Best PC games 2019: Laser League, Forza Horizon 4 and DUSK all make the PC gaming cut

From overclocked triple-A fare to small yet mighty indies, these are the best PC games you need to add to your collection

TODO alt text

If you're looking for the best PC games to play today then this is the guide for you. We're huge PC gamers here at T3.com, and we test out all the best gaming laptops and best gaming desktops by playing the greatest games of PC going.

PC gaming has always represented the pinnacle of video game excellence, and that distinction continues in 2019 with some of the most groundbreaking experiences gracing overclocked towers and juiced-up laptops the world over.

And with delivery platforms such as Steam providing a steady stream of new releases - not to mention a vast library of well-maintained older titles - there’s really never been a better time to fire up your PC and leap into the world of mouse, keyboard and controller-based fun. 

And, this is especially true if you've invested in one of the best gaming monitors available, best gaming keyboards going, and best gaming mice of the market.

In order to break down what can be a pretty intimidating ocean of games to choose from, we’ve selected a piping hot set of amazing games, ranging from brand new releases that are making waves with critics and gamers alike to more established titles that continue to maintain impressive communities and post-launch content.

We’ve listed all the specs you’ll need as well, so you can be sure your machine is beefy enough to run said software. Honestly, we think of everything. Happy gaming!

The best PC games to play today

Best PC games 2019

While it's still buggy like Ark: Survival Evolved, the pirate setting really helps set Atlas' world apart.

Atlas

Survival and supremacy on the high seas

Reasons to buy
+Grand MMO with a pirate theme+Over 40,000 players on one massive server

Having built a larger and impressively deep (if consistently) buggy survival MMO in Ark: Survival Evolved, the same team returns with Atlas, a pirate-themed online experience that's as big on adventure as it is on bugs. With support for tens of thousands of players on the same server, you can form a crew, sail a ship, attack settlements and hunt for treasure with other players.

There are 700 unique locations set across 45,000 square kilometres of ocean and landmass. It's a huge game where factions are made and dissolved, wars fought and adventure sought at every turn. Oh, and treasure. Lots of treasure.

Best PC games 2019

Mixing both RTS and larger Grand Strategy concepts into one game makes for an intense and tactical experience.

Medieval Kingdom Wars

A medieval-themed RTS with Grand Strategy ideas

Reasons to buy
+Start of as a lowly noble and work you way up into the top military brass+Play solo, co-op or multiplayer modes

If you're the kind of PC gamer who lives for real-time strategy titles and Grand Strategy games, then Medieval Kingdom Wars will scratch that tactical itch no end. Including mechanics from both genres, you'll start off as a noble in Medieval Europe and build an army and an armada worthy of serving your king.

There's a roguelike element to Medieval Kingdom Wars as well, that makes every battle and skirmish an intense encounter and you risk resources and soldiers on the potential of winning or losing a vital fight. It's a fun and fresh take that's a decent alternative to the likes of Total War.

Best PC games 2019

DUSK harks back to those golden early years of PC corridor shoots such as Quake, Doom and Hexen.

DUSK

A gloriously gore trip back in time

Reasons to buy
+Fast and frenetic FPS action+Three full campaigns and multiplayer modes

While shooters have evolved with the times to incorporate everything from objective-based cooperation to battle royale showdowns, some FPS fans long for the good old days where shooters were fast, frantic and filled to the gills with gore. DUSK scratches that itch - and then some - offering up blocky '90s-style polygons, open-plan levels, ludicrously powerful shoguns and all the obtuse puzzles you could ask for.

There are single-player campaigns to complete, an endless survival mode and support for online multiplayer. It might not look as swanky or as glitzy as the likes of Battlefield V or Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but it doesn't need to. This is ultraviolent FPS nostalgia at its most bloody fun.

Best PC games 2019

What other games lets you run a shop and run around at night battling monsters?

