A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

After you guys so enthusiastically took to the idea of listing the best classic PC games of all time, I wanted to pull out the alphabetical directory in order to make it easy for everyone to find their favourite games.

Updated over several weeks, the list has an absolutely absurd number of excellent PC games — we've stopped doing official updates, but there are still new PC games coming in every now and then. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed.

And so! Our full directory of the Classic PC Games You Must Play:

0-9

4D Sports Boxing

The 7th Guest (Seconded)

XIII

A

Abe's Oddysee

Adventure

Age of Empires II: Age of Kings (Seconded)

Age of Mythology

Age of Wonders

Albion

Aliens vs. Predator 2

Alley Cat

Alone in the Dark

America's Army

American McGee's Alice

Anachronox (Seconded)

Another World/Out of This World

Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (Seconded)

Arx Fatalis

Axis and Allies

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

B

B-17 Flying Fortress

Bad Mojo

Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Battle Bugs (Seconded)

Battle Chess

Battlefield 1942

Battle Isle

Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf

Battlezone (Seconded) (Thirded)

The Bard's Tale

Beasts & Bumpkins

Beneath a Steel Sky

Betrayal at Krondor (Seconded)

Black & White

Blade Runner (seconded)

Blake Stone

Blood (Seconded)

BloodNet

Bioforge (Seconded)

Birth of the Federation

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

C

Catechumen

Caesar III (Updated)

Carmageddon 1 & 2

Castles II

Chex Quest

Chuckie Egg

Circuit's Edge

Clive Barker's Undying (Seconded)

Close Combat II - A Bridge too Far

The Clue!

Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord

Commanche 4

Command & Conquer: Generals

Command & Conquer: Renegades

Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

Commander Keen

Commander Keen 4

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines

Conquests of Camelot

Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood

Constructor

Counter-Strike

Crimsonland

Crusader: No Regret

The Curse of Monkey Island

Cyber Gladiators

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

D

Dark Age of Camelot

The Dark Eye

Darklands

Dark Legions

Dark Reign

Descent (Seconded)

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down

Diablo I and II (Seconded) (Thirded)

Dink Smallwood

Dino Park Tycoon

Dark Seed

Day of the Tentacle (Seconded)

DeathTrack

Deus Ex

Die by the Sword

The Dig (Seconded)

Doom Collection (Seconded)

DROD: Deadly Rooms of Death

Duke Nukem 3D

Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty

Dungeon Keeper (Seconded)

Dungeon Keeper 2

Dungeon Siege

Dust: A Tale Of The Wired West

E

Ecstatica

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (Seconded) (Thirded)

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Emperor: Battle for Dune

Emperor of the Fading Suns

Epic Pinball

Escape Velocity Nova (Seconded)

Exile 3: The Ruined World

Eye of the Beholder I & II

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

F

F-117A Nighthawk

Fatal Racing/Whiplash

Fallout

Fallout 2 (Seconded)

Flashback

Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist

Freedom Fighters

Freedom Force

FreeSpace 2 (Seconded)

Freelancer

Frontier Elite II

Full Throttle

Fury 3

Frontier: Elite 2

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

G

G-Nome

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within

Gender Wars

Giants: Citizen Kabuto (Seconded)

Gothic (Seconded)

Gorky 17

Grand Prix Legends

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grim Fandango (Seconded)

Ground Control (Seconded)

Goblins 3

Gorillas

Gorky 17

H

Half-Life

Halo: Combat Evolved (Seconded)

Hardwar

Heavy Gear (Seconded)

H.E.D.Z. (Head Extreme Destruction Zone)

Hexen: Beyond Heretic

Hexxagon

Heroes of Might & Magic III (Seconded) (Thirded)

Hidden and Dangerous 2

Hocus Pocus

Homeworld

Hostile Waters (Seconded)

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

I

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

I-War

Icewind Dale II

Iji

Imperium Galactica 2

Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos

Incubation: Time is Running Out

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (Seconded) (Thirded) (Fourthed)

