The best new PC games of 2018

What are the best new PC games? With the new games of 2017 behind us, we have lots of new PC games to keep us busy

Steam charts most popular games, 8-14 September, 2018

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, or yet another The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim save file 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. In fact, to make sense of them all, we have to put a list together of the upcoming PC games that should be dinging on your radar. 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 2018 are:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Join Lara as she takes her final steps towards becoming the iconic Tomb Raider that we all know and love. In this closing entry of the trilogy, we see Lara through her darkest hour among the Peruvian jungle. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you must help Lara save the world from a Mayan apocalypse that she caused due to her carelessness as she tried to beat rival organisation Trinity to an artefact.

Be prepared to use the jungle as your cover, hiding behind leaves and slapping mud on Lara’s skin in order to avoid detecting – you can even climb trees and hang enemies from the branches with rope. Yep, Shadow of the Tomb Raider focuses more on stealth than the previous two games and the combat is better for it. That doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of challenge tombs to take on, and yes, the climbing is as perilous as an adventure with Lara always is.

Guacamelee! 2

Luchador Juan Aguacate is coming out of retirement and squeezing back into his wrestling tights for action-platformer sequel Guacamelee! 2. His calling? The vivid and colourful world of the Mexiverse is under threat from a rival luchador who’s become ruler in a parallel timeline. So once again so our hero needs to don his mask once more and wrestle this evil counterpart. Guacamelee! 2 builds on the original’s brawling with a bunch of new wrestling moves for you to lay the smack down with. Crack a few skulls as you uppercut, headbutt, and smash your way through a Metroidvania-style map.

The sequel also allows you to play with up to three other players, so you can get your amigos involved at any point. This new PC game is just as sassy and witty as the first, and the hand-crafted graphics have reached new levels of beauty due to a gorgeous new rendering engine. Plus, what other game lets you join the Chicken Illuminati?

Shenmue I & II

Originally released back in 2000 on the Dreamcast, the remasters of Shenmue I and II have finally been released onto PC for nostalgic fans to revisit and new players to discover. You play as Ryo Hazuki, who is on a revenge mission after he witnesses the death of his father at the hands of the notorious Lan Di. Find Lan Di by exploring the open world of Yokosuka, collecting clues and beating up gangsters using some rather slick jujitsu moves.

The Shenmue series is regarded as a pioneer thanks to its open-world city, the full day/night schedules of its NPCs, and its bevy of fun mini-games. Sure, some of it hasn’t aged well, but that’s just part of experiencing a series with such an important role in videogame history (plus the English dub is hilarious). With Shenmue 3 due to come out next year, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on the series.

Strange Brigade

Set in 1930s Egypt, Strange Brigade has you and a band of adventurers battle through ruins riddled with the undead, exploring tombs, and solving ancient puzzles. Keep one eye on the horde of approaching mummies and the other on your surroundings because traps are a prominent feature of Strange Brigade. Avoid them and turn the tables on your enemies by having them fall victim to step-triggered harpoon traps and tumbling boulders.

As well as playing through the main campaign there’s also the fast-paced Score Attack mode for any prospective gunslingers. Don’t skip Horde mode, either, where you can face off against never ending waves of monsters and enemies. Play through the campaign on your own, with friends, or online with strangers in this tongue-in-cheek co-op adventure shooter for up to four players.

The Messenger

The Messenger is an indie action game that follows a young ninja who must deliver a mysterious scroll to enable the survival of his clan as demons attack. One look at the game’s sprites and you’ll see that The Messenger takes its cues from NES games – Ninja Gaiden being a big inspiration. Within the first three minutes, the story is set, you’re told what your mission is, and off you go. There was no messing around back in the day and the same goes here.

But The Messenger doesn’t rely entirely on nostalgia to get your attention. It features a unique mechanic that involves mid-action time-travel. A bit unusual for an Edo-era ninja game. As you pass across a blue portal, the level layout stays the same but is propelled through time, while the ninja gains a straw hat. The acrobatics and the mysterious story should draw you into The Messenger but its time-travelling mechanic will ensure it feels fresh. Plus, the music is a tour-de-force of a soundtrack.

Two Point Hospital

Tired of building theme parks in Rollercoaster Tycoon or dealing with criminals in Prison Architect? How about you switch it out for the completely stress-free environment of running a hospital instead? Two Point Hospital is made by some of the original team of Theme Hospital. That means you can expect a mix of deadpan and absurd British humour as you design and build your own working healthcare centre. Peculiar illnesses this time around include Freudian Lips, Jazz Hands, Denim Genes, and the Monobrow.

Build treatment centres, waiting rooms, and research buildings where you can treat patients with kindness and care. Or, if you’re more ruthless, build for efficiency and speed to get as many paying patients through the door as possible. The state of healthcare these days, eh?

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

This year’s installment of Pro Evolution Soccer features new player skills, new stadiums, and new teams. You already know that as it pretty much happens every year. However, Konami has really focused on player individuality this time, so that you can now get players to learn new skills like the double touch, dipping shots, and opposition interceptions. You can really give players their own playstyles on the pitch. Oh, and you can also have players specialise in taking penalties, so those tensest moments should be more bearable.

Konami has increased the number of licences and, for all you Scots out there, have included the Celtic and Rangers as playable teams. About time. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 also has myClub, the main multiplayer mode that lets you build your own team and take them online against other player teams.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a masterclass on how to make an online RPG. It’s flexible and smart with a great story and huge world to explore – those hours will fly by. What really makes it excel is the seamless implementation of tabletop gaming elements and what can only be described as a great online battle arena – yes, all in one game.

The Definitive Edition brings a lot of updates and features that improve upon the original package. It has its own Story Mode that makes fleeing and resurrection easier and also features additional 150,000 words in the script. If you already own the standard edition then you can update to the Definitive Edition for free, and if you have never played Original Sin before, then do yourself a favour and play it right now.

Dragon Quest XI

A Dragon Quest game has finally made its way to PC. JRPG fans, if there was ever a time to rejoice, it’s now. DQ11 is a turn-based tactical RPG that features a grand adventure in a colourful and vibrant universe that, mercifully, has no random encounters (but plenty of blue slimes). You play as a young hero who wants to know more about his mysterious past whilst being hunted by the King’s army.

Although it’s number 11 in the series, this is a standalone adventure with new continents to explore and new companions to meet. But don’t worry: it still has the magical qualities that only series creator Yuji Hori can give it, alongside the iconic character designs of Akira Toriyama, and music from series composer Koichi Sugiyama. Even if you haven’t played a Dragon Quest game before, now is the best time to jump in as critics have branded DQ11 as one of the best JRPGs in recent years.

 

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. 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.