back to article Top Ten Retro PC Games

Have you ever considered the qualities a game needs to feature on your own favourites list or any top ten gaming list for that matter? Opinions vary for sure, but for me it really must be like nothing you have ever seen before or at least innovate in such a way as to be stand-alone phenomenon in its genre. Many alcohol-fuelled …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top 10 retro games???

    The last two don't look very "retro" to me!

    To me, "retro" would be Donkey Kong, Galaxians, Defender, Scamble, Millipede, Jet Suite thingie (what was his name now?), Monster Maze, ....get the idea?

    Blimey, kids of today, eh?

    1. Monty Burns

      Jet SET ....

      Willy ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Willy! that was it. Thanks. Oh... and yes - manic Miner ....and Dig-Dug :-)

        And I have to agree with kevin3 though - Defender was my all-time fave.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Monty Mole

        Don't read this, look up

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper
      Thumb Up

      Jet Suite thingie ...

      Do you mean Jet Set Willy? A fine game, but he started out as Manic Miner if you really want to get all retro.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      right. give me Defender

      Sad though it sounds, Defender is still my all time greatest, anyone know how to get it or a up-resolution version onto android or PC? Kids were quite impressed by it - didn't know what hit them really, as a benchmark its still a really hard game.

      1. CADmonkey

        I've got this

        It's a total labour of love. Even sound-effect bugs were re-created. Haven't tried it on Win7 but XP32 managed it.

        Also comes with 'Joust'!

        1. Thomas 4

          Should have stuck with earlier games

          So that Syndicate, Magic Carpet and Tie Fighter would have made it in.

        2. CADmonkey

          and what's more...

          ...thanks to Dosbox, I've just discovered that it now runs on Win7x64!

          So much for getting some work done today!

    4. Anonymous Coward

      PC games only as the title says

      Unless you're telling me Donkey Kong hit PCs sometime...

      Well for me Retro PC games would be more in the Prince of Persia (2D one), T.I.M., Moon Patrol, Pango etc etc era...

      Oh well as long as the young 'un wants to call Sim City 2000 retro then I humbly submit that

      a. Completely wrong to leave out Duke Nukem 3D due to some feminist crap


  2. Giles Jones Gold badge


    We're getting nostalgic about the 1990s already? I personally think more innovation in gaming occurred in the 8-bit days.

    The progression of PC gaming has largely been about improving realism, better graphics, physics and AI. The Wii showed everyone that actually you need to improve the control mechanism and the fun factor.

    1. Anotheroneforthewaspfactory

      Wii a progression of gaming??

      Have you ever actually played on one or do you enjoy looking like a ragdoll being given an electric shock? The Wii is stuck in the 90's and not a progression in gaming, just an interesting experiment, and besides the article was about PC games.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      wii wii wii all the way home

      I have the wii and the xbox.

      The wii tends to get used for novelty games when people are round, bowling and the likes, and the wii fit to pretend I'm doing my "regular exercise at the gym 3 times a week".

      It it nothing more in my opinion than a gamecube with an motion sensing controller. Innovative at the time, though MS and Sony are now catching up.

      The xbox is where the real gaming happens. Sitting with a controller. None of this moving about nonsense! :)

  3. AliJ

    How can you have missed off Worms???

    Surely the best PC game of all time... It's still the only computer game I have installed at home!

    Hand grenade? The 2nd best weapon after the concret donkey!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      It always made me chuckle that spamming the chat box to bring up the madly ringing red telephone on your opponent's screen is actually in the tactics section of the manual....

      1. A. Lewis

        As well as...

        The section on 'dark side' play, tunneling and using girders to hide.

    2. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

      Nothing beats

      a banana bomb delivered by a careful jetpack flyby

      ...oh, the joys of overkill

    3. Wade Burchette

      There is a new Worms game

      The new Worms is even better than the old ones.

      But the best game not on the list is Transport Tycoon. I still play that game even today.

  4. Adrian Esdaile


    The game that brought you the 'oh, is that sunrise?' moment for the first time. Just one more turn, THEN I'll go to bed / work / uni / school.

    SW:KOTR is hardly retro; it was in the 2000's for Paris' sake.

    Where is Star Wars: X Wing? or TIE Fighter? or Dark Forces?

    Where is Wollfenstein? Where is NetHack?

    1. Dapprman

      Dam Rights - Where's Civ

      All I can think of is that the Lucy never played it else it would be up there at #1.

      Also, as she has said that she'd be looking at original games - why Command & Conquer ? - this was just Dune 2 with some minor tweaks (increase in the number of units for a start) and a change in the back ground and name of the sides.

    2. Alexander 3

      I concur with the flaming man

      Civ should be there, any one of them. And X-Wing. Retro to me is 10+ years ago and I'm sure that's a fairly relaxed criterion... Incidentally, that makes PS2 retro and xbox very nearly...

    3. ArmanX

      Agreed! Civ should definitely be up there!

      Other favorites of mine include Caesar (I and II), Alpha Centaurii, Colonization, Lemmings, Worms, Wolfenstein (the first FPS I ever played)... some of these might not have been the best ever, but I think Civ definately places.

      At least StarCraft and HalfLife are up there.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Too many shoot em ups.

    Where are :-




    If you want longevity,,,

    You probably havent heard of Harpoon, but it came out in the early 90's and I still play it today!!

    1. Marcus Aurelius


      Was too buggy at the time to play, and most of the missions seemed to be launch missiles in the general direction of the enemy and pray they got a lock on a target before the incoming ones sank you.

      M1A1 Tank Platoon and Gunship were quite good though, even though experience with some of the weaknesses resulted in easy victories.

      I'd still kill for a really good WW2 sub game; every single one seemed to be too flawed to use....

      1. ridley


        Try Silent Hunter III with the GWX mod, best Submarine Sim out there IMHO.

        But where is "Elite" in all of this?


  6. Monty Burns

    .... how did you miss the greatest of them all?


    How can you possibly have missed what the vast majority of 90's gamers all had at some point?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't you mean...

      ...1980's gamers?

      Anyway, there's a distinct lack of pre PC era games on that list, not very retro is it?

      1. stucs201

        which version

        I think the later VGA Elite+ may have been 90s, however the original CGA version would be 80s.

        (Pirate: I must have shot thousands of them to finish both versions)

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Shame on you

          The BBC version has to be the definitive version. Especially if played with a 6502 2nd processor and a bitstick.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      the "Vast Majority"?

      If we're going to refer to the "Vast Majority" of gamers in the 90's, then clearly you're talking about the most GLARINGLY conspicuous absence of them all.

      The only game I know of that not only generated a worldwide community, but had generated large tournaments that still take place every year carrying it's name.


  7. John G Imrie

    Missed an alfull lot of Pre PC games


    Chucky egg.


    Manic Miner

    The Hobbit

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      can't really have a pre-PC retro PC game can you?

  8. Chris Byers

    A timely reminder?

