There have been expansive lists for the best PC games before. That's nothing new. But the Shacknews' Chatty community is comprised largely of diehard PC gamers that have expoused the virtues of desktop gaming for over decades. So it only seems right that this core group of dedicated users take several weeks to evalute and organize a list of the best of the best in PC games.
This is the fruit of their efforts, led by Chatty's watcherxp. After weeks of tallying votes taken over our Chatty boards and privately channels, this is the list of the Top 100 PC Games of All-Time. Today, we continue the countdown with #80 through #61.
Click here to check out #100 through #81.
#79 - Star Wars: X-Wing
The early 90s brought PC gamers some of the greatest Star Wars games ever made, with nary a Jedi to be found. No, rather these games honored the space combat aspect of the license, with LucasArts offering up X-Wing in 1993. The sound and music were unmistakbly Star Wars, right down to the epic Death Star trench run.
"I'm sure most people will list TIE Fighter, but X-Wing really started it all. The game did the best job of putting players in the Star Wars movies with solid graphics (for the time) and controls -- having control of how to allocate power between shields and weapons was so well-done and straight from the movies. The sound and music killed everything else at the time -- the iMUSE dynamic soundtrack was incredible (and inspired me to grab a General MIDI soundcard to fully enjoy it)."
"Death Star run, anyone?"
"Playing as a rebel fighter pilot. What else needs to be said."
#78 - Civilization II
Before Firaxis, there was the original MicroProse helming the Civilization franchise. The 1996 sequel offered a new isometric view, as well as improved AI that would take the same turns that the human player would. It was a big step forward for a series that would only get better over the years.
"Leonardo's Workshop FTW."
"Perhaps the most influential 4X game in history."
"As influential as it gets. Spend many hours playing this game, even if I was always terrible at it."
"The only game besides WoW that I played so intently that I looked up to see the sun coming up after having played it all day, through the night until the sun came up the next morning."
#77 - FTL: Faster Than Light
A grand representation of what makes video games great. It's a combination of fun, frustration, and addiction all taking place in the depths of outer space. The galactic roguelike released two years and is still getting just as much play today as it did then, thanks to its roguelike structure and a huge fleet of playable ships.
"The game that I love to hate. This is one of those where I lose myself in the action and before I know it it's past my bedtime. I've logged 40+ hours in this challenging yet addictive micromanagement strategy game and I've still yet to beat it even once."
"I f***ing hate this game. I post on the Shack about how much I hate this game (not anymore, since being called out for it). I hate the game... but I spent hours playing it. Way too many hours for that matter. It deserves to be on this list. I don't like it - at all... but it is an amazing game."
"A total surprise that came out of nowhere to destroy many a gamers night with utter failure. And yet we kept going back to the well...."
#76 - StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II was one of the most highly-anticipated RTS games and Blizzard definitely delivered. Not only did it retain all of the genre elements that made the original StarCraft such a great game, but it also tossed in some new features, an engaging single-player narrative, an improved multiplayer experience, and one of the titles at the center of the eSports phenomenon. It's been arguably overshadowed by the sudden rise of MOBAs, but StarCraft II remains a fantastic product on its own.
"Anticipation of this game was off the charts. I spent entire days playing the original game. When it released, it was everything I had hoped it would be. It's an RTS, so it is kind of niche when compared to other types of games, still, the Esport aspect in the beginning was off the charts and caused a lot of people like me, who scoffed at 'watching video games online' a believer. This is another old game by comparison to some that make this list, but the fact that at any given time I could turn on my PC and start to play it gives it my number 3."
"I love the approach they took for the singleplayer campaign, completely seperate from and unrestricted by multiplayer balance, meaning a shitton of units and imba upgrades, to be used in the most diverse set of missions ever made. A shining example I desperately hope others will follow, but probably no one will"
"SC2 is another blizzard strategy game with some similar components to the previous Starcraft but vastly improved interface and engine. Rarely do improvements make the game balance worse but the crowd pathing and easy base management turned Starcraft 2 into a game of deathballs at certain times in its history. The strategic component was quite delicate as some counterstrategies became the only viable option but it still was interesting in how each player could pull it off differently. StarCraft 2 also explored the concept of player awareness as a resource, where smarter people have more of it. The number of things that go on at once can go beyond a player's awareness ability and then the battle swings against them. The special abilities and unique units create some very different types of battles and playing a new race is like playing a brand new game which makes this such a great value."
