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Best PC games 2020: the must-play titles you don’t want to miss

The best PC games will immerse you in new and distant worlds for hours, days and maybe even weeks. Not only are they getting bigger and sometimes more challenging, but they’re also looking more stunning than ever. With all the power that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, Super RTX and AMD’s Navi line of graphics cards give gaming PCs on the market, PC gaming has never looked better.

That’s not limited to one genre, either. If you’re not into the best MMOs or MOBAs, then you can dig into games that drip with nostalgia for the classics or trample around in gorgeous open-world games, some of which come with an extra layer of realism thanks to ray-tracing. Or maybe platformers, strategy, or even co-op PC games to take on your friends is more your speed.

Since there’s such a plethora of games to choose from, there’s something out there that will draw you in. We’ve rounded up our favorites, including the best Steam games 2020, for this list of games you should dig into. Read on if you want help guiding you down that next rabbit hole.

The best new PC game: Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

The 90’s are still alive in the form of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. This doesn’t just have a remastered version of the original game from 1995. It also has Red Alert as well as the games’ three expansion packs for over 100 missions and over 250 multiplayer maps. That’s quite a lot of content in this release, then.

The remastering includes upscaling the cinematics, remastering the music (including 20 re-recorded tracks), and most importantly, setting the game in 4K resolution. The controls have been updated for a modern experience including the ability to use hotkeys. And, the game comes with mod support for those who want to add their own spin to the game.

The core of the game is still mostly the same as it was in the 90’s so if you’re looking for a great looking, great sounding blast from the past, then this is the perfect escape for you.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might just be one of the best video games of all time.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is aging like fine wine. Even several years after it hit the streets, it’s still one of the most impressive open world games that’s ever existed – mixing Skyrim’s unapologetic scale with Grand Theft Auto V’s incredible depth. It’s such a jam-packed game, which is why it claims the top spot on our list of the best PC games in 2020. Staggering, beautiful and an absolute time sink – in a good way – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn’t just the best PC game of 2020 or among the best open world games on PC. It might just be one of the best video games of all time.

2. Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 improves on everything you like about the Souls series by blending it with elements found in Bloodborne.

While it's arguably not as hard as earlier titles in the series, From Software's Dark Souls 3 takes everything you like about the Souls series and improves on it by blending it with elements found in Bloodborne, the developer's more recent title for PS4.

We won’t sugar coat it: you’re going to die in Dark Souls 3, perhaps more than once. It takes patience to master its complex combat system, but it also plays fair, which makes it more approachable for casual players so they too can take part in its bleak, fantastical world. And, on the bright side, it’s much more optimized for PC than the first two games. Now that you can pick up Dark Souls: Remastered, and see where the apocalyptic series began, there’s never been a better time to link the first flame.

3. Control

Control

There’s nothing quite like Control on the market.

It’s not hard to see why Control has taken the gaming world by storm. The creative team at Remedy Entertainment made sure to pack this title with plenty to love, paying very close attention to the intricate details. A deeply cinematic game, this action-adventure offers its players staggering visuals, inspired environment design and brilliant performances – not to mention, a deeply satisfying combat experience.

Control places you in the capable shoes of fiery-haired Jesse Faden. You’re tasked to seek out The Oldest House, a building in New York City that’s in a constant state of architectural flux and only appears to those who desire to find it, and locate your missing brother, all while heading the Federal Bureau of Control as its director and overseeing the containment of paranatural entities.

There’s nothing quite like Control on the market, and it makes it one of the best PC games to play right now.

4. Monster Hunter World

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter: World is the PC game of your dreams.

Monster Hunter is one of the biggest gaming franchises you’ve probably never heard of for years now. With Monster Hunter: World, the series broke into the mainstream and came to the PC (much to many gamers’ relief), and now, it’s one of the best PC games you can play to date. 

Monster Hunter: World puts you in the shoes of a monster hunter, and you’ll hunt increasingly bigger and meaner monsters, strip them for parts, and craft bigger, badder armor. It’s a deviously simple gameplay loop that ends up being one of the most compelling and rewarding PC games you can play right now. 

