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The RPS 100 (2023): our top PC games of all time (100-51)

Part One of our annual countdown of our personal Bestest Bests

A number pad graphic on a purple background for Part One of the RPS 100
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Welcome to the 2023 edition of The RPS 100, our annual celebration of our favourite PC games of all time. Like previous years, this isn't a list of the definitive best PC games of all time, nor is it about what's considered the most important or influential. Rather, this is a ranking that reflects who we are as a team - our own personal Bestest Bests, so to speak, and the games that are nearest and dearest to our collective hivemind hearts. Once again, we're splitting the list in two articles this year, so come on in and find out what's made the cut in Part One below.

The RPS 100

To make sure The RPS 100 is as accurate and representative of the current team as possible, we changed how we did the voting for this year's list, with each member of staff submitting their top 25 favourite games, rather than just a top ten like previous years. This gave us a much more varied list than we had last year, and is probably also why some games have seen some quite large jumps up and down the rankings. We'll be sticking with this method going forward, so hopefully future iterations will avoid such wild fluctuations.

We also wanted to make this year's RPS 100 a bigger and more exciting 'event' in our editorial calendar, so in addition to publishing both halves of the list this week, we'll be following up the reveal of Part Two with even more articles and features centred around our top ten. We'll be publishing those in between Part Two and the third prong of our ranking extravaganza, The RPS 100: Reader Edition, which will go live next week.

Naturally, there will always be some omissions when putting together a list like this, but you can rest assured that whatever it is you think we've missed, it's at #101. And if that won't do either, then there's still time to have your say in the 2023 Reader Edition, voting for which closes this Friday. For now, though, here is Part One of The RPS 100 for 2023, counting down our favourite games of all time from #100 to #51. And if you want #50-1, head on over to Part Two!

100. 80 Days

The globe showing your route from 80 Days
Image credit: Inkle

80 Days never fails to surprise me. Whatever route I take on this globe-trotting adaptation of Jules Verne's classic novel, there's always a new stone to unturn, a new path to uncover. Even slipping down an alleyway in a new city can lead to a thrilling tangent, because when it's Inkle pulling the strings in this steampunk-infused travelventure, you know you're in for a treat. It could easily be a sword at your throat, or an enticing parlour that you'll happily lose precious days to, simply because it made your time there that bit more memorable. Sure, you've got a deadline to meet, but as anyone who's played 80 Days will know, it's the journey, not the destination that matters most here. KC

99. Peggle Deluxe

A friendly buffalo forms a puzzle board in Peggle Deluxe
Image credit: PopCap Games/EA

What is the sound of dopamine, soaking into your brain and making it feel all fizzy and nice? It is the sound of a peg being hit by a marble. A synthesised metallic clang. One peg is lovely. Two pegs hit in quick succession? A treat. A row of pegs, lined up neatly, forming a perfect arc that smoothly carries your marble across its surface? If you could bottle that feeling, you'd be arrested for selling it. Peggle is more than just a great puzzle game. It’s a joy machine. LR

98. Okami HD

A white wolf runs through a Japanese village in Okami HD
Image credit: Capcom

Still one of the best Zelda-likes to this day, Okami is a wild, action-packed adventure through the annals of Japanese mythology. You play as the sun goddess Amaterasu, who descends to the land of Nippon as a wolf to save it from an evil darkness, and you'll be helping humans, sparrows, mermaids, bamboo princesses and more along the way. Its delicate inkbrush visuals still look utterly gorgeous thanks to Capcom's 2017 HD remaster, and as you'd expect from a team that later went on to form the foundations of leading action studio PlatinumGames, Okami's calligraphy combat remains as peerless today as it first did back in 2006. A true all-timer. KC

97. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 image showing Arthur Morgan riding a horse with an ally while staring towards the camera. He is holding a revolver.
Image credit: Rockstar Games

A prequel to the first game, Red Dead Redemption 2 flexes the full might of Rockstar's cinema with a wild west so gorgeous I don't think it's an overstatement to say it's a timeless technical showcase. For all the might of its open world, though, Arthur Morgan's story is what sticks with me the most. Through a mixture of quiet moments and spectacular heists, you learn what it means to be a veteran of the Van Der Linde gang. And you learn how the march of time can suffocate the inner circle. Great horse testicle physics, too. ET

96. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Geralt and Ciri pose back-to-back in The Witcher 3 artwork.
Image credit: CD Projekt Red

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of perhaps four open world RPGs from the past 12 years that has genuinely changed the genre landscape. Like most RPGs the world is inordinately massive, but - and I know it's a cliche - it truly feels like a living, breathing world. The first time you step into the wastelands of Velen or the packed streets of Novigrad, it's dizzying. So much to do: beasts to hunt, concoctions to brew, treasures to find. And most of all, people. So many people. Most of them ready to deceive or double-cross you the moment it benefits them. Plus, that music. Gosh. OT

95. Valheim

A player in Valheim, clad in Carapace Armour, wields the Mistwalker Sword while standing in a Meadows field.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Coffee Stain Publishing

Whenever I think of Valheim, I think first of the water. The way it laps upon the shore, fills holes naturally. Then there's the way smoke gathers inside rooms until you build a chimney, and wooden structures decay in heavy rain. When it comes to survival crafting games, Valheim doesn't go crazy simulating little things like food, drink, and other bodily needs. It knows that stuff is dull as dishwater. The best things to simulate are the things that immerse you in its beautifully unique procedurally generated worlds. At this, Valheim has no equal. OT

94. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

A man wearing an FBI jacket fires a gun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Image credit: Valve

Some might argue CS: Source or CS: 1.6 deserve this spot more and… I respectfully disagree. CS:GO re-tuned the tactical FPS, making it the definitive space for intense shootouts on Dust 2 and, arguably, some of the most exciting esports moments over the last few years. Don't let its simplistic looks deceive you! Matches require mouse finesse, economical nous, and a healthy dose of teamwork. There's a reason why it's been a Steam mainstay since 2012. ET

93. Tales From The Borderlands

A man lifts up his robot arm in Tales From The Borderlands
Image credit: 2K

The best game in Gearbox's Borderlands looter-shooter series is actually an episodic comedy heist caper with an emphasis on story from an entirely different studio. Who knew? Well, everyone. Tales follows Hyperion company man Rhys and Pandoran con-artist Fiona on a MacGuffin adventure, getting into many a scrape and befriending many (several) a robot along the way. It has oodles of heart, excellent voice acting, and the payoffs over several episodes really land. Plus it's genuinely, properly funny! And don't get me started on the direction or the music. We'll be here all day. It's back in stores after a long absence, and the bar is higher as a result. AB

92. Satisfactory

A landscape of several complex structures against a purple sky in Satisfactory
Image credit: Coffee Stain Publishing

You could easily swap Satisfactory out with any of its automated factory building siblings but the thing that sets Coffee Stain's attempt apart is its ambition. The decision to adapt the complexity and scale of Factorio into 3D is wild, and yet somehow Satisfactory manages to pull it off. This is every bit as detailed a factory simulation you can find elsewhere, but rendered and animated beautifully. It's funny, too, framing your endeavour to wrench resources from the crust of alien worlds as the natural end-game of late-stage capitalism. Best of all, as it's still in early access, it simply gets better with each major update. LR

91. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

A man charges up his gunblade in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Image credit: Square Enix

The answer to what's the best Final Fantasy game is simple. It's VIII, and more specifically, Square Enix's 2019 remaster of it. It hasn't aged all that well since its original release 20-odd years ago, admittedly, but with spruced up character models and the actual proper goddamn soundtrack, it's the best version we've got. And what a stonking RPG it still is, too. As rookie military cadets, Squall and his fellow classmates get thrust into a war of worldwide magical espionage and assassinations, where the fabric of time itself is at risk. It has everything you could possibly want from a Final Fantasy game: a sweeping romance, aliens, witches, a touch of time travel, and swords that are also guns. It also has a stonkingly good card game. KC

90. Pyre

Players weave between mounds of sand in Pyre
Image credit: Supergiant Games

The only game to genuinely make me want to lose. Pyre is the most easily forgotten of Supergiant's creations, but it's also in many ways the most special among a selection of extremely special games. Set in probably the most beautiful world I've ever seen, you play the role of a Reader (capital R) in a purgatory fantasy realm. The only way home is to use your Reader-y powers to play matches of a unique fantasy basketball-esque sport against fellow residents, each with their own heartfelt stories and reasons for needing to get home. All of Supergiant's signature imagination and beauty, wrapped in their most daring, genre-defying creation to date. OT

