30 Best PC Games of All Time

In this article, we look at the 30 best PC games of all time. If you want to skip our analysis of how we ranked these games and want to dive directly into the best games ever, head to the 10 Best PC Games Of All Time.

The gaming industry has been a billion-dollar business for decades now, providing entertainment for young and adults alike. Video games have continued to evolve over time and become more lifelike. That has also made the industry more complex, with developers injecting millions of dollars into their development. Gone are the days of pixelated screens.

The industry remains large and continues to grow. Although kids spend a higher daily average time on gaming, the hobby is gaining traction among adults as well. The first-generation gamers of the Nintendo, Atari and computer era still want to play. According to Investopedia, there are over 2 billion gamers today, constituting little over a quarter of the world’s population. The industry generated $155 billion in revenue in 2020, which is expected to jump to more than $260 billion by 2025.

The major players in the video gaming industry are Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY), and Nintendo. With its initial focus on PC gaming on its Windows platform, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has, in recent years, also come up with its console, the Xbox, that competes with Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY)’s PlayStation.

At the same time, the mobile gaming industry has been picking up pace as well, with tech giants like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) venturing into this lucrative market. In 2019, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its video game subscription service, Apple Arcade, worth $500 million that gave gamers access to a variety of games without advertisements.

Despite the rise of console and mobile gaming over the last two decades, the PC gaming industry continues to remain strong due to PC’s feature allowing a wide range of components to be upgraded, such as installing multiple processors, graphic cards, and additional memory.

On the other hand, the consoles generally come with built-in parts that, in most cases, cannot be modified. In 2022, there were 1.1 billion active PC gamers, as opposed to 611 million console users. Revenue from the PC industry was estimated at $37 billion in 2020 by Statista, and a research by Vantage indicates the market will grow by 1.20% by 2030.

Europe holds the largest market share of 32.50% in the PC gaming market. This could be attributed to the presence of key game development companies on the continent. Another significant pattern is the high purchasing power in the region. As far as segmentation goes, the PC gaming market is divided into a diverse set of genres which includes, but is not limited to, Action, Sport, Role Playing, Racing and Strategy.

The first computer game in history was Spacewar, launched in 1962 by Steve Russell at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It involved two players controlling a spaceship each, shooting at each other, and turning and accelerating their spaceships to avoid getting hit. The game was an instant hit worldwide and became the basis of the first ever gaming tournament. In the 1980s, the release of Ultima and Zork sparked widespread popularity of the PC gaming industry which has since then not looked back.

Advancement in technology such as in graphic cards, audio cards, internet, emergence of role-playing and multiplayer games has helped the industry grow exponentially. To date, the PC remains the preferred gaming platform for both developers and gamers. A game studio survey held by The Verge in 2019 showed that 56% of the developers released their games for PC, compared to Mobile 39%, PlayStation 11%, and Xbox 9%. The future looks encouraging as well, with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) set to enhance the gaming experience for users.

Several thousands of PC games have been developed over the last half a century or so. There are new ones being released each day as well. With varying levels of popularity, features, and gameplay, it makes it a challenge to identify the top picks in the PC gaming industry. Here are the 30 Best PC Games of All Time based on our research.

30 Best PC Games Of All Time Copyright: patrikslezak / 123RF Stock Photo


The consensus method has been used to rank the Best 30 PC Games of All Time in this article. Reviews from four websites namely Metacritic, Business Insider, Whatoplay and OpenCritic were studied. Then weights in decimals were assigned to each game against its rating scores.

For example, Metacritic rates a game out of 100. A rating score of 95 out of 100 was weighed at 0.95. Whatoplay rated games out of 10. A game that scored 9.2 out of 10 was measured at 0.92. For each game, weights from all four websites were summed to constitute the final score. In the case of final scores being similar for two or more games, their ranks were determined based on the number of copies sold in the market for each game. The greater the better.

30. Divinity: Original Sin II

Score: 1.86 out of 4


Copies Sold: 1 million

Developed by Larian Studios in 2017, Divinity: Original Sin II is 30th on the list of Best 30 PC Games of All Time and scored 1.86 in our analysis. The fantasy role-playing game (RPG) is the sequel to Divinity: Original Sin that was released in 2014. Upon release, the game was rated by critics as a masterpiece and one of the best RPGs of all time. It was also nominated for multiple awards including the best role-playing game award in 2017. The game scored 93 out of 100 on both Metacritic and OpenCritic.

29. Unreal Tournament 2004

Score: 1.87 out of 4


Copies Sold: 2 million

With a score of 1.87, Unreal Tournament 2004 is next on the list at 29th. The plot of this game is set in the Universe where humans find their galactic space in utter disarray after a series of conflicts with the Skaarj. The idea behind this game is a gladiatorial tournament to rebuild the lost colonies. This is the third such game in the Unreal Tournament series which was first released in 1999 and offers multiple game types including Assault, Onslaught, Last Man Standing, Double Domination, and more. The game ranked 93/100 and 9.4/10 on Metacritic and Whatoplay, respectively.

28. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Score: 1.87 out of 4


Copies Sold: 3.5 million

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion also scored 1.87 and is ranked 28th. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, it is fourth in the series of Elder Scrolls and is also available on Xbox and PlayStation alongside PC. It was released in March 2006 and had sold over 3.5 million copies by 2011. Critics applauded the game for its gameplay and plot, and for the fact that it has proved to be a success even among those gamers who are not into role-playing games (RPG). Oblivion was listed in PC Gamer’s Top 100 PC Games List back in as early as 2007. It still manages to retain its position as one of the all-time great hits in PC gaming.

27. BioShock Infinite

Score: 1.87 out of 4


Copies Sold: 11 million

BioShock Infinite is on the charts at 27th with a score of 1.87. Released in 2013 but set in the year 1912, the game is based on the story of a man sent to a city-state in the sky to rescue a woman held captive there. The game comes with role-playing elements and is a first-person shooter with the player being opposed by enemies. BioShock Infinite was developed by Irrational Games and has been well received since its release. It scores 94 on Metacritic and 9.3 on Whatoplay, respectively. Over 11 million copies have been sold and the game has won 11 international awards in gaming category, the most recent one being in 2019 for ‘Best Visual Art’.

26. Half-Life: Alyx

Score: 1.89 out of 4


Copies Sold: 2 million

Half-Life: Alyx is a Virtual Reality (VR) shooter game released in 2020 for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows platform and Linux. It involves a mission to seize a superweapon belonging to an alien that has conquered Earth and turned it into a brutal police state.

The game won the ‘Game of the Year’ award at the 2020 VR Awards. It received a metascore of 93 out of 100 on Metacritic and was listed among the Top 20 Games of All Time by Metacritic in 2020. Due to its high-quality graphics and plot, the game became a hit before it was even launched. Its announcement trailer was watched by 10 million within 24 hours of release.

25. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Score: 1.90 out of 4


Copies Sold: 2.8 million

On 25th with a score of 1.9 is Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. The role-playing game, released in 2000, is set in a fantasy world like mediaeval Earth. It is a sequel to Baldur’s Gate (1998) and critics believe it to be better than its predecessor. Business Insider rated the game 95 out of 100 and listed it among the best PC games of all time. Baldur’s Gate II has received many awards, including three Role-Playing Game of the Year awards in 2000 from GameSpot, IGN, and Game Spy.

24. Mass Effect 2

Score: 1.90 out of 4


Copies Sold: 5 million

BioWare’s action role-playing game Mass Effect 2 is 24th on the list. Released for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows in 2010, it is the second game in the Mass Effect series and a sequel to the original Mass Effect. The game scored 96 out of 100 on Business Insider, and 94 out of 100 on Metacritic. Mass Effect 2 won the Multiplayer Game of the Year award at the 14th Interactive Achievement Awards. IGN in 2015 cited it as ‘one of the greatest video games of all time’.

23. Grand Theft Auto III

Score: 1.90 out of 4


Copies Sold: 14.5 million

This third entry in the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series is ranked 23rd on the list with a score of 1.9, and over 14.5 million copies of the game sold. This action-adventure game was released in 2001 by DMA Design and is set in the fictional Liberty City, reminiscent of New York City. This is one of the greatest games of all time, and a part of childhood for many of those born in the 1990s. GTA III was the highest selling game in the United States in 2001. It currently scores 93 out of 100 on Metacritic, and 97 out of 100 on Business Insider.

22. The Orange Box

Score: 1.92 out of 4


Copies Sold: 3 million

Released in 2007 by Valve, The Orange Box is a compilation of 5 games: Half-Life 2 and its two sequels, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Critics have reviewed it as the ‘gold standard’ for bundled video games. The game is ranked 96 out of 100, by both Metacritic and Business Insider. It has won several awards for its gameplay and high standard technology. It was also ranked 22nd on the list of influential video games in history by Guinness Book of World Records in 2009.

21. Half-Life

Score: 1.92 out of 4


Copies Sold: 18.8 million

Developed in 1998 by Valve, Half-Life is a first-person shooter PC game that ranks 21st on our list with an aggregated score of 1.92. It has sold a whopping 18.8 million copies and scored 96 out of 100, on both Metacritic and Business Insider. The game uses scripted sequences and involves performing combat tasks to advance through to the next stages. The game is an all-time classic and is available in both single-player and multiplayer modes.

20. Spelunky 2

Score: 2.71 out of 4


Copies Sold: 1 million

Next on the list at 20th is Spelunky 2, a sequel to Spelunky released in 2008. Developed in 2020 as a 2D platform game by BlitWorks and Mossmouth, Spelunky 2 is based on the story of a daughter who travels to the moon to find her missing parents. The game has received high rating reviews on three websites – Metacritic, Whatoplay, and OpenCritic, cumulating an aggregate score of 2.71. Spelunky 2 was released for PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox as well, but it is PC where it received the highest critical acclaim.

