The PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch are all excellent home video game consoles, but sometimes it’s just better to play on PC. You’ll find platform-exclusive titles, free online play, and console ports that sometimes boast superior audio and video fidelity. A large and healthy mod community strengthens the platform’s appeal, too. If you’re a PC gamer—or long to be one—there’s no better place to start hunting for titles than Steam, a digital marketplace packing thousands of titles.
So, how do you sort through the many games in Valve’s store? Don’t worry, we’ve done it for you. Here you’ll find games so good that PCMag bestowed upon them our coveted Editors’ Choice award. Whether you’re looking for a hot new shooter, a thrilling fantasy RPG, or mind-boggling strategy game, our list almost certainly has something that will pique your interest.
If you’re playing on a Windows PC, all you need to do is download and install these games. If you’re playing on the Steam Deck, first check Valve’s game compatibility list to see if your titles of interest work in the Proton-enhanced, SteamOS environment, or require additional actions on your end. So far, hundreds of Steam games are Steam Deck verified, according to info pulled from SteamDB(Opens in a new window). A green checkmark indicates that game is fully verified to run well on Steam Deck; a yellow checkmark indicates that the game is playable on Steam Deck, “but requires extra steps or manual work from the user.” Keep in mind, games that require an online connection may not be ideal for on-the-go-Steam Deck play unless you can find a Wi-Fi signal.
Recommended by Our Editors
Of course, this is only a starter list; for a much, much deeper dive, please read our roundup of the best PC games, the majority of which are available on Steam.
If you hate politics-fueled video games, don’t play Disco Elysium – The Final Cut. This detective-RPG isn’t necessarily a manifesto, but it says something. Disco Elysium delivers many thoughtful political criticisms, but don’t mistake it for ho-hum centrism.
The game sides with working people and their movements, despite asking you to play as police officers on the other end of that spectrum. The excellent RPG mechanics and well-crafted world would be impressive no matter the story, but Disco Elysium’s themes make it one of the best PC games that you should play right now.
Dota 2, the esports staple, is the very definition of easy to learn, hard to master. The free-to-play, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game tasks you with selecting one of more than 100 playable Heroes to take to the battlefield, utilizing the character’s unique abilities, play style, and attributes to help your team achieve victory.
Dota 2 lacks Paragon’s graphical flair, and it doesn’t have Smite’s many unique play modes, but it is the best and most balanced MOBA on Steam.
Fire Pro Wrestling World began life as a promising Steam Early Access title. Upon its official release, Spike Chunsoft’s “sports” game morphed into one of the most addictive wrasslin’ titles to grace any platform.
An excellent return to form after the disappointing, avatar-based, Xbox 360-exclusive Fire Pro Wrestling, World has all of the elements that comprise a great Fire Pro game: robust creation tools, a ridiculously deep move set, MMA rules, cage fighting, gimmick matches, and tight controls and match pacing. Online play, Steam Workshop integration for uploading and downloading content, and optional New Japan Pro Wrestling DLC makes Fire Pro Wrestling World the best in its series.
Traditional Gears of War games are cover-based shooters that put you in the boots of muscled soldiers who defend humanity from the mutant horde called the Locust. The series injects brutal weaponry into the third-person shooting action, such as chainsaw-assault guns and spear-tipped rifles, that can be used to melee or blast the Locust Horde into bloody lumps.
Miraculously, Gears Tactics—the franchise’s first venture into the turn-based, strategy genre—preserves many series hallmarks, including wild melee executions, cover-heavy environments, and waves of overaggressive enemies. Yet, the new tactical elements add to the action in wonderfully crafted ways. This excellent Steam game is far from being a mere XCOM knockoff.
The Guilty Gear series reigns as the king of anime-style fighting games due to its beautiful art style, and a rich, demanding, and lighting-quick combat system. Unfortunately, the game’s many systems proved inaccessible to casual player—until now. With Strive, developer Arc System Works streamlines Guilty Gear’s fighting to make it more newcomer-friendly, while retaining the older games’ creative richness.
Strive comes with fewer extra modes than its predecessors, but there is a lot to love in this PC game, including astounding visuals, impressive character play styles, lag-free online play courtesy of top-tier, rollback netcode, and an amazing soundtrack. Strive is an approachable series entry that shakes up the Guilty Gear formula in the best ways possible.
Monster Hunter Rise makes the jump from Nintendo Switch to PC, delivering excellent, creature-killing action that tops 100 frames per second. Like its console counterpart, Rise on PC features new Yokai-inspired monsters, fresh mobility options, and large hunting zones packed with collectible goodies for upgrading your custom warrior.
The Capcom-developed title lacks cross-save and cross-platform support, but it’s still one of the best multiplayer, action-RPGs to come along in some time.
Until recently, even Monster Hunter’s most rabid fans admitted that there’s a certain level of gameplay jank; a jankiness that turned many casual players away. But with Monster Hunter World, Capcom enhanced animations, streamlined gameplay, and made tons of quality-of-life adjustments.
The changes worked in a big way. Tracking and battling huge, snarling beasts with a variety of crafted armor and weaponry is an absolute joy, especially while doing so with friends in multiplayer mode.
Microsoft is mostly known for realistic games starring space marine and fast cars, but every now and then the company releases family friendly, mascot-driven platformers. Ori and the Will of the Wisps falls squarely into the latter category.
The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, Will of the Wisps impresses with more timeless polish and craft. The game contains a darkly beautiful world made of thought-provoking levels, and gives you the tools to move through the environments with unparalleled grace.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a violent story about the death of the Old West. In it, you control Arthur Morgan, a man who belongs to an outlaw group and is disillusioned by the criminal lifestyle. Still, Arthur can’t see himself doing anything other than stealing and killing. This conflict drives the narrative and introduces many action-filled missions in a gorgeous open world.
Though not without some performance issues, Red Dead Redemption 2 amazes on PC. Its incredible story, beautiful graphics, multitude of optional quests, and ever-updated online mode may keep you hooked for years to come.
Metalhead Software’s newest baseball title captures what makes the sport an internationally beloved game, as it inserts you into a world where homers go deep, cartoony showboats flex their super-sized biceps, and pitcher-batter match ups are tense games of cat and mouse.
Super Mega Baseball 3 boasts numerous on-field improvements, strategy-enhancing player traits, and gameplay modes for both default and custom ball clubs that push the series deeper into simulation territory. Despite light frame rate issues and other minor complaints, Super Mega Baseball 3 is the best title in the series to date and an outstanding Steam game.
Tekken 7, like the main-line Tekken games that came before it, is a tale of fathers and sons attempting to murder each other to purge the Mishima clan from the Devil Gene, a magical DNA bit that transforms certain people into hell spawn. Touted as the conclusion of the Mishima drama, Tekken 7 reveals secrets and leaves cliffhangers, thus simultaneously answering long-standing questions and prompting the fan base to ask new ones.
Thankfully, the wonderfully ridiculous tale is bolstered by some of the best mechanics featured in contemporary fighting games, with the new Power Crush, Rage Arts, and Rage Drive attacks deftly blending into the established mix.
In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt grips his swords one last time in search of his surrogate daughter, Ciri. The game design techniques that developer CD Projekt Red employed made the third mainline Witcher game one of the best RPGs ever crafted.
The combat is more intuitive than before, boasting improved spell-casting capabilities, smoother evasion, and better item-crafting abilities. In addition, Wild Hunt features a ridiculously massive game world filled with powerful weapons, valuable collectible materials, labyrinthine dungeons, and lots of monsters to slay. It’s well written, and features excellent voice work, too.