While console fans waste their time bickering over whether Destiny is better on Xbox One or PS4, PC owners game in style on the superior platform. Not only does the PC let you play AAA console hits like Dark Souls 3 or Street Fighter 5, it is the only platform offering such games as Starcraft 2 and League of Legends.
PC games also receive some of the heaviest discounts (the Steam Winter Sale is expected to go live starting December 22), ensuring you get the most for your money, and with digital libraries that stretch back decades, PC gamers also enjoy a range of titles unmatched by any other platform. And more often than not, PC port features better graphics, sports smoother gameplay and gets more frequent updates than their console counterparts.
If you're ready to game in style, check out this selection of the best titles the PC has to offer.
Also, don't forget to check out Tom's Guide's 15 Best Video Games of 2016, which includes a number of PC exclusives and console ports you can sink your teeth into over the holidays.
After yearly rehashes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, Overwatch feels like a breath of fresh air. The game's cast ranges from a super-intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla to an enlightened robot monk. And like Team Fortress 2 did back in 2007, Overwatch delivers strategic, team-based play; game-changing ults; and nail-biting finishes across 12 maps and four game modes. Overwatch is already one of our front-runners for Game of the Year, and more than 10 million people are already playing the game less than a month after its release. On PC, you can purchase the game for $40 — $20 less than on consoles — just as long as you don't mind skipping a handful of cosmetic items and digital goodies.
Rocket League can be summed up in just two words: car soccer. But though it sounds simple, Rocket League hides a ton of depth, and was possibly the game that provided the most pure fun in 2015. You have a huge variety of vehicles and visual customizations to choose from, and because each car is equipped with a pair of rockets, you can take the show to the sky with flips, barrel rolls and aerial acrobatics that would make the Blue Angels jealous. Also, at $20, Rocket League has a bargain-bin price without ever sacrificing on quality. The game even comes with the ability for cross-platform play between PS4 and PCs, and with the upcoming Xbox One version, soon there will be one more way to play the best game on four wheels since Mario Kart.
If you're looking for a deep puzzle game to sink your teeth into, then The Witness is what you want. While the puzzles may seem simple at first, the masterful way in which The Witness builds upon on previous challenges to create increasingly complex tasks results in an immensely satisfying learning experience that gets better and better the further you go. And that's even before you get to the game's gorgeous visuals and its overarching goal of uncovering the secret of the deserted island where the games takes place. For just $40, this game is a steal.
With Legion, Blizzard has injected life back into World of Warcraft with what might be the best expansion since 2008's Wrath of the Lich King. Not only has Blizz given players a new continent to explore, brought back Illidan and added a new class (Demon Hunter), it's even revamped others with new specs like the melee hunter and outlaw rogue. Players leveling to 110 will also be granted a new legendary weapons that grow with you as you gain XP, and even features a talent tree so you can tailor its abilities to your playstyle. So if you've ever dreamed about wielding storied weapons like the Ashbringer or the Doomhammer, it's time to dive back into the World of Warcraft.
For fans of From Software's signature blend of tight sword-and-sorcery, or people simply looking for a solid RPG, Dark Souls 3 is a must-play. Not only does it provide 40-plus hours of intense fireball throwing, dodge-rolling, sword-and-board action, DS3 also looks to finally resolve the struggle between the Age of Fire and the Age of Dark. And now that Dark Souls 3's latest DLC is out, Ashes of Ariendel, there's even more sword-swinging, shield-blocking, and spell-throwing combat to love.
With over 25 million active players in League of Legends every day, you owe it to yourself to see what the hype is all about. Season 5 has brought some massive changes to the game's online battlefield, known as Summoner's Rift, such as a completely reworked map, new items and an overhauled mastery system. With more than 120 unique champions, each with multiple roles, there is sure to be a champion and a play style to suit your taste. Best of all, League of Legends is free to play, so there's no cost to get started.
2013's SimCity left such a bad taste in people's mouths that it eventually led to the shutdown of Maxis Emeryville, the studio responsible for some of the most beloved simulation games of the past 12 years. Thankfully, Cities: Skylines has arrived to redress SimCity's wrongs, with a deep city builder complete with expansive maps, higher population counts and comprehensive systems to control traffic, waste management and more. Developer Colossal Order has even added often-requested features missing from SimCity, such as offline play, open mod support and district creation. Cities: Skylines is the city simulator people hoped for two years ago, and at just $30, it might offer the best time-for-your-money value of any game this year, too.
Update: As of November 29, there's a new $15 DLC for Cities Skylines called Natural Disasters that includes scenarios for earthquakes, tsunamis, meteors, sinkholes and more.