As the battle between Steam vs. Epic Games Store continues, we can expect both digital storefronts to try and win our hearts via exclusive perks, sales, and games.
For Epic, that means securing deals with an assortment of AAA and indie developers/publishers, including those working on many of this year’s best upcoming PC releases.
In this list, we’ll highlight the best Epic Games Store exclusives to play in 2023, including the best free-to-play games exclusive to EGS.
We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite auto battlers!
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The sequel to Torn Banner Studios’ satisfyingly bloody first-person sword fighting game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare joins the ranks of top-notch Epic exclusives.
Similar to the original, players participate in gruesome medieval battles complete with gut-wrenching screams and bloody beheadings.
Chivalry 2 ups the ante by adding new gameplay features such as horse-riding, more fluid animations, and immersive 64-player battles.
Combat has also been revamped to provide players with more choices and encourage creative playstyles using an array of medieval weapons.
Like its predecessor New ‘n’ Tasty, Soulstorm is a remake of an earlier entry in the Oddworld series; in it, you control a charismatic alien named Abe as he leads a rebellion against an oppressive alien race.
Soulstorm retains the 2.5D side-scrolling presentation and platforming sections the series is known for while introducing new looting and crafting systems that allow you to make customized weapons.
Additionally, the game features improvements to the movement controls of its predecessors, resulting in smoother gameplay on PC.
We recommend checking out Soulstorm if you enjoy puzzler-platformers and want to learn more about Oddworld’s weird and captivating sci-fi world.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
Genre: Action, Sports
Managing to secure Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 was a huge win for Epic considering most games in the franchise aren’t currently available on PC.
The collection brings remastered versions of two of the most popular skating games to the PC audience, complete with their original game modes and online/local multiplayer.
THPS 1+2 also features both games’ iconic soundtracks, Create-A-Park and Create-A-Skater customization options, and an assortment of over-the-top skate tricks to master.
If you never had a chance to experience the Tony Hawk games on console growing up or crave a fun and satisfying arcade sports game, definitely give these remakes a shot.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising
Immortals Fenyx Rising is an excellent get for EGS seeing as there aren’t many options for PC players looking for open-world games like Breath of the Wild.
In it, you play as a hero who gets called upon by the Greek gods to defeat Typhon, a mighty Titan that has taken over the world and unleashed an army of mythological monsters.
Gameplay primarily focuses on free-roaming exploration via horseback and a pair of magical wings that let you cross environments with ease.
If you enjoy games that give you a checklist of map activities, enemies, and collectible goodies to track down, then Immortals is good fun for a dozen hours or so.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Although it’s likely Watch Dogs: Legion will come to Steam at a later date, in the meantime, you can snag a copy from the EGS or directly from Ubisoft.
In it, you’re tasked with carrying out a rebellion against a corrupt private military group by recruiting NPCs with unique skills and infiltrating enemy headquarters.
Lawyers, medics, guards, construction workers, and even the elderly are among the characters you can play, with each archetype having exciting specializations that can help out in a pinch.
With the game’s open-world, Ubisoft set out to create a detailed recreation of modern-day London, complete with all of the puddles and wet surfaces you would expect to encounter in Big Ben’s home.
Assuming you don’t own a PS5, the only way to experience Young Horses’ quirky and hilarious adventure comedy game Bugsnax is via the EGS.
In it, you play as a journalist tasked with looking into the mysterious Snaktooth Island to sleuth out why its inhabitants have gone missing.
During your adventure, you’ll meet a diverse cast of characters who will show you the ropes for catching adorably delicious creatures called Bugsnax.
Clocking in at around 10-12 hours for the main story, Bugsnax can be beaten in just a few sessions and is worth checking out solely for the big plot twist reveal at the end.
Genre: City Builder
Airborne Kingdom is a visually striking city-building game that has you constructing sprawling communities suspended in air.
Similar to other city-builders, gameplay mostly revolves around building housing for NPCs and providing them with the necessary resources to live their lives.
However, in an interesting twist, the game tacks on the ability to transport your floating city to different parts of the world in search of new resources and secrets.
The game’s tranquil presentation and relaxing soundtrack make it perfect for mellowing out after a long day and a host of customization options allow you to create towns that feel completely yours.
From the same team that brought us Abzu, The Pathless is an RPG with similar themes about the connection between humans and animals.
You play as a hunter who must find a way to lift the curse put on her home island by combining her archery skills and incredible speed to shoot talismans scattered across the world.
