Those of us born in the 90’s will remember that PC games, weren’t always what they are now. Back then, video games were very different, as well as the mentality around them. But even though the graphics are prettier, and the appeal is wider, there is something truly wonderful about the games of the past and how they, in all their pixelated glory, paved the way for the gaming world we now have today. So, I figured why not take a trip back down memory lane and count down my personal favourite 10 Nostalgic Games.
Number 10 was probably the hardest spot for me to fill as I had about 5 different games, I didn’t want to leave off the list and only one spot left to put them on. In the end, I picked the game I have the fondest memory of out of the few, which was Wolfenstein 3D. To be entirely honest, I didn’t play very far into this game, only getting a few levels in each time before I would get distracted or play something else, however I have incredibly fond memories of the levels I played. Picture this, you first spawn in the jail cell and emerge out into the castle, pistol in hand, and proceed to kill all the Nazi’s in your path – that was it, that was the whole game.
I think I mainly enjoyed trying to find all the hidden areas which I would do by running up to the walls and furiously pressing the action button in hopes one happened to be a secret space. You wouldn’t think a nine-year-old little girl who loved fairies and reading books with glittery covers would also enjoy this sort of a game, but I really did. And who would have thought that all these years later I’d still be playing Wolfenstein games!
9.The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Number 9 was another tricky spot to fill, but in the end, I’m basing it more on emotional connection than anything. So, with that in mind, I’m going with The Elder Scrolls VI: Oblivion. This is still both my favourite Elder Scrolls game and RPG game to date, with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, coming close, but not quite hitting the mark for me. Cyrodill is just everything I wanted to explore as a child. Magical fantasy land with lush green forests and towering medieval cities, young me just couldn’t explore this world enough.
As a huge fan of Lord of the Rings as well, I always played a female elf archer (I was a big Legolas fan girl) and I’d always finish the main questline and then do the Mages Guild, becoming head of the Arcane University which was always my favourite quest line. The music in this game as well is so incredibly beautiful and I still use it to this day to help me with concentrating (would definitely recommend if you don’t have a good concentration playlist already).
8. The Sims
Number 8 was victorious in the battle between who would be 8 and who would be 9. So, the victor of the number eight spot, is the very first Sims game. Yes, I confess, I’m a bit of a Simmer – I don’t play daily or anything, well not anymore (can’t get Sims 2 to work on my Windows 10 system reee!). I can honestly remember with vivid detail sitting down and playing The Sims for the very first time. My dad had got it for me for my birthday and I got up extra early so I could race to the PC and install it, plus the extra game pack he had gotten me, which was The Sims: Superstar.
The Sims was just the most outrageous and wonderful game, with a style of humour that the Sims games post Sims 2 in my eyes just can’t seem to replicate. The Sims also in my opinion had some of the best packs to date, including: Making Magic, Superstar, and Hot Date. It also had an amazing soundtrack which has become just as iconic as the game itself.
7. Quake 2
While Wolfenstein 3D was an FPS that I played a little of, my number 7 game was one that I played to DEATH, it is Quake 2. For reasons unknown I never played the first Quake, but Quake 2 was for sure my jam. I used to play this co-op with my younger brother, which made this game even more enjoyable as the pair of us blitzed through the campaign together with ease, exploring all the levels and using all the amazing weapons this game had to offer. My personal favourite weapons were always the Railgun and the Hyperblaster. They just had cool designs, and amazing sounds. The sound design and music in this game are really outstanding as well and very memorable after all these years.
6. Unreal Tournament 2003/2004
This game I felt went under the radar a little as a lot of people I talk to don’t remember this game at all – but c’mon I can’t be the only one! This game was amazing silly fun and I loved it. I also really enjoyed that it was a game I could play as a girl in, because as a kid, that was a big requirement for me. This game had a ton of different sorts of characters, from bigger characters to more muscular characters, men, women, aliens, hipsters – it had it all, which was nice to see from a game made back in 2003.
It was basically an arena style FPS shoot ‘em up, with a campaign where you and your team would rise through the ranks to become tournament champion. This was done in an array of game modes such as: Capture the Flag, Team Death Match and my personal favourite, Onslaught which also incorporated vehicles (the Mantis is and always will be, cool as heck). There was also an instant action mode where you could just play whatever mode or game against whatever enemy in the game you wanted. There was also a multiplayer mode which I wasn’t allowed to use, however my brother and I did often play LAN games with bots, which was still fun, illustrating how much of this game was just pure fun.
