Though gaming industry is now console-oriented, there are still many games for PC that keep impressing and remain the art for those not willing to get a box near the TV. Most premieres of 2019 hit the console market first; but there are titles for PC that are here to stay. At least, we consider them quite worthy.
Not all of them are PC exclusive; in fact, the best of them are cross-platform. Still, these games are worth the closest attention, and chances are they will be here for longer than just this year. They may get even more attractive, as hardware performance improves, and the requirements remain almost the same. So, let’s check them out.
It’s a first-person space adventure that features a character leaving the Earth and exploring two distant planets. The problem is he’s spent seven decades frozen, and now he has to learn everything about this world anew. The newcomer gets involved into a conspiracy that also includes gangsters and corporations, and if it succeeds, the entire colony gets endangered. But do you really feel sorry for that Orwellian nightmare taken over by greedy bosses? Anyway, your character isn’t a white knight either; he just wants to survive and get out.
Made by the creators of Fallout with Obsidian Studios, this game resembles Fallout in its setting. As for aesthetics, the bright adventure in the dark future hasn’t gone far from that. And pay attention to the dialogues: they really crown this masterpiece.
It seemed hard to compete with PUBG and Fortnite, the two founders of Battle Royale as a genre; but Apex Legends that debuted in February 2019 did it. EA needed its own Battle Royale, and it has it now, Titanfall-based. Unlike other Battle Royale games, Apex Legends introduces some arena and RPG elements. For example, the fighter you choose has special abilities (unlike PUBG and Fortnite, with difference only in skill and picked weapons). The visuals are also Titanfall-like, and the controls are typical for BR games.
The key elements, though, are all here. The game is free-to-play, with battle passes that provide more cosmetic items and let players customize their appearance. And no wonder it attracts millions of players daily. If it’s not enough for you to try it, let’s say it was awarded the Best Multiplayer Game at The Game Awards 2019. Well, there aren’t enough competitors to play Battle Royale of Battle Royales, but Apex Legends would have good chances in it anyway.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
This series by Square Enix is sometimes referred to as the best thing that has ever happened to the gaming industry. Not directly continuing the previous parts, FF XIV is one of the best installments in the series, and with Shadowbringers pack, it features new environments, races, towns, dungeons, and other places.
It’s not among the cheapest games, and it’s another reason to squeeze all the kicks out of it before you retire it. The more are the chances it will attract you in 2020. Anyway, being an online game, this incarnation of Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t need extra reasons to keep players attached.
While most games resemble interactive movies, this one is rather an interactive comic book. Disco Elysium is a noir detective story of a detective who investigates the crime in another town, but firs, he doesn’t remember a thing about the case. So the world is full of choices and options, discoveries and acquaintances, and any choice will have consequences.
In fact, it’s just a point-and-click game, but the story saves the day. The game has about a million words – more than some novels. And this literary basis, obviously inspired by noir detective classics and hard-boiled stories, is what makes Disco Elysium a thing. It doesn’t take an investigation to see that the game has many variants and multiple endings. So it’s fun to replay even when you’ve been through. The visual style, influenced by graphic novels, also contributes to its grim enchantment.
Red Dead Redemption II
Formally, it’s a 2018 game, but it only hit the PC in late 2019, so we have a reason to mention it here. The western story is more than just a criminal saga. Its love for detail and incredible visual richness, as well as psychological depth and interconnection between all your actions and their consequences, have made this one a real milestone in gaming. No wonder Rockstar is lingering with GTA VI: it cannot let RDR II outshine it.
Though it was only released for PC in autumn, many players have gone through the main storyline and now just ride free through the West on the brink of the new century. The game is fantastically drawn, and this beauty of America been and gone is recreated with as much love as Arthur Morgan has for horses and guns.
This third-person shooter is set in a strange mystic reality. The heroine Jesse is the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control, a structure established to learn and control the paranormal objects and events. Well, so far, the FBC has failed, and someone named the Hiss is changing the reality. You have a set of special tools to oppose the Hiss, but it takes wits and guts.
At such a position, no wonder that Jesse is also able to levitate, move items remotely, and control others telepathically. Combining these abilities with ordinary combat skills, she makes her way to the solution. If you like supernatural stories with rich visuals, you will be delighted. There are two expansions scheduled in 2020, and even if you’ve given it enough time in 2019, they will deliver new experience, so stay with it.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Have you ever been interested in the history of China? Play Three Kingdoms, and suddenly you’ll learn you are. It’s a great combination of a real time strategy (when it comes to battles) and a turn-based one in terms of empire building. You won’t find anything similar on consoles; on the other hand, Three Kingdoms conquers three desktop platforms – Windows, OS X and Linux.
Strategy games are (for obvious reasons) best playable on PC. There hasn’t been analogs to Heroes of Might and Magic, Age of Empires, or Civilization for consoles. Total War delivers console quality visuals that strategy games rarely offer. You just see those posh Chinese warriors riding onto each other in rows, and you feel like you’re in the middle. And then you become the Emperor and control much more than just the war. Like any decent strategy, Total War has a lot of options and is never predictable; so if you’re in, you’re in for long.
It’s a detective story that you need to investigate by recorded video calls. The calls are recorded by live people, and any record holds a fragment of the clue. You need to notice them all and reconstruct the events to know the answer. And don’t expect anything said to be true. Doubt by default, and remember that anything matters.
This game is an ideological sequel of “Her Story”, another detective game by the same developers. Just the same way, you need to solve the puzzle by searching by keywords, dates, times, participants, and so on. Games like this are no fun to replay, but if you only give it time in 2020 (or even later), it won’t disappoint you. The very idea of this game is meant to never get obsolete (unless the developers release something that outshines it).
The Metro series by 4A Games seems to mirror Resident Evil concept in some way. While the first installments were set in a hermetic Moscow setting, mostly in underground tunnels, the third game sends the protagonists far, far East. The new life in Siberia and Kazakhstan, though, is not easier. Gangs and strange cults, mutant animals and natural disasters, half-destroyed amenities and struggling for resources are immanent in this post-apocalyptic world.
The game is not based on the famous novel series anymore, being the sequel of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light (the situation similar to The Witcher, that became obvious after the Netflix show based rather on books than on games). But we assume you either didn’t read all the book sequels (if any of them) or just don’t care that much. As for the game itself, it’s spectacular and dynamic enough, and its weapon system lets you customize and upgrade literally everything.
If you liked Sunless Sea, you already know what to expect from this one. Sunless Skies is also set in Victorian London, but now it has entered the space – by steam technologies, yes, and steam doesn’t mean the game store by Valve, but a power that moves locomotives. One of those is at your disposal, but there’s more to explore than you can imagine.
The developers obviously tried to incorporate various genres and styles, just like the British Empire of Victorian era incorporated multiple cultures, languages, religions, and races. But, unlike the Empire, the game doesn’t tend to fall apart. Card game mechanics and rogue-like view, RPG elements of upgrading skills and arcade combat system strangely form a solid game that resembles a lot in details and nothing in full. It’s a unique game that may hold your attention for long if you like it (or just like steampunk as a style).
What’s the Eleventh?
We have named the ten PC games of 2019 we are sure to meet later as quite playable. But there have been more games worth your attention, and some of them will accompany us into the 2020s. Which games do you consider as worthy as those above, or maybe better? Share your opinion in comments. Maybe you will help somebody to find a good entertainment – and help its developers with finding the audience.