Moonlighter

The mundane meats the marvellous

Reasons to buy
+Pleasing pixel art-style presentation+Mix of action-RPG and rogeulike mechanics

Games are often a means of escaping reality, but there's an extra delicious meta-ness to playing a game where the character themselves finds a way to escape their own mundane life. Enter Will, a young shopkeeper who serves customers by day and enters a nearby portal at night to battle monsters and loot treasure.

There's a wonderful ecosystems at place in Moonlighter, where you can sell the things you loot from your nighttime adventuring in your shop, adjusting prices and shelving. Every run is a risk, but with so many unique monster designs there's never a dull moment to be had.

Best PC games 2019

Gwent plays a lot like a cross between Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone, with a little of its flavour for good measure.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

The White Wolf breaks out his best deck

Reasons to buy
+Fully-fleshed out CCG+New modes and cards

CCGs (collectable card games) have been around for years, but who knew a small side-game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt would prove so popular that Polish developer CD Projekt RED would release it as its own fully-fledged experience. 

Introducing Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. If you love the likes of Hearthstone, you'll really appreciate the depth of strategy that comes with playing and stacking certain cards in battle.

Best of all, CD Prokekt RED also released a new - and standalone - single-player campaign called Thronebreaker, which uses the absorbing platform of Gwent to tell further tales from the enchanting world of The Witcher.

Best PC games 2019

That pixelated visual style is one of Obra Dinn's biggest calling cards, and you can really see why.

Return of the Obra Dinn

An insurance adventure like no other

Reasons to buy
+Engaging and usual historical setting+Brilliant visual aesthetic

2019 continues to prove itself as an incredibly strong year for indie games, and alongside the likes of Celeste and GRIS we've now got another brilliant slice of unusual gameplay in the form of Return of the Obra Dinn. 

You play an insurance clerk who heads to Falmouth Port to inspect a ship that's appeared out of nowhere. The titular Obra Dinn was thought lost at sea, but now it's arrived with tattered sails and seemingly no crew? This first-person tale sees you attempting to solve this 19th century mystery and it makes for one of the most engrossing games of the year.

Best PC games 2019

Subnautica is one of the best PC games to play today.

Subnautica

Explore an underwater alien world

Reasons to buy
+Vast underwater open-world+Supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets

One of the best new IP to arrive on PC and consoles recently, Subnautica places you in the shoes of an unlucky explorer who ends up on an alien world when his Life Pod crashes into the ocean of an extraterrestrial planet. Mixing survival and exploration elements, you'll get to traverse all manner of locations beneath the waves.

From shallow reefs to deep trenches, there are secrets to uncover and dangers to evade as you manage your oxygen supply and use resources found on the ocean floor to craft new items and gear. There's also support for VR, should you wish to really get your feet wet.

Best PC games 2019

You can mutate each member of your squad to enhance their abilities and traits.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

Tactical combat, with an anthropomorphic twist

Reasons to buy
+From some of the developers behind Hitman and Payday+XCOM-style tactical combat+Beautiful post-apocalyptic world

XCOM brought a very unique approach to real-time strategy, with intense close-quarters combat with a squad of soldiers that could die and be lost from your game for good at any moment. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden often doffs it cap to this PC classic, while adding plenty of its own personality.

Explore a lush and diverse post-apocalyptic world and build a squad of anthropomorphic mutants that can be mutated to enhance their abilities in combat. Use stealth to gain the upper hand and loot anything and everything.

Best PC games 2019

Coming from Valve, the games draws on the lore and characters of MOBA hit, Dota 2.

Artifact

Valve's grand collectable card game is finally here

Reasons to buy
+Impressive library of cards+Deep ruleset+Some of the best CCG animations out there

This collaboration between developer/publisher/delivery platform behemoth Valve and veteran designer Richard Garfield has been years in the making, and it's finally here. Drawing on the lore of the Dota 2 universe (Valve's popular MOBA game), this collectable card game (or CCG) offers a more user-friendly experience with its three lanes, unlimited mana (for playing cards) and no limits on the size of your deck.