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine

Interstate 76 (Seconded)

The Incredible Machine

It Came From The Desert

J

Jazz Jackrabbit 2

Jagged Alliance 2

Jill of the Jungle

The Journeyman Project

The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time

Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death

Jumpman

Jurassic Park: Trespasser (Seconded)

K

King of Dragon Pass

King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

L

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos

The Last Express

Lemmings

The Legend of Kyrandia, Book 2: Hand of Fate (Seconded)

Lego Island

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Lighthouse: The Dark Being

Little Big Adventure 2 (Seconded) (Thrirded) (Fourthed!)

The Longest Journey

Loom

Lords of the Realm 2

M

Mafia

Manhunter: New York

Maniac Mansion

Marathon Series (Seconded) (Thirded)

Master of Magic

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

Master of Orion (s) (Seconded) (Thirded) (Fourthed) (Fifthed)

Master of Orion 2

Max Payne 1 & 2

MDK (Seconded)

MDK 2

Mean Streets

Medieval: Total War

Metal Fatigue

Metal Marines

Medal of Honour: Allied Assault

MegaZeux

Mech Commander 2

MechWarrior 2

Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries

Meridian 59

Microsoft's "Best of Windows Entertainment Pack"

Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (Seconded)

Might & Magic: World of Xeen

Moraff's Dungeons of the Unforgiven

Motocross Madness

Myst (Seconded)

Myth: The Fallen Lords

Myth II: Soulblighter (Seconded) (Thirded)

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

N

Nethack

Neverwinter Nights

The Neverhood

Neuromancer

Nitemare 3D

Nocturne

No One Lives Forever 1 & 2

Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi

Nox (Seconded)

O

Omikron: The Nomad Soul

One Must Fall: 2097

OpenTTD

Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (Seconded)

The Oregon Trail

OutPost 2

Outlaws

Outcast

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

P

Panzer General II

Patrician III (Seconded)

Phantasmagoria

Pharaoh

Pizza Tycoon

Planescape Torment (Seconded) (Thirded)

Prehistorik 1 & 2

Project: Snowblind

POD Gold

Police Quest III

Populous 3: The Beginning

Prince of Persia

Project Eden

Pune

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

Q

Quake

Quake II

Quake 3 Arena

Quarantine

The Quest for Glory Series (Seconded) (Thirded)

R

Rama

Raptor: Call of the Shadows

Rayman

Rainbow Six: Raven Shield

Realms of the Haunting

Redneck Rampage (Seconded)

Republic: The Revolution

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Rise of Nations

Rise of the Robots

Rise of the Triad

Riven (Seconded)

Rocket Jockey

Roller Coaster Tycoon

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2

Rune

Runescape

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

S

Sacrifice (Seconded)

Sam & Max Hit The Road

Sanatarium (Seconded)

The Scarab of Ra

Scorched Earth

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator

Serious Sam 2: The Second Encounter

Settlers 2

Severance: Blade of Darkness

Shogo: Mobile Armour Division

Shogun: Total War

Shufflepuck Cafe

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire (Seconded)

Sid Meier's Covert Action

Sid Meier's Civilisation II

Sid Meier's Colonization

Sid Meier's Pirates!

Silver

SimCity 2000

SimCity 4

SimTower

Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2

SkiFree (Ha, ha.)

SkyRoads

Space Quest

Speedbusters

Spellforce: The Order of Dawn

Spycraft: The Great Game (Seconded)

Star Control II (Seconded) (Thirded) (Fourthed)

Starflight

StarCraft

StarGoose!

