The best new PC games 2021

Stay up to date with the best new PC games around so you don't miss out on the freshest experiences on which to spend your cash

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:

Players chatting in the tunnel for our Football Manager 2022 review

Football Manager 2022

The newest iteration of Sports Interactive’s notoriously engrossing football management game adds improved animation for your players, a new staff meeting system, and updated tactics and player stats. Even the smallest of changes provide significant improvements to the experience, making for a “rich, realistic management simulation that delivers thrills both on and off the pitch” as Jordan explains in our Football Manager 2022 review.

Football Manager 2022 Football Manager 2022 Football Manager 2022 Humble $54.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 features the largest map in the Horizon series to date, based on a fictionalised version of Mexico – and it’s a beautiful setting, packed with dramatic scenery and advanced weather systems that batter you with storms and sand. The open-world racing game contains plenty of multiplayer races and minigames across the cities, jungles, and beaches, as well as a single-player campaign mode.

As expected from a Forza game, the racing itself is tremendous fun. The game doesn’t stray far from the Horizon formula, but instead polishes it to perfection.

A soldier firing an assault rifle outside Hotel Royal in Call of Duty Vanguard

Call of Duty Vanguard

The newest Call of Duty game takes us back to WWII – the campaign stars a roster of special forces commandos on a mission to thwart a Nazi operation, and expands on their individual journeys as you play through the missions that made them heroes. Rather than focusing predominantly on the European battles we’re already familiar with, the story also takes us to North Africa and the Eastern Front.

The multiplayer has been expanded with new modes like Patrol Zone and Champion Hill, with plenty of new Vanguard weapons to get to grips with. Zombies mode is back, too, in a “much more digestible” format, according to Jordan’s Call of Duty Vanguard review, where he describes Vanguard as “probably the most entertaining entry in the latest triptych.”

Skiing down Grand Teton in our Riders Republic review

Riders Republic

Riders Republic amalgamates all the thrills of vast, beautiful national parks like Yosemite and Grand Teton into your own personal playground. Players can freely explore the landscape via mountain bikes, skis, snowboards, or – our personal favourite – rocket wingsuits.

There are hundreds of challenges and events to take part in, and the map is packed with fellow riders hurling themselves down hills, careening into trees or somersaulting off the terrain. In our Riders Republic review, Jordan describes it as “boneshaking, white-knuckle goodness, even if it’s pretty far removed from reality.”

Cavalry lines up with crossbowmen in a town centre ringed by stone walls in Age of Empires IV.

Age of Empires 4

Relic’s historical RTS game tasks you with managing a settlement belonging to one of eight civilisations through the ages, ensuring its prosperity and defending it from rivals. Age of Empires IV’s single-player story campaigns are based on famous scenarios from the past – as you play through them, you unlock documentary videos teaching you all about military history.

There are also plenty of multiplayer modes to test your tactical skill. As Ian explains in our Age of Empires 4 review, it’s a “robust package that includes something for just about every kind of RTS player, from beginners to grizzled veterans.”

Back 4 Blood crew preparing to burst through a door

Back 4 Blood

From the creators of beloved zombie co-op FPS game Left 4 Dead comes Back 4 Blood, a spiritual successor that sees you fighting alongside your friends to defeat the Ridden, zombified humans who have been infested with parasites. Alongside the four-player co-op story mode, there’s also a competitive multiplayer mode where you can chase your friends around as a horrible zombie.

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As you complete the campaign, you build up a deck of the best Back 4 Blood cards to buff your character for each run – meaning you’re better equipped against the oncoming horde every time you head out.

New World

In Amazon Game Studio’s open world MMO, you find yourself shipwrecked on the magical island of Aeternum, and must level up your character to survive and become more powerful. There’s no automatic targeting, so you have to aim your attacks and counter your enemies in real time, using guns, swords, and magic.

There are also no classes in New World – instead, you assign skill points to your personal attributes as you level up, and improve your New World weapon and trade skills the more you perform them. If you’re waiting to get into one of the busy New World servers, take a look at our New World beginner’s guide, and find out how to play with friends in New World.

Buy New World at Amazon

Tyrael in Diablo 2 Resurrected

Diablo 2: Resurrected

Diablo 2: Resurrected takes players on an epic journey to take down Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal once again. The beloved RPG has been remade from the ground up, with updated graphics and added quality-of-life features. With the press of a button, the game can be reverted to its original form to show you just how much has changed.

Go through the game alone, or fight off Hell’s fiercest foes with a group of up to eight players. If you haven’t had a chance to play through Diablo 2, this remake aims to show new and returning players why this game is considered to be one of the best RPGs of all time. In our Diablo 2: Resurrected review, Dave describes the game as “a beautiful remaster that retains the spirit of the original Diablo II.”

