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Sometimes smaller games can get buried in bigger announcements or AAA hype. But after playing a ton of indie games at GDC this year, we have a lot to be excited for. Make sure to keep these 13 games on your radar. Most kids who grew up in the 80s had that one game they rented over and over again to the point that they were better off buying the game outright.

For me, that was Blaster Master. The Nintendo Switch launch line-up has been graced with a pseudo-sequel that looks and feels like it could potentially capture the exploratory appeal of the original game, much thanks to the talents of Inti Creates, whose respect for retro-styled games include Mega Man 9 and It also helps immensely that it looks like what a Blaster Master sequel should be, right down to the chibi-styled hero.

Lastly, a bonus feature that I’m looking forward to playing more is its co-op, which is new to the series. If your nephew became involved with a cult before suddenly leaving the country to follow the cult’s leaders to a remote compound, what would you do?

Would you track him down and try to rescue him? Would you use deadly force to get him out? Would you trust him to make his own decisions and leave him with his new family? These are the questions posed by The Church in the Darkness , a top-down, rogue-lite, stealth-action game set somewhere in rural South America. Though the layout of the cult’s compound never changes, the tone and conduct of the cult itself differs from playthrough to playthrough.

You might see a man being whipped on a cross in one session, yet simply find people praying beneath that cross when you play through again. That means your job is to find clues, work with a rotating cast of characters, and locate your nephew while avoiding detection whenever possible. You can use disguises, dart guns, or even lethal force to uncover the truth.

And based on your choices, you’ll see one of a wide variety of endings. If you have an opportunity to get hands-on with a new game by the folks behind Rogue Legacy, you jump on it.

This promises to be a hectic action-RPG where you’re expected to mix ranged combat with swordplay. The ideal setup would be to form a foursome, though you can also play solo. One benefit of solo play is the ability to jump back and forth between two characters. This can be beneficial if you pick, say, a brawler and a sniper, which can make you very well-rounded. And despite its arcade style gameplay, Full Metal Furies also features a skill tree, so expect some degree of combat depth and character customization.

Knights and Bikes is a game about friends, adventures, riding around on your bicycle, and fighting enemies in dark dungeons. But more than those details that make it look and sound like a fun game, what stood out from my experience with a demo was how human the characters seem.

The main characters use asthma inhalers to get a little extra boost when riding their bikes. Their weapons for taking down the baddies in this seemingly imaginary world are frisbees and rain boots. But most human of all, Knights and Bikes slows down to let its characters reflect on their own situation.

The two friends live in a grim world where their escapist adventure seems to be what helps them cope with the real world, and I look forward to seeing more of what this world has in store. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series is, in a lot of ways, a blank slate kind of game. It’s about exploring and relaxing, but the games take place without a sense of real location or a specific time period.

Mineko’s Night Market , on the other hand, is Animal Crossing filtered through an modern-day anime-style sieve and then sprinkled liberally with cats. Lots of fluffy, adorable cats. While artistically distinct, the underlying Animal Crossing-ness of Mineko’s is apparent from its focus on quirky villagers, simple collecting and fishing, and lots of daily tasks. But Mineko adds its own gameplay twists through activities like competitive races and the titular night market–a cornucopia of eating experiences and your chance to run your own food-selling stall.

In the genre of “games I play to relax and not stress too much about” Animal Crossing is a hard game to compete with, but I look forward to seeing more from Mineko’s Night Market.

Necrobarista is an anime-style visual novel with a bit of a morbid twist, taking inspiration from series like Death Parade and Time of Eve. Like many visual novels, Necrobarista has a touch of romance, but its main focus is on its characters and the kinds of interactions they would have in an environment with so much ambiguity.

Necrobarista aims to tell those branching stories in replayable, anime episode-length scenes. Though Resident Evil 7 may ultimately drag survival-horror back into the mainstream, the genre has been absolutely thriving in the indie space for the past few years.