#75 - Dishonored
With the arguable decline of the Thief franchise, PC gamers needed a new stealth series to latch onto. Enter Dishonored, which filled the stealth void quite capably. On top of honoring the genre, Arkane Studios' 2012 effort also succeeds for its explorable worlds, freedom of movement, and the number of well-told stories that weave together to make a fine narrative.
"Great Victorian styled setting. Loved not having too worry about not being stealthy enough"
"In an era of hallway shooters, where tactics come down to "shotgun or Uzi" this game reminds us of the promise of its forbearers. The art, mechanics, and story are each haunting and beautiful."
"The most polished, balanced, and entertaining combat/stealth FPS set in a very original and internally consistent world."
#74 - Wing Commander: Privateer
Wing Commander is one of the most highly-praised PC gaming franchises out there and 1993's Privateer stands out as one of the best. Controller a privateer, players now had the option to choose their occupation, adding the potential to create their own unique adventures. Toss in the acclaimed Wing Commander gameplay style and Privateer proves to be one of the better games in the series.
"Playing in the Wing Commander universe gave this game a strong background to pull from. What is not to love about going from dogfights with space cats to smuggling slaves and drugs."
"It's goddamn Privateer!"
#73 - Telltale's The Walking Dead
Bar none, a triumph in the PC adventure space. The Walking Dead pushed the genre forward by introducing the idea of conversation branches that have real consequences on how your story ultimately plays out. Combine this with the compelling Walking Dead narrative and some of the most gripping characters in all of games and it's no wonder that this game cracked our Top 100. It also doesn't hurt that this was the 2012 Game of the Year, named as such by both the Shacknews staff and Chatty.
"This is the nearest a game has ever been to making me cry. F***ing hell, what a soul-crushing game."
"One of the newer games on the list. I loved it, we'll see if it stands the test of time"
"I have never been more emotionally wrapped up in a story as I was when I played TWD. After I finished that game, I needed time to myself to think and decompress. That has never happened before when I played a game. I will also never play this game again. What happened, happened."
"The Walking Dead pretty much resurrected a dead genre. Adventure games were still active but most of them were sub-par. TWD came in and blew people away with its incredibly deep story, insanely tough moral choices, and two characters who I have never felt more a part of me at times. It was the first, and probably only game that has ever made me tear up. A monumental achievement in story telling."
"This is a game full of gut-wrenching decisions. The subject matter is so heavy that I could only play an episode at a time. By the end I was crying like a little girl, blubbering on an airplane full of people as I finished the game on my laptop during a flight. I have never once cried from a video game before or since."
#72 - F.E.A.R
One of the first horror entries of the Top 100, Monolith knew just how to strike fear into the hearts of its fans. Even with the Point Man's enhanced reflexes, F.E.A.R. was still a frightening experience that took elements of the supernatural and gradually introduced them with some pristine pacing. And the enemies weren't just scary, they were also smart. It was one of Monolith's best games and shows just what they're capable of, as Monolith prepares to release Shadow of Mordor next week.
"Best. Gunplay. Ever. No other game makes firefights so fun. First game AFAIK that was described as visceral, also the only game that deserves to be described as visceral"
"While there was a strong story and a horror tone to the game FEAR, the best parts were in the normal combat sequences. The grenade explosions were fantastic as they resembled some of those slow-motion high speed camera explosions of watermelon or jello. I also loved the mix of melee jump kicks and animation blending while holding guns. The AI were challenging with vocal communication to each other, and some repositioning that made each encounter a worthy challenge at high difficulties. The multiplayer wasn't quite solid and the first sequel was alright, but I prefer straight up FEAR. I even think the story characters were an interesting level of mystery and led to some good level sequences."
#71 - Dota 2
Chatty loves its MOBAs. But let's face it, even with League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm both touting massive fanbases, there's nothing quite like Dota 2. The real-time action is truly engaging like few games out there and one of the true team-based games out there. Perhaps too much so, given how brutal some of the Dota 2 diehards can be. Still, Dota 2 is definitely Chatty's MOBA of choice.
"F*** the haters, this is the best game I've played in years."
"Somehow everything (but the shop sometimes) mostly works. Somehow the community isn't a complete shithole. Dota 2 does a mostly-good job at making the most inscrutable... semi-scrutable. Art, sound, character design all play parts.
"You either get it, or you don't.
