The 122 Best PC Games Ever

By RPS on February 21st, 2011 at 12:38 pm.

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…in our opinion. Where once this list denoted the singular tastes of six separate minds, now we are bonded into one, mighty Hivemind. This, then, is The List Of Lists: the 122 Best PC Games of The Last 22 Years. All games have been re-ordered by release date, revealing one year in particular as the best that PC gaming has ever seen so far. Which do you think that might be?

These are Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s most favoured PC games between the sacred period 1989 to 2011: all of these games are each in their own way precious, vital things that deserve to have shrines erected in their honour, first-borns sacrificed to them, that sort of thing. Is your favourite game missing? Well, you haven’t asked us what our 123rd best PC game is, have you? Aha! And don’t get us started on the 177th. This list is, of course, merely the start of the discussion, not the end of it – there are many more gems undocumented here, so please do suggest them. Perhaps one day soon we shall add to the list (and, indeed, expand the years covered). Meantime, clicking on each game-name will take you to a short essay on why we’ve chosen it and a few thoughts on why we believe it has a certain degree of importance beyond mere personal fondness.

Behold! THE LIST!

Why 122? Why 22? Oh, we could never tell you that. A terrible thing would happen if we did. What we can tell you is that we’re very grateful to Intel’s App Up Developer Program for sponsoring this titanic endeavour. Now, onwards, and to battle…


1989



1990


1991


1992



1993


1994


1995



1996



1997



1998



1999



2000



2001



2002



2003



2004



2005



2006



2007



2008



2009



2010

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And there you have it. That’s it – for now…

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218 Comments »

  1. sgtsunburn says:

    I was REALLY glad you put Arma 2 on the list for 2009. That game’s online gaming community expands the hell out of the whole milsim / tactical shooter genre and makes for a great game.

    But at the same time I dont get why Far Cry 2 is on here. Innovative, but to many gameplay issues for its fun to last.

  2. MrEvilGuy says:

    I’m stunned!
    You’re missing something extraordinarily important: The Void

    !!!

  3. rudivdw says:

    Damn, I played about 90% of all these games, good good times!! Got very nostalgic going through the list!

  4. Scypher says:

    EVERQUEST
    X-WING
    SHADOWMAN

  5. alk4life says:

    Myth: TFL deserves a spot!

  6. pertusaria says:

    My personal preference was for Sim Life, but I would very definitely forgive its non-inclusion if you mentioned Sim Ant instead. I loved being able to design absolutely everything yourself in Sim Life. Ask many a biologist between the ages of 25 and 40 (at a guess) and they will have many happy memories of at least one of these games.

    Lots of good stuff here, anyway – thanks for putting it all in one place.

  7. nigoola says:

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  8. LifeSuport says:

    Wow, no mention of Sierra. I just lost all kinds of respect for RPS.

  9. latedave says:

    Concur on Dragon Age, that was a slog by the end, I actually ended up breaking from it and playing Balders Gate instead, hoping 2 is better but am more excited by the Witcher now.

  10. Man Raised by Puffins says:

    Er, Dragon Age is on the list. Also, TIGHT =/= IMPORTANT.

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