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Top 107 PC Games, #70-61

70. Satisfactory (Coffee Stain Studios, 2019)

A strangely addictive little beastie of a game, Satisfactory drops you in the shoes of an unnamed engineer for the FICSIT corporation and then drops you off on an uninhabited planet.  From there you gather ores and fuel, construct a simple factory, slowly venture through the tech tier system to eventually build a space elevator, at which point you're tasked with manufacturing increasingly elaborate parts and shipping them off, culminating in building large, complex webs of interconnected machines, generators, power lines and conveyor belts to manufacture whatever you need.  While still in early access at the time of this writing, I've nevertheless sunk quite a bit of time into this one and will probably do so again once the next big update comes out!

69. Cave Story (Pixel, 2004)

With the internet's explosion in popularity came an interest in indie games old and new, with sites like Newgrounds giving a lot of developers and fans a place to show off their talents and numerous abandonware sites archiving obscure and forgotten classics.  Cave Story is one that came to peoples' attention not long after its initial release in 2004, garnering a lot of attention for its high quality Metroid-like design, presentation reminiscent of 8 and 16-bit retro titles, having a surprisingly engrossing story and being created over the course of five years by a single developer.  Since then it's gotten tons of attention in the form of fan translations, ports to numerous platforms (official and otherwise), a slew of remakes, mods and source ports, and even a fan-created level editor.  

68. Serious Sam (Croteam, 2001)

In the late '90s tiny Croatian studio Croteam decided that shooters had gotten too brown, gritty and slow in recent years, and set out to rectify that with their debut game, Serious Sam.  Not only did it look fantastic for the time, with enormous environments that were bright, colorful and intricately detailed, but it never lost a beat despite its action being downright manic.  Even with the huge open areas, impressive visual effects and the fact that literally hundreds of enemies can be rushing you all at once, there's virtually no slowdown or framerate stutters.  There's tons of hidden secrets in every level a la Doom or Wolfenstein, and the gameplay is reminiscent of classic arcade shooters like Smash TV - smooth-controlling, fast paced and uncomplicated, but certainly not easy.  Learning enemy patterns, rationing pickups, using the right weapon in the right situation, prioritizing threats and of course circle-strafing constantly quickly become key to survival.  A game where you somehow feel totally overwhelmed and completely in control at the same time, Serious Sam is a rush.

67. X-COM: Apocalypse (Mythos Games, 1997)

The third game in the X-COM series (and the only sequel headed by series creator Julian Gollop), X-COM Apocalypse puts a new twist on the format.  Taking place entirely within a single city that emerged from the ruins of the past two alien wars, the player now has to contend not only with a new invading alien force, but with inter-city politics - building (or destroying) relationships with the numerous factions that run affairs in the city.  Befriending the oppressed minorities of alien hybrids and androids can earn you powerful new troops, for example, while getting on bad terms with the transportation company (or allowing them to be mind-controlled by the aliens) will make getting around to stop future threats extremely difficult.  The game also features adaptive enemy AI - if you're doing really well the aliens will get more aggressive, while they'll back off somewhat if you do poorly in multiple consecutive missions.  The game wasn't quite fully realized - plans for inter-company conflicts and espionage missions that the player could take part in to earn favor with one company while sabotaging another were ultimately never implemented, so the game feels very similar to the original in design with a few new gimmicks added.  Still, it's a solid tactical RPG with a focus on long-term strategy and a lot of intricacies to learn, so it carries the X-COM formula very well.

66. The Secret of Monkey Island (Lucasfilm Games, 1990)

The first game in the Monkey Island series and the one that introduced us to Guybrush Threepwood and the undead pirate king LeChuck, who would clash many more times over the years.  The game won a lot of fans for its masterful puzzle design combined seamlessly with its strong sense of humor (the brilliant blend of insults and sword-fighting being an oft-cited favorite for good reason) and for having a surprisingly solid story beneath it all, punctuated with expressive animation and high-quality character artwork.  It was such a beloved classic that it was completely remade in 2009, overhauling its visuals and interface and adding full voiceover.

