I used to be a pretty avid PC gamer, from the times that games shipped on 360k and 720k disks until around 1998, when this whole “university” thing started. (Yeah, I stopped playing games when I started attending university: how bizarre am I?) These days I still play some games, but since I don’t have that much time anymore, I tend to be pretty selective about them. I mostly tend toward RPGs now, though I still need a RTS and FPS fix from time to time. (The current RTS du jour for me is C&C Zero Hour, and Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament 2005 remind me of how far I’ve fallen from being a Doom king ;-).

Best PC Games Evar

Since everyone has a shortlist, here’s mine in no particular order:

  • System Shock (Through The Looking Glass)
  • System Shock 2 (Irrational Games)
  • Ultima Underworld (Through the Looking Glass, who later forked off into Irrational)
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri (Firaxis Games)
  • Starflight (Electronic Arts, back when they didn’t suck)
  • Starflight II (Electronic Arts)
  • Planescape: Torment (Black Isle Productions). PS:T deserves a special award as one of the most text-heavy games in existence, with a story, plot, and moral and ethical stance that made you know yourself better.
  • Fallout 2 (Black Isle Productions)
  • Doom 2! (id Software)
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Obsidian, half of whom are from Black Isle). Nearly as soul-challenging as PS:T.
  • Command and Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Dune II (Westwood Studios), the first real-time strategy games that created such an excellent era. Die all you Blizzard-loving Warcraft II copybag scums!
  • Space Quest III (Sierra On-Line), the coolest Sierra game you could finish within 30 minutes!
  • Powerslide (Ratbag Games) — only because I wrote some music for it ;-).
  • A special award for Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour (EA Los Angeles), the most hilarious and politically incorrect real-time strategy game today.
  • Wipeout 2097 (Psygnosis): The epitome of futuristic racing games. My verdict’s still out on Wipeout Pure.
  • Dark Castle (Silicon Beach Software) and The Fool’s Errand (Cliff Johnson) on the Macintosh. (Crystal Quest nearly counts, but I was crap at it, so it doesn’t make the shortlist).

From time to time I find some games that are quite hackable. I hacked Command and Conquer: Tiberian Dawn, Alpha Centauri, and Neverwinter Nights I and II to bits, although most of the mods I made have been lost in the mists of time. Neverwinter Nights 2, however, is fresh off the shelf…