The 30 Must-Play PC Games of The Decade

42

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

POMF2K

Is anyone else shocked and appalled that Oblivion found its way onto this list but not Morrowind?

avatar

gudenau

I fail. It didn't come out in 04...

avatar

ulrichmk

What about the LEgend Of Zelda Twilight Princess...That game kills al of these. LINK FTW!

avatar

FrancesTheMute

I hope you're kidding, but in the off chance you are not, you do realize the article says "PC" games, right?

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Maybe the point was to help sales of some lesser-known titles, but the original Deus Ex should have been on this list. It was one of the best computer games ever made.

Battlefield 1942 was a great game until hackers made it into their own private sandbox. Cheating ruined that game beyond all repair, and that's a damn shame.

avatar

poee

A lot of comments mention Deus Ex, though this article has a specific format of listing a few games from each year starting with 2001. Deux Ex came out in 2000.

 

avatar

Gezzer

Okay, I'll add this and then move on no matter the out come.

My point wasn't about which games were the "must play" games as much as depending on who you ask there could be 100, hell 1,000 "must play" games in the last decade.

To me a "must play" game is the one that hooks you in. For example I'm not saying ME1 is better then ME2. I'm saying if any one asked me I'd say ME1 is a "must play". That ME2 is a great sequel and that if you enjoyed ME1, then you have to play ME2. There's elements of ME2, and the last ME that is supposed to be coming, that will/might suffer for a player if they never played ME1. To be honest I'd say ME 1/2/3 will be considered a "must play" series when we look back on it. But I'd still say that it's best to start the story at the beginning if you want the whole experience. That in my books makes ME1 a "must play".

As for BF2, yeah it had/has it's problem, funny how it's still an extremely popular game though. Ton's of top notch mods, quite a number still playing it. My reasoning was more why BF 1942 and BF2? I don't see them as both "must play" games, one has to be the better of the two. It's one thing to say you have to play a game when it first comes out, but this list is about what games that are "must play" in retrospect. And with that in mind I'd say BF2 wins out over BF 1942. 

As I stated, to me a "must play" game is a game that your missing out if you don't give it a try, it'll either hook you or make you say meh. A game that will have you searching for ones like it, and comparing any you find to this "must play" game. A game that opens up a whole new world of gaming pleasure.

If you look back say to the 90's, again there are many reasons to single out games of that era, but how many would you say are "must play", even now? The list could of been "the best of" or "or games that made me go Whoa" and I might of disagreed with some of the selection, gave my own and moved on.

But "must play" means something different to me. If you have a friend that never played video games, what list of games would you give them to start out? Or a friend that never played a RTS, again what games? Are they the same games you remember fondly and find yourself playing them once in awhile. Those in my opinion are "must play" games. It was because the "must play" list in my opinion was both limited in it's scope, and a bit redundant. It seemed that certain genres were under represented, while others over, and thats why I posted what I did.

Make of it what you will, and if it's flaming time go for it. 

avatar

Bean Bandit

1st of all Battlefield 1942 is what started the Battlefield series. If your looking at the fact that 1942 was World War type game don't cause if you wanted modern you could use the Desert Combat mod which is what later because Battlefield 2 but a lamer version. You still haven't explained why you think BF2 is better. Only thing you mentioned was people still play it well it was made at a much later time then 1942 but that in no way should determine that BF2 is better.

avatar

TsunamiZ

Hey Nathan, can you cover this issue? Microsoft has done it again! Xbox Live Kinect update from November 1, 2010 caused a large number of Xbox 360 to stop reading discs! A lot of people aren't able to play their games anymore over the holidays! Anyone know if there is any fix for this yet???

There is a long topic on this problem at the support forums...
http://forums.xbox.com/34833009/ShowPost.aspx

avatar

Bean Bandit

Wrong section there bud.

avatar

MrPC2010

Good top 30, I agree with most of the nominations.

avatar

Bean Bandit

I kinda have to disagree on adding Battlefield 2 to the list of 30 best pc games of the past decade. Why you ask? Cause for the most part and some still think so even today it's still broken. The most notable issue with BF2 was the hit box and how long did the BF community wait? A long time. I would have rather played BF1942 Desert Combat mod over and over then play the broken Battlefield 2. Hackers were another issue Battlefield 2 had really bad but that's due to Punkbuster and there worthless effort. Battlefield 2's in game chat for me was the worst ever and even today in Battlefield Bad Company 2 it still sucks. They should take a lesson from Valve. At least you guys didn't pick Battlefield 2142 cause that was a true joke like Battlefield Hero's.

avatar

MrPC2010

You got to be kidding... BF2 is definately the greatest FPS of the decade... Project Reality alone would justify it but the massive success of vanilla bf2 also clearly remove any doubt.

