Top#10 PC Games

 

1)  Heroes of Might and Magic II

I got this game way back in the mid 1990’s as I recall and my initial thought was “what is this rubbish?!”. It was a busy looking GUI, unclear what I click on next, what the point of the game was etc etc. However I kept going back to it every now and then and after a few goes I was utterly entranced with it as I grok’d it. Very addictive, great strategy, fun, I literally played nothing else for weeks untold I finally beat the campaign game. Further DLC meant new challenges so I kept dipping in and out of it for years. Then, much later, I would still boot it up (using DOSbox! as it wouldn’t run on modern Windows versions) and so I never really stopped playing it. I can quite happily while away an hour or three playing this still, the time really does fly. The sequels didn’t really capture me the way this one did as for me it remains a true classic.

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2) Half-Life

This was recommended to me back in umm.. 1998/1999 ish by a work colleague. I’d purchased it but was for some odd reason that i cannot now recall was not impressed with 1st person games back then. I thought Quake etc was awesome, but they’d become a bit formulaic. Anyway, I gave it a try and I got sucked totally in within 60 minutes. Not only was it a great storyline, but it had great AI and it was the first time I was truly scared playing a PC game. That heart jumping moment when something flies at you used to make me jump in my seat, and when that wasnt happening I used to squirm waiting for the next inevitable moment when it would. Great, great game. The sequel was equally awesome but then it sort of tailed off for me a bit with the “episodes” bit.  I think I’ve completed it x3 times and I know there’s a user community version also which is on my to-do list (if i ever have the time that is!)

 

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3) Baldurs Gate II

Being a massive Dungeons & Dragons fan this game was always on my play list. The first instalment was great but it didn’t have great depth, whereas this sequel was just oozing with side quests and you could totally go chaotic-evil and start nicking things from buildings. A truly awesome game, great voice acting and many many hours of fun. Its something that I always consider coming back to just to replay with a different party and pick up different quests that I probably missed the first time around.

 

Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition

4) Spellbreaker

An old text based adventure game (or interactive fiction as its now known) this was actually my first ever PC game that I purchased, I bought it for £5 in Southgate, North London. I didn’t have own a PC when I bought it and I installed it on the machines in college (PCs back then were ripe for this sort of security breach). I totally completed it , on my own, no help, all my own brain work and it used a lot of lateral thinking and as I recall (we’re talking 1987 so the memory is vague) time travel elements where you had to go back in time and fix things up so your future self could proceed unhindered, so a proper mind-fcuk type game. Loved it. Very intelligent and the sort of game where you need brains, patience, outside-the-box thinking, and a pen and paper to joint clues down.

 

5) Angband

You can argue this was the precursor to Baldurs Gate and all the other RPG games out there. This nethack/rogue/moria type is just so addictive when you get into it. Its like the precursor also to Dwarf Fortress which narrowly missed being on this list but it isn’t as impenetrable as DF. Its fairly easy to get into but wow, its super hard to actually complete it. I’ve made it to the bottom level once in like 15 years worth of playing. And even then I got my ass totally kicked in a few seconds. If I had the time I would create a gnome mage and totally go for it, no borg, all old school manual playing but once again, time pressures mean it may not happen for a while. It’s on my to-do however!

angband

 

6)  Quake

This was the 1st first-person-shooter I truly got into. There was Doom and Wolfenstein before this one, but they just seemed, well, dull.. a bit dry. But this one, literally from the opening level grabbed me. It grabbed me and scared the bejesus out of me. It was a fantastic game to play and try to solve the little tricks, and traps, and beat your way out of near impossible odds. A true legend of a game.

 

7) Sanitarium

This one was a odd one and a mold breaker. A fairly standard story: you’ve lost your memory and woken up in an asylum. You escape, and there on, thinks get weirder, surreal… you have odd memory flashbacks.. there is genuinely disturbing events happening around you. It was really atmospheric and I loved the sense of dread and mystery it had. An underrated game.

 

8) Dear Esther

This is not so much a game, more an experience. It is genuinely hard to describe into words, saying : its about a single person on a Scottish island doesnt do it justice its so much more than that. It’s more akin to a visual poem. The total start to end time is approx 40 minutes, but the sense of emotion it evokes is unparalleled. I am a big, big fan of this one, but I appreciate it’s borderline if it can even be categorized as a game.

9) 688 Attack Sub

I think I got into this one around 1989. I had just started university and I’d purchased a huge Amstrad PC with which to do the course (i think it cost £550 which for 1989 was a vast amount of cash, and it was a faithful old warhorse that saw out the 4 years of my studies) , I don’t think I was enjoying the experience much at Uni, and this game became my place to go away and zen out for a few hours, or something to dip into in between trying to understand how Lotus123 worked, or how to code in Pascal. The premise is simple, you’re a submarine commander and you have to sink shit. But where it truly came into its own was when you were playing cat and mouse with other submarines literally on your tail. Exciting stuff.

10) Panzer Elite

This was a tank sim game that I truly grew to love circa 1999. I played it so much and so well, that towards the end I would play it on the hardest level where you had to use maths to work out the firing solution on a target using distance, wind speed, and angle. Quickly spotting something, crunching the numbers in your head, arranging the angle of the gun and seeing your shell hit first time was an amazing thrill. Taught me a lot about trig this game!