ar in and year out, the PC remains home to the most diverse array of games available. Even as consoles still find their footing in the digital sales space, the PC sets the standard for finding interesting and amazing games with just a few clicks. It was a year of tall tales–both the kind that arise from intricate game mechanics, and the kind that storytellers weave when crafting intriguing characters and believable dialogue.
Several of our nominees for 2014′s PC Game of the Year do both. Dragon Age: Inquisition and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor both draw you into their narratives using traditional storytelling, but then allow you to create stories of your own through the decisions you make on and off the battlefield. Other nominees, however, are more focused. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, for instance, teases you with the supernatural, hiding within its incredible beauty moments of fear and sadness. Divinity: Original Sin, on the other hand, is an excellent example of how game mechanics can drive an entire adventure. Every step you take, every grave you rob, every slash you make may result in repercussions you should have expected had you not been in such a hurry. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, meanwhile, hides considerable depth beneath its user-friendly facade. The stories it inspires are the kind you tell around the water cooler, where you recount close card battles while marveling about the cards you’ve most recently earned.
The greatest story of all, of course, is that console wars come and console wars go, but it’s the stalwart PC that is most likely to fulfill your need for epic journeys you remember for years, even after memories of lesser games fade into the background.