What are the biggest games of 2021? Which are the ones which you should make some space for on your gaming PC? We found the best games for PC from a variety of genres, so there’s something for you, or even something you might not have seen before.
Diablo III is a hack-and-slash roleplaying game (RPG), set in a world ravaged by angels and demons. It’s regarded as a genre-defining game, and you get to pick your classes from one of seven choices as you go and defeat the Lord of Terror. You can also play Diablo III multiplayer, so you can experience the adventure with a friend. As an isometric RPG, Diablo III will give a different view of the action to what you experience in traditional third-person RPGs such as The Witcher, and because items are randomised, each playthrough is slightly different.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the most well-regarded RPGs and seen as one of the best PC games of all time, The Witcher 3 still holds up today, with graphics that will take your breath away and a story that will keep you engrossed for hours. If you’ve watched Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher, but not yet played the games, The Witcher 3 gives you the world, characters and abilities you may already be familiar with, as well as a story that you get to influence through dialogue choices. You can be as kind or as grumpy as you like as you help Geralt of Rivia complete his quest.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Solving mysteries in a city recovering from war might not be what you immediately associate with the title Disco Elysium, but the game’s distinctive art style and lack of combat make for a very different gaming experience than the majority on the market. Based on tabletop RPGs, the focus is on dialogue, not fighting, and the game has been critically acclaimed. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut comes with voice acting and extra content, giving you an even better experience in this groundbreaking game.
Solasta Crown of the Magister
Solasta Crown of the Magister is a video game based on the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons. You get to choose a race and class for each of your party members, roll their stats and pick their background. You then play through the story, with characters having personalities and being tasked with investigating various mysteries. If you’ve ever thought about playing Dungeons and Dragons, or your group hasn’t been able to meet for ages, this game gives you a chance to play D&D in the comfort of your own home. You roll dice to determine how successful your attacks are and to find out how much your characters know about obscure pieces of the world’s lore.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
Mass Effect was a genre-defining game, but in the decade since its release, technology has come a long way. It seems only fair that a game considered as one of the best games for PC should get its own remastered edition. If you’ve never played Mass Effect before, start with the Legendary edition and experience the game with better graphics, so the characters you meet are more real than ever before. Science-fiction RPGs have seemed few and far between in recent years, as we often end up with exploration or strategy games instead of stories. This means Mass Effect Legendary Edition will linger in your memory, leaving an impact on you for years to come.
Minecraft is a game everybody should play at least once as it’s widely considered to be one of the best games for PC, and if you haven’t played it yet, start in 2021. There have been some fantastic updates to the game recently, and if playing it vanilla isn’t quite difficult enough for you, you can always add mods to improve the bits of the game that aren’t quite to your taste. One of the best things about Minecraft is that you can play it with friends, so you can each pick a place to have your own base, trading with each other so you can all get the different resources you need. Minecraft lets you play how you want to play – there are no rules, nor is there a story, so you can play as quickly or as slowly as you want. You can build whatever you want, making it as detailed or as simple as you like.
Valheim is a creative survival game, like Minecraft. The worlds are also randomly generated, monsters will try and kill you, resources are required to upgrade your equipment. However, in Valheim, you are a Viking warrior who has been chosen by the god Odin to help end a threat to the realms. You explore the world on Viking longships, slaying trolls, sea serpents and dragons, you can tame wolves and boar and make different foods that give you extra health and stamina. When you’re finally ready, you defeat a number of bosses, each summoned through different tributes. You can also play Valheim with up to nine friends, so you can share the load of collecting resources, protecting your base and slay the monsters together. And it’s still getting regular updates from the developers, so there’s sure to be more exciting things to come.
Subnautica: Below Zero
Subnautica: Below Zero is the sequel to 2014’s underwater horror survival game, Subnautica. In Below Zero, you return to the same planet on which you were stranded in Subnautica, but instead of the safe basin where the Aurora crashed, you’re in the cold Antarctic region. There are more new lifeforms to see, new vehicles to build and new mysteries to solve. Subnautica: Below Zero looks as good, if not better than the first game and lets you visit a new part of a world that has gripped imaginations.
Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village is another survival horror game, but in this sequel to Resident Evil: 7 you’re searching for the protagonist’s daughter as he navigates a village full of mutated creatures. Exploring the snowy landscape of the village in this first-person game will leave you on the edge of your seat as you hope that the sound you just heard wasn’t one of the mutant creatures nearby. The goal of the game isn’t to leave you in constant fear, which might just serve to make the scary parts of the game even more terrifying, giving you opportunities to fight against the mutant creatures and find out more about the village in which they’re found.
Dorfromantik is a small, relaxing puzzle game where you match hexagonal tiles to build small towns, forests, railways and rivers. The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible, with the game ending when you run out of tiles. You can gain more tiles by completing challenges, which can include making a field area with a set amount of fields, or a town with at least 10 houses. There’s no resource management, and each time you play, your creation will be different from the last, so there are many hours of fun in this small but addictive game.
Portal and Portal 2
Portal and Portal 2 are well-known for being fun, challenging puzzle games. Escaping the mysterious laboratory, alone in the first game, but with the potential to have a friend in the second, by placing portals using your trusty portal gun in just the right places will give you a short, but fun time as you play this well-loved game. Because there’s no time limit on how long it takes to complete each level, there’s no pressure to get each puzzle right on the first try, so you can try as many different solutions as you can think of.
Doom: Eternal follows Doomguy in his quest to end Hell’s consumption of Earth, giving you a chance to continue the quest you started in Doom. Getting to aggressively engage your enemies in this first-person shooter gives you a chance to truly take the fight to the demons facing you, developing tactics that give you an advantage as you go. Doom: Eternal also comes with multiplayer modes, so you can play online with your friends, as each of you takes on slightly different roles in the fight between Doom Slayers and the demons, meaning that games like this aren’t just limited to the story.
Necromunda: Hired Gun
Exploring the planet of Necromunda, a mechanised planet from the Warhammer 40K universe, Necromunda: Hired Gun lets you work for one or all of the various factions on the planet. You are a mercenary whose goal is to uncover a conspiracy in the criminal underworld, using melee or ranged weapons while you complete contracts and explore the multi-level environments in a variety of ways, using tools like a grappling hook. Praised for its combat system, Necromunda: Hired Gun gives you a chance to be one person in the middle of a criminal underworld filled with warring factions as you seek out the answer to one mystery after another, unravelling the conspiracy theory behind the curtain.
2021 shows us that the best games for PC are both old and new. Updates to games like Minecraft and new games like Dorfromantik and Valheim are a breath of fresh air after years of things feeling similar, and you have the chance to step into a new world, like Necromunda, or experience adventures you might not have before, like Solasta. You might even find a new genre you like or a game that becomes your new favourite, so don’t be afraid to try something new.