The games that we play (Part 1)

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The games that we play (Part 1)

Looking for engaging ways to see you through the dark wintry nights, or for a suitable games title to bestow on a relative? PC Advisor’s GamePro colleagues offer their expertise on gaming

Whether you play on a PC, console, and smartphone or online, gaming is increasingly popular. Thousands of titles launch each year, but not all are destined to become classics. Similarly, not all graduate from one platform to become firm favourites across all. In fact, some become emblems of the particular gaming platform on which they run: Super Mario and Nintendo are inextricably linked, even though iPhone and Android versions now exist.

If you’re buying a game for a dedicated games console, you can be sure that the hardware is up to the job. With a PC game, that’s not necessarily the case. Ultraportable and low-end laptops tend to run integrated graphics, which are no good for playing the latest or most intensive games. However, even budget desktop PCs are these days supplied with a dedicated graphics card and at least 512MB of video RAM. Such machines are capable of playing all but the most demanding of games, provided that you reduce the resolution a notch in order to endure a smoother ride.

Over the following pages, we look at some of the very best games titles for PC, Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation 3.

20 best PC games

The PC has an extensive variety of terrific games, from massively multiplayer online titles (MMOGs) to first-person shooters. The following games are all deserving of a place in your games library.

Alien Swarm


The free-to-play Alien Swarm is a top-down shooter in which you work with up to three other people to enter off-world colonies, cleanse them of alien intruders and rescue their human inhabitants. With customisable weapons and many items to find, Alien Swarm is a fun, old-school arcade blaster that offers the additional benefit of running well on older computers. If you have even the slightest interest in blowing away teeming hordes of aliens with a few mates, you really have no reason not to play it.

Description: Alien Swarm

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Price: $19.99

Description: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Set in a haunted mansion, Amnesia is a single-player first-person adventure that focuses on exploration. Staying alive and keeping your sanity is the objective in this fright-test, which requires both puzzle solving and sneaking around, avoiding confrontation with the deadly denizens. You’re defenceless in a house full of monsters of which you almost never catch more than a glimpse. With gory graphics and top-notch, atmospheric sound, this game is one of the finest interactive horror experiences money can buy.


Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Price: $39.99

Description: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

The third Assassin’s Creed game, Brotherhood is set in Rome in probably the deepest and most visually rich setting in the series so far. A novel multiplayer mode pits players against one another: each receives a contract on another player and must ferret out their quarry from the crowd while trying to conceal their own identity from whoever is stalking them. The plot might leave a few too many of the franchise’s mysteries unsolved but, as far as gameplay goes, this assassin hits his mark.



Batman: Arkham Asylum

Price: $22.99

Description: Batman: Arkham Asylum

The Caped Crusader has a chequered past when it comes to video games, but Arkham Asylum isn’t just one of the best Batman games, it’s one of the best games of the past five years. The action is stealth-based:

Batman must sneak around, using his gadgets and his fists to get the drop on foes. Featuring fluid combat that incorporates a large repertoire of moves, and offering gameplay that favours lateral thinking over simple twitch reactions, Arkham Asylum is a mature title that is rewarding and enjoyable.


Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Price: $19.99

Description: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

The Battlefield series of military first-person shooters is well regarded for its fun, intense multiplayer mode. Bad Company 2 includes unique and varied situations and objectives, requiring players to contend with challenges such as timing sniper shots to coincide with thunderclaps to mask detection, or strategically placing explosions to collapse a building on enemies. The squad-based online multiplayer mode is a great bonus.


Bejeweled 3

Price: $19.99

Description: Bejeweled 3

Simple in concept but fiendishly addictive, the Bejeweled series is a hugely successful puzzle-gaming franchise that has sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. Bejeweled 3 doesn’t mess with the colour-matching formula, instead adding eight different game modes, a quest mode among them. Not every one of the additions is a hit, but most introduce new goals and mechanics that are just as captivating as the original title.


Price: $39.99

Description: Borderlands

Set in a world torn apart by vicious monsters and sadistic bandits, Borderlands is a first- person sci-fi shooter that blends action with role-playing-style character development (you improve your skills based on the experience you earn from completing quests and slaying baddies). With four charctrs that you can tailor to suit your playing style, and millions of weapons and tons of loot to discover as you traipse across the wasteland (or tool around in weapon-bearing dune buggies). Borderlands is huge fun and wonderful to look at.



Price: $19.99

Description: Bulletstorm

Notorious for its foul-mouthed dialogue and cartoonish ultra-violence, Bulletstorm is a first-person shooter that’s formulaic at its heart. However, its terrific visuals and insane action take things to a whole new level. The game rewards you for pulling off stylish kills, which is satisfyingly easy thanks to the array of crazy weaponry you get. Definitely not a game for children, Bulletstorm sets a new high (or low, depending on your viewpoint) for over-the-top action.

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