    Is it any coinceidece that R3play, the retro gaming and arcade expo is taking place in Blackpool next weekend?

  9. Ralph B

    More to PC gaming than just FPS

    While you were so busy shooting stuff, you missed Leisure Suite Larry and Myst.

    This ex-Netware user was also rather fond of nsnipes. (Ooh, I've just found I'll have to try that later.)

    1. Cameron Colley

      Snipes rules (look it up if you don't know what we mean).

      I think I am right in saying that nlsnipes (the one you want, by the way, Ralph) was the first multiplayer network game -- many a fun hour was spent in the school computer lab competing with up to a dozen other people, before a great many people even knew what a network was.

      1. Marcus Aurelius
        Thumb Up


        Essex University MUD (Multi User Dungeon) would like a word with you....

        ...I bought other peoples computer time to play this and performed my coursework on a BBC Micro. Probably explains why I got a 3rd....

        Incidentally I went for interview to Manchester University and they were playing a 3d maze tank game on a network there in 1981 on a University Open Day in their Computing Science department

    2. Adam Williamson 1


      she included Monkey Island 2 at #1, presumably as a kind of avatar for all the Lucasarts adventures (my favourite's Grim Fandango), which are immeasurably superior in all respects to the Sierra crap. The gameplay works better (having points and 'game over' in adventures is stupid), the artwork is better, and the plotting is vastly better.

  10. Chris 2


    "the twist has to be experienced for its pure ability to blindside you"

    Seriously? I find it very hard to believe anyone didn't see it coming a mile off - it was blatantly obvious from about the second dream sequence onwards (leaving Taris, I think). I distinctly remember waiting for the payoff for something like 10 hours of gameplay.

    Still, great game. It has to be said I wouldn't _honestly_ count it as "retro" though. Is there really that much difference between it and, say, Dragon Age apart from graphics?

  11. lIsRT


    No Deus Ex? - "Every time you mention it, *someone* will re-install it."

    That was the only glaring omission that I'd have included; there'd be a few more personal choices though - things like EF2000, Carmageddon, UFO, Red Alert, Civilisation, Elite II.

    This brings back memories 50/50 split between the first few hours of Xmas morning, and long hot Summer days (which were of course spent in front of the screen, curtains closed).

    1. Cameron Colley

      I was in the war!



      Gotta love those cunning stunts.

    2. Autonomous Cowherd

      I am that someone.

      Yup, you can feel satisfied that you have helped someone you dont know relive memories that we share.

      Funny old world innit? :)

  12. Bastard Operator From Hull

    Commanding Conkers

    Nit-picking I know, but the screengrab is from the 1999 game Tiberian Sun, not the 1995 classic, as well as Diablo bearing an uncanny resemblence to a post-GDI/NOD-war era?

    It is criminal that Black & White was included at the expense of (any) 80s platformer, or Civilisation et al.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bond. James Bond.

    Surprised you picked UT over Quake (which was surely the post-Doom gateway to FPSers) but most of the other games are spot on.

    If you don't restrict it to PCs, however, my vote for the best game ever is GoldenEye 64 which nearly cost me my degree.

    1. Sigmund Fraud

      M-M-M-Monster Kill

      Quake 3 was just vanilla, whereas UT really kicked ass with it's innovative weapons and all new gamemodes. I am playing UT even now after 10 years. It never gets old.

  14. Bynar

    No Xwing / Tie Fighter?!?!?

    List fail.

  15. A. Lewis

    Good stuff.

    Excellent choices there! :)

  16. Torben Mogensen


    Surely Masters of Orion 2 must rank up there? It must be the one game (apart from Elite on the BBC) that I have spent most time on. I also miss Age of Empires -- I find that there are too many shoot-them-up games on the list.

    1. Alexander 3
      Thumb Up

      MoO2....hell yeah

      I approve wholeheartedly of both those games! MOO2 in particular stole too many of my hours and too much of my heart...

  17. annodomini2

    What no Civilisation?


  18. Paul Hates Handles

    People missing the point

    Retro_ PC_ games. Lemmings was more of an Amiga / ST (spit) game.

    Jet Set Willy was a Speccy game (and 8-bit home computers).

    Donkey Kong et al were console games. Myself I'd have added Wolfenstein 3D / Spear of Destiny as ground-breaking to this list. C'est la vie.

    Also, the article has the wrong screenshot for Diablo.

  19. Lamont Cranston

    I'd consider most of these games to be relatively recent.

    I'm old, aren't I?

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Probably one of the best examples of a game that had such a huge hit, followed by such a dismal disaster.

    And no mention of Neverwinter Nights? One of the longer lasting community-enhanced multi-players that's been out almost a decade and still going strong (up until last year within the top 3 of GameSpy's list, occasionally beating Unreal and other new FPS games for top spots)

    Funny story.. Obsidian is behind killing both franchises (NWN2 and KOTOR2) due to their inept programming and crappy quality controls.

  21. Winkypop Silver badge

    Duke Nukem For Ever

    Don't get your panties all in a bunch...

  22. Tom 38

    Aww cute

    32 bit nostalgia already?

    My faves that didnt make the list:

    Speedball 2

    Dungeon Master

    Xenon 2


    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      If I ever hear the phrase 'Green wizard shot the food' ever again I'll just have to go out and buy the arcade machine, yes, the 4 PLAYER arcade machine.

      God I hated Green Wizard :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ah, the hours wasted on that machine

        It definitely helped me not to pass my degree.

        Unfortunately I'm not joking, thankfully life without one hasn't been too bad and this far down the line its hard to imagine how it might have been.

      2. nobby


        Red Wizard Needs Food, Badly

      3. Stuart Elliott
        Thumb Up

        Valkyrie is about to die

        Gauntlet ftw.

      4. Argh

        Kids these days

        You're thinking of the far more modern Gauntlet 2 ("Green Wizard is it", "Blue valkyrie now has... reflective shot" etc.).

        In Gauntlet, the wizard would always be yellow ("Wizard needs food, badly", almost always followed by "Warrior shot the food" as your friend laughed).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "Elf has eaten all the food lately"


          Bip Bip Bip ow Bip Bip Bip Ow ow Bip Bip Bip

          (pushing a stunned player ahead of you as ghost mop)

      5. Craig Chambers

        That's Gauntlet 2

        If you remember "Green Wizard shot the food" then you remember Gauntlet 2, which allowed all players to choose a character. Gauntlet had the simpler "Wizard shot the food"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dungeon Master

      Tom 38 u r my man... DUNGEON MASTER, my first real pc & rpg game, given up many nights on that one. This is some retro S*%£ or I don t know what I m talking about. Addictive, deep gameplay, amazing graphs 'when it came out). DM rules!

      What about warcraft II ??? Honestly.

      Starcraft is no retro, it was still played last year (and is still played) before SCII came out. And it s dad is Warcraft II (not even I) countless lan parties on this one. (and isn t the most played and bankable game today today one of it s offspring??). "Yes my loard", griffon rush and xploding dwarves. Seriously?

