It’s easy to see why so many people rely on Steam as their primary source for gaming. With a staggering 781 million games available, Steam is the most popular site to download video games. But plenty of the best PC games around aren’t available on Steam. If that’s the only place you get your games, you’re missing out. Here are the 10 best PC games that aren’t on Steam.
Mass Effect 3
When Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 came out they launched on multiple consoles as well as on the PC. But then, EA purchased Mass Effect’s developer Bioware, and launched its own platform, Origin. If you want to play a PC version of Mass Effect 3, you have to purchase it there. This also means if you want all your Mass Effect games on the same PC platform, you have to get them all on Origin.
Ever since its creation in 2011 there has only been one way to purchase Minecraft on the PC. When it was owned by Mojang, you could buy Minecraft through their website. Since the game was bought by Microsoft, you can now only pick it up through their store. Minecraft: Story Mode is available on Steam as well as consoles like the Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the original and widely beloved world-building game itself remains a PC exclusive.
Any Blizzard game like World of Warcraft or Diablo would have fallen into the same category, but Overwatch is arguably one of the most popular and successful games of today. It can only be found on Blizzard’s Battle.net system, and you are required to create an account before you can download and register the game. By the looks of the games player count, it doesn’t seem like too many people mind the extra steps.
The Sims (series)
You don’t have to be a gaming expert to know about The Sims. Having sold a whopping 200 million copies around the world, it’s safe to call this one of EA’s earlier successes. Having come out originally in the year 2000, it predates online releases. Remember back when you had to go to a store to buy a game? That’s how The Sims started out. They’ve long since switched to their online service Origin, however, and that’s where they continue to roll out the hits.
Dragon Age (series)
Like Mass Effect, the earlier versions of Dragon Age were available on Steam. Unlike Mass Effect, Dragon Age II was pulled from Steam in 2011 when Bioware made the switch to Origin. Dragon Age: Origins is still available for purchase on Steam, but to play Dragon Age: Awakening, Dragon Age II, or the newer hit Dragon Age: Inquisition, you’ll have to get on Origin.
League of Legends
There are a lot of popular multiplayer games out there, and arena style fighting has become an international competitive sport. None are as popular or well-funded as League of Legends from Riot Games. It’s been making headlines since 2009 with no signs of slowing down, inspiring enough of a fan base to have live stadium showdowns in places like Los Angeles, Berlin, South Korea, Hong Kong and China. You won’t find this game on Steam either – it’s only available via the League of Legends website.
Another one of EA’s money makers, the Battlefield series is a commercial and critical success. It’s spawned millions of fans since its first game released in 2002, now featuring five primary titles along with numerous expansions and spinoffs. This game is another Origin exclusive, making Origin a decent competitor for Steam in the PC gaming market.
A lot of gamers may disagree with Fornite on this list, but that might be because they’ve only played the original release. That release is now known as the “Save the World” mode. Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode is what really launched this game. It’s become so popular some countries are considering banning the game entirely. Fornite has spawned dance crazes, lawsuits and somehow manages to combine world-building with a mystery series wrapped up in an MMO. It’s also completely free to download and play, eliminating the need for a selling platform like Steam entirely.
When it comes to modern first person shooters, Destiny 2 tops the list of critical successes. Released by Atlas in 2017, this sequel outshone its predecessor in nearly every category. Like many other successful PC games these days it blends genres, mixing MMO elements with RPG elements and first person shooter elements. This popular game is also not available on Steam and can only be purchased by way of its official website for the PC.
Final Fantasy XIV
This is another game whose addition may be controversial due in part to the horrible reviews it got when it first came out. Final Fantasy XIV was released largely unfinished and was incredibly buggy, but multiple patches and story expansions since have not only enhanced play but have enhanced the story as well. It retains the flavor players have come to expect from a standard Final Fantasy game, having seemingly learned its lesson from FFXI, its previous attempt at a multiplayer game. Final Fantasy XIV can be found at its official website.