I’m going to mention a few beloved games I played and I think should be experienced by more people.
Traffic Department 2192 (1994)
This game has one of the most insane sci-fi stories I’ve ever played through. Aliens, Cyborgs, mind control, clones, betrayal, etc it’s all here. The gameplay itself is a bit repetitive but the story and soundtrack is amazing. The protagonist is such an unlikeable psycho that you sometimes wonder if she even is the protagonist at all. This game has NEVER been re-released not even on GoG unfortunately so you have to download it as abandonware online.
Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold (1993)
It’s Wolfenstein 3D in space, more or less. Still, I love the concept, the weapons, how campy it is etc was one of my most played FPS games back in the day. This game has been re-released on Steam!
Rise of the Triad (1994)
Another extremely campy FPS game using the Wolfenstein 3D engine, what’s unique about this game is the ability to choose multiple characters, the humor in the game, the crazy weapons like Drunken Missiles, and it’s one of the first games to support LAN play. Also highly recommended. It’s available on Steam now!
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands / Wake of the Ravager / Online (1993–1994)
Loved all these Dark Sun RPG games. Played them a lot as a kid, felt like they were true old school RPGs, lots of fantasy elements, great looking monsters, nice quests and dialog, and these games never got the love they truly deserved. Dark Sun Online was actually one of the first MMORPGs (1996) and predated Ultima Online and Everquest by a few years. It’s unfortunate this series never got that much appreciation. However, you can find the Dark Sun games on GoG now!
One Must Fall 2097 (1994)
This was hands down one of my favorite PC fighting games back in the day. You see, PC didn’t get Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat or any cool fighting games back then. But One Must Fall 2097 with the robots and the kickass soundtrack.. that was good enough for me. Highly recommended. Unfortunately I don’t think it was ever re-released so might have to download this one online.
Hunter Hunted (1996)
This is a Sierra platformer that I played a lot back in the day with my brother. Had tons of fun with both co-op and deathmatch modes, and it really flew under the radar as not many people know about this game. I think it’s definitely one of the most fun co-op platformers I’ve played back then. It’s never been re-released and you have to download this one online.
This is a really fun gauntlet-style game that you can play co-op with your friends, and it expands Gauntlet by adding much more RPG type elements and giving you the ability to hire recruits on the team. It’s never been re-released officially, but you can download the open source version OpenGlad online.
One of the great underrated games Microsoft Studios made and was really ahead of the time. The dialogue is a bit cheesy and repetitive but the space combat and the sci-fi exploration in this game was pretty good for the time. Unfortunately this game has never been re-released, so you might have to torrent this one.
Rise of Legends (2006)
This game was one of the my favorite RTS games back in the day. yes it was *kind of* a Starcraft ripoff with only three races, but it had its own unique playstyle and was supposed to be the sequel to the much more well known Rise of Nations. However, it plays nothing like Rise of Nations and is it’s own thing. Unfortunately it’s never been re-released and you have to find a torrent online for this one.
Universe at War (2007)
Love this RTS game too. Yes it’s another Starcraft type sci-fi RTS with only 3 factions – but they are all done very well and I highly recommend this one to RTS fans too. Unfortunately it used to be on Steam but has been removed. You’ll have to torrent this one online.
Warlords Battlecry III (2002)
Loved playing this RTS as a kid because of the MASSIVE amount of factions and unique races and creatures available. You can play anything from a demon race to an insect race to a dinosaur race etc it’s all here. Just a very fun game to play LAN with friends back in the day. Available on GoG now!
Quest for Glory IV (1994)
This is probably my favorite entry in the Quest for Glory series and a very underrated RPG. When I played it the sense of creepiness and darkness in this game is incredible and reminds me of Diablo 1. You start the game in the belly of an ancient beast surrounded by skeletons and throughout the game you run into lovecraftian horrors set in a creepy Transylvanian setting. Just love the creepy vibes in this game. You can get it on GoG!
Nox is a satirical take on Diablo II and it is just a very fun game. Instead of starting out as your typical RPG class and going into some dungeon, you’re just some suburban kid armed with a baseball bat and typical t-shirt and pants and you get transported into a fantasy realm. A very interesting take on the action RPG genre. You can get it on Origin!
Yes not all the games on this list are old school. This is one of the more recent indie games I played, and I really love it. The cyberpunk setting, the narrative and the dialog are all top notch. I actually enjoyed this more than Cyberpunk 2077 lol which came out around the same time. and I felt like this game really flew under the radar. But yes check it out if you like cyberpunk setting, it’s available on Steam!
Leisure Suit Larry 6 (1993)
This is probably my favorite in the Leisure Suit Larry series and I just the combination of humor in this game and how 1990s it is. Just transports me back to that era a more simpler time where people weren’t distracted by their phones all the time. It’s a nice feel good game that never fails to cheer me up after a long hard day at work I can play this and be back to being charmed by that hilarious narrator in this game. You can get it on GoG!
Space Quest 5 (1993)
Another Sierra classic in the point and click adventure space, this game is my favorite from the space quest series. The writing, the dialogue, the setting, the music, the humor etc all perfectly done. Highly recommended for sci-fi fans or point and click fans. You can get it on GoG!
Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004)
This was one of my favorite FPS games back in the day since I LOVED deathmatch shooters so much. But UT2004 added vehicles to the mix which pushed it up another notch. Many hours back then were spent playing with my brother in the Onslaught mode with all these cool vehicles and weapons. Highly recommended. It’s available on Steam now.
Sleeping Dogs (2012)
Just one of my all time favorite games. Still to this day the ONLY game that’s fully open world set in Asia. Yes I know Shenmue and Yakuza are there but I don’t consider them fully open world like Sleeping Dogs is. In Sleeping Dogs you can go anywhere in Hong Kong like in GTA, and you are a parkour and kung fu wielding double agent on top of that, it’s an incredible game. Available on Steam.
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds (2001)
This is low key one of the best RTS games I ever played and one of the best Star Wars games. I mean, if you haven’t tried it give it a shot. The mechanics, gameplay, units, music etc are all top notch. The only issue I might have is the games tend to drag VERY long – I’m talking Empire Earth length games lol. But still a fun game. Available on Steam.
Into the Breach (2018)
If you liked XCOM you’ll like this game, it’s a fun tactical strategy game, and I found myself enjoying this alot more than I would have expected. Available on Steam and a few other platforms