What are the best new PC games 2021? 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 frankly 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. So, below you will find every new PC games for which you should be saving up your pennies. This list is updated regularly to include the latest releases.
The best new PC games of 2021 are:
A Viking warrior slain in battle, you arrive in Valheim, a procedurally-generated Norse wilderness that you must survive and explore – alone, or with up to nine other Viking pals online. Valheim itself is a pleasure to explore; teeming with life and full of dungeons to discover, all rendered with charming old-school textures, paired with picturesque modern lighting effects. Whether you dream of raising the grandest meadhall in the land, sailing to distant horizons across dangerous seas, or bopping the heck out of trolls and dwarfs, you’re bound to make Odin proud.
With the makers of Layers of Fear, Observer, and Blair Witch Project behind it as well as an abandoned hotel resort as its setting, The Medium has psychological horror written all over it. You play as a mortician haunted by a child’s murder, and as you investigate, you enter a surreal spirit world where your real life actions are reproduced simultaneously. Navigating these two planes of existence is key to discovering the fate of the Niwa hotel.
Agent 47 returns to cap off the World of Assassination trilogy in Hitman 3, and this time his itinerary includes a cloud-piercing skyscraper in Dubai, a grand English manor house, and the neon lights of Chongqing in China. In our Hitman 3 review, Jordan praises Hitman 3’s storytelling, explaining that “rather than stitching each sandbox together with some cutscenes, IO is starting to tinker with the sandboxes themselves. The Berlin mission is the perfect example: the entire level is characterised by the absence of a handler, both narratively and in its impact on the now-familiar rhythms of the new series.”
If you’re aiming to complete the Silent Assassin, Suit Only challenge for every level, we’ve got your back – starting with the Hitman 3 Dubai Silent Assassin, Suit Only walkthrough.
We’ve waited patiently(ish) for so long – and now Cyberpunk 2077 is finally here. In CD Projekt Red’s open-world RPG game, you play as ‘V’; an up-and-coming mercenary looking to stamp their name on the crime-ridden, tech-soaked streets of Night City. The story, like many cyberpunk games before it, addresses the rampant acceleration of technology and the diminishing of humanity – and as Rich explains in our Cyberpunk 2077 review, “the main storyline is the best of them all, and appropriately enough, explores what it proposes as capitalism’s ultimate profanity: the appropriation of the soul itself.” Plus, Keanu Reeves’ performance as Johnny Silverhand is… no, we’re not going to say it.
You can buy Cyberpunk 2077 at the Humble store here – and before you get started, we recommend checking out our Cyberpunk 2077 build guide, and brushing up on the Cyberpunk 2077 life paths you can choose from in the Cyberpunk 2077 character customisation.
IMMORTALS FENYX RISING
Ubisoft Quebec’s latest offering may exist in the same Grecian space as 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but Immortals Fenyx Rising leans further into the zanier elements of Greek mythology. The game sees the new winged demigod Fenyx set out on an adventure to rescue the gods from Typhon – the most powerful Titan of them all – after a doomed voyage sees their friends turned to stone, and their brother go missing.
This new title appears to draw a certain amount of inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild, with Iain noting in his Immortals Fenyx Rising review that it incorporates “physics-based puzzles, a sprawling, natural open world, horses to tame, and a stamina bar that depletes as you run or climb a mountain.” If you do snatch up Breath of Olympus, but require a small nudge in the right direction when getting started, then you may want to take a peek at how to increase your stamina in Immortals Fenyx Rising.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War
The most recent game in the annual Call of Duty series takes us back to the early 80s during the height of the Cold War – plot-wise, it’s a direct sequel to the first Call of Duty Black Ops game. The Call of Duty Cold War missions follow Russel Adler, a CIA officer in pursuit of a soviet spy called Perseus – and the campaign will take you to Turkey, Cuba, and even inside the KGB Headquarters.
Cold War also sees the return of the Zombies gamemode, plus a ton of new Call of Duty Cold War weapons to be refined in the Gunsmith so you can reign supreme in multiplayer. The guns will also cross over to Warzone from December 10, when the battle royale game’s new season arrives.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Thanks to Ubisoft’s new Assassin’s Creed game, you’re now able to live out your wildest dreams of viking glory, as you sail on your cool longship from Norway to England and rampage through various Anglo-Saxon landscapes, developing your settlement, hunting Assassin’s Creed Valhalla legendary animals, and even indulging in a spot of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla romance if you find someone who sets your furs aflutter.
