Our highest review scores of the past 10 years

Our highest review scores of the past 10 years

A decade of great PC games, according to PC Gamer's reviews.


Our highest review scores of the past 10 years - image2
(Image credit: Konami Digital Entertainment)

Sɪɴce ɪᴛs ꜰɪʀsᴛ ɪssue ɪɴ tʜᴇ ᴇᴀʀly '90s, PC Gaᴍᴇr hᴀs scᴏʀed ɢᴀᴍᴇs ᴏɴ a sᴄᴀʟᴇ ᴏꜰ 1-ᴛᴏ-100. You cᴀɴ sᴀꜰᴇly accᴜse ᴜs ᴏꜰ ɴᴏt ᴜsɪɴg thᴀᴛ wʜᴏʟᴇ sᴄᴀʟᴇ: After nᴇᴀʀly 30 yᴇᴀʀs, ᴡᴇ've nᴇᴠᴇʀ scᴏʀed a ɢᴀᴍᴇ higʜᴇr thᴀɴ 98% (Alpha Centauri, Half-Lɪꜰe 2, ᴀɴd Crysɪs). Clᴇᴀʀly, tʜᴇ ꜰɪʀsᴛ PC Gaᴍᴇr 99% ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ a lɪꜰe-chᴀɴgɪɴg ɢᴀᴍᴇ. And 100%? I thɪɴk ᴡᴇ'd ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ adᴊᴜsᴛ tʜᴇ scᴏʀe graphic ᴛᴏ ꜰɪᴛ ᴛʜʀᴇᴇ numʙᴇrs.

For us, though, games in 80% range are brilliant—at least in moments—and even games in the 60s are recommendations with caveats. In this list, I've only included games we scored 88% or higher over the past 10 years, which means we had exceptionally strong feelings about them. Many are games we consider important to PC gaming as a whole, especially those in the 90%-and-up range. 

You'll also find some of our most controversial scores ever here. (Opinions on Dragon Age 2 are going to change any day now, I can feel it.)

The highest score on this list is 96%, which is also the highest score ever given in the UK edition of PC Gamer magazine. That leads to an important note: These days, PC Gamer's global team produces one web and print publication with multiple editions, but that wasn't the case in 2011. Back then, the US and UK versions of the magazine sometimes published different reviews of the same games with different scores. I've used the UK magazine scores in this article. 

When a game name isn't linked, that's because the review didn't make it online for some reason. (There are a number of possible reasons, but they're all some variation of "that's what we decided to do at the time" or "oops, we forgot.")

A few more observations before the list:

We like 88% and 90% much more than 89%. (My guess is that 89% feels like saying "oh, so close," and so we tend to slide to 88% or 90%.) We reviewed the Director's Cut edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in the UK magazine and gave it a 95%, one point higher than regular Deux Ex: Human Revolution. It's the only 95% we've given since 2011. Kind of weird! We were having a great time in 2011. We gave out two 96s and four 94s! RIP to Tribes: Ascend and Monday Night Combat. We sure liked you! Two of the 96% games involve digging. One involves going up into space. The other is Team Fortress 2, ruining the symmetry.

Final note: Review scores reflect opinions that are usually written down the same week a game releases. It's interesting to look back on them, but they're hardly a comprehensive record of every game we've loved. For example, Death Stranding isn't on this list (it got an 85%) even though it was our 2020 Game of the Year.

For our current game recommendations, check out our list of the best PC games right now. Every year, we also pick 100 games as our current favorites. 

We'll add to this list as we review more games in 2021. Head to our reviews section for our latest verdicts.

