PC Gamer Top 100 – They Care What You Think

Those shadows are you. PC Gamer STOLE YOUR SHADOW.

The new PC Gamer is out, and it’s Top 100 feature is filled with pictures of three-quarters of RPS (along with the staff of the magazine as well, probably. It’s hard to be sure because we just looked at the pictures of ourselves). Kieron wasn’t present, because his beard (RIP) was deemed too dangerous for the public.

Anyhoo, the point of a Top 100 is for people to read it, throw their hands in the air, murder their firstborn, and scream about the injustices of Silent Hunter III being at 81 instead of 80. PCG has made it so much simpler with their newfangled Readers Top 100 site.

It’s your chance to say which are the best PC games ever, so long as what you vote for is The Longest Journey and Deus Ex. I mean, I can’t force you to choose them. But I can arch my eyebrows and look particularly stern.

Mr Timothy Edwards, Dep Ed of PCG, would like it to be known that he welcomes suggestions for games that might be missing from the giant pool of those to choose from, and indeed if there are any bugs to report them to bugs@pcgamertop100.com.


  1. Fumarole says:

    Uh-oh, here comes one long string of incredulous posts.

    My picks:

    1. Fallout
    2. System Shock 2
    3. Half-Life
    4. Team Fortress 2
    5. Company of Heroes
    6. Ghost Recon
    7. Medieval II: Total War
    8. Baldur’s Gate
    9. Portal
    10. Knights of the Old Republic

  2. Noc says:

    Popular votes within the last 24 hours:
    Team Fortress 2
    Deus Ex
    Half-Life 2
    Planescape: Torment
    Company of Heroes
    Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
    Baldur’s Gate II

    Looks like RPS readers already got all over this. Also some wierdos who liked Bioshock and Oblivion.

    Argument GO.

  3. MisterBritish says:

    I demand a podium position for Little Big Adventure 2 – make it so!

  4. Newblade says:

    Litte Big Adventure 2 deserves some goddamn recognition!

  5. The Apologist says:

    I quite literally love the idea of this site, and that people apparently have such good taste.

    Is there a winner declared at some stage, or is this an ongoing assessment of the views of mighty mighty Joe Public?

  6. Joseph says:

    Let me guess… Half Life 2 will win #1 spot again?

  7. Pavel says:

    What the hell? I mistakenly thought it was about choosing top ten games in each genre – not top ten games overall.So I chose as my top ten only third person games :(. Is there a way to change it ? I can’t seem to find it.

  8. Smurgle says:

    1. UFO: Enemy Unknown
    2. Portal
    3. Bioshock
    4. Freespace 2
    5. Half-Life 2
    6. Quake III
    7. Dune II
    8. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
    9. Battlefield 2
    10. Startopia

  9. Frank says:

    Another typical list…
    1. Heroes of Might and Magic II
    2. Deus Ex
    3. Fallout
    4. Giants: Citizen Kabuto
    5. Chronicles of Riddick
    6. Team Fortress 2
    7. Starcraft
    8. Startopia
    9. The Secret of Monkey Island
    10. Psychonauts
    I’d probably have included Bang! Howdy and Rescue: the Beagles if they were available.

  10. Matt says:

    Deus Ex may have been the first of it’s kind (I think) and pushed games forwards, but it’s pretty well dated now. I think it’s time to let it go.

  11. Pavel says:

    2 Matt – Deus Ex wasn’t first (that was ultima underworld), but it was just about best in what it did, and it STILL hasn’t been surpassed in terms of actual gameplay quality.Stalker was great, Bioshock was great, Deus Ex 2 was good, but nothing has touched the perfection that is Deus Ex 1, sorry.

  12. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    1. Grim Fandango
    2. Grand Theft Auto 3
    3. Team Fortress 2
    4. Anachronox
    5. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
    6. The Longest Journey
    7. Beyond Good and Evil
    8. Portal
    9. Max Payne
    10. Deus Ex

    Broken Sword, Psychonauts, Bioshock and Half Life 2 were close runners-up.

