25 Best Classic PC Games That We Will Cherish Forever

Only a 90s kid will understand how it felt like playing games on a low-end Windows 98/XP system. Those unforgettable moments will forever be cherished upon by us! Remember how our parents used to yell at us back then? It was actually fun and challenging! The struggles we had to experience made us what we are today! So, here’s a list of best classic PC games that will take you back to those epic days.

Best Classic PC Games

The list below consists of titles released in the time period 1995-2005.

#Hitman Contracts

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I bet that you must have come across this game, Blood Money, the 4th installment in the Hitman franchise. Well, Contracts serves as the prequel to this legendary stealth-action adventure which was released in the year 2004.

It particularly focuses on a series of flashbacks experienced by Agent 47 based on the first game. In short, you get to witness a remake of the first title, Hitman: Codename 47.

Platforms: PS2, Windows, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox, Mac OS

# Metal Gear Solid 2: Son Of Liberty

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If you are a fan of Hideo Kojima’s handiwork, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, then you will definitely like this game. Although it’s an early 2000 game, you will still love to try it for the legendary action-adventure title will never lose its authenticity.

It has been universally acclaimed for its breathtaking plot and gameplay elements. The storyline revolves around a hidden organization called Patriots which you discover later while on the quest to save the President Of United States from a group of terrorists.

Platfroms: PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PC, Xbox, PS Vita

# GTA San Andreas

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“Yo homie! Grove Street for life!”

CJ, Los Santos, Las Venturas, San Fierro, Vinewood, shit**le Tenpenny, Woozie, Big Smoke, Pike Creek. Well, these thoughts will probably scramble in a random way when you start mesmerizing the old days.

Clearly, GTA San Andreas is one among the best classic PC games that will forever remain in our hearts until death.

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac OS, Xbox

# Half-Life

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A toast to one among the best classic PC games in the millennium that simply doesn’t need any words to be described! However, we do have a message for Valve.

Dear Valve,

With all due respect, we sincerely apologize for shattering the fragile glass windows of your studio. Actually, we were determined to force ourselves into your office but again as a matter of decency, we had to back down. We’ll definitely meet again but this time, we have a lot of plans for our encounter. We would definitely cancel the unofficial appointment at your studio if you would at least give us a word about another Half-Life in development. Otherwise, don’t worry as we would be happy enough to reveal our exciting plans to you during our next meeting. Till then cheers!

Yours sincerely,
Enraged Gamers

Platforms: Windows, PS2, OS X, Linux

# Thief : Deadly Shadows

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If you’ve played or heard about the Thief 2013 reboot, then you should know that its prequel was rather far better. The remake received negative criticism upon its release, predominantly due to its bugs and a messed up storyline.

Well, the new Thief definitely couldn’t live up to its fame. If you want to actually witness the original experience of being a master thief like Garret then you should consider giving Deadly Shadows a try.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox

# The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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Fan of Skyrim? Then for your info, the franchise became popular all thanks to Morrowind, released in the year 2002. The sequels, Oblivion and Skyrim, later on, took Bethesda (developer and publisher) to great heights.

In Morrowind, the story begins from the perspective of a newly released prisoner whose character can be customized dynamically with the desired skill sets and abilities. The game’s set in Vvardenfell, an island in the world of Tamriel. As the story progresses, players discover that a deity named Dagoth Ur seeks to free the world from the Imperial rule.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox

# Road Rash

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Admit it! Road Rash is one among the very few games that made our childhood awesome. Beating up opponents, kicking them out of their bikes and beating the shit out of cops by swinging chains! It was so hilarious. Without any doubt, it is one among the best classic PC games ever.

Most noteworthy, to make you relive those days, Pixel Dash Studios and EQ Games have worked together to create a spiritual successor to the game titled, “Road Redemption”. The spiritual remake will be out for Windows, OS X and Linux by October 15th, this year.

# Age Of Empires II

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The Age Of Empires franchise became mainly popular due to its 2nd installment all thanks to its epic real-time strategy elements and in-depth story offered for each single player campaign. The narratives are so interesting that you will still be hooked into them and feel motivated to perform all the quests.

Joan of Arc, William Wallace, Saladin, Barbarossa, Genghis Khan, etc. are some of the noteworthy figures whose historical conquests have been portrayed in the game. Age Of Empires II is clearly one among the best classic PC games that we will never forget.

Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, PS2

# Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

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Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project is a satirical 2.5D action side-scroller released in the year 2002. As the name suggests, the game’s set in Manhattan Island, New York. You play as the cinematic action hero Duke Nukem with the responsibility to save New York from the wrath of a crazy scientist, Mech Morphix.

