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The Best PC Games to Play Right Now

For a segment of the gaming industry that was supposed to be "dying" a few years ago, the PC market is doing incredibly well. The frequent Steam sales show a healthy mix of critically acclaimed AAA and indie releases, be they PC exclusives or cross-platform titles. With that in mind, let's  look at some of the best PC games you can play right now, from the latest releases, to titles you may have missed in the past few years.

Battletech

Battletech

Some games on this list have console counterparts, but it's hard to imagine a better fit for Battletech than the PC. You play as a mech pilot who faces deadly opponents, and must account for a massive list of strategic concerns, including damage to individual armor pieces, overheating, and the physical balance of your mech. The list of outcomes makes Battletech a challenging experience that isn't for everyone. But when you finally find a way to destroy your enemies and fully succeed in a given mission? Few gaming victories will feel sweeter. Credit: Paradox Interactive

Destiny 2

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 launched first on consoles, but it's a perfect example of how developers should handle PC editions. The Windows version contains all of the rock-solid action gameplay and storytelling in its console siblings, along with a host of visual improvements. Destiny 2 on PC features native 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second, extensive graphical enhancements and even includes a comfortable keyboard-and-mouse control scheme (although it still supports standard controllers). If you have a rig that can handle it — and PC gaming friends who can join you for strikes and raids — check out this version of Destiny 2. Credit: Activision

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin resurrected a classic isometric RPG series, but it offered an intriguing twist: cooperative gameplay. You can experience the entire fantasy campaign with an online or split-screen partner, from navigating dialogue trees to completing quests on opposite ends of the map. Original Sin 2 goes even further, updating game systems while increasing the player count to four. There are also more role-playing opportunities, including interparty competition. Original Sin 2 is coming to consoles this fall, but it's out for PCs right now, if the wait feels far too long. Credit: Larian Studios

Fortnite

Fortnite

Fortnite is the massive gaming experience of the moment, to the point that we're starting to take its presence for granted. But it's worthwhile to remember how much Epic Games got right, from its playful take on the Battle Royale genre, to an emphasis on cross-platform play. Fortnite isn't exclusive to one platform, but that's also part of its success: It's the rare major release where PC players can team up with Xbox One and Switch owners, and enjoy the same game. If nothing else, that's a good reason why players will be talking about Fortnite for years to come. Credit: Epic

Frostpunk

Frostpunk

If you're looking for a city-building sim with a dark edge, Frostpunk may be for you. The game takes place in an alternate 1886, where the global cooling caused by volcanic eruptions never stopped. You job to is to build and manage a city around a massive generator while harvesting resources to keep the population happy. If an unexpected event reduces productivity — and it probably will — you'll need to choose between instituting harsh laws to increase development, or risking the generator itself. Can you keep your citizens happy and productive? Or will you let the ends justify the means? Credit: 11 bit studios

Heat Signature

Heat Signature

Procedurally generated games are really hard to get right, because by the time you've stapled the mechanics together, you might have forgotten to give it personality and heart. Heat Signature is a wonderful sci-fi exception to the rule, which emphasizes emergent gameplay, but never forgets that each step should be fun. You'll take on missions in randomly generated ships, sneak past enemies, pause the action to come up with combat strategies and probably launch yourself into space by breaking a window. Then you'll try to catch your body with a remote-controlled shuttle, head back to the airlock, and finish the mission anyway. Play this game. Credit: Suspicious Developments

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm

League of Legends and Dota 2 are giants of the MOBA space, but they're not always welcoming to new players — sometimes because of complex gameplay, sometimes because of toxic communities. Thankfully, Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm is a genuinely great and accessible game that welcomes newcomers and MOBA veterans alike. The game's systems and UI are presented in simple, easy-to-grasp ways, while the game itself still offers the mechanical depth of similar games with 180 heroes. Oh, and you can have a team-up where Overwatch's Tracer and WarCraft’s Brightwing take on Diablo himself. Have I mentioned this game is free? Credit: Blizzard