The Hunter is joined by an eagle companion with the ability to carry her while flying and assist with solving various environmental puzzles.
While the game’s combat is best experienced on PS5 using the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, you aren’t missing out on too much by playing on PC.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning easily the most popular and most played game in Epic’s catalog.
Fortnite’s take on the battle royale formula is well known by now: players explore a shrinking map where they’ll have to loot, shoot, and build their way to victory.
The addition of Daily Challenges and a continually shifting map has resulted in the game’s reputation as one of the most replayable free-to-play titles on PC.
That’s without even mentioning Fortnite’s crossplay support and an abundance of special crossover events throughout its many seasons.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Available on PC via the EGS, Magic: The Gather Arena is a strategic card-battler based on the popular tabletop fantasy game.
It does a great job of adapting the Magic formula for the digital medium by supporting viable playstyles, strategies, and techniques from the original.
In-game actions are accented by flashy animations and sound effects that elevate Magic beyond its tabletop roots and put it right up there with popular video game card-battlers like Hearthstone.
The best part is Epic users can download and play Magic: The Gathering Arena for free with 15 unique decks included and daily rewards to expand their collection.
The Division 2
Genre: Action-RPG, Shooter
The Division 2 is Ubisoft’s flagship third-person ‘looter shooter’ and includes a large number of refinements and improvements based on player feedback regarding the first game.
It takes place in Washington, D.C., seven months after The Division, and places you in the middle of a civil war between survivors and deadly enemy factions.
Players can team up in four-player squads and take on missions or engage in PvP combat in the game’s multiple ‘Dark Zones.’
Like Watch Dogs: Legion, The Division 2 is exclusive to Epic and Ubisoft’s digital stores on PC, as well as included with any subscription to Ubisoft Plus.
Genre: Strategy, RPG
Part turn-based strategy part real-time tactical RPG, Phantom Brigade is an Epic exclusive title that follows the last remaining squad of mech pilots as they explore a war-torn world.
The game focuses heavily on in-depth mech customization and emergent stories across a variety of mission types that put you face-to-face with the enemy.
This includes capturing equipment before your opponent does, planning and executing ambushes, or simply trying to survive while outgunned and outnumbered.
Phantom Brigade will remain an Epic Store exclusive throughout its Early Access phase, with a “TBD” release date currently listed on Steam.
Genre: Sports, Racing
Rocket League has gone through a lot of changes in the last few years, including going free-to-play, adding crossplay support, and becoming an EGS exclusive following Epic’s acquisition of Psyonix.
Additionally, it’s become a stable for competitive eSports, resulting in one of the largest online sports communities to date.
Best described as a cross between vehicular combat and soccer, it sees two teams competing to score the most goals before the clock runs out.
It’s a simple yet effective formula that provides hours of enjoyment for no cost aside from custom vehicle skins which are totally optional.
One of Epic’s best exclusive titles is Dauntless, a free-to-play action RPG with Monster Hunter-style gameplay and crossplay support between PC and console.
Similar to Capcom’s cult monster-slaying sim, Dauntless tasks you hunting down an assortment of powerful creatures called Behemoths in fast-paced battles across exotic biomes.
Tracking and hunting down each Behemoth presents a unique challenge determined by the monster’s distinct attack patterns and behaviors.
Each successful hunt sees you rewarded with various crafting materials that can be combined to make new weapons and armor as well as upgrade existing gear.
Genre: Stealth, Sandbox
Hitman 3 is the final entry in IO Interactive’s World of Assassination trilogy and smooths out its predecessor’s rougher edges for more stealth sandbox hijinks.
The story builds off of the events of the two previous games, following Agent 47 and his team as they wipe out the leaders of a secret world-controlling organization called Providence.
New features such as permanent shortcuts and VR support help streamline and broaden the gameplay opportunities at players’ disposal.
Like many of the games highlighted in this list, Hitman 3 is a timed Epic exclusive and will eventually make its way to Steam.
Genre: City Builder
Anno 1800 was previously available for preorder on Steam and EGS before release but has since become an Epic exclusive following a deal between the company and the game’s publisher, Ubisoft.
It takes place during the 19th Century Industrial Revolution and focuses on two parallel civilizations: the Old World, where citizens and workers drive production, and the New World, where goods and trade routes take center stage.
The game does a fantastic job of representing the boom of industry during this time period, depicting farmers moving from the countryside to work in bustling cities as factory workers and merchants.
It’s not only an engaging RTS game with innovative gameplay but also happens to be one of the most visually impressive games in its genre, complete with historically accurate architecture.