you'll make your way into the world, meeting memorable companions and getting to grips with the dangers of the Sword Coast. 

What separates Baldur's Gate 3, however, is how the title rewards players for creative solutions. Need to secure a specific magic item? You could fight through hordes of guards, or you could pickpocket the owner. Better yet, lure them outside in dialogue and send your buddy inside while they're distracted. All the while, the game is bound together by a branching narrative that asks tricky moral questions fraught with genuine consequence. Baldur's Gate 3 is a generous, open-ended fantasy adventure that'll please fans old and new. Read our Baldur's Gate 3 review for more.

Best Steam games: FAQs:

A woman decides which lower jaw to wear before a night out

(Image credit: Cd Projekt Red)

What is the best Steam game to buy?

While any of the titles on our best Steam games list are well worth purchasing, Baldur's Gate 3 likely offers the best value for money when it comes to providing a modern gaming experience. With an immense story, meaningful character customization, and a whole host of mods to tweak the game to your liking, Larian Studios' genre-defining fantasy RPG is well worth your hard-earned cash. 

However, if you're looking for something more affordable, compelling roguelike Vampire Survivors is extremely cheap, often costing less than a cup of coffee. Its accessible, repayable formula is a fantastic choice for players on a budget.

What was the Steam 2023 Game of the Year?

Baldur's Gate 3 won Steam's 2023 Game of the Year award last year, beating out Hogwarts Legacy, the Resident Evil 4 remake, EA Sports FC24 and Lethal Company. The epic fantasy RPG also took home the award for Outstanding Story-Rich game. Given the 70-hour main campaign's abundance of twists, turns and surprises, this came as little surprise.

Here at TechRadar Gaming, we gave Baldur's Gate 3 the coveted top spot on our best games of 2023 list, too, beating out The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Alan Wake 2. Between its compelling combat, deep characters and mind-boggling scope for customization, it's clear that the turn-based RPG made a big impression on the gaming landscape.

How we made this best Steam games list

This list of the best Steam games was built with diversity in mind. Rather than narrowly focus on a single genre or type of play, we felt it was best to offer as broad an approach as possible to Steam's exhaustive library of titles.

There are plenty of titles, such as charming roguelike Hades or gripping puzzler Portal 2, that would have been right at home on this list. However, we wanted to show off a blend of modern and more classical titles to ensure a more well-rounded survey of available games which means that some 'obvious' choices have been overlooked in favor of hidden gems. In that spirit, we wanted to platform several strong indie titles, since Valve's digital distribution system is a great way to access games that you wouldn't often see in brick-and-mortar stores.

We also leaned on our expertise here at TRG, with many of the staff here being PC and Steam gaming veterans. We know Steam inside and out and we're happy to pass on our knowledge to help save you time and effort.

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Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.

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