65. Loom (LucasArts, 1990)

Another excellent point-and-click adventure from LucasArts, Loom takes the player on a trip through a wonderfully-realized dark fantasy world full of striking visuals, dense lore and an unforgettable cast of characters.  Some surprisingly unique mechanics, too, as you don't really follow the usual pick-up-an-item-and-use-it-elsewhere format seen in most games of this type.  Instead, you utilize Bobbin's distaff and play magical 'drafts' with a variety of effects; turning straw into gold, opening things, dyeing objects, and so forth, and often you can play them backwards to get the opposite effect (though some are palindromic and thus cannot be used this way).  Some inspired voiceover and detailed VGA visuals (for the later versions) completed the package and made it a delightful experience.

64. Worms: Armageddon (Team-17, 1999)

Just one game in the long-running Worms turn-based warfare strategy series, and the one widely regarded as the best in the franchise.  Unlike many of its sequels, it gives players the option to have teams larger than four worms (six or eight, depending on the number of players in the game), allows for custom team voices and terrain to be imported and has just the right blend of weapons, gadgets and options to make for lengthy, yet engaging online battles - from airstrikes to poisonous skunks to flamethrowers to Street Fighter style martial arts, you won't be wanting for ways to lay down the pain.  Not to mention that it's always more fun dropping a concrete donkey on a bigger group than a smaller one, of course.  A standout in the turn-based artillery combat genre.

63. Carmageddon (Stainless Games, 1997)

A game which blends all things late-90s together into one - charmingly blocky 3D engines (BRender, the same technology behind 3D Movie Maker), metal music, gratuitous violence and pure action.  Case in point, Carmageddon is a combination of an arcade racer, an open-world game and a demolition derby with three win conditions - go through all the checkpoints before time expires, demolish all of your opponents' cars, or kill every pedestrian on the map.  Impacts, checkpoints and dead pedestrians earn you extra time and points which can be used to unlock new vehicles and tracks, purchase upgrades or just repair damage to your car and get you back in the action mid-stage.  You'll also find a variety of hazards and various power-ups and power-downs like Jelly Suspension, Blind Pedestrians, Solid Granite Cars, Damage Multipliers and Free Repairs, all of which only add more chaos to the proceedings.  Gruesome, twisted and incredibly fun, Carmageddon is a blast.  Just steer clear of that godawful Nintendo 64 version and you're golden.

62. Horizon's Gate (Rad Codex, 2020)

A game that has been described by many as "Final Fantasy Tactics by way of Uncharted Waters", and upon playing it, I can certainly confirm that is indeed the case.  You build a character, take part in turn-based battles both on foot and by sea, unlock new classes as the game progresses, and can basically explore, trade or become a privateer at your leisure, taking part in ship battles or legitimate business to earn loot for later upgrades.  Inventory management and item manipulation is simple as can be too, using a keyboard-and-mouse interface that reminds me more than a bit of the classic Ultimas.  It's certainly not the deepest example of anything it attempts to be, but it is a lot of fun, and really, that's what I come to a game for anyway.  Sacrilege, I know.

61. Master of Magic (Simtex, 1994)

If you're familiar with Sid Meier's Civilization (and really, what serious PC gamer isn't), you've already got a good idea of how Master of Magic operates; just apply a fantasy theme to the formula and you've pretty much got it.  One builds up armies to conquer enemies, collect treasure for their war chest, found new cities near strategic resources, find portals that connect to the Myrror realm (full of resources not available on Arcanus), and researches new spells to give themselves an edge in all of the above endeavors.  One eventually wins the game by either conquering all opposing factions or building up enough resources and magical knowledge to cast the Spell of Mastery for an instant victory.  While quite buggy on its initial release, it maintained enough of a following to get several patches and even continued to get unofficial ones years after, and it got an officially licensed expansion in 2020 called "Caster of Magic" that greatly improves the AI and diplomacy systems, adds much new content and many more customization options.