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The Best Places to Buy and Rent PC Games Online in 2022

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Do you hate stepping into a GameStop to buy the latest video games, because there aren’t enough brick-and-mortar alternatives? Well, let us tell you about this hot new thing called the internet. Online connections are speedier than ever, which means you can download enormous titles in just a few minutes. It’s a wonderful time to start buying or renting games from the comfort of your own computer by visiting an online video game marketplace. Just as Whole Foods and 7-Eleven satisfy different food needs, not every video game store offers the same types of games. Our guide outlines everything you need to know to start shopping.


Best for Avid PC Gamers

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Loaded with titles and user-friendly features, Steam continues its reign as the best PC game store on desktop, laptop, or Steam Deck.


  • Huge game library
  • Useful Big Picture mode
  • Numerous game recommendation tools
  • Powers Steam Deck handheld PC
  • Remote play and remote downloads
  • Video streaming
  • Select film and software content
  • Integrated screenshot tool


  • Poor customer service
  • Lacks built-in video-capture tools
  • Busy interface

Best for Retro PC Gamers

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line: may not have the newest Call of Duty game in its catalog, but the video game distribution service does a great job of keeping classic computer games alive on modern PCs.


  • Lots of classic PC games configured to run on modern PCs
  • No DRM
  • Some games are bundled with terrific extras
  • 30-day refund window
  • GOG Galaxy connects with other game stores


  • Not many new games
  • Few online multiplayer titles
  • Must download the separate GOG Galaxy desktop client for chat features

Humble Bundle

Best for Value

4. 0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

Humble Bundle plays nice with other, bigger gaming marketplaces to offer great deals for even greater causes.


  • Publishes original games
  • Bundle deals for games and other entertainment
  • One purchase works across multiple platforms
  • Some proceeds go to charity
  • Sells console game codes
  • Gaming subscription service


  • No community features
  • Most purchases require a separate launcher

Best for Adventurous Indie Gamers

4.0 Excellent

Bottom Line:

If you’re tired of mainstream gaming blockbusters and want to explore the more artistic corners of what the medium offers, check out the marketplace.


  • Exciting library of obscure, artistic indie games
  • Lots of browsing options
  • Tools for game creators
  • Welcoming community
  • Useful desktop app


  • Library caters to a very narrow audience
  • Some purchases require a separate launcher


Best for Mail Rental

3. 5 Good

Bottom Line:

GameFly doesn’t perfectly execute its killer concept, but it is one of the few remaining reliable ways to rent video games.


  • Lets you rent video games through the mail.
  • Wide library of recent and classic console games.
  • Stream PC games.
  • Nifty mobile app.
  • 30-day free trial.


  • Limited availability.
  • Streaming limited to select devices.


Best for Microsoft Gamers

3.5 Good

Bottom Line:

Microsoft’s Xbox app brings the console’s best gaming experiences to your PC; no additional hardware required. Though this storefront’s library isn’t as robust as what you’ll find on console, it’s a solid way to play Xbox Game Studios titles and a few third-party games.


  • Lets you purchase select Xbox games on PC
  • Xbox Game Pass integration
  • Attractive, easy-to-navigate interface
  • Game Bar supports voice chat and messaging
  • Game DVR lets you capture video footage
  • No charge for multiplayer gaming
  • Cloud saves


  • Missing games that are in the console-based Xbox Store
  • No Xbox 360 games
  • Confusing overlap with other Microsoft gaming apps

Epic Games Store

Best for Fortnite Fans

3. 0 Average

Bottom Line:

Epic may have grand ambitions for its Steam rival, but currently the Epic Games Store is a basic PC gaming marketplace.


  • Exclusive games
  • Free game giveaways
  • No DRM
  • Resources for Unreal Engine developers


  • Missing major titles
  • Basic feature set
  • Little sense of community

Green Man Gaming

Best for Recycled Keys

3.0 Average

Bottom Line:

Green Man Gaming won’t likely be your primary place to buy PC games digitally, but it is worth browsing, especially if you’re looking for a deal.


