So you’ve got Windows 10 installed. What now? Sure, there are plenty of fun pre-installed Windows games, including Solitaire, Minesweeper, and the new-to-Windows Candy Crush Saga. But there’s way more to PC gaming to that… and we just so happen to have a few good pointers on what you should check out first. Here’s a list of some Windows 10-compatible gaming experiences, featuring a few huge franchises and a few uniquely PC-centric games that you’re sure to love.
Riot Games’ competitive real-time strategy (RTS) game has taken the PC gaming world by storm since it debuted in 2009, and with it kicked off a whole strategy subgenre of its own: The multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA, for short). It’s a tightly designed, laser-focused distillation of team-based RTS gameplay, wherein two groups of five players choose from a diverse cast of champions, and work together to push through their opponents’ defenses and destroy their base. League of Legends is one of several excellent MOBA games are out right now, notably Heroes of the Storm and Dota 2.
The reigning king of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is a living fantasy world that you could potentially spend years in, if you’re so inclined. The in-game world of Azeroth has the sort of rich lore that rivals the likes of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones,” and it’s even being turned into a full-length feature film in 2016. Jump in, make a character, find a group, and get adventuring already!
What else can we say about Minecraft? It’s one of the biggest games ever, and it’s also one of the most wonderfully, creativity-fueling sandboxes you’ll ever play in. Heck, to date the PC version alone has over 20 million players worldwide! Windows 10 users can download the Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta and provide their feedback to help shape the newest version of the game. As a bonus, if you already own the PC version of Minecraft, the Windows 10 beta is free! Or, if you want to keep playing in the worlds you’ve created before, the existing PC/Java version of Minecraft will play even better than ever on your newly-upgraded Windows 10 machine. Either way, there’s no limit, not even the sky, to what you can create with Minecraft’s ever-growing toolkit.
The latest fantasy RPG adventure for the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, has been met with nothing short of unanimous critical acclaim. Easily one of the best games of 2015, The Witcher 3 drops you into one of the biggest, most stunningly detailed fantasy worlds ever created, and then it hands you the keys and lets you do pretty much whatever you want. And, maybe we’re biased here, but it looks particularly stunning running on Windows 10. No matter what platform you play this one on, make sure you do not miss out on it.
Blizzard’s World of Warcraft collectible card game spin-off might look like a fun little casual game at first glance, but the layers of depth and strategy at work here are rather impressive. At present, Hearthstone boasts nearly 600 unique cards to collect and build your deck with, and nine very distinctive character classes that you can play to crush your opponents. Daily quests, a ranked play ladder, and a steady stream of solo and one-on-one content make this a game that you’ll keep coming back to for years.
Can you tell that we love our Blizzard games? Yes, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition is available on Xbox One, but that shouldn’t stop you from playing this fast-paced action-RPG on its original PC turf. Diablo III is the sort of game that’s always throwing something new and unexpected at you, not to mention encouraging you with a steady stream of awesome loot to trick your badass character out with as he scours the world in search of the titular demon boss-man and his hellborne generals.
Of course, if we’re mentioning all the biggest games out there on PC, we’d never leave off Grand Theft Auto. The latest (and definitely greatest) in Rockstar Games’ crime-fueled open-world saga puts you in the shoes of three very different characters, who you can switch between on-the-fly. Each character has their own set of storyline missions, and they can also team up for carefully planned (or sloppy-but-fun) heists. And, of course, it comes packaged with Grand Theft Auto Online, giving you unbridled opportunities to put together a posse and take on all comers.
While Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is the newest game in the beloved simulation/strategy franchise, we’re suckers for the more traditional, historically based Civilization titles. Civilization V gives you your pick from among 43 different civilizations, and challenges you to build them into a thriving power, from the ancient age to the information age. Make sure you pick up the Complete Edition for the full experience – it includes both expansions, plus all the downloadable content and quality-of-life upgrades that are necessary for the optimal Civ experience!
If you haven’t checked out globetrotting action-archaeologist Lara Croft’s latest pulse-pounding adventure, then your new Windows 10 PC affords you the perfect opportunity to get caught up – just in time for the November 10 release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One or the recently announced Windows 10 version coming in early 2016! Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautiful hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider promises to deliver a cinematic survival action adventure like no other where you will join the iconic heroine on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality before the bad guys do.
The official EVE Online website describes it best: “Real-life science fiction.” EVE is a sci-fi MMORPG set in an impossibly vast sandbox universe featuring over 7,000 star systems, where tens of thousands of players co-exist and attempt to make a life for themselves. You can become an asteroid miner, play the virtual stock market, embroil yourself in politics via any number of player-run corporations, or even hunt your fellow players as a dastardly space pirate. It’s a game that has resulted in quite a number of amazing, epic stories over the past 12 years and has a marvelously interconnected ecosystem that’s unmatched by anything.
While the above titles are some of the biggest into the world of PC gaming, these are just a small, small sampling of what’s available to Windows 10 gamers. Now, go get gaming!