Welcome to our pick of the best PC games of 2019. Now that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is here, along with Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh processors, there’s never been a better time to get into PC games. The PC is arguably the best gaming platform in the world – forget about your PlayStations and Xboxes – thanks to a phenomenally huge catalogue of brilliant games.
The best PC games cover a huge range of genres, from platformers and point-and-click adventures, to retro favorites and action-packed first person shooters that utilise the best modern graphics tech for eye-popping visuals.
The sheer about of brilliant PC games can leave you wondering where to get started, which is where our best PC games of 2019 list comes in. We've put together the definitive list of the best PC games, from oldies like the Orange Box to newer fan-favorites like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Believe us when we say you’ll want to get all of these PC games installed so you can experience them firsthand.
If you’re a PC gaming newbie, you picked the perfect time to jump in on the platform, and we’d love to extend you a warm welcome. Let’s dive into the best PC games you can play in 2019.
The best PC game on our radar: Baldur's Gate 3
This sequel to the iconic role playing game suffered a few setbacks, so much so that many thought it would never come out. It’s why it came as a pleasant surprise to fans when they found out that it’s all systems go for the title.
Larian Studios’ Swen Vincke and Wizards of the Coast’ Mike Mearls were more than happy to share a few more juicy details about this year’s biggest and most anticipated PC release, Baldur’s Gate 3. One such detail? The fact that it’s set 100 years after the events of the second installment. They also made it known that it will be based on the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, and expected to feature many fan favorite creatures and characters.
Unfortunately, there’s no set release date yet. However, since Baldur’s Gate 3 has been long overdue, it had better be this year.
Expected: Hopefully sometime in 2019
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is aging like fine wine. Four years after its release, and it’s still one of the most ambitious open world games that’s ever existed – combining Skyrim’s unapologetic scale with Grand Theft Auto V’s insane depth. It’s such a jam-packed game, which is why it tops our list of the best PC games in 2019. Huge, beautiful and an absolute time sink – in a good way – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn’t just the best PC game of 2019. It may be one of the best video games of all time.
2. Dark Souls 3
While it's arguably not as hard as previous entries in the series, From Software's Dark Souls 3 takes everything you like about the Souls series and combines it with elements found in Bloodborne, the developer's more recent game for PS4.
We won’t sugar coat it: you’re going to die in Dark Souls 3, probably more than once. It takes patience to master its complex combat system, but it also plays fair, making it more approachable for casual players to take part in its bleak, fantastical world. And, on the bright side, it’s much more optimized for PC than the first two games. Now that you can pick up Dark Souls: Remastered, and see where the apocalyptic series began, there’s never been a better time to link the first flame.
3. Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter has been one of the largest gaming franchises you’ve never heard of for years now. With Monster Hunter: World, the series broke into the mainstream and come to the PC (finally), making it one of the best PC games you can play today.
Monster Hunter: World places you in the shoes of a monster hunter, obviously, and you’ll hunt progressively bigger and nastier monsters, strip them for parts, and craft bigger, badder armor. It’s a deceptively simple gameplay loop that ends up being one of the most compelling and rewarding PC games you can play today.
There’s a never-ending onslaught of content in this game, and Capcom, the developers of this monster hunting hit, are dedicated to bringing a wealth of free DLC to the game – not to mention a new frosty expansion in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. If you’re looking for an addictive, immersive and most importantly, fun game to play on your own or with all your best friends cooperatively, check out Monster Hunter: World. There’s no doubt it’s one of the best PC games you can buy today.
4. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most anticipated console ports to ever hit the PC, and you won’t need to be told twice to head back into Los Santos's hugely detailed and highly interactive world. Only this time, it’s 10 times more fun with the PC's richer graphics and smooth 60 fps gameplay. Plus, after you’ve finished its 30-hour campaign, there’s an overflow of post-game content to enjoy. Most recently, that includes The Doomsday Heist in GTA Online and even a radio station hosted by Frank Ocean.
5. Sid Meier's Civilization VI
Sid Meier's Civilization VI is the latest entry in the iconic turn-based strategy game, and it's one of our picks for the best PC game you can play right now. One of the things that makes the PC the best platform for gaming on is the sheer breadth of different game genres on offer. Civilization VI might seem slow paced compared to the likes of Fortnite, but its scope is huge. Spead your empire across the map and crush your enemies. You build up your empire from a simple settlement to a world power, and you can choose to do this through military might, technological supremacy or cultural influence. Since its launch in 2016, it has had two expansion packs that continue to cement the game as an epic entry in our best PC games list. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall released in February 2018, with Civilization VI: Gathering Storm following in February 2019.
6. Alien: Isolation
Set 15 years after the events of the first Alien film from 1979, Alien: Isolation is the suspense-filled game that fans of the franchise have long awaited. Playing the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, you’re tasked to track down and recover the flight recorder of the Nostromo spacecraft from the first Alien film, which has been located aboard the Sevastopol space station.
First and foremost a stealth game, Isolation heightens the tension by giving you minimal weaponry. Its excellent graphics shine on high-end PCs and clever AI helps ramp up the dread, leaving you quivering at every corner. This and more make Alien: Isolation well-deserving of a spot on our list of the best PC games.