Games like Outlast and Amnesia: The Dark Descent have not only carried the torch but actually pushed the genre forward while Silent Hill faded into obscurity and Resident Evil devolved into blockbuster action. Observer looks to keep this trend going by taking a novel cyberpunk approach to horror. You control a futuristic detective who hacks into his clients’ minds and, essentially, lives out their deepest terrors.

It’s disorienting, but it also feels totally new. That freshness, coupled with the sci-fi dystopian premise, makes Observer a game worth watching. Ooblets is adorable. The relaxing, subdued hues of its world are home to pudgy, rolly, quirky creatures called Ooblets that you can collect and fight–they’re a little like Pokemon, but the emphasis of the game Ooblets isn’t traveling the world and being the very best.

Instead, raising your creatures is just one part of a game that’s also about running a farm and managing friendships in your town. You’re still free to try and be the very best Ooblets trainer, but the game seems like it won’t judge you if you want to relax and focus on your running your shop and exploring the nearby town. And did I mention the game has dancing? When you win a battle, your character does a fun little dance. Ooblets is set to arrive on PC and Xbox One in mid Steam is densely populated with survival games, but Osiris: New Dawn puts a grounded sci-fi spin on the formula popularized by games like Rust and DayZ.

Rather than fighting zombies, Osiris sees you battling alien creatures as a near-future space explorer who’s crash landed on a colorful but inhospitable planet. You must build a base, craft items, construct vehicles, weather storms, and yes, blast aliens if you hope to survive. You can go it alone or choose to partner with friends online to brave your new world together.

Osiris has actually been available through Steam Early Access since last September, but thanks to a steady stream of updates, Osiris may be worth your time now more than ever. And according to the devs, there’s plenty more to come: the team plans on adding new visual effects, deeper narrative elements including real-time cinematics , raid-like dungeons, craftable space stations, and even an entirely new planet, all within the next year.

Perhaps it’s time you made space for Osiris. It doesn’t take much for a game with a cyberpunk art style to pique my interest, especially if that aesthetic has an anime influence. Ruiner is one such game, conceived by the folks at Reikon, a Polish studio made up of developers whose credits include The Witcher 3 and Dying Light. The fact that my demo didn’t include controller support yet showed just how eager Reikon was to show off this action shooter at the GDC ID Xbox Showcase. Attacking by pointing and clicking was easy enough; I was well armed with melee and ranged weapons which was more than enough to take down every opponent in this brief demo.

Beyond the intense combat, I was enamoured with Reikon’s dedication to their futurist urban look, from the Blade Runner-inspired use of neon colors and Kanji typeface to the metal surroundings of the stronghold I was escaping or infiltrating? And I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the contributors to Ruiner’s soundtrack is Susumu Hirasawa, who composed the music in some of the works of the late animation legend, Satoshi Kon.

However, its mechanics differ wildly from those games. In Snake Pass, you control a snake named Noodle, slithering and curling around objects while navigating intricate obstacles and solving a multitude of physics-based puzzles. For instance, successfully wrapping yourself around a lone pole over a bottomless pit requires you to take advantage of Noodle’s center of gravity; otherwise, you’ll fall to your death.

Snake Pass is grounded in the reality of its premise, displaying a strong attention to detail in its rules and mechanics. The strength of its formula and style make it well worth looking out for. Tokyo 42 is an isometric action game that comes from SMAC Games, whose developers were heavily influenced by their trips to Japan when coming up with the game’s aesthetic.

SMAC’s urban interpretation in Tokyo 42 pops with vibrancy with cute bear sculptures and modern architecture. Since you play a stealthy assassin, being able to rotate the camera helps a great deal in getting good vantages points for long range kills, not to mention the lay of the land. If there’s one main takeaway from playing Tokyo 42 for 15 minutes, it is its high but not off-putting difficulty. It’s very easy to get detected, so expect to switch gears from offense to defense often.

Aside from your trusty sniper rifle, you’ll have other gear like grenades to ensure you can make a proper retreat. The deceptively adorable Tumbleseed tasks you, a small seed, with scaling a fearsome mountain. You have to carefully roll from side to side on a branch to ascend, avoiding monsters and holes that will send you falling down to your last checkpoint. You also have access to over 30 seed powers, like defensive thorns and health regeneration, that you can obtain from stopping at patches of soil.