89. Death's Door

An enemy taunts a crow in Death's Door
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Devolver Digital

As much a love letter to early Zelda adventures as it is an isometric take on the Souls series, Death's Door is a fabulous blend of the two that delivers challenging yet surmountable combat encounters alongside decaying dungeons stuffed full of puzzles and looping passageways. As a crow, it's your job to deliver souls into the afterlife, but what if people simply refuse to die? What becomes of them? And of you? The answers are surprisingly profound, delivered via an eclectic cast of characters whose stories are equal parts funny and tragic. LR

88. The Stanley Parable

A man sits at his desk in The Stanley Parable
Image credit: Galactic Cafe

Come for the sarcastic jokes, stay for the exquisite cross-stitching of branching narrative and level design trickery. The Stanley Parable is clever in a number of facets, but instead of basking in its own wit, it trusts you enough to explore the space-breaking corridors of Stanley’s mouldy office building and discover its secrets for yourself. The results can be funny or thoughtful, and always, always surprising. It’s also a prime example of how lovable oddities can make it big on PC, and of the good that comes when modding is supported rather than feared. JA

87. Cyberpunk 2077

Jackie is held at gunpoint by two criminals in Cyberpunk 2077
Image credit: CD Projekt Red

To say Cyberpunk 2077 got off to a rough start would be an understatement. But I've always been a Night City-liker, because if you look past the main story you'll find some cracking stories behind the buzz of your phone or the pulses of neon. If you accept it won't deliver on all of its promises, you've got an open world that'll infect your brain like some malware. Soak in the dark on your glowy bike, then hack some vicious punks so their metal eyes self-destruct. That's a regular evening in Night City and there's nothing quite like it. ET

86. Omori

A first-person battle scene with four characters and two monsters in Omori
Image credit: Omocat

An RPG Maker game that was decisively a modern cult classic before it was even released, Omori tells the story of a group of kids exploring a magical dream world conjured up by a sleeping boy named Omori. Undertale-style humour meets Yume Nikki’s sinister horror to make a cute but creepy adventure, with a lot of heart to boot. Classic RPG Maker tropes might be hiding in plain sight, but Omori’s extensive, overarching story, multiverse of worlds, enormous soundtrack, its giant roster of loveable characters, and fully-fledged turn-based battle system is, put simply, impressive. RW

85. Return To Monkey Island

The cast of Return to Monkey Island cluster round Guybrush Threepwood as he opens a treasure chest.
Image credit: Devolver Digital

The original Monkey Island piratical point 'n' click adventure was, and is, a cultural touchstone for many – including me. What joy, then, to get a new entry in the series by the original creators, starring many of the original cast, as Guybrush looks back on an old adventure? But Return isn't just for nostalgic fans. The 2D art is absolutely gorgeous, the hint system is an unbelievable work of genius, and the story is sweet and relatable without being indulgent. It's the point and click adventure to play if you think you don't like the genre. AB

84. Prey

Several black gooey aliens leap at the player in Prey
Image credit: Bethesda Softworks

There are 267 human characters in Prey's main campaign, and each one has a name. Almost all of them have some level of backstory; most have a unique character model; a surprising amount have their own voice-acted audio logs. By the end of the game, if you've done everything, you'll have located every NPC and uncovered their fate. You don't need to do this to finish the game, but you can. This is what makes poor oft-neglected Prey one of the best games to come out of Arkane: the completeness of the world truly earns it the title of "immersive sim". RJ

83. Fallout 3

A chunky Brotherhood of Steel boy in a Fallout 3 screenshot.
Image credit: Bethesda Softworks

Conventional PC wisdom decrees that if you vote for a modern Fallout game in one of these lists, it should be Fallout: New Vegas. Which is a better RPG per se, but for me, Fallout 3 has it beat on atmosphere and world design both. The Capital Wasteland is just so completely, utterly shattered in a way that the sequels’ takes on Las Vegas and Boston simply aren’t, and a region that feels one day away from disintegrating entirely is just a more interesting place to explore than some essentially functional societies with a bit of dust on them. JA

