Six classic PC games that still hold up great today

So here’s a question related to our situation: Are you getting through your gaming backlog during your new life at home? I can see that happening, and I can also see people going back to old favorites as comfort gaming food. And since I’ve been going through classic PC games over the past several years here on Bio Break, I thought I’d make a recommendation of six games that were not only great back in the day but are still very enjoyable even in 2020.

I’ll start by holding up The Secret of Monkey Island and LeChuck’s Revenge, because humor doesn’t ever really age badly. What was funny in 1990 is still pretty dang funny 30 years later. And the fact that both of these titles received facelifts that make them more modern if you want that experience.

Over in the RPG side of things, Star Control 2 was an amazing experience that wasn’t lessened in any way by being 28 years old. I think its pixel art is pretty acceptable considering how many modern games use it, and the sheer fun, depth, and personality of this game makes it a wonder to explore today.

For my third recommendation, I’ll once again toot the horn of Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim. This RTS flips the normal script on its head by taking control of units out of the hands of players and making them these weird autonomous heroes questing in a kingdom you build for them. It’s humorous and so very fun to play.

Heroes of Might and Magic III is a classic and for good reason. It perfected this hybrid blend of RPG, board games, and strategy combat and gave players scads and scads of content to play. It’s one of those “desert island games” you’d bring just because you’d almost never run out of new stuff to do.

Want a CRPG that is as anti-fantasy as possible? Play Planescape Torment and revel in the joy of a bizarre world, little-to-no combat, deep themes, memorable characters, and several novels’ worth of storytelling. It’s still amazing.

I opened with a pair of adventure games and so I’ll close with another pair. Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites are two of the best Star Trek games I’ve ever played. You get to go through several new “episodes” from the classic series that involve a lot of conversations, exploration, puzzle solving, and even combat. There are even story arcs and recurring characters!

What are some classic PC games you’d recommend as being fun in 2020?

5 thoughts on “Six classic PC games that still hold up great today

  1. Redbeard March 30, 2020 / 9:48 am

    Planescape: Torment captures the look and feel of the old D&D 2E Planescape setting perfectly. The concept of Sigil itself, and the turning on its head the old “Good v. Evil” fight, makes for fantastic storytelling. I don’t think any of the major development houses in 2020 could come up with a game such as P:T simply because combat takes such a back seat to everything else.

    If there was one game that could stand to have the graphics redone but leave the rest of the story alone, this is it.

  2. Jeromai March 30, 2020 / 10:38 am

    Honestly, I haven’t played these in possibly a decade. But I cannot imagine that they would ever age badly. Master of Magic and Alpha Centauri. ‘Nuff said.

  3. Tessa - Narratess March 30, 2020 / 2:05 pm

    Ah, Majesty… I loved it. I think I played it again last year. So much goodness, but also frustration as my heroes didn’t do what I wanted them to do xD Also Heroes of Might & Magic 3 is definitely a classic. I loved that game.

    For the fans of Secret of Monkey Island, I want to mention Legends of Kyrandia, available on GOG. They’re old Westwood point and click adventures with the same humour and maybe a little less difficult? If they are too hard, GoG has included a guide (without spoilers) to help you on your way.

  4. ssgcmwatson March 30, 2020 / 9:05 pm

    Baldur’s Gate series is great if only for Minsc and Boo!

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