The history of PC gaming is long and interesting, but the story doesn’t flow in just one direction and it’s nearly impossible to tell it in one go. We’ve seen some big ups and downs; like back in 2008 most industry experts were confident that PC gaming came to an end and that was it for the platform. PC gaming proved to be resilient, and one could say the same for Turkish PC game studios.
In this article, we will be counting down our picks for the most unforgettable PC games that have strong ties to Turkey. For this list, we’re including both PC games developed by Turkish developers and PC games that are developed in Turkey. To be clear, while Crytek is based in Germany, the founders of the company —the Yerli brothers— are all Turkish citizens, hence the company is included in our list.
One more little note; multiple releases from the same series are counted as one entry. If there is a Turkish PC game that fits our list that we forgot, don’t be shy to reach out to us.
Mount and Blade
The first game that comes to mind is of course TaleWorlds’ Mount and Blade. The series has been around since 2008 and had multiple entries over the years, the most recent being Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
In each Mount and Blade entry, your end goal is the same: start as a lone warrior in a land where kingdoms are at war with one another, grow your own band and then turn your band into an army and become the ruler of the lands.
Per Steamspy’s data, each Mount and Blade entry managed to reach seven figures in sales in regards to units sold. Bannerlord was the biggest Steam release back in 2020 despite being an early access title, having sold between 2 to 5 million copies in about a week, according to data we obtained from SteamDB.
Bannerlord may be the latest entry to the series, but the sibling Mount and Blade: Warband (2010) is still quite popular, averaging about 7k concurrent players on Steam. With everything coming up Milhouse for Armagan Yavuz’s TaleWorlds, the company is expanding its footprint in Ankara with a big new office complex.
Yes, we know. Crytek, the developer behind the critically acclaimed Crysis series is actually based in Germany and they’re a multi-national team, but hey we warned you in advance that our list includes Turkish devs as well, and we can’t ignore the contributions of Cevat Yerli, Avni Yerli, and Faruk Yerli nor their impact on the Turkish video games industry.
Crysis or more commonly known as “Can it run Crysis?” dates back to 2007, a first-person shooter that revolved around a group of soldiers with highly advanced nano suits fighting against mercenaries, North Koreans, and technologically advanced aliens. Crysis was fun and new, but what made it outstanding was its unmatched physics and graphics engine for its time.
The main entry had seen an expansion named Crysis Warhead, followed by Crysis 2 in 2011 and Crysis 3 in 2013. Crytek’s been keeping busy with other titles and services since then, but 2020 and 2021 have seen Crytek remasters, and earlier this year, the company announced the return of the prodigal son with Crysis 4.
Crytek founders also help the Turkish industry grow with their investments. A recent one came from Avni Yerli to Hyperlabs, a mobile games studio founded by ex-Crytek employees.
Istanbul-based Hero Concept’s Mayhem Brawler is a love letter to the ’90s beat ’em up games. Mayhem Brawler’s comic book art style and “kick-ass soundtracks” truly help build an interesting world, where super cops take on waves of dangerous criminals and their bosses.
The narrative is a key element in Mayhem Brawler, and the story can end in three different ways, all depending on the choices you make at the end of each level. The gameplay is solid and well polished, and you actually feel the impacts of every punch and kick, both you deliver and tank.
The game has won four prizes at Turkey’s Kristal Piksel Video Game Awards 2021, including the game of the year award. The other awards are Best Visual Design, Console Game, and PC Game.
We’re not including the whole series this time, just the initial entry. The very first game in the long-running Far Cry series was developed by Crytek, by a team led by the Yerli brothers. Crytek’s most outstanding work the Cryengine was originally developed for Far Cry.
The game itself was born out of a tech demo developed by the brothers. Dubbed X-Isle, it was initially used as benchmarking software for Nvidia cards in the early 2000s. Ubisoft showed interest in making X-Isle into an AAA game and came the first Far Cry game.
In Far Cry, players control an ex-special forces soldier named Jack Carver and you try to survive against everything a fictional South Pacific archipelago can throw at you, then some more. Yeah, some more because the enemies you face won’t stop with other mercenaries and soldiers, but Trigens (genetically modified beasts) also show up at some point in the story. It’s a fun experience and definitely deserves a full remake.
