What Were Your Favourite DOS Games?

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What Were Your Favourite DOS Games?

I was streaming some Jackbox on the weekend for friends, and one of the people in the background made a quip about the old days of troubleshooting .ini files. It reminded me of the torture of dealing with DOS4GW errors, but naturally, you can’t think about DOS4GW without thinking of some absolute classics.

To help you think of some of your own favourites, there’s a couple of great videos below that just run through 200 DOS games in the space of 20 minutes. There’s plenty of bangers like Abuse, Blake Stone, Shadow Warrior, the Wing Commander games, TIE Fighter, Capitalism, Little Big Adventure 1, Ecstatica, Powerslave, and more.

Obviously I can’t run through every game, but I’m just going to provide some super quick memories here.

GTA 1

Still my favourite of the series. My mum, knowing how much we loved GTA, referenced the game as a way to get us ready for school with basic mathematics. We’d be driving along, and she’d stop and point out things on the side of the road.

“Oh look, that’s a granny with a pram, how many extra points is that?”

Hexen: Beyond Heretic

Absolute classic and a design that really wasn’t replicated by the sea of FPS clones from the ’90s. Hexen‘s level design isn’t that uncommon today, especially with the spate of Metroidvania-inspired games, but for a shooter in 1995 it was a huge change.

Did have a lot of really shitty monster placements. I’m talking enemies literally standing one inch away from you as soon as a level loads. Or standing directly behind you as soon as you come up an elevator. That was just cheap.

Sango Fighter

I never finished Sango Fighter or learnt all the moves, but I can still hear that high pitched menu music. Doo DOO doo doo DOO doo doo DOO doo DOO for life.

Sango Fighter 2 was a hell of an upgrade, though.

Terminal Velocity

One of the few DOS games I’d rather play today on a phone. Terminal Velocity was an absolute blast – or Fury, the ported Windows version – and it’d make for a sick redux in 2020.

Hell, with all the advancements in dynamic LOD, object culling and just advancements in what CPUs can render on screen, Terminal Velocity could really go places. Maybe Nightdive Studios could pick it up?

Micro Machines 2

Image: Supplied

Absolute all-time classic, with an infinitely better sense of speed than Codies’ recent remaster.

Cricket 97

Look, I’d just be flat out lying if I didn’t say this utterly dominated a couple of Christmases for me. Australia’s side were utterly dominant back then, and watching Bevan was manna from heaven for a kid, but it wasn’t as good as smoking sixes of your own.

One Must Fall: 2097

The GOAT of all fighters, especially on PC.

Remembering The PC's Best Fighting Game

I'm going on a flight to Japan over the weekend, and as a result I'll be needing something to occupy me should the in-air entertainment be a bore. Fortunately, there's been one game happily residing on my laptop ever since I purchased it, and that one game is what I'm paying tribute to.

Read more

What DOS games do you remember and love the most? I can probably guess most of them – TIE Fighter, Daggerfall, Heroes of Might and Magic 2, Warcraft 2, the DOOM games, Rebel Assault and some of the SSI strategy titles for older gamers – but let me know in the comments!

Comments

  • Anything by Origin. They could do no wrong.

    Wing Commander 2 was the first game I bought with my own money. Sadly my 286 was way too underpowered to really run it.

    I also loved Sierra games like Police Quest and Space Quest (3 & 4 were epic fun!) and Lucasarts games like Monkey Island, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Not sure if the last 2 were DOS though, but I still play the remasters today and LOVE THEM. Was actually playing Full Throttle last night. I think it’d make a great movie.

  • I really enjoyed the SSI games – Curse of the Azure Bonds, Pool of Radiance, Secret of the Silver Blades… And then of course the Eye of the Beholder series. And you can’t leave out Sierra’s games, plenty of hours spent trying to work out what the devil I was supposed to do next.

    But above all those, Star Control 2 was my favourite game on DOS. The combination of action and adventure really nailed it.

  • I loved Pepper’s Adventures In Time as a kid. There was also a game that I can’t recall the name of, but it let you make your own crazy movie scenes.

  • Great list!

    Not seen mentioned yet, some of my favourites from childhood:

    Ultima 4. Still the best.
    Raptor: Call of the Shadows.
    Blackthorne
    Lost Vikings
    Cyberdogs
    God of Thunder
    Bio Menace
    Abuse (actually stands up TODAY with indies being released right now)
    Chinese Checkers
    Skyroads
    Battlechess
    Legend of Robin Hood
    Quest for Glory
    Galleons of Glory
    ArcticFox

    So many… too many to list. Those were some favourites, though.

  • Why is Tyrian not mentioned anywhere?! At least OMF 2097 and LBA got a mention. Any of the Lucas Arts adventure games are on my list too. Then there’s Syndicate and Syndicate Wars. Jazz Jackrabbit, Lemmings, ZZT, Kroz, Epic Pinball and All the Commander Keens feature highly on my list too.

    • Couldn’t mention them all! And it’s all ones from my personal backlog – although I would have slotted BioMenace and Syndicate (but not Syndicate Wars) as extras if I had more time.

      I mean honestly, could keep going for hours. If anything, a lot of these old classics would be good to replay through on a stream…

  • Lots of favs already mentioned, so just adding ones I haven’t seen yet:

    Iron Man Offroad
    Streetfighter
    Spacewar
    Lotus Espirit Turbo Challenge (though Wikipedia says the series wasn’t on MS-DOS until Lotus III – but I’m almost positive it was Lotus Espirit Turbo Challenge I remember playing)

    I’m going to have to mention Doom – since my first PC I personally saved for and bought was for my first year at University, but I made very sure it would run Doom perfectly. Then some friends and I learned about Coax networking and every weekend turned into a Doom LAN at our house for ages and ages.

  • Didn’t play too many DOS games. The ones I do remember are Lemmings, Micro Machines and Theme Park.
    Other games of a similar age I recall liking were Mechwarrior 2, Wolfenstein and Descent… however I do not know if these were DOS.

  • Gotta throw up Stunts. It was so ahead of its time letting you create your own tracks to race on. Come to think of it, I don’t actually remember the driving, just creating the tracks!
    Sticking with the racing theme, +1 for each of Ironman Offroad & Big Red Racing, both very original in their own way.

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