82. Chicory: A Colorful Tale

A screenshot of the protagonist talking to her sister in a cafe in Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Finji

Do not trust the cutesy art style of Chicory: A Colorful Tale, this one cuts deep. This top-down adventure lets you colour in its picture book world, which is vital since all the colour from the world has suddenly disappeared. Your tool to bring colour back to this monochrome world is the magical Wielder’s Brush, which not only lets you fill your screen with splodgy drawings but also helps you solve puzzles and overcome boss encounters. That’s right, there are boss fights in this world, and not in the way you might expect. Chicory very much explores the art of self-expression and how creators identify with their own work - it’s incredibly thought-provoking and will leave your heart aching for more. RW

81. Resident Evil 4 (2023)

Leon parries Dr. Salvador's chainsaw blades using his knife in the Resident Evil 4 remake
Image credit: Capcom

The best of Capcom's recent string of survival horror remakes, Resident Evil 4 polishes up the original game with light yet deft hands, tweaking and refining rather than reimagining it completely. The result is a familiar romp through the Spanish countryside that retains the action focus of the original while beefing up its combat and visuals to a modern standard. Snarling villagers stuffed full of dribbly parasites are a far more engaging enemy than simple zombies, capable of countering Leon's attacks and manoeuvring out of his way. A tense and exciting adventure that is arguably on par with the original, which remains a viable alternative that this remake makes no effort to replace. LR

80. Grand Theft Auto V

A woman dressed in a patriotic American costume holds a firework baooka in front of a monster truck daubed with the stars and stripes in a GTA Online screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Rockstar Games

Even aside from the wacky crimes and spectacle of GTA 5's campaign and the murderous cooperation and competition of GTA Online (which are fun!), San Andreas is the virtuaplace I most enjoy inhabiting. While many insecure open world games pack side-quests and objectives and collectibles into every square inch, GTA 5 is happy to let you explore empty places, hop your BMX over traffic, chase wildlife, race along highways, watch and prod NPCs like a child with an ant farm, and just exist in this space. It's a sandbox where every in-game day can be a whole new experience. AOC

Disclosure: As an inevitable consequence of living in Edinburgh, I have pals at GTA studio Rockstar.

79. Star Wars: The Knights Of The Old Republic

Screenshot from Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic
Image credit: LucasArts/Disney/Lucasfilm

It's. Got. Everything. BioWare. Star Wars. Jennifer Hale. A ridiculously rigid moral binary system. Robots. Space names. A head-tentacle teen. Amnesia. Custom lightsabers. A mysterious woman guiding you who is definitely not evil. Temples. Stacking choices. A Mandalorian – you love those now, don't you? There are some who would argue that this is still BioWare's best RPG, and they're not right, but they're definitely not wrong either. AB

78. Before Your Eyes

A screenshot of Before Your Eyes showing the Ferryman, a dishevelled humanoid dog dressed as a sailor.
Image credit: Skybound Games

Best experienced with a webcam on, this is a story of a soul's journey through the afterlife driven by your blinks. Close your lids in real life and you'll advance time in-game, pushing your character's story forwards and your tears closer to your ducts. Occasionally, there might be times where you want to bask in the moment, so you desperately fight the automatic urge to blink. Its first-person perspective and physical ties mean you're fully enveloped for 90 minutes, in what can only be described as an emotional devastator. What a beautiful thing, and what a beautiful thing that you can recommend to anyone, no matter if they're into games or not. ET

77. Signalis

A woman shoots two zombie creatures in a dark facility in Signalis
Image credit: Humble Games/Playism

Signalis is spellbinding, which is a weird way of describing a survival horror game but is completely accurate. You play as Elster, an android who wakes up on an abandoned shuttle on a strange planet and begins searching for a mysterious woman. Her investigation takes her to the bowels of an underground facility filled with strange fleshy creatures and broken memories of her past. Navigating its maze of dark metallic corridors and blasting holes in abominations is the least frightening aspect of this horror game. It’s Signalis’ cosmic mystery that will leave you full of dread. The further you delve into its story, the more tangled you get in its web. RW

76. Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers

Gabriel Knight arrives at a waterside crime scene in Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers. An ambulance and several police cars stand nearby, and some officers and paramedics are examining a partially-covered corpse.
Image credit: Activision

Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers is a golden age point-and-click adventure, deservedly remembered for being one of those rare games that is truly outstanding across the board. The writing, voice acting, music, and puzzles are all top-notch; and even if the graphics betray the game's origins in the early '90s, who could deny the retro beauty of that pixel art? For many millennial children, this was one of our first truly grown-up video games, featuring characters who felt like real people grappling with a genuinely chilling mystery. Thankfully, this classic remains just as accessible now as it was 30 years ago. RJ

75. Civilization VI

A hexy landscape in a Civilization VI screenshot.
Image credit: 2K

Lead a society from 4000 BC through to the near-future in the classic turn-based strategy series which caused millions to stay up past 4am muttering the mantra "One more turn..." Honestly, I voted for "whichever Civilization gets the most votes", hoping someone else would pick a specific game for me. They did not. So sure, Civ 6 with its expansions is an amazing game. So is a fully loaded Civ 5, for a slightly different experience. So is Civ 4. I'm sure some favour the others too. Civ is a way of life, with a different game for every mood. AOC

74. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

A bloodied Snake and co. step off a helicopter and walk towards the camera in MGSV: The Phantom Pain.
Image credit: Konami Digital Entertainment

It's a terrible shame that Metal Gear Solid's swangsong feels incomplete, haunted by the game it perhaps might have been. Despite this phantom pain, it's still an absolute monster of an open-world stealth game. It's full of toys and tricks to outwit enemies then balloon them away to your secret ocean clubhouse. Yeah the storytelling is a mess, yeah I miss David Hayter as Snake, yeah the tone is all over the place, but what a joy to master its many secrets and techniques then use them to disable entire armies like the wackiest Predator. AOC

73. Celeste

A young girl battles against the wind on a mountain in Celeste
Image credit: Maddy Makes Games

I’ve long suffered with anxiety, and much of my therapy has focused on learning to accept those parts of myself, rather than panickedly pushing them away. Celeste, a tough-as-nails 2D platformer about a girl named Madeline who endeavours to climb a magical mountain, perfectly captures that sentiment. As Madeline climbs and overcomes platforming challenges that are hard - so hard, my goodness my hands could barely keep up - she manages to accept those insecurities and embrace that scared side of herself, eventually teaming up with that part of her personality to climb the mountain together. It’s an excellent platformer, sure, but one that also made room for me to reflect on my own therapy journey, which is something for which I’m very grateful. HH

72. Dusk

Skulls fly at the player inside a hellscape in DUSK.
Image credit: New Blood Interactive

”Kill the intruder”. Dusk doesn’t do anything by half-measures, and its introduction is no exception. Awakening in a grungy basement, with nothing but a pair of rusty sickles to your name, you are immediately attacked by three chainsaw-wielding psychopaths. From there, Dusk just keeps escalating further. Dilapidated farmhouses give way to decaying cities, haunted military bases and floating cathedrals to eldritchian deities. Yeah. Dusk goes places. Your journey is a rollercoaster of blood, bullets and nightmarish monsters. Weapons are snappy and pack a serious punch, an arsenal of powerful firearms that turn most of your adversaries into a pile of gooey gibs. In a sea of retro-inspired first-person shooters, Dusk is still the best of the bunch. LR

71. Dota 2

Zapping wizards in a Dota 2 screenshot.
Image credit: Valve

Dota 2 is an immense tangle of abilities, items, and interactions, so vast and ever-shifting that not even the best professional players can fully understand it. This sounds no fun at all, and yet there’s something truly compelling about latching on to even a single loose thread of game knowledge – a favourite hero, an effective item build – and exploiting it all the way to victory. Every win in Dota 2 feels earned, and is all the more satisfying for it – I tried a few different MOBAs after Dota, and they all felt like playing conkers after slaying an eldritch worldeater. JA

70. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

Santa and June converse in Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Image credit: Spike Chunsoft

If you're into locked room murder mysteries, it simply doesn't get much better than Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, which combines the brilliant 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward into a deadly one-two punch of visual novel excellence. Both games have a similar setup - nine unwitting individuals get captured and stuck in a sinister death game as they fight for survival - but the on-running plot between them is one of the most moreish and deviously constructed tales of time travel and alternate universes I've ever seen. It plays with the very foundations of how visual novels are designed and constructed, and each game's brilliant murder box puzzles ensure your brain gets as much of a workout as your text box-clicking fingers. An essential part of any gaming diet. KC

