If you had a PC in the 90s or early 2000s, you were certainly a happy gamer. The best games on the platform were released at that time. Today they are considered ancient or classic, they were so good. See what these games are and understand why they were so successful!
1. Prince of Persia - 1989
Anyone who knows Prince of Persia on PlayStation 3 cannot imagine that the game had an early version for PC. At the time it was a great advance for the quality of animation it had. The movements were very realistic, and the fact that the protagonist used swords and not firearms was also innovative, as it was something unusual.
As with the most recent titles in the franchise, the first Prince of Persia was known for its puzzles. It was a game that required patience and reasoning. In this version, the deadly traps that the protagonist should avoid at all costs were introduced.
The most interesting thing about this game is that you had "x" time to finish the game and fulfill the objective. In some versions it was 2 hours, but the most common was just 1 hour. So: did you face this challenge?
2. Duke Nukem - 1991
Duke Nukem is one of the top shooters in video game history. The first version of the game was released in 1991, in platform style. The player controlled Duke Nukem himself, in stages whose objectives were to kill enemies and destroy objects in the scenario. Virtually anything in the stages was liable to destruction.
Players gained points for each enemy or object destroyed. Also, important items, life powerups, could be obtained this way. The game was divided into episodes, and at the end of each episode you had to face a typical Big Boss.
A really cool point of this first Duke Nukem, as well as the two following sequels, was the fact that you could get up to 10 points per level - except for the last one. For that, it was necessary to fulfill secret objectives in each phase of the chapter. Something that, without a detonation, could take quite some time.
3. Wolfenstein 3D - 1992
Yes, the Wolfenstein franchise is quite old. It was one of the first games to be inspired by World War II. The mission was to escape from Wolfenstein Castle, a Nazi prison, to carry out other crucial tasks in the fight against Hitler's soldiers.
The game was considered quite violent at the time, which is precisely why it became so popular. Many shooter-style games were based on this game, which paved the way for the creation of many similar genres.
Wolfenstein 3D featured very rudimentary 3D graphics. First-person gameplay took place in levels. Each level was a Nazi bunker, and to get to the next level you had to kill enemies and reach an elevator.
Only in 1995 the game code was released, starting, from 2001, the restart of the franchise.
4. Aladdin - 1993
Aladdin was successful on several platforms. On PC it was no different! The iconic story of the commoner who finds a magic lamp and flies on a carpet was striking in the 90s. In the game, the objective is to save Princess Jasmine from the villain Jafar. For that, Aladdin needs to face enemies, solve puzzles and go through levels full of challenges.
The game was quite difficult, something in keeping with other platform games of the period. He was very faithful to the Disney design, which made the children who were fans of the film go wild and wanted at all costs to get their hands on this title. Aladdin is so cult that it was re-released on Steam and will have a re-release for PlayStation 4.
5. DOOM - 1993
Controversial, popular, and much played, DOOM has made many first-person shooter players' minds. It was one of the games that most popularized network games. In addition, it allowed players to create expansions themselves. Its fame was such that for years it was said that other shooters from the 90s were just copies of DOOM.
In terms of gameplay, however, it doesn't bring anything so innovative. Each stage forces players to look for the exit, while surviving enemies, obstacles in the scenario and even the scenario itself falling apart around the character. The levels are full of secret rooms and mazes, which required hours to beat the game.
6. FIFA 94 - 1993
Today the FIFA franchise rules in virtual football, but it wasn't always that way. FIFA 94 was not a gaming masterpiece like 20, but it brought innovations to the genre, which make it an unforgettable game. It was the first to have an isometric field, with TV broadcasting diagonally.
There were tactical schemes that were actually respected by the players. In previous games, your teammates just ran around the lawn. Climatic changes were added that interfered with the athletes' performance. The presence of a referee on the field and the whimsical sound of the stadium are other positive points.
7. The Need for Speed - 1994
Amazingly, this is one of the versions of Need for Speed that fans of the franchise love the most. Many consider the title's mechanics to be the closest to reality compared to games that came later. A consultation was carried out with a car magazine, which helped to transport reality to the game.
This first edition already featured cars from famous brands such as Dodge, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche. The police chase amid local traffic was one of the game's most positive points, which have continued in future titles. Despite having only 8 cars and not having customization, it was one of the best car simulators on the PC.
8. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans - 1994
The real-time strategy game classic was a landmark in the genre. It put the player in the shoes of the Orcs or the Humans. With the exception of the mystical units, they were very similar peoples in terms of units and constructions. You should choose one side and face the other.
