Looking at the history of PC gaming is truly fascinating. From the early days of King’s Quest to the modern era of Total War, there have been some incredible games. But which are those that can be called the best of the best? It’s a debate that certainly doesn’t have an objectively right answer.
With that being said, let’s look at the PC games that are widely regarded as being the best of all time. We’re making this list based on MetaCritic scores.
Releasing in 2021 Disco Elysium defies all RPG expectations. There is little to no combat, with the majority of the game based around dialogue. But don’t be fooled, this is perhaps the deepest, most unexpectedly dynamic RPG ever made.
The key gameplay mechanic is that every new bit of information encountered takes up a position in the player character’s brain. How the new thought relates to all other information is a dynamic system, meaning that some wildly unexpected plot twists can occur. The gameplay is something that has to be experienced to be fully understood, but to put it mildly Disco Elysium certainly deserves its 97 MetaCritic rating.
Virtually every list of the best PC games will have Half-Life 2, so it goes without saying that it takes second place here, boasting a rating of 96. Yes, Half-Life 2 is still impressive to this day, even if there are far more loading screens than most remember. Either way, it is the unbelievably diverse first person shooter gameplay that makes this a classic.
It really is amazing that Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, meaning that it existed in a time when most barely understood how to check cricket betting on their strange new touchscreen mobile phones.
Grand Theft Auto 5
Tied for sixth place is GTA5, also with 96. Yes, this is where many would argue that MetaCritic perhaps isn’t the best place to rate the quality of PC gaming. Although certainly not a bad game, it’s difficult to believe that GTA5 deserves the same recognition as something truly genre defining like Half-Life 2.
BioShock also comes in with a 96, making it tied with GTA 5 and Half-Life2. Yes, BioShock truly was a ground breaking achievement in 2007. Does it still hold up? For the most part, yes. BioShock remains a fascinating, disturbing look into a society that has collapsed under the weight of its own hubris.
It’s a shooter as well, of course, but BioShock shines most in the story telling department.
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn
Finally an unexpected entry; Baldur’s Gate II with a rating of 95. Coming out in 2000, at the time many considered Baldur’s Gate II to be the ultimate Dungeons and Dragons adaptation. But, let’s be honest, in a world where we have Divinity Original Sin 2, ranking Baldur’s Gate II higher seems peculiar. Again, MetaCritic is a bit questionable.
Which isn’t to say Baldur’s Gate II isn’t still a great game. Just perhaps not as good as it was in 2000.