Tumbleseed is all about balancing, often times literally–but you also have to manage your health, decide when to use powers, and manually plant checkpoint flags, all while not dying or falling. Upvote 26 Leave Blank. Load Comments 5.


13 Coolest Games You’ve Never Heard Of – GameSpot.The 25 Best PC Games to Play Right Now – IGN

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30 best PC games to play right now | GamesRadar+

Remeniscent of theme-park builders of old, the game takes classic ideas and builds upon it with a spectacular array of features.


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However, it’s the slower moments in which you visit the friends and family of protagonist Zagreus between runs that grab hold and keep you fighting for the truth. In most roguelikes, you care solely about making it further than your last run, but Hades does more: It blends action and story, striking a delicate balance of clawing your way toward the overworld and growing your relationships. See our Hades review. Years in the making, the return of Master Chief saw the legendary hero hit the ground running with a new and epic adventure.

Even after a lengthy amount of hibernation, Master Chief’s newest odyssey shows no signs of ring rust and is augmented by a few new tricks up his Mjolnir-armored sleeve. While the main single-player campaign is a treat that’s packed with massive setpieces and satisfying action, the multiplayer side is no slouch other and offers a ton of modes to try out. If you’re feeling competitive or nostalgic, Halo Infinite hits a sweet spot for fans looking to revisit a franchise that has matured with them over the years.

See our Halo Infinite review. IO Interactive’s grand World of Assassination trilogy reached its final chapter in , as Hitman 3 built on the efforts made by its predecessors to create a perfectly executed experience. Bigger, bolder, and more cunning than ever, Agent 47’s journey around the world saw him explore an opulent Dubai skyscraper, solve a murder mystery in an ancient British mansion, and turn a train into a slaughterhouse as he worked his way through each cabin.

Each destination offers not only some devilishly delicious ways to eliminate targets, but also plenty of room for experimentation that leads to hilarious and grim demises for anyone who gets in your way. See our Hitman 3 review. At first glance, Inscryption looks like a mixture of tabletop card games with a healthy dose of deckbuilding thrown in for good measure as you risk your very life in a high-stakes game of survival. Throw in some roguelite progression, mystery, and a creepy art direction, and you’ve got the perfect mix for a game that hides more mesmerizing content beneath its surface.

Absolutely strange while it deals out its ideas, that weirdness makes Inscryption the type of game that’ll live rent-free in your head long after you’ve played your last card. League of Legends is one of the most popular competitive games for a reason.

From its strategic combat and mechanical depth to its colorful characters, it’s hard not to get sucked into game after game of this MOBA. While there’s a lot to learn, it’s not as mechanically dense or difficult to master as Dota 2, providing a more welcoming experience to those wanting to get into the MOBA world.

See our League of Legends review. One of the most original indie games of the year, Loop Hero can’t be defined by any single genre. A creatively clever mix of RPG staples, deck-building charm, and brutal strategy, Loop Hero merges all of these elements together to create a bold and fresh adventure that’ll keep you occupied for hours on end.

See our Loop Hero review. If soaring through the air and flying around the world is a dream of yours, there’s no better game than Microsoft Flight Simulator. You can fly out of almost any airport in the world, including smaller airports in quieter towns, and go literally anywhere on Earth–though landing may be difficult in places like the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest. Microsoft used satellite imagery to recreate the world in-game, and it’s improving both the game and map all the time.

If there was ever a reason to invest in a flight stick or yoke system , it’s Microsoft Flight Simulator. See our Microsoft Flight Simulator review. Minecraft is a global phenomenon for a reason. Its crafting, base building, and survival-lite mechanics are unmatched, providing both an engaging and accessible experience to people of all ages and walks of life. Crafting huge castles, cozy homes, or monuments to your favorite video game character is a joyful time, while venturing toward the Nether is a tense experience that you’re not sure you’ll return from.