5. Quake 3: Arena
Top five time! And we have another arena style shooter which came out around the same time, Quake 3: Arena. This game only just beats out Unreal Tournament for me by the tiniest amount due to the fact I probably worked up more hours in Quake 3 overall, and I also once again just feel slightly more connected to this game. Similar to Unreal Tournament, it’s an FPS game where you can work your way up tiers of arenas filled with enemies, all the way up to the final 1v1 battle with the very intimidating Xaero.
This game also had an array of playable characters in different genders and body types and also included aliens similar to Unreal Tournament – and you could even play as the Doom guy! The Quake series overall just gave me lots of wonderful memories and was a big introduction for me into the world of FPS games. It was also one of the first games I played again when I got back into PC gaming. And let me tell you, it was just as fun ten years later.
4. Battlefield: Vietnam
The final FPS on this list, my number four, is Battlefield: Vietnam. The countless hours I spent playing this with my Dad and brother in LAN multiplayer are one of my most vivid childhood memories. The only memory that tops that, is my memories of the music. The songs on that playlist I still listen to today and they instantly give me flashbacks. This game was in my opinion, Battlefield at it’s finest. With amazing map design and the ability to pilot planes, sail boats and drive cars – all of which felt amazing to take the helm of. Overall, it was just a highly enjoyable game that I remember putting countless hours in.
*Side note: We also used to have mod map packs for I think Battlefield 2, one of them being the Sir. Mod pack. If anyone else played that pack, please tell me, because that pack was a masterpiece!
3. GTA: Vice City
Starting off the top 3, is to this day, my favourite GTA game, GTA: Vice City. What’s not to love about this game? Not only was it bright and colourful due to its awesome 70’s Miami backdrop, it also had an amazing soundtrack, filled with kick ass 70’s song – many of which I already loved, but this game helped cement that. Playing as old mate Tommy Vercetti, you’re a Scarface style gangster, running all your nefarious missions often from the fancy night club you own.
The map area of Vice City is of an impressive size and the map detailing is amazing considering when it was made. The number of cars available in different colours, as well as buyable homes as well, made this game well ahead of the games out at the time. I also admittedly never finished this game as I tended to get too distracted driving around listening to music – no regrets.
2.The Sims 2
Jumping into the number two spot, is the second Sims entry on my list, The Sims 2. This is the game I have probably spent the greatest number of consecutive hours playing across my entire life. I even once had to draw up a big family tree and plan out which sims were going to marry which, as it reached a point where I was playing so many sims at the same time, I couldn’t even keep track of them all. The gameplay of the Sims 2, in my opinion, was the peak of gameplay for the entire franchise. This game didn’t take itself too seriously and offered some amazing pre-made stories and sims that I remember to this day. The later games have never had that same effect on me sadly, with most pe-made lots and families from The Sims 3 and 4, hardly even touched.
This game’s style makes it still hold up as looking quite good by today’s standards, and still has a pretty solid modding community for everything under the sun, so even though the game isn’t being supported anymore and no more expansions are coming out, it’s still very playable. Sadly, if you own a Windows 10 PC, it’s not as playable, as the game’s software is very incompatible with it and it’ll crash often. While this is devastating, it’s also probably a good thing, as I will probably never leave the house if I could play it again. Oh, and the music, once again, is amazing (I pretty much know some of the Simlish words of the songs at this point admittedly).
1. American McGee’s Alice
And my number one most loved PC game from childhood is, American McGee’s Alice. Where do I begin with this game. For starters, not enough people know about it! But secondly, I even took my gamertag from the name of the creator of it, McGee, due to its impact on me. Not only was this twisted version of Alice in Wonderland, a childhood favourite, it’s 2011 sequel Alice: Madness Returns, was the game that brought me back into PC gaming after a fairly decent hiatus, so this game means the world to me!
Created by Game developer American McGee, the story centres around a version of Alice who suffered tremendous survivors’ guilt after losing her family to a house fire. Now her mind is in ruins and the only way to fix it, is to dive back into Wonderland and put it back together, by slicing down and exploding everything that gets in her way. As a kid, this game was both terrifying but also incredibly magical, and is by far the game that I hold most dearest.
To a few games that didn’t quite make my list including: Skyroads (the game I attribute my disliking of platformers to), GTA: San Andreas, the original Doom, Commander Keen 4, and Duke Nukem 2. I’m now seriously contemplating doing a 10 Favourite DOS games list sometime too, as there are soo many of these I love as well!
So, what about you? Feel free to comment down below with what your nostalgic games are, or if any of yours are the same as mine. I can’t be the only appreciator of these gems, surely!