The best PC games of 2024

doom eternal
(Image credit: Bethesda)

I’ve been playing the best PC games since the early 2000s when I first started to learn how to build my own rigs. A couple of decades on, I’m still obsessed with PC gaming, which is probably why I obliterated my credit card buying an Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU. It was worth it, though, because when you lean into the sort of high-end experiences the best gaming PCs can provide, they conjure up graphical magic that the PS5 or Xbox Series X simply aren’t capable of.

Of course, the best PC games don’t have to be huge blockbusters that only run on the fastest graphics cards around. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is one of the best indie games of the past few years, and it’s equally enjoyable on a budget gaming laptop or the Steam Deck OLED. My current favorite PC game of the moment, though? That would have to be the open-world wonder Elden Ring. For my money, it may well be the finest sandbox title ever made. 

My hand-tested picks of the best PC games you can play in the here and now span a variety of genres, and as digital sales on platforms like Steam are so common, you’ll find that the titles below normally go on sale more regularly than the console versions. 

The best PC games

Classic PC games to play today

Given the scope of PC gaming, there's a vast amount of classic games to play. Some may feel a bit ropey or dated to play today, but here's a quick list of games you should play if you want to go a little retro with your PC gaming.  

  • Half-Life Source and Half-Life 2
  • Deus Ex
  • Rome: Total War
  • Diablo 2 
  • Baldur's Gate 2 
  • Dragon Age Origins 
  • Age of Empires 2 
  • WarCraft 3 
  • Team Fortress 2 
  • Bioshock
  • Company of Heroes
  • Homeworld 

How to choose the best PC games

A good starting point for picking the best PC games out is to go by genre. While these are by no means strict criteria for what is and isn't included in certain games, it'll help you get a general idea of what each game is about.

For more detailed research, look up some reviews to see what the critics and fans make of a certain game. If you're lucky, there will be an option to try out a free demo version of a game, so you can experience a limited amount of content and then make your mind up.

You should also consider how much time you want to invest in playing a game. Story-driven games tend to be much shorter than the average RPG for example, and games featuring multiplayer allow for potentially infinite value if you're prepared to invest the time in mastering them. Consider these few pointers when making a purchase, and you'll always pick something you'll really enjoy.

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

With contributions from
  • Neifist
    This is why I come here for real reviews. Not one Blizzard or activision game on the list. They don't make games anymore, just cashgrabs. Diablo 4 was garbage, overwatch 2 released end of 2022 and honestly the bad steam reviews are way better than the game. It's become a sea of Myst all over. I worked in a Software Etc when that came out and people flocked in because of paid false ads. I can say I stopped more than 500 people from buying it, and almost every copy I did sell was returned with a Yup you were right. So glad Toms reviews aren't for sale.