PC gaming has been popular for 40 years, with many of the earliest video games being on home computers. Over the years we’ve seen many iconic games and franchises come from PC gaming, with many changing the landscape of gaming. Here are the top 10 best classic PC video games.
10. Star Wars: X-Wing
Star Wars: X-Wing became one of the definitive PC combat flight simulation games in the 90s, with four entries in the series being released between 1993 and 1999. Players are able to pilot the iconic X-Wing and other crafts seen in the original trilogy, with the game proceeding and paralleling A New Hope. Over the years we have seen many Star Wars games focus on flight combat, such as the Rogue Squadron series, as well as it being part of the Battlefront series, with both taking lots of inspiration from the X-Wing series.
9. The Sims
The Sims has become a cultural phenomenon since it was released in 2000. Following on from the success of SimCity, Maxis made the experience more personal by having players create and build their dream home and family rather than an entire city. The latest entry in the series, The Sims 4, was released in 2014 and fans are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the next entry in the series.
8. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Morrowind took the Elder Scrolls series to new heights in terms of popularity, with the game setting the tone for future entries in the series in terms of gameplay and mechanics. Released on PC and Xbox, Morrowind was many players first introduction to the series with its influence and impact felt in future titles, including players paying the region another visit in an expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online, although many fans want a traditional game to go back to Morrowind in the future.
7. SimCity 2000
The first SimCity games were released by Maxis and EA in 1989, the same developers who went on to develop The Sims, but it was the 1993 game SimCity 2000 that would become the most popular in the series, with many fans still going back to it rather than playing newer games in the series. SimCity sees players build their own city and manage every aspect of it, including ensuring the population is happy, building the industrial area, collecting taxes, and making sure the city is a success. The popularity of the series led to other companies looking to create their own alternatives, such as the popular Theme series which included Theme Park, and Theme Hospital.
Originally built as a Half-Life mod, Counter-Strike has gone on to become one of the most popular FPS games, with its latest entry CS:GO being one of the most popular Esports titles today.
Released in 1998, StarCraft is a military-based Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy game. StarCraft spawned one of the earliest competitive gaming leagues, with it still being popular in South Korea today, with approximately 50% of all of the game’s sales coming from the country. The game received universal critical acclaim, achieving a 93% score of Game Rankings, and even saw an N64 port too.
4. Diablo II
Released in 2000, Diablo 2 has gone on to become one of the most popular hack and slash PC games, with many Roguelike elements included. Over the years it has remained popular with fans and has recently seen a remake/remaster released titled Diablo 2: Resurrected, which even allows players to use their old save files to continue where they left off.
3. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft has become a part of pop culture, with the game seeing millions of active players jump into the world of Azeroth every day. Released in 2004, World of Warcraft helped set the new standard for what MMORPGs should be. Over the years it has been featured in other forms of media, including a series of commercials that featured popular celebrities such as William Shatner, Ozzy Osbourne, and Chuck Norris, as well as being featured in TV shows including South Park and The Big Bang Theory.
2. Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 is the sequel to the classic 1998 game Half-Life, with it being the last mainline entry in the series despite fans begging Valve for Half-Life 3 for over 15 years. Released in 2004, Half-Life 2 is responsible for the creation of Steam, the number one launcher, and store for PC games, after Valve made it mandatory for players to install their new launcher to play the game. Although the program wouldn’t immediately be the store we know it as today, it is interesting to think that without Valve’s decision to lock the game to their own launcher, the PC gaming landscape could look a lot different.
1. Doom (1993)
Doom helped revolutionize the FPS genre when it was released in 1993. Despite appearing 3D from a player’s perspective, the game was created on a 2D plane. The success of Doom spawned many clone titles with developers trying to replicate the success of the game. Some of them include the likes of Blood and Duke Nukem 3D. The impact that Doom has had on the industry is profound and its legacy is still felt in the genre today.