THE BEST CARD GAMES ON PC 2022?, It is not a question we would have been asking a few years ago, when some basic ports of paper-based systems and some minigames in larger titles were all we had access to.
Now, there are heaps of games like Hearthstone vying to be among the best card games on PC – it is one of the quickest growing genres in the industry. The best card games offer players a rich and constantly shifting meta, potentially limitless replayability, and are approachable to boot – so it is not hard to see why card games have taken off in recent years.
What that means is somebody (us) needs to lay down the objective truth (subjective opinion) on which are THE BEST CARD GAMES ON PC 2022 (the ones we enjoy the most). We will cover everything from the biggest player in the genre today (you will never guess which that is), the best ports from paper, the up-and-comers you might not have heard of, and some of the best free card games out there.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST FREE CARD GAMES YOU CAN PLAY ON PC
MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA
Magic: The Gathering Arena is one of the best digital versions of Magic to date, and Magic is arguably the best paper card game around. Arena offers many of the gameplay possibilities and formats of classic Magic, one of the most popular trading card games, but with the sensory cues and lavish animations many newly converted CCG players have come to expect thanks to games like Hearthstone.
Magic: The Gathering Arena will appeal to veteran Magic players looking for a more comfortable and convenient space to ply their trade, but also CCG players who are after more challenge and complexity than digital card games like Hearthstone, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, and Gwent can offer. Check out our guide on how to play MTG Arena if you’re interested in giving it a go.
LEGENDS OF RUNETERRA
League of Legends fans rejoice, Riot Games has a frontrunner to be one of the best card games about. We’ve created a guide on how to play Legends of Runeterra if you want to get your head around the game.
Although Legends of Runeterra is similar to other card games in a lot of ways, including dividing the cards into regions and having playable champions – the Legends of Runeterra card abilities, effects, and keywords all offer something unique to the game. To get you started, check out the best Legends of Runeterra decks, as well as a complete ranking of all the champions with our Legends of Runeterra tier list.
Inscryption is a roguelike deck builder and psychological horror game, built on a twisted and sinister narrative told through talking cards and mysterious challengers sat on the other side of the table. Starting out in a remote cabin, you slowly build up a deck of woodland creatures and learn the rules of the game – you can sacrifice your weaker cards for blood, and use the blood to place other, more powerful cards against your opponent.
Inscryption doesn’t get bogged down in rules, either, and the story sweeps you along in waves of short matches. Working your way through different acts, you desperately try to piece together Inscryption’s fragmented and chilling narrative – placing cards, scouring video archives, pulling out teeth, and running through a labyrinth of crazed computers – is all a part of Inscyption’s relentless menace, which makes it one of the best indie games on PC.
SLAY THE SPIRE
This gruelling deck building roguelike game has you scrambling up its titular spire – battling hordes of enemies as you go. Should you perish, you’ll find that the tower is a different place when you return, packed with different foes and obstacles. Whether or not that’ll work to your advantage, however, is another thing entirely. One thing it does allow you to do is experiment with different cards and chance upon various relics to give your deck a jolt.
In our Slay the Spire review, Ali mentions that “Slay the Spire’s simple gameplay masks a devilishly complicated game. Synergies and counters are woven so finely together that it’s often difficult to tell which is which. A single card can appear to break a deck apart, only for a relic to stick it haphazardly back together. A triumphant run can come to a dramatic halt as an uncaring boss casually sends you tumbling to the bottom of the tower.”
Monster Train is a deck building roguelike in the same vein as Slay The Spire. There are five demon clans to choose from, each with their own theme and playstyle; you choose two of these to form your deck with, one primary clan and one secondary clan. Hell has frozen over, and your job is to transport the last burning Pyre to the depths of hell, fighting heaven’s soldiers on your way. Your train has three floors, and the precious Pyre is at the top – you must defend it from attacking angels who move up a floor each round until you take them out, adding a tower defence element to each battle.
Between encounters, you can decide which way to steer your train, allowing you to take the path with the best bonuses for your strategy. You can also upgrade and duplicate your cards in search of a killer combo. There’s even a fast paced, real time competitive multiplayer if you’re up to the challenge.