The nominations for The Game Awards’ Game of the Year included Animal Crossing, Hades and winner Last of Us 2, but these weren’t all the good games released. Here are five other hit PC games to give a try over the holidays.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Initially released in 2017, the popular game came to PC this year. Gamers that have been avidly watching play-throughs on YouTube can finally experience it firsthand. For those who don’t know — have you been living under a rock? — Horizon combines modern tech with ancestral tribes in an action RPG set in a dystopian world full of mechanical monsters. You play as tribal outcast Aloy who is raised by a gruff father figure named Rost. Ah yes, the recurring adopted father/daughter trope. Well, it’s recurring for a reason; it is heart-warming.
This PC game is set in an incredibly gorgeous world, and you can choose the manner in which Aloy responds in conversations, but this doesn’t really affect the story too much. Personally, I’m not a fan of Aloy as a character, but the storyline is original and engaging, and other characters make up for my dislike of her. I seem to be the black sheep in this regard, as the majority of players took to Aloy quickly.
2. Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars: Squadrons released in October this year for $39.99 and is a space combat game that was received well among critics. Compliments mentioned good map design and players praised it as a step in a more consumer-friendly direction from EA, evident from the lack of contentious features like loot boxes. As far as “Star Wars” games, Squadrons doesn’t possess the most intricate story, but the niche competitive game makes up for it with its multiplayer component. Gamers play both for the Empire and Rebellion and can fully customize their character’s voice, looks and gender.
3. Cyberpunk 2077
After many, many, MANY delays, Cyberpunk 2077 released on Dec. 10 for $49.94. This very highly anticipated game is made by CD Projekt, the creators of the award-winning Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and is an open world action-adventure story set in Night City, a world of body modifications, neon signs and power struggles. Gamers play as V, a fully customizable mercenary, and choose skills in hacking and combat and select from different backgrounds. Oh, and Keanu Reeves features in the game as the character Jonny Silverhand.
4. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
The latest in a long line of Assassin’s Creed games, Valhalla released on Nov. 10. The standard edition will set you back $49.99, which is normal for recent AAA game releases. In this installment, you play as Eivor, a fairly customizable Viking raider who follows their brother and his Assassin friends to England. Deal with politics and expanding your settlement, or just run around participating in drinking games and getting new tattoos — it’s up to you.
5. Yes, Your Grace
Yes, Your Grace is very different from the other games on this list. It is an RPG, except players manage a virtual kingdom. Manage resources, help citizens with problems and decide whether to approve petitions — think “Game of Thrones” but without the dragons. The story is a balancing act of family affairs, arranged marriages, politics and the more mundane aspect of war: the threat of bankruptcy. It released as a PC game on March 6, on Switch and Xbox One on June 26 and on Xbox Series X/S on Nov. 10.