The best PC games of all time

Valve Gordon Freeman Alyx Vance Half-Life 2

Put any three gamers in a room and ask them which game they rate as the best one ever released, and you’ll get three different answers.

You might even hear some name-calling, and if you’re very lucky, a minor but bloody altercation.

If the three subjects of your little experiment are PC gamers, however, by the end of the scuffle they will come to agree that the answer is Half-Life 2.

In an effort to skip the need for violence before reaching this obvious consensus, MyGaming, with the help of Metacritic and GameRankings, has put together this handy list of the best PC games ever released, to-date.

Only games that were exclusive to PC, made their start on PC, or are in some other way inexorably linked to PC gaming were included in the top 10.

Top 10 PC games of all time
Rank Metacritic GameRankings
Title Score Title Score
1 Half-Life 2 96%
(User: 9.2)
The Orange Box 95.88%
2 The Orange Box 96%
(User: 9.3)
Half-Life 2 95.48%
3 Half-Life 96%
(User: 9.1)
Championship Manager 4 95%
4 Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn 95%
(User: 9.2)
The Walking Dead: Episode 5 – No Time Left 94.75%
5 Civilization II 94%
(User: 9.0)
Undertale 94.11%
6 Quake 94%
(User: 8.8)
Half-Life 94.11%
7 Grim Fandango 94%
(User: 9.1)
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn 93.97%
8 Diablo 94%
(User: 8.7)
Company of Heroes 93.93%
9 Sid Meier’s Civilization IV 94%
(User: 8.2)
Unreal Tournament (1999) 93.57%
10 Company of Heroes 93%
(User: 8.8)
Sid Meier’s Civilization IV 93.36%

1. Half-Life 2

The first of many Valve games on the PC top 10. In fact, there are 3 PC-exclusive Valve titles in Metacritic’s top 10 PC games of all time.

Wait a minute. Guys… GUYS! λ3

Half-Life 2 Gordon Freeman with crowbar


2. The Orange Box

Highly rated in part for the exceptional value it offered at the time, The Orange Box contained Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2:Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2, and Portal.

For Portal alone, The Orange Box was worth it.

The Orange Box


3. Half-Life

With the original Half-Life capturing a well-deserved third place, Valve dominates the top 3 spots for the best PC games of all time.

Half-Life was based on a heavily modified version of the id Software’s Quake engine, and like Quake was embraced by the modding community.

Counter-Strike, now a popular game in its own right, began as a Half-Life mod.

Half-Life headcrab attack


4. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

With brilliantly written stories and characters, an ear-worm of a musical score, and top-notch voice acting, Black Isle Studios developed and published some of the greatest Western computer role-playing games ever.

Baldur's Gate 2

Baldur’s Gate 2


5. Civilization II

Sid Meier’s Civilization 2 is a turn-based explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate strategy game that is popular with critics and Metacritic users alike.

Sid Meiers Civilization 2 II Groovy Map


6. Quake

In many ways Quake paved the way for the modern first-person shooter genre. Not only thanks to its widely-used engine, but also through its mechanics, and openness to modification.

quake screenshot


7. Grim Fandango

An iconic title from LucasArts, Grim Fandango is an adventure game masterpiece.

Featuring memorable characters and a creative, intriguing story, the game ranks at seventh place on Metacritic’s top 10.

Grim Fandango old


8. Diablo

Diablo was one of 3 major franchises that Blizzard Entertainment launched in the 1990s.

While Diablo 3, WarCraft 3, and StarCraft or StarCraft 2 could’ve held this spot, it is Diablo that has the highest aggregate critic rating of Blizzard’s games on Metacritic.

Diablo


9. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

While my pick for this spot would have been Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Metacritic has spoken.

Civilization IV gameplay


10. Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes built on the interesting new real-time strategy (RTS) mechanics that Relic Entertainment introduced with Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and moved it to a World War 2 setting.

In addition to being a great co-operative or competitive RTS, it also had a great single player campaign.

Company of Heroes screenshot


Honourable mentions

Not everyone can make it into the top 10, and there are a few games on PC that deserve a mention for an article like this one to be complete.

In addition to PC exclusives, the list of honourable mentions also includes some titles that were part of a franchise that made its start on PC.


StarCraft 2

Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm screenshot_07


Undertale

Undertale


Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft


Portal 2

Portal 2


Unreal Tournament 2004

Unreal Tournament 2004 blazed trails back in 2004, and remains popular today


BioShock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite screenshot 5

 


The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Games you've never finished - The Witcher 3


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