Some Pre 2000 PC game recommendations

I'm on a bit of an old school pc gaming binge right now and I'd like some of you to tell me your favourites. so I can add them to my collection. You'll probably mention some that I have already, but I want to hear your favourites anyway.

PS - Discwold Noir and Blade Runner are two of the best PC games ever made. True story.

The entire Quest For Glory series. And Betrayal at Krondor.

Masters of Orion 2. One of the best PC games I have ever played. Just don't get 3, its a total letdown by comparison. Also, get a usb flightstick... and any flight sim or space/starfighter game just destroys flight games that are on console. And most are pre 2000. And Ultima 7, the Skyrim of 1992.

If you like strategy games, the Homeworld series comes to mind. You can buy the Remastered version through Steam, it comes with the original, unaltered games. Homeworld: Cataclysm is available through GOG.

The X-wing series also comes to mind. X-wing is great, TIE Fighter is better. Again, GOG's got you covered.

Everything you need is right here.

Specifically adjusted to be pre-2000 as well. Each one has several reviews as well, so you can get a perfect idea if it's up your alley or not.

Squilookle:
Everything you need is right here.

Specifically adjusted to be pre-2000 as well. Each one has several reviews as well, so you can get a perfect idea if it's up your alley or not.

Aside from that, there's also the following that won't appear on that list for a variety of reasons:
-Baldur's Gate (You can only buy the Enhanced Edition these days)
-Planscape: Torment (see above)
-Monkey Island 1+2 (see above)
-Full Throttle (see above)
-Day of the Tentacle (see above)
-Grim Fandango (see above)
-Half-Life (not on GoG)

Flight of the Amazon Queen
Beneath a Steel Sky

And I forgot, if you like westerns... and shooters. Lucasarts' Outlaws, the best western shooter on PC... maybe in any format. You can get it on gog. But if you can find it I'd actually suggest getting the CD if it is in any kind of decent condition at all. Mine will actually STILL install and work properly, even on Win 10. AND the great soundtrack is on the disc, in CD format. Meaning the game data is on track 1, but from track 2 on it will play on any cd player. Or just get it on gog and the soundtrack is on youtube.

Half life 1
Quake 2
Doom 1 and 2
System Shock 2

System shock 2 is easily the best game of 90s.

Fallout 1! But leaves the sequel in the dumpster where it belongs

Herectic and Hexen, Doom now comes with magic. Dark Forces if you need space magic

Red Alerts for some zany FMV.

Heroes of might and magic, even going back to Kings Bounty.

Also, why are you limited to PC games?

trunkage:
Fallout 1! But leaves the sequel in the dumpster where it belongs

Herectic and Hexen, Doom now comes with magic. Dark Forces if you need space magic

Red Alerts for some zany FMV.

Heroes of might and magic, even going back to Kings Bounty.

Also, why are you limited to PC games?

Because you can't wrangle affordable backwards compatibility out of console like you can with PC, making it the platform of choice for retrogaming. Or at least that's my guess. And yes, Dark Forces. But that's pre-space magic... making it the BEST of the Dark Forces franchise. Before they added in the lazersword melee and force junk. And its the same engine as Outlaws, that I mentioned earlier. It is great.

-Command and Conquer: Tiberian Dawn
-Command and Conquer: Red Alert
-Diablo
-Doom
-Marathon
-StarCraft
-Warcraft II

Kyrian007:
Because you can't wrangle affordable backwards compatibility out of console like you can with PC, making it the platform of choice for retrogaming.

If I want to play a game from the 90s, I can get any 90s console I own, boot it up, and play. If I wanted to do the same for the PC, I'd have to jump through hula hoops due to compatability issues. That list of games I made above? Good luck getting Marathon, Diablo, or Warcraft II to work on a modern day PC, because you'll need it.

trunkage:
Also, why are you limited to PC games?

For the purposes of this thread. I know a lot of the console games I like from that era anyway. I pretty much have them all.

Hawki:
If I want to play a game from the 90s, I can get any 90s console I own, boot it up, and play. If I wanted to do the same for the PC, I'd have to jump through hula hoops due to compatability issues. That list of games I made above? Good luck getting Marathon, Diablo, or Warcraft II to work on a modern day PC, because you'll need it.

