The Ultimate List of the Best Old PC Games: A Nostalgic Journey

For many gamers, the allure of old PC games lies in their ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting us back to simpler times when pixels and MIDI music were all we needed for an immersive gaming experience. These games, released over a decade ago, have stood the test of time, earning their place as classics in the hearts of gamers worldwide.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll take a trip down memory lane and explore some of the best old PC games that have left an indelible mark on the gaming industry. From groundbreaking first-person shooters to epic role-playing adventures, these games have not only entertained us but also shaped the way we perceive and play video games.

Join us as we delve into the world of Half-Life, Baldur's Gate, Doom, StarCraft, and Age of Empires II, uncovering the reasons why these timeless classics continue to captivate audiences even in the age of photorealistic graphics and virtual reality. Whether you're a seasoned gamer looking to relive the glory days or a newcomer curious about gaming history, this list is sure to have something that will reignite your passion for old PC games.

Note: Discover our latest blogs on Retro Gaming Accessories and Retro Games!

What Makes a Game "Old"?

In the world of gaming, the term "old" can be somewhat relative. For the purposes of this list, we consider games that were released over a decade ago to be "old." This timeframe allows us to include games that were groundbreaking for their time and have since become classics in the gaming community.

The Criteria for Inclusion

When compiling this list, we considered several factors to determine the best old PC games. These factors include:

  • Critical Acclaim: Games that received high praise from critics and gamers alike for their gameplay, story, and innovation.
  • Influence on the Industry: Games that had a significant impact on the gaming industry, influencing other developers and shaping future games.
  • Lasting Appeal: Games that have stood the test of time and are still enjoyable to play today, despite their age.
  • Diversity in Genres: Including a variety of genres to cater to different tastes and preferences among gamers.
Atom Retro Gaming console!

Note: Buy our Atom Retro Gaming console!

List of the Best Old PC Games

1. Half-Life

  • Overview: Half-Life, released in 1998 by Valve Corporation, is a first-person shooter that revolutionized the gaming industry. Players assume the role of Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist, who must navigate the Black Mesa Research Facility after an experiment goes wrong, causing a portal to another dimension to open.
  • Gameplay and Impact: Half-Life was praised for its immersive storytelling, realistic gameplay mechanics, and innovative use of scripted sequences to advance the plot. The game's physics engine was groundbreaking at the time, allowing for realistic object interactions and environmental puzzles.
  • Legacy: Half-Life's impact on the first-person shooter genre cannot be overstated. It popularized the concept of a seamless, narrative-driven experience in a shooter game, inspiring countless other developers to follow suit. The game also spawned a successful franchise, including sequels, expansions, and spin-off titles.
  • Mods and Community Content: One of the reasons for Half-Life's lasting appeal is its robust modding community. Players have created thousands of mods and custom maps for the game, adding new levels, gameplay mechanics, and even entirely new games using the Half-Life engine.

2. Baldur's Gate

  • Overview: Baldur's Gate, released in 1998 by BioWare, is a classic role-playing game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Players create a character and embark on a quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding their identity while battling monsters and completing quests.
  • Gameplay and Impact: Baldur's Gate was praised for its deep storytelling, complex characters, and strategic gameplay. The game's use of the Dungeons & Dragons rule set was also well-received, adding depth and complexity to the game's combat and character progression systems.
  • Legacy: Baldur's Gate is widely regarded as one of the best role-playing games of all time and has had a lasting impact on the RPG genre. Its success spawned a sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, as well as several expansion packs and spin-off titles.
  • Enhanced Edition: In recent years, Baldur's Gate has been re-released as an enhanced edition, featuring updated graphics and gameplay mechanics. The enhanced edition has introduced the game to a new generation of gamers while also allowing longtime fans to revisit the classic game with a fresh perspective.
Atom Plus Retro Gaming Console!

Note: Buy our Atom Plus Retro Gaming Console!