There's an impressive deepness to the nuance of its cards and how certain buffs and effects influence your deck, so veteran players from Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering will find plenty to like here. There's quite a few microtransactions, sadly, but the game around them is well worth a try.

Best PC games 2019

Battlefield V will also be getting its own Battle Royale mode, Firestorm, which is due to arrive for free in early 2019.

Battlefield V

DICE's long-running shooter returns to its WW2 roots

Reasons to buy
+Full single-player campaign+Free DLC content going forwards+Some of the best multiplayer maps in years

Following the rocky reception Star Wars: Battlefront 2 received in 2017 due to the use of microtransactions at launch, Swedish studio DICE has taken a new tact by offering a raft of free DLC over the next year, as well reducing in-game purchases to cosmetics only.

The new WW2 setting brings the series back to its roots, while taking on many of the improvements introduced in Battlefield 1. Maps are bigger and more dynamic in design with all the destructible environments you could ask for. There's a full-on single-player campaign (take that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4), a new Battle Royale mode due in early 2019 and plans for continuous free content. 

Best PC games 2019

You can squad up and take on West Virginia's mutant inhabitants together, or go it alone.

Fallout 76

The world of Fallout finally goes online

Reasons to buy
+A new entry in the Fallout series+Complete quests alone or with other players+Vast world full of secrets and Easter Eggs

While it's had a bit of a bumpy ride to get here, the latest instalment in the Fallout series is finally here. For the first time, the series has embraced an online approach - making it the first game in the series to function as an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). So you can explore its post-apocalyptic setting alone or team up and face its manner mutant monsters together.

All the classic Fallout mechanics are here: looting every box and body you can find for resources; targeting weak points with the VATS system and upgrading your character with the SPECIAL progression system. If you're new to the franchise it's a great way to experience what the series is all about.

Best PC games 2019

You also get access to Sniper Assassin 2 with your copy of Hitman 2, so expect more long-range target practice.

Hitman 2

Agent 47 proves there's plenty of life in the assassination simulator

Reasons to buy
+Some of the biggest sandbox maps yet+Ghost mode is hilarious fun+Wealth of options means plenty of replay value

The Hitman series has been a mainstay in video games since the days of PS2, but the soft reboot in 2016 managed to take all the elements that made the series so enjoyable - large sandbox levels, multiple ways to plan and kill a target and endless disguise options - and simply refined each one to make them even better.

As a result, Hitman 2 is no grand reimagining, but a series of small yet welcome refinements. Maps are bigger than ever, filled with routes and shortcuts so you can plan the perfect kill. The sheer number of options and in-game challenges makes even one level a source of considerable replay value. Add in competitive co-op modes such as Ghost mode (where you complete with another player to kill a target) and you're getting a slick and rewarding addition to Agent 47's record.

Best PC games

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC is the best port of the series we've played in years.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Finally, a decent CoD port on PC

Reasons to buy
+Optimised for PC+Blackout brings Battle Royale to CoD+Multiplayer and Zombies feel refreshed

The Call of Duty franchise has been releasing instalments on PC for years, but as of late its felt as if the version released outside of consoles was always an afterthought that was never properly optimised for a very different platform. Thankfully, developer Treyarch has heard these concerns by building a port that no longer plays like a PS4 knockoff.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC has been designed with a wealth of customisation options, meaning you can adjust your FPS experience to suit your particular hardware setup. Every weapon, item, perk and streak has been overhauled to make them suit the very different balance of using a mouse and keyboard, so don't worry about getting a PC version that only really caters for controller users.

Best PC games

Set in the 1980s, Yakuza 0 serves as a prequel to the other six main Yakuza games in the series.