It's easy if you know how mate. Lol. It's part of the fun for me, getting them running. There's GOG, virtual machines (that's how I run Blade Runner and Discworld Noir), Steam, Mac Versions (as I have a Macbook and run windows via bootcamp), Dosbox, Scummvm, patches. So many options these days. There are loads of ways. But those ones you mention just boot straight up in Windows 10 with the versions I have to be honest. No issues. Think I got them from old-games.com

Rangaman:
-Baldur's Gate (You can only buy the Enhanced Edition these days)

I know it came out in 2002 but Neverwinter Nights really does make BG obsolete in pretty much every way. Also, THAC0 is awful.

OP: Here's the highlights.

Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition
Riven
Elder Scrolls I/II
Heretic/Hexen
Quake I/II/III
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Thief: Gold
Doom I/II (I mean, really. This one should be obvious)
Raptor: Call of the Shadows
Descent

Arnoxthe1:

Rangaman:
-Baldur's Gate (You can only buy the Enhanced Edition these days)

I know it came out in 2002 but Neverwinter Nights really does make BG obsolete in pretty much every way. Also, THAC0 is awful.

OP: Here's the highlights.

Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition
Riven
Elder Scrolls I/II
Heretic/Hexen
Quake I/II/III
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Thief: Gold
Doom I/II (I mean, really. This one should be obvious)

I bloody love all the old thief games. Is the first one your favourite?

dscross:
I bloody love all the old thief games. Is the first one your favourite?

You're gonna hate me for this but I never could get into the Thief games although I loved the dialogue and writing and I absolutely see why they were good. I'm more of a kick-the-door-down kind of person even if I'm usually a little more tactical about it.

Also, sorry. Added Descent and Raptor to the post when you responded.

Descent. It's like the developers saw Doom and thought to themselves: what if Doomguy was in zero gravity?

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It's not for everyone... but if it is for you it is so fucking amazing. You can pick it up for free, but it's so much easierto just pay like $2 on GOG (just install on C: for your own sanity).

You will get a ridiculous number of hours of gamelay out of it.

Like playing as the Allies on Veteran you're probably looking at over 100 battles over the entirety of the Operation Market Garden granmd campaign. Strong emphasis on historical recreation of battlefields (so much so playing the Germans is way easier because, you know, history) ... and the campaign is so bloody complex.

Like this game ... it's not just victory or defeat. Some maps and battles you simply can't win ... but you can force a stalemate, you can hold parts of it, etc. Persistent terrain scarring and the variable nature of assaults (after each battle you slect the ceasefire period, the lowest number of hours is how long untilthe next fight over the same map) can turn battlelines on maps into debris strewn streets with blasted houses that once were great vantage points into merely vision occulting wrecks after multiple battles are fought to hold them.

It's just ... it's probably the best tactical war game I have ever played.

Your soldiers will refuse your orders, their morale will break and they'll rout, sometimes in certain conditions they'll become 'heroic' ....

Your orders are more 'suggestions' that soldiers will do if they're capable. In the right place mentally and physically. Soldiers have names. And if you keep them alive they will accrue experience. Squads get whittle down through the course of multiple engagements, forcing you to let go of squads to increase squad slots, or simply because they are no longer viable fighting units. You simply need more soldiers as fights can turn into multiple map, multile engagement actions ofattrition you just need to suffer.

Honourable mentions;

MechCommander Gold (you can play it for free)

Jagged Alliance 2 (All around awesome)

come on, almost a full page of reply, and nobody said X-Com, X-Com terror from the deep and X-Com Apocalypse ?

also the Wing Commander series, and the spin off privateer, but not the second one, the second one is trash.

Magesty is fun but weird

Lord of the realm 2 and lord of magic

Kyrian007:
Also, get a usb flightstick... and any flight sim or space/starfighter game just destroys flight games that are on console. And most are pre 2000.

Actually, pre-2001. Something happened in September 2001 that stymied the most of the development and market for flight sims. It was mostly a quiet self-censorship, but a lot of retail stores (because it was all retail back then) didn't want to stock any "terrorist simulators" after that.
It's easy to forget that the news made a big deal for a while that the terrorists trained on Microsoft Flight Simulator for the 9/11 attacks.

I mean, there's other reasons flight sims went down in flames: space sims were all boring black backgrounds with dots instead of vibrant colors and textures, voice acting and mo-cap became important as well as characters and plot, home consoles took off with mostly standardized controllers, GTA3 had an open-world on the ground so you didn't need Wing Commander Privateer... etc.

