The 15 best PC games to play right now in 2023
We're nearly half way through the year already, so high time we update this list with some of the new best PC games to play right now. The end of winter and the start of spring has brought out some spooky vibes, which is usually the preserve of autumn. But fear not, because though they're all a little bit dark, our new additions to the list of 15 best PC games to play today are all certified fresh, whether you like shooters, action, murder, or fishing. From big-name IPs to weirdo indies, we've got you the best PC games to play right this second.
Now, this isn't a 'best games of all time' list. We have our RPS 100 for that, which is where you can find the big guns of PC gaming from across the ages. The list you're reading right now is designed to give you a handy one-stop shop of what the best games are over the last few months, with a sprinkling of genre bests that haven't been beaten since their release. So what are you waiting for? Read on for our low down on the best PC games you should be playing now.
The best PC games to play right now
- Cult Of The Lamb
- Vampire Survivors
- Weird West
- Marvel's Midnight Suns
- Apex Legends
- Elden Ring
- Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo
- Return To Monkey Island
- Resident Evil 4 Remake
- Slay The Spire
- Forza Horizon 5
Cult Of The Lamb
Our review whapped a big Bestest Best sticker on this lamb's fuzzy butt, and for good reason. Part roguelike battler, part base-building colony sim, Cult Of The Lamb also mixes the cute with the frankly Satanic in an inimitably fun way. You play as a little lambkin who is sacrificed on a blood altar, but resurrected by a frankly very sus elder god chained in an underworld, and exhorted to start a cult in said god's name. This you do (what other choice do you have?), and it turns out to be a lot of admin.
On the one hand, yeah, you're out for revenge, aren't you? So you spend a bunch of your time running through different roguelite dungeons, killing enemy cultists with semi-randomised weapons and special curse abilities (like unleasing a blast of tentacles from the 'neath). These runs are where you fight bosses, yes, but they're also where you pick up your own neonate cultists and building materials.
Both of these are important for the other half of Cult Of The Lamb, where you build, maintain and expand your cult stronghold. Here you consolidate your believers', well, belief, which in turn makes you more powerful in battle. But if you don't take care of their needs - somewhere to sleep, and food to eat - then you're in trouble. Your compound has to have a church, little beds, farms, and you should hold regular sermons too. It's a busy old life, leading a cult.
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble
Vampire Survivors is our most recent Game Of The Year here at RPS, and with good reason. It's the most fun you can have for under a fiver outside of buying 499 off-brand cola bottle sweets. The goal is to survive 30 minutes in one of several haunted levels, starting with a mostly open field. This sounds easy, but I bet you all of your off-brand cola sweets that you won't make it past, oooh, 7m50s on your first run. You're constantly attacked by waves of enemies, of increasing toughness and size. Bats become zombies become skeletons with swords become giant praying mantises, and then ghosts and then swarms of ghosts, and then everything at once.
Your defence is walking about. In Vampire Survivors you auto-attack and potter around, avoiding enemies so they can't kill you before you kill them. And collecting the XP gems they drop allows you to upgrade your existing weapons and items - less cool down, DPS, AEO, and so on - or get new ones ('cos you can equip six items at once). And what items they are! There are throwing knives, whips and axes, sure, but you could also have an aura of garlic that constantly damages anything that walks into it, orbiting bibles, or holy water grenades. A lot of weapons will, if you max their level, combine with a passive buff item like armour to become a new, huge mega-weapon that deals continuous damage at a terrifying rate. This is what accounts for the screenshot up there. At 28 minutes it really starts to kick off. Vampire Survivors is easy to understand, easy to play, and ridiculous fun.
Where can I buy it: Steam
If you're after a deep, complex and hard-as-nails cowboy RPG, but you're tired of everyone recommending Red Dead Redemption 2, then you should mosey on down to Weird West. It's an isometric RPG with tough gunslinging combat akin to a twinstick shooter, set in a growing, changing world. It's the kind of game where the more people you kill, the more plots the town's graveyard will have. Its look is instantly recognisable too, characterised by thick black lines and a judicious use of purple to contrast with the yellowy dust of cowboy-land. A very weird colour, is purple.
It won't do to get too attached to your character, though, as quite often you'll get dropped into the shoes (or spurred boots, as the case may be) of someone new. The star of the show is the Weird West itself, which takes clear inspiration from classic CRPGs, but with the persistent world and quality of life changes that come from modern game development. Towns grow and change in population; the sheriff might die and be replaced with someone new; dastardly outlaws that escape a gunfight with you might nurse a deadly grudge, and ambush you later down the line. What a stunner.
