It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it? Just when you think developers have come up with the greatest game imaginable, another offering drops and blows it out of the water.
The best PC games of 2021 have pushed the envelope further than ever, with revolutionary game mechanics, stories, and graphics.
Below is our definitive list of the best PC games of 2021. From first-person shooters to open-world epics, we’ve got it covered. And if you haven’t played all these, you’d better load them up and get gaming.
There were a few games that didn’t make the cut, but we think you’ll agree that all the titles listed deserve to be here.
For anyone in search of new MMO games, South Korea has become one of their most prolific producers. One of the best PC games for 2021 is Elyon from Krafton. Originally Ascent: Infinite Realm, this title wasn’t well-received, so the developer decided to improve it.
It is a fantasy offering with steampunk elements and involves fighting between two warring realms. The opposing factions in question are Vulpin and Ontari, and players need to choose their side at the start of the game.
The title uses Unreal Engine 3 and earned praise for its detailed and visually pleasing graphics. It’s exclusive to Microsoft Windows, meaning PC players are currently the only people able to play it.
Elyon was first released in South Korea at the end of 2020 because the developer decided to refine it in a smaller market, before making it available globally. It later came out in October 2021 in North America and Europe.
Kakao Games published the title in most territories, but Asiasoft released it in Southeast Asia. Players initially had to sign up to get access to the advanced beta, and when the game was released to the public it proved to be popular.
Humankind from Amplitude Studios is one of the most ambitious PC exclusives ever made, as it provides players with an opportunity to completely rewrite human history.
The 4X game has been compared to the much-loved Civilization series, as it focuses on major eras of human civilization.
The game uses the Unity engine, and borrows some of the mechanics from previous Amplitude Studios offerings, Endless Space and Endless Legend.
When released in August 2021, Humankind became the fourth-highest selling game in the USA that month. It received a strong critical response and has a score of 78/100 on Metacritic.
This title will appeal to people who enjoy in-depth games that take a lot of work and dedication.
Far Cry 6 is another game to feature a famous actor, in what appears to be a growing trend now that graphics can capture people’s expressions.
This one includes Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito as El Presidente, Anton Castillo, a dictator in charge of the fictional Caribbean island of Yara. Players take control of Dani Rojas, a guerilla fighter who’s attempting to bring down the fascist regime.
Before this latest installment from Ubisoft, a few recent Far Cry games were criticized for their story and gameplay choices. Lauded as a return to form, the October 2021 release is one of the best offerings in the franchise for years.
Critics were appreciative of the fact that the developers had done more to add depth to the protagonist. It still features the classic weapon systems and things like liberating outposts, so it will appeal to new and old fans.
Resident Evil has been one of the world’s top gaming franchises for nearly 30 years, so it's no surprise to see its latest installment in the list of best PC games for 2021.
The longevity of the series has been in constant evolution, as is how it mixes up its gameplay and story ideas. Resident Evil Village, the latest release from Capcom, is popular thanks to its twist on the standard formula.
The May 2021 release was more action-focused than previous episodes in the franchise and features several new foes for players to fight. It takes place in a cool setting, designed to look like an Eastern European village from Victorian times.
There are various monsters to contend with, but the main baddies are the werewolf-like Lycans. After living up to fans' high expectations for the Resident Evil series, it came as no surprise that this title became one of the most popular PC games in 2021.
Age of Empires is one of the most popular PC game series of all time, and the latest release has long been anticipated to top best PC games lists in 2021. Age of Empires IV continues with the real-time strategy approach and is set during the Middle Ages this time around.
The gameplay mechanics are based on Age of Empires II, which is one of the best PC games ever made. Stone has been added back as one of the resources after going missing in the last installment, and monks are able to convert units.
The scope of Age of Empires IV is bigger than anything that Relic Entertainment and World’s Edge have ever done before. There will be eight different global civilizations available upon the game’s release.
These include the English, the Chinese, the Mongols, and the Holy Roman Empire. The new offering is likely to push the envelope and usher in a new era of the strategy game, with the possibility to develop complex colonies.