You play as viking warrior Eivor – who you can customise, and who can be either male or female – on a journey across England with their clan, seeking to forge alliances in each region, based on the Anglo-Saxon counties that existed back in 873 AD. There’s also a hugely addictive dice game called Orlog. For our full verdict on the game, see Rich’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review.
Watch Dogs Legion
Watch Dogs Legion is a wildly ambitious open-world sandbox that allows you to recruit and play as anyone on the streets of its dystopian London. Each new character comes with their own backstory and abilities, which means that you’ll want to keep them alive. If they do happen to kick the bucket when you’ve got permadeath enabled, that’s them gone for good. So, basically, don’t get too attached.
When out in the field, you’ll want to explore alternate ways of overcoming the game’s platforming challenges and combat encounters – mostly by utilising your crew’s elite hacking skills. This adds a creative spin to Legion’s missions and open-world design. Though, as fun as it can be, our Watch Dogs Legion review goes into more detail on why its writing falls a bit flat.
Ghostrunner serves up some of the slickest parkour action of this or any year. You play as the ultimate cyberpunk ninja as he goes about wall-running, sliding, and slow-mo dodging his way through a dystopian city packed with gun-toting henchmen.
More like this: The best sword games on PC
With your sword in hand, you’ll go about relieving goon heads from goon bodies with the utmost style and grace. The pace of the story-driven campaign never lets up, and the combat is tough-as-nails thanks to a one-hit kill mechanic that applies to both you and your enemies. Plus, speedrunners will have an absolute blast with its open encounter designs and high skill ceiling.
The dream of a Breath of the Wild game on PC has finally been realised, and while we could do without the gacha mechanics, Genshin Impact is a free-to-play RPG with some surprisingly unobtrusive monetisation methods. The open world of Teyvat is massive and loaded with activities ranging from puzzles and resource-collecting, to clearing out campsites of enemies and fishing.
Quick tip: Here’s how to get Genshin Impact on Steam
There’s a substantial single-player campaign, but the world offers up so many distractions that you’ll be hard-pressed to put any serious time into the main story. Exploring in Genshin Impact is a constant joy, and there’s more than enough game to be enjoyed here before you even think of dipping into your wallet to unlock new characters.
FIFA 21 doesn’t offer much in the way of sweeping gameplay changes, but some adjustments to career mode and some fine-tuning to the pace of gameplay might just about justify the new release for fans of football games. Career mode has benefitted from a new interactive match sim feature, allowing you to hop in at the press of a button if a simulated match isn’t going the way you want it to.
Player development options are also significantly better, letting you shift players to unconventional positions, which can result in massive improvements or awful performances depending on their physical stats and how long the change takes the player to process. FUT is almost unchanged – for better or for worse – and while Volta has a shiny new mini-campaign, it still feels decidedly like the third mode in FIFA 21.
Baldur’s Gate 3
It’s only an Early Access launch, but Baldur’s Gate 3 has already arrived with a bang – not to mention plenty of players. There’s only about 25 hours of content here, which is tiny compared to Larian’s vision for the final game, but that should keep you going for quite some time.
Related: Here are all the Baldur’s Gate 3 races
Star Wars Squadrons
Squadrons is a Star Wars space combat game that’s every bit as fun as that concept sounds. The long, long wait for a successor to X-Wing and TIE Fighter is over – not only is Squadrons gorgeously detailed and atmospheric, it’s a deeper, more complex dogfighting sim. Check out our full Star Wars Squadrons review, or if you’re waiting on the install you can get ahead of the competition by reading our Star Wars Squardons loadouts guide.
Port Royale 4
The 17th century Caribbean has never looked this good. Port Royale 4 is a stupendously pretty strategy game with a focus on economic trade, you build your way up from a small fleet, running errands between nearby ports, and eventually build your way up to a trade empire looking to squeeze any competition out of the area. It’s rare to get management games in the Age of Sail, and even rarer to see combat take a backseat whenever pirate games are mentioned, but Port Royale 4 is all the better for it. You can read our full Port Royale 4 review here.