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble, Epic Games Store
Described as a kind of Aliens vs. Groundhog Day in our review, returnal puts you in the space adventurin' shoes of Selene, whose crash landing on an alien planet full of freaky creatures doesn't improve when she finds out that she's also stuck in a time loop. Originally released on PlayStation, this PC port offers FPS fans a sumptuous shooting experience accross a variety of suitably weird and, well, alien environs. It's sort of a cover shooter, but perhaps more accurately a third-person bullet hell, as you stick-and-move in fights to adapt and survive.
But for fans of what I understand the kids tody are describing with the catch-all term "narrative", Returnal has an extra edge. Selene stumbles upon the bodies of dead versions of... herself, some of them with recordings of lives she doesn't remember. In the alien jungle she discovers what seems to be a replica of her old home. There are clues, symbols, and ambiguity, and Returnal will have you theorising like you haven't done since the second season of ABC's hit television show Lost. The layers upon layers of repeating lives make Returnal, despite the excellent fun you'll have with the combat, morph quite quickly into a horror experience as much as a weirdo action game. Add in that the PC version has smoothed off some of the rough corners from the original console release, and added a new endless game mode in the Tower Of Sisyphus, and this is one time loop that'll give you hours of fun.
Where can I buy it: Steam
Fishing, but make it weird. Dredge is a single player sort-of-simulation, where you pilot an extremely cute chugging little ship and, broadly, you play mini-games to catch fish, return to your home port to sell them, and use the money to upgrade your engines and fishing gear. Which is what you'd expect - simple, right? Well, first of all, your ship has quite a restrained (and oddly-shaped) amount of storage, so quite a of of being a fisherman is playing Resi-style inventory jenga. Eels are long, flat fish are wide, and octopuseseses are just a full on nightmare. You also can't make it too far around the archipelago of European-ish rocky islands in a day, because time moves quickly - though it does only move when you're sailing, so you can take your leisure on the fishing part.
You definitely shouldn't dawdle on the getting home part, though, because once the sun sets you start to see things. Not as in 'oh, I'm dehydrated, I'm seeing things', but as in you start to see... things. Eyes in the dark. Giant creatures. Bioluminscent fish with too many teeth. Sometimes you'll haul in a catch and find that it's gone wrong. And some of the citizens, who all look like extras from if Edgar Wright had done The Lighthouse, are disconcertingly interested in these fish. It's one of those things that people refuse to talk about in such a way that it makes you really relieved when someone does.
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG
Marvel's Midnight Suns
Far be it from me to say that a game made using a Disney property is good... So anyway, here I am adding Marvel's Midnight Suns to this list. Coming from the devs Fixaxis "XCOM" Games and lead by Jake "XCOM" Solomon, this is your favourite action figures smashing together in a bid to save the world, but this time in a genuinely fun strategy game format.
Because you're playing with a roster of over-powered mega-gits, there delicate balance of strategy isn't so much the knife edge 'will this 80% chance shot land in time to kill the big snake before it takes out my other marine in the corner' calculus of other Firaxis favourites. Rather, you'll find yourself in a tightly-designed arena, with no cover to speak of, and you're probably against some other over-powered mega-gits on the other side, so their attacks will land pretty well too... In her review, Katharine called it something more akin to the puzzle box levels of Into The Breach, but one where you're playing with a deck of cards. The maps have a few interactive bits as well, and some levels change things up by having you protect an artifact or close a nerfarious portal. There are always a lot of piece in play, but part of the fun is figuring out how you can stretch your actions each turn.
And you know, it's got a bunch of characters everyone likes in it, too. It has that going for it.
Where can I buy it: Steam, Epic Games Store
The initial pitch didn't sound particularly enticing: a first-person shooter set in the Titanfall universe, but minus that series' defining mechs and in their place a free-to-play game chasing the battle royale bandwagon. To our surprise and delight, it used grappling hooks to board that bandwagon and wrest control of it. Years on from release, Apex Legends is still the best battle royale game in town.
It's the last game standing for us for the smart ways in polishes up the genre's core tenets. You can designate a leader to control the descent of everyone in your party during the initial drop, ensuring you stick together. The ping system is a masterclass in easy contextual communication with teammates. Survivors can bring their fallen teammates back to life if they're bold or sneaky enough. Also, yes, there's a robot with a grappling hook that's more fun to play than almost any other character in any other character-based online shooter.