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Overwatch, if nothing else, has drastically changed the landscape, moving it away from the norm of gray-ish cover shooters to the realm of competitive gaming. Its bright, vibrant colors are only made better with approachable characters, each coming with their own interesting backstories, which, while not present in game, make for a collection of awesome webcomics and cinematics.
Overwatch is also one of the best PC games, because of how well it runs on all kinds of different hardware. Sure, it’s a bit old now, but even in 2019, it’s the best PC game for anyone with a competitive streak. If somehow you’ve missed out on this game, do yourself a favor – sign in to your Battle.net account and take Overwatch – not to mention, its colorful cast of characters – for a spin today.
8. Forza Horizon 4
Microsoft's racing series has been getting better with every release, and in many ways this spin-off has surpassed the main Forza Motorsport line as the best racing games on PC right now. They're certainly more fun, adding a dash of arcade fun to the stunningly recreated cars and race tracks we've come to expect from Forza. Forza Horizon 4 is easily one of the best PC games you can buy today, and this entry brings the racing to the UK after having explored America, France, Italy and Australia in the previous three instalments of the franchise. Now, you can tear through quaint villages, seaside towns and the city of Edinburgh by way of many miles of country roads and dirt tracks in between. It's fast, frantic and a lot of fun.
You can buy Forza Horizon 4 through the Microsoft Store. It's also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC, or you can buy the Xbox One version and get a download code for PC using the Xbox Anywhere feature.
9. Thimbleweed Park
Fans of classic point and click games such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle, which are some of the finest PC games ever made, should make sure they download Thimbleweed Park. Made by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, two of the people behind PC classics Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, Thimbleweed Park plays like a love letter to classic point-and-click adventure games. From the stunning retro artwork, hilarious dialogue and head-scratching puzzles, Thimbleweed Park deserves its place on our list of the best PC games, combining the best of old school PC game design with modern technology.
10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Seven years after its first release, Skyrim is as solid a game as ever thanks to its vast selection of mods and high-resolution texture packs. Even if you're only interested in playing the vanilla version of the RPG, it offers more than 100 hours of gameplay.
Throw in three action packed DLC expansion packs (Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn) to the mix, and it lasts even longer. That Skyrim has been compared to graphically superior but similar RPG blockbuster The Witcher 3 is proof of its enduring popularity. Step into Skyrim, one of the best PC games in 2019, and you too can be an adventurer – just try not to take an arrow in the knee.
If you’re looking for a more special version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda has you covered – it can’t seem to stop releasing and re-releasing Skyrim for every platform. You can even play it in VR.
11. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
From Software is a household name when it comes to creating the best PC games. The minds behind the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series have brought PC gamers to some of the most desolate landscapes and through some of the most challenging yet rewarding gameplay. From Software is back at it again, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Sekiro places you in the shoes of the Young Wolf, a shinobi tasked with rescuing his young master. The game will take you through 16th-century Japan, but things will get weird and supernatural: this is From Software we’re talking about.
Don’t expect an easy time of it though. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an extremely hard game to master, and you’ll require quick reflexes to deflect enemy attacks, as well as to master stealth. You won’t be able to hide behind a shield all day, like you were able to in Dark Souls III.
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The phrase "build it, and they will come" rings true with Minecraft, the survival-based sandbox RPG that has now been purchased more than 100 million times since its conception in 2009. In it, you can build your own worlds using resources you find in the wild, or explore existing ones created by other players online.
In Minecraft, you can either limit yourself to the numerous tools and blocks provided by the developer, Mojang, or you can install mods to truly capitalize on your investment. Additionally, sometime in 2019, you’ll be able to take part in the Super Duper Graphics Pack, an optional piece of DLC that adds more realistic lighting effects and textures to an already incredible game.
Id Software's Doom was a phenomena for PC gamers in the ‘90s. The crudely rendered first-person shooter series was as controversial as it was beloved, thanks in large part to its cutting-edge depictions of gore and violence that only a computer could deliver.
Parents be damned, the franchise has made a comeback in 2016 with a fresh reset, appropriately titled Doom. Even though the multiplayer might not appeal to shooter fans regardless of age, the single player campaign will pit you against demons in Hell for a lengthy mission that is bloody satisfying, pun intended.
14. Fortnite Battle Royale
How could we not include possibly the biggest game in the world right now? Fortnite Battle Royale is a global phenomenon and one of the best PC games right now if you like super-competitive online games. This is a game people keep coming back to, and that's mainly thanks to the addictive gameplay and regular updates from Epic. Fortnite Battle Royale is actually a game mode for the Fortnite game, but this mode has become so popular, many people consider it a separate game in its own right. As with other Battle Royale games, the aim of Fortnite Battle Royale is to fight your way through an ever-shrinking map until you're the last player standing. That might sound simple, but there's a whole lot of depth to this game once you start playing.
Cuphead's 1930's animation aesthetics easily makes this one of the best looking – and sounding – PC games on the list. Combining run-and-gun platforming and boss rush battles, it's an incredibly difficult game – but that also makes it so rewarding. With hand-drawn cell animation, watercolor backgrounds and original jazz soundtrack, Cuphead is unlike anything you'll play on PC, and while the steep difficulty curve may put people off, if you're willing to sharpen your gaming skills you'll be rewarded with one of the best PC games money can buy.
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Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article