      RTS speaking, it was far more played than C&C, came before (if I remember well) and the grandfather is warcraft I which could also be played LAN. And, C&C seems to me like a copy of Dune, innovative RTS game that built the foudations of this modern kind (3 races does it ring abell?). Good game, good memories.

      Thx for the selections, reminded some fun times.

  23. DuncanL

    Ahh - Sim City 2000 with speech samples!

    "Reticulating splines...."


    ZX81 anyone?

    Imagine a 3D first person game... but running in 16Kbytes, on an 8bit CPU, with no hard disk, and no 3D graphics card?

    '3D Monster Maze' (J.K.Greye/Malcolm Evans) was an incredible achievement for its time, and the limited capability of the ZX81 platform... and the precursor to all other 3D games like Wolfenstein, Doom, Half Life, Unreal.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing the point much guys?

    This is Lucy's Top Ten Retro Games, not YOUR top 10, what's retro to one person may not be for others, depending how old you are and when you started playing games. It will always be subjective.

    If you want to do your own Top 10 why not blog it and link it in comments? :)

    Some great games there, actually a couple I know the names of but had never played, always nice to have a trip down memory lane from time to time.

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad
      Thumb Up

      Fair point !

      So limiting to games I only played on the PC mine would have to be....

      Civilisation 1/2/3/4/5 (lol)

      Masters of Orion 2

      Baldur's Gate 1/2

      Fallout 1/2/Tactics


      Unreal Tournament


      Age of Empires

      UFO: Enemy Unknown + XCOM Games

      Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

      1. Andrew Baines Silver badge

        Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

        LOL - I thought I was the only fan. Just loved the terraforming and ability to create own units. The different factions were genuinely different too.

        Got a feeling everyone's retro top 10 depends upon their age - past 40, I'm thinking Elite, Manic Miner, Wolfenstein 3D, Pacman

        1. Florcz

          There's 3 of us!

          Alpha Centauri was great!

          And Ascendancy - I thought I was the only one... many many hours/days/years spent on that!

          Anyone remember Populous?

        2. TakeTheSkyRoad

          Re : Andrew

          Elite I played on the Amiga so discounted it lol

          Alpha Centauri was one of those games I kept coming back to over the years which in my mind makes a classic. The likes of Black & White are great groundbreaking stuff & with awards but if it's not sill being played years later then isn't not in the list !

          Honory mention for Magic Carpet :)

      2. ArmanX
        Thumb Up

        Yes! Alpha Centauri! I loved that game!

        I've always wanted an RTS like that; my favorite tactic was to terraform a mountain just beside an enemy... the change in landscape meant they would starve. Well, that and I could easily make a land bridge.

        Adding a terraform unit to a game like Age of Empires (or a modern equivalent) would be beyond awesome.

    2. stuhacking

      Well then...

      ...maybe Lucy should get a blog.

  26. spider from mars

    i nominate

    UFO: Enemy Unknown

    1. Parax

      Xcom UFO

      Me too! I still play this in a dosbox console.

      and would love it for android!

  27. min
    Thumb Up

    was i the only guy..

    ..who played Prince of Persia(and PoP 2) almost religiously, trying to beat my time?

    i still play them on and off.

    X-wing would've been the first game on the list, had it been mine!

    buy boy does the list bring back some memories!

    1. Peter Kay

      PoP was pretty good

      You can download updated PoP levels for hardcore players, even now. Additionally there's a remake of the first game on XBox Live.

      I think I'm going to have to disagree with other people including Elite, though, even if it did have a PC version. Don't get me wrong, Elite was good in 1985, but it was light on plot, difficult to get started (the joy of docking, amongst other things) and had a huge amount of grinding to reach Deadly, never mind Elite. Instead, I'd highlight the 1993 Privateer. There's a proper plot, greatly improved graphics and sound, yet still the ability to go off and do your own thing. There's also a free remake, although the number of enemy ships can currently be a bit overwhelming.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon


        After Rockstarecely did the old West in GTA fashion, I'm waiting for them to make a sandbox universe based on Elite (or Privateer, the game which ended my A levels a year early :)

  28. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

    Old, not retro.


    How do we define this term?

    OCED says:

    Retro: adj.

    Contemporary creation imitative of a style from the recent past.

    The works of Charles Dickens are old, not retro.

    My recent (rather poor) novel written in a Dickensian style could be consisdered retro.

    These games may be dated. Retro, they are not.

  29. Peter Kay
    Thumb Up

    That's mostly a good list, but..

    I can't disagree with most of that, even if it doesn't fit my own taste in games. Does Black and White really fit the criteria, though? It starts well, but I found it to lack variety once about the fourth world had been reached, and the pet was always a bit of a problem.

    Personally I'd substitute Day of the Tentacle for SoMI and as I'm not a fan of online FPSes, I'd throw in the only ten years old but completely awesome Planescape:Torment.

    Duke Nukem 3D was a good FPS, and lives on with the eDuke32 engine, but is vastly inferior to Jedi Knight released a year later. JK takes full advantage of the Star Wars franchise, it has CD audio music, inventive (if difficult) level design and the light sabre actually generates light (it doesn't in the sequel). There's high resolution models that can be patched into it now, and a DirectX dll that ensures it works on Vista/7. It remains tremendous fun, even now.

  30. Alex C

    Diversity rules

    It seems Elite is the most chosen (from the comments above) missing link. Also I agree it is a little FPS-centric for my particular taste.

    CIV & SimCity are definitely there, (though they eventually lost the plot and became more complicated than is fun).

    Elite & NetHack were also fantastic games of their type.

    Fallout was one of the most original takes on an RPG ever, surely.

    Games I still play every so often - and so pass the test of still being playable after all these years.

    Wizardry 8 (currently at Mt Gigas) Sadly I can't make it work on win 7 though...


    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

    Sid Meier's Pirates!

    Heroes of Might and Magic 3

    But then I'm sad and those are to my taste.

    Now, who's up for a nice game of Global Thermonuclear War?

  31. The Mighty Spang

    Black and White but no Deus Ex

    like i'm going to take anything you say seriously from now on. pfffft.

  32. Mystic Megabyte


    The *most* addictive game, extremely frantic and with the funniest sound effects.

    If any one knows how to make this run (with the sound working) on anything other than pure MSDOS please post the answer.

  33. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    good list

    I would add final fantasy 7. Lets be honest, how many of you grew a gold chokobo? Come on seriously, about 80 hours of breeding and racing to get a gold chokobo JUST so you could run up a mountain and get the power of the 'knights of the round table'. Every casting has about 12 knights laying the smack dab.

    But as a list, you seem to have chosen the genre defining or the biggest selling, Which is a good list, though Duke nukem set the tone for comedy where most games didn't, and should be included. total annihilation for an RTS with "see how many units you can get on screen at the same time" Mortal combat for console based beat 'em ups, spawing a new phrase for gamers and helped fuel consoles back in the day of the mega drive etc.

