Epic Games's digital store has slowly grown since it launched in December 2018, thanks to Fortnite's unrelenting popularity and its growing catalog of exclusive games that are drawing gamers away from Steam. We've scoured the Epic Games Store's catalog to see what's good, and have gathered together our favorites below. There's a big variety of themes and genres, so we hope you find something you'll really enjoy.
Before you go, make sure you don’t forget your free games! Epic offers a different free game every week to account holders, refreshing the selection every Thursday. Keep an eye on the Epic Games Store homepage to make sure you don’t miss out on a real bargain.
In 22 minutes, the sun which all the local planets are orbiting will explode, killing you and everything else on them. Reliving the same period of time over and over again, you must explore the different worlds and figure out what’s gone wrong and what you can do to fix it. Keep an eye on your oxygen and health, and of course your watch to check how long you’ve got left, and hope that when the supernova comes, you’ve done enough to get a little further next time.
Don’t get this mixed up with The Outer Worlds, the sci-fi RPG which is also an Epic Games Store game, but launches on October 25.
Oxygen Not Included
On a distant asteroid, a tiny group of explorers are in danger of dying from countless sources. You have to build them a safe base with a breathable atmosphere, and then strike out to gather resources from less friendly spots on the asteroid’s surface. The game has been in early access since 2016, but recently was fully released, so now’s a great time to get in and start building up a colony.
You know the rules of this game, but you won’t have experienced it like this. Create rows of tetriminos to survive for as long as possible, and in return see amazing particle effects and animations play out, all synchronized to the music. Tetris Effect is a lot better than playing it in black and white with a chip tune version of Korobeiniki in the background. Play it on a monitor, or in VR for the full dazzling experience.
It’s not often you get to play as an entire space station. But this is the position you will find yourself in with Observation. In the aftermath of a disaster, you, playing station AI S.A.M. must help Dr. Emma Fisher to discover what happened, using your access to the station’s cameras and automated systems to progress.
Trover Saves the Universe
Trover Saves the Universe, created by Rick and Morty’s Jusin Roiland, takes place in a terrifying part of space where an alien villain has captured your dogs. You (a sedantary Chairorpian in game) then controls Trover, one of the eye-hole monsters who can use whatever’s currently residing in his ocular cavities as tools for puzzle solving. Together you will travel across alien worlds, complete with other weird characters to meet, and maybe save your beloved pets from Glorkon.
A gang of teenagers travel to the old military base on Edwards Island for an overnight party. But things take a paranormal turn as Alex, the player’s character, starts hearing strange things over her old radio. You direct the story at key points, meaning there’s multiple ways the story can progress and end, making it enjoyable to play several times.
The reason why Epic Games has become one of the biggest names in gaming. The colorful and mechanically compelling battle royale sees 100 players drop onto an enormous island map, building defences and finding weapons in order to be the last one standing. It receives regular updates which shake up the different areas of the map and which items are available, plus each season comes with a ‘Battle Pass’, which for a small amount of money gives you cosmetics depending on how much experience you earn from match results and challenges you can complete each week.
This early access game sees you fight through the labyrinths of the Grecian Underworld as Zagreus, son of Hades, aided by the rest of the Grecian pantheon. Each time you die in Hades, the levels reset, but there’s always progress to be made and new abilities to be bought to help you get further next time.
What Remains of Edith Finch
The Finch family home is a confusing stack of mismatched buildings, which perfectly reflect the unusual family that once lived there. You enter the house trying to learn more about the family, and the alleged curse that sees each member die in an unusual way. Part of the game is exploring the building, but each family member stars in a mechanically unique vignette to help you understand their personality and relationships. It's a slow burner, but immensely satisfying to experience as you figure out what the Finches are all about.
The ‘metroidvania’ subgenre, comprising item-based exploration and combat from a 2D perspective, gets modernised in this game. You awaken on an alien world as scientist Trace, where you find relics of an ancient civilisation which warn you of their destroyer, Athetos. It’s up to you to learn more, gathering weapons and tools to help you explore the planet and defeat all who stand in your way.
Subnautica + Subnautica: Below Zero
Crash landing on a remote planet, you emerge from the wreckage to find a world covered almost entirely in water. You have to salvage what you can from the wreckage and gather materials from the environment around you to survive and explore, and hopefully find out why your ship crashed and how you can get offworld again.
If you fancy a whole new adventure on top of that, then you can try out Below Zero, Subnautica’s arctic-themed expansion that’s currently in early access.
After a nuclear war, survivors living in Moscow took shelter in the city’s underground rail network, where they and their families remain. Artyom, the player character in Metro Exodus, is obsessed with finding other people living beyond the tunnels and stations. aAnd when he finds his suspicions are correct, he sets off on a journey across the wasteland to make contact, fighting hostile humans and mutated monsters alike in this dark first-person shooter.
The Division 2
After the first game saw government agents fighting to rebuild the lives of the people of New York City after a smallpox epidemic, the sequel takes you to Washington, D.C. where the headquarters of the titular ‘Division’ are under attack by bandits and ex-military personnel who would prefer society stays broken. With the White House as your base, you strike out into the capital city to slowly turn the tables on your opponents.
The Walking Dead
Telling a parallel story to the comic series, Telltale’s series of narrative games, set after the zombie apocalypse, follows Lee and Clementine as they travel across the state of Georgia, uniting with other survivors and escaping the ‘walkers’. As well as the spin-off series following Michonne from the TV show, the Epic Games Store has all four of the main instalments of The Walking Dead's episodic adventures, including the currently in-progress ‘Final Season’.
While in early access, there is still plenty of chilled out fun to be had with this factory-building game. As you explore an alien planet, you’ll have to set up automated machines to process the resources you find, and protect them from the local inhabitants. If stringing together various machines with miles of conveyor belts sounds like your kind of thing, this is the game for you.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.