The best games on Steam

From 'Skyrim' to 'Undertale,' these are the best games on Steam right now

The PC continues to be one of the best platforms for video games, with a great library of titles across every imaginable genre. The biggest marketplace for buying these games remains Steam, and Valve’s store has amassed a collection of truly legendary games over the years.

Whether you’re interested in the latest first-person shooter or an enormous role-playing game that never has to end, Steam has you covered, and we’ve compiled a list of its very best games. Separated by genre, these are the best games you can play on Steam.

Sports and racing

‘Rocket League’

rocket league autumn update 6

Typically, sports games star digitized athletes who run around a field and attempt to score points, but Psyonix took a different a different approach with Rocket League. The soccer-like game places players in control of small rocket-boosted cars that zip across the pitch and ram head-first into giant soccer balls. What looks like a simple game requires a tremendous amount of practice and control, and that depth has helped keep its dedicated player-base engaged for years.

Fighting

‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

Dragon Ball FighterZ review

Who would have thought that a Dragon Ball game released in 2018 would be one of 2018’s very best games? A tag-team fighter that uses an art style remarkably similar to the anime, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a blisteringly-fast game that still manages to be welcoming for newcomers – even those completely unfamiliar with the genre. Despite this, its depth has made it a favorite at esports events, and its large cast of characters means there are sure to be at least a few heroes you want to send into battle. It also has plenty of callbacks to famous Dragon Ball Z show moments that are sure to make fans very happy.

Read our full Dragon Ball FighterZ review

Strategy

‘XCOM 2’

xcom 2 war chosen of the review 14306

Firaxis revived the X-COM strategy series from the brink of death with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which combined tough-as-nails turn-based combat with a slick coat of classic sci-fi paint, and the sequel only makes things better. XCOM 2 is unquestionably harder than its predecessor, but it also provides you with far more options for tackling the alien occupiers who have taken over Earth. With every decision you make potentially having huge consequences, it’s not for the faint of heart, but those willing to take command will not be disappointed.

Read our full XCOM 2 review

Action

‘Grand Theft Auto V’

best ps4 games grand theft auto v

Rockstar’s latest crime-causing social satire sold more than 100 million copies for a reason: Grand Theft Auto V is a magnificent open-world action game with enough content to keep players busy for years. Many have willingly done so, enjoying its single-player content as well as the always-evolving Grand Theft Auto Online. The Steam version wasn’t available when the game first launched, but user-created content and mods have helped to make it the definitive version of the game.

Read our full Grand Theft Auto V review

‘Hitman 2’

Hitman 2 Review

The Hitman series has always been at its best when it allows players to just experiment and see the craziest things they can do in its sandbox levels, and IO Interactive has never understood that more than in Hitman 2. The game only contains a few different locations, but each of these are endlessly replayable with different ways you can assassinate your target.

Want to throw someone into a pit of cement or have defense robots shoot your target so you don’t get your hands dirty? You can, or you could just shoot them or throw them off a roof like a “normal” assassin. The only limits here are in your imagination, and new “Elusive Targets” give you a reason to keep coming back.

Read our full Hitman 2 review

‘Dead Cells’

dead cells hands on review screens 2

One of the best action games of 2018, Dead Cells uses roguelike elements without conforming to the genre entirely. Its slick combat and challenging enemy design make it extremely addictive, even if you have to start from your original location when you happen to fall, and there are enough different weapon and ability combination to suit nearly any style of play. What it lacks in overt innovation it makes up for in execution, and Dead Cells’ clever secrets give you a reason to explore every nook and cranny of the environment.

‘Cuphead’

Cuphead review mermaid

One of the most visually stunning video games ever made, Cuphead is essentially a playable 1930s Disney cartoon, complete with cigarette burns and imperfections on the film filter it uses. At times frustratingly difficult, the game blends action-platforming and shooting together in a similar fashion to the Mega Man series, and its gorgeous enemy designs make us feel nostalgic for a time very few of us were even alive. The music and classic sound effects further reinforce the ‘30s theme, and they stuck in our heads for months after completing it.

‘Dishonored’

Dishonored

Its sequels are also available on Steam, but the original Dishonored stands as the best game in the series because of the remarkable design of Dunwall – a Victorian-inspired city that has been brought to its knees by a plague. The dark and disturbing locations are sandboxes for creative stealth, and protagonist Corvo’s magical abilities let him take either non-lethal or very lethal approaches to any situation. You can avoid fighting by “blinking” from location to location, or you could pause time after someone fires a bullet, mind control them into walking in front of said bullet, and then watch them die. It’s your choice.

Read our full Dishonored review

Puzzle

‘Portal 2’

best xbox 360 games portal 2 gallery

It has been available for more than seven years, but Valve’s Portal 2 remains one of the most engaging, hilarious, and creative video games ever made. Building on the portal-traveling premise of the original but with more complex puzzles, an even funnier storyline, and a charming new companion character, Portal 2 managed to smash the lofty expectations fans had, and it remains just as playable now as when it first released. User-created levels let you play others’ puzzles, and a separate cooperative mode makes it perfect to enjoy with a friend.

Read our full Portal 2 review

Role-playing

‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

best xbox 360 games skyrim gallery

Sure, you can play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on just about any device imaginable at this point, but none of them can hold a candle to the PC version. With mod support, higher resolution, better textures, and even fan-made story content, it’s the definitive platform for Bethesda’s masterpiece.

The role-playing adventure is set in one of the most gorgeous and fully-realized worlds ever made, filled with secrets to uncover and monsters to slay, and you can always make your own fun by causing chaos if you don’t want to do quests.