  • Sells the newest releases.
  • Frequent, flexible discounts.
  • Playfire community features.


  • Sparse browsing tools.
  • Library doesn’t stand out compared with competitors.
  • Controversy over source of redemption keys.

Buying Guide: The Best Places to Buy and Rent PC Games Online in 2022

What Is the Best Place to Buy or Rent PC Games?

This story looks at eight online game stores: Epic Games Store, GameFly, GOG, Green Man Gaming, Humble Bundle (owned by PCMag’s parent company, Ziff Davis), itch. io, Steam, and the Xbox PC app (now directly built into Windows 11).

These stores primarily offer computer games (Linux, macOS, and Windows) to digitally download. Occasionally, you’ll find books, movies, software, and other kinds of entertainment, but those are not the focus. That’s not to say you can’t download console or mobile games; Xbox’s PC app sells Microsoft Flight Simulator, while Humble Bundle just added Nintendo Switch codes to its catalog. 

Unfortunately, some third-party publishers force you to download games from their own online stores, such as Blizzard’s, EA’s Origin, Rockstar’s Games Launcher, and Ubisoft’s Uplay. However, many of those same publishers have recently relaxed those restrictions and spread their titles across multiple storefronts. Between Apple Arcade, GameClub, and Xbox Game Pass (available on console and PC), many platform holders also want video game subscription services to be the next way they sell titles on their devices. Even places you wouldn’t expect, such as Discord or Twitch, sell video games or include free games as part of a subscription.

As for GameFly and Green Man Gaming, those stores have removed major features since we last looked at them. Green Man Gaming’s gimmick is selling discounted keys to other game stores, a legitimate, but sometimes controversial practice that Direct2Drive and the much sketchier G2A also employ. Despite being one of the last bastions for game rentals, GameFly’s delivery was painfully slow even before a global pandemic decimated the post office. Green Man Gaming also shut down its Playfire social network, while GameFly shut down its game streaming service (an ambitious feature even Google failed to get right with Stadia, which is soon shutting down).

Why You Should Game on a PC

PC Game Library and Features

The biggest thing you should pay attention to when choosing an online game store is the library. Don’t waste your time browsing a store that doesn’t have the games you’re want. The stores we’ve covered have surprisingly diverse libraries.

Editors’ Choice Steam offers nearly every PC game under the sun, new or old, indie or AAA, awash with post-release content or still in the development stage. Steam is also the easiest way to buy and play games for your Steam Deck, with the Verified program letting you know which games run best on the high-powered handheld. Enterprising users can run other stores on Steam Deck, but the Linux device is built for Steam.

While they all have limitations, the Epic Games Store, Humble, Bundle, and Xbox also aim for mass appeal similar to Steam. Other stores target more niche markets. specializes in older, classic PC games, while highlights more independent, artistic work.

Other factors may also influence your shopping experience, such as digital-rights-management (DRM), customer service, refund policies, and development tools for aspiring game creators. Humble Bundle may not feature a library as robust as its competitors, but the store offers many enticing discounts for great charity causes.

Recommended by Our Editors

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Different sites also offer different search options. If you don’t know exactly what you want that’s okay. But on, say,, you can set up the storefront to only display «colorblind friendly Windows games under $10 that last a few hours and include virtual reality support.» Many stores even include social features, so you can interact with fellow gamers and creators, read user reviews, and participate in community events. All of these social and recommendation features make it easier to find your next purchase. Follow PCMag’s Steam Curator(Opens in a new window) page for recommendations. 

Rise Up, Shoppers

These stores would love it if you exclusively bought games on their service, but don’t forget you have choice as a consumer. There’s nothing stopping you from buying Death Stranding on Steam in one tab and Maneater on the Epic Games Store in another. Some stores even lean into this fact. The GOG Galaxy clients syncs your accounts from rival platforms for unified gaming hub. You can access right inside the Epic Games store (much to Apple’s lawyers’ horror). Even Valve’s own Steam Deck portable PC works with non-Steam marketplaces. So, do what’s best for you. Compare prices on CheapShark(Opens in a new window). Claim free games where you can find them. Be a smart shopper and brush up on the best online video game marketplaces before making your next purchase.