The long-awaited Spelunky sequel is finally here, and it’s got all the exhilarating charm and challenge of the original beloved roguelike, while also building on the familiar Spelunky formula by adding new mechanics – like a rideable turkey. Spelunky 2 offers new ways of clearing stages and progressing through the game, but just like in the original, you should expect to die over and over again – though the cave will mutate each time you fail, so it never gets old. For our full thoughts, check out Iain’s Spelunky 2 review.
After two years in early access, Hades finally got a full-blown release and it’s a phenomenal take on Ancient Greek mythology. This roguelike from Supergiant Games is less about the end result but more the journey it takes to get there. You’ll meet a colourful reimagining of the Greek gods, slash your way through dungeons, and pick up powerful artefacts to help you on your journey.
Our Hades review says it all really, and is worth a read to see if it’s a game for you (spoiler: it probably is). When you’re done trying to escape the catacombs of Hades, you can also read our best RPG games list to find your next adventure.
Serious Sam 4
Our Serious Sam 4 review describes it as “delightfully chaotic”. That’s pretty much just Serious Sam in a nutshell really isn’t it? It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new, proper Serious Sam game; one with massive 3D arenas rather than experimental ideas.
This manic shooter is a bit rough around the edges but that doesn’t matter when you’re blasting away creeps with bombs for hands that scream at the top of their lungs, and all sorts of other gross monsters and aliens hellbent on invading Earth.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
The first two of Activision Blizzard’s seminal skateboarding games got another remastered version this year, but unlike their previous effort, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is really good.
Not only does it fully recreate all the courses from both the late 90s classics, it adds new secrets like tiny aliens and logos for Vicarious Visions, as well as more modern music to keep things fresh. Don’t worry though, everything that was in the original games is still present and accounted for. You can kickflip your way over to our full Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 review to learn more about this remake.
The new Marvel action game has a surprisingly deep RPG system and features the full roster of playable heroes that you can take into co-op missions, making this a must for a group of friends. You can live out your superhero fantasy and team up with mates to battle it out as Avengers game characters like Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man, and more – all with a variety of playstyles, special abilities, and moves.
However, Marvel’s latest venture into videogames isn’t without its problems, like some repetitive fighting, but for what it lacks in thoughtful combat it certainly makes up for in characters you care about and a story with a lot of heart. Although the same corny lines creep into cinematics, button mashing can be spun on its head to create impressive action sequences. For our thoughts, check out Dustin’s Marvel’s Avengers review.
Brace yourself for this epic trek across Colorado as you return as the Desert Rangers and pick up from the events of Wasteland 2. Luckily – after a long wait – fans won’t be disappointed with inXile Entertainment’s offering and Wasteland 3 is every bit as bloody, brazen, and brash as we hoped. Top tier gore combined with an extensive RPG system and characters you love to hate, make this one of the best new games of late.
The turn-based combat is just as impressive as the snow-covered open-world you fight in, with all it’s seedy corners and oppressive factions, taking an apocalypse game to the edge of humanity and delivering a meaty story, blow by blow.
Crusader Kings 3
This thoughtful modernisation of a medieval strategy classic is an easy recommendation, especially for strategy game fans. If your list of new games to play is growing larger by the day, you need to put aside a fair few hours for this behemoth monarch simulator. Luckily, we’ve put together a Crusader Kings 3 beginners guide, to help get you started from navigating the interface to choosing your CK3 character.
Once you’re confident, or if you’re a veteran CK player, we’ve put together a bunch more guides to help you achieve ingame goals including how CK3 succession laws work and all the Crusader Kings 3 console commands.
Project Cars 3
Project Cars 3 definitely eases its foot off the throttle when it comes to the series dedication to racing sims, instead opting for a slightly looser handling model and upgrade systems you’d expect to see in a Gran Turismo game. However, there’s still a lot of motor racing goodness to enjoy here, whether that’s teetering on the edge of disasters while haring around the Nürburgring in a classic Lotus F1, or trying to keep your lunch down while guiding a hypercar around the infamous Laguna Seca corkscrew. A revamped career mode makes this the most accessible entry in the series so far, so if you’ve been looking at stepping up from the simplicity of a Forza game then this is a great place to start. See what we think in our Project Cars 3 review.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
The long-awaited Microsoft Flight Simulator lets budding pilots fly beautifully detailed aircraft over anywhere in the world. You can roam via over 37,000 airports, and navigate through the live weather conditions of the skies you choose to explore.