Players basically need to unlock various levels to progress further in the story. This can be achieved by rescuing hot chicks strapped to bombs that later awards a keycard to the next level. However, there can be various repercussions in the way ranging from goons to deadly traps.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360

# Motocross Madness

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The epic bike racing/stunt game is definitely something that we can’t miss. Motocross Madness lets you create your own customized racer with a fully modded bike. You can choose to practice, perform stunts or race in any of the tracks to claim yourself as the eternal champion.

As you progress, you keep earning credits that help you in unlocking new gear, bikes, and upgrades. Microsoft Studios later made a remake of the game that was out in the year 2013. Undoubtedly, Motocross Madness is one among the best classic PC games that you may consider worth trying.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

# Unreal Tournament 2003

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Claimed as one among the best classic PC games, this epic multiplayer first-person shooter offers eight different modes of gameplay namely Deathmatch (Team/Non-Team), Capture The Flag, Last Man Standing, Double Domination, Invasion, Mutant, and Bombing Run. The game also features a single-player mode that enables you to compete against bots.

I personally liked the Redeemer, a small nuclear warhead launcher, which is the most powerful weapon in the game! The Mini-Gun and double-handed automatic pistols are some of the deadly weapons the most of the players fancied. And who can forget those epic taunts/finishing actions you could make after emerging victorious in a match?

Platforms: Windows, OS X

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# Max Payne 2

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God! There are simply no words to describe this marvelously designed game both in terms of and plot and gameplay elements. Just like it’s predecessor, ‘Bullet Time’ (slows the time while you fire a bullet at normal speed) and Shootdodge (allows you to shoot mid-air) make a return.

The story’s set after the events of the first game. Max still laments over the death of his wife and kids goes undercover and works as a DEA agent mainly to find those killers. However, a twist is added to the plot when he encounters Mona Sax (presumed dead) the prime suspect behind the assassination of a senator.

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Xbox, PS3, Xbox 360

# Total Overdose

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Most of us completely overdosed  ourselves playing as Ramiro for the maximum part of the game. Total Overdose is an open-world third-person action-adventure/shooter that lets you wreak havoc with its crazy gameplay elements, vehicles, and weapons.

Nevertheless, the Loco Moves formed the critical aspect of the game’s combat system. With the help of those, you could perform six different special attacks to take down heavy infantry and a large wave of enemies. Though the game received mixed criticism it’s still considered as one among the best classic PC games.

# Age Of Mythology

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Another real-time strategy title, Age Of Mythology primarily focuses on the mythological age marked by the conquest of Greek Gods, Goddess, prophets, and heroes. Apart from the basic gameplay elements, the powers, and special attacks are superb. You can bring a typhoon or any other natural calamity to destroy the enemy’s settlement.

One among the most epic moments in the game includes summoning the plea of Gods to aid you in your battle against other civilizations. My…my…Age Of Mythology is one among the best classic PC games that you simply can’t ignore.

Platforms: Windows, Mac OS

# Anno 1602

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A real-time strategy city building game, Anno 1602 is set in the 17th century, an era when Europeans made their way to explore and conquer “The New World”. The game primarily focuses on economy building that helps you to establish, maintain and expand your cities. You can achieve victory by complete diplomacy or technological progress.

Forging trade relations plays an important aspect in strengthening the economy of your civilization. There will be situations where you have to forcefully defend your colonies and settlements against enemy units.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

# Deus Ex

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Deus Ex is one among the very few games that sky-rocketed commercially as well as critically that led to the development of a new franchise. The open-world action adventure role-play was out in the year 2000 and is one among the best classic PC games which people still crave for.

Most of the reviewers still claim that Deus Ex is the best game in the franchise so far. More than 1 million copies of the game have been sold as of April 2009. The events of the storyline are set in the year (2052) much later to that of Human Revolution (2027) and Mankind Divided (2029).

The plot revolves around a US special agent JC Denton, with augmented abilities made possible all thanks to nanotechnology. The world is ravaged by the outbreak of a deadly disease whose cure is only available to rich and affluent intellectuals. This leads to the formation of many terrorist and activist groups rioting against the government authorities and multinational companies.

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Mac OS

# Call Of Duty 2

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The first-person shooter released in the year 2005, became the selling point of the franchise. Like its predecessor, the game’s set during World War II and offers a series of missions entitled to different Allied powers namely Britain, US and Soviet.

Many first-person shooting games as of today still implement the basic gameplay mechanics of the very legendary COD 2 only. The multiplayer experience of the game also met positive criticism from many reputed gaming journal sites.

Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, OS X

# Mafia

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The entry point in the series received universal acclaim and even outperformed various open world games of its time like GTA III. Players take the control of Tommy Angelo, a mobster, in the city of Lost Heaven (a fictitious version of San Francisco and Chicago). The events of the game are set in the 1930s, a period when American crime syndicate started making its mark on the globe.

More than 2 million units of this open world sandbox title have been sold as of Q3, 2008. Without any question, Mafia clearly has taken a spot amongst the best classic PC games created ever.

Platforms: Windows, PS2, Xbox

# Project IGI

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Though the game was negatively criticized for it’s poor AI and lack of checkpoints or game save option, it was still an addictive game for its challenging gameplay. With practice, only you could outsmart the enemy AI and complete your missions which at times seemed next to impossible.

When the enemies become alerted it becomes quite irritating to face a horde of never-ending targets. Therefore, it really gave us shivers when we got ourselves accidentally caught! Maybe you hate this first-person title a lot but the reason we included this in our list of classic PC games is mainly because of its hardcore difficulty level.

# Sid Meier’s Civilization III

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Lookie here! We have another legendary strategy game with us! Sid Meier’s Civilization 3 released in the year 2001, clearly looked advanced considering its top-notch gameplay elements during such a time. It’s not just a command and conquer game alone. You can achieve victory based on multiple ways ranging from diplomacy to scientific research.

You can create cities, expand them by collecting resources, build wonders, civic amenities, etc. If you are into classic PC games then you might consider adding Civilization III to your list.

Platforms: Windows, Mac

# Sonic Adventure

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Sonic Adventure is a fast-paced action adventure game that was out in the year 1998. The game still gives us shivers for the beautifully designed gameplay it exhibits. You play as six different characters having unique abilities. Each of them has their own stories and events that later merge together to form the final chapter.

In most of the situations, these events intersect each other where the characters have to work as a team to complete their objectives.

Platforms: Dreamcast, Gamecube, PC

# Baldur’s Gate

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Baldur’s Gate is one among the best role-play classic PC games ever created. The game is played from a top-down perspective. You begin with a player with poor skill-set and a lack of resources. The character can be customized based on class, race, abilities, and skills.

As the story progresses, you can recruit allies to create a party of up to 6 characters. Eventually, XP and valuable items can be earned throughout the game by working together in completing quests and killing monsters. Dialogue conversations can only be initiated when you click on the NPCs.

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS

# Battlefield 1942

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Battlefield 1942 is a legendary first-person shooter that completely changed the multiplayer gameplay perspective of the titles that came later on. The game was released in the year 2002.  Since then it has been receiving many awards for its in-depth co-op mechanics which require team play rather than individualism.

You can choose your character from one out of five classes. They include Scout, Assault, Medic, Anti-tank and Engineer with each having their unique traits and abilities. Most noteworthy, you can also side with any of the Allied or Axis powers.

Platforms: Windows, OS X

# Rayman

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The 1995 hilarious  2D side-scroller game is one among the most popular titles by Ubisoft. The entire Rayman series has sold more than 25 million units as of Q3, 2014. As the name suggests, the game basically portrays a cartoon character named Rayman.

The protagonist has to travel across six different worlds to free the captured Electoons (beings of Rayman’s world) from the wrath of Mr. Dark. Ultimately, the Great Protoon responsible for maintaining peace and balance in the world must also be recovered from the devil’s hands.

If you happen to be a fan of 2D side-scroll adventure titles then you may consider adding this to the list of classic PC games.

Platforms:  Atari Jaguar, DSiWare, Game Boy Color, Sega Saturn, DOS, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation

# Twisted Metal 2

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This vehicular combat title is one among the best classic PC games ever. Out in the year 1996, the game soon attained a widespread critical acclaim as well as financial success. The gameplay is pretty simple. You get to race and battle in an arena full of enemy combat vehicles.

In order to achieve victory, you need to be very agile in launching your ballistic attacks against your target. The game features both story and a multiplayer mode.

Platforms: PlayStation, PC

Hope you had a great time relinquishing your childhood memories. If you think that we have missed something important in our list of classic PC games then do share with us. Gracias amigo! Ciao!

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Amlan is a hardcore gaming freak, who is the COO and Editor-in-Chief at Tech Legends. Presently, he is pursuing his B.Tech in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He is an avid fan of gadgets and always keeps in touch with what's happening around in the tech world. Apart from gaming and technology, he loves to research a lot regarding the culture and geography of various countries, cities, etc. He is also a writer and his first book titled,"A Brief Study of Japan", was published when he was in 9th grade. His motto is, "Keep moving forward and never ever give up".

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