@ OP - Wing Commander Privateer was the Elite Dangerous of the 90's.

The original Shadow Warrior - it's free on GOG, check it out.
Redneck Rampage - I might be the only person who remembers that game. FPS where you play as a redneck who's town has been invaded by aliens.
Sanitarium - point and click horror game, pretty good.
MDK - fun weird shooter.
Toonstruck - a point and click game where you play as Christopher Lloyd who's been transported into a cartoon.

Some of my favs:

Blood
System Shock 2
Theme Hospital
StarCraft
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Fallout 1 & 2
Baldur's Gate
Syndicate
Jedi Knight
Sam & Max Hit the Road

Master of Orion 2:
One of the best 4X games.

Galactic Civilizations 2 - Endless Universe:
I think it's a bit better than MOO2, but some my disagree.

Arnoxthe1:

Rangaman:
-Baldur's Gate (You can only buy the Enhanced Edition these days)

I know it came out in 2002 but Neverwinter Nights really does make BG obsolete in pretty much every way. Also, THAC0 is awful.

"Pre-2000". That's why I didn't bring up stuff like Bladur's Gate II or Neverwinter Nights.

Hawki:

Kyrian007:
Because you can't wrangle affordable backwards compatibility out of console like you can with PC, making it the platform of choice for retrogaming.

If I want to play a game from the 90s, I can get any 90s console I own, boot it up, and play. If I wanted to do the same for the PC, I'd have to jump through hula hoops due to compatability issues. That list of games I made above? Good luck getting Marathon, Diablo, or Warcraft II to work on a modern day PC, because you'll need it.

Yeah anyone can do that, just go to the local pawn shop and see if they have a used console you can buy... plus the cartridge or cd you need. And hopefully a working or mostly working several hundred pound pre HD tv that still has RCA cable av hookup. If not you then get to try and find a radio shack (good luck) or mom and pop electronics store that can sell you the proper adaptor so you can hook up the console to your current tv. Then you have to dig out your old and broken and gunked up controllers... and pray they work otherwise its back off to the pawnshop to hope they have a controller in better shape otherwise you are stuck ordering on ebay and waiting a week or so for delivery.

Or you can boot up your pc, fiddle with compatibility settings for a couple of minutes, and start retrogaming. And I don't know about marathon or Warcraft II, but I have installed Diablo on my Win 10 machine. It wasn't particularly difficult.

Now, I'm like you. I have an old tv I keep for retrogaming. I do still have my old consoles in working order. And I routinely clean and repair my controllers when they need it. But when that console (like say for instance a PS1) finally breaks. Your local gamestop won't have one. You will have to jump through a lot of hoops to play that PS1 game you are jonesing for. It's just less hassle on PC.

Ultima 4-7 (maybe 8. 9 is the horrible mess one, and 1-3 are sort of dully glossed over even by their sequels). 7 is probably the best assembled on a narrative structure, though 6 has a better gameplay design to it, without some of the issues that were kind of obnoxious in 4 and 5 (minus a fetch quest that is almost as long as the rest of the main storyline, and turns out to be entirely skippable by simple exploration)

Heroes of Might and Magic. 3 would the recommendation, its a good hop on point for storyline, such as it is, being a bit of a soft reboot on the series. Though its also interwoven with Might & Magic 7 somewhat to get the full story (which should also go on this list).

Dungeon Keeper 2. There's not really a storyline through the two, and the second is by and large more polished, though also a little more bent towards silly humor.

Quest for Glory.

Kyrian007:
Yeah anyone can do that, just go to the local pawn shop and see if they have a used console you can buy... plus the cartridge or cd you need. And hopefully a working or mostly working several hundred pound pre HD tv that still has RCA cable av hookup. If not you then get to try and find a radio shack (good luck) or mom and pop electronics store that can sell you the proper adaptor so you can hook up the console to your current tv. Then you have to dig out your old and broken and gunked up controllers... and pray they work otherwise its back off to the pawnshop to hope they have a controller in better shape otherwise you are stuck ordering on ebay and waiting a week or so for delivery.

Few points:

-A lot of the above can be circumvented via electronic versions of games. If I download a retro game for a modern console, the game is pretty much guaranteed to work.

