20 Overlooked PC Gaming Classics (And How To Play Them Now)

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Atech66

I played 75% of these games but i think gamers are not mainline folks.

We rely heavily on word of mouth ( forums) and some on reviews.

How many kick ass games got crap reviews yet user rated 80+.

A few titles i did not recognize but deff looked playable.

I am currently going through Fallout 1, 2, Tactics and 3 before i play New Vegas with the nexr DLC.

Old school graphics don't matter when you have a kick ass game.

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POMF2K

Thumbs up for Obsidian and Vampire.  I would definitely play that game again. 

Omicron: The Nomad Soul should be on this and everyone's list.  Seriously if you can get past the shitty graphics, play it.  Play it now, love it forever, demand a sequel. I'm not kidding.  Amazing game.

And then there's Myth. . . NO!  I'm seriously thinking this guy is a closet console gamer.  Myth was strategy for console gamers way back in the day.  Dumbed down to extreme.  It deserves no note in the history of PC gaming.  Period.

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Lipman42

Thanks for the link for Vampire- Masquerade.  But if you go here http://www.patches-scrolls.de/vampire_bloodlines.php it has the most recent patch which was late Jan this year version 7.3!  It has better Graphics settings and looks and plays great!  I am replying it with this patch (the Plus Version so you get more cool stuff) and having a blast!

Thanks for reminding me of this and letting me know about the Unoffical patches!

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trgz

Good article. Finished The Longest Journey, Grim Fandango, MDK and Kill Switch - started about 50% of the rest but I gave up on for pretty much the reasons listed. Boiling Point is what Far Cry 2 ought to have been - discuss. Also played a few of those that other's have mentioned (Nox, Chaser) and I'm just about to buy a copy of Armed & Dangerous - thanks to Caboose for reminding me of that one.

I'm surprised that MDK was listed especially as MDK2 was released.

Two missed? both Last Express and Psychonauts have both been listed as failures elsewhere - both great games (I've played Last Express 3 times at least)

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nikldan

Great article.  MDK was hugely inventive and a huge game.  I still miss it.

And yes, another thumbs up for Chaser.  I still have the cd and might give it another go.

I liked the original Turok which I got a copy of for free with a Voodoo card way back when.

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KingofMadCows

What about the Might and Magic and Wizardry series? They were kind of popular but only among the RPG fans.

Heroes of Might and Magic is great too. It's much more popular than the other games on the list but not nearly as popular as it should be. That includes Heroes 4, which like some of games on the list, had a lot of problems because it was released unfinished.

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Nyarlathotep

Might & Magic 7, 8, & 9 were great RPG's. I still go back and play them every couple years. The only Wizardry game I tried was 8 and I've gone back and played it a couple times over the years too. I could never get into the Heroes of M&M though...

I think you can still buy the Might and Magic complete series in one package for cheap on places like Amazon.

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igoka

Youre link where to buy " Obsidian " is for 103.99$ . Really ???? " Grim Fandango " - 55 - 89$ When you put links have you even checked it ?

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Scatter

Well to be fair most of the games aren't being published any more unless it's in downloadable form.  Classics cost a lot when they're only available in limited supply. 

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Caboose

Anyone remember the game Armed and Dangerous? It came out of the LucasArts factory. It was like a monty python game. Very funny, and fun to play!

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r6srider

I would like to add redline (the shooter not the racing game), and descent, one of the most disorienting games I have ever played.

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hk1777

Crap sorry lagged and commented twice

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hk1777

I just found a copy of Anachronox 

No idea if its gonna work or not

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Just about anything that had to do with flying a spaceship died off after the '90s. I remember when Wing Commander was the shizzle; now, on one will touch the genre with a ten-foot pole. I think the complexity of sim games became their undoing as publishers began targeting the less sophisticated mass market. People who played computer games were pretty smart. But any moron can push a console stick, and there are more morons than smart people, so the money is made marketing to morons....

The Freelancer series was great. And now there are mods to bump up the graphics (even the Wing Commander series have those graphics mods). I seem to remember a Starlancer game coming out a little later, and it must have been the very last commercial space sim released outside MMOs.

I remember buying and playing Anachronox, for maybe half an hour. It was a bad game. Arx Fatalis was buggy, and it took a LONG time to get some of the bugs ironed out. I think a lot of these bad games bombed out because of unresolved bugs. The industry was slow to catch on to the fact that people talked about their buggy games.

Crimson Skies puzzles me. I remember buying it a long time ago, but the graphics were bad, the story was lame, and I gave up. The screen shot in this article looks like a modern version of what I played, but I've not found any references to versions other than the 2000 release I know I played and discarded.

One of the best PC games that was ever made, but which didn't do as well as deserved: Dungeon Keeper 2 from Bullfrog. Should have been on this list. Other developers have flat-out copied it at least three times that I know of, but nothing is as good as the original.

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stradric

Great list.  I'd like to add Nox and Freelancer though I'm not sure if they were flops or not.  I know they were really fun games with awesome mouse controls that still are fun to play.

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poee

I still play (modded) Freelancer now and then. And Pirates. And I've played through as every clan in Bloodlines. (My favorite is Tremere, I think.) You can see it's influence in so many newer games.

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JoBlo

The best way to run older games, esp the really old ones (10+ years) is to simply run a VM with the OS it was desinged for. Modern PC's can cope with the preformace loss through running a VM configured to run an older os, with older software/games. The most general way to get almost anything to run on a current PC.

