Honorable Mentions: Games that didn't quite make the "Top 15," but still rank as some of the absolute all-time best PC games for the current generation, beginning in 2005.
No one expected Batman: Arkham Asylum to be this good. In fact, no one expected it to be one of the most impressive and thrilling action games of its year. Thankfully, Rocksteady Studios, Warner Bros., and DC Comics made the invaluable choice of enlisting help from the best talent possible, including big-ticket names like comic-book writer Paul Dini and voice actors Kevin Conroy (Batman), Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn), and of course, Mark Hamill as the Joker. It’s undoubtedly the best Batman game by a mile.
In the wake of Modern Warfare 2’s somewhat mixed reaction from first-person shooter fans, EA and DICE’s Bad Company 2 was able to swoop in, kick ass, and take plenty of names with its excellent single-player campaign and rewarding multiplayer. It’s a surprisingly deep shooter that regularly mixes its action up with surprising (and exciting) objectives in its single-player, in addition to deep, balanced blasting when played online.
Say what you will about the Fallout franchise, but its "post-apocalyptia-by-way-of-Leave-it-to-Beaver" charm and tongue-in-cheek tone make it one of the most enjoyable, explorable dystopias out there. With the RPG vets at Obsidian Entertainment on development duties, New Vegas not only builds on everything established by 2008's Fallout 3, it also manages to recapture and then expand on the sense of knowing fun that was so tangible in the series' first two installments.
Full of beautiful environments, tons of baddies, and an immense amount of loot, Torchlight is an adventurer's wet dream. The level of customization on your character (and eventually, your pet) gives players the feel that they're having a unique adventure that was built for them. The random dungeon maps help ensure replayability, as does the ease with which you can transport to and from town. It's easy to want to get lost in Torchlight's depth, and despite an almost non-existent story, it's an exceptionally immersive title.
World of Tanks is a pure PvP game that pits teams of 15 tanks against one another in a variety of beautifully designed, World War II themed battlegrounds. What makes it so brilliant is that it's very easy to pick up and play, it features short but balanced PvP matches, and it has a MMO-like progression that enables you to augment your starting stable of three tanks and add new ones as you win matches and gain points. The action is fast, but very different to most PvP games -- because it so accurately simulates tank warfare. You have to think like a tank commander to win, and that creates a unique, but highly enjoyable and competitive experience that is one of the best-kept secrets in PC gaming.
This story, "The 15 Best PC Games" was originally published by GamePro.