  13. Frank says:

    @Pavel. Site says you can revote:

    We’re pretty pleased with this site. It’ll allow you to log back in and change your votes later (if you suddenly realise that Heroes of Might & Magic III is better than Naked War, for example), magically recalculating our ongoing scores in the background.

  14. Matt says:

    Pavel – I think Deus Ex does have a lot going for it, but I just can’t stand looking at it and I really don’t feel immersed in it’s world. Stalker, on the other hand, (my number one) is one of the greatest, immersive, gorgeous, shit scary games I’ve ever played, and while it could learn a thing or two from Deus Ex, I still think it Stalker blows DE out of the toxic, irradiated water.

  15. Jonas says:

    I’m so happy that Deus Ex was in the top 3 again this year. Has it been there every year since 2000? I’ve only been subscribing for a couple of years, but I think DX has been in the top 3 all this time. Funny how #1 always changes to a new and modern game, but DX never goes off there :P

    It’s quite reassuring for us stubborn DX modders. Speaking of which, anybody who thinks DX looks terrible is advised to keep an eye on the High Definition Texture Package and the New Vision project. Jeez I think that’s the 3rd time I’m pimping those projects here. Well at least I’m not advertising my own, eh?

  16. James G says:

    I’ve requested Dwarf Fortress be added, although guess that its alpha status may exclude it.

    Still trying to figure out the rest of the list, Grim Fandango and DOTT will be on there, along with Planescape: Torment and BGII. Portal will also make an appearence, as will Dungeon Keeper, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I’d be tempted to stick Photopia in there as well, but should probably have thought of it before I sent off the E-mail requesting Dwarf Fortress.

  17. Tim E says:

    Hey guys,

    The code to change your votes is in the site, but buggy. It should be live early next week. Also – there is code for a search, but we spotted a security hole as we went live. That should be back in soon.

    I’ll put the games you’re all suggesting into the list ASAP.

    Thanks for your feedback, though. It’s really appreciated.


  18. malkav11 says:

    It’s finishing up in September for publication in the October issue (of PC Gamer UK). Personally I’d rather it stay open on a permanent basis – it’d be an interesting gauge of the gaming public’s tastes.

    Me, I can’t possibly do a top ten list. I could name ten of my favorite games easily enough (and a lot more besides), but prioritizing them? Nope. Not a chance.

  19. Alex says:

    Good to see Planescape: Torment getting the place it deserves. Here’s my list:

    1. Planescape: Torment
    2. Thief II: The Metal Age
    3. Half-Life 2
    4. Portal
    5. Deus Ex
    6. Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
    7. Bioshock
    8. Neverwinter Nights
    9. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
    10. Commander Keen

  20. James G says:

    Oooh, how could I forget worms. I’ve also caught a number of other games on the list now that I’m wondering how I forgot. I think I’ll need to get a pen and paper and jot things down so I don’t miss anything.

  21. Ben Hazell says:

    malkav11 – I don’t agree about it staying open, I think it’s best as a snapshot in time. I also fear it’d be more open to abuse on a rolling basis

    I was about to write my top 10, then realised I hadn’t read anyone elses… so I’ll keep it to myself.

  22. MisterBritish says:

    I have odd feelings about the PoP trilogy; taken all together it’s one of the finest series of games on the PC, and would have a high place in my list.

    Examined individually, though, they all have different flaws which keep them off my list. IMO, they never got all the good stuff in, and all the bad stuff out, in one title.

    Also: don’t forget the XCOMs!

  23. Jonas says:

    Well I’ve been skimming everybody else’s, so I might as well post mine here too:

    1. Deus Ex (been modding it for 6 years, so…)
    2. Planescape: Torment (best game story ever)
    3. Thief: Deadly Shadows (just… so full of goodness)
    4. Mass Effect
    5. Knights of the Old Republic (more like a shared 4th, but I prefer ME’s gameplay)
    6. Hitman: Blood Money
    7. Portal
    8. Fallout 2
    9. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (actually prefer Double Agent, but can’t find it on the list)
    10. Starcraft

  24. Tim E says:

    Also guys – if you are posting your Top 100s here – if you want to write a few sentences about why you chose your games it would be great – we can use what you say when it comes to printing the full feature.