Btw, crysis should have been in this top 30, for his graphics alones. Still the best graphics of the industry...

avatar

Bean Bandit

So you like broken games with horrible hitboxes? Maybe you use a bot instead.

avatar

machew100

First of all I think everyone's overreacting about this, but the reason I'm replying to this is because of your ignorant comment about mass effect 2.  Have you even played mass effect 2? I'm 90% sure you haven't because if you did you'd know that it's a great story and experience in it's own right.  The combat is fluid, the abilities are neat, the voice acting is phenominal, the graphics are fantastic (well optimized too), the hook factor is definitely there, exploring is neat, and the multiple endings are a definite plus.  I have never felt so cinematic while playing a game as much as I did while playing ME2.  My friend hadn't played ME1, I told him it didn't matter and that he would enjoy it, and WITHOUT PLAYING ME1 (he didn't want to play an 'inferior version) he played ME2 and it is one of his top best games for PC ever.  This friend isn't just "some random gamer either", he's very critical, analytical, intelligent, skeptical, and detailed when it comes to identifying what's strong or weak in a game.  He beat the game 3 times, I've beaten it twice, I cannot recommend the game highly enough, so shove off.

avatar

FattSlice

The only games on this list that are not overrated jokes are Max Payne, Splinter Cell, before Double Agent of course, Bioshock, and Dragon Age...

For the love of all that is PC, how could Portal and Mass effect make the list? You guys really need to rename the mag to "Sell-Out PC - we have no free will" and get it over with already. I don't even need to go into details on how a vast majority of these games are not even worthy of the bargain bin, start rating based on experience and not on what lines your pockets the most.

I can safely say the only reason I subscribe anymore and view the website is for factual news and objective benchmarks, because I know anything subjective or involves an employee's opinion is both ignorant and biased.

avatar

SYNK109

Where is Deus Ex?! That is on of my all time favorites. And why Fallout NV? Fallout 3 is already there. I've never even heard of Machinerium. Civilazation didn't have to make the list twice, neither did battlefield. 1942 had the crappiest AI I've ever seen. Far Cry should have been on the list also.

avatar

Nimrod

Could have been a better list. Fallout NV DOES NOT belong here. It could be replaced any number of games better than some of the ones you listed.

avatar

Gezzer

Just my 2 cents here....

This list as shown at least for me doesn't really make sense as a "must play" list.

Think about it for a moment. A "must play" game is the one when all the stars align, the game is firing on all cylinders, is innovative with out sacrificing game play, and just plain more fun then you can ever have (with your pants on).

A game that showcases the best of a genre, and is impossible to put down. That you find your self looking up from your game screen after hours of game play that feel like mere minutes. A game where you find yourself going over strategy in your head when you have a spare moment at work or what have you. Then you can't wait to get home and try it out. When you finally finish, you both elated and sad because it's over. So you start looking for community mods to extend the experience. You even try out any earlier versions if you can, just to see if it gives you the same rush.

Then you spend unreasonable amounts of time posting on forums about "when will the next version be out?". Of course the next version doesn't count as a "must play" because even if it's as good or better then the original, it's not the one that had the mad grip on you. As for ones that lead up to it, again they weren't the "one". And lastly a game that even with "dated" graphics, game play, and wow factor, you still find your self picking it up once in awhile because it's just that much fun.

If anyone asks about a series which game would you recommend first? If it's the one that for the most part fits the above criteria that's your "must play" game.

For example which one of these, BF 1942, BF 2, or BF 2142 would be your first recommendation for someone new to the series? Anyone who didn't vote for BF 2 go back and play all three please. BF 2 is a great game and is the gold standard for co-op military games IMHO.

So yes, Mass Effect is a "must play". You'll either love it or go meh. But Mass Effect 2? I f you loved ME 1 you'll of course play ME 2, if you didn't you won't plain and simple. So ME 2 is not a "must play" in my books.

On the other hand no mention of say, UT 2004, Neverwinter's Nights, Medieval 2, or Rise of Legends? I could mention many more I would consider "must play". Some have been mentioned by others, and others I'm sure will get a mention in posts to come. Plus some of mine would be a little too out of the main stream to be a true "must play". For example Sid Meier's Railroads would make my list way before Pirates would. But the truth is either title is only a "must play" for a select group of people that enjoy that sort of game. So I'd recommend them only if some one asked. On the other hand Borderlands was a blast and I recommend it as a "must play" to anyone because it has such a broad appeal.

Okay, I guess my 2 cents ended up being more like a buck and a half. Sorry about that.

P.S. Come to think of it, I guess my criteria can apply to movies, music, just about any subjective art forms where personal taste is involved.

avatar

wk

I played 8 of these great games:

  • Fall out3 
  • Oblivion 
  • Dragon Age 
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Knight of the old republic 1
  • War craft 3 
  • Company of Heroes
  • World of Goo

But i think "The Witcher" should be in the list.

avatar

Jelson

  • Civilization III&IV
  • Warcraft III
  • Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
  • Splinter Cell
  • World of Warcraft
  • Half-Life 2
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Portal
  • BioShock
  • Mass Effect 1&2
  • Fallout 3
  • Dragon Age: Origins

With that said, there no reason to place Mass Effect, Fallout, and Civilizations on the list twice, thats space that should of gone to something else. Secondly, Maxpc should of done "the best selling games of the decade" that would of bin easier, there a few games on this list I wouldn't exactly call must play. and many that are missing (Unreal Tournament).

avatar

joeking

HL2 is still the best single-player I've played to this date.  And you hit the nail on the head with that Oblivion descrip, exiting the sewers was really a sight to behold.

avatar

GT3mich

Cod Modern Warfare needs to be on this list as well as BCBC2 and Crysis. They changed FPS games.