Whether you’re building up a huge tower or exploring the depths of the perilous mines, Minecraft remains an exciting time that can be enjoyed with friends or by yourself. Just make those Creepers don’t get too close to your house. See our Minecraft review. After Monster Hunter World set a new benchmark for what the Capcom series was capable of, Monster Hunter: Rise had some big dragon leather boots to fill.

Monster Hunter Rise is a showcase of what happens when you take the lessons learned from something new and apply it to an older example of Monster Hunter greatness, as the newest game in the series expertly shifted back to all-out action.

Originally designed for the Nintendo Switch, Rise’s port to PC came with a ton of free post-launch content, graphical upgrades, and performance enhancements that make this version the definitive edition of an already fantastic game. See our Monster Hunter Rise review. The latest OlliOlli game isn’t just a substantial visual upgrade when compared to previous entries in the series, but a mechanically satisfying rail-grind of sick flips and gnarly halfpipe tricks.

OlliOlli World is unmatched when it comes to instantly flipping between meditative skateboarding and high score-chasing thrills, but throw in a funky soundtrack, finding secrets throughout Radlandia’s five different areas, and getting into your unique rhythm makes for a magical experience. A perfect example of just-one-more-turn gameplay, don’t be surprised to lose track of time in this masterpiece of arcade-style skateboarding.

See our OlliOlli World review. Portal 2 remains one of the funniest and most inventive puzzlers in games. It successfully built on the mind-bending multidimensional ideas of the first game and somehow elevated its storytelling and characterization to become incredibly fun and memorable. Those things alone would make Portal 2 worthy of your attention, but there’s additional content that comes with playing the game on PC. Not only is there online and local co-op that extend the game beyond its single-player offering, but there’s a huge amount of user-created content that includes whole story campaigns.

Portal 2 is great fun no matter where you play it, but with modding and puzzles built by other players, you get a superior experience on PC–and a ton more Portal to play for free. See our Portal 2 review. After years of development, developer Double Fine’s sequel to its cult-classic mind-warping adventure Psychonauts was finally ready to be unleashed. An absolute triumph of imaginative visual design and emotional storytelling, Psychonauts 2 confronts topics of mental wellbeing, regret, and grief in a way that is both heartfelt and touching, but never disrespectful to anyone who can relate to the issues being discussed.

Fun and emotionally educational. See our Psychonauts 2 review. Rainbow Six Siege is an adept mix of first-person shooting, strategic planning, and tactical teamwork. Two teams of five vie for control of a building, where the goal is to capture an objective, defuse a bomb, or secure a hostage. The brilliance of Siege comes in learning these buildings in and out and knowing how to work with your teammates to get in and out most effectively. Map knowledge can trump twitch shooting in the most dire of situations, rewarding its players for smart thinking and careful play.

Siege is available on consoles, but the definitive way to play it is on PC with a keyboard and mouse. See our Rainbow Six Siege review. A prequel to the original game, the story delivers some eye-opening revelations about the wider Red Dead universe. The gameplay and world-building are incredible, with lots of freedom available for players to do whatever they want as they set out onto the frontier as Arthur Morgan.

The game is also gorgeous , especially on PC for those with a capable enough rig. The sweeping mountain visits and bubbling rivers shine on PC, making Red Dead Redemption 2 one of the best games we can recommend on PC. See our Red Dead Redemption 2 review. See our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review. Only The Stanley Parable, a nearly unexplainable game where things get regularly weird and meta, could get away with hiding what amounts to a sequel within the frame of an expanded re-release of the original game.

Like the original title, the strange and hilariously distracted nature of The Stanley Parable is something that you have to experience for yourself, as words simply do not do it justice. With the Ultra Deluxe edition, you’re getting an experience that feels like a game within a game, adding the illusion of freedom and other surprises along the way. It’s nothing short of a clever and thought-provoking examination of video games and the relationship that we have with them.

It starts with an old broken-down farm and a handful of seeds. You clear out the weeds and rocks until you get tired, and then you do it again. You get into the rhythm of daily life–visiting friends, watering crops, occasional light spelunking. Before you know it, it’s been 75 hours and you’re mostly managing your complex irrigation system and planning for next season’s harvest.

