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The 5 Best PC Games to Play Right Now

The PC gaming landscape has shifted in recent years, both in terms of technological advancements in graphics cards and gaming PCs and in the makeup of IGN’s PC gaming staff and contributors. As a result, outside of some real stalwarts, our list of the best modern PC games is substantially different compared to years past.

To be clear, this list does not attempt to pick out the “best” or “most influential” PC games ever made. It’s also not a list of the most popular games out there, or a list that seeks to represent the top games of every genre. No, this is a list of 25 games that we, the IGN editors and contributors, collectively recommend the most, based saba sport on our tastes, and all from within the past 10 years. Though that doesn’t mean we don’t still recommend playing Baldur’s Gate 3 in 2023.

1. Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)

Microsoft Flight Simulator is the closest thing we’ve had to a near-perfect recreation of the real world in the virtual space, and new updates keep inching it even closer. Using real-time Bing data to allow you to fly to and from any place on the entire planet has raised the bar for simulations to heights never seen before.

Accessible to anyone, or as realistic as you want, this is open-world at its most literal. Free-flying around the globe, participating in landing challenges at some of the world’s most famously difficult airports, or just sightseeing, Microsoft Flight Simulator is an unparalleled achievement. Don’t forget to grab one of the best PC joysticks to make this flight-sim experience that more immersive.

2. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

You can’t go too far wrong with any of the main games from Sid Meier’s seminal Civilization series, but after updates and expansions, Civilization VI has taken a seat as one of the finest. Like all five iterations before it, Civ VI lets you pave your people’s way from nomadic tribes to sprawling near-future empire in competition or cooperation with neighbors, this time guided by narration from the undying Sean Bean himself.

But here, a distinctive approach to city building in which major structures like specialized districts and Wonders are placed on their own tiles gives it a fresh flavor, and the climate change mechanics add new long-term environmental considerations throughout and hazards that manifest in the late game. It’s also come as close as any game in the series to giving its AI leaders definitive and interesting personalities (which is not to say they’re perfect!).

Firaxis confirmed that Civilization 7 is in the works. This announcement comes after former head of studio Steve Martin and Marvel’s Midnight Suns and XCOM director Jake Solomon departed the studio, leaving former COO Heather Hazen to lead the company.

3. Dota 2

MOBAs have earned a reputation for being dense and difficult to learn, but immensely strategic for those who put in the time. Spend some quality time with Dota 2 and you’ll understand why. Though all matches take place on one map, and there’s only one objective, its 100+ characters and thousands of item combinations make each round feel unique.

Because every second matters, matches are always exciting even when they seem slow. Are you farming gold? Are you scouting the enemy? Or crossing the map to help out a teammate? Or heading back to base to heal? Its complexity can scare players off, but those who stick through it will be rewarded with some of the most strategic gameplay around.

4. Prey (2017)

Few games will make you fear for your life upon encountering the most mundane of inanimate objects the way Prey does – and fewer still will then give you the power to become those objects yourself. It may look like a standard first-person shooter/RPG set aboard a post-disaster space station on the surface, but this immersive sim is one of the strangest of the lot.

To combat the ever-present threat of enemies that can look like anything until it’s too late, Prey fills your toolbox with a wide range of weird, unique, and often exciting tools and then lets you figure out which ones you most want to use. All of that combined with a story that channels the best of both its clear BioShock and Dishonored inspirations makes Prey is a gem of a single-player PC game that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Developer Arkane’s co-op vampire shooter Redfall is available now.

5. Red Dead Redemption 2

Arthur Morgan’s sprawling tale of loyalty, conviction, and the price of infamy is only the beginning of Red Dead Redemption 2. The marvelous PC port overhauled and further enhanced the gorgeous wild western atmosphere of Rockstar’s most recent open-world adventure and added even more activities, unlockables, and impossibly fine details to its expansive map. It’s possibly one of the biggest and best single-player PC games ever and it has an extensive multiplayer mode too.

The potential for hijinks within its enormous sandbox of towns, outlaws, and wildlife was already nearly limitless, but the PC version factors in new missions, treasures, gear, and more layered on top of the already 60+ hours of story content in the base game. That’s not even counting all the multiplayer bells and whistles included in Red Dead Online, to say nothing of the ability to expand and customize with mods. RDR2 on PC is handily a must-play for anyone with a rig beefy enough to run it.

Red Dead 2 cracked the top five on our updated list of the best open-world games. In just five years, it’s also earned a spot on the list of best-selling video games of all time.

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