  25. MasterBoo says:

    1. Sacrifice (odd no one has mentioned this already).
    2. StarCraft.
    3. Baldur’s Gate II.
    4. Planescape: Torment.
    5. Fallout II.
    6. Diablo II (well, I’m returning to it every year so :p).
    7-8-9-10. Hard to decide, lots of good games.

  26. Muzman says:

    Voting problem. No System Shock. Does not compute.

  27. MisterBritish says:

    I propose a small sub-list:

    Presenting the ‘Oh, it’s dawn…’ list:
    1. Baldur’s Gate II
    2. UFO: Enemy Unknown
    3. Counterstrike: Source

  28. Jonas says:

    Tim: I would love to.

    Deus Ex takes first place because it is so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a good stealth RPG with good core gameplay and a good story, and then it has really great level design. It also has some of the most impressively gratuitous details of any game I’ve ever played (easily rivalling eg. GTA4 or Blood Money), and it reacts to your play style to an unheard-of degree.

    Torment takes second place in spite of the core gameplay – I’m not big into the isometric AD&D clicking, but the story makes up for it in so many ways. Its text invokes images the likes of which it’s only now possible to reproduce visually, and oddly, when I think back on it, I don’t really remember what was actually on-screen, I remember the images it conjured up in my mind.

    Deadly Shadows is third because it has unrivalled atmosphere. Its world has come alive like few other game worlds. The art direction, the moody environments, the background fiction, and the fantastic audio by Eric Brosius all adds up and pulls me right into the game. And of course there’s the Shalebridge Cradle. Never have I hated and loved any part of a game quite that much simultaneously.

    The choice between Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic is a tough one because they’re so similar in so many regards. KOTOR has the Best Twist Ever, but I enjoyed ME’s gameplay so much more, and the fact that it has an original IP speaks to its favour as well.

    I doubt anybody cares about the last half of my list (and that’s even assuming anybody cared about the first) :P

  29. Cooper says:

    We Uplink fans are well ahead of this all, and are already on the case to hacking this baby.

    If paper forms couldn’t stop us last year, why would moving it online – to the world we run – halt us?

    *insert evil comic book laugh here*

  30. RichPowers says:

    All these posts and no mention of a Civilization game!? *gasps*

    My favorite PC game is SimCity 2000. When I first played it as a wide-eyed eight-year-old, I saw the limitless potential of videogames. Coming from MathBlasters, console platformers, and arcade games, I was amazed that you could build these fantastic, intricate cities on your computer and watch them grow in beautiful detail (for 1994, the graphics are impressive). I could actually build and manage thriving metropolises (I was hardly a little genius or anything), a testament to the game’s intuitive mechanics and brilliant user interface.

    The series, sadly, has steadily declined since then. SimCity 4 collapses under its own complexity and steep system requirements. But it’s still fun to fire up 2k every now and then and remind myself of why I love the game so.

  31. Cooper says:

    1.Worms (series)
    2.Dungeon Keeper
    3.Theme Park
    4.System Shock 2
    5.Deus Ex
    6.Star Trek The Next Generation: A Final Unity
    7.Command and Conquer
    8.X-Wing vs TIE Fighter

    I went for those games which, when I first played, seriously changed how I thought about games, and what I thought games could be – that for me has always been what draws me (back) to games. All of those above I’ve played at least twice.

    Worms has to be at the top. No game has ever sunk so much of my time. Nights upon nights were spent playing that on with my friends on the Amiga and, later, the PC.

    Dungeon Keeper gets a bit too much maligned. It wasn’t ‘new’, but took the management game mould and threw it at the wall. No reams of stats or numbers. Just disgruntled minions who you had to, somehow, convince to fight for you.

