PC gaming is arguably getting more difficult these days.
With graphics cards reaching exorbitant prices and games demanding more and more exacting prices from users’ hardware, it’s getting tougher to reach the kind of visual and performance heights for which PC gaming used to be known and celebrated.
That said, thanks to mods, a strong user community, and modular and flexible systems when it comes to customising your experience, many still think that PC gaming easily trumps consoles, especially when both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S have struggled to achieve their 60fps target in many modern games.
With that in mind, here are the best PC games to check out in October 2023 if you’ve got yourself a monster rig and you feel like testing it out.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage (October 5th)
Basim’s journey through 9th-century Baghdad might ruffle some feathers thanks to its Epic Games Store exclusivity, but this is shaping up to be the best and most approachable Assassin’s Creed has been in years.
If, like many, you’ve been put off by the series’ increasingly bloated, power creep-riddled RPG approach in recent times, then Assassin’s Creed Mirage promises to be a breath of fresh air.
It places the emphasis firmly back on stealth and open-ended exploration, all while telling a story that harks back to the glory days of the franchise and its erstwhile focus on history.
Forza Motorsport (October 10th)
Racing games are, traditionally speaking, a great way to test new graphics hardware, because they often emphasise extreme visual fidelity in order to appeal to their core demographic of car fanatics.
Forza Motorsport doesn’t look like it’ll be bucking that trend; the screenshots and trailers we’ve seen so far make Microsoft’s upcoming racer look utterly gorgeous, and its endless tinkering options mean it’ll keep you busy for a long time too.
If you’re a PC Game Pass subscriber, you’ll be happy to know that Forza Motorsport will be included on the service from the day of its launch as well. Result, as the kids say.
Lords of the Fallen (October 13th)
This reboot of the 2014 hack-and-slash RPG began life as The Lords of the Fallen before losing its definite article in early 2023. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to have lost any of its ambition as a result of the title change.
2014’s Lords of the Fallen was, without wishing to mince words, awful, and so it makes sense that CI Games and developer Hexworks would want to go back to the drawing board.
Indeed, very little of the original appears to remain; what we have here is a strongly Dark Souls-inspired adventure with plenty of grotesque monster designs and foreboding locations to explore.
Sonic Superstars (October 17th)
Sonic Superstars will take Sonic and friends to the mythical Northstar Islands, where they will attempt to stop Dr. Eggman from transforming the islands’ residents into his signature Badnik creatures.
Design-wise, Sonic Superstars harks back to the classic Sonic titles, and its gameplay is strongly inspired by those iconic games as well; it’s a sidescroller rather than a 3D open-world game, so this is very much Sonic Team returning to its roots.
It’s not all retro throwback nostalgia, though; Sonic and his friends all have different abilities, so there’s a focus on multiplayer gameplay in order to exploit all of the characters’ potential to its fullest.
Cavern of Dreams (October 19th)
Do you love surreal, weird N64 platformers like Glover and Rocket: Robot on Wheels? If so, then Cavern of Dreams should already be on your Steam wishlist, as it’s promising an experience very much akin to those forgotten gems.
Cavern of Dreams boasts four worlds, each with a ton of secrets to discover. As you play, you’ll acquire new abilities, too, allowing you to explore more of each world and uncover their mysteries.
This isn’t one for those who aren’t into their retro platformers, but if you wish Yooka-Laylee had been just a little more faithful to its source material, you’ll likely want to give this one a look.
Cities: Skylines 2 (October 24th)
Although Cities: Skylines 2 is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well, as far as we’re concerned, city-builders have their natural home on PC, and so PC gamers will likely have the best Cities: Skylines 2 experience.
This sequel builds on (no pun intended) everything that Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive achieved with the original Cities: Skylines, deepening the simulation aspects without being off-putting to new players.
Don’t worry if you didn’t play the original game; “complex, not complicated” appears to be the mission statement the developers are going for with this delightful-looking sim.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria (October 24th)
Do you love Valheim? How about Deep Rock Galactic? Wish you could play something akin to those games, but with a distinctly Tolkien flavour? Well, your day has come thanks to The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria.
This mining-crafting game takes you (and potentially some friends if you feel like indulging in multiplayer) to the land of Moria, the dwarves’ ancestral home, as they attempt to reclaim it after the world-shattering events of the Third Age.
You’ll mine for resources, drive out the evil inhabitants of Moria, and build a base for yourself, all while crafting the kind of dwarven weapons, armor, and relics that would make your ancestors both proud and jealous of you.