What are the best new PC games 2020? Perhaps you have just been paid, bank account fat with virtual dosh, or you simply want to get caught up with the latest PC games because they are, well, new and shiny.
It is all well and good starting another daring round of PUBG, taking on a new 100-hour Football Manager save, or yet another The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adventure but, as much as we love setting mammoths ablaze, there are plenty of the latest PC games that will more than supply your gaming fix. You don’t want to be the person who isn’t In The Know now, do you?
These days, new PC games pour onto Steam at a dizzying rate, making it impossible to keep up with them all. Thankfully, us kind folk at PCGamesN have separated the wheat from the chaff when it comes to recent PC releases, too. Below you will find the new PC games for which you should be saving your pennies.
The best new PC games of 2020 are:
Desperados 3 brings Commandos-style real-time stealth to the American Frontier, and while it doesn’t do much with the setting, the strategic stealth gameplay is the star of the show. Each diagram-like level can take over an hour to clear, but the time flies by as you manoeuvre your squad and create increasingly complex assassination sequences.
Each member of your gang has a distinct ability, ranging from seduction to flipping a coin that enrages nearby animals. There are also plenty of ways to use the environment against your enemies. For example, you can place a dead body beneath a loose boulder, wait for a few enemies to investigate, and then crush them all in one move.
It’s had a bit of a frosty reception from critics, but the core concept of a first-person shooter with built-in strategy games mechanics still feels great even if it doesn’t meet expectations. Across the 15-hour campaign you’ll lead a squad of robot soldiers from above while still dishing out plenty of damage yourself from your floating battle station, directing your team’s special abilities while raining fire down from a variety of onboard weapons. Ultimately, your teammates behave a little more like ads than as individual units, leaving the tactical side of this FPS a little lacking.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection
Former Westwood members have assembled a 4K remaster of two of the best RTS games on PC: Command & Conquer and Red Alert. Seven hours of remastered music, full mod support, console missions on PC, multiplayer, map editor, and more – this is about as much as you can reasonably expect from a remaster.
Riot’s take on the hero shooter takes a detour through CS:GO territory, creating a heady concoction that’s tough to step away from. The DNA is plain to see: all the weapons have a direct CS counterpart, the core game mode works exactly the same right down to the match economy, and the community even uses CS:GO callouts for key locations. The addition of hero abilities only enriches the strategic options, allowing for a lot of ad hoc creativity.
Mojang’s take on the hack-and-slash genre through the blocky lens of Minecraft is probably not for hardcore Diablo or Path of Exile fans, but it’s a great place to dip your toes into dungeon-crawling and looting. Much like the LEGO games, you can guarantee this adventure will be much better enjoyed as a family exercise rather than a solo foray. You can read our very own Ben Maxwell’s take on the experience in our Minecraft Dungeons review. Or for more buying advice, here’s how long Minecraft Dungeons is.
Maneater is an open-world RPG where you play as a vengeful bull shark on the hunt for the hunter who killed your mother. That story really doesn’t matter though, because ultimately your job is to swim around at high speeds gobbling up sunbathers, surfers, and fishers. There are a few base movement skills you can piece together to make combos, but the gameplay only really changes depending on how you decide to evolve your shark. Depending on the upgrade paths you choose you could finish Maneater with a speedy, stealth shark, or a heavily armoured brute, or some monstrosity in-between. It’s good fun at first, but the repetitive combat and mission structure outlast the campaign pretty quickly.
The first release from Amazon Games is finally with us in the form of Crucible, a free-to-play team-based shooter that blends hero shooter action with MOBA strategy. For the most part the mix works, managing to create a consistently tense team battle where strategic smarts are as useful as button mashing and sharpshooting.
Halo 2: Anniversary
The latest instalment of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now available on PC, and while Halo 2 is by no means the most loved entry to the series, it still holds a special place in the hearts of many as the first big Xbox Live game. The campaign is still a blast to battle through, even if some of its cornier elements will have you rolling your eyes.
Streets of Rage 4
Considering the last proper Streets of Rage game came out in 1994, the release of Streets of Rage 4 in 2020 is a pretty momentous occasion for beat ’em up fans. Streets of Rage 4 doesn’t do too much to innovate on the gameplay of the original series and it’s all the better for it. Short, sweet, fine-tuned, and dripping with nostalgia, Streets of Rage 4 is definitely worth the wait. For more like this, check out our rundown of the best fighting games on PC.
SnowRunner is pretty simple at first glance, the videogaming equivalent of bingeing several seasons of Ice Road Truckers. Your job across pretty much every mission is to haul cargo, rescue a trapped vehicle, or somehow traverse some seemingly untraversable terrain – whether that’s carting building materials through snowy mountain trails or helping out a marooned jeep deep in a misty bog.
You’ll lose countless vehicles to compacted snow and icy cambers, you’ll save some by sending in another winch-toting 4×4, and occasionally that one will get stuck too. The physics simulations underpinning it all are convincing to make every metre gained or lost feel fair, so when you finally do manage to deliver your cargo it’s as sweet as beating a Dark Souls boss. For even more words, here’s our SnowRunner review.
