2013 in Review: PCWorld's top stories

pcworld 2013 year end

Games, productivity, and Windows 8.1—chances are if a story was about one of those subjects in 2013, you wanted to read about it.

With just a few hours left until a brand new year, we’re taking a look back at the one we’re about to complete. Specifically, we’re highlighting the 15 most-read stories on PCWorld this year.

1. 12 great PC games best played alone

walking dead

Even if there’s nary a multiplayer in your immediate vicinity, you can still enjoy a good game on your PC. Apparently, a lot of readers took comfort in that discovery.

2. 10 awesome PC games that are completely free

planetside

Maybe the only thing that draws readers more effectively than games is that word “free” in the headline.

3. The best of CES 2013

Produced in conjunction with our TechHive pals, this slideshow from last January’s CES highlighted our favorite products—some of which actually saw the light of day during 2013.

4. Master your tasks: The 10 best to-do list apps

todo apps

Task trackers, checklists, and other to-do managers from a variety of platforms got their moment in the spotlight in this productivity round-up.

5. 28 fantastically helpful online tools and utilities

Sometimes, the best software at your disposal comes with a “www.” in front of it.

6. Explore 10 incredible open-world games

saints row 4

Another appearance by a gaming round-up in our Top 15, this one focusing on titles with little-to-no restrictions on what you can do and where you can go within the game. (Think Minecraft or Saints Row.)

7. 20 free PC apps to ease daily tasks

Lest all this talk about games give the impression that our readers do nothing but play around with PCs all day, we’d also like to note that yet another productivity tool round-up was among our most-read stories of the year. So you folks are an industrious lot as well, though you do like your free stuff.

8. Windows 8.1 surprises: 25 hidden features and little extras

windows81 features

The arrival of Windows 8.1 in October brought many compelling improvements, but it was this look at under-the-radar capabilities that captured your fancy.

9. 11 great PC co-op games to play with your buddies

left4dead2

We know that article about games you can play all by your lonesome struck a nerve. But we really think you need to hang out with other people.

10. The delightful dozen: 12 fantastic (and free) Windows 8 apps

vevo windows8 free

There’s that word “free” again.

11. 13 PC technologies that need to disappear, stat!

We’re ready for the likes of Parallel ATA, PCIe x1 slots, and analog surround sound to ride off into the sunset. Judging by the interest in this story, many of you feel the same.

12. The top tech products of 2013 (so far)

haswell

In August, we told you about our favorite products for the first half of the year. We’ve since finalized that list.

13. Windows 8.1’s best new features in pictures

windows 8.1 on a laptop

What’s so great about Windows 8.1? Well, let us show you.

14. PayPal denies teenager reward for finding website bug

A 17-year-old German student said that PayPal wouldn’t give him a promised reward for finding a vulnerability on its website. The company subsequently said that bug had already been found two other researchers, but it did open its bug bounty program to minors.

15. Downgrading from Windows 8 to 7: What you need to know

This article on undoing a hasty Windows upgrade may have first run in late 2012, but apparently animus toward Windows 8 has a certain timeless appeal.

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