Matt wrote in his review that Apelegs was "the best battle royale game we're going to see for a long, long time," and after years of new characters, maps and modes, that's still true.
Where can I buy it: Steam, Origin
Elden Ring is arguably the RPG to end all RPGs at the moment (and will possibly stay that way for a long time in the future). While there's a lot to be said for your Witcher 3s and your Red Dead Redemption 2s and even your absolute classic Mass Effects, right now the immeasurably epic dark fantasy RPG to get into is Elden Ring.
This time the world, and its strange lore, has been written by Game Of Thrones flatcapman George R.R. Martin. And strange it is: a land of wolf men in hidden caves, surprise dragons, weird little guys who've been turned into a bush... and that's just the starting area. Each time you come to a new part of Elden Ring's Lands Between it's almost like an entire game unto itself. And don't worry, 'cos there are loads of strange bosses with too many limbs or a tree where their face should be - or, yeah, that dragon - to fight in vicious battles that require precise timing.
Because you know the Soulslike deal by now, yeah? You live, you die, you live again, dashing yourself against the rocks until you're strong and/or smart enough to crash through them. Except Elden Ring's size and design gives you the ability to walk away and find new, smaller rocks to have a go at. It's both the most grand and the most forgiving FromSoftware game to date, and it's a bloody good time.
Where can I buy it: Steam, Humble
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries Of Honjo
If you've never really felt like visual novels are your cup of tea, Paranormasight might be the one that gets your kettle boiling. It's hard to write about Paranormasight's twists and turns without spoiling anything, but it nails visual novel fundamentals and subverts them at the same time. Set in 80s Honjo, the titular seven mysteries one night spawn a bunch of curse stones, each with its own, well, curse, that the owner of the stone in question can use. Multiple different characters - two cops, an average Joe, some high-schoolers and a bereaved mother - are all involved, and you hop around the different threads of the story as Paranormasight's mystery gets deeper and weirder as it unfolds.
Thankfully Paranormasight comes with a clear filing system to keep all of these different strands clear in your head, even when they weave together, there are stakeouts and branching conversation choices, dead-ends, metaficional twists and double bluffs... There's a lot going on in Paranormasight, basically, and it's one of the surprise hits of the year so far.
Where can I buy it: Steam
Return To Monkey Island
Point and click adventure games have tended to be a devisive genre. Either you like their kind of idiosyncratic puzzles and sense of humour, or you don't. But it would take a hard heart indeed to not be softened by Return To Monkey Island, a new entry in the legendary piratical series of adventure games made by some of the original creators. Join Guybrush Threepwood for a race against dread zombie pirate LeChuck to go back and, er, actually find the treasure of Monkey Island, since they both got derailed the first time they tried.
Return To Monkey Island treads the line between nostalgia for die-hard fans, and welcoming in new players. The fresh new art style is expressive and suggets a kids' story book, and the controls are streamlined and easy to get the hang of. Combined with a robust hint system and a couple of difficulty levels, it's the perfect game to dip your toe in the genre. But if you're a card-carrying Monkey Island fanatic, Return has references to the old games that'll make you laugh, cry, and feel all warm and fuzzy - without overwhelming everything. And the story is pitched perfectly between longing for the old days, and not being able to go back. It's an all-around lovely game.
Where can I buy it: Steam, Humble
Resident Evil 4 remake
Resident Evil 4 always seems like the Resident Evil fan's Resident Evil. It's the go to, the one every just fucking loves, and if you've never played it, now's the time. At least according to our VidBud Liam, anyway, who is a huge Resident Evil fan, and hasn't stopped talking about the Resi 4 remake since it came out. Resi 4 is part action, part suvival, part infected locals jumping at you with all wiggly bits coming out of their tumtums. Leon "S" Kennedy has been packed off to the Spanish countryside because the president's daughter has disappeared. You'd think they'd send more than one guy with a boyband haircut, but hey, then we wouldn't have a game.
Liam says Resident Evil 4 is "extremely silly", but in a good way. The remake doesn't try to ground the original in realism, like a DC Batman movie or whatever, but embraces that the original was absurd and fans love it anyway. It's not one-to-one, being partly reimagined where necessary, and modernised in ways you'd expect for a remake of a game that's nearly 20 years old. All togehter, the Resident Evil 4 remake is a treat for fans and a perfect place to jump in if you've been a bit scared of the series' big reputation (like telling someone you've never seen a Star Wars movie, and all hell breaks loose). And if you just want a cracking action-horror game? You're in for a treat.
