Without a doubt, the PC is the platform with the largest library of games. As a consequence, working on a “Best PC Games” list is almost impossible, that is, unless you update it now and then. Personally, I believe that updating feature articles is woefully inconvenient for both the reader and the writer, so I decided to work on a new feature: the Treasure Chest. In this new feature I’ll list some of the best PC games of all time and instead of updating it every once in a while, I’ll be adding classics in groups of ten.
Needless to say, this isn’t a traditional Top 10 list because hopefully, the Treasure Chest will end up with dozens (and probably hundreds) of entries. For each title I’ll include links to digital distribution services, reviews and so on. On this first list, I tried to play it safe, but expect some obscure classics on subsequent entries. By the way, take into account that these lists won’t be in any order and if you don’t find you favorite PC game on this list, please mention it in the comments and I’ll take them into account for the next one.
Not only did the 2007 first-person puzzler create a new genre , but also mixed some truly creative gameplay ideas with some of the funniest lines ever delivered. In Portal, players assume the role of test subject Chell as she tries to escape from the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using the portal gun. But sentient artificial intelligence GLaDOS will make things harder than they have to be. Portals, Companion Cubes, giant red buttons, nonexistent cakes and the fact that you might be adopted, makes Portal one of the funniest and most creative titles in recent memory.
Buy it on: Steam
If you somehow managed to ignore all the Let’s Play videos with 12-year-old shouting at webcams, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you play this survival horror title. In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, players are put in the shoes of Daniel after he wakes up in a mysterious castle with his memory erased. Soon after coming to, he finds out that the premises have been invaded by monsters. But unlike most survival horror games, you can’t defend from this monsters and that’s what makes Amnesia such a terrifying experience.
In this top-down real-time strategy game, you control the crew of a spaceship who desperately needs to deliver crucial data before aliens catch up to them and destroy them. Pretty much everything in the game is procedurally generated which means that each playthrough is completely unique. So while some general tactics are helpful, this roguelike will always keep you on your toes, so you need to make difficult decisions on the fly and those decisions are usually the difference between life and death.
Competitive multiplayer action games aren’t what they used to be. But why should I feel nostalgic about them when I have Unreal Tournament installed on my hard drive? In this arena FPS you can play against bots in the single-player campaign or play against others in a variety of modes, such as deathmatch, team deatchmatch, capture the flag and assault, among many others. Still, the best part about this game is that despite being old, you can still find dozens of people in its servers.
As much as I enjoy playing Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena is superior in pretty much every aspect. In Quake III, the plot has been ditched in favor of a multiplayer-focused experience and the result is an immersive experience that never fails when it comes to entertaining. Surprisingly, most of the audiovisual and technical aspects have aged remarkably well and boy is this game fast. Also, don’t let anyone convince you that there’s a better map than The Longest Yard because that’s simply not possible.
Buy it on: Steam
The initial moments of Half-Life 2 are so impactful that I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. The first time, you get a glimpse of that Orwellian society known as City 17 is so unique and fresh that makes everything that came before Half-Life 2 bland and dull in comparison. But then the game goes on, the settings change and the adventure becomes more and more ambitious. By the time you reach the end of this game, you get that feeling that you were part of something impressive and grand. And that’s something that only a handful of games manage to pull off.
Buy it on: Steam
There was a time when you went to the local game store to buy Lucas Arts graphics adventure and you knew exactly what you were going to get: colorful adventures with bizarre-looking characters, astonishing voice acting and humorous stories. Sam & Max: Hit the Road is that and more. Not only regarded as one of the best point-and-click adventures, but also one of the best games of all time. Hit the Road is Lucas Arts at its best. The point-and-click interface is simple, yet effective, the story is nonsensical and filled with references to Americana, the characters are bizarre and likeable and the audiovisual aspect is outstanding, even by today’s standards. Tracking down a copy is difficult, but I can assure you that it’s worth it.
Buy it on: Amazon
In the sequel to Maniac Mansion, Bernard Bernoulli and his friends Hoaggie and Laverne try to stop evil purple tentacle from taking over the world, but they end up in different points in time. So you need to solve puzzles that involve time-traveling and exploring different periods of American history. The cartoon-style visuals, comedic elements, tried-and-true gameplay, unconventional plot and creative puzzles make Day of the Tentacle a point-and-click adventure game that no fan of the genre should miss.
Buy it on: Amazon
Diablo II changed action RPGs forever and Blizzard’s masterpiece was so refined that an improved version felt impossible. Until the original Torchlight came out in 2010. Exploring underground dungeons, defeating large number of enemies and collecting gold and pieces of equipment is still the same, but a handful of additions make Torchlight a remarkably different game. The possibility of fighting with a permanent pet which can also buy and sell loot for you, the retirement system and more importantly, the netbook mode make Torchlight one of the best downloadable games ever made.
Halo might have been the killer app for the original Xbox, but the PC version of the game was as impressive in its own right. The first-person shooter revolutionized the genre for its unique science fiction story, the possibility of applying multiples strategies to defeat enemies, a variety of foes, beautifully constructed environments, terrific multiplayer modes and pretty visuals. The library level is absolutely dreadful, but it’s hard to hold that against Halo: Combat Evolved when everything else is so well made.
Buy it on: Microsoft Store