    Dune 2, that started the RTS which C&C just added FMV to. (And which plays nicely on my N900)

    1. Robert Baker

      Dune 2 the first RTS?

      Sorry, definitely not -- it was Stonkers on the good ol' Speccy.

  34. Ian Ferguson

    What? These are all modern games!

    No Pong?

    *needs a dry sarcasm icon*

  35. Gavin McMenemy


    While undeniably a good game KOTOR is not one of the best "retro" titles..

    Half life should be up there (because of it's impact). Deus EX too but...

    Here's the caveat...

    The one PC (yes PC) game that isn't mentioned, and should, is System Shock 2. Half Life (Deus Ex) are the progeny of that game. Without it you wouldn't have HL and, for the console gamers, HALO. And if you've never played it... trust me when I say that it is a genuinely creepy, scary game. With a complex story compellingly told. There are people out there STILL maintaining it so that you can keep playing it.

    I also thought that to count as retro (in gaming terms) a title had to be a minimum of 10 years old?

    I'd also settle for System Shock but it didn't get everything quite a right as it's successor.

    1. Jerome 0

      Half Life / SS2

      Half Life is the progeny of System Shock 2, a game that was released almost a year later than it?

      SS2 and Deus Ex were both stunning games, never equalled since in terms of sheer innovation. The combination of FPS and role-playing elements in both titles made them my favourite games ever. It took a decade, until Fallout 3, for anyone to come close to anything as compelling.

      But the original System Shock must surely be the game that started the whole thing off, and really deserves its place in this list. It predated Half Life by a good five years, and while not quite as polished a title, it was in many ways far more innovative.

      1. Gavin McMenemy


        I seem to remember SS2 being out well before either HL or DE. Maybe I AM thinking of SS1.

        Okay. Mentally edit my post to say SS1. And remove all entries to do with SS2.

        Bizarre. The old noggin is obviously not what it used to be.

        I also remember that SS2 had a co-op patch well before Co-Op became fashionable.

        1. Adam Williamson 1


          Doom, which is on this list, had co-op in 1993.

  36. oldredlion


    I can't believe Dune 2 was missed off the list and paved the way for all the later RTS games.

    And as tom38 said above - Dungeon Master!

    1. oldredlion


      I don't remember dungeon master, I meant

      Dungeon Keeper.

      How I forgot the best game ever in the whole world I'll never know...

  37. KCM


    Where is:

    Xenon 2 MegaBlast

    Railroad Tycoon

    Transport Tycoon

    F-15 Strike Eagle

    etc etc etc...

    32 bit games are retro. Saints preserve us....

  38. Magnus_Pym

    D/Generation FTW

    title says it all.

  39. Ministry of Truth

    How can you leave out...


  40. Deadly_NZ

    Ahh the great timeburners of old

    How about Freelancer

  41. Murphy's Lawyer

    Lords of Midnight

    Yes, it was available on the PC - and there are genuine retro versions available with enhnaced graphics.

    Same goes for "Doomdark's Revenge", which had me up until 3am on a regular basis (oo-er, missus: getting me coat now...)

    1. fandom
      Thumb Up


      Those games were brilliant, I think I am ashamed to admit how much time I spent creating a full map of the Doomdark's Revenge game.

      Pity about 'The dark citadel' sequel for the PC which was pathetic, it's only saving point was including in the CD PC versions of the old spectrum games.

  42. Geoff 25

    can't believe...

    nobody mentioned Populous :-(

    Populous, Lemmings, X-Wing... they were the games I wasted weeks of my life playing.

    1. Jerome 0


      Indeed - it's a crime to miss out Populous, and yet include Molyneux's vastly over-hyped and ultimately rather disappointing follow-up, Black and White. There's no excuse for that, especially in a list purporting to be in any way "retro".

  43. TCTCTC

    Let's give it a shot...

    Trip down memory lane to when I still had time to (seriously) play games. I think these are all pre-2000 which is retro enough for me. In order of preference:

    1) TIE Fighter (by miles and given by other comments *the* missing game in TheReg list)

    2) Baldur's Gate (sequel was even better though still wouldn't put it above TIE)

    3) Half-Life (still remember the total sense of amazement playing this the first time)

    4) Civilization 2

    5) Diablo

    6) DOOM

    7) SimCity 2000

    8) Alpha Centauri

    9) Dune 2 (totally deserves it's place in the top 10 instead of C&C)

    10) Carmageddon

    Just not in the list: Shogun Total War (not pre-2000) and Jagged Alliance (relatively unknown it seems?).

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Drive the cyarrrr

    Some excellent choices there, though an emphasis on RPGs and FPSs.

    I wouldn't quite class that Star Wars game as retro, more the kind of game I might pick up for a £5 on a bargain game stand and fire on my newly built phenom (as I did Serious Sam).

    Some motorsport games for the car geeks amongst us from my younger days wasted on a 486:

    - Geoff Crammond's F1 - Vector graphics that worked well on a low spec machine, fantastic F1 simulation that wasn't bettered for years.

    - Indycar racing - (and the similar Nascar variety) from Papyrus - US based open wheeled racing, similar to Crammond's F1 but slightly better graphics and a tremendous sense of speed on the larger ovals (Michigan on Indy, Talladega on the stock cars). Nascar and Indy2 even included a paint shop to make your own custom liveries, something we now take for granted on the likes of Forza.

    - Toca (and the later Toca2) - Although better known as PS1 titles, the PC versions were excellent saloon car racing games combined with a wheel. Always had a real sense of racing from the moment you picked up the game, no need to work for weeks at the back of the field, nor the other way where after a day you find yourself continually at the front of the field, just a nice balance between the two.

    - Micro machines 2 - Fun top down game with a custom course editor

    - GTA - While it looked like a micro machines game, the open world and missions were a revelation at the time, and spawned a whole series and genre.

    - Destruction Derby - Banger racing game, just about ran on an SX processor manually installing and rebuilding the directory structure.

    1. Marcus Aurelius

      Geoff Crammond

      I have fond memories of REVS for the BBC micro....

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dungeon Master

    Dungeon Master is an all time favourite of mine, right up there with the first Quake, Leisure Suite Larry, Myst and probably others.

    The the person saying why no arcade games, because this is Top Ten retro _PC_ games, not games in general.

    1. Piloti

      Leisure Suite Larry

      .... was a game I played with a friend on his brand spanking new IBM PC .... he was so proud.

      I was still ploughing on with my Acorn Electron and, at the time, I never say the appeal of these 'big' machines..... not much more grunt than the 'leccy. And the Leccy had Elite!

      Shows how much I know 'eh!!


      1. John_C

        The application is more important than the platform

        You were wise, the Electron had a decent version of Elite, the PC didn't. 'nuff said :)

  46. Greg J Preece

    See, I didn't like most of that list

    Doom was crap, C&C was too basic and slow, Diablo was tedious, Black and White was just annoying.

