What Are The Best Classic PC Games Today?

As many of you have probably noticed, we typically focus on console gaming here at racketboy.com.  This isn’t necessarily on purpose, it just happens to go along with the gaming habits of myself and a good chunk of the site’s community.

However, I know that there are many of you out there that love classic PC (or Mac) gaming just as much (if not more).  So here’s your chance to speak your mind…

First of all, I want to take a little vote to gauge how much interest there is in classic PC gaming among the audience here, so please cast your vote in regards to if you play classic PC games.

What Genre Guides Should We Work on Next (Choose 3)

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Next, I’d like to know your opinions on which classic PC titles still hold up the best today regardless of the rapid technology growth we have seen on PCs in the last couple of decades.  So please list your favorites in the comments section below and I’d love to hear the justifications for your choices as well.


91 Comments

Goon says:

Heroes of Might and Magic 3. That game destroyed our GPAs in college. All the early Doom games. They are a blast to play even today.

King says:

i would say most point and click still work really well
in addition anything that uses a mouse like strategy games,

doom in my opinion doesn’t hold well at all

Acetate says:

Duke Nukem 3D defines the word classic.

Heroes of Might and Magic II/III are big milestones too.

And apart from all the gems already mentioned above, I would also add Syndicate and M.A.X. (an excellent turn-based strategy game… the last?) to the list.

cowgod says:

it’s insane to me how large the doom and quake communities still are to this day. people are still making source ports for these fantastic games. doom with reflective surfaces, smoke effects, and the ability look up and down–awesome. these games are the ones i always come back to play again and again.

system shock 2 (essentially bioshock without the big daddies) is still amazing. i went from start to finish on this game again not that long ago with all the community upgrades (textures, models, etc.). an intense soundtrack and awesome voice acting on this game as well.

battlezone is tons of fun. the graphics here hold up well when you install the large asset update. it’s awesome to jump off a cliff on venus, snipe a pilot out of their battle tank, land in it and drive off.

the original tie fighter. nuff said.

going way back, i also like relentless and battle chess. someone really needs to make a new battle chess with updated graphics and animations…

Captain Max says:

One Must Fall 2097, The Neverhood, DOOM, and all of the LucasArts point and click titles have aged very well. OMF for its simple, yet wholesome fighting system, Neverhood and the point and clicks for their hilarity and artistic standpoint, and DOOM (and DOOM II) because it’s the only FPS that really gets the adrenaline pumping on the higher difficulty levels as you constantly and perilously scour the maps for health and ammo by the skin of your teeth. Good times.

Johnnie Rowe says:

Deus Ex should definitely appear on the top list, as well as Fallout 1&2. From time to time I also play Half Life and try to speedrun it.

Derek says:

You have to go with the Star Wars Simulation trilogy. Just the whole mechanics and story of Tie Fighter was incredible then and still is now. The Windows update of X-Wing was nice and is better than Alliance in the whole being part of a squadron instead of a mercenary.

Anonymous says:

Wasteland! My favorite RPG of all time. We wouldn’t have Fallout if not for Wasteland. 🙂

deathclaw says:

Well in your list, there shouldn’t be only games like 1998 and older.. there are supposed to be all those games that are really worth of playing/something like the best n64 games that still matter today/ so I would say lets do that list with all games. Well at least for the objectivity, there should be games like from 2004 and older..so there can be wolf 3d, diablo 2, as well as cnc generals..and I would say lets take only pc exclusive games or games, that are way better on pc, so it changes the experience, like counter-strike( definitely MUST be on the list) or command and conquer and so on

fastbilly1 says:

deathclaw, it will probably be split up many ways – year releases (the equivalent of the “best of” articles), genre, and possibly an overall (that wont start fights). I honestly do not think Racket imagined how big of a news post this was going to become, nor how much work it is going to be.

racketboy says:

Actually, I wanted to just throw it out there and see what the result was and take it from there.
Needless to say, I’ve been very impressed with the response!

The Apprentice says:

Red Baron, ZZT, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, Rollercoaster Tycoon.

By the way, the picture above inspired me to search on ebay for ibm keyboards. Thay have a trackpoint keyboard in black for PC (YES) but it’s $80 (NO).

Pixelbender says:

One Must Fall, Hocus Pocus, Original GTA, Epic PinballCommander Keen series, definitely Raptor: Call of the Shadows!!!! I think many of these are still relevant.

I love Hugo’s Haunted House and Chuck Yaeger Air Combat. Apogee and Epic games also ruled.

IMHO, as much as I LOVE Doom, it just doesn’t hold up. Neither does Wolfenstein although I think it does a little better than Doom.

When you create the article, define a timeline perhaps? I will say for me there were 2 distinct “retro” gaming times: the DOS era, and then the 3dfx Glide era (I LOVE LOVE LOVED all those Glide API games!)

