The Best PC Games for 2022

The Best PC Games for 2022
The Best PC Games for 2022

When you fire up Epic Games Store, Steam, Xbox, or any of the other digital marketplaces for PC games, you’ll be faced with many purchasing options. Feel like leveling characters in a role-playing game? Disco Elysium: The Final Cut and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt got what you need. In the mood to knuckle up against online opponents? A fighting game like Guilty Gear Strive or The King of Fighters XV will do you good. In short, the PC gaming space is deep and varied. Don’t get frozen by choice, though; use this guide to help you make a swift and wise purchasing decision.

Please recognize, however, that this is not a historical examination of the most groundbreaking PC games. Simply put, this an ever-expanding collection of entertaining titles you should buy if you own a gaming desktop or gaming laptop.

To clarify, games don’t need to have been released within the calendar year to qualify for this roundup. Any game that’s still available and still considered excellent when ranked against the best of today is eligible. We think that’s the most useful approach to helping you decide which video games deserve space on your PC’s hard drive, and which aren’t worth consideration even when their prices are cut by 85 percent during a Steam(Opens in a new window) sale.

In our newest update, we’ve added threw games: Soundfall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, and Vampire Survivors.

How We Pick ‘Em

Compiling this guide was no small undertaking. PCMag’s in-house and freelance reviewers have played a ridiculous number of PC games over the years, so creating criteria for inclusion was essential. Here’s what we came up with, after much deliberation. To be included, a game must have been reviewed by PCMag, still be available for purchase, and received a rating of 3.5 stars or greater.

The first requirement is to ensure that we can give you more insight into a game. Yes, this guide goes tell you a bit about each highlighted game, but the ability to link to a full review benefits people looking for a deeper cut. The second point we’ve already covered. The third criteria required a bit of pondering. We didn’t want to set the star rating so low that nearly all PC games qualified for the guide, yet we didn’t want to set the star rating so high that we exclude quality B-tier games, such as Dead Island and Split/Second. For now, 3.5 stars is the happy medium, but, as we review more games, we may have to be choosier, to keep the list at a manageable size.

 

 

What About Playing Games on Steam Deck?

Ah, yes, we couldn’t forget Steam Deck, Valve’s handheld gaming PC! The games mentioned here are designed for Windows-based computers, so you should check out Valve’s game compatibility list if you want to play them on Steam Deck. It showcases the many PC games that work with SteamOS, the handheld’s operating system.

Right now, there are hundreds of Steam Deck-verified titles (with more being tested on the regular!), according to info pulled from SteamDB(Opens in a new window). Here’s what you need to know about the verification system: A green checkmark indicates that a 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.” So, get in there, and check out the PC games that you can play on the go. Update: Valve released an official compatibility checker(Opens in a new window) that you can use to see if your Windows games will run on Steam Deck. Please understand that a title may run well on Steam Deck, even if Valve hasn’t reviewed it yet.

 

Of course, you could always install Windows on your Steam Deck, but the gameplay experience may not be quite as seamless as when the handheld runs SteamOS (this version of the operating system is designed for a 7-inch screen). For more on Steam Deck, check out Steam Deck 101: Everything You Need to Know About Valve’s Handheld Gaming PC, How Valve’s Failures Led to the Steam Deck, 9 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Steam Deck, and Can’t Buy a Steam Deck? 6 Of the Best Alternatives.

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