    For me, I'd have inserted The Terminator: Future Shock, a healthy dose of Mechwarrior 2, Civilization II, and some Wing Commander/Independence War/Tachyon: The Fringe.

  47. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    No TombRaider

    That nearly cost me my degree.

    But not very retro seeing as they are still releasing games.

    I would have to say Quake stands way above Unreal.

  48. James Hughes 1

    Nobody mentioned...


    Once you got the hang of the controls, this was in a class of its own. Could give you vertigo! Would be fantastic on a big screen with modern graphics.

    Also, Freelancer and Wing Commander as mentioned above. And what about Day of the Tentacle?

    Ahh, so many games.

  49. Zog The Undeniable


    Quake II? OK, the rot set in with Quake III Arena, but Quake was *the* FPS franchise after Doom.

  50. DRendar

    Guybrush Threewood

    Shouldn't that be Guybrush Threepwood?


    XCOM: UFO Unknown


    Sure they should have been in there - I know they're in mine - how the hell Black and White can be considered 'Retro' id beyond me, unless the author is 10 years old!

  51. EddieD

    One reviewer's list, is one reader's argument..

    And publishing this list gives us a chance to argue and give our lists.

    I'd add in Populous, Elite, Dungeon Master, Civilisation,

  52. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Dungeon Keeper?

    My partner is still playing it, even after 10 years... I've even learned how to write new levels and have constructed 75 (so far) for her to play. And no matter how hard I make them, she's never defeated! (Just don't play her at multiplayer, she ALWAYS wins!)

  53. paulc


    No Civ, Railroad Tycoon

    no golf games: PGA Tour (the old pre 486 version), Links 386 to name a few...

    and distinct lack of any version of Flight Simulator (FS 98 being my favourite, but FS 5 has a soft spot in my heart for all the time spent creating scenery and planes for it)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Golf and other reminisces

      Very good call.

      Passing the keyboard round on PGA tour was more fun than it should be. Even the Mega Drive port was great fun at the time, with an interesting mac-style user interface.

      Microsoft Golf 2 was one of my first PC games, basically Links 386 for Win16. Graphics were incredible at the time ("photo realistic" 640x480) however on the 486 it took a good couple of minutes to render the course between each stroke. Still trying to obtain this game to run under dosbox / virtualbox.

      Nothing compared to Wii Sports golf or the Tiger Woods EA franchise nowadays though.

      On the sports theme:

      - Alex Higgins world tour snooker. Still more fun than an EGA game should be! -

      - Skifree! Now downloadable from the developer as a Win32 exe

      On the same floppy disks in my disk box as those were apogee classics in zip files, shareware episodes with pkunzip to get at them

      - Secret Agent Mission

      - Crystal Caves

      - Dark Ages

  54. Shakje

    Some good choices in the comments...

    I'd probably have the following (in no particular order, and I am an FPS freak):




    CS (now about 10 years old, does it qualify [and this makes me feel old]?)

    Unreal (just because graphically it was phenomenally superior to anything else, I remember seeing that waterfall for the first time and my jaw dropping)

    and now I've got the FPS' out the way (Wolf3D while fun doesn't surpass any of the above):

    Grand Prix 2 (hours wasted lowering lap times and messing with the wings)


    X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (easily the best of the series, and the multiplayer was utterly brilliant)

    then I'm a bit undecided between System Shock 2 (which scared the utter crap out of me) and Dungeon Keeper (which kept me entertained for hours, even just possessing different demons...)

    And finally, the game that started everything for me really (i.e. got me interested in games), Commander Keen. If it wasn't PC games I might go back to Head Over Heels, Jewels of Darkness, and then the games we played at primary school like Pod and Granny's Garden (both of which you can now buy for PC).

  55. Piloti

    Not that anyone cares, but.....

    ... my list of 'retro' would be :

    Elite : Repton : Football Manager [Acorn Electron version ; yes, showing my age....] and H2G2.

    I also really liked Starship Titanic. Not a brilliant game, but gorgeous to look at and very funny.

    And for the Play Station : Vib Ribbon : the only reason I bought a Play Station really......


  56. Mage Silver badge

    Too many FPS

    I think Lucy, I would not want to meet you in a dark alley.

    In no particular order ...

    Original Duke Nukem

    EGA Trek



    Commander Keen

    Jill of the Jungle

    Titus the Fox


    Simon the Sorcerer

    Broken Sword

    Civilization II and add-ons

    Warcraft original

    Many more far better than most on the list.

    I'd only rate one or two of those as top ten.

    I know lots of people liked Doom, but it's mindless "wack a mole" really...

  57. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    and a game I can't remember the name of......

    .... was a top down 'dungeon' style game for the Acorn Electron.

    The brilliant part was that the screen and the playing area was split into four , with each corner being a 'player'. Basically, find the key to get out. One key, four players.

    And because it was one playing area, the players could cross each others paths, and were not limited to just their own bit......

    The only down side : four people around an Electron......


    1. TakeTheSkyRoad

      Sounds like Gauntlet...

      ... but probably wasn't :)

      1. Piloti
        Thumb Up


        ................ Y E S !!!!!



  58. Caspian Prince

    As someone previously said, those games are just "old"

    ... these games are retro:

    Shameless plug! But the register has wasted years of my life so I think they can share the love.

    Cas :)

    1. Alex C

      as long as we're shamelessly plugging

      I've bought a few games off these guys:

      Basically they buy up old titles, take the DRM off them, and make them downloadable as often as you want. All for the same price worldwide $6 or $10. you also get any later patches and manuals as well.

      Which is perfect for what my netbook can handle.

  59. Tony Barnes

    UFO - Enemy Unknown

    A few other highlighted it above, but quite simply the best PC game ever conceived. I still remember playing the demo on my dad's work laptop - an IBM thinkpad who's rubbery plastic smell I still vividly remember and associate with the first time I played what turned into possibly my favourite game of all time.

    Sure I was gutted when the laser animations had changed between the demo and full game, but it didn't lose any of its appeal.

    One of those very rare games that upon completion, you couldn't wait to start all over again.

    For shame that is missed your list!!!

  60. Paul Hates Handles

    Retro gaming:

    Any game where you go "Oh, I remember that!"

  61. Tigra 07


    What? No Sonic Games?

    Signpost, because there isn't a hedgehog sign

  62. Cunningly Linguistic


    How about?

    * X-Wing/TIE Fighter

    * The Descent trilogy

    * Commander Keen

    * Crystal Caves

    * Duke Nukem 3D

    * Quake II

    * Rise of the Triad

    * Unreal

    * Sam & Max Hit the Road

    * Pajama Sam / Putt Putt (for the really small)

  63. Jades

    Surprised nobody's mentioned...