88% reviews

2011

DC Universe Online Dawn of War 2: Retribution Anomaly: Warzone Earth Dirt 3 Formula 1 2011 Cave Story+

2012

AeroflyFS Tribes: Ascend Wizorb Gratuitous Tank Battles Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Torchlight 2 Football Manager 2013

2013

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Dragonborn Civilization 5: Brave New World The Swapper

2014

The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 2 NBA 2K15

2015

Fallout 4 Galak-Z

2016

Darkest Dungeon Offworld Trading Company Overwatch Hearts of Iron IV Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Abzu

2017

Steel Division: Normandy 44 F1 2017 Rez Infinite West of Loathing Puyo Puyo Tetris Polybot-7

2018

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Muscle World Shenmue 1 & 2 Wandersong Super Mega Baseball 2

2019

Red Dead Redemption 2 Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind Control What The Golf Yakuza Kiwami 2 Heaven's Vault

2020

F1 2020

2021

Dead by Daylight (released in 2016) 89% reviews

2011

SpaceChem The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Frozen Synapse Arma X: Anniversary Edition

2012

Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition FTL: Faster than Light Far Cry 3

2013

FIFA 14

2014

WildStar Endless Legend Far Cry 4

2015

Tales from the Borderlands

2016

The Witness Out of the Park Baseball 17 Battlefield 1

2017

Torment: Tides of Numenera Nex Machina Project Cars 2 Football Manager 2018 Battlerite

2018

Subnautica Frostpunk Valkyria Chronicles Dusk Forza Horizon 4

2019

Outer Wilds Outward Resident Evil 2

2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 90% reviews

2011

OMSI: The Bus Simulator FIFA 12 Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link Orcs Must Die!

2012

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Diablo 3 Borderlands 2 Thirty Flights of Loving Mark of the Ninja Natural Selection 2 Dustforce PlanetSide 2 Super Hexagon

2013

Mass Effect 3: Citadel Monaco Trials Evolution: Gold Edition Fez Crusader Kings 2: The Old Gods Dota 2 (first review) Saints Row 4 Rayman Legends The Stanley Parable The Wolf Among Us (Ep. 1) Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

2014

South Park: The Stick of Truth Towerfall Ascension Metro 2033 Redux World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

2015

Her Story Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide Nuclear Throne Rainbow Six Siege

2016

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human World of Warcraft: Legion Sunless Sea: Zubmariner

2017

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

2018

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Dead Cells The Banner Saga 3 Yakuza 0 Cyberpet Graveyard Path of Exile (second review) Football Manager 2019 Return of the Obra Dinn Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

2019

Lost Ember Tetris Effect Baba Is You Devil May Cry 5 Sunless Skies

2020

Hades Super Mega Baseball 3 Valorant

2021

Hitman 3 Nier Replicant 91% reviews

2011

Monday Night Combat

2012

Rayman Origins NBA 2K13

2013

BioShock Infinite StarCraft 2: The Heart of the Storm Europa Universalis 4 Rocksmith 2014

2014

Dark Souls 2

2015

Out of the Park Baseball 16 Undertale 80 Days StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void Pony Island

2016

Titanfall 2

2017

What Remains of Edith Finch Opus Magnum

2019

F1 2019 Unity of Command 2

2020

Factorio Amnesia: Rebirth Paradise Killer 92% reviews

2011

Total War: Shogun 2 DCS: A-10C Warthog Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Limbo Bastion

2012

Dishonored

2013

Jazzpunk

2014

Ikaruga

2015

Homeworld Remastered Grand Theft Auto 5 Pillars of Eternity The Witcher 3

2016

N++ Forza Horizon 3

2017

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Hollow Knight Dota 2 (second review) Divinity: Original Sin 2 Total War: Warhammer 2

2019

Disco Elysium Slay the Spire Imperator: Rome Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

2020

Half-Life: Alyx Assassin's Creed Valhalla

2021

Nioh 2 The Medium 93% reviews

2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic

2012

Mass Effect 3

2014

Nidhogg Alien: Isolation

2015

Infinifactory Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

2016

Civilization 6 Dishonored 2

2017

Bayonetta

2018

Into The Breach

2019

Apex Legends 94% reviews

2011

Dragon Age 2 Portal 2 Deus Ex: Human Revolution The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

2012

Guild Wars 2

2016

XCOM 2 The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine

2019

Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers

2020

Crusader Kings 3 Doom Eternal 95% reviews

2013

 Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director's Cut 96% reviews

2011

Minecraft Team Fortress 2 (free-to-play release)

2013

Spelunky

2015

Kerbal Space Program
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