#70 - EverQuest
Before there was World of Warcraft, EverQuest was the undisputed king of all things MMORPG. It was unlike anything seen at the time and is still alive and kicking with a massive install base, even 15 years later. In fact, EverQuest is on the verge of releasing its 21st expansion this October. Given the vast graveyard of MMORPGs that litter the gaming space, EverQuest still stands tall as one of the giants of the genre.
"This one got me into MMOs"
"The first big first-person MMO that laid the foundation for WoW and so many more to come. For 1999, it was a technological marvel."
"Back in the days this game provided an amazing online gaming experience. Even though the game had many flaws (e.g. slow, global NPC spawns that made it hard to find monsters to kill on crowded servers), it was the most 'massive' online game I've ever played, as unlike WoW it didn't have instances and some raids required well over 40 people."
"Nothing tops EQ for early feeling of wonder. Later it established the social group raiding structure that is so common in today's MMORPGs."
#69 - Psychonauts
One of the true cult classics. Double Fine's platformer may not have been a commercial success at the time, but Psychonauts stands at #1 in a lot of people's hearts. It had great platforming, a raucous sense of humor, and the kind of heart that has drawn comparisons to Pixar. There is no game quite like Psychonauts and you owe it to yourself to try it.
"Tim Schafer is my hero."
"This is probably the least 'PC game' of the games on my list. But it's one of my favorite games, and it does finally have a PC port (which I have played!) so here it is."
"Not just underrated... amazing game! Needs a sequel!"
#68 - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was unlike many shooters on the market, with developer GSC Game World opting to explore the nuclear disaster known as Chernobyl. With a non-linear story centered around a mysterious Stalker, the game featured some cool mutant enemies and crazy anomaly areas that will often kill anything that gets near it.
"It's not for everyone, but when it clicks, it grabs hold and never lets go. Totally unique experience and provided that scary survivalist feeling years before sodding Day Z and it's millions of clones."
"One of the prototypical "eastern European games that aren't going to hold your hand". I loved the moody atmosphere -- not just the visuals (which were gorgeous) but also the conversations with cantankerous locals, and the downbeat setpieces. The open-ish world had the right density of landmarks and interesting/frightening locations. You were free to see or miss just about anything; exploring to "fill out the map" was as exciting as following up the next lead in the main story. And the final sequence at Chernobyl was satisfyingly apocalyptic; so good that I've been reluctant to try the sequels."
"GET OUT OF HERE STALKER
GET OUT OF HERE STALKER
Seriously, this game is f***ing amazing."
#67 - Battlefield: Bad Company 2
It's safe to say that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has withstood the test of time, given how it's recently found its way back into the weekly Shackbattle rotation. With some fantastic sound and level design and four multiplayer classes to choose from, Bad Company 2 stands out as one of the best games in the Battlefield series. You can either choose to master one of the classes or take advantage of one of the game's 15 vehicles. There's something for just about every shooter fan here.
"Best Battlefield that doesn't have mechs."
"I love the Battlefield series. 1942 was great. The rest were okay but when I first played Bad Company 2 the graphics were unbelievable and OMG the sounds were mind blowing. I have 100's of hours in this game."
"In my history I was involved in some serious clans, or gaming groups. Battlefield was one of the games I dedicated the most time, energy and brainpower to. The gunplay and vehicular warfare were not perfect, but once they were understood, the tactics and strategies really shined. I was very focused on winning the match, and in a competitive clan vs clan environment, this is a fruitful endeavor. Unlike random public games, an organized match let the game shine. Air and land vehicles are coordinated with the ground forces and some major strategies can be executed because of coordinated cooperative teammates. Battlefield 2 I also spent a ton of time in, and I appreciated its emphasis on vehicles. However BC2 removed dolphin diving, some map imbalances and became quite special with how buildings were constructed and destructable. Fighting over single points made some amazing moments to save the day, or toward the enemy as time ticks to zero."
#66 - Borderlands 2
It was hard to fathom how Gearbox could improve upon the first Borderlands game, given that they pretty much perfected the RPG/shooter hybrid. Then they figured it out! More guns! Lots more guns! Also, more loot! Nothing satisfies quite like the vault hunting and nothing scratches that itch like Borderlands 2.
"...many great evenings with friends, but fewer zombies than Left 4 Dead."
"A Diablo-type game but with guns. 'nuff said!"
"B2 was a great game for a lot of the reasons Diablo 3 wasn't. It had a great story, and some amazing voice acting work. Definitely an amazing game."