Basically it was to collect resources, set up a base, build an army and defeat the enemy. The possibility of playing against other players also existed, and it was always a positive point of the game. The presence of wild animals in the scenarios in the midst of battles made the game difficult, but these animals could be controlled.
Although limited in many ways, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is one of the most respected games in history.
9. Worms - 1995
Worms was super different in the proposal and that's why it was successful. You controlled a group of armed worms that had to destroy enemy worms. The game could be played in multiplayer or alone against the computer. The coolest thing was having a real arsenal at your disposal, with pistols, bombs and even explosive rams.
The game was played in phases, with each phase divided into turns. Whoever eliminates the enemy worms first wins. Each match could last minutes or even more than an hour, depending on each player's skill in defending himself. Even today Worms is successful both on PC and on other platforms.
10. Command & Conquer - 1995
Another beautiful real-time strategy game. In the game we have two factions in a world war. Both compete for control of a mysterious substance called Tiberium. The mission is to build a base, collect resources, assemble armies and attack enemy bases.
It was successful because it was a strategy game set in modern times. It was a difficult game, which required reasoning and intelligence to be won. The possibility of playing online with up to 4 other players was a good asset of the title.
11. Civilization II - 1996
One of the most beloved turn-based strategy games ever. It allowed to choose between 21 peoples to start a civilization and to evolve it until the contemporary age. Basically it was very similar to Age of Empires, but with much more freedom in terms of people evolution and gameplay.
The game allowed you to play against up to 6 other civilizations, on maps you defined, always starting in 4000 BC Whoever conquered all enemies, who colonized the Moon or who resisted until 2020 AD won, then the points of each people were counted.
12. Quake - 1996
Quake fought a healthy battle with Unreal. Those were two of the top PC shooters for a long time. In the case of Quake, it became famous for being the first game of its kind with 3D graphics. It was divided into 4 episodes, with a total of 28 stages. The local and online multiplayer were two very interesting "plus".
The game's soundtrack is another point worth mentioning. It was composed by Trent Reznor, lead singer of the band Nine Inch Nails. The heavy sound throughout the entire game is a hallmark of the franchise, which has several references to Reznor's musical group.
The general objective of Quake's levels is to find the way out of the 28 levels. To do so, you have to face different enemies, solve small puzzles and find secret rooms.
13. Diablo - 1996
Diablo is legendary and needs no introduction. It's a hack n' slash style action RPG, whose story takes place in a world of darkness, magic and medieval warriors. When it was released, it immediately won over many players. Mainly because it connected with tabletop RPGs, bringing many of those players to the PC.
The large amount of quests and enemies is the hallmark of the game. Evolving your avatar, gaining weapons and armor, and learning new spells could trap players for hours. Many quests were not mandatory, and the game was one of the first to have a more "open" and less limited character in the genre.
14. GTA 1 - 1997
Today many who play GTA V don't know the emotion that was playing with the first edition of the franchise. In narrative terms it's almost the same thing: you're a criminal doing jobs for gangsters. As you become famous, you attract the attention of big mobsters and the police.
GTA 1 took place in several fictional cities. Each one had different enemies and allies, which brought personality to the game. Anyone who knows the first games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise knows that the camera was aerial. The map was relatively large for the time, being released for exploration without the need to carry out missions.
Despite being almost banned even before its release, GTA 1 was a resounding success. It was a unique game from the start, featuring the iconic Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City. It was a mandatory game in the 90s, as there was nothing like it at the time.
15. Carmageddon - 1997
Carmageddon is one of the most violent and controversial games on the PC. It was even banned in our country due to its controversial theme. It was based on a movie starring Stallone, Death Race 2000. The objective of the game, as it appears in the movie, was to win races. However, runners earned more points if they ran over pedestrians.
The idea was a race with no rules. Destroying the other cars and killing all the people on the track could earn you a victory. In our country and in Europe there were versions that replaced people with robots or zombies. Even though it was banned within a week of its release, Carmageddon attracted the interest of thousands of our countrymen.
16. Fallout - 1997
Although the story of Fallout is futuristic, it has elements of World War II and the Cold War. The nuclear threat is the main theme of the game. In it, the player travels through a devastated world, in which he has to solve several missions.
It is one of the first games to introduce the concept of different endings. The player's actions and choices will completely interfere with the end of the narrative. Practically all missions can be accomplished in different ways than expected, which completely enriches the game.
It is no wonder that the franchise has remained at the top and today has several titles released.