69. Cities: Skylines

An illuminated city at night in a Cities: Skylines screenshot.
Image credit: Paradox Interactive

The best citybuilder on PC, Cities: Skylines has remained the undefeated champ since its release in 2015. Although many have attempted to claim the crown for their own in the intervening years (except for, weirdly, the series that inspired Skylines in the first place) none have been able to create a city simulation as sophisticated as the one that powers Colossal Order's mega hit. Throw in a constant stream of game changing DLC, and it's clear that Cities: Skylines is here to stay. Long live the king. LR

68. Gears Of War 2

A man and a monster clash chainsaw guns in Gears Of War 2
Image credit: Microsoft Game Studios

A third-person action shooter which perfectly strikes the bloody balance of bros, blockbuster, and being a bit of a laugh. An entire mission sees you chainsaw your way through a giant worm's innards! Another has you rocket through tunnels on the back of an alien squid! Don't let its grey and brown appearance fool you. The game's a reminder that these colours can make for a hearty stew filled with heart and bombast. ET

67. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Monokuma talks about 'the birds and the bees and all that' in a Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc screenshot.
Image credit: Spike Chunsoft

Danganronpa has a reputation as the much-memed franchise where eccentric high schoolers murder each other because a teddybear tells them to. Still, while sensationalist anime games are hardly an underrepresented genre, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has emerged as a stone-cold classic of the visual novel medium. The series is rightfully well-regarded as a dark-comedy mystery-thriller, but what really elevates it beyond mere silliness is the surprising core of emotional realism visible through all the hot pink bloodstains. This first game in particular contains some really affecting moments that stay with you much longer than you'd expect from the shock-tastic cartoonish premise. RJ

66. The Cycle: Frontier

The player walks through the swamp with a KARMA Sniper Rifle in The Cycle: Frontier.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Yager

Oh, how wrenching it is to write about The Cycle: Frontier, one of my all-time favourite competitive shooters, shortly after hearing that it will be shut down for good this September. It had so much going for it: the best storms in gaming, by far my favourite maps in any extraction shooter or battle royale, strong gunplay, great lore, stressful standoffs, and tonnes of opportunities for outsmarting other players so you can run home with all their hard-earned gear. The Cycle was killed by cheaters and then a lack of interest or good content updates, but even post-mortem it remains the most enjoyable extraction shooter I've ever played. OT

65. Undertale

A girl, rhino and a woman stand in a library in Undertale
Image credit: tobyfox

Undertale somehow manages to be both a heartwarming story of friendship and kindness, while also a giant meme-filled poke at the clichés of traditional RPGs. Sure, there’s a goat mom who makes your favourte pie, a skeleton who loves spaghetti, and a fish woman who’s trying to kill you, but through all the jokes, Undertale also managed to turn one of the biggest RPG troupes on its head by giving the player one simple, but clever choice: attack or show mercy? It’s an important decision that underpins the entire game and a reason why it’s deserving of a place on this list. RW

64. Bernband

A pair of hands reach out into an alien bar in Bernband
Image credit: Tom van den Boogaart

With waggling arms and tippy-tappy feet, explore an alien city in this free first-person walking simulator. It's a joyous experience of feeling lost but not minding that at all, simply wandering around to see what you can see. Bustling nightclubs! Backalley diners! A child's trumpet recital! A greenhouse full of birdsong! An art gallery full of Trolls! Drunk people weeing in corners! The depths of the transit tunnels with hovercars whooshing overheard! Bernband cleverly breaks its city into unconnected sections so who knows what's through the next door? AOC

63. Lil Gator Game

Lil Gator Game showing lil gator lying on the floor and screaming "I'm! BORED!!", while their sister sits nearby.
Image credit: Playtonic Friends