Expect this title to be among the top PC games in 2021 (if not the top one) by the end of the year.
The Life is Strange series from Deck Nine has been an unprecedented success, and the latest release is one of the best PC games of 2021. The previous offerings were released in an episodic format, with periodic releases.
The newest game published by Square Enix, though, dropped all at once to the delight of players.
Once again, players set off on an open-world adventure around the setting of Haven Springs. The protagonist is Alex Chen, someone who can experience other people’s emotions.
This adds an intriguing element to the various interactions with NPCs that occur throughout the game. This fascinating and unique adventure received positive reviews, and CGM gave it a score of 9.5 out of 10.
Vikings are a common theme in popular culture now, and Valheim has capitalized on that. The sprawling sandbox survival game from Coffee Stain Publishing was released early for PC gamers, and quickly became one of the best PC games of 2021.
Due to a five-person team at Iron Gate Studio developing this game, players can get a real sense of the love and care that has gone into it.
Valheim is an immersive offering in that it gives players the chance to experience what it would have been like to live during Viking times. They must craft their own tools, construct shelters, and fight off enemy clans.
Because the game is procedurally generated, it has almost limitless potential and players can get lost in the sandbox for months. Development is still ongoing, meaning that Valheim is likely to get bigger and better.
For players who enjoy a communal gaming experience, It Takes Two is one of the most popular PC games of 2021. The title from Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts is a multiplayer-only game.
This takes the form of online gameplay, or a classic split-screen display allowing for two players to take part at the same time. Players take control of the two protagonists, Cody and May, a married couple who get sucked into a wild and wacky adventure.
The action-adventure game released in March 2021 is designed to appeal to new and old generations of players. It borrows several elements from classic platform games but combines them with a modern twist.
The gameplay mechanics derive from many classic genres, and change depending on the level you’re playing. For example, the protagonists have diverse abilities such as being able to replicate themselves or reverse time.
Players need to cooperate with their teammates to get the best out of these features and complete the levels. It Takes Two earned high plaudits from critics, who enjoyed its originality and quirky vibe, cementing itself as one of the top PC games in 2021.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe offering to get a videogame makeover.
The fun-loving space adventurers have become some of the most beloved characters in the MCU, and the new title from Square Enix captures some of the best parts of the films, including the infectious soundtrack.
Unlike Marvel’s Avengers, players are not able to take control of all the different characters. The playable protagonist is Peter Quill, otherwise known as Star-Lord. All the other lovable space heroes are there, but they are AI-controlled.
Players can give them orders and use their skills in combat, though, helping to create a rich gameplay experience. This is another title that allows players to enter the sprawling world of the MCU and experience it in a completely new way.
Thanks to the popularity of the film series, this game is likely to go down as one of the best PC games of 2021.
It has been almost ten years since Chivalry: Medieval Warfare launched to receive critical acclaim in 2012. Players have had to wait a while for Torn Banner Studios to come up with its sequel, but Chivalry II was worth the wait.
The hack and slash game will appeal to fans of Game of Thrones and Vikings and gives players a taste of what it would have been like to fight in a medieval battle. It is immersive, especially if you opt to play using the first-person perspective option.
It’s a multiplayer game, meaning that a vast number of players can take part in sprawling battles at the same time.
Chivalry II has been in the works since 2017, so it should come as no surprise that the finished product is a stunning game.
The breathtaking action enabled it to sell one million copies within the first two months of its release, highlighting how it is one of the most popular games of 2021.
The developers took inspiration from GOT and Lord of The Rings and achieved a cinematic experience that is hard to beat. IGN awarded it nine out of ten and praised it for perfectly blending elements of fun and skill.
The title is so realistic that players are even able to use severed limbs as weapons.
So that was your list of the most popular PC games of 2021. How many of those have you played so far? What do you plan to install next?
It may seem hard to improve upon the top PC games of 2021, but the world’s greatest developers are already doing everything they can to make that happen.
Some of the games to look forward to in 2022 include Starfield, Dying Light 2, and Elden Ring. There are far too many to list, so it’s best to stay in the loop by checking our blog posts here for up to date information and cool news.