-Don't know what TVs your using, but there isn't a single TV in my house that doesn't have an AV port (and an HDMI one for that matter). I had to get an AV cable for a Sega Megadrive I bought awhile back, but that was to save me the inconvinience of using its original cable on the TV that could use it.

-As far as old games go, while it would be hard to get some, PC games can easily become vapourware. And again, the compatability issues.

Kyrian007:

Or you can boot up your pc, fiddle with compatibility settings for a couple of minutes, and start retrogaming.

Yep. "A couple of minutes."

Maybe you're lucky, maybe you're a tech whizz, but in my experience, that's an insanely conservative estimate. Replace minutes with "hours" or "days," and then we're getting closer to reality.

Kyrian007:
And I don't know about marathon or Warcraft II, but I have installed Diablo on my Win 10 machine. It wasn't particularly difficult.

For me, it was a nightmare getting Diablo to run on XP. I actually couldn't do it on my PC, and had to use a laptop that's since joined the giant trash heap in the sky.

Hawki:

Few points:

-A lot of the above can be circumvented via electronic versions of games. If I download a retro game for a modern console, the game is pretty much guaranteed to work.

Which is of course provided the game you happen to want can be legally downloaded on a modern console... leaving you completely at the mercy of the storefront.

Hawki:

-Don't know what TVs your using, but there isn't a single TV in my house that doesn't have an AV port (and an HDMI one for that matter). I had to get an AV cable for a Sega Megadrive I bought awhile back, but that was to save me the inconvinience of using its original cable on the TV that could use it.

The last time I saw a new tv with AV hookups it only had one HDMI port, and also a set of the 5-cable 720p resolution cables (I don't even see those on TV's anymore, let alone AV hookups.) Now all I see is multiple HDMI hookups.

Hawki:

-As far as old games go, while it would be hard to get some, PC games can easily become vapourware. And again, the compatability issues.

Maybe I'm an exception but I've never really had a problem with it I couldn't find a workaround.

Kyrian007:

Or you can boot up your pc, fiddle with compatibility settings for a couple of minutes, and start retrogaming.

Hawki:

Yep. "A couple of minutes."

Maybe you're lucky, maybe you're a tech whizz, but in my experience, that's an insanely conservative estimate. Replace minutes with "hours" or "days," and then we're getting closer to reality.

It doesn't take me long to google "x" game + Win 10 (or whatever your OS is) and then follow the instructions found on whatever forum somebody posted the instructions on. Its never double digits in minutes for me.

Kyrian007:
And I don't know about marathon or Warcraft II, but I have installed Diablo on my Win 10 machine. It wasn't particularly difficult.

Hawki:

For me, it was a nightmare getting Diablo to run on XP. I actually couldn't do it on my PC, and had to use a laptop that's since joined the giant trash heap in the sky.

That is odd, the Diablo CD I used was functional on XP as is, and installing it on my current pc had me set it to XP compatibility to get it to work (changing compatibility settings on an application takes about 30 seconds.)

Vendor-Lazarus:
It was a bit harder than I thought to assemble a list of pre-2000 games.
It seems many of mine are from 2000-2003. Just on the cusp of your cut-off.
Some gems still remain though;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcast_%28video_game%29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallout_2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier%27s_Alpha_Centauri

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperium_Galactica_II%3A_Alliances

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization_II

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Wonders

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_Keeper_2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh_%28video_game%29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Settlers_II

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsairs%3A_Conquest_at_Sea

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can remember for now.

If we include year 2000, then I suggest Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 in the RTS category.


Speaking of strategy games, it seems year 2000 was a good year for them.

Doom, Doom 2, Ultimate Doom. Always go for Doom.

ADnD Pool of Radiance is a fantastic CRPG and about as close as you can get to a true DnD experience without friends (I hope you like horde battles, because PoR's "DM" is DESPERATELY IN LOVE AND ADORATION with dude-spam).

This thread needs more Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines.

You need to play Out of This World (Another World for UK folks) or you fail at life. It is atmospheric, encompassing, starkly beautiful, and hard as balls.

KayeFaye:
Some of my favs:

Blood
System Shock 2
Theme Hospital
StarCraft
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
Fallout 1 & 2
Baldur's Gate
Syndicate
Jedi Knight
Sam & Max Hit the Road

I never see any love for theme hospital. Good shout,. Haven't played that in long time. I remember it getting really hard towards the end with the amount of earthquakes and epidemics.

 

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