Lil Gator Game hones in on two immaculate vibes. The first is the joy of running around like a kid in a play centre. The second is the sad twinge of your big sibling no longer joining in because they are grown up, and therefore boring. It’s a simple-yet-sweet adventure, offering plenty of space to reflect on lost childhood as you run around the gorgeous island and try to unite Lil Gator’s many pals. Those characters ensure that there’s always reason to laugh, because they deliver consistently awkward and hilarious jokes in true Frog Detective style. HH

62. Terraria

A bustling base in a Terraria screenshot.
Image credit: Re-Logic

For a straight week, my friends and I spent 85 hours in 2D sandbox Terraria. One of them sat down in the morning and didn't move from their chair the entire day. They just had their laptop resting on their knees, mining, fishing, and looting with us for like 12 hours without ever feeling the need to eat or wee, such was its hold over him. The game might give you freedom to build or explore however you want, but its triumph lies in how there's structure if you need it, as you're led from one glorious reward chase to another. You won't tire and I guarantee it won't either. ET

61. XCOM 2

A soldier closes in on an alien in XCOM 2
Image credit: 2K Games

It was one thing to almost single-handedly revive the entire turn-based tactics genre with XCOM: Enemy Unknown in 2012, but it was another to then go and do one better with XCOM 2 four years later (and arguably again with its War Of The Chosen expansion in 2018). The impact of Firaxis' XCOM games is still being felt today, of course, and for good reason. While Enemy Unknown still holds a dear place in my heart, XCOM 2 upped the stakes even further with its mix of pulse-racing squad battles against the now dominant, unstoppable force of its alien oppressors, and its deep grand strategy layer to further enhance your chances on the battlefield. It continues to be a stressful, moreish mix of total despair and sheer exhilaration, and I wouldn't have it any other way. KC

60. Ikenfell

A screenshot of a group 2D pixelart scene in Ikenfell, as a group of students regard a barred gate that will lead to the magical school Ikenfell
Image credit: Humble Games

Ikenfell is a top-down, turn-based RPG where you explore a magical school to find your missing sister. There’s a lot of fighting, but it rarely falls into the trap of feeling grindy thanks to its tight tactical combat. It’s tough as nails at times, forcing you into claustrophobic areas and demanding strategic party placement, but that challenge makes every encounter feel satisfying (as does the combat music). You may be tempted to swap out members of your Final Fantasy-esque party, but Ikenfell’s wonderfully-written cast will make you want to spend time with them all. The wealth of LGBTQIA+ representation on offer here makes sure that Ikenfell’s not only a kickass RPG, but also an essential piece of queer media that demands a place in your digital library. HH

59. What Remains Of Edith Finch

A hand touches Edith Finch's journal in a What Remains of Edith Finch screenshot.
Image credit: Annapurna Interactive

If you’re a fan of experimental storytelling and can take an emotional gut punch (or ten), What Remains Of Edith Finch should be next on your to-play list. This first-person adventure tells the strange tales of the now-deceased Finch family, and as its last living member, Edith has returned to the family household to uncover the hidden histories of how each of her relatives met their unfortunate end. Through careful art direction, What Remains Of Edith Finch is a powerhouse of storytelling and there’s been nothing quite like it since. RW

58. Life Is Strange

Life Is Strange protagonist Max Caulfield faces her polaroid photo wall, which is softly illuminated by a string of hanging lights.
Image credit: Square Enix

It's hard to definitively pick out the best Life Is Strange game: this series of choice-based adventures starring ordinary American teenagers who develop weird superpowers always delivers a great story. Each game can be enjoyed standalone, too; but it's definitely a case where starting from the beginning helps you to get the most out of it. Original protagonist Max's time rewind has yet to be beaten for the most entertaining power in the series. Furthermore, her ability makes Life Is Strange one of the few narrative adventure games to really justify the use of branching storylines, by allowing you to explore alternative outcomes without breaking the fiction. RJ

57. The Norwood Suite

Strange sights in a The Norwood Suite screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun / Cosmo D Studios

Go undercover at a surreal hotel converted from the mansion of a legendary musician in this first-person adventure game. I struggled to pick a single game from the Off-Peak City series, each filling out another fascinating few square metres of this magical and unknowable place with new surreal sights, weird conspiracy, little human stories, great music, and pizza. Tomorrow I might name another but today, yes, I adore this hotel where transitory guests collide with secrets coursing through the walls. What a place! What a mood! But do check out the whole series. AOC

