Best PC games 2018: The greatest PC games to give or receive this Christmas
Christmas is coming up, and if you’re thinking of buying someone (or yourself) a PC game as a present you’re confronted with the realisation that there are quite a few of them! Unlike Xbox One or PS4 titles they don’t become obsolete with a new piece of hardware comes out, and a game may stay popular for years after release – or become completely forgotten immediately. The best PC games stay available to buy or download forever.
However it’s worth brushing up on some of the biggest hits of the last few years, as well as the current year, to make sure any game you buy is worth it. While we could sit here and simply list the absolute classic PC games on Steam, Amazon or other retailers, from Half-Life 2 to Theme Hospital, not to mention all the incredibly granular indie projects out there, we’ve instead opt to list some recent classics or currently-popular games.
It’s also worth nothing that many of these will regularly go on sale, with the Steam Sale being a regular staple in the PC gamer calendar and GOG also offering up regular discounts around the same time too. There’s also plenty of PC game deals to be had all year round.
Read on for the PC games we highly rate in 2018.
The Best PC games in 2018
1. Divinity: Original Sin II
The ultimate game for anyone who has a love for Dungeons and Dragons. There’s not another RPG out there that lets you do anywhere near as much as what Divinity: Original Sin II does, or with as much humour and character.
Combat is turn-based, which may take a while to settle into if you’re used to faster paced action, but once you crack it Divinity 2 is a delight to play. From cannibal elves to conversationalist dogs, the world of the game is endlessly imaginative. If you’re looking for an RPG that’s both deep yet enjoyable, and you miss the days of Neverwinter Nights, this is the one for you.
2. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The latest Assassin’s Creed game – the 11th in the main series – surprises by being actually very good. Set in Ancient Greece during the wars between Sparta and Athens, it pushes further in the RPG direction set out by its also-very-good predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins. This time around, there’s a choice between a male and female character, and brancing, Bioware-style dialogue trees.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Easily the finest open-world western RPG yet made, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PC outshines both the PS4 and Xbox One versions simply by being even more beautiful. Even without its two expansions – “Heart of Stone” and “ Blood and Wine” – this is easily a 100+ hour game that never drops the ball in terms of storytelling or combat. In fact, some of The Witcher 3’s most memorable moments come in its unexpected elements, such as side quests that wonderfully weave into the main story or come back to bite you in the backside tens of hours later. If you’ve not already given it a go, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
4. What Remains of Edith Finch
Created by the team behind the excellent The Unfinished Swan, What Remains of Edith Finch is a fantastic narrative-driven exploration game in the vein of Dear Esther, Gone Home and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Playing as Edith, you explore your childhood home, venturing from room to room as you explore a slice about each member of the Finch family. It’s a walking simulator, but unlike any other you’ll have played before.
Celeste is certainly one of the most popular indie games of 2018 – it won Best Indie Game at The Game Awards 2018 as well as Games for Impact, and it’s quickly created a passionate following. On the surface it seems like a cute 2D platformer but it’s actually a lot more. It’s intricatedly designed and a pleasure to play.
6. Total War: Warhammer II
The Total War series has been running for years, spanning various points in time to bring historical campaigns and skirmishes to life. It’s always succeeded in doing a great job of it too, so it should come as no surprise that when Creative Assembly turned its hand to the Warhammer franchise, it managed to create yet another golden egg. Total War: Warhammer II builds upon the excellent systems of Total War: Warhammer but expands the battlefield beyond a mere continent to encapsulate the entire world instead. This is a global conflict within the Warhammer universe and an absolute must-play for RTS, Warhammer and Total War fans alike.
FrostPunk is perhaps the bleakest city-building simulator you can find. In it you must build and manage a city during a frosty apocalypse, and need to design a city that provides for heat, health and hope for its inhabitants. It’s certainly a lot more novel than most city building simulators, and requires you to make hard choices to ensure the city survives. It’s from the developers of indie hit This War of Mine, so you know know it’s a gripping game.
8. Into the Breach
Avid PC gamers will remember FTL: Faster Than Light from a few years ago, which was a charming and endlessly playable sci-fi roguelike. The same developers released in 2018 Into the Breach, a strategy game about using giant robots to defend cities from giant monsters. It’s got a cute but effective art style, complex and compelling mechanics, and the backing of big names – it won Best Strategy game at The Game Awards 2018.
Coming from one half of fantastic indie developer Vlambeer and a small team of others, Jan Willem Nijman and co’s Legend of Zelda-inspired RPG gives you just sixty seconds to explore and complete objectives. After your time is up, you die on the spot and restart back at your home, meaning each second is incredibly valuable for exploration. Looking a bit like a classic Game Boy game, Minit is almost unputdownable and there’s no greater sense of accomplishment than making huge discoveries in the short time frame the game gives you. An absolute must-play for any PC gamer.
10. Okami HD
No matter how many years pass, Ōkami will remain one of the greatest action adventure games ever made. Now out on PC for the first time and in glorious HD (with support up to 4K resolutions) its Sumi e-ink visuals have never looked better. Playing as Amaterasu, a Shinto sun god embodied by a white wolf, it’s your job to return the land to peace once more. It’s painterly take on Zelda-like dungeons and an open world make it truly wonderful to play and its setting is dripping in classical Japanese history, myths, legends and folklore it’s hard not to fall for its charms.