Two squad-based turn-based strategy games releasing in the space of a week? There haven’t been too many things worth celebrating in 2020, but that’s one. Despite some fantastic cinematic work and a solid translation of the series’ gameplay to a fresh genre, Gears Tactics doesn’t manage to offer much new, and what’s there often feels stretched thin. If the elevator pitch of a Gears/XCOM mashup appealed to you then you’ll still find plenty to enjoy here. Read our Gears Tactics review for more details.
XCOM Chimera Squad
The latest entry to the XCOM series is all about surprises, from the price point and sudden launch, to its punchy comic book visuals and lack of permadeath. Chimera Squad isn’t XCOM 3, but it bends the rules in some genuinely refreshing ways that work for the most part.
You won’t form connections in quite the same way with the premade roster of alien-human hybrids as you do with the randomly generated grunts of a traditional XCOM game, which is a shame. However, the streamlined combat and more intimate scale make this the ideal starting point if you’re new to the series. You can read our complete thoughts in our XCOM Chimera Squad review.
Resident Evil 3
While the recent Resident Evil 2 Remake is better of the two, any fans of the series, or indeed any fans of zombie games owe it to themselves to play through this action-packed survival horror game. Playing as main character Jill Valentine and deuteragonist Carlos Oliveria, you’ll carve a viscera-strewn path through an outbreak-stricken Raccoon City that’s heavy on scripted set-pieces. The increased pace of this sequel means that the slow-paced metroidvania exploration is confined to just a couple of key areas this time around, which is a little disappointing, but as we say in our Resident Evil 3 PC review, this is still one of the series’ best.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
After eight years in development the medieval sandbox RPG sequel is finally out. Sure, it’s laden with bugs and in Steam Early Access, but it expands upon almost all of the systems that made the original stand out. We’ve already put together a few guides to help out new players, including how to make money in Bannerlord, setting up Bannerlord caravans, and how to enable Bannerlord cheats.
Splashing around gleefully in a playground of gore, ripping demons limb from limb as you rampage ferociously through the demonic forces of Hell is exhaustingly gratifying. Doom Eternal is a faster, sleeker, more sickeningly satisfying sequel to Doom 2016. In Rich’s Doom Eternal review, he describes the combat as “a maelstrom of somehow readable violence with all the cathartic power of a temper tantrum, and when the gore settles, you’ll feel every bit as spiritually purged as the Earth you’re saving.”
There are all sorts of secrets and collectibles to be obtained in Doom Eternal, and for the curious or the completionists among you, check out our guides to the Doom Eternal cheat code locations, where to find all the Slayer gates and Slayer Gate Keys in Doom Eternal, and what surprises you’ll unlock with the Doom Eternal secret PC password.
It finally happened – a brand new Half-Life game. Set between Half-Life 1 and 2, Half-Life: Alyx is a VR game where you play as Alyx Vance in her fight against the Combine. Some Half-Life fans may have baulked at the choice to release Half-Life: Alyx as a VR exclusive, but those fortunate enough to have access to a VR headset have praised the way the game utilises the format to both deliver a solid Half-Life story, and to pioneer new territory as a virtual reality experience.
In his Half-Life: Alyx review, Dustin describes “how good it feels to simply rummage”, and how the game imparts you with the “astounding sense that you have a physical presence in the world”. Half-Life devotees will certainly be happy, too, as Dustin describes Alyx as “both a vindication for the magic VR can bring to gaming, and a satisfying new entry in the beloved Half-Life series.”
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem
Originally called Umbra, Wolcen is the latest isometric-RPG to take influence from Diablo. Its release has been a long time coming, too, as Wolcen was in Steam Early Access for four years and was kickstarted to the tune of $406,000 back in 2015.
Gameplay will feel familiar to fans of Diablo and Path of Exile. You craft a character to inhabit and pillage dungeons for loot by taking out fiends. Where Wolcen differs, however, is in its focus on its skill tree. There are no classes here, and your Wolcen builds will be crafted entirely through the game’s skill tree. The Wolcen servers have been a tad shaky post-launch, but they seem to be okay now.
Crema’s Pokemon-inspired MMO lovingly wears its influences on its sleeve. Well, that’s until your rival knocks you out in one blow in your first encounter. There’s plenty you’ll find familiar here. Temtem whisks you away to a sleepy village and offers you one of three creatures to take on an adventure. What makes Temtem unique, though, is its challenge. Each tem’ has a stamina bar that drains after each attack, so you can’t get by with one overpowered pal. You’ll need to train a few up if you want to conquer the Airborne Archipelago’s various Dojos.
If you take a peep at our lovely guides tab, you’ll notice we’re quite taken with it ourselves. We’ve put together guides on Temtem starters and evolutions to get you on your way, and there’s a Temtem breeding one, too, for the more, er, hardcore trainers. We’d recommend the Temtem type chart, specifically, as remembering each strength and weakness is a pain.
There you have it, the new PC games you should be playing right now. Now, we’ll admit, we were being a little facetious earlier: new PC games aren’t necessarily the cream of the personal computer crop. For that, you should swing by our list of the best old games for the classics and the best PC games of all time, or even check out or collection of free online games, no download required. While it’s important that you keep up with the new PC games we have listed, you are missing out on some of the most memorable gaming experiences around from previous years – and they’ll likely be a lot cheaper by now, too. We feel for your growing pile of shame.