As we note in our ongoing Microsoft Flight Simulator review, there are a few hiccups and crashes to contend with, but the game’s beauty and magnificent scope make it one of the most ambitious and accurate simulation games we’ve played.
TOTAL WAR SAGA: TROY
Taking place in the Bronze-Age Mediterranean – and focusing on the Trojan War between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece – the latest entry into this iconic strategy games series adds some significant gameplay tweaks as a result of its early time period.
The team at Creative Assembly has made melee units more distinct than ever before, while new terrain types like mud and long grass encourage guerrilla tactics like ambushing or herding the enemy into bogs. Diplomacy has also evolved beyond worrying about wars – we go into the finer details in our Total War Saga: Troy review. And yes, you can absolutely deploy a Trojan Horse.
Race to the finish line as one of 60 players in this adorable elimination game. Similar to Wipeout and our other favourite knockout game shows, Fall Guys is a mad rush to be the last player standing. As you progress through rounds of dizzying obstacles including rotating discs, gargantuan see-saws, and chaotic games of team football, contestants will be whittled down until there’s just one player left, so if you’re tired of the bloodshed of battle royale games then perhaps this is for you.
Horizon Zero Dawn
After just over three years of waiting, Horizon Zero Dawn is finally on PC. This post-apocalyptic open-world game casts you as Aloy, an outcast from her tribe living in the wilds. But these wilds aren’t quite like the lush forests of our world, instead this post-apocalypse meshes unruly wildlife with mechanical beasts and corrupted tech, so you’ll have to stay on your toes as you explore the gorgeous game world. So was it worth the wait? You can see what we thought in our Horizon Zero Dawn PC review.
In Obsidian’s new survival game, you play as kids shrunk down to the size of ants in a garden rife with all sorts of creepy crawlies. Think Honey I shrunk the Kids, but without a mad scientist for a dad. Instead you’ll either go at the task of surviving alone or join up to three other players to navigate the backyard and piece together what’s going on. But, you’ll need to survive the dark nights and looming threats of spiders and other nasties by building up a campsite and crafting weapons and items for survival such as axes, armour, and shelter. You’ll also need to remain fed and watered, making Grounded a terrifying and heart-pumping survival game that definitely doesn’t baby you. You may die a lot, but there’s fun to be had in gathering and analysing resources to build up a base that even the lurking wolf spiders can’t break into.
The Master Chief Collection’s most anticipated entry, Halo 3, rounds off the original trilogy nicely for anyone invested in Master Chief or wanting to catch up on his story before the Halo Infinite release date and his imminent return. If you missed the series the first time around on console, you’ll be glad to know that the Halo formula is at its best in Halo 3, and in our opinion, there’s still not a multiplayer shooter quite like it. Whether you agree or not, you can read our full Halo 3 review for PC.
Hideo Kojima’s latest venture into overwrought visual metaphors and goofy character names takes us to the desolate plains of a post-apocalyptic America, and yep, it’s about as surreal as a Dali painting. Well, it is a Kojima game after all. Playing as Sam Porter-Bridges, you’ll have to navigate this new world, acting as a glorified postman to deliver packages across vast stretches of uninhabitable land. While there are encounters with shadowy creatures and mercenaries to fight, your main obstacle is traversing the rugged terrain with whatever cargo you’ve got with you. You can get our full thoughts by reading our Death Stranding PC review.
It might have quite a lot of monetisation routes for its price tag, but beneath all there’s a light, tight, 3v3 competitive shooter with enough charm to keep you on side. Our Ian Boudreau says in his Rocket Arena review that although “it’s a little thin in its current state, this is a solid start for what will hopefully become a lively and dynamic game as its season pass gets underway.”
A remake of 2006’s Trackmania Nation might put some off with its subscription service package, but it’s another solid dose of impossibly complex time trials and user-created tracks that will amuse and delight in equal measure. Ultimately, the incredible community of talented track creators can make or break this game by either sticking with the new subscription model, or going back to an older entry in the series.
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.
More like this: Here are the best stealth games on PC
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.
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.
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.