Colt reloading the Spiker weapon in Deathloop

Deathloop

Deathloop, Arkane Studios’ new stealth action game, is set on the fictional island of Blackreef, which is caught in an eternal time loop, each day repeating over and over. You play as Colt Vahn, a man who awakens on a beach with no memory of who he is – only the recollection of a woman named Julianna murdering him. The two legendary assassins lock horns day after day as Colt tries to figure out how to escape the loop.

Deathloop has earned glowing praise across the board, including a ten-out-of-ten from PCGamesN’s Ian Boudreau. His Deathloop review describes it as “a true tour de force from Arkane that is bound to be one of the year’s best and most important games.”

Life is Strange: True Colors

Life is Strange: True Colors tells the story of Alex Chen, who has the power to read the emotions of those around her. Following the death of her brother, Alex returns to her hometown of Haven Springs, up in the mountains of Colorado, and must use her psychic abilities to uncover the truth about his demise.

As Alex connects with the denizens of Haven Springs, she explores her own emotional journey in a town that truly feels alive, full of community and hope. In Dave’s Life is Strange: True Colors review, he describes it as “a beautiful game in many ways, but never more so than in the moments when it delivers its underlying message: the importance of kindness, and of rallying around people in need.”

Psychonauts 2

A decade after Psychonauts released, Psychonauts 2 has arrived, and it’s a massive hit. Dustin says in his review that Psychonauts 2 is “a rare sequel that improves on the original in every meaningful way. It’s packed to the brim with beautiful worlds and surprising interactions, and its colourful cast is equal parts funny, believable, and sympathetic.” High praise indeed!

Psychonauts 2 Psychonauts 2 Psychonauts 2 Humble $59.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.

Psychonauts 2 is a quirky platformer with an array of wonderful characters – you play as Raz, a trained acrobat and psychic who has joined the elite group of psychic spies – the Psychonauts. Leap, explore, and complete missions on a quest to defeat a murderous psychic villain in an imaginative and memorable story, as Dustin says, “this is Double Fine’s best game.”

Humankind

From the studio behind Endless Legend comes a new historical, turn-based strategy game, Humankind. Instead of picking one historical empire and controlling their journey from stone tools to supercomputers, the game is split into seven eras, and each Humankind leader selects a different culture to embody for that era. The story of your people might involve ruling the seas as the Norsemen in the Medieval era, and then building magnificent cities as the Mughals in the Early Modern era.

Whatever path you choose to take, the aim of the game is to accrue the most Humankind fame by the end of the game, which can be earned in a myriad of ways. When you inevitably clash with your rival nations, Humankind wars are particularly deep – as Rich explains in his Humankind review, “You can prevail against two-to-one odds through clever use of terrain and reinforcements, and it feels both brilliant and historically accurate to pull off.”

The Ascent

In the slick, hyper-urban world of The Ascent, you play as a worker in a futuristic cyberpunk metropolis, where everything is owned by the Ascent Group – until one day, when it collapses, and you must figure out how to survive. It’s an isometric action-RPG with plenty of enemies to mow down and rip through using meaty guns, deployable robots, and hacking augmentations.

The Ascent The Ascent The Ascent Humble $29.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.”

In his The Ascent review, Jordan describes how, “as a twin-stick shooter with light RPG mechanics, The Ascent is a magnificent example of how far set dressing and punchy shooting can take you.”

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

These two long-lost Ace Attorney games were only released in Japan on the Nintendo 3DS. Many have speculated the reasons behind the lack of a localisation, copyright laws surrounding the Conan Doyle Estate in the US are chief among them, but the games have finally arrived the west. Players take on the role of Phoenix Wright’s ancestor as he practices as a defence lawyer in Britain during the turn of the century.

Read more: our The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles preview

It introduces new mechanics, such as debunking the theories of Herlock Sholmes and convincing jurors to change their verdict by pointing out contradictions in their view of the case. However, fans of the Phoenix Wright games will feel right at home solving these grisly murder cases, all while waggling their fingers and yelling ‘objection’ at the top of their lungs.

Hell Let Loose

Set on the battlefields of WWII, Hell Let Loose is a tactical multiplayer FPS game in which two commanders each take charge of a team of 50 players, and decide where squads move to and where supplies are allocated. As part of a squad, soldiers must communicate and coordinate their movements, setting up garrisons and gaining footholds in enemy territory.

In his Hell Let Loose review, Ian concludes that the game’s “complex interplay of FPS action and real-time tactical planning rewards communication, coordination, and genuine leadership in a way few other games even attempt.”

