45 thoughts on “What are some old PC titles that you think are a must-play?”

  1. Morrowind. While the graphics and battle mechanics are kind of dated, it’s far superior to Skyrim in just about everything else IMO.

  2. * Starcraft + Broadwar
    * Diablo 1
    * diablo 2
    * Warcraft 3 + FT
    * Red Alert 2
    * AoE 2
    * Call of Duty + Expansion

  3. Mafia (1), Max Payne (1&2), Severance:The Blade of Darkness, Vampire TM:B, The Longest Journey, Half-Life Saga, Portal (1&2), Unreal Tournament, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, Warcraft III and TFT, GTA VC/SA, F.E.A.R., Soldier of Fortune (at least the first one), Deus Ex (1), Kotor (1&2), Star Wars Dark Forces and the rest of the Jedi Knight Saga, Duke Nukem, Doom, Rise of the Triad, Hexen, Heretic, The Elder Scrolls III.


    For starters. Maybe Portal’s are too modern, the rest are all pre-2005 or so

  4. they would be difficult to play [in the sense that they’re obtuse and frustrating, in the modern era] but i’d heartily recommend parts of the sierra on-line gaming catalogue and parts of the lucasarts gaming catalogue.

    these are some of where games came from. in particular:

    sierra games:

    space quest 3: linear with clear goals. also has GREAT ega art and a wonderful midi soundtrack.

    king’s quest 3 and 6: 3 has an intriguing story [it doesn’t feel like a king’s quest at all], an interesting [though flawed] magic system and a GIANT, FREAKING DRAGON at the end. 6 is a design path i wish they’d gone down more: the first half of the game is SOMEWHAT open-world and you can almost do anything in any order until the last half becomes completely linear again. the story in six is creeeeepy, though. hard pass on that nonsense.

    police quest 2 [with a side-helping of one. but just for a little bit.] – they don’t make games like this at all anymore. this is a game about being a cop in the most SUPER LITERAL way imaginable. is there a rule in the manual about how to do things? you’d best follow it, or you’ll die. [make sure you check your car before you drive it, EVERY SINGLE TIME.]

    quest for glory 1 [and to a lesser extent, two as well. i’m playing through four, now and the jury is out about that one.] – one is GREAT. it’s open world enough to let you bumble your way through it any way you want. it’s very generic, but surprisingly open ended for the time [and the genre.] – two has a great deal of atmosphere, but an absolutely AWFUL timer. [you have sixteen in-game days for the first half of the game. it’s an rpg. you can imagine how that might go.]

    off the beaten path sierra games:

    conquests of camelot and longbow: these both take a real world person that’s had some sort of mythos built up around them, then builds a game about that, picking bits and pieces from different sources. camelot is about king arthur. i feel it’s the better game of the two, because it’s got better atmosphere and is more of a game than longbow is. longbow’s got an interesting narrative, and you can bork yourself in a LOT of bad/funny ways, but the most “gamey” it gets is days 5 and 6, where you do the most stuff. longbow’s about robin hood. pick your poison.

    lucasarts games:

    there’s a lot of whacky fun in the lucasarts archives, but i adore their dense, more slow, more somber games:

    like loom. loom is a game all about how music can be like magic. it’s a very simple little adventure that was designed to nudge you toward finishing it. it’s very beautiful, very gentle and has an interesting world with interesting people in it. it’s too bad it never got a sequel.

    the dig is an existential game about philosophical issues. though – playing through it the first time around, you’re likely to be more drawn to the graphics and the puzzles [if you’re into that sort of thing.] – walking away from it and thinking about the questions it asks, though, is absolutely why this game is great. i wish they made more dense games like this one, but the industry has had it’s soul plucked from it’s body and the weird, rotting corpse just wants to make games as a service, now. PLAY THIS TWICE. once as a youngster, and then again when you’re in your forties. it will mean SO much more that way.

    extrabonus: the dig has a great, gentle, dusk-y sort of colour pallete that’s beautiful to look at. lots of people like the music, too, but it’s too ambient for my tastes.

    grim fandango: this is a meditation on death and what death means, but it’s funny and is a great genre mashup of aztec culture with film noir sensibilities. it was made by tim schafer, back in the before times where i still liked him. MAKE TIM GREAT AGAIN!

    obligatory other mentions:

    if you want a SUPER dense [as in, it moves slowly, has a lot of conversations about the nature of things and is generally a meditative experience] game to try out from long ago, i’d also recommend [and heartily so] the longest journey. it’s a very thoughtful game.

    ultima 4: this is the oldest game i’m going to recommend. there’s no antagonist. it’s literally you trying to live up to a very particular belief system. it’s very old, now, and super clunky, but the idea of it is something i wish we’d see more designers dabble with.

    happy pc gaming 🙂

    [most of these games can be had from steam or gog, in case you’re curious.]