Into The Breach

Into The Breach

Into The Breach is a fascinating mix of mechs, turn-based strategy and puzzle mechanics, which is greater than the sum of its parts. Missions take place on a 8 x 8 grid with enemies, civilian buildings and other hazards. Your job, as a team of giant mechs, is find the best way to wipe out enemies while avoiding collateral damage. The range of possible solutions is vast. You could knock one enemy into an incoming attack, take creative advantage of hazards or even push opponents off the map. The end result is a minimalist game with tons of emergent strategy potential — one that is well worth your time. Credit: Subset Games

Nier: Automata

Nier: Automata

The original Nier, much like Drakengard before it, experimented with multiple playthroughs and alternate endings. With Nier: Automata, PlatinumGames perfected the branching formula, improved the combat system, and told one of the most touching stories about killer robots out there. To say much more would spoil the experience; just make sure to restart the game once you've completed your initial playthrough. If you stop there, you're missing out on a much deeper game than you probably expected. Credit: Square Enix

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity was among the original Kickstarter success stories, promising a return to the isometric RPG experience of games like Baldur's Gate. It delivered on that promise with flying colors, updating the isometric formula with modern touches, and delivering a rich narrative to boot. The sequel arrived this past May, taking its familiar heroes to a larger world, on seafaring quests. Whether playing the original or its impressive follow-up, you don't want to miss this series. Credit: Paradox Interactive

Rocket League

Rocket League

Rocket League is soccer, if each player were replaced with a rocket-powered car. It's as if a team of 8-year-olds designed a sport, but Psyonix ran with the concept and produced a fantastic game. Although it's a few years old, Rocket League has benefited from frequent updates that added new maps and cars. What's more, a cross-play feature means you can compete with opponents across platforms. Whether playing online, or hosting local party games with friends, Rocket League belongs in your gaming library. Credit: Psyonix

SOMA

SOMA

How did Frictional Games, pioneers of modern horror titles, make SOMA even better than it was at release? It patched the game so that monsters can't hurt you. A recent "Safe Mode: update keeps the unsettling sci-fi narrative intact, but adds an option to make monsters less aggressive. They'll still attack you, but only if you get right up in their business. The end result is that you're still avoiding monsters, but feel even more isolated by the game world. As a bonus, it opens this wonderful game up to anyone who hates jump scares. That's a good thing. Credit: Frictional Games

Total War: Warhammer 2

Total War: Warhammer 2

Total War started out as a historical strategy series, but the Warhammer spin-offs are the best entries in the franchise so far. In the latest game, you take control of a fantasy nation and fight to gain control of a Great Vortex, which threatens five continents. Your tools include magic, diplomatic negotiations and armies with thousands of individual units. If you love grand strategy games, you owe it to yourself to play this one. Its only real flaw? It still isn't called "Total Warhammer." Credit: Sega

Vampyr

Vampyr

Set in 1919 London, Vampyr follows a doctor-turned-vampire who seeks a cure for the Spanish flu. The twist is that you earn most XP not from combat, but from draining and killing named NPC citizens. This presents a stark choice: Do you risk the health of the city to get the coolest vampire abilities, or abstain and face bosses several orders of magnitude more powerful than you? While the combat system could use an overhaul, the game's dramatic innovations make it well worth a playthrough. Credit: Focus Home Interactive

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Take the near-perfect co-op formula of Left 4 Dead, relocate it into the Warhammer universe and fill every map with giant, hostile rats. That's Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide: a challenging-but-riveting dark fantasy game where you team completes missions in a city under siege. Vermintide 2 ups the ante with new locations, a career system and vicious Orcs who have allied with Skaven forces. The game is difficult yet satisfying, and is certainly the best first-person game to use the Warhammer license so far. If you've grown tired of co-op but haven't played Vermintide 2 yet, you won't be tired of co-op for much longer. Credit: Fatshark