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The 32 best PC games revealed

Video games no PC owner should be without

When it comes to gaming, the PC beats any console hands-down. We've put together a list of 32 must-have PC games.

4: The Orange Box

Well, we've said it before, and it's as true for the PC as it is for the consoles: the Orange Box is the best compilation of gaming goodness ever made. Let's put aside the fact that Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 were part of the bundle, because most of us already owned them before plugging our credit cards into Steam. We're still left with three astounding games. Episode 2, the continuation of one of the finest single-player romps in history. Team Fortress 2, a multiplayer masterpiece with a great look to boot. And then there's Portal: the game that, honest to goodness, actually captured our imaginations, only to literally (er, okay figuratively) turn us on our heads. Yes, we say. Yes, times three.

3: Civilization IV

Start with a colonist, build an empire, and conquer the world. Civilization was the original king of 4X gameplay, and its successor continues to rule the genre with an iron fist. The franchise turned Sid Meier into a Game God and the industry's equivalent of a household name, and since the first game's release 17 years ago, it has grown from its humble origins to gloriously chronicle 6,000 years of player-guided evolution. Civ4's gameplay comprises combat, diplomacy, trade, construction, religion, spaceflight, and the occasional Wonder of the World.

2: Quake 3 Arena

Has there ever been a finer example of the speed, the glory, and the unbridled bloodletting of pure deathmatch? Hell no. Quake 3 Arena was, is, and will continue to be the single best avenue to free-for-all carnage. It's smooth as a baby's behind, quick as a bird of prey, and quad damage has to be the sweetest powerup ever invented. It's been modded to kingdom come. It's been copied again and again. ID is even turning it into a browser-based game called Quake Live, because they know it, too: no game since has done it better. Q3A is multiplayer deathmatch.

1: World of Warcraft

Hundreds of servers, thousands of guilds, millions of subscribers. It's the most popular MMORPG in history, and it ranks among the most recognizable brands in the world. Why is World of Warcraft today's best computer game? Oh, let us count the ways. Because it's accessible, a game that anyone can pick up and play. Because it has a depth and re-playability that will keep veterans raiding for years on end. Because every facet of its experience has been polished to a sparkling sheen, from its moody, orchestral music, to its rich and epic storyline, to its unforgettable vistas and boundless customisability. We throw the word 'redefine' around a lot as games journalists, but when it comes to WoW, it just fits. World of Warcraft has truly redefined online gaming.

  1. The games no PC owner should be without
  2. Grim Fandango and Deus Ex
  3. Indigo Prophecy and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
  4. Fallout 2 and Supreme Commander
  5. Battlefield 2 and The Longest Journey
  6. Sins of a Solar Empire and Diablo II
  7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Starcraft
  8. Our must-have PC game

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