Yakuza 0

We're living the eighties

Reasons to buy
+'80s Japan recreated in all its glory+Plethora of missions and side-activities

While the world continues to pine for Shenmue 3 (a sequel seemingly destined to remain in development until the end of time), the Yakuza series has taken the basic template SEGA set in place and weaved a Japan-set adventure that combines gangsters, melodrama, glorious combat and even karaoke into one bold package). 

While its long-been a console-only series since the PS2 days, the '80s-set prequel Yakuza 0 finally brings this seminal series to PC and boy, are you in for an adventure and a half. Experience hero Kiryu's early days an enforcer for the Japanese mafia, and the story that saw Majima's transformation from respectable club owner to unhinged psycho. With an incredible amount of content (from pachinko to karaoke) you'll be doing more than just beating up thugs and exploring those neon-lit streets.

Best PC games

Coming from Paradox Interactive - it of X-COM fame - you know you're getting a must-have PC release.

BattleTech

Mech the most of this tactical romp

Reasons to buy
+Broad tactical gameplay+Semi procedural generation keeps every playthrough fresh

Coming from Paradox Interactive - the same studio that transformed the tactical strategy genre with the X-COM series - BattleTech takes plenty of inspiration from that seminal squad-based series while introducing a few neat features of its own. While controlling a group of mech and pilots, you'll encounter a series of turn-based battles in a campaign that's part scripted and part procedural generation. 

The result is a mixture of tactical combat and resource management as you reinforce your mechs with the parts dropped by enemy units and your own fallen allies. It makes for a deep and rewarding time sink, finished off with the kind of polish we've come to expect from Paradox on PC.

Best PC games

Battle for Azeroth harks back to the battle-focused days of Warcrafts roots on PC.

World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth

The classic MMO gets a much-needed breath of fresh air

Reasons to buy
+Exciting new locales to visit+Some of the best WoW storytelling yet
Reasons to avoid
-Loot system needs work

World of Warcraft has been around for 14 years, and Battle for Azeroth marks the seventh major expansion in that long history. As the MMO that put the genre - and the successful formula - on the map, WoW has remained a constant in the PC gaming scene, but it's felt a little wayward as of late. 

Thankfully, Battle of Azeroth gets back to the war-making roots of the Warcraft franchise, making for some of the best questlines and more elaborate locations we've seen in WoW lore. Its new approach to loot certainly needs some work, but everything else is a move in the right direction for this old MMO dog.

Best PC games

Forza Horizon 4

A sublime open-world racer

Reasons to buy
+Dynamic seasons change every race+Hundreds of cars to unlock and collect
Reasons to avoid
-Boring Forzathon Live events

The latest addition to Forza's long-running spin-off series more than lives up to the quality of the first three games, while enhancing it in all the right ways. The new United Kingdom location makes for a brilliant setting for the new dynamic seasons that actively shape the conditions of every race. 

With over 400 vehicles to unlock and customise and a constant stream of races, activities and events to keep you hooked at every moment, Forza Horizon 4 cements itself as Xbox One's best arcade racer. And if you have access to an Xbox One X and a 4K-ready TV, you're in for a visual treat...

Best PC games

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

A co-op shooter with guts (and lots of them)

Reasons to buy
+Improved classes and progression+Visceral melee combat
Reasons to avoid
-Unwieldy power level system

Warhammer: Vermintide - End Times proved to be something of a sleeper hit in 2015, taking the ubiquitous nature of the Warhammer licence and turning it into a visceral melee/shooter experience with a big focus on teamwork and bloody combat. 

Its sequel builds on that same template, increasing the number of characters to choose from, adding in a greater level of customisation and adding far more agency to each gory battle. Its sandbox levels are also bigger than ever, proving plenty of space and elevation to appeal to ranged, magic and melee-focused players.