Read our full The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim review

‘The Witcher III: Wild Hunt’

gog valentines week sale the witcher 3  wild hunt

Very few developers can create a world as lifelike and “lived in” as CD Projekt Red, but the Polish studio’s role-playing game isn’t just a virtual sandbox – it also has one of the best-written stories in the medium, whether you’re enjoying the main quest or one of the game’s countless side missions. No two missions in The Witcher III are the same, and seeing everything the game has to offer can take hundreds of hours. It’s a testament to the game’s quality that many players are willing to spend that time.

Read our full The Witcher III: Wild Hunt review

‘Undertale’

best steam games undertale screen 45

Toby Fox’s Undertale looks like a simple retro-inspired role-playing game at first glance, but that is merely a curtain, behind which a truly brilliant adventure hides. Subverting traditional role-playing conventions, Undertale manages to be a commentary on video games themselves, poking fun at character tropes, user interfaces, and combat mechanics while telling a hilarious story. It’s certainly not going to push the power of your PC – or Mac, as it runs on both – but it’s the type of game you won’t find anywhere else.

Simulation and creation

‘Planet Coaster’

best steam games planetcoaster

The RollerCoaster Tycoon series has been in total free-fall over the last several years, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a great theme park simulation to play on Steam. Created by simulation masters Frontier Developments, Planet Coaster is everything you could want from a modern RollerCoaster Tycoon game, including detailed coaster creation and customization options, as well as the ability to micromanage every aspect of your park. We all know that means you’re going to try to kill your guests, but don’t just say that.

‘Stardew Valley’

best switch games for traveling stardew valley

What do you do when you can’t wait any longer to play a full-fledged Harvest Moon sequel? If you’re designer Eric Barone, you just make your own game, instead. Stardew Valley may have aimed to continue the Harvest Moon legacy, but Barone’s game surpasses its inspiration with a colorful cast of characters, deep customization and crop options, gorgeous pixel artwork, and the charm and love that only a truly passionate creator could give a project. With multiplayer and consistent updates, Stardew Valley has only gotten better with age, too.

‘Garry’s Mod’

best steam games garrysmod

Despite having “mod” right in the name, Garry’s Mod is a full game you can purchase on Steam – or, rather, it’s a collection of games. Designed with the Source engine technology used to power much of Valve’s library, Garry’s Mod gives you almost limitless control over the types of games you can create for it. “Prop Hunt” and “Trouble in Terrorist Town” are popular modes, pitting players against each other in meta-gaming matches that test their ability to tell truth from fiction, and they often end in hilariously terrible fashion for everyone involved.

Platforming

‘Ori and the Blind Forest’

best steam games ori and the blind forest definitive edition preview screens 03

A “Metroidvania” game at its heart, Ori and the Blind Forest is a polished and stylish 2D action-platformer that isn’t afraid to through enormous challenges your way, but it manages to avoid making them feel unfair with its unique checkpoint system. You can place a checkpoint nearly anywhere to prepare for difficulties ahead, and finally nailing a particular obstacle is a wonderful feeling. On top of that, the game’s heartwarming and tear-jerking story makes it even more satisfying to complete.

‘Celeste’

celeste switch review 3

Most 2D platforming games aren’t the heaviest on story, but Celeste isn’t like most 2D platforming games. Tasked with reaching the top of the titular mountain, protagonist Madeline’s journey is far less straightforward than it initially seems, and supernatural elements complicate things further. Each stage in Celeste makes use of a simple air-dash ability, essentially turning them into mini-puzzles, and the brilliant level design helps to make Celeste one of the most satisfying games on Steam.

Read our full Celeste review

Shooter

‘Superhot’

superhot coming to xbox one in may press screenshot 02

Calling Superhot a first-person shooter would be doing the game a disservice, as it’s one of the most unique games to ever come out of the genre. Wrapped up in a techno-fiction story about hackers and artificial intelligence, the game’s levels can technically be completed in just a few seconds. However, you’ll quickly die unless you take advantage of its main twist: Time only moves when you do. In effect, Superhot becomes a strategy game, as you must plan every movement in advance in order to escape alive.

‘Doom’

best steam games doom final

When a game stays in “development Hell” for as long as 2016’s Doom did, you don’t usually expect it to be good. Id Software defied players’ expectations completely, delivering a fast, over-the-top first-person shooter that not only understands exactly what players loved about the first two games, but also everything they didn’t like about the third. What’s left is intentionally light on story and heavy on demon-killing goodness, with a new melee system letting you pummel the hellspawn into smithereens with satisfying, crunchy attacks.

Read our full Doom review

‘Rainbow Six Siege’

video games wont want miss december rainbow six siege listicle

What a different time can make in a game. Rainbow Six Siege launched as a decent competitive shooter back in 2015, but Ubisoft’s game has improved over time with balancing changes, the addition of playable characters and maps, and the introduction of new anti-cheating software to ensure players get the fairest experience possible. New content is still coming out for the game today, and its community remains committed to keeping the game’s status as a premiere esport.

Read our full Rainbow Six Siege review

Gaming

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Gaming

One game console is better than the rest, and we're not afraid to say it

We've seen a relatively large influx of new consoles in the last year, including the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One X, so we've updated our recommendations for the best dedicated game hardware.
Gaming

It's dangerous to go alone! Have fun with friends in our favorite co-op games

Video games don't always have to be so brutal, dog-eat-dog experiences! Here are some of our all-time favorite co-op games across a range of different platforms, genres, and difficulties.
Gaming

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.
Product Review

'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe' is 2D platforming wizardry

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the latest Wii U game to come back from the dead on Switch. And wow, it’s much better than we remembered.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.
Gaming

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.
Gaming

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.