LiveFireMZC says:

Scrolling quickly through the comments, I don’t think I saw this one:

Star Control 2

I didn’t play this back when it first came out, but I discovered how enjoyable it is through the the open-source remake “The Ur-Quan Masters.” I’d recommend playing this to enjoy its mix of space exploration, arcade-style space combat, and sense of humor.

Keeping with the space theme, I still enjoy the first two Wing Commander games and Wing Commander: Privateer as well. The space combat is still fun, even if all the ships look like pixelated clip art. But the cutscenes are a joy to watch due to their cartoonish appearance that holds up well despite the age of these games.

And one more:

Interstate ’76

A car combat game set in an alternate version of the 1970’s. Critically acclaimed for its excellent use of funk. Activision later spun-off the Vigilante 8 series from this concept.

Sam says:

The only games that really come to mind for me are Doom and Doom II. It’s great for those people who prefer more simplistic shooters to deep, story-driven ones like Half-Life.

Kobun says:

Descent series. I spent so many hours on them, especially the second one, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Haven’t played the 3rd yet though.

Mechwarrior series. I only played the second game, but wow. Still is the best mech simulation I’ve played to this day. I dream of a new mechwarrior game with current gfx technology. Man, that would be so awesome.

FREESPACE 2!!! Best space combat sim EVER. There is NOTHING that comes close to this game’s epicness. The single player campaign was SO intense from start to finish, always surprising you in EVERY mission. Not to mention the hugely colossal capital ships tearing each other to shreds with powerful beams… man, what a game. One of the greatest games ever made for sure.

Theres lots more I enjoyed so much in my PC back then, but can’t remember it all 🙂

kevinski says:

Septerra Core is an excellent console-style RPG that you can get on PC. It’s similar to Chrono Trigger, although admittedly not as good. Still, it’s an amazing game.

Wouter says:

Lemmings!

I only breezed through the postings but I don’t recall anyone listing this two part series of amazing 3/4 view action adventure gaming for PC.

Crusader: No Remorse
Crusader: No Regret

They’re simply amazing. The live actor recording mission briefings and cut scenes are wonderfully cheesy and nostalgic of the time period. They gameplay was also far ahead of it’s time, along with cool design and an amazing soundtrack. You must play this game.

The Chosen One says:

I pretty much agree with this fine community.

Here’s my top 5 more recent classics that are just as good today as they were then.

FALLOUT 2, DEUS EX, PLANESCAPE:TORMENT, DIABLO II & STARCRAFT

For something a bit more ancient STARFLIGHT is still a deep, satisfying and incredibly fun game even by todays standards.

StarFoxA says:

I don’t do much PC gaming, but I do have a few favorites:

Command & Conquer series (especially Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge)
Descent series
Age of Empires series
Humongous Entertainment’s games

Ryan says:

All of those Apogee games were brilliant, stuff like Terminal Velocity, Rise of the Triads, Wacky Wheels, Duke Nukem II…

And then there’s the “classic” FPS games – Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Exhumed, Hexen etc.

But the ultimate, and perhaps my most favourite game of all time, would have to be Little Big Adventure 2: Twinsen’s Odyssey. So much to do, so much to see, it’s like Zelda only not crap.

Nick says:

heres my picks

Rise Of The Triad- A lot of people overlooked this game when it came out, but it has tons of cool features that make it an out of the ordinary first person shooter. Rise of the triad has a lot of features still used in first person shooters today. ROTT was the first to have dual weilding, for example. plus the random level genearator makes it something fun to play again and again.

One must fall:2097-one of the best fighting games on the computer, you fight as giant robots. sweet. the areas where you fight all have different obstacles of their own which makes the game pretty interseting at times.

XCOM: UFO defense.
Duke nukem II
wacky wheels
Terminal Velocity

Tyrant 2-this was a top view shooter that was pretty crazy. awesome graphics, if you got certain passwords you could change your ship into a carrot…

Basicaly all of the ID games, doom, wolfenstein, etc

nick says:

I forgot to mention the Journeyman project series. These games were quite unique. You had to travel through time and do all kinds of weird puzzles, plus the second and third had live action. i still play them from time to time.

Robert says:

Sin
Deus ex
Wheel of time
Theif 1&2
Drakan
Die by the sword
Blood 1&2
Cyclones
System shock 1&2
Strife
Turok 1&2
Soldier of fortune
Quake 2
Duke nukem 3D
Shogo
Star wars dark forces 1&2
Shadow warrior
Age of empires 1&2
Warcraft 2
Outcast
Septerra core
Witchaven
Monkey island series
DooM
DooM2
Final DooM
Hexen
Heretic 1&2
Half life
Wolfenstein 3D

Damnit the list goes on forever… well atleast these are some i came to think of atm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get a nice roundup of new retro gaming content once or twice a month.