Stardew Valley is a friendly, relaxing experience that also somehow manages to be endlessly addicting. Fans know the feeling of assuring themselves they’ll play just one more day before bed. And while it’s appeared on just about every platform, PC often gets the first chance to test all of the little quality-of-life tweaks and new features that come with patches–most recently the massive 1.

Plus, there’s a huge library of mods that let you tweak various gameplay elements, give the game a new aesthetic, and even add extensive new content and characters see: Stardew Valley Expanded. Keeping up with Stardew Valley on PC is the best way to make sure your farming life never gets stale. See our Stardew Valley review. It’s true that since its release in , The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been ported to just about every platform that can play games, including Amazon Alexa speakers and smart refrigerators.

But the king of all Skyrim versions is the one on PC, and it’s not even close. That’s because the PC version gives you access to years of mods created by the Skyrim community. From adding serious RPG story content to providing ridiculous possibilities like replacing all dragons with Thomas the Tank Engine, the PC version of Skyrim adds nearly endless options to an already expansive, enormous game.

You absolutely should play Skyrim on PC if you haven’t, and you absolutely should mod it to see how the game has become so much more than it was when it was released. The Witcher 3 puts Geralt on a quest to find Ciri, a witcher in training who’s like a daughter to him. He reconnects with old flames, friends, and adversaries as he searches far and wide for her. Of course, there’s an abundance of side quests and characters to meet along the way, which will undoubtedly keep you busy for hours.

Many of these quests require you to slay monsters, a witcher’s main trade, and you’ll have to prepare accordingly to defeat them by sword, witcher magic, and potions.

All this–and we didn’t even get into the two excellent expansions–makes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt an essential PC game. See our The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review. If Death’s Door didn’t satiate your hunger for a Zelda-like adventure, then Tunic is well-equipped to fill you up with some nostalgic and cathartic gameplay.

Not just an homage to Zelda games of the NES and SNES eras, Tunic’s familiar green clothing and swordplay in a vibrant and colorful world is balanced by a collection of amazing puzzles and challenges that require quick reflexes and superb wits.

Evocative of a bygone time and somehow still feeling like a completely fresh take on the subject matter, this love letter to the past was years in the making and more than delivers on its elevator pitch of exploration and wonder.

See our Tunic review. The initial response to Valorant was that it’s basically a mashup where Overwatch meets Counter-Strike–and yeah, that’s pretty accurate. That’s also a good thing, because Valorant draws on many of the strengths of those games to make something unique. It focuses on the round-based demolition-style game mode with two teams of five attackers and defenders on balanced maps with specific lanes and sightlines and an extremely fast time-to-kill.

However, each agent or character has their own unique abilities that add another strategic layer to combat. Team composition plays a major role, and each agent affects what the team is capable of in each high-stakes situation. It’s intense and demanding, but so rewarding. Valorant is still early in its lifespan. But we’ve seen content updates and changes in its first year and it’s been quite successful, so you can expect the game to get more support moving forward. If a competitive FPS with layered tactics, precise gunplay, and intense moments is your thing, Valorant is worth a try.

See our Valorant review. You can never go wrong with a one-two combo of RPG goodness and tactical action, something which Wildermyth excels at.

An examination of the power of stories, Wildermyth delivers on an ambitious idea with flexible systems and imaginative campaigns. What starts out as stock-standard RPG fare quickly evolves along the way into something that feels grander and more personal, while challenging gameplay and procedurally-generated content adds a few extra hurdles along the way.

Finding the right balance in a strategy game is extremely difficult, as the best ones are challenging enough to necessitate smart play without being too punishing. Set after the first game, when aliens have nearly completely conquered Earth, XCOM 2 certainly casts you as an underdog, but it gives you the tools you need to take the fight to the invaders with careful planning. Moving your units around and getting a view of the whole battlefield is perfect with a keyboard and mouse. See our XCOM 2 review.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly?

Email news gamespot. See deal at Microsoft. See at Amazon. Apex Legends. See on Steam. Before Your Eyes. Chicory: A Colorful Tale.