Best PC games

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Battle royale with cheese

Specifications
OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i5-4430 / AMD FX-6300
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB / AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 30 GB available space
Reasons to buy
+Intense multiplayer action+Ideal for snipers

No PC games list in 2019 would be complete without a title that sits firmly in the zeitgeist. And what’s more zeitgeisty than THE battle royale title that put the subgenre on the map. The modern iteration may have a few of the infamous glitches that made it so popular with YouTubers and Twitch streamers, but with a vast number of improvements and lots of additional content (including more maps), PUBG remains as popular as ever. While not quite as polished as Fortnite, PUBG is still a brilliant introduction to all things battle royale (just watch out for the occasional hacker).

Best PC games

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

An RPG of distinction

Specifications
OS: Windows Vista 64-bit or newer
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100T @ 2.50 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B73
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 11 Compatible
Storage: 45 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Reasons to buy
+D&D at its virtual best+Brilliant maritime setting

Obsidian has become one of /the/ most prestigious RPG developers in recent years - even managing to turn a licence like South Park into an accessible (and surprisingly deep) turn-based affair with 2014’s The Stick of Truth - so it shouldn’t come as much surprise to learn the studio has created one of the most accomplished additions to the genre in years. Taking the classic D&D template of the original PoE, Deadfire features even deeper role-playing action, more intricate combat systems, a rich and rewarding storyline and enough content to keep you playing throughout the year.

Best PC games

Total War: Warhammer II

Make war, not love

Specifications
OS: Windows 7 64Bit
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz
Memory: 5 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB/AMD Radeon HD 5770 1GB/Intel HD4000 @720p
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 60 GB available space
Reasons to buy
+Intricate strategy management+Deep Warhammer lore

Creative Assembly has carved an impressive niche for itself in the tactical and strategy RPG market, with the Total War brand having proved itself as one of the best in the business. The latest instalment in the series - and the sequel to the real-time brilliance of 2016’s Total War: Warhammer - the imaginatively named Total War: Warhammer II offers two addictive experiences in one. First, there’s an open-world full of turn-based campaign missions, and then within there are the moreish real-time battles that see you clashing together a variety of races from the Warhammer canon in truly spectacular fashion. 

Best PC games

What Remains of Edith Finch

Heartbreaking yet beautiful

Specifications
OS: Windows Vista SP2 64-bit or later
Processor: Intel i3 2125 3.30 GHz or later
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GTX 750/AMD Radeon 7790 or later
Storage: 5 GB available space
Reasons to buy
+Engaging and memorable story+A walking sim with a difference

There’s a reason Giant Sparrow’s wonderful ‘walking simulator’ has won so many awards as of late. It’s an landmark in video game storytelling, using simple gameplay mechanics and a variety of visual styles to slowly unravel a plot that isn’t afraid to tackle some truly heartbreaking and taboo themes. We don’t want to risk ruining how could the story really is, but we’ll say this is a game to enjoy in long stretches as you follow the linear path it unfolds before you. Coming from the same studio that brought you the affecting odyssey that was The Unfinished Swan, WRoEF will no doubt stay with you for many years to come.

Best PC games

Into the Breach

A grid-based tactical joy

Specifications
OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Must support OpenGL 2.1 or higher. Intel HD 3000 or better
Storage: 300 MB available space
Reasons to buy
+Randomly-generated turn-based battles+Unique combat mechanics

Some of the most popular games on PC right now are coming smaller developers, and that includes the small yet mighty world of Into the Breach. It’s a turn-based affair where you control a set of mechs fighting a giant alien race known as the Vek. The combat mechanics don’t just require you to tactically destroy your foes, but protect civilian buildings on the grid, as they boost your mech making them as important as the act of war itself. Each grid is procedurally generated so you’ll get endless layouts each time you move to a new level, offering tons of replay value for less than £15/$15.

