The surging popularity of consoles makes it impossible for video game developers and publishers to ignore these devices. As a result, most of the new games can also be played on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but there are also notable exceptions. Some exclusive PC games have made the list, most of them belonging to the real-time strategy and multiplayer online battle arena genres. We also recommend a handful of classic first-person shooters and adventure video games released many years ago.
Top 10 Exclusive PC Games
- World of Warcraft
- Counter Strike Condition Zero
- StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void
- Dota 2
- League of Legends
- Heroes of the Storm
- Star Wars Battlefront
- XCOM 2
World of Warcraft
No other video game has managed to generate as much money as World of Warcraft, a Guinness world of record title in terms of subscribers. Blizzard Entertainment developed and published the game back in 2004, one decade after the resounding success of Warcraft Orcs and Humans. Upon its release, it quickly became one of the most popular PC games and five expansion sets follow. The last game to be added to this franchise is World of Warcraft Legion, a video game that hit the stores in late August 2016.
World of Warcraft is built on the main plot of Warcraft III The Frozen Throne. It is regarded to be the first truly successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The user-friendly interface, simple learning curve and inviting design were the ingredients in the recipe for success, one that has remained virtually unchanged since 2014. The most important characters in the Warcraft lore are brought to life by the MMORPG, famous for its gorgeous open world, smart leveling system, but also PVE and PVP gameplay.
Counter Strike Condition Zero
Counter Strike Condition Zero is essentially a makeover of the first-person shooter that revolutionized the genre and turned eSports into a million dollars industry. Developers chose to alter only the visuals, but leave the gameplay unchanged. They did so hoping to re-create the success of one of the best PC games of the decade. The single player campaign is the most notable addition, with players getting to choose between one of the two warring factions and play as terrorists or counter-terrorists.
Counter Strike Condition Zero enables players to compete against bots that are driven by a strong AI and complete missions on familiar maps. Virtually all of the popular maps of the original Counterstrike were imported and the same can be said about the gear and weapons. Their accuracy has been slightly improved and they underwent an almost complete visual makeover, for a more realistic look.
StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void
StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void is the third and final chapter in the trilogy, marking the end of a franchise that started back in 1998. Almost 2 decades after Starcraft was unveiled, it is still widely regarded as one of the best real-time strategy PC games of all time. It has developed a cult following and its sequel is the most played game in Korea in professional and high-paying tournaments.
StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void wraps up the long saga, with virtually all important characters featuring in the trilogy. Warring races put aside their petty rivalries and conflicts, to focus on the threat posed by the ancient evil Amon. The Protoss storyline is at the cornerstone of this expansion set, hence the name. The game introduces the Archon mode, automated tournaments, but also co-op missions. New units are added to the singleplayer campaign, but most of them and their abilities are not available in multiplayer.
Of all PC games played by professionals, Dota 2 is by far the best paying one. Its tournaments have guaranteed prize pools of millions of dollars. The multiplayer online battle arena game was developed and published by Valve. It was built on the popularity and gameplay of the original Defense of the Ancients game. It has more than 1 million people active online simultaneously on Steam and is played by millions overall.
Players team up in squads of five individuals each and try to destroy the opponents’ base. Meanwhile, they try to kill enemies in the process to earn XP and gold. Dota 2 has a roster of more than 100 characters, wielding different weapons and special abilities. They are serving the main roles of tanks, damage dealers and healers. As the characters level up, they get stronger and accumulate resources, which can be spent to purchase items and weapons. More difficult than other MOBA games, Dota 2 is played on the same map in all multiplayer games.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a free to play multiplayer online battle arena game, developed and published by Riot Games. It started off with a dozen of characters, but as grew into one of the most PC games of the year. Developers were therefore compelled to add more heroes and the roster now includes in excess of 100 heroes. The gameplay is inspired by the Dota Warcraft 3 mod, but slightly easier to play.
The cartoonish graphics, easier progression system and reasonable hardware requirements, contribute to the popularity of League of Legends. The game is free to play, but players can also purchase vanity items, XP points and other freebies with real cash. Micro-transactions are voluntary and the things acquired don’t give a competitive edge to those who make the purchase. The team game customization options appeal to most of the players and has quickly turned this MOBA into the most profitable game of the genre.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm is the first multiplayer online battle arena video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. In the wake of League of Legends and Dota 2 success, they released the game in June 2015 while adding unique elements that make it a hero brawler rather than a classic MOBA. Players level up as a team rather than individually, which makes it more important for them to work together.
Heroes of the Storm features dozens of heroes and players can combine various skills and abilities to better serve the team. Compared to other multiplayer online battle arena PC games, this one doesn’t have items for players to acquire. The games are played at a faster pace, with heroes respawning quickly after death. The main goal is to complete in-game objectives with utmost celerity.. HOTS is played on more maps than any of its counterparts, each featuring its own goals.
Star Wars Battlefront
EA published and developed Star Wars Battlefront, the action shooter videogame that is inspired by the George Lucas Hollywood blockbuster. One of the most anticipated PC games of 2015, it was released at the same time as Star Wars Episode 7 to further enhance the hype. Players enjoy virtually unlimited freedom, in a sandbox environment that challenges them to tackle each mission differently.
Star Wars Battlefront features a competent set of co-op missions, with its best-selling point being the fully fledged multiplayer. The single player campaign is virtually nonexistent, with just a couple of quests that players can complete. These are barely enough to get familiar with the core game mechanics. The videogame can be played from a third person and first-person perspective, which allows for great vantage points.
Homeworld is a classic 3D real-time strategy game, originally released in 1999 and overhauled in Homeworld Deserts of Kharak. The game produced by Relic Entertainment was considered to be ahead of its time in terms of visuals and 3D RTS elements. Back in the day, it had some of the best cinematics. It also brilliantly succeeded at bringing to life the cold and vast outer space.
Homeworld has a complex gameplay, with players occasionally controlling sizable armies. This took its toll on the hardware of the 90s. The latest installment acts as a prequel and is no longer plagued by the limitations of technology, so it features more responsive controls. Players are encouraged not to stick to the main quest line, to also complete additional missions, to get a better sense of the environment.
XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical videogame acting as a sequel to the XCOM Enemy Unknown game released in 2012. One of the best PC games of the year, it has an open ended storyline and the sequel describes a world in which the humans lost the world. The XCOM squad tries to reclaim the planet from the invaders two decades after those events. Players are frequently pit against overwhelming forces, hence the constant struggle.
XCOM 2 allows for a greater degree of customization, with players creating their characters from scratch as they see fit. As they level up, these heroes get stronger, unlock new abilities and purchase superior weapons and gear. Downloadable content for the videogame was released shortly after the official unveiling. It goes by the name of Resistance Warrior Pack.
Fortnite is one of the few PC games that don’t fall perfectly into a genre, combining elements from The Walking Dead, Minecraft and everything in between. Developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games is a resource gathering, base building and defending videogame pitting players against waves of zombies.
Players scavenge for resources during the day. They also try to make the most of the time left until nightfall to build strong defensive positions. At night, zombies surround the base and the assault continues until morning. Therefore, only the strongest defenses surviving the attack. Players get to choose between different characters, serving different purposes and honing various abilities suitable for defense and offense.