5 Awesome PC Games From the 90s You Should Still Play Today

Even though the 90′s are over 15 years in the rearview mirror, there are still a lot of quality PC games from that era. Some of them even hold up well today. Some of them you should definitely still play.

Games have changed, but that doesn’t mean that these classic titles aren’t worth your time. The good news is that with the advent of services like Steam and GOG.com, you can still grab classic games like this and they’ll normally work on your PC just fine. While there are a ton of great 90′s PC games that you could play, these are the five that I think are most worth checking out.

5. Command & Conquer: Red Alert

When Westwood Studios rolled out Red Alert in 1996, it was a huge step forward for real-time strategy. Red Alert was originally conceived as taking place in an alternate historical timeline in which Hitler never rose to power, resulting in a much more aggressive Soviet Union. As Stalin began to take over more and more of Asia, the European countries formed the Allies to fight back.

Red Alert was one of the first games to feature many modern UI features, including queuing of commands and grouping units under a specified number key. It also broke from the mold in that its two factions were not simply re-skinned copies of each other, but instead fully-featured unique armies, each having its own strengths and weaknesses. The Soviets were great at defense, but were slow on offense and weak at sea, while the Allies were mobile, powerful at sea, and less powerful offensively.

Red Alert was originally conceived as taking place in an alternate historical timeline in which Hitler never rose to power, resulting in a much more aggressive Soviet Union. As Stalin began to take over more and more of Asia, the European countries formed the Allies to fight back.

Red Alert is really a watershed moment in the history of the RTS genre. Many games emulated its features, and no matter how cheesy you think the campaign’s full-motion videos are, the gameplay still holds up fairly well today.

You can grab Red Alert for free, as EA released the game as freeware to celebrate the announcement of Red Alert 3. If you don’t want to follow all these instructions, you can also grab it as part of the Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection on Origin (but that won’t be free).

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8 Comments on 5 Awesome PC Games From the 90s You Should Still Play Today

rickshaw

On July 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I still think quake 1 is good one. :)

lol

On July 24, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Half Life? lol

Robyn

On July 25, 2014 at 3:01 am

Where is Fallout? Seriously. Fallout should be on here. Your list is wrong. And you should feel wrong.

Black Crippled Lesbian

On July 25, 2014 at 4:05 am

I realise this is a subject list, but really? No Planescape: Torment, Fall Out, Half-Life, or Diablo?

dude

On July 25, 2014 at 4:40 am

Half-Life (no Alyx, so much better than part 2), Jedi Knight, X-Wing, Tie-Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, Wing Commander series, Thief The Dark Project, System Shock 2, Monkey Island 1-3, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Resident Evil 1+2, Unreal, Wolfenstein 3d, Spear of Destiny, Doom 1+2, Quake 1-3,

Ron Whitaker

On July 25, 2014 at 5:26 am

There were so many games from the 90s that could have made this list. I have mountains of them that I played during / after college. In this list, I tried to pick out games on two main criteria:

Does the game hold up today?
Did the game have a profound influence on the industry?

Yes, that still leaves a ton of stuff out there that isn’t on this list. I loved all the games that are being brought up here. In fact, I would have probably chosen TIE Fighter over Dark Forces if it wasn’t so hard to get hold of a copy these days.

Keep your lists coming. All of these games are worth checking out.

Jeff Kaos

On July 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

I’d definitely recommend the Fallout series, even the divisive Fallout Tactics, but I’d also add Jagged Alliance 2. While JA 2 may not be considered a classic it has solid game play. The AI is pretty decent for a strategy game and the graphics and animations hold up more than a lot of games from back then. And my wife would be mad if I didn’t suggest Heroes of Might and Magic 3. That one is a classic and we still play it hot seat with my old college roommate when he comes by for a visit.

Peter

On July 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Who -doesn’t- know about these games? It would have been more useful and interesting had the writer sought out games that didn’t get their due back in the day and not limited himself to Windows. (MS-DOS was the key PC platform for most of the decade.)