Best PC games

Laser League

Laser-focused multiplayer fun

Specifications
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3-4170 @ 3GHz or AMD A 10-5800K APU @3.78GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GForce GTX 670 or AMD Radeon R9 270x
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 4 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
Reasons to buy
+Unique competitive experience+Huge amount of customisation

What is it with games with the word ‘league’ in their title taking the industry by storm? First there was League of Legends, then there was Rocket League and know there’s Laser League. Coming from the team that brought you the OliOli series, LL takes the neon-tinted look of TRON and combines it with an intense multiplayer setup where you’ll need to control coloured walls of lasers while dodging those controlled by the opposing team. With multiple classes, 150 characters, tons of maps and all the power-ups you could possibly need to turn the tide of battle.

Best PC games

Conan Exiles

An open world with a barbarian twist

Specifications
OS: Windows 7 64 Bit/ Windows 8 64 Bit/ Windows 10 64 Bit
Processor: Intel Quad Core i5-2300 or AMD FX-6300
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 (1GB) or AMD Radeon HD 7770 (1GB)
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 50 GB available space
Reasons to buy
+Dynamic survival sandbox+Build everything from forts to entire cities

Tired of playing Minecraft? Looking something a little more mature that still maintains that moreish need to build things in a vast open-world? We’ve got just the thing. In a world inspired by the adventures of muscled-up hero Conan the Barbarian, Conan Exiles combines survival mechanics, a bestiary of monsters, and all the resources you need to build everything from mud huts to fully-fledged cities. You’ll need to hunt and eat to survive, keep cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Even the elements will conspire to kill you, so there’s danger at every turn as you head out to find resources and become a legend to rival that of Conan himself.

Best PC games

Frostpunk

A heart-wrenching mix of strategy and survival

Specifications
OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit
Processor: 3.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GTX 660, Radeon R7 370 or equivalent with 2 GB of video RAM
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 8 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Reasons to buy
+Every decision has its consequences+Beautifully realised gameworld

From the makers of This War of Mine, comes a new experience that tasks you with managing a community at the mercy of a deadly ice age. Steam power has just been discovered, offering a means of survival, so you’ll need to manage resources, maintain structures and man parties into the outside world to gather resources and unravel the mystery of the coldest of snaps. From making and maintaining laws to preserving the most vital of resources (heat), you’ll have to make some painful and downright crushing decisions to save your people.

Best PC games

Quake Champions

Frag to your heart’s content

Specifications
OS: Windows 7 and later
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4-945 / Intel Core 2 Quad 6600
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: AMD R7 240 GB / Nvidia GT 730 2GB / Intel HD 530
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 20 GB available space
Reasons to buy
+Intense multiplayer deathmatches+Early Access means steady flow of updates and content

Sometimes you don’t want a balanced, objective-based shooter such as Overwatch, or a precise team-focused FPS a la Rainbow Six: Siege. Sometimes you just want grab a shotgun, move at a constant sprint, leap onto a jump pad and turn your opponents into bloody chunks. Quake Champions may be a modern title (and one still in Early Access), but it’s heart and soul are very much in the era of Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament. Each Champion comes with his or her own unique skills, while the inclusion of all your favourite modes means you can rocket jump your way to eternal glory online.

Best PC games

FAR: Lone Sails

Mad Max meets FTL

Specifications
OS: Windows 7+ (64-bit OS required)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz, AMD FX 8120 @ 3.1 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 460 / 650m, AMD Radeon HD6570
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 3 GB available space
Additional Notes: Not recommended for Intel HD Graphics cards.
Reasons to buy
+Engaging mix of puzzles and survival+An atmospheric post-apocalypse

Finally, a post-apocalypse without a zombie in sight. In FAR: Lone Sails, you’ll roam and explore a dried-out ocean that was once home to a thriving civilisation. With your trusty, sail-driven ship, you’ll need to overcome obstacles, maintain your ship and follow a trail of clues to unravel the mystery of the cataclysm that ravaged the world around you. It’s one of the most engaging and enjoyable genre mashups we’ve played in quite some and it’ll have you riding the wind to the very end. A slow burn at times, but one that never feels slow.