Civilization VI. See on Fanatical. Control Ultimate Edition. See on GOG. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Death’s Door.

Destiny 2. Disco Elysium. Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition. Dota 2. Elden Ring. Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters. See on the Epic Games Store. Final Fantasy 14 Online. Forza Horizon 5. Maybe your life-support system will be hacked and everyone will suffocate. Its tactical combat never gets old, tons of loot and random events keep every game feeling unpredictable, and unlockable ships force you to change up your strategies on subsequent runs.

And every so often, you might even win. In a roguelike, variety is king: Slay The Spire ‘s constantly changing decks of ability cards, powerful relics, and the three drastically different playable characters keeps these turn-based battles fresh and engaging for far longer than they have any right to.

Watching your character’s attacks, defenses, skills, and powers evolve across its three chapters is a journey, and throwing your hand in at the end of a run knowing you may never see its like again can be like saying goodbye to a friend you were only just getting to know.

Of course, the possibility of getting an even better combination the next time through makes it tough to resist hitting the New Game button, and the randomized Daily Climb runs give even veterans a new and interesting way to play every day. Inspired by the gunplay and movement from Respawn’s acclaimed Titanfall 2 , Apex also implemented Overwatch-style character abilities, which made it feel completely distinct from the other major players in the genre.

While Apex is out on PlayStation, Xbox, and now Switch and mobile, on PC Apex feels the most fluid and natural as it gives us the freedom to fully capitalize on the range of movement it offers. It also has Apex Arenas as a permanent mode that emulates round-based matches like those in Valorant, where you can buy your abilities and weapons before each round and features 3v3 matchups.

And with its consistent pace of updates every three to four months, Apex Legends stands out as one of the best free-to-play PC games, year after year. Apex Legends: Hunted, the shooter’s next major update coming August 9, introduces a new character named Vantage.

This reinvention of the classic series is truly fantastic, all the way from its excellent and challenging combat to the incredibly touching story that weaves it together. It masterfully mixes pieces of classic cRPGs with more modern mechanics and designs, feeling old and new at the same time.

The sequel has improved upon its predecessor’s already incredible combat by deepening its systems while simultaneously simplifying and smoothing out its clunkier bits – not to mention it introduced some brutally smart new AI. There’s also an overwhelming amount of game here to play. With six different origin characters, custom tags to make your own, and over 74, lines of fully voiced dialogue, this massive RPG has more than enough to keep you coming back to it. Through its relaunch and subsequent four expansions, FFXIV has slowly morphed from a relatively generic good-versus-evil plot into a sprawling, political, and fantastical thriller.

Story missions are intended to be tackled solo, and even instanced dungeons now have an option for you to enter with computer-controlled party members instead of forcing you into a group with strangers.

Series fans may also be interested in Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth , due out in Summer and Winter , respectively. From its exhilarating combat, to its incredible soundtrack, to its clever and well written narrative with characters that seemingly never run out of meaningful things to say, all the way to its deep and innovative post game that keeps you wanting to come back for more even after beating the last boss.

Hades is incredibly difficult, but it never feels punishing in defeat. Dying is part of the game, and actually comes with its own rewards in the form of new conversations with its fascinating cast of characters, new opportunities to purchase game changing upgrades, and an opportunity for a brand new run with a completely new set of godly boons that dramatically alter how you approach combat. Every 22 minutes, everything ends — and restarts again. The sands that had passed between twin planets go back to their original place, a planet that had fallen apart becomes whole, and you awaken to see a mysterious object in space break apart once again.

In Outer Wilds , you live through those same 22 minutes until you can successfully solve the puzzle of why you’re stuck in the time loop, among other mysteries, by exploring ruins left by a long-dead civilization across multiple planets. This gorgeous, heartfelt space adventure is one of the best examples of video game exploration and discovery. Outer Wilds encourages you to hop into your spaceship and go wherever you want — or just stay on your home planet and see what’s happening there.

Should you feel lost or need a hint on what to do next, all of your activities and progress are saved to your ship’s log, which helpfully tells you when there’s still more to discover in an area.