3. Doom

  • Overview: Doom, released in 1993 by id Software, is a seminal first-person shooter that is credited with popularizing the genre. Players assume the role of a space marine tasked with battling demons from Hell on Mars.
  • Gameplay and Impact: Doom was praised for its fast-paced gameplay, innovative 3D graphics, and atmospheric sound design. The game's level design was also revolutionary, featuring labyrinthine levels filled with secret areas and hidden dangers.
  • Legacy: Doom is considered one of the most influential video games of all time and has had a profound impact on the gaming industry. It popularized the first-person shooter genre and introduced many gameplay mechanics that are now standard in the genre.
  • Mods and Community Content: Like Half-Life, Doom has a vibrant modding community that continues to create new content for the game. Players have created thousands of custom levels, mods, and total conversions, keeping the game fresh and exciting for years after its release.

4. StarCraft

  • Overview: StarCraft, released in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment, is a real-time strategy game set in a science fiction universe. Players choose one of three factions and engage in strategic warfare to conquer their enemies.
  • Gameplay and Impact: StarCraft was praised for its deep and strategic gameplay, as well as its engaging storyline and memorable characters. The game's multiplayer mode was particularly well-received, with many considering it one of the best competitive multiplayer experiences of its time.
  • Legacy: StarCraft is widely regarded as one of the best real-time strategy games ever made and has had a lasting impact on the genre. It spawned a sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, as well as several expansion packs and a remastered edition.
  • Esports: StarCraft's multiplayer mode also helped popularize esports, with competitive tournaments drawing thousands of spectators and offering large cash prizes. The game's balance and depth made it a favourite among professional gamers, further solidifying its legacy in the gaming community.

5. Age of Empires II

  • Overview: Age of Empires II, released in 1999 by Ensemble Studios, is a historical real-time strategy game that allows players to control civilizations from the Middle Ages. Players must gather resources, build armies, and conquer their enemies to emerge victorious.
  • Gameplay and Impact: Age of Empires II was praised for its deep and engaging gameplay, as well as its historically accurate representation of medieval warfare. The game's single-player campaign was also well-received, offering players the chance to experience key moments in history.
  • Legacy: Age of Empires II is considered one of the best real-time strategy games ever made and has had a lasting impact on the genre. It has spawned several expansion packs and a remastered edition, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, which has introduced the game to a new generation of gamers.
  • Enhanced Edition: The enhanced edition of Age of Empires II features updated graphics and improved gameplay mechanics, making it more accessible to modern audiences while retaining the charm and depth of the original game. The enhanced edition also includes all the content from the base game and its expansion packs, providing players with hours of strategic gameplay.


These five games represent just a small selection of the best old PC games that have stood the test of time. Their enduring popularity and lasting impact on the gaming industry are a testament to their quality and innovation. Whether you're a fan of first-person shooters, role-playing games, or strategy games, there's something on this list for everyone to enjoy.

So, dust off your old PC, or download a digital copy from an online store, and dive into the world of classic gaming. Relive the glory days of PC gaming and experience firsthand the games that helped shape the industry into what it is today. Who knows, you may even discover a new favourite among these timeless classics.


Q1. Can I still play these old PC games on modern systems?

Yes, many of these games are compatible with modern systems either through official remasters or with the help of emulation software.

Q2. Are these games still enjoyable for new gamers who didn't grow up with them?

Absolutely! These games are considered classics for a reason, and many newcomers find them just as engaging and enjoyable as gamers did when they were first released.

Q3. Do I need a powerful PC to run these old games?

No, most of these games were designed to run on much older hardware, so they should run smoothly on modern PCs without any issues.

Q4. Are there any updated versions or remasters of these games available?

Yes, many of these games have been re-released with updated graphics and improved gameplay mechanics, making them more accessible to modern gamers.

Q5. Can I still find these games for sale, or are they considered rare and expensive?

Many of these games are still available for purchase through digital distribution platforms like Steam or, and they are often quite affordable.

Back to blog