Starlancer

Stars

Starsiege: Tribes (Seconded)

Startopia (Seconded)

Star Wars: Dark Forces

Star Wars: Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight

Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Pit Droids

Star Wars: X-Wing

Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter

Strife

SubCulture

The Summoning

Superhero League of Hoboken

Sword of the Samurai

Syberia

Syndicate

Syndicate Wars

System Shock

System Shock 2

T

Temple of Elemental Evil

Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon

Theme Hospital (Seconded)

THEXDER

Thief 1 & 2

Time Commando

Titanic: Adventure out of Time

Total Annihilation (Seconded) (Thirded ) (Fourthed) (Fifthed)

Tomb Raider

Tomb of the Taskmaster

Traffic Department 2192

Treasure Quest

TRON 2.0

Tyrian (Seconded) (Thirded)

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

U

Ultrabots

Urban Assault

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny

Ultima VI: The False Prophet

Ultima VII: The Black Gate

Ultima VIII: Pagan

Ultima Underworld

Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams

Unreal

Unreal Tournament

Uprising

V

Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption (Seconded)

W

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (Seconded)

Warcraft III (Seconded)

Warlords III: Darklords Rising

Warpath

Warzone 2100

Wasteland

Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge

Wizardry VII: Crusaders of Dark Savant (Seconded)

Wizardry 8

Wing Commander: Privateer (Seconded)

Wing Commander III

The Wheel of Time

Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny

Worlds of Ultima 1: Savage Empire

Worms World Party

WWF Wrestlemania The Arcade Game

A Complete Directory Of The Classic PC Games You Must Play

X

X-COM: UFO Defence

X-COM: Terror From The Deep

X-COM Apocalypse

Z

Zeus: Master of Olympus

Zoombinis: Logical Journey

Zork (Seconded) (Thirded)

Zork: Grand Inquisitor

Zork Nemesis


Second update: 9/5/2013 AM, added 150+ games. Keep 'em coming.

Third update: 9/6/2013 PM, added 80+ games.

Fourth update: 9/18/2013 AM, added 20+ games. This will probably be our last official update. If you've added a game that you feel desperately needs to be included in the list, don't hesitate to email me.

Image via Shutterstock.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @kirkhamilton.


Comments

    List is completely invalidated by including X-Wing and X-Wing vs TIE Fighter but not TIE Fighter itself, which is the best of all of those games by a mile.

      Yeah, what the hell? Especially XvT - yeah it had prettier graphics, but it was basically a multiplayer game. One of the first instances of multiplayer focus ruining an historically awesome single-player franchise.

        Bah! After Freespace II and Wing Commander III, every other space sim was a very distant third. :p

        (Disclaimer: before you two grab your shotguns, I'm just poking the bear. XW vs Tie was pretty awesome back in the day!)

      X-wing: Alliance was pretty rad too!

        Yeah no idea what's going on here,

        X-Wing alliance was by far the best of the entire series.
        It had the absolute bees knees of features and a freaking AMAZINGLY enjoyable plot.

        Not to mention you can play it right now, with updated hi-res assets.

        Last edited 07/10/13 10:30 pm

    I love that 5 of the 12 screens are for adventure games

    C&C RA 2 but not C&C Gold? Be slippin.

    No Z either? http://www.gamegoldies.org/z-zed-bitmap-brothers/

    So many awesome memories in this list. Would love to work through the Legend of Kyrandia series again. Only problem is that freakin' fireberry cavern...

    Oh yeah! Tyrian!

    I loved that game! While definitely not as difficult as most of todays modern shooters it was an awesome PC shooter w/ so many unlocks, upgrades and hidden ships (go Banana Ship!) and it also had a great 2 player mode! :D

      Oh yea Tyrian FTW! I still play it frequently but I believe its a carrot ship :P

    No Abuse? No Little Big Adventure 1? No Cannon Fodder? No Magic Carpet? The link for "The Curse of Monkey Island" actually goes to MI2: LeChuck's Revenge? What kind of a list is this? At least they have Tyrian.

    Edit: As fortalyst said, no SimAnt. There's also no Stunts. Oh, and why isn't Daikatana on here? ^_-

    Last edited 07/10/13 1:34 pm

      I too came here to complain about the omission of Stunts. I rocked that hard on the old 386DX!

