More than anything else, video games are proving to be the pinnacle of killing time during this extended COVID-19 quarantine. Steam, the single most popular outlet for PC gaming, is reporting outstanding player usage, and demand for Nintendo Switch consoles is through the roof. As a quick service to the players who are scouring for something new, after already spending tens of hours on the usual favorites like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I have compiled a list of the three best PC games to immerse yourself in during quarantine that you may have missed when they first launched.
In third place arrives the staunch yet endearing L.A. Noire, published by Rockstar Games and released in 2011. It is surely rated M for a reason, featuring numerous scenes of gruesome smears of blood across the bodies that you investigate through its lengthy thirty-hour campaign. Indeed, the experience is nearly equivalent to that of an extended TV show binge, complete with some of the best facial animations the industry has seen. While the experience loses practically all of its playability after the credits roll, the journey up to that point will enthrall players, not so much with the lackluster action sequences as with the narrative and interrogation scenes. Available in its complete edition which includes an additional five cases for players to sink their teeth into, L.A. Noire is available via Steam at $29.99.
Second on this list is the sequel to the 2014 award-winning action RPG Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor which was initially received with lukewarm impressions by players. However, after a complete overhaul in its micro-transactions and grueling endgame mode, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is now the definitive gaming experience set in Tolkien’s legendary fantasy world. While the narrative loosely matches the lore of the Peter Jackson trilogy, it is ultimately the gameplay and MMORPG-like progression that will stick players to spending hours in the game, almost the complete opposite to L.A. Noire. The revolutionary “Nemesis System” makes a return from Shadow of Mordor, now expanded to allow players to develop more meaningful relations with their Orc soldiers that they lead into fiery sieges of enemy fortresses and regions. Through Steam, players can nab Shadow of War with all of its DLC expansion packs at $59.99.
Ranked in first place for this list is yet another release from publisher Warner Bros. Interactive in one of their most prized studios, renowned for their work with the Mortal Kombat franchise. Yes, Netherrealm is surely hard at work on their latest installment to this franchise whose second title is ranked first place for this list. Injustice 2 is a sprawling fighter with replay value that extends past nearly any fighter I have seen in the past few years. The story mode unravels the complex themes of morality that the developers were surely eager to present, but Netherrealm also has the “Multiverse” mode to count on. An endless assortment of varied fights with special gear and lootbox rewards, the mode is the best way to spend your time in quarantine, leveling up the twenty-eight characters and earning them unique cosmetic items. Injustice 2 is available on Steam in its “Legendary Edition,” featuring all nine DLC characters, at $59.99.
These are just a few of the games available on PC that should be able to carry you through this extended quarantine period. There are still numerous more to enjoy, but there is only so many hours per day. Keep safe, and may God keep you in good health!