The best game on this list is BF 1942. What a great game. It was played on modded servers for years.

I still remember shooting down planes with an Air gun and the pilots would type WTF!

avatar

wortwortwort

I've only played 7 of those games. I still play Warcraft III regularly.

avatar

ShadowWalker83

Wow, how about Witcher? Deus Ex? Unreal Tournament? there are loads of Epic Games this decade, that didn't get a mention here.

avatar

ahtrahddis

Crysis, Farcry2, COD modern warfare, BFBC2, now these are must-play...

avatar

Rogue74

I think there were quite a few that were missed. Battlefield 2 is definitely up there. I haven't found a modern military FPS multiplayer game yet that was that fun and immersive. I can't wait for BF3!

avatar

igoka

I couldn't find " Deus Ex " in the list . " Peggle ", " Plants vs Zombies ", " Left4Dead 2" . I would also mention  series of  " SWAT "  and " Rainbow Six " .

 

Glad that you mentioned " Psyconauts " though.

avatar

cappomutato

I don't know if "Must Play" is the correct term for this list.  Perhaps "That Were Must Play" is more fitting.  Surely there is no reason for two versions of Civ, not to mention CoD, and 2 Battlefield games on a list of games that are still Must Play.  Should Mass Effect 2 make the list with Mass Effect 1?  If so, then it becomes difficult to justify not having Left For Dead 2.  And when it comes to unique gameplay, it's hard not to give a nod to the Overlord series or, perhaps, the Penny Arcade games.  At least they were inventive AND fun (sorry, Black & White).

 

Too many gripes.  In the end, this list should be titled as what it really is: Butters' Favorite 30 PC Games of the Decade

avatar

cappomutato

Right you are.  I saw "Nathan" and immediately put someone's nickname in its place.

avatar

Cy-Kill

So, how come your article is missing that whole year?!

avatar

Kethsar

A decade is 10 years, and since 2010 is only days from over, 2001 - 2010 = 10 years. 

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. 10 Years right there.

avatar

Jelson

+1

avatar

sniggler

Any true fan of the TES series will tell you Morrowind was the end-all be-all of adventure / fantasy games when it was released in 2002. It was also released as a GOTY with both expansions, Bloodmoon and Tribunal, which were amazing in their own right, along with the TES editor (now updated for Oblivion) which allowed players to create their own insane content for the game.

As an honest fan of the series, I have to say I felt more immersed in Morrowind than Oblivion, the storyline was just better and the actors although their AI wasn't as good had better dialogue. The ability to become a vampire and later a werewolf in the Bloodmoon expansion was awesome.

Oblivion was revolutionary in it's own right and paved part of the way for Fallout 3 (which uses a lot of borrowed engine components from Oblivion) but Morrowind is what truly set Bethesda on a pedestal as far as game developers go. If it wasn't for Morrowind, Oblivion wouldn't have existed and Fallout 3 would exist as another RTS-type adventure (satisfying to some die-hards but where would VATS be?).

If we are going by the decade I feel Morrowind more than deserves a spot on this list since it was released in 2002 and imo is one of the best PC games of all time.

avatar

Dac

Needless to say these lists are hugely subjective, and to each his own.  But I really think Morrowind is more of a niche game, and I can see why it would be left off a list like this.  Its just too boring.  I mean... painfully, stick forks in eyes to stay awake, I better put my finger in the lightsocket or I'm gonna pass out, [i]boring[/i].  I find Oblivion almost equally unplayable but Morrowind... shudder.  

No doubt that Morrowind paved the way for other greats.  But it was an evolutionary step in sort of a gaming growth process thats spanned the last 10 years, not a must-play for everyone (which is sorta how I think of a list like this). 

avatar

sniggler

- hrm maxPC seems to be misbehaving today

avatar

sniggler

-

avatar

Jelson

Warcraft 3 brings back good memory's, all the rest just make list better.

avatar

Deanjo

WTF Macharium makes the list but not what was probably the best roleplaying game of the decade, Neverwinter Nights?

avatar

TommM

Usually I hate these "best of" type lists, but think this is damn near spot on. I'm sure you'll get a few dissenters, though. Also I'd toss in "Plants vs. Zombies" into the mix. That's one hella fun game that entertains for any age group.

avatar

eric0rr

it is a fun game but seriously, not a must play, especially considering how you left out things like morrowind or portal, or any other classic! Other than that, its a nice list. Very shiny.

avatar

Peanut Fox

Morrowind didn't make the list, but Oblivion and Portal did.

avatar

compguytracy

No Arkham Asylum? Any sports games? I am loving Madden 10. I liked the riddick games, just my opinion. Need for speed series?

avatar

compguytracy

No Arkham Asylum? Any sports games? I am loving Madden 10. I liked the riddick games, just my opinion. Need for speed series?

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.