17. Ultima Online - 1997
Ultima Online was once one of the three most played MMORPGs of all time. It places hundreds of players in the world of Ultima, where they must interact with each other and with the world to evolve their avatars. That game was in 1997 what The Elder Scrolls Online is today.
Ultima Online's strong point was not focusing so much on killing random characters, but rather on the interaction between players. The title was successful for allowing real people to chat and spend time in a virtual world. There's no story to follow, and the map was pretty much limitless.
In that sense, it was the perfect game for anyone who wanted a more explorative RPG, focused on gathering resources rather than battles.
18. Age of Empires - 1997
Age of Empires is one of Microsoft's most successful franchises. It started shyly, in 1997, focusing on real-time strategy, bringing important events in world history.
The first Age focused on showing events that took place in Africa, Asia and Europe, in the periods of Antiquity. It also brought a very interesting expansion pack, The Rise of Rome, focused on the rise of the Roman Empire.
Although the first edition of the game was a little confusing in terms of gameplay, it convinced and pleased for many years. Building civilizations, assembling armies and going into epic battles were the main positives of playing Age of Empires.
The success was such that more than 10 games related to the franchise have been released since then!
19. Half-Life - 1998
Another futuristic themed game that was a huge hit. In it, we take control of a physicist who needs to escape from a laboratory after experiments with teleportation go wrong. It is a first-person shooter, with puzzle solving for mission progression.
Half-Life has received over 50 Game of the Year awards. It laid the foundation for a successful franchise and even for the genre. It was a pioneer, as it did not use cutscenes to explain the story. The player rarely lost control of the character, which was highly praised at the time.
This is perhaps the most played real-time strategy game of all time. Even today there are still numerous servers that support the game. It features 3 "factions": Terrans, Protoss and Zerg. The game has 3 campaigns, each one dedicated to a specific faction and with its own narrative.
StarCraft requires players to build military bases and units. For this, they must collect specific resources. The objective is to eliminate computer-controlled enemies. Blizzard, the game's developer, also made servers available for players to gather on LAN to play together.
Even with the release of StarCraft II, we found that the first title is much more cult than the second.
21. Unreal Tournament 99 - 1999
Unreal Tournament 99 was way ahead of its time. Despite not having the best graphics of the time, in terms of gameplay it was fascinating. Players could take on the single player Campaign mode, defeating AI-controlled enemies. But they could also, if they wanted, play online.
You could play in up to 6 different game modes, some of which are very famous today. Deathmatch case and Capture the flag. In the game there were 12 weapons, all of which had two different types of shots. You could vary between pistols, machine guns and even plasma weapons.
Today Unreal is not such a cult franchise, but in the 90s and early 2000s it was an absurd success among PC gamers.
22. SimCity 3000 - 1999
SimCity 3000 is not the first in the franchise, but it is one of the best of the 90's. It has evolved the mechanics of the previous title very well, making this game more realistic. He was the first to introduce a waste management system and to allow partnerships between his city and a neighboring city.
In this game, famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower were added. The player could choose 10 of them to add to the city. In addition, there were improvements to the underground system, and graphically the textures of buildings were smoother.
In expanded versions of SC3K, the player could change the style of buildings, choosing between American, Asian and European.
23. Commandos - 1999
Commandos was innovative for the time it was released as it featured unique gameplay mechanics. The player took control of a group of soldiers who needed to carry out various missions during World War II. There were 20 phases, which were divided between Europe and Africa.
The missions were the most varied. Sabotage, assassination, rescuing allies, among other tasks. Players could see the entire map in order to analyze the best strategy they should follow. For the time, this freedom was celebrated by players and critics.
This is considered one of the hardest games of the 90s and one of the most complicated in history. Despite not having a great variation in gameplay, it received expansion and even sequels, which attracted a loyal audience of players.
24. The Sims 1 - 2000
The Sims 1 is without a doubt the latest title on our old PC games list. Needless to say, the uproar it caused when it was released. He was completely in 2D and was one of the first to present the possibility of almost completely simulating human life.
Like other more recent titles in the franchise, the characters had three evolutionary stages: newborn, child and adult. Everything a real-life person can and should do in The Sims 1. Eating, working, exercising, going to the bathroom and sleeping were basic things and part of the gameplay.
At the time the game received some negative reviews for logical flaws. Some children never became adults, and adults don't age. The weekend concept did not exist, which made Sims work 7 days a week. Still, it was an unquestionable success. Proof of this is that we are already in issue 4!25.