#65 - Command & Conquer: Red Alert
We covered the second Red Alert earlier in the list, but it can't quite top the original Allies vs. Soviets strategy game. The 1996 effort from Westwood Studios was largely known for its two factions that each boasted their own play style, as well as a fresh easy way to control each individual unit. It was a big step forward for 1996 and one that C&C fans still remember fondly today.
"Might be the best RTS of all time"
#64 - Diablo III
Ok, let's face it. Diablo III had a rough launch. There's no disputing that. But Blizzard's dungeon crawler bounced back in a big way, delivering heaps of new content on a regular basis. That's without mentioning how Reaper of Souls and the refined loot system helped shape the game for the better, ultimately making it another strong entry from Blizzard.
"After getting hooked on Diablo, I loved the loot-heavy dungeon-crawling genre, but nothing ever quite replicated that feeling. While Diablo 3 doesn't quite match its parent title in some ways (atmosphere and music), it makes up for it in having the tightest, most enjoyable combat and loot treadmill the genre has seen. Other games, IMO, don't even come close to matching the satisfying crunch of blowing enemies apart with spells in this game."
"In today's day and age of blockbuster PC games coming out seemingly every month - I am still playing Diablo 3. The game that coined the phrase "you hate this game you spend 75+ hours playing" is doing something terribly right. Not to mention the fact that with every update Blizzard makes the game better and better. It lacks in story you say - playing a click click click game for the story is like picking up a porn mag for the articles."
#63 - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Before World of Warcraft became the juggernaut that it would become today, Warcraft III would represent the peak of the human vs. orc struggle. This RTS from Blizzard added some engaging multiplayer skirmishes, as well as the next stage of the classic Warcraft narrative. WoW would take this conflict in a whole new direction, but Warcraft III still stands as one of Blizzard's finer RTS efforts.
"This is still a fun game to play every now and then!"
"At the time mixing heroes into a strategy game seemed crazy, but now the gaming world has gone more heroes and less strategy. I took part in the beta and every iteration was exciting because they really merged a bunch of elements wonderfully together. Leveling up a hero with creeps and getting items complimented the traditional base and army building well. The game was highly micro-dependent with the slower paced fighting and target fire or precise timed use of spells. Of all future PC games, a proper sequel to WC3 would make me most excited."
"What Starcraft did for me for offline RTS games, Warcraft 3 was the first RTS I took online. The online community of W3 was what kept me coming back for more and more of it. There was always a new map to try, always a new mode to try, and I never tired of it. Also, that DOTA thing that you all play now started here, and it was pretty cool back then."
#62 - Fallout: New Vegas
It takes a tremendous game to overcome some pretty iffy bugs and Obsidian managed to do just that with their entry to Bethesda's Fallout series. Fallout: New Vegas took players to a vast, expansive wasteland, rife for exploration and filled with content. The backdrop may not have been glamorous, but it will filled with epic adventures, memorable characters, and keen dialogue in the Obsidian tradition.
"Can you beat Fallout 3 yes you can that is what Fallout New Vegas is. Take the foundation of Fallout 3 and turn it into a super juiced out Fallout 3 by pouring icing, wine, chocolate and marshmallows on it."
"Obsidian's take on Bethesda's update of the original Fallout formula. It took the things I loved about the new Fallout and brought the series back to its roots in terms of being full of weird characters and bizarre scenarios. I've still never completed all the content, but nearly ever moment was a blast."
"New Vegas took what was awesome about F3 and expanded it. It was buggy, yes, but still awesome. F3NV sported a better main story, so I place it ahead."
#61 - Battlefield 2
This is the second Battlefield entry to crack the list. There's a good reason Battlefield 2 is here, because it heavily expanded the multiplayer experience. Up to 64 players could get together and select various infantry classes, along with a cavalcade of different vehicles. Amidst the heavy action, players could also form squads and help manage other team members with the commander role. There's no shortage of entertaining multiplayer options in Battlefield 2 and there's a good reason it's widely praised to this day.
"64 players in tanks, APCs, helicopters, jets, and on foot. BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME EVER."
"BF2 cured my addiction to Q3. One vice for another."
"Great mods (particularly Project Reality) and also epic, epic shack battles!"
The remainder of the Top 100 will be released throughout the week. To see the Chatty community discuss the ongoing list, be sure to check out the original Chatty thread for their reactions. Special thanks to watcherxp and the rest of the Chatty community for voting. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next 20 games on the list!
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time: #79-61.
After weeks of tabulating the votes, the Shacknews Chatty community has come up with their Top 100 PC Games of All-Time! Today, we count down #79 through #61!