19. Disco Elysium

Score: 2.76 out of 4


Copies Sold: 2.6 million

19th on the list is yet another role-playing game, Disco Elysium. The game is ranked high on Metacritic, Whatoplay, and OpenCritic, amassing an overall score of 2.76. It was released in 2019 by ZA/UM and is set within a fictional city recovering from a decades-old siege. The game received praise from the Washington Post and has been a greatly popular among gamers. The game won all four awards it was nominated for at the Game Awards 2019. A television series based on the game’s plot is also under development.

18. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Score: 2.78 out of 4


Copies Sold: 2 million

A skateboarding game for a change! Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is 18th in the list of 30 Best PC Games of All Time. Developed by Neversoft and published by Activations, it was released in 2000. The game puts the user in control of a skater. They must use the available control moves to achieve the objectives and subsequently unlock other levels ahead. The game scored 98 out of 100 on Business Insider, and received recognition on Metacritic and OpenCritic’s lists of all-time great PC games. Owing to its success, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched the game on its App Store as well.

17. Undertale

Score: 2.79 out of 4


Copies Sold: 1 million

Undertale, with a score of 2.79, is 17th on the list. It is a 2D platform role-playing game centred around a child that has fallen underground beneath the surface of the Earth and tackles various monsters on his way back up to the surface. The game was released in 2015 and was instantly recognized as a classic by multiple review magazines. It received a score of 9.4 out of 10 on Whatoplay and has won many awards. IGN in 2021 declared Undertale as the 20th greatest game of all time.

16. Resident Evil 4

Score: 2.80 out of 4


Copies Sold: 4 million

The 2005 survivor horror game Resident Evil 4 is ranked 16th. It holds an aggregate score of 2.8 based on rankings on Metacritic, Business Insider, and OpenCritic. The game was developed and published by Capcom. Its plot is based in Spain, where the US President’s daughter has been kidnapped and held captive by a religious group. Users play the role of a special agent tasked to rescue her. Resident Evil has won 31 gaming awards worldwide. Over 4 million copies of the game have been sold.

15. Batman: Arkham City

Score: 2.80 out of 4


Copies Sold: 12.5 million

We are half-way through the list. On the 15th is the action-adventure game, Batman: Arkham City, developed by Rocksteady Studios in 2011. The game is a sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum that was released in 2009. Metacritic gave the game a score of 91 out of 100. Whatoplay rated it 9.3 out of 10. The best rating for Batman: Arkham City came from Business Insider – 96 out of 100. Game Informer termed it as the best licensed game of all time.

14. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Score: 2.80 out of 4


Copies Sold: 17.5 million

We return to GTA. On 14th is the Vice City version of Grand Theft Auto released in 2002. The plot dates to 1986 in a fictional city called Vice City which is based on Miami. The game is navigated on foot or by vehicle and is played from a third person perspective. Despite facing criticism for being violent and explicit, the game sold over 17.5 million copies, 500,000 of which were sold within the first 24 hours of release.

It scored 95 out of 100 on Business Insider, and 94 out of 100 on Metacritic. Apart from being available on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows platform, the game is extremely popular on Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY)’s PlayStations as well.

13. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Score: 2.80 out of 4


Copies Sold: 21.5 million

Third mention of a GTA series game on the list is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It ranked 13th on the list with a score of 2.8 and having sold 21.5 million copies. This plot is set on a fictional city inspired by San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The story and gameplay contain a blend of role-playing and action-adventure, like in other GTA versions. However, new features were added to this sequel from previous GTAs, such as gang wars, swimming burglaries, eating, working out and gaming itself, among others. 

12. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Score: 2.81 out of 4


Copies Sold: 40 million

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a sequel to The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The game was developed by CD Projekt and released in 2015. It is a role-playing game played from a third-person perspective. The game is based on The Witcher Series fantasy novels authored by Andrezj Sapkowski. The plot is based on fiction and set in the fantasy world of Slavic mythology. The game is ranked 12th on our list of the 30 Best PC Games of All Time with an aggregate score of 2.81. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely acclaimed as one of the finest games of all time having won 18 international awards.

11. Hades

Score: 2.82 out of 4


Copies Sold: 1 million

With a score of 2.82, Hades is 11th on the list. Developed by Supergiant Games, the game was released in 2020 for PC. Metacritic has given it a score of 93 out of 100, while OpenCritic rated the game at 94 points out of 100. The game only supports single player mode. Multiple critics and games review websites have praised Hades for its story, gameplay, and soundtrack. It was the Game of the Year award at the 10th Annual New York Game Awards.

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Disclosure: None. 30 Best PC Games of All Time is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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