    The rest follow similar reasonings – games which, for me, made me realise why I love games so, so much – and how they can be something other than the usual, unimaginative and unoriginal, tripe ‘AAA’ publishing houses try and flog to me…

    Nothing else for a fair few years – bar some indie helpings – have made me feel quite like these games have. Except for Stalker. Maybe. If it had managed to pull through on a few of the promised features it backed out on (or THQ withdrew…).

  32. Paul says:

    my vote:

    Civ 4
    Civ 2
    UFO: Enemy Unknown
    Deus Ex
    Diablo II
    Neverwinter Nights
    Planescape: Torment
    Company Of Heroes
    Sim City 4
    Unreal Tournament

  33. Hugo says:

    The Australian magazine PCPowerPlay did this exact same thing a number of months ago. Hmm…

  34. Gorgeras says:

    Tee-hee, of all the games posters have listed here, it’s the one that’s absent that is the most telling. In fact, now I’m about to mention it, this will probably cause it to be included in someone’s top 10.

    Where is World of Warcraft? You know, the one that appeared at number one in PCG’s top 100 last year despite it being possibly the most divisive piece of shiny trash there is. It doesn’t matter how many love it, the number that were disillusioned by it and the reasons why should have been enough to not allow it in the top spot.

    I think the representive sentiment of all PC gamers has been accidently revealed. Will be interesting when I get this month’s issue to see where WoW comes in.

  35. Caiman says:

    What do these things actually mean? Do they mean that the listed games (in their original forms) would still stand up today, that they were the best in their day, or that they’re the ones we most fondly remember?

    Someone said that Deus Ex is a bit dated these days. Ok, so does that mean it’s no longer great because it’s graphics are/or interface are dated (because let’s face it, the gameplay still stands up), or does it mean we’re fed up of seeing it listed in the top 10?

    No wonder there’s so much killing of first-borns when these lists are published.

  36. Ben Abraham says:

    Does the top 100 include indie games? Where’s Randy Balma on that list?!

  37. Lukasz says:

    1. Fallout 2
    2. Knights of the Old Republic
    3. Transport Tycoon
    4. Half-Life
    5. Half-Life 2
    6. SimCity 3000
    7. Deus Ex
    8. Planescape: Torment
    9. Command and Conquer : Red Alert
    10. Shogun: Total War

    so hard to choose. I just put games which are the closest to my heart, games which made me miss deadlines and stuff like that. Not sure KOTOR should be so high. And shogun should be higher (the best TOTAL WAR game ever)

  38. Frank says:

    Re: Tim’s request
    1. Heroes of Might and Magic II
    The exploration, tactical battles, RPG-ing and resource management all tied together so well. Even your campaign choices (ogres or dwarfs?) influenced the play of the game. Also, the pacing was perfect for hotseat multiplayer. All the later HOMMs were too slow; my friends and I probably never finished a match. I’m hoping King’s Bounty will be a rehash of this game.
    2. Deus Ex
    I went back to play it a second time immediately after finishing it.
    3. Fallout
    It probably comes down to the perfect execution.
    4. Giants: Citizen Kabuto
    It’s so bright and shiny and varied.
    5. Chronicles of Riddick
    The most cinematic game yet, still years ahead of the rest it seems.
    6. Team Fortress 2
    And so on…
    7. Starcraft
    8. Startopia
    9. The Secret of Monkey Island
    10. Psychonauts

  39. Jonas says:

    Gorgeras: Good point about WoW. I actually considered it because I’ve been playing it with a friend for a few weeks again, but I generally don’t find WoW that enjoyable as a game. It’s an excellent world, but I enjoy it as a vessel for social interaction, I find the gameplay quite unenjoyable. That’s why it’s not on my list, at least :)

  40. Alex says:

    Right, what to say.. I chose games that have made a big impression on me when playing the first time and not disappointing on replay.

