Throw around all the numbers you want regarding the popularity of Fortnite, or how League of Legends fills out arenas all over the world, but a well thought-out and executed solo experience has the unequaled gift for sweeping you away to painstakingly shaped worlds and immerse you in unique forms of storytelling.
Even in the last few years, the best single player PC games have dominated with fresh narrative and technical frontiers, which is why we’ve rounded up 10 of the best single player PC games that you can play in 2019.
Be sure you check out our picks of the best PC games as well, for the very best single and multiplayer PC games from many different genres.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Four years after its release, millions of gamers are still carrying on their solemn journeys across the war-ravaged low-fantasy world of The Witcher 3. It remains to be the apex of video game storytelling. Everything – from side-quests with lowly peasants to political tinkering of lords and barons – seems to be treated to the same degree of love and attention from the writers.
This is the game that made surly, concrete-voiced hero Geralt of Rivia an icon (and soon to be star of a Witcher Netflix show). The world is not just astounding in terms of topographical scale and variety, but also impressive in its sense of history and life, as it seems that every village, castle ruins and cave has a story to tell.
The fact that The Witcher 3 remains as remarkable an experience today as it was when it first came out is proof of its groundbreaking role in the medium.
There’s something audaciously old-school about a game that forgoes meaningful and compelling plot in favor of vicious, driving violence. In 2016’s Doom, you’re somewhere between a human battering ram and artillery cannon, tearing apart and annihilating a familiar but vividly redesigned army of demons in the most satisfying ways you can imagine.
A key thing here is that in order to gain health and ammo, you need to charge headfirst into the enemy and pull off brutal Glory Kills, putting you always right up in the faces of shrieking Revenants and obese Cacodemon heads.
Everything in the game – from that forward momentum to the clanging tech-metal soundtrack – propels you, leaving you winded after each scuffle like no other game.
3. Resident Evil 2: REMake
A remake of one of the great survival horror games can be a poisoned chalice, but Capcom succeeded in creating a magnum opus both within the series and among all videogame remakes.
Like the original, RE2 REMake has two coinciding campaigns as Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. While it follows the narrative beats of the original game, it’s also an archetype of modern level design, as you solve puzzles and open up shortcuts around the maze-y Raccoon City Police Department.
Each zombie is a bullet sponge and mortal threat, resources are hardly adequate, and an unkillable blue man dressed like a hard-boiled detective marches after you through much of the game. Remake or not, this is one of the best horror games to date.