Remnants of Naezith
Developed by Tolga Ay and his team, Remnants of Naezith tells the story of Kayra, an adventurer with special abilities granted by a Naezith, a dragon who’s been dead for a while. It’s a platform/speedrunning game and the game’s rated “Highly Positive” with nearly 400 votes on Steam. Also, a fun fact: The voice speaking during the game’s intro is Honest Trailer’s Jon Bailey himself.
Remnants of Naezith’s grappling hook mechanics are heavily inspired by Spider-Man 2 and Worms Armageddon, and they work quite well, offering challenging but satisfying experiences to the player. However, the game aims at a very specific target audience, speedrunners, hence it may just not be your cup of tea. We still recommend you give it a try, or at least what the gameplay videos on YouTube to see if it’s something you’d be interested in.
Developed by Burak Tezateser’s Nowhere Studios, Monochroma is a cinematic puzzle game and arguably a unique experience. It’s a 2D game that’s set in a black and white world with a splash of red where it’s important The story is told through two little boys who’re brothers; the younger brother picks up an injury while flying a kite and it’s up to the elder to carry him back to home while solving beautifully crafted puzzles.
The game is heavily inspired by Limbo, but worry not, it’s not a clone. Monochroma finds its distinctive tone early on and has other defining characteristics that make it a similar and enjoyable adventure while being a unique one.
If you’ve been longing for a visual experience with creative puzzles, give Monochroma a try for sure.
Available on both PC and mobile devices, Zula is highly popular in Turkey and at one point pulled some incredible player numbers across multiple regions. The game is developed by MadByte Games and published by Lokum Games in Turkey.
The game involves two sides clashing with each other: The Zula team is made up of soldiers and intelligence officers, and the other team is dubbed Gladyo, an organization of mercenaries. Several game modes, maps, and operators are available to players.
Yet another highly successful Crytek entry making its way to our list. The game initially launched in early access on Steam back in February 2018 and in May 2019 for Xbox. Not too long after, in August 2019 it was fully released on PC and in September 2019 on Xbox.
The game was originally being developed by Crytek USA, but the studio shut down during the development process and Crytek Germany handled the rest. The game’s scope changed as well and it became a multiplayer competitive title in which players combat against others and AI-controlled monsters on a large game map.
Hunt: Showdown’s atmosphere, innovative gameplay loop, and replayability are often praised. The game offering a high-risk high-reward PvE and PvP system is also another key detail that makes it different from most other games.
Developed by Stormling Studios (used to be Zoetrope Interactive), Conarium is “inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s novella “At the Mountains of Madness”, but largely set after the original story.”
The game is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, macOS, and even Mac. It’s a cleverly built Lovecraftian puzzle and horror game with over 1,500 reviews on Steam alone with a score of “Mostly Positive”.
The game’s story is about four scientists challenging the ‘absolute’ limits of nature and as one can easily guess, things don’t exactly go as expected. Scientists, video games, and pushing the limits, you do the math. Play Conarium at night and alone, only if your heart can handle it.
Hunt Down the Freeman
Well, we said unforgettable experiences, and while this usually refers to positive experiences, Hunt Down the Freeman isn’t one of them, not by a long shot. The game takes place in the Half-Life universe, but of course, it’s just an unofficial installment and nothing more.
The players take control of Sergeant Mitch Shephard, brother of Adrian Shephard (of HL: Opposing Force) and he’s on a revenge mission. It’s a bit of a stretch to call Hunt Down the Freeman an actual video game, but we’ve seen equally worse products by some AAA studios in the recent past.
Royal Rudius Entertainment’s Hunt Down The Freeman received backlash due to a number of reasons, from stolen assets to using bots to bypass Steam’s greenlight system, and the list ever goes on. It’s included in the list solely because one way or another the game left a mark globally and became a “meme” at this point.
Ryse: Son of Rome
It’s only fair to wrap this list with another Crytek entry. By rights, TaleWorlds is the largest PC games studio we have in Turkey and they’re a productive bunch too, don’t get us wrong on that end. However, Crytek’s portfolio covers a wider area, and Ryse: Son of Rome is another standout.
Directed by Cevat Yerli, the story takes place in Ancient Rome, and players control a Roman General named Marius Titus. Having said that, Marius’ story begins with a flashback to when he was serving as a legionary.
The game generally received mixed reviews, but CryEngine’s graphics engine was again critically acclaimed. It showed the whole world that CryEngine is still one of the best game engines to make games on.