While multiplayer games like Fortnite, Battlefield and Call of Duty often dominate the charts with engaging, fast-paced online gameplay, single-player games can still attract huge audiences – look no further than the release of God of War earlier this year to see what we mean.
Single-player games can offer a more crafted, scripted experience that can take you on an emotional journey like no other. Or, y’know, you can just shoot some bad guys and let off some steam. It’s your choice! Single-player games are also preferred if, like us, you want to jump straight into the game without having to join lobbies, wait for other players or listen to your team mate’s annoying music through their tinny microphone.
But with so many great single-player PC games on the market, how are you supposed to know which are worth your time? We’ve spent a lot (see: too much) of time playing single-player games, and here are some of the best that you’ll find on PC in 2018, listed in alphabetical order.
Best single-player PC games of 2018
If you’re in the mood for some intense, gory, over-the-top FPS action then look no further than Doom. It’s the perfect time to get into the Doom universe, especially as Doom Eternal is on its way in 2019, and the 2016 title doesn’t disappoint.
You play as an unnamed space marine fighting his way through the forces of Hell unleashed on the future-set planet Mars, and it’s as crazy as you imagine. Whether you’re running and gunning with your trusty shotgun or performing glory kills on crazy-looking devilish enemies, you’ll have a smile on your face and will revel in the chaos.
The original game essentially brought the FPS genre to the limelight in the 90s, and the reboot does it justice; gameplay is fast and tight, and the mechanics work flawlessly, allowing you to run in all guns blazing and create utter chaos on Mars.
Check out our full review of Doom for more information.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is the latest in the hugely popular series, and for the first time, it’s set in the US. You’ll explore Hope County and meet the colourful residents, and, of course, the Peggies. They’re essentially a doomsday cult, and though they hide behind the guise of religion, their activities range from drug cultivation to outright murder. It’s down to you and your gang of rag-tag allies to take them down, no matter the cost.
As an FPS game, the gameplay is tight, exciting and fast-paced, with Far Cry 5 being the most chaotic in the series so far. There have been occasions where we’ve picked a fight with one or two Peggies and, within seconds, there are cars full of cultists pulling up, planes with mounted machine guns appearing in the sky and even wildlife getting in on the action. You ever seen a bear attack a group of Cultists? Yeah, that never gets old.
Beyond the amazing gunplay, the open world of Hope County is stunning, varied and is full of secrets and things to do. There’s a bunch of DLC available too, helping to keep the game interesting way beyond the standard campaign.
See what we thought in our Far Cry 5 review.
Hitman: GOTY Edition
While we’re not generally a fan of episodic gameplay, Hitman: GOTY Edition provides the entire collection of locations, missions and targets to kill from the get-go. No need to wait weeks, or sometimes months, to play the next level like you would’ve if you played it at launch!
Anyway, Hitman: GOTY Edition is Hitman at its best. It’s much more tactical and in-depth than past Hitman games, with every step, lockpick and assassination requiring a level of foreplanning. With an interesting storyline and some truly stunning locations, the game will keep you engaged as you take out a variety of targets using creative (and sometimes outright violent) tactics. You can replay each location as many times as you’d like, with each pass offering increasingly tougher, more complex challenges.
If you just want to shut the real world out and garrotte some mobsters, Hitman: GOTY Edition is the game for you.
Jurassic World Evolution
Jurassic World Evolution is a park management sim based on the hugely popular franchise where you get the chance to develop your own collection of Jurassic theme parks. As well as designing walkways, powerline layouts, adding hotels and places to eat, you’ll be in charge of engineering new dinosaurs for visitors to enjoy.
You’ll send out research teams to find new fossils, and then it’s up to your team of scientists to create new dinosaurs. It’s not as simple as that though; over time you’ll unlock a range of DNA extras, allowing you to create hybrid dinosaurs that can be larger, more aggressive and more intelligent than the mammals that lived thousands of years ago. Hey, if the Jurassic Park franchise has taught us anything, it’s that nothing can go wrong when you create huge, intelligent dinosaurs.
Of course, in the incredibly unlikely event that something does go wrong and the dinosaurs do get loose, it’s down to you to immobilise your security team to take them down. You can even go into first-person mode and tranq them yourself! What more could you ask for from a Jurassic World game?
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a historically-accurate RPG set in Bohemia. You follow the story of the son of a blacksmith called Henry, and unlike in most games, you’re not a particularly important person. You see, KD:C is unlike any other RPG we’ve played; you have to learn to do almost everything from scratch, from making potions to sword fighting and archery – you even have to learn to read.
It’s a game that you’ll sink hours, if not days into because it’s so addictive. It’s not very fast-paced, but every decision you make has a consequence, and the consequences are much more game-changing and noticeable than other games we’ve played.
Even the decision to go home and sleep after accepting a quest to travel with someone will have consequences; the NPCs won’t wait for you, they’ll carry on as planned. Will your non-presence result in their untimely death? Possibly.
There's much more to the game though; find out more in our Kingdom Come: Deliverance review.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third and final instalment in the Origins trilogy, and as the name suggests, it's the darkest yet. Everything is darker, from the caves you explore to the ways that you take out Trinity soldiers, providing the most challenging - and rewarding - Tomb Raider experience to date.
As well as being able to rappel into dark caves and swim underwater for the first time, Lara can cover herself in mud and stealthily approach enemies, taking them out one-by-one. Psychological warfare plays a huge part in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, allowing you to scare your enemies into becoming distracted and vulnerable.
The Challenge Tombs are the deadliest yet, with everything from collapsible floors to flaming pits of death ready to stop you in your tracks. They're larger, more complex and generally better than those in previous games - what's not to like?
Take a look at our Shadow of the Tomb Raider review for more information.
Watch Dogs 2
While the first Watch Dogs title was a bit of a disappointment, Ubisoft wasn’t ready to give up on the open world hacker series. It was the right decision; Watch Dogs 2 came out at the end of 2016, and was praised as being one of the most vibrant, interactive and alive open world cities available at the time.
As well as hacking cars and terminals, like in the first game, you also have access to drones and RC cars, allowing you to get a good overview of any location you visit before you approach. It’s always best to scout your approach, especially as the protagonist is fairly non-violent! Many of the missions have been designed with multiple play-styles in mind, meaning you can approach situations in a variety of ways, from being smart and stealthy to going in all-guns (and tech) blazing.
If you’re a bit of a nerd and like the idea of hacking infrastructure, smartphones and just about anything else you can get your hands on, we think you’ll love Watch Dogs 2.
Find out more in our Watch Dogs 2 review.