56. Transistor

A woman approaches a large robot in Transistor
Image credit: Supergiant Games

Hades is rightfully their flagship game, but 2014's Transistor is Supergiant Games at their absolute, unassailable best: telling an intimate, soulful story within a stunning, complex, exquisitely fucked up virtual reality. Add to this some marvellous writing, the best soundtrack in video games, and Jen Zee's peerless visual design, and you fast run out of superlatives with which to describe this wonderful isometric RPG. And I haven't even spoken about the brain-melting combat system, which allows you to layer weapon upon weapon in bizarre ways to hundreds of different attack types. Just play Transistor, and cry with me when it's over. OT

55. Fortnite

The avatar of Ariana Grande in Fortnite's Rift Tour event.
Image credit: Epic Games

A contentious pick, perhaps, but Fortnite remains popular for a reason. Yes, your nephew probably keeps asking you to buy him V-bucks for Christmas because there's a cool new Star Wars skin, but look past the promotional tie-ins and you'll find an exceptional multiplayer shooter packed full of breathless invention. Live service games are tricky beasts, but few are as accessible or as generous as Fortnite. For the low price of nothing you can experience everything this battle royale has to offer, including its quickly growing catalogue of player-created experiences. Its recent upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 has made it one of the best looking games going, too. LR

54. Doom II: Hell On Earth

An archvile throws up its arms in Doom 2
Image credit: id Software

A foundational pillar of my PC gaming youth, Doom II remains an absolute belter. You know it, I know it, so let's not waste time pretending otherwise. It's the details that make this my favourite Doom. I will continue to love and cherish the mighty elephant kick of its Super Shotgun until my dying breath, and getting the plasma gun and BFG for the first time is still an absolute thrill on every playthrough. I still quake at the sound of those goddamn Arachnotrons, but man alive if it isn't some sweet vengeance to eventually turn their power against them with your own spot of plasma pelting. id's more recent pair of Doom games are equally brilliant in their own way as well, but it's the sound, the look, the feel of Doom II that cements it as my personal all-timer. KC

53. Hunt: Showdown

A Hunt: Showdown screenshot in which two players, waist-deep in swampwater, prepare to kill a Grunt standing on a pier in front of them.
Image credit: Crytek

Hunt: Showdown is a brooding extraction shooter set in a dark fantasy 1890s Louisiana infested with horrible creatures. Recruit a hunter, kit them out, and then kill one of the boss creatures and extract with the bounty before other players kill you and rob your corpse of all its value. It's an amazingly well-balanced shooter - you can enter with just a basic Winfield rifle and kill even the most seasoned veteran with a well-placed headshot. But the crowning achievement is the audio design, which is so far beyond any other shooter that it's hard to go back to anything else afterwards. OT

52. Tunic

A fox looks up at a fiery lupine statue in Tunic
Image credit: Finji

Sure, the Zelda-themed stuffing inside Tunic's adorable fox hero is certainly one reason why it's instantly catapulted itself into my personal GOAT list, but the cleverness of Tunic goes so much deeper than that. As well as being a cracking isometric action game in its own right, the artful construction of its mysteries and puzzles keeps players guessing about the truth of your role here on this enigmatic island until right at the very end, and I absolutely love that about it. It's one of the few games in recent years that makes every synapse in my brain light up as I try and pull all its threads together, and that is the greatest feeling I can ever hope for when sitting down to play something. KC

51. Viscera Cleanup Detail

A player holds out a mop in a yellow room full of cartoonish dead bodies in Viscera Cleanup Detail
Image credit: RuneStorm

Who cleans up after FPS heroes save the day? You. Pull on your rubber gloves to mop up blood, gather casings, spot-weld bullet holes, incinerate gibs, and more. It has a very pleasant meditative quality. And in the burgeoning genre of cleaning games, Viscera Cleanup Detail stands out with dynamic messes letting you make things worse. If you're not careful, you can track blood around, spill buckets, start fires, and worse. I've never felt more like an exasperated parent than leaving to empty a bin then returning to find a co-op partner surrounded by fresh mucky chaos. AOC

That's the end of Part One! What do you think of this year's RPS 100 so far? Let us know in the comments below, and once you've done that, why not continue straight to Part Two for #50-1?

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