Here’s an unlikely scenario, but let’s run with it: you’ve just entered into the great wide world of PC gaming, and have no allegiance to any particular store front. Steam is the juggernaut platform, but the generosity of the weekly Epic Games Store giveaways has caught your eye. And, with its growing number of exclusive titles, the Epic Games Store starts to look like where you want your PC game library to live.
That’s where we come in – here’s the best Epic Games Store games you can pick up today.
While we here at TechRadar remain happy to play our games on whatever platform they land on (provided the platform isn’t totally awful), there’s a lot of tribalism in PC gaming, particularly when it comes to the Epic vs Steam argument. The reality is that both are worth your time, and as Epic Games Store’s stellar line-up of exclusives shows, the savvy gamer keeps one foot firmly planted in both camps.
A remake done right. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 knows exactly what fans of the series want – the original games, but with rose tinted glasses lenses surgically inserted into the player’s eyes. It is, to put it simply, the first two Tony Hawk’s skateboarding games how you remember them, but not how they were. The high-res reimagining of the classic skateparks bring their low-res predecessors to life, while new challenges and online modes round out a generous experience. Turn up the speakers for the cracking, guilty-pleasure soundtrack, and chase those scores into the early hours.
Not only an Epic exclusive, but a free one too. Total War Saga: Troy is a compact spin off of the main Total War series that was offered up free of charge for 24 hours upon its release, letting newcomers sink their teeth into the grand warfare simulation the series is known for. Focussing on the Greek epic of the Troy war, it’s a little more fantastical than your average Total War game, but not a full on beast-feast like the Warhammer titles. It has some of the most beautiful maps in the entire series, even if it’s not quite as deep a game, with sunsets that look like the side of an ancient Greek vase.
Who knew that Tetris could be made fresh again, so many years after being ingrained on the cultural consciousness since the launch of the Game Boy decades ago? After dazzling in VR on PS VR and Oculus, Tetris Effect hits 2D PC screens courtesy of the Epic Games Store. Mixing psychedelic visuals with a clever soundtrack that works in tandem with your block placing, it’s a hypnotising joy.
We thought it’d never happen, but Ryo Hazuki’s quest to find the man who murdered his father on the Dreamcast back in 1999 was finally given a third act in 2019. Shenmue III a curious mix of the new and old – what seemed fresh in 1999, such a non-player characters’ daily schedules and the sense of a game world that exists with or without your input has since been fully realised by the likes of Bethesda and its Elder Scrolls titles. But there’s a quiet comfort to the slow paced, methodical Shenmue games, like playing The Sims with a martial arts expert. Shenmue III sticks a little too closely to the 20 year old formula for some, but conversely is the perfect sequel in terms of faithfulness. Unmissable if you played the first two, and worth a look for those curious to see what all the fuss has been about.
A fantastic strategy game from the creator of X-Com, this turn-based squad shooter has you facing off against an alien menace invading the Earth. It’s hard to beat X-Com 2, the gold standard of the genre, but Phoenix Point has some great ideas all of its own, including a free aim system that makes the sometimes-punishing nature of the percentage-based accuracy system feel a little more under your own control.
Though you can pick up The Outer Worlds on the Windows Store and as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription, Epic is the only place you can nab it outside of Microsoft’s ecosystem. And it’s well worth a go – think Fallout in space. Obsidian (the dev team behind the much loved Fallout: New Vegas) offer biting satire, deep player choice and customization, and an open world RPG that’s welcome in its condensed nature – a few dozen hours and you’ll be done here, rather than the hundreds you have to commit to basically every other role playing game these days.
The big one – this is arguably the main selling point for the Epic Games Store. The world-beating battle royale game is developed in-house at Epic, so it makes sense that its PC edition would be tied to its game store. What’s left to be said about Fortnite? Skydive into a slowly shrinking map, find the best weapons you can, build some shelters to protect you from dozens of other players out for your blood, and aim to be the last man standing. Seasonal updates, from Marvel movie tie-ins to winter festivals, keep the game fresh, and it’s addictive fun – providing you can stomach the trolling-prone kids that make up the majority of its playerbase.
Destiny for those that want to play with real guns, Ubisoft’s looter-shooter is only available though its own UPlay store of the Epic Games Store on PC. Though The Division 2’s apolitical stance is at odds with what is clearly a rumination on the state of modern America, it’s an unfairly overlooked persistent shooter, with great weapons, meaningful progression and some really challenging raids to take part in.
The best of the rest
So far, we’ve only focussed on the games that are exclusive to the Epic Games Store (or those that would otherwise only exist on niche publisher storefronts). But Epic’s got tons of non-exclusive titles too, many that represent the very best of PC gaming.
Want an open-world epic? Grab Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 and follow it up with a GTA V chaser. Swords and sandals RPG more your cup of tea? Pick up Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Want to lose hours to a 4x strategy game? Epic has Civilization VI. After a cute indie? Check out the Animal Crossing-like Ooblets.
There’s something for everyone, and with the weekly freebies, within a few weeks of signing up for the Epic Games Store’s free account, you’ll have a ready-made PC gaming library to dive into.