        386DX? Real Men and Real Women play that game on a 486DX running at 133MHz with maths co-processor and a mind boggling 8 MB of RAM! Enough hardware to last until the year 3000! :-P

        Jokes aside, I too liked that game and spent many a day in the track editor building levels and seeing how far me and my siblings could get.

        On a technical note, it was through that game I found out the hard way that the ye ol' floppy disk could only hold at most 150 files per directory. The disk started to corrupt before I found this out and managed to save it keeping the tracks in one directory and the demos (you could load them if I remember right) in another.

        Stunts was oh so awesome! My siblings and I made so many great tracks on that game...

        ....and go the 386DX!! I remember upgrading from 2MB to 8MB of RAM. Whoah! Those were the days.....

      Oh, and why isn't Daikatana on here?

      Because the list is about games you should play. Not games you should avoid like the plague.

        I think you missed his subtle joke - evidenced by the wink at the end of the statement.
        Otherwise, I too would reaching for the shotgun..

      Abuse ! Loved that game.
      Cannon Fodder. I still recall that catchy intro song..

      Well, there's always going to be games missed on any list. But still, they did list LBA2, so I'm confused why they didn't also list the original LBA.

      Would have liked Lemmings Tribes to be mentioned too. I found it superior to the original Lemmings.

      They absolutely got it right with Star Control 2, though. Also pleasantly surprised to see Bloodnet listed. It's an often overlooked game, and a great experience.

    No love for A-10 Warthog :(

    But One Must Fall 2097 and Lords of the Realm 2 make up for it! \o/

    Last edited 07/10/13 1:41 pm

    Albion... AWESOME RPG...

      I loved Albion so much, I played the demo through about 30 times before getting the full game! Did not disappoint! Was basically a better Avatar in 1995!

        same here, i got it with pc powerplay, one of the original issues

          I got it off a friend. I still have the CD around somewhere, but I think it, like my Duke Nukem 3D original CD, are too scratched to be read.

          Still one of my all time favourite RPGs. Heck, I printed out the offical walkthrough for the game and used to read it at primary school during lunch time. I would imagine the game world as I had played it, or when I got to chapters I hadn't been to yet, imagine what it might be like.

            did you also get that dodgy aussie cut down version of duke nukem 3d, where you had to copy the us-ver.dat and us-ver.bat files to the install directory and run it to patch it to the uncut?

              Yes :( And since we didn't have (or know?) about the Internet back in '96, we had no way of obtaining those files, either.
              Though, I think by 98 or 99 a friend (who actually had that mysterious internet) had the US version and happily gave it out :D

                oh, mine actually had the files on the disc... after installing the game, i just had to drag the two files to the duke 3d directory and run us-ver.bat which patched the game...

    Have fun playing Grim Fandango on a modern computer :(

    Last edited 07/10/13 3:31 pm

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/239339/how_to_play_grim_fandango_on_your_windows_7_pc.html

      it works :)

      I did it recently on 64 bit Win7 and don't remember it being too hard... I did have to change something but as I remember just google your issue and there is a fix or patch or something for it (sorry don't remember details). Didn't have a single issue past that.

      Zetro beat me to it. I also forgot to mention it was bloody amazing.

    I know there were some awful titles, but no Need For Speed titles made the cut at all?

      +1

      The first one was a pioneering masterpiece with real brands, and the most accurate recreations of those cars at the time - I remember reading how they had hooked up each car to a dyno in order to record the actual engine noises. Easily the best racing game of the time.

      Also, what about Hi-Octane!?

        Pioneering... I think you are referring to Street Rod 2 in that case.

        Also, where the hell is Jones in the Fast lane.

          Street Rod 2! Loved it!

          With NFS though, I meant pioneering in the sense of the detail they went to in licensing and recreating each supercar in relation to its real life counterpart. Something later games like Gran Turismo and pretty much any racing game since has done as well.

          Jones was also a lot of fun - there are so many omissions here! Can we do a Kotaku AU version to add to the list please?!