Monster Hunter Stories 2

In the world of Monster Hunter, it’s not all slaying and flaying – alongside the titular hunters, there are also monster riders, who are able to forge bonds with a party of friendly ‘monsties’. And then you go around slaying and flaying, of course. There’s no gore, but you do harvest your own monsters in order to create a more powerful team, but – as Jordan explains in his Monster Hunter Stories 2 review – the story is charming, “brimming with warmth and do-gooders”. His overall verdict is that “while the repetitiveness of its turn-based battle system can become frustrating, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is more than a novel twist on the main series’ core components”.

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE-

Guilty Gear Strive is currently leading the pack as the best fighting game of 2021. Developed by Arc System Works, Guilty Gear Strive has been designed to be accessible to newcomers while retaining the depth the series is known for. Featuring 15 new and returning characters, a heavy soundtrack by Daisuke Ishiwatari, and the all-important rollback netcode, Guilty Gear Strive has established itself as the go-to fighting game for fans and new players alike.

Chivalry 2

Torn Banner Studios’ follow up to their 2012 smash hit, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is here, and it is brutal. The gameplay has been sped up to make battles even more intense and chaotic than ever before. Take part in first person medieval fights as you clash swords with up to 63 people on the battlefield. There are only a handful of games like Chivalry 2, so you’ll want to read our Chivalry 2 beginner’s guide before venturing into battle. We’ve also broken down what the best classes are, giving you an edge over the competition.

CHIVALRY 2 CHIVALRY 2 CHIVALRY 2 Humble $39.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.”

Buy Chivalry 2 at the Humble Store

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition packs all three games into one bundle, including most of the DLC to create the ultimate package for RPG fans. All of the games have been remastered for 4K, with major upgrades to the games’ performance and visuals across the whole trilogy. “This is the same Mass Effect we fell in love with all those years ago, painstakingly polished and wrapped up in a neat ribbon,” says Jen in her impressions piece.

Check out our Mass Effect Legendary Edition face codes guide to pick out the best looking Shepard in the galaxy. We also have a romance options guide for anyone who wants to know what relationships are available across the trilogy.

Days Gone

A plague of zombies has devastated the Pacific Northwest, and protagonist Deacon St. John must survive in the apocalyptic wasteland, working as a mercenary and drifting from camp to camp on his motorcycle. As Ian explains in our Days Gone review, it’s a “workmanlike open-world adventure, but it’s elevated into something special by its spectacular horde fights, ambitious scope, and warmly written characters.”

RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE

Being chased by extremely tall ladies, dodging feral lycans, and battering down shambling Moroaica is, as it turns out, an absolutely wonderful time. Resident Evil Village is already one of the biggest releases on Steam this year, and as Dustin explains in his Resident Evil Village review, it’s “a blend of horror, action, exploration, and puzzle-solving that pays tribute to – and frequently surpasses – its predecessors”. If you’re planning on venturing into the Village yourself, make use of our bosses guide, weapon upgrades guide, and recipes guide.

Three Outriders classes

Outriders

In People Can Fly’s looter shooter, you play as the Outrider, a soldier tasked with attempting to establish a new home for humanity after Earth’s destruction. Alone, or with up to two allies online, the Outrider blasts their way across the planet Enoch with all kinds of fantastical dystopian future weapons and skills. The combat is thoroughly enjoyable, with “superpowers that put the recent Marvel’s Avengers to shame”, alongside a “blockbuster narrative”, as Jordan explains in his Outriders review. For the collectors, we’ve got  Outriders legendary weapons and Outriders legendary armour guides.

Outriders Outriders Outriders Humble $59.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.”

Riding frogs in It Takes Two

It Takes Two

As the name suggests, you’ll need to recruit a friend to play It Takes Two – like Hazelight’s previous game A Way Out, it’s a multiplayer only endeavour. The rom-com-esque story involves a feuding couple who must learn to work together, and the platforming gameplay ingeniously demands the same of you and your player two.

New mechanics and challenges keep the game fresh and fun throughout, the characters are charming, and while the trials you both face are quirky and amusing, there are some more meaningful, mature themes that emerge as you play.

Loop Hero

Retro-style roguelike Loop Hero is one of the most addictive indies we’ve played in a while. The Loop Hero is on a mission to rebuild reality, setting out on adventures day after day in order to gather resources and knowledge. As the hero makes their way around the ‘loop’, automatically battling the monsters in their path, the player is in charge of placing down cards which change the surrounding terrain, and the foes that spawn there.

Planning the route is crucial; certain tile combinations unlock new variations and various buffs – but if you misjudge and overface your hero, they will die and be sent back without many of the precious resources they gathered on their trip. As Ian puts it in his Loop Hero review, ‘the closer you come to failure, the better the rewards’.

A Viking warrior standing in a forest; orange light soaks through the trees

Valheim

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.

VALHEIM VALHEIM VALHEIM Humble $19.99 Buy now Network N earns affiliate commission from qualifying sales.”

The Medium

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. You can currently get The Medium via GamePass.

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Hitman 3

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.

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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.

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