There’s an incessant onslaught of content in this game, and Capcom, the developers of this monster hunting hit, are committed to bringing a wealth of free DLC to the game – as well as a new frosty expansion in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. If you’re looking for an addictive, immersive and most importantly, fun game to play on your own or with all your closest friends cooperatively, Monster Hunter: World is the PC game of your dreams. There’s no doubt it’s one of the best PC games you can buy today.

5. Red Dead Redemption 2

red dead redemption

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an engrossing western.

The newest release from Rockstar Games was an instant hit upon release. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an engrossing western following Arthur Morgan and his gang as they try to survive a fictionalized Wild West as outlaws on the run. However, the game is much more than just that.

Whether it’s getting lost in the story, following through on every side quest to its conclusion, or just bonding with your horse, RDR2 is one of those games where you can easily sink 50+ hours into and still have something to do. The gameplay is stellar, and the graphics are gorgeous. You can even run the game in 8K, if you have the hardware. Definitely give this a look if you haven’t already.

6. Doom: Eternal

Doom: Eternal

Doom: Eternal is a hell of a ride.

Doom: Eternal takes everything from the remastered Doom of 2016 and turns it up to 11. The game is intense, visually and sonically overwhelming, and is exactly what you would expect a fever dream inspired by Doom would feel like.

The gameplay is a seamless first-person shooter where you trek into hell to battle an assortment of never-ending demons and reclaim an overrun earth. Refilling your health sometimes requires quite literally tearing monsters apart, and there is some need to be creative with your weapon choice, depending on what demon you’re facing. However, this game is all about creating havoc and rushing into battle as loud and as brash as possible.

Not only is Doom: Eternal a hell of a ride (pun intended). It’s also a gorgeous looking game that takes advantage of the newest hardware. And, it’s a 2v1 multiplayer mode where one player takes control of the “slayer” and faces off against two more player-controlled demons.

7. Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx

Valve has graced us with what may be the most compelling reason to get a VR headset with Half-Life: Alyx.

No game has been as anticipated for as much or as long as Half Life 3. So, as gamers will have to wait a little longer for it, Valve has graced us with what may be the most compelling reason to get a VR headset with Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life: Alyx is set 5 years before Half-Life 2. What starts as a rescue mission for the protagonist’s father evolves into attempting to steal a superweapon from the alien overlords. From the interactive puzzles, the well-thought out combat and the fantastic story, this prequel is a welcome dive back into the Half-Life world that has been universally praised for its quality.

If you’re looking for an excuse to get into VR gaming, this might be the one for you. Half-Life: Alyx’s attention to detail shows what can be done with VR when taken seriously.

8. Overwatch

Overwatch

Overwatch is also one of the best PC games, owing to the fact that it runs beautifully.

Overwatch, if nothing else, has considerably changed the landscape, moving it away from the norm of gray-ish cover shooters to the domain of competitive gaming. Its bright, vibrant colors are only made better by its endearing characters, each coming with their own compelling backstories, which, though non-existent in game, make for a collection of amazing webcomics and cinematics.

Overwatch is also one of the best PC games, owing to the fact that it runs beautifully on all kinds of different hardware. Sure, it’s a little older now. However, even in 2020, it’s the best PC game for anyone with a competitive streak. If you missed out on this game before, do yourself a favor – sign in to your Battle.net account and take Overwatch – not to mention, its colorful cast of characters – for a spin today.

9. Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 brings the racing to the UK.

Microsoft's racing series is only getting better with each release, and in many ways this spin-off has exceeded the main Forza Motorsport line as the best racing games on PC at present. They're definitely more fun, adding a dash of arcade fun to the strikingly recreated cars and race tracks we've come to expect from Forza.

Forza Horizon 4 is easily one of the best PC games you can buy today, and this entry brings the racing to the UK after having explored America, France, Italy and Australia in the previous three instalments of the franchise. Now, you can rip through charming villages, seaside towns and the city of Edinburgh by way of many miles of country roads and dirt tracks in between. It's fast, frantic and a lot of fun.

You can purchase Forza Horizon 4 through the Microsoft Store. It's also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, or you can buy the Xbox One version and get a download code for PC using the Xbox Anywhere feature.

10. Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park merges the best of old school PC game design with modern technology.

Fans of classic point and click games such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, which are some of the best PC games ever made, should add Thimbleweed Park to their must play list. Made by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, two of the people behind PC classics Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, Thimbleweed Park plays like a love letter to classic point-and-click adventure games. 

From the splendid retro artwork, entertaining dialogue and perplexing puzzles, Thimbleweed Park deserves its place on our list of the best PC games, merging the best of old school PC game design with modern technology.

11. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an awfully difficult game to master.

From Software is a household name when it comes to designing the best PC games. The minds behind the critically praised Dark Souls series have transported PC gamers to some of the most forsaken landscapes and through some of the most challenging yet rewarding gameplay. From Software is back at it once more, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Sekiro places you in the shoes of the Young Wolf, a shinobi tasked with rescuing his young master. The game will take you through 16th-century Japan, but things will get eerie and supernatural: this is From Software we’re talking about. 

Don’t expect an easy time of it, however. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an awfully difficult game to master, and you’ll need quick reflexes to deflect enemy attacks, as well as to master stealth. You won’t be able to hide behind a shield all day, like you were able to in Dark Souls III.

12. Minecraft

Minecraft

Minecraft lets you construct your own worlds using resources you find in the wild.

The phrase "build it, and they will come" rings truer than ever with Minecraft, the survival-based sandbox RPG that has now been bought more than 100 million times since its release in 2009. In it, you can construct your own worlds using resources you find in the wild, or discover existing ones created by other players online. 

In Minecraft, you can either limit yourself to the numerous tools and blocks offered by the developer, Mojang, or you can install mods to truly capitalize on your investment. Moreover, sometime in 2020, you’ll be able to take part in the Super Duper Graphics Pack, an optional piece of DLC that offers more realistic lighting effects and textures to an already amazing game.

13. Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

What Sid Meier’s Civilization VI has to offer is its massive scope.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI is the most recent installment in the iconic turn-based strategy game, and it's without a doubt among the best PC games you can play to date. One of the things that make the PC the best platform for gaming on is the sheer breadth of different game genres on offer. And, what Civilization VI has to offer is its massive scope, despite the fact that it might seem slower paced next to the likes of Fortnite.

Spread your empire across the map and crush your enemies. You build up your empire from a simple settlement to a world power, and you can decide to do this through military might, technological supremacy or cultural influence. Since its launch in 2016, it has had two expansion packs that really cement this game as an epic entry in our best PC games list. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall released in February 2018, with Civilization VI: Gathering Storm following in February 2019.

14. Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Royale is actually a game mode for the Fortnite game.

It’s possibly the biggest game in the world right now, so Fortnite Battle Royale is a natural shoo-in for this list. After all, it is a global phenomenon and among the best PC games to play right now if you like super-competitive online games. This is a game people keep coming back to, and that's mostly due to its addictive gameplay and regular updates from Epic.

Fortnite Battle Royale is actually a game mode for the Fortnite game, but this mode has become so popular, many people consider it a separate game in its own right. As with other Battle Royale games, the aim of Fortnite Battle Royale is to fight your way through an ever-shrinking map until you're the last player standing. While that might sound simple enough, there's a whole lot of depth to this game once you start playing.

15. Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden is a unique creature among today’s games.

Considered one of the best RPGs to have ever come out of Japan, Persona 4 has just resurfaced as the HD remaster Persona 4 Golden. This port is a godsend for fans of the series since the original, originally a Playstation 2 game, has never been available to PC gamers before. And for those fans, this remaster also comes with some additional features like slightly upgraded graphics

This game differentiates itself from most JRPGs with multi-faceted gameplay, with as much onus on getting through the school year as on dungeon crawling. In fact, much of the gameplay is connecting with and befriending characters at school or after. And as you improve your social networking, you’ll improve different aspects of your characters’ gameplay when fighting.

Persona 4 Golden is a unique creature among today’s games. It’s weird, it’s immersive, and it’s unapologetically Japanese, from its artwork to its setting. Most of all though, it’s just a great game.

Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article

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