25. Counter-Strike - 2000
Counter-Strike was created as a Half-Life mod, but it was so successful that it became a complete game. It is still a worldwide phenomenon today, albeit in updated versions in terms of mechanics and graphics. An example is the great CS: Global Offensive!
This is a game that every FPS fan needs to play. It's simple, fast and intense, and today it's one of the top eSports on the planet, with international competitions that pay out millions to winners.
26. Deus Ex - 2000
Deus Ex is the first of the famous cyberpunk and dystopian franchise that became famous on PCs. It's a super complex game in the narrative, and is still very celebrated for that. The gamelay is centered on exploring scenarios and combat, with RPG elements, as the player gains skill points to evolve the character.
At the time of release, Deus Ex was also successful for being a game with choice of dialogues. This choice affected the continuity of the game. It wasn't revolutionary, but it added even more depth to the narrative.
27. Resident Evil Code: Veronica - 2000
Code: Veronica is almost like a spin-off from The Resident Evil franchise. It takes place shortly after the events of The Resident Evil 3, involving Claire and Chris Redfield in an even bigger conspiracy than the previous games.
The coolest thing is that we even have two perspectives, since in part 1 we have to escape the island infected by the T-Virus with Claire. In the second, Chris' mission is to rescue his sister.
28. Shogun: Total War - 2000
Shogun brings 7 factions of feudal Japan from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century. They existed in real life, which makes this strategy game a great history lesson. The proposal is simple: you start at a location on the map and you must evolve your clan and dominate all the others.
For that, it is necessary to supervise aspects of the war and the evolution of the base. Weather conditions interfere with battles, and each turn is a season. You can take your army into battle or let artificial intelligence rule everything.
29. Halo: Combat Evolved - 2001
Combat Evolved is the first game in the Halo franchise, which features Master Chief, the most famous cyber-enhanced soldier on Microsoft PCs and consoles. It is considered the 4th best FPS in history and has as great highlights its narrative and the many ways to complete the same mission.
30. Mu Online - 2001
Mu Online is one of the most famous MMORPGs of all time, with recurring expansions and improvements on its most diverse servers. It's a medieval themed game where you create your avatar and face hundreds of different monsters across the continent of Mu.
The excellent gameplay stands out, which brings many game options to the most diverse styles of players. You can just do quests, walk around or interact with other players, almost like on a social network.
31. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - 2001
Snake Eater is perfect, but Sons of Liberty is also a wonderful game. Dozens of plot twists, advanced shooting mechanics and drooling graphics for the time are things that define this game.
32. Ragnarok Online - 2002
Like Mu Online, Ragnarok Online is huge. It was the first online RPG translated entirely into our country's language, having several servers in the country. Today it has more than 20 million players worldwide.
In addition to the complex narrative and hundreds of quests, Ragnarok Online has a really cool class and character evolution system, where classes interfere with how your avatar battles.
33. Lineage II - 2003
Lineage 2 is one of the most beautiful MMORPGs for PC. Still relevant today, it is celebrated for its incredible graphics and innovative combat mechanics for the time. The variety of classes, however, is what is impressive: there are at least 40 for you to choose and evolve!
34. World of Warcraft - 2004
World of Warcraft is perhaps even today the MMORPG to be surpassed. It is famous for having an infinite life in terms of gameplay, as everything in it takes days to complete. Whether it's quests, raids or dungeons, you'll spend hours trying to figure out what to do and then more hours fulfilling your tasks.
35. Half-Life 2 - 2004
Half-Life 2 was a revolution in shooting games. It shines both in the gameplay and in the narrative part, leading the player to live a deep and well-crafted story, without neglecting the quality of the gameplay. It also has many stages and quests to overcome, which makes the title huge!
36. Doom 3 - 2004
If you like intense shooting with horror elements, dive into this unmissable game. As in the classic Doom, what matters here is to shoot well and fast at the horde of monsters and demons that are trying to send you to hell. Use different weapons, each one more lethal than the other.
37. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas - 2004
GTA San Andreas is still one of the best games in the franchise today. Because? For the freedom it provided at the time. Having CJ skinny, fat, strong, betting on horse racing, flying fighter or jet pack: everything you could want in an open world game found in San Andreas!
38. Battlefield 2 - 2005
Battlefield 2 is one of the titles that gamers fondly remember from the EA franchise. He brought dozens of new features to the series, but especially teamwork.
It also received graphical improvements over the previous game, as well as trying to get closer to reality with improved tactical combat. Vehicles and weapons also received improvements, and at the time it was one of the few war games in which you could pilot vehicles.
See the best weak PC games in all genres!