The best PC games of 2024

ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop playing Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you want to check out the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to an interactive medium that makes more money than the movie industry, playing the best PC games is an experience that can’t be beaten. The best gaming PCs are years ahead of both the PS5 Slim and Xbox Series X in terms of pure power, but thanks to brilliant handheld PCs like Steam Deck, you don’t have to spend thousands to enjoy the finest titles gaming rigs and laptops offer.

My current favorite PC game right now? That has to be Elden Ring. I’ve become besotted with FromSoftware’s incredible open-world masterpiece all over again with the recent release of the exceptional Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, and while it has a few technical issues, it general runs well across high-end PCs, good gaming laptops and even Steam Deck OLED with a few settings tweaks. 

With the right hardware, the best PC games operate in dizzyingly good-looking 4K resolution at frame rates that current consoles could only have the sweatiest dreams about achieving. As I said, though, if you built a PC yourself (which trust me, is nowhere daunting as it sounds), you can put together a system for a few hundred bucks that will run both 2D games and older PC classics just fine. Now let’s get down to my picks of the best PC games currently available.

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. 

  • 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.