You can always do some homework on specific titles, and see what others have come up with. Sad how everyone expects answeres to be given to them, regardless if it was implied that it would be to begin with.

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Stever

"You can always do some homework on specific titles, and see what others have come up with. Sad how everyone expects answeres to be given to them, regardless if it was implied that it would be to begin with."

 

People come to this site looking for answers.  For you to suggest that it's somehow "sad" for people to expect that the answers completely implied in the subject line weren't included is beyond crap. 

I know full well I can Google my arse off to find out how to run older games on a modern OS, but 1) it's not always successful and 2) maybe... just MAYBE the amazing people at MaxPC might have resources I don't and could provide some previously unseen link or suggestion that might get me running with a particular game.

Oh, and anyone who knows anything about virtual machines will tell you they suck for graphics acceleration.  While the overall performance of the game might not suffer, it'll look like crap compared to how it would run with graphics acceleration.  So you're idea of "simply" running an older game in a VM isn't exactly helpful.

Finally, before someone snidely suggests it, I also know full well that I can dual-boot with XP to run older games and I've done that in the past.  While it works, it's a pain in the arse.  Again, the topic of this article implied there would be instructions on "how to run them now" and there was zero information included.  That's what bothers me about this article.  Had that not been implied, I would have simply enjoyed the list of 'classic' games and been on my way.

 

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gonzAllex

Chaser was one of the best games i've played on pc. Didn't had many sales though , shame. Extraordinary game for it's time. You ppl should definitely give it a go if you haven't.The story , the gameplay , soundtrack , hell ... even the graphics were spectacular and still seem to have something that make'em stand out even today.

It's on Steam for 5 bucks.

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JohnP

Nah, there was a reason why these games did not do well. I played pretty much half of them.  Beyond good and evil had bad control issues which left me just plain frustrated. Freedom Force just wasn't fun to play, let alone a sequel. Crisom skies was good but no IL-2. Grim fandango? talk, talk, talk. Longest Jouney was so buggy, it was unplayable. Myth? again control issues. Rise of legends was just too dang complicated.

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Stockislander

Anachronox and Grim Fandango... two games I really shouldn't have lent to friends. Ah well, probably wouldn't be able to play them on modern PCs anyhow....

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boodiespost

First, I appreciate the article.  Second, whoever laid out this page did a really crappy job.  After, "WHERE TO BUY IT"  Should be multiple spaces and the image of the next game should start with the Title of it.  Very very confusing layout.  Seriously, what were they thinking... basic typographical rules.

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Stever

What happened to the "and how to play them now" part of the article title?  Linking where to buy each game is not the same as instructing how to play them on Win7.  Very disappinting and misleading.

 

 

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Havok

Those instructions will be available in  the next patch update.

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TheKhaos24

Oh my god, Citizen Kabuto I remember this game from my childhood, I think I had it on a PCgamer or Computer Gaming World demo disk and I loved it, but I forgot what it was called, all I remember is gathering some weird animal meat, and when I saw the image I instantly recognized this game. Thank you so much.

 

TheKhaos

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trgz

I only just threw that cover disc out!

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Nyarlathotep

I had the exact same reaction. I forgot the name but fond memories came flooding back when I saw the screenshot. It really did have a quirky sense of humor that I loved.

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TheKhaos24

I just started playing this game, and it does have a quirky sense of humor, I am so glad that I am finally able to play it :)

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CaptainFabulous

Planescape: Torment is easily one of the best games ever made. It's right up there with System Shock 2 in my opinion.

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MattyMattMatt

I was hoping for instructions on how to get the games to run, because I have some older titles that simply won't, at least not properly.

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phanboy4

Excellent list! Kudos for including overlooked classics like MDK and Obsidian. I've wanted to get ahold of and play Obsidian for ages.

The main hosting site for the VtMB patches is now patches-scrolls, which also has the latest versions, unlike the SI link: http://www.patches-scrolls.de/vampire_bloodlines.php

I would also note that Arx Fatalis, Beyond Good & Evil, Freedom Force, TLJ are also available DRM free on GOG.com

Also, since I just played and finished Grim Fandango for the first time, let me link this: http://quick.mixnmojo.com/grim-fandango-setup

That utility will let you install the game from the CD on 64-bit machines, which you can't do normally since the CD installer is 16-bit. Game works well in Win 7 64 when set to Win 98 compatibility mode.

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nmanguy

Man, I loved Freedom Force when it came out, but never bought the sequel. I finally got around to buying both on Steam for like $3 in 2009, figuiring I'd play the sequel, but I still haven't.

 

Also, Planescape is easily the best game I never finished. I've played it twice, loved every minute, got deep into the story, went to the Sensate and Brothel of Slacking Intellectual Lusts and breathed in the 40 amazing stories (The story of the old guy who greedily hid his memory, and Morte's story of the guy saying a third wish were truly awesome)... and then just stop. I think the problem is that the game is so old that I just can't take the 640x480 graphics, so I get tired of reading the text and distinguishing things. I rarely pay more than $10 for a game anymore, but I would glady pay $50 on launch for a fully remade yet identical-gameplay/story-wise version of Planescape.

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ssbowers

Man do I loveVampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - I think I've gone through as half the vampires so far.

 

Can I also put a plug in for Chaser? That is what shooter should be - 30 hours of crazy.

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joeking

this brings back so many memories from the earlier days of pc gaming.  geforce 256 anyone?

anyways, great article, enjoyed reading.

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