PC gaming has always been the cooler older brother of console gaming; for years, it’s advanced hardware and networking capabilities made it the destination for the best experience gaming has to offer, across multiple genres. In recent years, the gap between the most powerful PCs and consoles has narrowed, but a well-equipped computer will still be the weapon of choice for hardcore gamers, even if it's losing market share to more accessible platforms like mobile gaming and console video games.

However, while the PC market is in slight decline, the system itself is still a vanguard for the breakthroughs being made in gaming, as it has been for decades. Even if you don't consider yourself a PC gamer, the platform’s best titles are worth revisiting to give you a fuller understanding of where gaming started, and how it’s arrived at the point it has today; the computer has always been the benchmark for immersive, life-like, and often multiplayer gameplay.

(If you're in need of hardware to help you discover everything that PC gaming has to offer, this laptop is the perfect starter system for a beginner.)

In the past quarter-century, the PC has played host to initially exclusive titles like Doom and Myst, as well as the superior editions of platform-agnostic games like Grand Theft Auto V and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Those are all generation-defining games that were better when played on a system that could handle all they had to offer.

We’re not trying to diss your Nintendo Switch—Breath of the Wild is fire—or any of your other favorite consoles. No doubt, these platforms offer their own unique experiences to players and have played an innovative role in redefining the expectations of what a game can do. But PC gaming is still the industry gold standard, and these titles sit atop the pyramid as the best of the best PC games.