    Thief: The Dark Project. Should qualify as it's older than some on Lucy's list (1998). It was revolutionary at the time and very few games have ever come close to matching the gameplay since. The lighting effects in particular were great and I have a particular fondness for it as it was the game I was playing when I upgraded my system with a TNT2 Ultra. The difference that card made was amazing and I remember marvelling about just how much better the level I was on looked.

    The best bit, though, has to be the chatter from the AI, some of which could be quite epic - "All these people around me are so stupid, so incompetent, so lazy! I don't see why I have to be the one to be put with these incompetent people. While everyone else is out running around... When am I going to get my dinner? That's what I want to know. When am I going to get my dinner?"

    Not to mention "Join us! JOIN US NOW!"

    1. Sit&Rotate

      RE: Thief

      Agreed, Thief is brilliant, though I guess there's only so many games you can put on a top ten list!

      I hope you're aware of the many (over 700) fan made missions for Thief (mostly Thief 2), some of them better than the originals. Since it's Halloween time, I'll put a shout out for an amazing mission called 'Rose Cottage' which is a must play. If you only play one FM, make it this one.

  64. ilovemymonkey

    ??? The Clue!?

    My favourite game ever, The Clue! was an immense game that I've played over and over again...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can you leave descent off this list?

  66. mego


    From beginning to end it spans over two decades (almost three if you count Ultima Online editions), from the first version released in 1980 to the last online client in 2007...

  67. bastardwizard

    Some really notable absentees here... no Mechwarrior for starts

    There is some good stuff on this list- I love that KOTOR is on there. But still, some really noticeable absentees:

    1. Quake series (the first especially, but so many games used the Quake II/III engine...)


    Mechwarrior series, (Take your pick- the arguable origin of the term "clan" in modern gaming, some of the best multi-player of its time in IV...)

    3. Soldier of Fortune (GORE)

    4. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D- Amazing graphics for its time, and just so addictive.

    5. WORMS!!!!!!

    Arguably X: Beyond the Frontier/X-pansion and/or its sequels should be here too. Revolutionary for its time- but those are not as known.

    Same goes for Nocturne.

  68. Mouse_Nightshirt


    No X-Com? Shameful.

  69. Donk

    No Total Annihilation?

    Starcraft over Total Annihilation? For shame.

    Alpha Centauri is another sorely missing one.

  70. Johan Bastiaansen


    Some good choices, but surely Elite should be there.

  71. Johnny Canuck
    Thumb Up

    DOS game

    Koei's RTK3, whick I still play today under dosbox.

  72. tom 24

    Unreal... Tournament??

    I guess if you completely pretend Quake never happened, Unreal Tournament could, sort of, be considered the birthplace of online multiplayer gaming. I guess. Sorta.

    On the other hand, if you're going to use the death of the single-player FPS as a significant milestone in the development of modern games, why not Quake 3?

  73. FozzyBear


    Can't believe it either No Total Annihilation . Oh well everyone has their own favourites I guess. have to admit though for classic or retro PC games no mention of TA or elite or Ultima. Hmm. Time to fire up the old P166 and get back in the saddle

  74. David Hicks

    Errr.... Birth of the clans through unreal? Get real!

    The clans came about in 1996 at the latest, with Quake and Quakeworld. I know 'cos I was in one!

    Quakeworld, a low-bandwidth, latency-reducing Quake-1 modification is what really kicked off multiplayer FPS over the net, modems or 'real' connections. That and the guys that made QSpy - later Gamespy, so that you could find a game and launch into it with a few clicks.

    Unreal Tournament and Q3 came along years later.

    This article is revisionist history!!

    1. Adam Williamson 1


      thanks for writing that, saves me the effort.

      what clan were you in? I was in [pp] for a bit, the Cambridge clan, which did fairly well at Counter-Strike purely because of our ridiculously low pings. Before that I was in one called [JK], I think. I remember the top UK clan used to be DC (Demonic Core) - I knew the guys who founded that from the Doom BBS days.

      What's sad is that it's almost impossible to find any decent record of the Quake through Quake 3 clan days now (just try it) - there's some dead websites but I can't find any of the classic demos or write-ups of major tournaments or anything any more. I wonder if someone has an archive site up somewhere. It's funny how that scene just died.

      1. David Hicks


        I was in [CT], which never did an awful lot, we were running out of one of the halls of residence at Imperial College back in 96/97. We played a few matches against [SG] (Spice Girls) who, IIRC, were at Birmingham uni, some DM and some TF. One or two other matches but not a lot.

        I loved QW TF...

        I remember taking on a few of the [QL] (Quake Lords) guys 1:1 on duel servers and getting my ass handed to me, which suddenly turned into some sort of bizarre reverence when I told them I hadn't learned to use a mouse to play Quake with yet and had managed a few kills... After that I learned and got better!

        And of course there was Sujoy Roy running around looking like a great orange hulk and fragging everything in sight.... Dear god, the man has an entry on wikipedia. I either want to kill him or steal his life, I'm not sure which!

        CT stood for Clan Trumpton and we named ourselves after the firemen. Pugh, Pugh, Barney-McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb :)

        I was Captain Flack, the one doing the roll-call. I believe we had a Windy Miller and a couple of other characters too. Ah, good times!

  75. Doug Glass


    No Frogger????

  76. Aussie Brusader

    My favourite site for all your legal old school downloads.

    I've lost a few more weekends after finding that place... :-)

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    precursor to Halo...

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Marathon..

      Ah yes, now you're talking. I spent *many* happy hours playing and re-playing all three games in the trilogy.

      In fact, you'll find some of my maps in the final three-game release set.

  78. Pahhh

    @Bond. James Bond @What no Civilisation? #

    Yeah I agree that Quake should have been over Unreal Tournement.

    And yeah, what the heck happened to Civ?

  79. Andy Farley

    Black and White? Really?

    Anything but that.

    Civ - still playing IV

    Quake - bought off Steam and played again last month.

    And what I have installed and STILL play in the original form: Combat Mission.

  80. Rogerborg
    Paris Hilton

    Stick to kittens and knitting, love

    Leave the serious stuff to menfolk.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really retro for a Top 10 Retro games?

    Where Leisure Suit Larry in all this?

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Erm what about Quake?

    Quake was immense for its time, also TITS or GTFO with your Duke Nukem comments "Oh I'ma lady, Duke Nukem was sexist in his games boo hoo" You really should have based this on actual popularity rather than your own opinion, I mean come on who do you think you are, Steve Jobs?

  83. Alex Walsh

    Black and White

    ...isn't a game. It looks lovely but Pete spent so long trying to get your Avatar to dance to music CD's and the like, he forgot to put a game in there.

  84. Fred Mbogo
    Thumb Down

    This list fails

    Because it didn't include Fallout 1 or 2.

  85. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Lots of people will have already said similar

    But you are missing:

    Elite (And Frontier, despite being buggy as hell)

    Diablo II (so much better than Diablo)


    Civilization II

    Populous II

    Lords of Chaos

    See, that's properly retro!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My Top 10 Retro PC Games, in no particular order (I don't think any 2 people will ever agree on thes things)

    1, Arena Elder Scroll, make your own spells, awesome sword swingy mouse effects, sand boxy, I spent a year playing it before some sod told me about the main plot.

