PC Gamer's Top 100, part 1

Feature: The most cherished PC games ever made

You'll see many magazine articles, TV shows and websites that proclaim the 'Best Ever' cars/films/songs/lolcats.

What makes our one different? It's the way we decide what makes it in. These are not the best 100 games ever. No: these are the games we love.

The ones that have meant something to us in our lives; the ones that cheer us up, that bring us together, that make us feel good.

So you won't see references to X being 'better' than Y here. But how do we decide whether one game is more 'loved' than another?

We must endure the gruelling process of discussing every game we feel strongly about. The only way to make progress was to stand up for the games we loved, argue the case for their high placing, and convince doubters of our true passions.

To get the widest variety into the list, we only consider one game from most series: Medieval II: Total War makes it in as the best example of the series, while Rome does not. With so many games spawning excellent sequels, the list would otherwise quickly fill.

Finally, this year we're opening up the Top 100 to you, the readers. You can vote online at the PC Gamer Top 100 website and we'll reveal the results this autumn.

100 Starcraft

The game that innocently took Command & Conquer's simple RTS model into the distant sci-fi future. Ten years later, it's a pillar of the Korean pro-gaming scene and its sequel is one of the most hotly anticipated games in development.

Tim says "Starcraft may not have been the first game with three distinct sides. But the Protoss, Terrans and Zerg were imbued with such personality. Bring on the Zerg rush."

99 Sins of a Solar Empire

A remarkable game, not least for combining complex management more common to GalCiv with beautiful space combat reminiscent of Homeworld. Faux 3D space makes it accessible, while retaining a vast sense of scale.

Tom says "There's nothing quite like commanding a fleet so vast it blackens the skies. Or zooming in to watch your capital ships clash in a point-blank row of plasma fire until one buckles and bifurcates in a blast of light."

98 Sacrifice

Typical of an era when games based on mad ideas could get big budgets, Sacrifice is a weird blend of strategy, action, gore, management and highly original fantasy.

Butcher foes in the name of your god for magical powers that were - at the time - eye-meltingly fantastic.

Jim says "There's a kind of elegant weirdness to this game. In some ways it was quite a standard RTS, but someone remixed it with Salvador Dali."

97 Armageddon Empires

Hexagon map? Units played via cards, of the collectible/trading variety? So much for 21st century technology. This sci-fi outing may look painfully old-school, but the sheer depth means addictive strategy of the very highest order.

Alec says: "This isn't some token, ooh-look-how-hardcore-we-are list-filler. AE's unique-every-time armies and wildly random conflicts offer thrillingly personal experiences where almost every other strategy game of last year stuck to their anonymous guns."

96 Sensible World of Soccer

A classic in the truest sense, SWOS has both inspired and been ignored by every football game since. Few have even attempted its sense of humour and lightness of touch, but all have attempted to emulate its joyous ball physics and accessibility. A paragon of design, specifically in its controls.

Graham says "One of my fondest childhood memories is of inviting a bunch of friends around for SWOS, then one by one crushing them at a game I was really good at. It's the perfect Sunday afternoon humiliation."

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