2K Games stands out as one of the largest video game publishers in the world, even if it goes about its business a bit more in a subtle way than some others. It owns some of the most outstanding video game studios, such as Firaxis Games and many more. It also creates some of the most popular sports games in the world.
The best 2K games of all time showcase the true strengths of this publisher, from its open-world juggernauts like Borderlands to its more focused story-driven experiences like BioShock. Fans of the most cinematic games should check out the best 2K games of all time, ranked below.
When the community ranks the best video games of all time, BioShock often finds itself near the top of the list, and for a good reason. It offers exceptional FPS gameplay with powers. But more than that, it provides a movie-worthy setting and storyline with the glorious underwater city of Rapture. It somehow holds up so well years after its release, too.
2. Civilization V
Strategy game fans have a hard time finding a better title out there than Civilization V. It somehow transcended its predecessor with minimal tweaks and improvements to create the finest city and society simulator game in existence. It helps, too, that its multiplayer works so well, competing with and against other players and their civilizations.
3. ESPN NFL 2K5
ESPN NFL 2K5 stands out as the most fantastic American football video game ever made. Everything from the unforgettable soundtrack to the varied arcade gameplay to its numerous masterful game modes makes it one of the best sports games of all time. This series needs to come back (hint, hint 2K Games!).
4. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
This gorgeous collection comes with two of the most impressive games in the series. Players get the best game in the franchise with Borderlands 2, plus all its excellent DLC and The Pre-Sequel, which offers a fascinating spin on the open-world FPS genre.
5. The Quarry
Renowned horror game developer Supermassive Games struck gold and returned to its roots with this interactive cinematic experience. Players control their own thrilling horror movie about camp counselors and a supernatural threat and decide how it all plays out.
6. WWE 2K23
This wrestling series seemed dead for a time but came back in 2022 with the brilliant 2K22 iteration. 2K23 took it one step further with enough improvements and additions for the best game in the series and one of the most impressive wrestling games of all time.
7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
This reimagining and remake of the original 1994 turn-based strategy game provides one of the tightest and most engaging games in the genre. Players navigate their troops across beautiful maps to fight an alien threat with heartbreaking stakes on the line.
8. Spec Ops: The Line
Few FPS titles ask the types of questions and bring up the lessons like this one. It takes place in the middle of a war zone and features a well-written plot centered around mental health, betrayal, and the effects of war. It feels like the interactive form of Apocalypse Now.
9. BioShock Infinite
Ken Levine and Irrational Games returned to this series for another ground-breaking experience. It bends the mind and features a memorable locale in the airborne city of Columbia. Its FPS gameplay feels smoother and faster than in the previous games.
10. Marvel’s Midnight Suns
This unique blend of strategy, cards, and Marvel come together to make a bizarre but underrated turn-based RPG. The sinister storyline lets players get to know famous superheroes like Wolverine and Spider-Man on a level found nowhere else.
11. Borderlands 3
This long-awaited third entry in the open-world FPS cel-shaded series took everything to a whole new level with its numerous planets and unbelievable amount of customization and weapons. Its coop still feels incredible, even if it loses some of the charm of its predecessor.
12. XCOM 2
This 2016 turn-based tactical game follows up on the beloved previous game with a heavier emphasis on the story. Its darker themes and resistance-focused plot give it more impact, though not all of the new gameplay features feel conducive to enjoyment.
13. Civilization IV
The fourth mainline game in this series stood as the best of the bunch for a long time until its sequel came around. It features exciting tactical gameplay as players try to create and manage their cities, religions, and political systems.
14. Mafia 2
This sequel in the trilogy of Grand Theft Auto open-world mobster clones feels like the strongest of the bunch. It features an emotional and riveting storyline about the inner workings of criminal gangs during the 1940s and 1950s, alongside solid third-person gameplay.
15. WWE 2K19
The final 2K wrestling game from beloved developer Yuke saw the culmination of everything before it. It featured engaging wrestling gameplay with tons of depth and challenge to it. It also included various game modes to enjoy and realistic character models.
16. The Bigs
This baseball game from Blue Castle Games took a wild and arcade-focused approach to the sport rather than a more realistic idea. This resulted in one of the finest and most underrated baseball video games of all time and the best to come from publisher 2K.
17. NBA 2K16
This entry in the basketball sim series reached the peak of the franchise as the 17th game. It features an unbelievable amount of depth in its core modes, a phenomenal soundtrack of licensed songs, and welcome modern visuals.
18. Sid Meier’s Pirates! (2005)
This 3D remake of the fascinating and unmatched pirate simulator sees players sail the open seas. The gameplay feels so varied and thrilling, from the ship battles to melee duels. Its near-endless options make it fun to play for hours on end.
19. Civilization: Beyond Earth
This strategy sim series took a massive leap into the future for a planetary game about creating a place to live in space. This leads to almost too deep and rich gameplay but fascinating options and ideas not seen in the core series.
20. BioShock 2
The sequel in this beloved series doesn’t come from the original minds behind the renowned masterpiece. Even still, fans should check out this game. It features similar gameplay, a rich story, and environments that feel close enough to the first game’s iteration of Rapture.
21. The Darkness
This bizarre FPS pseudo-horror title blends together elements of disturbing, supernatural imagery with an adventurous tale in the modern age. This plays out in the gameplay with players having access to several demonic powers with which they eliminate their enemies.
22. Prey (2006)
This monumental and cult classic FPS title created a unique set of fans when it released in 2006. The sci-fi adventure follows Cherokee Native American Tommy as he battles against a strange alien force. It features solid gameplay and a wacky story still worth checking out now.
Copywriter, experienced editor, website creator, PR associate, consultant
- Expertise: Gaming, Pokémon, movies, TV shows, PR, and creative writing
- Education: BS in Business Economics (specializing in Business Management), minor in Japanese from Tokyo International University
- Helped lead or create websites, such as GameRevolution, VGR, RPGInformer, MangaInsider, FandomPost, POKUniverse, and more.
- Helped launch various indie video games, tech startups, and consulted for YouTube Shorts
- Writer in the entertainment industry since starting in high school in 2011
Experience: Cody Perez started his career as a journalist and creative writer in the tech and gaming spaces in 2011 while in the middle of high school. Since then, he has produced thousands of high-quality, researched articles for some of the largest entertainment websites in the world, including IGN, Destructoid, Siliconera, Digital Trends, DotEsports, and many more. He also was the lead editor at GameRevolution, growing the site to reach its consistent, historical peak of 8 million MUV the entire time he worked there. Cody also helped launch various successful sites, such as VGR (2 million MUV in a year), POKUniverse, and RPGInformer.
Cody brings together his passion for tech and gaming to his work life, so he can enjoy his hobbies nearly 24/7. He has now taken his expertise and experience with subjects like gaming and Pokémon to Wealth of Geeks, where he is often found creating new lists and reviews, or editing older content to bring it up to the company standard.