    1. Planescape: Torment
    Wonderful story, going far beyond what is expected in videogames, even when we’re being extremely optimistic. The story twists and turns and the amount of detail in what basically is a spruced up text adventure, is staggering. There are surprises around every corner, sometimes pertaining to the main plot, many more times outside of the plot.

    2. Thief II: The Metal Age
    Again, great story. A very dark, aggressive gameworld – it’s literally you (Garrett) against the rest of the world. The game has a dreamlike, nightmarish quality, helped a lot by that constant feeling of wanting to run away, but you can’t, you have to hide and hope the person walking by doesn’t notice you. Also a great main character in Garrett, who veers on the right side of smartassy comments (most games have characters say bland, action movie-like oneliners). Always loved how far the gameworld could be pushed by gameplay – as long as you have a rope arrow, you can climb into the strangest places (an option that disappeared with Thief: Deadly Shadows, sadly). I chose the second game because I like the Mechanists as the baddies, the adding of industry-like mechanics was an interesting choice. Also: tons of fanmade missions!

    3. Half-Life 2
    A great example of why PC games shouldn’t be all about graphics – HL2 looks fantastic, but it’s scaleable fantastic! I played this the first time on a crappy laptop on a 16Mb Dell graphics card. When a new chapter started loading I could take a shower, make some coffee, but it still ran beautifully after that wait. HL2 is all about artistic design, not about a try at photo-realism, it’s like playing inside a beautifully animated feature film. I have a soft spot for gameworlds and HL2 has a great one. The first time you walk outside of the trainstation into the main square is stunning, must be one of my favourite game openings. This is all besides the actual gameplay, which never bores me. Lots of mods here, too, ofcourse.

    4. Portal
    What can I say that hasn’t been said before? Great gameplay, great writing (actually funny writing, which is rare in games), great voiceacting, yet again a wonderful gameworld.

    5. Deus Ex
    It’s all about choices in DE, all about exploring a detailed gameworld. I was amazed the first time I played it.

    6. Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
    Incredibly atmospheric, one of the few games that I found to be actually frightening (underground labs), had quite a satisfying ending (which is also rare in games).

    7. Bioshock
    I wasn’t that impressed by the story itself, but I did think Ken Levine’s idea of telling the story through architecture worked well, creating a very atmospheric experience. I really enjoyed the gameplay too, I loved trying out all kinds of combinations of plasmids and weapons.

    8. Neverwinter Nights
    This is all about the mods, I think. I’ll find myself returning to this game about every 9 months or so (same goes for Thief II), play a lot of fan made content.

    9. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
    Another case of a great opening: the moment you leave the ship and walk towards the village. Also the first game that made me panic with the initial idea that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, which slowly but surely turned into a great feeling of freedom and adventure. And then it started to rain and I actually gasped.

    10. Commander Keen
    A sentimental choice, more so than some of my other choices. I grew up playing Keen and when id threw it on Steam I had to repurchase it immediately.

    (Sorry about the length LOL!!!!11!!

  41. BlakeBot says:

    1) Daggerfall
    2) C&C Red Alert
    3) Space Rangers
    4) Arx Fatalis
    5) Rise of Nations
    6) TIE Fighter
    7) Morrowind
    8) Unreal Tournament
    9) Star Trek 25th Anniversary
    10) Mechwarrior 2

  42. Xyzzy says:

    Gee, I wish I could make a fancy top ten list, but my PC gaming experience is woefully limited. I’ll make a top 5 list, merely because the bulk of my games are strategy and tycoon games.

    1. I’d say Mythos, but it’s not going anywhere right now. So, it would have to be Rise of Nations. Best depth and micro-management I have ever seen in a strategy game.
    2. Probably Portal. I play a lot of Puzzle games, and this has been one of the best. Add in the physics based puzzles (I LOVE PHYSICS), the hilarious voice-overs and the Portal Flash map pack and there is a winner. My computer can barely run it and I still went through the entire game.
    3. Doom Nothing can quite achieve the same run and gun feel that Doom did–not even Doom III. Add in the fan-made engine Skulltag with 32 player online deathmatch and there’s a winner.
    4. Starsiege: TRIBES Most modern FPS games require little skill (cough cough Halo, sorry) and I think TRIBES gets it. Add in flying with a jetpack and the fact that its FREE.
    5. Half-Life 2 It’s rare that I get a game that looks as good as Half-Life 2 does on my computer. Every penny I spent on the Orange Box is a penny well spent. With great voice acting, tense shootouts, great story great compatibility with my ancient laptop, this is one of my favorite modern FPS games. Plus, it has mods.

  43. Deuteronomy says:

    1. Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl
    2. TIE-Fighter
    3. Star Control (series)
    4. Doom (series)
    5. Half-Life (series)
    6. Red Orchestra
    7. UFO: Enemy Unknown
    8. Mechwarrior 2
    9. Duke Nukem 3D
    10. Dune II

  44. material defender says:

    am i the only poor sod afflicted with an overexposure to internet lists?

    but, oh god, it is such temptation to enumerate games, and I too can’t resist. Since I’m listening to the glorious MIDI soundtrack at the moment, one big shoutout to Descent 1.

  45. Alex says:

    am i the only poor sod afflicted with an overexposure to internet lists?

    No, you’re not alone there, but this is a PC-centric one and it’s interesting to see what RPSers are picking (in fact, to me that’s more interesting than the “official” PC Gamer Top 100).

  46. Joseph says:

    Can’t believe no one is mentioning Oblivion. What a hell of a game.

  47. luckystriker says:

    Criteria: Games that I’ve spent literally years of my life on, and are closest to my heart.

    1- World of Warcraft
    2- Football Manager (series)
    3- Rome: Total War
    4- Civilization II
    5- Starcraft
    6- Freespace 2
    7- Diablo II
    8- Company of Heroes
    9- Neverwinter Nights
    10- Doom II

  48. veerus says:

    For all the talk of Sacrifice on this site, I’m surprised only one person mentioned it..

  49. Möller says:

    1. Half Life 2
    2. Duke Nukem 3d
    3. Day of the Tentacle
    4. Giants: Citizen of Kabuto
    5. Sacrifice
    6. The Longest Journey
    7. The Secret of Monkey Island
    8. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Dawn
    9. UFO: Enemy Unknown
    10. Grim Fandango
    10. Darwinia

  50. Stella says:

    1. Bioshock – I never really knew what “immersion” was until I played this. I spent at least 15 minutes in every room exploring every nook and cranny and soaking in the detail.

    2. Guild Wars – For an entire semester I took not a single page of notes for any of my classes. My notebooks were filled instead with ideas for new GvG builds. The only game where I met people (some in real life) who I remained close with even after we stopped playing. Leading my guild to #6 on the ladder was the highlight of my gaming life thus far.

    3. EVE Online – My first MMO. Played it for 2 years while I was in school and just recently picked it back up. It’s uniqueness didn’t phase me because I wasn’t bogged down by pre-conceived notions of what an MMO was supposed to be. After playing a bunch of other MMOs I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more.

    4. Star Wars: Jedi Outcast – Lightsaber combat has never been this fun and strategic since. I would probably still be playing this eight years later if scripts didn’t ruin the multiplayer.

    5. Star Wars: Rebellion – Kind of an odd choice I guess but it was the first strategy game I ever played and christ did I play the hell out of it. The appeal of blowing up planets with a death star or sending THE Darth Vader (!) out on assassination missions never waned.

    This is getting long…I’ll do the rest quick

    6. Rome: Total War (blew my mind)
    7. Warcraft 3 (loved the story and still play DotA occasionally)
    8. Counter Strike 1.6/Source (my favorite multiplayer shooter, great clan experience)
    9. Half Life 2 Episode 2 (all were very good but this one was great )
    10. Max Payne 2 (loading quicksaves over and over just to kill the same 2 guys in different ways…so much fun)