Where can I buy it: Steam
Pentiment came out late last year, and while it's a few months old now it's still more than worth picking up if you like a) good art and b) excellent story-driven puzzle games with a hefy dose of social and historical context. I'll admit a) may have more broad appeal than b) here. You play as Andreas, a young artist working in the scriptorium of an abbey in 16th century Bavaria.
Over the course of 25 years tragedy strikes and restrikes the town several times, in the form of 'orrible murders. Andreas has to get to the bottom of who dun what, and why, with tensions between the abbey and town suggesting a dizzing array of motives and potential suspects. And because Andreas only has so many hours in the day, each time he can only persue a few leads before he has to name the criminal. You probably won't get it right, is the thing, and it only gets worse as the relationship between town and abbey breaks down further.
That story might not be for everyone, but what definitely is, is the beautiful 2D animation, coupled with the animated text bubbles that are written in ink in front of your very eyes. The colour, script type and even penmanship can indicate something about the characters Andreas meets. It's a bloody lovely game, this.
Where can I buy it: Steam, Game Pass
Slay The Spire
Pick a class, and take on the spire: a tower filled with progressively tougher enemies as you ascend its many floors. Your tools in the fight are your cards, with which you can concoct a fabulous damage-dealing machine. Every choice matters because every card can have value if used in the right way - and because death sends you right back to the start.
While the roguelike element might sound frustrating, it's what saves Slay The Spire from the progression systems and marketplace (real money or not) of other CCGs. Here, you build your deck through play, but all the cards from a class are available to find on any life, and dying throws them all away again anyway.
The other thing being roguelike affords the game is ridiculously powerful cards. Cards which do damage to every enemy on screen, cards which do damage umpteen times, cards which stack into fabulous maths explosions. These sorts of cards would imbalance another game; here, it makes the run on which you find it an exciting delight, and then it's gone. The silver lining? You'll find a different and equally powerful and exciting set of cards during every life.
Also there's a mod that adds googly eyes to everything.
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble
Forza Horizon 5
We couldn't escape from this list without leaving a racing game in our tracks, now could we? And if you're looking for the best racing game out there right now, well that honour definitely goes to Forza Horizon 5. A spin-off series that has now arguably outstripped its maker, the latest Forza Horizon is an open-world carstravaganza on a humongous scale. The racing festival framing might be getting a little tired now, but Forza Horizon 5 dishes up some show-stopping setpieces in Mexico (an active volcano! Huge dust storms! Actual changing seasons!) all set to a soundtrack of licensed tracks that you can really bop to.
The difficulty is pretty flexible, encouraging you to relax and explore the ludicrous, polished world in all its realistic mud-splattered glory, clearing many a map marker as you go. But there are also deep customisation options for cars - including all the marquee brands like Porsche and Ferarri - and drivatars, and community challenges and player-made events to keep you coming back for new hashtag car content.
Where can I buy it: Steam
Norco is a Southern Gothic, near-future dystopian point and click adventure, taking you to the decaying suburbs of industrialised South Louisiana. You play Kay, whose mother has recently died, and it's why Kay has come home - but on arrival it seems Kay's brother has gone missing. Thus Kay and Million, the galaxy-faced fugitive security droid who has been with the family for years, go on a mission to find him.
This is a fairly straightforward task to get your head around, but it soon takes a multi-layered turn for the odd. You don't just play through the search for your brother, but also the last few days before your mother's death, as she began working for a weird gig-economy app that... well... leads to something pretty, uh, unexpected. There's a pseudo religious group, a conspiracy involving memory and big tech, and at one point you can pet a cat so much it vibrates off into space.
Norco is great at the convergence of the small, weird and local, and the large - the forces moving against us that are great than it feels we can deal with. And how the two smash together. And, not for nothing, but Norco is incredibly beautiful to look at. Every fram is, honestly, a painting.
Where can I buy it: Steam, GOG, Humble, Epic Games Store, Itch
That's our list of the best PC games to play as of... right now. But remember that this is a living list, and we're going to be updating it again. Maybe you think we've missed an obvious one, but check back regularly to find out what new games have been added - and what we've removed - so you can be surprised and delighted all over again.