    2, Doom

    3, Bard Tale 3, good fun, for months.

    4, Planescape Torment, best pc rpg ever.

    5, Civilization

    6, Masters Of Orion 2

    7, Tie Fighter

    8, Freespace 2

    9, System Shock

    10, Counter Strike

  87. Anonymous Coward

    Riven, anybody?

    That was my early favourite

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      wasn't that a followup?

      I remember playing the lot can't remember the names though.

      great environmental feel just not so imersive/intense

      1. mego

        FYI: Riven is the ..

        .. follow up to Myst, arguably one of the best selling games of all time.

  88. Frank Long

    Championship Manager?

    Not a single mention of this time destroyer. Started playing it in 93/94, insanely addictive, if painfully slow. The record of how long you'd been playing a particular game for was always a bad thing. I didn't need to know that I had wasted weeks of my life getting Doncaster Rovers to the Champions League.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this enough of a title?

    Starcraft? Surely you mean Warcraft being the much bigger game.

    I'd include UFO: Enemy Unkown (aka XCOM) too, and I'd exclude Black and White.

    I'd also include Syndicate there somewhere but only because I'm biased.

    1. Parax
      Thumb Up

      Ahh Syndicate

      my first ever CD Rom Game! all I had before that, came on floppies.

  90. Anonymous Coward

    Couple of personal faves

    PC Retro? How about Wolfenstien and Wing commander?

  91. GazElm

    Me Too

    Just to say

    Civilization II.

    The only gam eI have ever played that made me lose entire weekends regularly.

  92. stucs201


    See title

  93. visserman

    Roll your own

    I nominate stunts - awesome creating your own tracks

  94. Anonymous Coward

    Where is?

    Sabre Wulf on the Speccy - loved that

    Chuckie Egg on the BBC


    Virus on the Archimedes

    Wolfenstein 3D

    Wing Commander

    X-Wing vs Tie Fighter

    Kings Quest



    Hobbit on the C64

    Combat on the Atari VCS2600

    1. Adam Williamson 1

      It says 'PC' right in the title.

      See topic. Given that, you should probably eat that FAIL icon yourself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Wolfenstein 3D

        Wolfenstein 3D was on the PC!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Wing Commander

        X-Wing vs Tie Fighter

        Kings Quest


        Were all on PC - well they were on mine.

  95. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    what about Rogue/Nethack/Moria? I spent hours and hours battling red worm masses and getting beaten by trolls back in college. Text graphics on a 10 MHz XT were hip and happening.

    And Corncob-3D was a favorite flight-sim, even if the concept of flying a bi-plane to fight UFOs was a bit hard to digest.

    Lemmings was good too, but got monotonous quickly. And it needed a graphics card, although it might have run on a Hercules, can't remember.

    Worms was great fun, once I got a machine with a Pentium CPU. 233 MHz of smoking hotness.

    But Doom was what really rocked the boat. Man, I remember the first time I played and thought "damn, this is cool." I would hate to count up the number of hours I spent playing that game and all the add-on packs and wads. IPX network gaming, what a concept...

    1. Adam Williamson 1


      I figured pretty confidently in 2003 that I'd played more Doom than anyone else alive; I averaged 2 hours a day every day from 1993 through 2003 (that's *average*, including every day of the year, with no breaks). I more or less quit a few years back, though, so some of the Scandinavian guys who still play have probably overtaken me by now.

      The best Doom player ever, BTW, is Mario Sedlic. This is not up for debate. :)

  96. stuhacking

    2 Things:

    1) I question the retrosity of some of these games. Black and White? KOTOR? Even Unreal Tournament is pushing it slightly.

    2) So, is this list in reverse, or what? Hasn't the author read a top ten list before? Or is it just an arbitrary selection of unordered games?

    We're scraping the bottom, crack open the next barrel.

    Suck on this: It's what Duke would have said.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, the lost hours

    Cylon Attack (BBC)

    White Knight (BBC)


    Ultima Underworld I & II.

    The 7th Guest

    Alone in the Dark

    System Shock


  98. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Ah, happy days

    If it's not 640 x 480, 16 colour it's not retro :-)

    Wolfstein, Lure of the Temptress, Eye of the Beholder, Populus, Prince of Persia, Myst, Discworld, King's Quest - That's what I filled my 'late youth to mid-life crisis' with - yes, there's a strong tendency to interactive fiction as it was then; original Adventure and Zork are classics.

  99. Autonomous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Well, since you asked.... (what, you didnt??)

    Jagged Alliance (and jagged alliance 2. Its cheating i know, but really, try it...)

    Master of Orion 2


    UFO Enemy unknown


    Quake 2

    Duke nukem 3D


    Prince of Persia

    Theme Park

  100. Zytron


    Ultima 7 or Settlers?

  101. Llanfair

    The games I remember on the PC

    Lemmings on the PC, especially when using the Soundblaster card :)

    Gorilla in Q-Basic. That was a fun two player game.

    Day of the Tentacle was ace, and I finally finished it :)

    Hocus Pocus was a nice platform game.

    I loved some of the Apogee games for DOS.

    My all time favourites have to be non pc. Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg.

  102. obrom


    Ultima, Populous, 7th guest, Myst. CLASSICS!!!

    (and dugeaon master again?) (and warcraft rules?) (or is dune too old?)

    (DOTT, Larry, god LS LARRY that rocks this smell innovations, what? revolution and dirty context for young nerds before the word even existed, gabriel knight, Alone in the dark) 80-90 RPG and Adventure Golden age

    Dude, they did some good S*%£ back then

    Q: which games did we buy the 3DFX for???????

    (3DFX killed the video games nana na na nana naaa...)

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge


      I don't remember what the killer game was for the the 3dfx, but I remember getting a demo copy of the original Turok with my first 3D card. Can't remember what the card WAS though. But I seem to remember it was a VESA local bus card, and totally, TOTALLY blew my old ISA Trident card out of the water. As a game, Turok sucked after a couple of days, but as a first accelerated-3D experience, I'll never forget it. Frigging FOG everywhere...

    2. Peter Kay

      Quake, and Tomb Raider

      The killer game for the Voodoo2 was most definitely Quake 2. For the original Voodoo things were a bit more complex as there were a number of competitors to 3dfx at the time. Tomb Raider had at least three different versions with specific hardware support. I also remember Screamer (racing game) as being particularly good.

  103. obrom

    console Niet


    Sonic, Zelda and some other are console.

    I agree, Tetris, miner, pacman rule but we now call them casual games so are they really for this category (and did hardware really count?)

  104. Robert Baker

    (witty title goes here)

    I'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned Driller (Incentive Software) -- the first full-3D game, years before Doom, Quake et al, and I was astounded by how much faster it ran on the PC than it did on the Speccy, even though the clock speed back then wasn't much higher.

