2022 is almost over, and despite some notable delays—see you in 2023, Starfield—it's been a strong year for PC games. Highlights include the gleeful destruction engine Teardown, backyard survival game Grounded, insta-classic Elden Ring, and a surprisingly friendship-centric Marvel game from the makers of XCOM.
This list is specifically our answer to the question "What new PC games should I play right now?" with picks pulled from the best PC games of the year, old favorites we think now is a good time to revisit, and some 2022 hidden gems. It's a reflection of what the PC Gamer team is playing right now, not a list of the all-time best games ever, although there'll be overlap. (Our highest review score of 2022 is a 95%. Very few games have scored higher than that in PC Gamer's nearly 30-year history.)
For a more comprehensive list of great PC games past and present, check out our annual Top 100 (opens in new tab) list of the best games on PC. We have some fresh picks for the best Steam Deck games (opens in new tab) if you have one of Valve's handhelds on the way.
We also stay on top of the year's calendar with our guide to the new games of 2022 (opens in new tab), organized by month.
Some good news related to this list: The graphics card shortage is finally easing up, which means it's now possible to build a new gaming PC for a non-outrageous price. We have a guide to putting together an entry-level gaming PC (opens in new tab) for around $750, and we have some recommendations for pre-built PCs (opens in new tab), too.
Reference these emojis to narrow down what you're looking for in our selection of the best PC games.
- 💻 = Suitable for low-end PCs
- 🙋♀️ = Singleplayer
- 🙋♀️🙋♀️ = Multiplayer
- 🎮 = Best with a controller
- 🆓 = Free-to-play
What we're playing now
These are the games the PC Gamer team is currently playing: the up-to-the-minute (or at least, month) stuff on our Steam quick launch menus. You can see all of our recent game reviews here.
Marvel's Midnight Suns (88%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️
A deckbuilding tactics game and a superhero friendship simulator. As we put it in our review: "Who knew Sid Meier's protégés had a secret, and completely brilliant, Persona game in them?"
Pentiment (88%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️💻
Obsidian, a studio known for creating vast RPG worlds, nails a very different kind of game here: a 20ish-hour narrative-focused murder mystery set in the 1500s. After one playthrough, Josh felt (opens in new tab) he'd only scratched the surface of Pentiment's multilayered story.
Dwarf Fortress (84%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️💻
After two decades, the ever-growing simulation classic now has a Steam release and, get this, graphics. No longer do you have to interpret a world rendered in ASCII to experience the strange and wonderous stories generated by this ultra-complex civilization builder.
The Case of the Golden Idol (89%) (opens in new tab)🙋♀️💻
Challenging detective puzzles with a fascinating story. The biggest problem with The Case of the Golden Idol is that we can't forget it all and play it again fresh.
Vampire Survivors (87%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️💻
The best value on Steam: This is a $5 bullet hell roguelike that would run on a toaster and is hard enough to stop playing that you might want a copy for your toaster. Pick it up on sale and the entertainment to cost ratio gets even more absurdly favorable.
Grounded (90%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️🙋♀️
In a recent meeting, Fraser (who reviewed this one for us) pointed out that amid all their meters and crafting recopies, survival games sometimes forget to, y'know, be fun. As the whimsical, Honey I Shrunk the Kids premise suggests, this isn't one of those games.
Elden Ring (90%) (opens in new tab) 🎮🙋♀️🙋♀️
Surprise, surprise: The latest fantasy gauntlet from Dark Souls creator FromSoftware is brilliant. The real treat of this enormous RPG is that it's so open-ended, you can easily start up a second or third run to carry you through the quiet summer months.
Immortality (95%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️💻
Her Story director Sam Barlow's latest video mystery is his "most thought-provoking game so far," we said in our 95% review—the highest score we've given all year.
Teardown (90%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️
Teardown is a physics-based destruction engine perfect for viral tweets, and it's also a genius puzzle game. There's a full campaign, robust level editor, and an active modding scene that includes everything from portal guns to perfect recreations of de_dust2.
Best of the best
These games aren't all piping hot out of the oven, but some things get better with age. They're the cream of the crop on PC, either scoring 90%+ in a review or appearing on our list of the Top 100 PC games (opens in new tab). If you just want a damn fine PC game from the last several years, check these out.
- Disco Elysium (92%) 🙋♀️💻: Our 2019 Game of the Year and #1 best PC game for two years running.
- Crusader Kings 3 (94%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: The king is dead, long live the king!
- Hitman 3 (90%) 🙋♀️: The art of assassination, polished as finely as Agent 47's head.
- Slay the Spire (92%) 🙋♀️💻: The deckbuilding roguelike all others aspire to beat.
- Minecraft (96%) 💻🙋♀️🙋♀️: Build anything you can imagine, as long as it's made of cubes.
- The Witcher 3 (92%) 🙋♀️: Still one of our all time favorite RPGs.
- Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker (89%)🙋♀️🙋♀️: An MMO we can't get enough of.
- Total War: Warhammer 3 (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️: A brilliant final act with the series' most inventive and unusual factions yet.
- Strange Horticulture (90%) 🙋♀️💻: A beautiful and engrossing detective game packed with mysteries, puzzles, plants, and intrigue.
- God of War (90%) 🙋♀️🎮: The best game on PS4 is now one of the best games on PC.
- Monster Hunter: Rise (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: Arguably the greatest entry in Capcom's flagship series, and a game that simply never stops giving.
- Forza Horizon 5 (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️🎮: Even a marginal improvement on the best racing series around is worth celebrating.
- Wildermyth (90%) 🙋♀️🙋♀️💻: Narrative design as genetic engineering, it will live in your head like an imaginary friend.
- Valheim 💻🙋♀️🙋♀️: A survival sandbox that rekindled our love for chopping, mining and building with stylish, savvy streamlining.
The best competitive multiplayer games right now
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (83%) (opens in new tab) 🙋♀️🙋♀️
Infinity Ward has again set the bar for gun design in Call of Duty. There's plenty to complain about (the crashes, for one thing), but a lot of changes that we find fun, both in Modern Warfare 2 proper and its free-to-play companion game, Warzone 2.0 (opens in new tab) (especially DMZ, the extraction mode).
Apex Legends (93%) (opens in new tab) 🆓🙋♀️🙋♀️
One of our favorite current battle royale games. The map is fantastic, the 'ping' communication system is something every FPS should have from here on, the guns and movement are great fun (no wallrunning, but sliding down hills feels great).
Rainbow Six Siege (90%) (opens in new tab) 🆓🙋♀️🙋♀️
Siege might lack the sharp hit detection and purity of CS:GO, but it's a more accessible and modern FPS that rewards clever timing and coordinated teamwork as much as aim.
The best PC games by genre
Find our selection of the best PC games just a bit too broad? Perhaps you know you're after a gripping story, or an intense racer, or the kind of sim you can spend a whole weekend playing like a second job. Our genre lists have curated recommendations for RPGs, racing, strategy, and more. Check 'em out: