15 Best 90s PC Games, Worth Checking Out Today!

Best 90s PC Games
Unlocking Nostalgia: Revisiting the Best 90s PC Games

Welcome to a journey down memory lane, a voyage back to the vibrant and pixelated world of 90s PC games.

The 1990s marked a turning point in the ever-evolving world of gaming. It was during this decade that the digital playground started to take off, paving the way for the immersive gaming experiences we take for granted today.

Picture this: it's a rainy afternoon, the soft pitter-patter of raindrops outside your window, and you're seated at your trusty computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, ready to embark on epic adventures, solve mind-bending puzzles, or engage in thrilling virtual battles.

Yeah, those were the days of PC gaming in the 1990s, when the gaming industry experienced a metamorphosis and a wave of innovation, imagination, and originality was unleashed.

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15. Age Of Empires II (1999)

Best 90s PC Games Age Of Empires II (1999)

The world of gaming experienced some exciting change in the late 1990s. The game industry was on the verge of a revolution, and CD-ROMs were the new frontier. Here we have Ensemble Studios' real-time strategy (RTS) game Age of Empires II. This imposing monument of strategy and civilization-building welcomes us as we enter the annals of gaming history.

Consider for a moment that you are in charge of a developing civilization and are responsible for steering it through the turbulent rivers of history. You could play Age of Empires II safely from within your PC and accomplish precisely that. A fascinating fusion of resource management, tactical combat, and historical immersion was present in the game.

Age of Empires II provided a unique perspective on 2D isometric graphics at a time when gaming was shifting from 2D sprites to 3D polygons. These aesthetics not only improved with age, but also served as evidence of the game's enduring appeal. Each and every aspect of the game, from the architecture of the civilizations to the battle formations, was painstakingly developed.

14. Thief: The Dark Project (1998)

Best 90s PC Games Thief

The gaming industry was experiencing a seismic transformation as the 1990s got underway. The popularity of Computer gaming was growing, and developers were venturing into unexplored waters. Thief: The Dark Project appeared like a whisper in the night, giving a distinct gaming experience amid the noise of action-packed shooters and strategic epics.

Thief was a breath of fresh air in a time when gaming was dominated by brute force. It challenged you to put yourself in the shoes of a great burglar and move through the convoluted, ominous streets of a Gothic, steampunk-inspired world. The game's innovative use of light and music as primary gameplay components encouraged players to embrace the solitude and darkness.

Instead than pitting you against hordes of foes, "Thief: The Dark Project" required you to outsmart guards and manoeuvre through challenging levels full of traps and secrets. Every squeaky floorboard and flickering light may be the beginning of the end for you. There was an unmatched amount of anxiety and thrill brought on by the emphasis on stealth.

13. Unreal Tournament (1999)

Best 90s PC Games Unreal Tournament (1999)

First-person shooter (FPS) game "Unreal Tournament," which revolutionised the genre, was released in 1999. The FPS concept was amplified to eleven in this masterpiece created by Epic Software and Digital Extremes.

Its variety of distinctive and potent weapons was what really made Unreal Tournament stand out. Every weapon, from the recognizable Flak Cannon to the terrifying Redeemer, has a special personality and approach. Several spectacular conflicts were set to the spooky hum of the Shock Rifle and the satisfying clank of the impact hammer.

The game's maps were a testament to creativity and diversity. From the industrial grit of "Facing Worlds" to the alien landscapes of "AS-Highspeed," each map offered a fresh and exhilarating experience. 'Unreal Tournament' was a game where map knowledge was as important as your aiming skills, and learning the terrain became an art form.

12. MYST (1993)

Best 90s PC Games MYST

The PC gaming industry saw a tremendous transition in the 1990s. A new type of video games that pushed the limits of immersion and storytelling arose as the pixelated past gave way to the beginning of 3D graphics. Cyan, Inc.'s "MYST" was at the forefront of this change.

"MYST" exposed players to an universe unlike any other in 1993. Players were drawn into a mysterious story that took place on the magical island of Myst. "MYST" featured a calmer, more thoughtful experience where players were tasked with solving puzzles and learning the island's mysteries rather than fast-paced action and fighting.

Imagine wandering through an abandoned library, deciphering cryptic messages, and manipulating mysterious devices, all while trying to make sense of the island's bizarre and surreal landscapes. 'MYST' was not a game of brute force but a journey of intellectual exploration, inviting players to think, observe, and connect the dots.

11. Sim City 2000 (1993)

Best 90s PC Games Sim City 2000 (1993)

The PC gaming industry saw a dramatic shift in the 1990s. The promise of 3D graphics and immersive storytelling expanded as the decade progressed. Sim City 2000 was a groundbreaking game that encouraged players to imagine, organize, and create their own urban utopias during its progression.

Sim City 2000, a video game that Maxis released in 1993, revolutionized city-building simulations. The notion was straightforward but alluring: you were the mayor, and your blank canvas was a promising metropolis. The complexity of the game added to its appeal; it required players to manage the complexities of a developing city in addition to creating roads and buildings.

10. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995)

Best 90s PC Games Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

The PC gaming industry underwent an astonishing transformation throughout the 1990s. As the decade progressed, 3D visuals, engaging storytelling, and ground-breaking gameplay became commonplace. The real-time strategy (RTS) video game "Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness" had a key role in its evolution.

The game's fully realized factions were one of its distinguishing characteristics. The brave King Terenas Menethil led the Humans, who were a shining example of respect and culture. On the opposing side, the Orcs were a vicious and chaotic force that were brutally ruled by Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer. The conflict between these two factions served as the central conflict in "Warcraft II," a narrative that drew players further into the world of the game.

9. Diablo (1996)

Best 90s PC Games Diablo

The hack-and-slash action role-playing game "Diablo" was released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1996, forever changing the gaming industry. Players who journeyed into Tristram's dark, gothic realm learned a tale of corruption, possession, and the unrelenting quest for power.

Imagine having a sword or staff in hand and being prepared to face the demonic army as you stand at the gates of hell. Players were thrust into a world in "Diablo" where every turn held danger and every dungeon contained horrible creatures. The struggle was never-ending, as was the dance with death.

8. System Shock (1994)

Best 90s PC Games System Shock

The PC gaming industry saw a tremendous transition in the 1990s. Technology advanced rapidly with each passing year, bringing life to previously inconceivable virtual worlds. In this setting, "System Shock" appeared, foreshadowing what was to come and serving as a model for the immersive stories we now enjoy.

The difficult puzzles in "System Shock" were one of its distinguishing qualities. These brain teasers required more than just reflexes; they also required the ability to think critically and solve problems. Players were immersed in the mayhem and helped to solve the mysteries of Citadel Station by solving puzzles ranging from cracking security codes to manipulating station systems.

7. Quake II (1997)

Best 90s PC Games Quake II

The PC gaming industry underwent significant development in the 1990s. Gamers were experiencing a seismic shift with the introduction of 3D graphics and the growth of online multiplayer. Throughout this shift, "Quake II" stood out as a colossal pillar of innovation.

When id Software released "Quake II" in 1997, it completely changed the FPS subgenre. After laying the foundation with its predecessor, "Quake II" sent players to a bleak future where they took on the role of a marine on a mission to exterminate an adversarial alien race.

Imagine this: you're armed with futuristic weaponry, your heart pounding as you traverse dark, alien-infested corridors, and your finger poised on the trigger. 'Quake II' was a relentless assault on the senses, an adrenaline-fueled rush that pushed the boundaries of what FPS games could deliver.

6. Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997)

Best 90s PC Games Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

Game players were first introduced to "Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II" by LucasArts in 1997, bridging the gap between the Star Wars film universe and the gaming industry. Players took on the role of Kyle Katarn, a former mercenary turned Jedi Knight who set out to learn the truth about his father's passing and foil the evil schemes of the Dark Jedi Jerec.

The allure of the Force was at the centre of "Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II." The game's result depended on the players' decision to embrace the Light Side or explore the Dark Side, which affected their skills. The player's will was extended by the lightsaber, the legendary weapon of the Jedi, starting battles that were nothing short of epic.

The legacy of 'Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II' extends far beyond the '90s. Its impact can be seen in the continued popularity of Star Wars games and the enduring appeal of lightsaber combat. Titles like 'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' owe a debt to the trailblazing gameplay and storytelling of this classic.

5. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (1996)

Best 90s PC Games The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall was unveiled by Bethesda Game Studios in 1996. The open world that this game offered was astonishingly large and, to be completely honest, ahead of its time. Only the game's scale could have matched its ambition.

Picture yourself as a hero in a vast, fantastical world with medieval influences, full with boundless opportunities and adventures waiting around every corner. In the world of "Daggerfall," you may lose yourself for hours while completing tasks, facing off against dangerous enemies, and learning the details of a richly detailed environment.

4. Rollercoaster Tycoon (1999)

Best 90s PC Games Rollercoaster Tycoon

Naturally, the roller coasters themselves were the centre of "Rollercoaster Tycoon." Players could use their imagination to the fullest in this game, creating coasters that ranged from tranquil, beautiful treks to spine-tingling adrenaline rides. When you watched your roller coaster race around its track with happy riders in it, the sense of accomplishment was genuinely unmatched.

Beyond the roller coasters, the complexity of park management presented a problem in "Rollercoaster Tycoon." The game involved managing finances, making sure guests were satisfied, and resolving unforeseen emergencies. It wasn't just about producing exhilarating experiences; it was also about keeping an active, well-run amusement park.

3. Command & Conquer (1995)

Best 90s PC Games Command Conquer

The RTS video game "Command & Conquer" was released by Westwood Studios in 1995, and it quickly rose to prominence. The video game immersed players in a world beset by a fictitious world war between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the mysterious Brotherhood of Nod.

You were given the responsibility of leading your chosen faction to victory as a player, or commander. The battle could be experienced from both sides because to the dual narrative framework of the game, which gave the narrative depth and complexity.

At the heart of 'Command & Conquer' was its gameplay, a delicate balance of resource management, base-building, and tactical warfare. The game encouraged strategic thinking and planning, challenging players to adapt to changing battlefield conditions and outsmart their opponents.

2. Doom II: Hell on Earth (1994)

Best 90s PC Games Doom II: Hell on Earth (1994)

The level design of Doom II was an example of both originality and complexity. Intricate stages with hidden dangers and secret chambers were navigated by players as they moved through towns ravaged by demonic armies. More than just a shooting range, "Doom II" was a mental and physical challenge.

"Doom II: Hell on Earth" changed the first-person shooter genre and was more than just a video game. It had a profound impact on the gaming industry and provided inspiration for other games. Today's frantic, quick-paced shooters that enthrall players everywhere are still influenced by it.

1. Half-Life (1998)

Best 90s PC Games Half-Life (1998)

Half-Life, a game that revolutionized FPS storytelling, was released in 1998 by Valve Corporation. You take on the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist at the Black Mesa Research Center who is caught up in a disastrous experiment gone wrong. There are no cutscenes in "Half-Life," which makes for a more immersive and cinematic gameplay experience. Instead, you experience the story via Gordon's eyes.

Imagine yourself fighting your way through Black Mesa's maze-like passageways, alien foes, and the ominous military force assigned to hide the calamity. A masterclass in atmospheric narrative, "Half-Life" woven a complex tale using staged incidents, environmental storytelling, and the mysterious G-Man.



Passionate gamer and nostalgia enthusiast. Journeying through the pixelated realms of retro video games, unearthing forgotten gems and sharing the joy. Join me on a nostalgic adventure! 🎮✨