Looking for an audience to watch you play your new game? Check out the best ways to live stream your gaming sessions. Worried about your children spending too much time gaming when they should be studying? Here’s how to enable parental controls on every video game platform. And make video games of your own with the best consumer-friendly game development software.

Windows Games — Microsoft Store

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  • Card & board

  • Puzzle & trivia

  • Word

  • Educational

  • Shooter

  • Racing & flying

  • Role playing

  • Casino

  • Simulation

  • Family & kids

  • Platformer

  • Music

  • Fighting

  • Strategy

  • Sports

  • Action & adventure

  • Classics

  • Companion

  • Social

  • Multi-Player Online Battle Arena

  • Multi-Player Online Battle Arena

  • Other

  • Tools

  • Video

Digital educational game to help the teacher

Gamification is gradually penetrating schools — teachers are willing to introduce gaming applications into the educational process. But digital games are not yet so popular. In vain — they develop systemic thinking, improve reaction and attention, teach concentration.

This is the opinion of an expert on global education and parenting in the 21st century Jordan Shapiro.

Educational game application is a program with game mechanics for practicing a skill or reinforcing information.

For example, an application on a tablet that gives the player the name of the country and prompts him to indicate it on the map. So gamification helps the student to consolidate knowledge of geography with the help of virtual awards: points, cubes, titles.

What is a digital game? Players of the popular simulator SimCity, for example, create a city, develop industry, monitor the education and healthcare system, fight traffic jams and crime. The digital game gives an understanding of how the city works, what problems the administration solves.

Another example: Assassin’s Creed III, which broke records for pre-orders and sales, is based on historical events. Some users learned more about the American Revolutionary War from the game than from the history lessons.

  1. The digital game is created for entertainment, the educational game application disguises itself as an educational task.
  2. The game is the concentration on the process, the game application is on the result.
  3. The game application is based on external motivation: children play to get virtual bonuses. The video game is built on intrinsic motivation: children play not only for the rewards, but also for the game itself.
  • The game helps the child to see the task as part of the system.

Jordan Shapiro sure that a computer game makes a child build cause-and-effect relationships and think systematically.

  • A computer game is a simulation of real life conditions in an interactive and safe environment. She sets interdisciplinary tasks for the child. Such problems have to be solved in adulthood, which is not divided into academic subjects. The game teaches the child to connect disparate areas of knowledge.
  • Video games develop social skills, although it is commonly believed the other way around. Close communication and collective interaction of players imply 70% of video games. Outside of the digital game, gamers organize communities where they share their experience and give advice to newcomers. Users of computer games are not isolated subjects, but team players. According to Shapiro, a US Air Force adviser and professor at Thomas Edison University, video games teach children how to achieve synergies from group work.

Your students must be playing Minecraft. You probably noticed schoolchildren who were enthusiastically moving blocks on their phone screens throughout the break. Minecraft gives you unlimited creative freedom. Players are free to choose what they like.

Jordan Shapiro thinks this is a gift in terms of playful learning. The game develops:

  • creativity;
  • building design skills;
  • ability to manage resources;
  • mathematical skills;
  • social skills — the game requires active communication with other users.

Game Civilization offers the user to manage civilization throughout the existence of mankind. The player becomes the ruler of the country, who is responsible for prosperity or decline.

History appears before the child at a glance. Children are happy to get acquainted with the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, the beginning of printing, the invention of the steam engine. A find for a history teacher.

In 2000, Moscow schools wanted to include the game Civilization in the curriculum, but the bold idea failed. In 2016, the developer promised to adapt the game for high school history lessons. While CivilizationEDU is not ready.

A video game is not a substitute for traditional learning, but only a tool. The use of video games for educational purposes requires the participation of an adult. The task of the teacher is to explain to the children the benefits and help them reflect on the acquisition of skills. How to do it, Jordan Shapiro will tell October 1 at the master class , which will be held in Moscow as part of the EDCRUNCH 2019 conference. It is dedicated to technology and education.