  5. Baldur’s Gate series. All the better, they have enhanced editions and are currently on sale on fanatical!

  6. Myst is an absolute must. To this day, I haven’t found a single game that got me hooked as deep as Myst did.

  7. Wing Commander, Descent, FreeSpace, TIE Fighter, Ultima, Baldur’s Gate, Wizardry, Neverwinter Nights, Divinity, Gothic, Betrayal at Krondor, Eye of the Beholder, Civilization, Masters Of Orion, Total Annihilation, Age of Empires, StarCraft, WarCraft, Stronghold, Heroes of Might and Magic, Quake, System Shock, Unreal, Dark Forces / Jedi Knight, F.E.A.R., Return to Castle Wolfenstein, DOOM, Blood, Duke Nukem, Painkiller, Tex Murphy, Gabriel Knight, Monkey Island, Zork, Myst, all the LucasArts games, a whole bunch of other adventure games not coming to mind… there’s countless beloved PC games out there. Picking a genre or a mood might help narrow it down.

  8. It is a real shame nobody has mentioned heroes of might and magic III yet. One of the greatest games of all time!

    Edit: i see someone mentioned heroes of might and magic in the middle of a big list.

  9. Jagged Alliance 2, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Hidden & Dangerous 1&2, Rainbow Six Rogue Spear, Masters of Magic, Diablo 1&2, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Ultima 7, Wing Commander 3&4, Full Throttle (remastered), Warcraft 2&3, Battlefield 1942, Fallout 1&2, Baldur’s Gate.

    It’s funny seeing people list games here from 2000-2010. Those are not “old” games to me.

  10. Dungeon Keeper 1-2

    From Bullfrog before EA moved them to Harry Potter games then shut them down.

    Its a really fun RTS/Management game where you are the evil dungeon keeper and you must defeat the goody goody heroes and other keepers aswell.

    The games take place underground where you build rooms to attract different monsters, mine gold to pay them, you feed them and train them and some even research spells or build traps for you to use.

    Levels task you with destroying enemy keepers or the goodies or defending against waves of heroes coming to destroy you.

    The first game came out in 1998 and the second in 2000.

    Here are links to the gog store pages as these games are currently on sale.

    Dungeon Keeper 1

    Dungeon Keeper 2

  11. Old for me is anthing from the 80s and 90s. When I think “10 Years ago” I always think about the 90s. 😡

    So HL, Quake2+3, UT, Fallout2, RCT, DOOM1+2, Diablo, StarCraft, SystemShock, Civ and the usual suspects.

  12. Deus ex/Half Life: tied for my favorite games all time.

    Day of the Tentacle: goofy Lucas Arts game that I really enjoyed (also: Grim Fandango).

    Lastly, not a must play (I doubt they’ve held up wel) but I kinda have a hankering for old Novalogic games, like Delta Force and F-22 Raptor. Had a blast with those.


    Original Rainbow Six! First realistic shooter I remember playing. It was the first game community I joined too, on the old Ref Storm Entertainment boards.

  13. Freelancer, it was never really finished but by God what
    was there was a fun as all hell ride. The multiplayer at the time was utterly phenomenal, dedicated community servers where your progress was saved and you could sign up with what ever faction the game had to offer.

    Really wanted a sequel sadly Microsoft canned it and has never re-released the game since so it’s a free download on abandonware these days.

  14. **Planescape: Torment**, it now has an enhanced edition with some nice tweaks, **Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines** with the fan patch, both **Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic** are amazing rpgs as well, and if you don’t mind turn-based combat, the old Fallout titles, **Fallout 1 and 2** have great stories. Or if you love adventure games, **The Longest Journey** is a must, plus a fan recently released a pack of upscaled graphics, which makes it run beautifully on modern systems

  15. This whole thread brings such a nostalgic feeling. I don’t play games as much as I did back in 1990-2010,but almost every name in this thread brings back great memories.

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