10 of the best games from 2021 to try your new gaming PC

Getting a new gaming PC is a bit like opening Pandora’s Box when it comes to deciding what to play. With frequent releases on Steam, an endless stream of free games on the Epic Games Store, a plethora of indie arthouse games on itch.io, and countless launchers and storefronts to install and choose from, it can feel like a Netflix effect of crippling choice.

So, if you’ve got a new PC for vacation, or even earlier, this list of excellent games released this year is an introduction to what to consider. Some may be unthinking because they are the biggest releases of the last few months, but others shouldn’t be overlooked.

Many of the titles featured here can be downloaded and played via a PC Game Pass subscription, the PC version of Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft, while Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get access to games on both Xbox and PC platforms. Whether you prefer to buy each title separately or subscribe to access several games, here are our best games to get you started on your new gaming PC.

Many game titles can be downloaded and played on a Windows PC via a PC Game Pass subscription, while Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get access to games on both Xbox and PC platforms.

infinite aura

Halo Infinite is the sixth installment in the Master Chief saga.
Photo: 343 Industries / Xbox Game Studios

This might be the most obvious first choice, arguably the biggest release of the game this holiday season, but Hello Infinite open world It promises to be a tech test for PC and a compelling title for some solo throwback campaign fun. Combine that with early-launched free online multiplayer, and Hello My love is back!

Now, there are some major bugs and features missing at launch, but there’s still plenty to enjoy infinite aura in its current form. We hope it only gets better from here as it eventually expands it through campaign collaboration and continues to grow its multiplayer.

Bada Poh Poh Ba Da Poh Bohhahaha!

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 takes the open-world racer to the lush backdrop of Mexico.
Photo: Playground Games / Xbox Game Studios

What happens when you combine a slew of cars, the open-air arcade racing franchise of Playground Games, and the beautiful landscapes of Mexico? You get the best racing game of 2021, complete with AI Drivatars based on your friends list to challenge you. Part of the fun Forza Horizon 5 You can play as you like. Looking to embrace the side of hardcore motorsports? There are cars and courses for that. Want to take it off-road in mud and muck? This is here too. Would you rather take it easy and enjoy driving? The rewind feature makes it easy to undo any careless mistakes that could cost you a race. Forza Horizon 5 It provides a great pick-up and play experience, and there is plenty to experience among all the cars and environments.

Get out of my dreams into my Drivatar.


Inscryption mixes horror tunes with a roguelike card game.
Photo: Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital

It doesn’t have to be a scary season for you to get into one of the best indie hits of the year. encryption is a horror themed deck building card game with a mix of roguelike episode progression. But the real trick is how the game keeps changing things on you as the story progresses. We won’t get into spoilers here but be prepared for some unexpected turns.

Even if you are hardly a fan of arcade games or escape rooms – even if you just played several games Magic: The Gathering As a kid or did one escape room with friends in their prime a few years ago – a must try encryption. It might not put your PC’s graphics to the test, but if you have a good screen with high-quality black levels, you can really immerse yourself in the frightening aesthetic while playing cards and sacrifice little monsters to fight against your fearsome AI opponent hiding in the shadows.

back 4 blood

Back 4 Blood features four-player online co-op with card-based boosts.
Photo: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Games.

back 4 blood He is the spiritual successor to left 4 Dead game The four-player co-op zombie shooter franchise. It not only bears a similar title, but also retains some of the original left 4 Dead game Developers of Turtle Rock Studios. Currently, back 4 blood Incorporates the classic co-op action of left 4 Dead game With a recent approach to card system based power boosters. The cards make each session look a little different, keeping you on your toes as you cut through hordes of zombies and you have to adapt to whatever fate draws you in. Aside from the cards, the fun-filled weapons and characters are the stars of the show. Get yourself three friends to team up with and blast zombie after zombie to your cravings.

Use your brain to help. Your sweet mind!

Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires IV is the latest installment of the RTS series that first started in 1997.
Photo: Microsoft

The age of empires The series is old enough to get past his college life and struggle through a middle job while living in a lousy apartment, but Age of Empires IV It is a captivating new sequel that looks exactly like its roots. Anyone who’s played a classic RTS game before will be at home here, though, judging by the conversations in The Verge SLacking canals, this house is very addictive. Age of Empires IV He expertly scratches that itch for building bases, placing troops, and massive battles. The campaigns are quite intense, but be sure to try playing as a monger to give a new twist to the old formula – with hit and run tactics and action being the new keys to the game.

death door

Death’s Door is a spirit-like action RPG with a very elegant artwork.
Photo: Acid Nerve / Devolver Digital

There is no better game than 2021 Death door. It’s a pleasure just looking at it, with a beautifully animated world, but the gameplay seems partial-Zeldapart-Evil spiritsI am totally satisfied while working. A version of the Nintendo Switch just launched last month, but playing it on a PC is to make sure the visuals render as nicely as possible to make this beautiful virtual space as immersive and captivating as possible. Don’t sleep on this independent hit. It’s a great way to spend a twelve hours or so of your time, and come – the fair protagonist’s crow And therefore Nice dang.

Harvest those souls, little raven.

Hot Wheels: Unleash

Hot Wheels Unleashed replaces stunt racing games with a sense of speed.
Photo: Milestone Srl

Imagine being a kid again and given an unlimited budget to build and race the smartest Hot Wheels track you could ever imagine. Now, even better, you’re an adult, and instead of tying all your money and floor space into 1:64 scale plastic tracks and die-cast metal cars, you can play Hot Wheels: Unleash. But before writing this off as a video game for kids, you must see the dedication that the developers at Milestone have put into all these toy car models. There are 60 cars to collect and race in, each one lovingly transformed into the details of its own little game, with visible car damage much like the way actual Hot Wheels develops wear and tear. Add those visual styles to high-speed races with split-screen support, and you’ve got a fun arcade racer that looks and plays great on a high-end PC.

The flame makes everything go faster.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Alien: Fireteam Elite is a third-person co-op shooter that pits players against popular xenomorphs.
Photo: Cold Iron Studios

If a game like back 4 blood It looks attractive for its co-op pieces, but you feel the zombies are a bit tired, check Aliens: Fireteam Elite. This is a three-player, third-person shooter that pits you against xenomorphs from floors Aliens Franchise traditions. There’s a touch of passive RPG buffs to choose from in your class’s gear, but in the end, it’s the fun of shooting aliens with friends. Keep your communications open and your tactics tight because these acid-blooded monsters love to congregate.

They come mostly at night – mostly.

Psychology Pioneers 2

Psychonauts 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the original Xbox title from 2005.
Photo: Double Fine Productions / Xbox Game Studios

Few of the games have received critical acclaim and fans have expected a sequel like the original Psychological pioneers. Now, 16 years later, the classic action-adventure thriller Double Fine has finally got the following. Just like the original, Psychology Pioneers 2 Full of charm, excellent voice acting, and fun writing that, although playful, also addresses some deep personal themes. It’s a bit like an old game, for better and worse, but with a design on a very unique fantasy level. Psychology Pioneers 2 It takes you on a journey of happy platforms and thought-provoking empathy. Don’t miss this one, especially if you already have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or PC Game Pass.

Boomerang X

Boomerang X is a first-person arena action game that focuses on action and speed.
Photo: DANG! / Devolution Digital

Few games show a sense of speed and agility quite like Boomerang X. This first-person action game is about maintaining momentum as you fly around the arenas with a boomerang that has been thrown at your character. Throw it at enemies to slice them, then jump towards it for aerial combos reminiscent of ancient visceral stunts in the air. Earthquake The rocket jumps. Visual style and lighting Boomerang X Make sure each arena is fun to explore, and enemies keep it fresh and challenging. While Boomerang X Also available on the Nintendo Switch, I think playing with a mouse and keyboard is the best experience. You get more precise control, and it really feels like a bygone era shooter with very fresh ideas.

Visceral boomerang action in first person

Gil Umurangi

Umurangi Generation is a post-apocalyptic first person photography game.
Photo: Origame Digital

Well, I cheated a little. Gil Umurangi first Introduced in 2020, not 2021. But double check this title and do the math – consider this just an added bonus because I can’t miss any opportunity to recommend Gil Umurangi and his Flour DLC for anyone. The Nintendo Switch version came out in 2021, but while it has new tilt controls, I think it’s worth playing this awesome darling on PC to get the best representation of its great visuals.

Gil Umurangi is a first-person photography game that drips with elegance and weaves an excellent narrative through environmental storytelling. Enjoy its vibrant beauty, extensive photography camera controls, and a great soundtrack by ThorHighHeels – all while spreading a sense of awe from a post-apocalyptic world. Remember, even if you don’t want to watch the world burn, you don’t have a choice.

The cops come here to kill us