Caroline is a technology enthusiast who loves writing about all kinds of technology. She regularly writes about gaming, gadgets and the latest technology news.
1. Dota 2
Does anyone still realize the name stands for "Defense of the Ancients"? More to the point, does that even matter anymore? This may have started out as the sequel to a Warcraft III mod, but it's long since shed its connection to its illustrious predecessor. As a standalone game, Dota 2 reigns supreme; even though it's now more than two years old, there's still little to touch it, with player numbers nudging one million at the busiest times. Refreshingly, it also boasts one of the friendliest communities around. If you're willing to show respect to experienced players, there's plenty of help to get you started.
2. The Crew
Everyone loves a good racing game. There's little better than slamming your virtual pedal to the equally virtual metal and burning away your rivals. Ubisoft's entry into the genre goes for the jugular with an adrenaline-fuelled experience that leaves you feeling as though you could drive around the world without a break. Crucial for a game like this, the car selection is exciting and varied with real differences between each model. The visuals are utterly beautiful with almost lifelike locations; while the combination of set missions and customizable content give The Crew a nicely balanced feel.
3. League of Legends
Wherever Dota 2 goes, League of Legends goes with it. There may be people who are equally devoted to both games, but you wouldn't know it; such is the ferocity with which each title's fans defend their chosen champion. It certainly beats Dota 2 in terms of player numbers, partly because it's been going strong since 2009. A stalwart of the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) world, League of Legends -- "League" to its lovers and "LOL" to its haters -- has a particularly notable prize tournament scene with the very best players taking home hundreds of dollars.
4. Guild Wars 2
Yes, it's another MMO, but don't get the idea that you've seen it all before because you haven't. This is a game where what you do and how you act in-game really make a difference to the outcomes. Your strategies will evolve; you'll find yourself having to discard carefully mapped-out game plans and formulate others on the fly, and there's a winning combination of intriguing storylines and good, old-fashioned fighting. You can team up with other adventurers to take on a dungeon or opt to follow your own personal story. GW2 has become a true phenomenon on mobile platforms and looks set to retain its allure for some time to come.
You didn't really think we'd forget this one, did you? It may have been around the block several times by now, but that's no matter. After all, blocks are what Minecraft is all about. The fanbase is enormous -- and enormously loyal -- while regular updates and enhancements keep things ticking over nicely. Microsoft's acquisition of the game a few months ago did lead to a certain amount of confusion and concern in Minecraft circles, but the ship seems to be steady now. There will always be a place for a game that's easy to learn yet brutally hard to master. This is that game.
But before you jump online to start gaming, make sure your information is protected. Many online gaming services have suffered data hacks, so storing your details online without a VPN (Virtual Private Network) could prove dangerous. This is especially important if you are using a public or unsecured Wi-Fi connection.
VPNs protect your personal details by using encryption, which scrambles the data that you are sending and receiving online. So if anyone tries to hack into your device while you are gaming, they will be prevented from doing so. Online gamers are often concerned about VPNs slowing down their connection speed when gaming, but scouting the best VPNs for online gaming will keep your data safe and your internet connection fast.