This list is carefully selected. There are many other games I’ve greatly enjoyed, which I would not recommend right now, either because they’re too outdated (e.g. Etherlords 2), or because the online community that made them great no longer exists (e.g. WoW).
Even if you prefer MacOS or Linux for general use, you should use a dedicated Windows system for games. Many games don’t exist on other platforms, or take years to release a port, usually with compatibility issues and poor performance. Many games have essential mods only available on Windows. Windows also allows a much better selection of hardware.
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Masterpiece roguelike. Excellent game design and implementation, writing and voicing, music, sounds, UI, and more. Requires good reflexes. Gamepad recommended. Read my tips & tricks!
Strategic roguelike deck building dungeon crawler. One run ≈ 2-3 hours.
One of the greatest roguelikes. Highly influential, and highly enjoyable. Start on Easy difficulty. One run ≈ 2-3 hours.
Planetary exploration, survival, resource gathering, building, terraforming. Watch my video guides!
Exploring, surviving, crafting, and building in an amazingly beautiful alien ocean. Doesn’t hand-hold, tell you where to go, or what to do. Highly recommended!
Subnautica’s expansion that became its own game. Slightly different environment and toys, but basically more of the same. Smaller than the original.
Strategic roguelike deck building dungeon crawler inspired by Slay the Spire. One run ≈ 2-3 hours.
Touching, uplifting story. Highly recommended. Don’t let pixel art deter you.
Well-designed puzzle game with amazingly deep and thought-provoking writing. Excellent relaxing music. Take your time, play it slow, and think. (DLC too!)
One of the greatest time travel stories. Gripping, coherent, based on well-researched science, brimming with otaku references, a true geek party! Also watch the anime: Steins Gate, then Steins Gate 0. Use essential community patch.
Turn-based, party-based dungeon crawler inspired by Lovecraftian horror stories, with fairly unique mechanics and a colorful overarching narration for everything, especially your blunders.
Marvelous RPG with deep mechanics, amazing writing, characters, voices, dialogues, story, music, and more. Check my tips & tricks!
True masterpiece of an RPG, set in a post-apocalyptic world where advanced robots roam the wilds. Excellent game design, story, characters, dialogues, music, graphics, UI, marred only by atrocious mouse handling.
One of the greatest sci-fi RPG experiences ever made. Huge influence on other games and on many people’s lives. Mechanics and graphics are outdated by modern standards, but the setting, characters, dialogues, story, music and more are timeless.
Worthy successor to previous ME titles. Excellent sci-fi RPG in its own right. Requires unfucking. Read my recommendations.
Marvelous RPG set in near future, exploring themes of human cyborg augmentation, secret societies, and more. Worthy successor to the original Deus Ex. I wrote a review that’s closer to a love letter!
Excellent sequel to DEHR. More of the same, with massively improved graphics and lowered stakes. Great writing, dialogues, characters, music, atmosphere, gameplay. Highly satisfying to a Deus Ex fan.
Badass melee slasher with cyborgs, vibroblades, giant robots, metal music, and some surprisingly thoughtful dialogues. Requires a gamepad.
Post-apocalyptic story of androids and alien machine lifeforms. Thought-provoking and touching. Brought me to tears. Avoid spoilers! Go for “true ending”! Use original Japanese voiceovers. Requires external tools, check PCGW. Requires a gamepad.
True successor to System Shock. Stealth gameplay on an abandoned space station infested by truly alien outsiders. Love the environments, gameplay, music. Thoughtful. See PCGW for tweaks and tools.
Shooter / magic hybrid in a setting where all the paranormal sci-fi tropes are real. If you’ve read “Понедельник начинается в субботу”, this may feel familiar.
Competent sequel to Doom (2016). More of the same, with refined mechanics, improved UI, excellent new environments, and various retcons in the plot.
Well-wrought time travel story and a competent first-person shooter. Set on an abandoned Soviet research island. Very atmospheric. Bilingual bonus for Russian speakers.
Stylish, atmospheric shooter / looter with unique enemy and environment designs, and loot mechanics similar to Diablo.
More of the same, with its own unique environments and mechanics. Does a great job bridging the story between BL1 and BL2.
The ultimate Borderlands game. Culmination of the story, with highly memorable characters and environments, and with lots of excellent DLCs. Should be played after BL:TPS.
Pure story / adventure set on Pandora after Borderlands 2, featuring new protagonists. If you loved previous Borderlands games, this is worth a playthrough.
RPG following after the events of the original Witcher books. Excellent writing, characters, dialogues, music. Requires unfucking, check my recommendations.
Legendary RPG beloved by all. Excellent writing, characters, dialogues, music, combat mechanics, and more, and it is HUGE. Requires unfucking, read my recommendations.
Apprentice Jedi exploring various planets, fighting stormtroopers and monsters. Mechanically similar to Dark Souls. Somewhat simplistic but well-delivered. Graphics require unfucking via ReShade (link; tweak ingame for best results).
Highly influential and acclaimed puzzle game. Excellent in its minimalism. For added context, I recommend playing Half-Life 2 first; Portal takes place in the same world, at the same time.
Sequel to Portal, with more mechanics and a longer campaign. Well-made, well-rounded, even if not particularly revolutionary.
Classic SW RPG with excellent writing and dialogues. Uses simplified D&D mechanics. Dated but well worth it. Avoid spoilers!
Thoughtful sequel exploring the fallout of your “heroic deeds” in the previous game. Excellent writing and dialogues. Requires community patches, see PCGW.
Classic RPG using D&D 3.5 rules in pseudo real time. Don’t be deterred by boring OG campaign; expansions get better, and there’s fun in the mechanics. Use console commands to un-slog.
Charming top-down adventure game in a unique post-apocalyptic setting. Touching story, mood, music, narration. Originally for mobile devices, simplistic but worth a playthrough for its charm.
Zelda-style adventure in post-apocalyptic environments populated by demons and angels. Badass characters, competent delivery. Mechanics are somewhat simplistic but ambitiously varied.
Competent sequel with its own stylish environments, great music, mood, and much improved combat mechanics. Worth a playthrough if you liked Darksiders 1.
A Darksiders game closer to DMC in terms of combat, with minor Dark Souls influences. Questionable writing, atrocious ending sequence. Otherwise well made.
Influential first-person shooter with fluid on-the-fly story narration. Somewhat primitive by modern standards, but still recommended, especially if you plan to play Portal.
Continues the story of Half-Life 2, followed by Episode Two.
Continues the story of Half-Life 2: Episode One. The story is left unfinished.
Exploring an open-world galaxy where everything is procedurally generated. Lots of features. Use a save editor to minimize grinding.
Third person shooter / melee hybrid with deep mechanics and a bewildering bevy of features and toys. Read stupid headcanon authored by me and friends (spoilers!).