    Re. Doom, its TV Tropes page mentions the nonsense that was spouted about this game by ignorant soundbite pedlars in the wake of the Columbine massacre. Especially that "Doom teaches players to aim for the head"; as anyone knows who's actually played Doom for longer than about five minutes, what it actually teaches players about aiming is that (1) one only needs to trouble with aiming left/right, up/down will take care of itself; and (2) this "aiming" stuff is somewhat irrelevant, one just needs to point the gun in the general direction of the target and the shot will probably hit.

    I'm sure neither of these are true of a real-life gun.

  105. Matt 80
    Thumb Down


    What no Zork ?

    1. Sooty

      no zork...

      It was probably eaten by a grue.

  106. Matt 80
    Paris Hilton

    Lo Wang

    Is the Shadow Warrior !!

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hereby call for a poll!

    User poll needed!

    two lists required

    Pre PC and PC games

  108. William 6


    Kingpin (Life of Crime) & Syndicate. Still hop on Kingpin now and then. ( Fairly retro great games.

  109. Anonymous Coward

    Geoff Crammond F1 and...

    F1 by G. Crammond is worth remembering (I guess version 3).

    Freespace 2 was everything Wing Commander II was, except it wouldn´t crash and get you back to DOS prompt every 5 min. Bullet hell in 3D. Dogfighting in a Nebula? Count me in. There is a free mod for Half Life 2 engine, and they got it pretty close, but nah, it mixes FPS with it. Either joystick or mouse, can't do both.

    And Need for Speed was released for PC soon after it came for 32-bit Panasonic 3DO, so it counts too. Yes, it is that old, look around.

    Don't mention Ultima 8 - Pagan within 100 feet from me. I hated that game's engine. On the Diablo engine it would be nice though.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Freespace 2 lives on - check out FS2 Open

      You'd be quite stunned by the graphics and gameplay these days - grab thyself a joystick, and head over to

  110. Dave 126 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    PC Games

    Perhaps 'Retro PC' games could have been classed as those released after the Amiga heyday and before widespread 3D acceleration hardware?

    Many of the best early nineties games were from the Amiga/ST, such as Micro Machines, Populus, Lemmings, Flashback, Syndicate, Prince of Persia- though my PC was kept busy with em for many an hour! (Helicopter: for Jungle Strike)

    PC games, hmm..


    Magic Carpet


    System Shock


    Descent (though best played at school across networked PowerPC Macs)

    I haven't listed ten, because I didn't play RTS, Roleplaying etc

    : D

    PS Sir Runciple Spoon - Yes yes yes, a Sci-Fi universe Space-Opera version of Grand Theft Auto is something we've been wishing for for a long time.... and not so we can run over three-breasted hookers! Get on it, Rockstar, get Iain M. Banks on a retainer, or sod it, William Gibson, or hell, Cowboy Beebop will even give the story and bounty-hunting background.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No, Lucy you are just plain wrong

    I played all your games but I must say most would be far from my top 10 PC retro games for a start anything that ran under Direct X can't really be classed at retro. For me retro gaming means software rendering under VESA or at at stretch hardware under GLIDE/openGL.

    But worse of all not including DUKE shame on you. Duke3d was iconic not only for it fast software based rendering but also the duke-isms that made it stand alone.

    So in the words of Duke your list "what a mess he he he"

  112. cre@mstick360

    Spy Hunter

    Anyone remember that? Use to love that game.

  113. P. Lee

    if pc means "personal computer" and not IBM pc then

    why no love for "Night driver" two dotted lines weaving across the screen (Apple ][), Centipede,

    Lemonade Stand, Choplifter, Wolfenstein (not 3d - with real German speech!), frogger...

  114. mr-tom

    Where is Tie Fighter?

    Likewise Master Of Orion 2?

  115. Oligova

    ..ahhhh..much better..

    .. as many before I have to say my list would look different. Missing Larry, Wing Commander, X-Wing with it's realy tough missions. LonngBow and many others. Nevertheless the article and the comments brought back great memories of the last 24 Years of PC gaming. A BIG THANK YOU for that.

  116. Anonymous Coward

    not many sierra fans then

    the coolest Janitor.... Space Quest

    and.. to echo some of the others

    Wing Commander


    Test Drive anyone?

    Defenders of the Crown

    Deus Ex

    Betrayal at Krondor

  117. Mark 125


    Bards Tale! Spent hours and hours on that one....

  118. Verscheure

    my 2 cent

    Well some good ones on the list but where are :

    Frontier (Elite)



    Civ (2)

    x-wing/ tie

  119. marc 9

    I would include Blade Runner

    A great adventure game by Westwood Studios. Managed to add to the world of the film in a way that I've not seen since. Great game.

  120. FL1X


    quite frankly if you dont have have day of the tentacle in there somthings is wrong.

    if you want to move into the later days counterstrike 1.6? long ago in my past this was the most played game of any LAN and still today has a bigger following than CSSource

  121. peter 5 Silver badge

    The jester says, I have the key

    My ten, in no particular order.

    * DigDug, the CGA version that was a 64k .com file got so much wear.

    * Command Keen. Why is there no 3D pogoing game?

    * Lemmings - I only played the PC version; so I'm including it.

    * Prince of Persia. The original. I got mine with my first VGA card. And I have played it all the way through without saving. Sands of Time is pretty original with a great story, too.

    * Monkey Island.

    * Tomb Raider. Nobody has brought it up, but I though it was revolutionary for the time, and the keyboard interface remains the best I've ever used.

    * Alone in the Dark - for the atmosphere.

    * Doom.

    * Myst.

    * Dungeon Keeper.

    Netstorm: Islands at War, Magic Carpet, Seventh Guest, and various Duke Nukems and Nethack could have all got on.

    Looking at everybody lists, what's clear is how uninventive the games industry seems to have become.

  122. anaru



  123. anaru

    Good Old Games

    I'm not a shareholder or anything, but www dot gog dot com lets you easily buy "Good Old Games" including many mentioned in this thread.

    The prices are pitifully low and they have all had their copy protection removed, and are all guaranteed to work on modern day operating systems - which alone is worth the price for most of them, as you will know if you've ever tried getting an old game to go in say Windows 7 64bit.

    Plus there are great support forums for any bugs that slip through the cracks, and they frequently offer massive discounts that take the prices down into the realms of $1 per game and even free.

  124. thenim

    Any list that does not include Wolfenstein 3D...

    is not a list worth bothering about, esp. if there are other FPSs there that were merely afterthoughts in comparison to this giant of FPSs...

    Black and White? FFS... Where's Atomic Bomber Man? And Quake was MUCH better than UT...

  125. Chris Eaton

    All games are amazing

    Magic Carpet...happy memories - not the greatest game ever but so so good (and def retro classic)

    Thanks to the person above though....Deus Ex - what a game:)

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