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PC digital games bring in eight times more revenue than console games

3DNews Software Games News Digital games for PC bring in eight times…

The most interesting in the reviews

01/27/2016 [18:48],

Julia Pozdnyakova

In 2015, digital versions of PC games brought in $32 billion, eight times more than electronic console games ($4 billion). This information was published in its report by the analytical company SuperData Research.

League of Legends

The digital gaming market generated a total of $61 billion last year, up 8% from 2014. Mobile games turnover was $25.8 billion, up 10% from the previous year. Shareware MMO games ($17 billion) and games for social networks ($8 billion) became the largest segments of the computer «figure». In some segments, there was a decline: for example, social games lost 0.8% of revenue, and games with a subscription model — 4%.

The digital publisher’s leader was America’s Activision ($2.9 billion), which owns six of the year’s thirty highest-grossing digital games. The acquisition of King Digital Entertainment, the creator of Candy Crush Saga, helped in part to achieve such a high position of the company. It is followed by Finland’s Supercell ($1.64 billion) with two games and China’s Tencent ($1.62 billion) with only one game, League of Legends, in the Top 30. Electronic Arts digital games brought in $798 million, but none of her games were in the top ten.


League of Legends has generated more revenue than any other digital PC game ($1.62 billion). Its main competitor, Valve’s Dota 2, is in eighth place with $238 million. The top three also includes SmileGate’s CrossFire ($1.11 billion) and Neople’s Dungeon Fighter Online ($1 billion). World of Warcraft by Activision Blizzard came in fourth with $814 million, followed by World of Tanks by ($446 million). Sixth and seventh became Lineage NCsoft ($339million) and Maplestory Nexon ($253 million). Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V ($205M) was impressive, coming close to Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ($221M).

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

The top three most profitable console games were Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($355M), FIFA 15 ($332M) and Grand Theft Auto V ($322M). Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 4 ($108 million) ranked seventh, beating Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront ($106 million), which came in eighth. SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen notes that console gamers remain in the habit of buying games on disc. However, in this segment, the «digit» is growing the fastest: compared to 2014 in the past, electronic copies of console games brought in 34% more revenue. Most of all, Activision and Electronic Arts have succeeded in this area.

The analyst also pointed out that the industry underestimates the potential of the PC as a gaming platform, while the ten highest-grossing digital PC games in 2015 generated more revenue than the top ten mobile games.

Van Droijnen believes that the time has come in the industry when major publishers can no longer rely on the old strategy based on increasing the number of released games. Now, in order to develop, they need to strengthen their presence in other segments. As an example, the analyst cites Activision, which increased its digital revenue from $1.7 billion in 2014 to $2.9.billion in 2015 through the purchase of King Digital Entertainment. In addition, at the end of the year, the company acquired the esports league MLG and hired Hollywood producer Stacey Sher to work on films based on her games.

Top Grossing PC Digital Games of 2015 :

  1. League of Legends (Tencent/Riot Games): $1.628 billion;
  2. CrossFire (SmileGate): $1.110 billion
  3. Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople): $1.052 billion
  4. World of Warcraft (Activision Blizzard): $814 million
  5. World of Tanks ( $446 million
  6. Lineage 1 (NCsoft): $339M
  7. Maplestory (Nexon): $253M
  8. Dota 2 (Valve): $238M
  9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve): $221 million
  10. Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two Interactive): $205 million

Top Grossing Digital Console Games of 2015 :

  1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Activision): $355 million;
  2. FIFA 15 (EA): $332 million
  3. Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two Interactive): $322 million
  4. Destiny (Activision): $291 million
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Activision): $224 million
  6. FIFA 16 (EA): $212 million
  7. Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks): $108 million
  8. Star Wars Battlefront (EA): $106 million
  9. Madden NFL 16 (EA): $76 million
  10. Madden NFL 15 (EA): $73M

Top Grossing Mobile Games of 2015 :

  1. Clash of Clans (Supercell): $1.