In this excellent free mod, Arma II becomes the underpinning for zombie apocalypse. Staying alive when surrounded by the undead has never been so painfully realistic.
Combined Operations bundles several releases under a single title, including ARMA II and the standalone Operation Arrowhead expansion. Challenging partly by design and partly due to sluggish controls, ARMA II's biggest appeal is its moddability, which brings us survival horror DayZ.
With a scary atmosphere and scarier difficulty, Dark Souls was a favorite PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game in 2011. Despite some issues with this year's PC port, the added extra content makes it the best edition of the game on the market.
Amiga Forever (available in $10 Value, $30 Plus, and $50 Premium editions) is an Amiga emulator that's much easier to use than average. The Plus edition's many games and game-related extras make it a satisfying trip down memory lane.
Bastion for Chrome shows Native Client's bright future. It plays just like the original adventure RPG, which was one of the most lauded games of 2011 .
To do your best at games, you need a PC in peak condition. These utilities—five free, one inexpensive—make your PC faster and more controllable for the most demanding games.
You can get modern graphics on 3D games without updates or patches via FXAA Post Process Injector. Originally developed by Nvidia's Timothy Lottes, this tool has been embraced by the modding community and expanded to work with both Nvidia and ATI graphics cards.
Platform-agnostic PC overclockers can tweak their to tweak their video card collection with MSI's venerable Afterburner utility. Designed to work with MSI's own products, Afterburner nonetheless works with most modern hardware.
XPadder emulates a mouse and keyboard with the buttons and directional thumbpad of your game controller. It supports multiple profiles, rumble feedback, and chorded input, which allows for more commands than the number of buttons would normally permit.
This third-party overclocking package Nvidia Inspector a different tack from older video card utilities, eschewing the system tray for a simple, extensible-pane interface that puts information and card controls front and center.
The AMD OverDrive utility not only replicates the OverDrive clocking controls built into Catalyst drivers, it also provides a full range of BIOS style CPU speed, voltage, and system controls unified in a tabbed window.
The free and open source x360ce project was designed to address the problems of using a classic controller for PC gaming. Doing the job Microsoft should have done, x360ce intercepts and translates XInput calls so DirectInput controllers can understand them.
The DOSBox emulator lets you run your DOS games and software again. It's free and open source, so you won't have to pay just to use programs you already own.
The Commodore 64 was the Model T of home computers. This emulator takes you back to that day without making you buy extra hardware.
Last year's most talked-about God game returns slick, shiny and Chrome-plated—but in the same PC port that made it notorious.