The only thing limiting your curiosity is time, but even that can sometimes be your ally. The short expansion’s puzzles are just as enjoyable as what you’ll find in the rest of Outer Wilds, but the pervasive, menacing tension in Echoes of the Eye makes each step forward in the overall mystery feel even more rewarding.

Its sprawling caves open up and offer multiple paths to you at any given time, but no matter which way you go there are exciting bosses to fight and significant power-ups to make you stronger. And even though it was already a massive game, Hollow Knight has only gotten bigger since its launch in early Developer Team Cherry released multiple free updates with new areas and bosses, each harder than the last. But whether you just want to get to the credits, find the true ending, or push even farther than that, Hallownest is a world worth exploring.

A sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong , will seemingly be released sometime before June Crusader Kings 3 gives you many ways to tell those stories, be it overwhelming military might, the diplomacy of a well-placed betrothal, or ending your enemies with a cloak-and-dagger plot. The latest expansion, Royal Court, adds a zoomed-in physical space where your ruler can look their subjects in the eye, passing down individual judgements in addition to making realm-wide decrees.

The expansion also weaves an intricate overhauled culture system throughout the game, giving you more opportunities to make your empire feel unique, with all the benefits and penalties that entails.

Its world is a wonder to explore, with memorable experiences, valuable rewards, and imposing boss fights covering nearly every square inch of its absolutely enormous map. The only thing that holds it back on this list is the fact that it still struggles a bit performance-wise on the PC.

On top of being IGN’s best-reviewed game of , Elden Ring is one of the best-reviewed games in modern history. As well as transplanting the dice-rolls and deep dialogue options from Dungeons and Dragons into a lesser-seen noir-detective setting, it offers entirely original ways to play, such as such as debating against 24 different sections of your own brain, each representative of a different skill or trait.

Your down-and-out detective is thrust into circumstances where you must solve a murder, but with all great stories its not the conclusion that is solely gratifying, but the journey you took to get there as its ludicrously detailed world and cast of characters drive it along, supported by some of the best writing seen in a game.

It has the same tension of going from a technologically inferior underdog to powerful war machine, with the constant threat of the permanent death of your customized soldiers looming over every decision. However, it turns the formula of defending Earth from alien invaders on its head by boldly recasting XCOM as a guerrilla force attempting to liberate the planet from alien occupation, making the situation feel even more desperate than ever.

This bigger, deeper sequel adds not just complexity in the form of new and more powerful soldier classes, equipment, and aliens, but also a huge focus on replayability. Procedurally generated maps keep you from falling into a repeatable pattern in tactical missions, frequent random events on the strategic map shake up your build and research orders, and of course mods galore. The “visually and technically enhanced” version of The Witcher 3 will now be released during Q4 Just as the first Half-Life proved you could tell a compelling story in a first-person game without taking control of the camera away, and Half-Life 2 pioneered physics-based puzzles and combat, Half-Life: Alyx set a new standard for polish in virtual reality shooters and is a truly unique experience.

Alyx’s full-length campaign pulls out all the stops for an amazing and horrifying battle against aliens and zombies where the simple act of reloading your weapon becomes a desperate life-or-death struggle as headcrabs leap toward your actual face. Other VR games have great shooting, but even more than a year later nothing has yet matched Valve’s level of detail. Clever three-dimensional puzzles and excellent and often funny performances from its cast break up the action, and it’s all capped off with a fantastic ending that made the decade-plus we had to wait for the third coming of Half-Life almost feel worth it.

Coming off a relatively slow July, let’s look ahead to the first half of August. Two days later, Iron Galaxy will release its free-to-play, wrestling-inspired battle royale Rumbleverse.

PC players can then look forward to Rollerdrome, a “third-person shooter-skater game” from the makers of OlliOlli World , on August Those are our picks for the 25 best modern PC games! Let us know in the comments what’s on your list that didn’t make ours, and be sure to check out our other best games lists — we update them whenever new, great games are made:.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut. Elden Ring.

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