    Dark Earth 1997 was one of my fave adventure games

    List reminds me of my childhood....is that a good thing?

    Well that's hilarious, Total Annihilation has been fifthed...

    What happened to the Turok games and Will Rock? Don't forget those

      I think the list is about games that were on PC first then ported elsewhere. Turok was the reverse.

      Speaking of the series itself, it can be summed up as this:
      Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - WOW! That was fun!
      Turok 2: Seed of Evil - Fun, but not as much as the first.
      Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion - What on earth?
      Turok Evolution - What is this?! The series cannot get any worse!
      Turok (2008) - I stand corrected....

      Last edited 07/10/13 4:27 pm

        Maaaaaaan I remember playing a similar game on the first line of iMacs (apparently it wasn't ported to OS 9) wish I could remember the name of it..

    I've played a lot of these games and I gotta say, definitely not all of them are a must play.

    The 7th guest? C'mon, that game sucked back in 1995 when it came free with the PC we bought it on.

    XIII? Great game. Loved it. But a must play? No. Not at all.

    Even the absolute classics on the list, which I am SO glad i played back in the day, are getting unplayable now. Deus Ex and System Shock 2 are the big ones there. Brilliant games but they were ugly when they came out, they're pretty unplayable now.

    Full Throttle however is still beautiful. The 2D games stay nice for a lot longer than the 3d ones, for obvious reasons.

    F117A? That was the first game I ever bought! Hell yeah I loved it, but the learning curve was steep (for a 10 year old).

    Freespace 2 is still pretty damn awesome though. So unfair we never saw a Freespace 3.

    Sorry about the negative post, but I'm pretty realistic about classic games. I have a decent GOG library, but I find I tend to only play them when I've been drinking. That seems to be when I'm most primed to be digging the nostalgia kick.

      I just finished deus ex last week and definitely not unplayable! all it needed was a high res mod and good to go.

      I'm playing Deus Ex now, and I find it is just as playable as it was a decade ago.
      Not sure why some outdated graphics make it so unbearable for you, but hey, each to their own.

      Full Throttle - what a gem.

        I didn't say gfx make it unplayable. Just that they were ugly when they came out.

        It's more the gameplay, the art form has moved on. Sure you can spend hrs of your life playing old games, but in my view, you're better off picking one of the best games from the last 6 years and sinking time into that instead. It will be more fun.

        I loved Deus Ex more than most, but with games like Mass Effect and Deus Ex Hum Rev around, I'm only playing the original to remember what I was like 10 years ago. The original was awesome, but it's the nostalgia that gets me going. I maintain that if you didn't play the game back in the day, if this is your first run on it, you'll find it waaaaay too dated to get into it.

    I came here thinking it would be a list of twenty or so games, you know a small list I could make it through easily. My god was I wrong.

    At the risk of being chased out of here, what about Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic?

    Definitely one of the most complete lists of this type I've seen.

    Surely, you forgot Final Fantasy 7 & 8 by mistake?
    They were both PC Releases.

      They were on the Playstation first and even then the porting was a joke.

    Transport Tycoon is not on the list? Spent many hours of my misspent youth on nearly all the games on this list but none more then Transport Tycoon!!!
    If anyone cares, thens a fun android port for tablets around these days.

    Cultures 2 : Gates of Asgard, probably some of the most fun I had at my computer back in the day.

    Need more high end graphic card killing games to make the PC master race feel mighty with their $3000 rigs

      now now... don't get your knickers in a knot

        I'm not. I'm a PC gamer myself and grew up with a lot of this list checked off. It's just unfortunate that in today's ultra graphics intensive, FPS only, blood and gore PC gaming landscape; a lot of the "PC Master Race" gamers wouldn't touch this list with a 20 foot pole.

          Alright my bad, I just misunderstood your comment. <3

      I feel high & mighty with my 600 dollar rig, what's your problem? :P

    Needs more Shadow Warrior.

    Go Total Annihilation!

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