There have been expansive lists for the best PC games before. That's nothing new. But the Shacknews' Chatty community is comprised largely of diehard PC gamers that have expoused the virtues of desktop gaming for over decades. So it only seems right that this core group of dedicated users take several weeks to evalute and organize a list of the best of the best in PC games.
This is the fruit of their efforts, led by Chatty's watcherxp. After weeks of tallying votes taken over our Chatty boards and privately channels, this is the list of the Top 100 PC Games of All-Time. Today, we continue the countdown with #30 through #21.
We'd also like to take a moment to recognize Chatty's watcherxp and sincerely thank him for his efforts in compiling this list. The staff tips its hat to you.
Catch up with the previous games on the list:
The Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time #100 through #80
The Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time #79 through #61
The Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time #60 through #41
The Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time #40 through #31
#30 - Fallout 2
While the sequel didn't add too much to the formula, Fallout 2 being more of the same Fallout could only be considered a good thing. With the world a desolate wasteland, only the Garden of Eden Creation Kit would serve as mankind's salvation. That meant more exploration, greater quests, and many more mutants to fight.
"This game aged me a few years when I played it in High School with its writing and setting."
-Sailor of Fortune
"It took Fallout 1, removed the annoying game-spanning quest, and amped up the ridiculousness to levels that were just right. Otherwise, it was just another dose of a great setting with fun characters and over-the-top bloodshed, and I loved it."
"Huge, fleshed-out, mature world. This felt like a hidden adult secret that I had discovered as a teen. I already had a thing for atomic history and all things nuclear, so I completely lost myself in this world. The freedom to say what you wanted to say, and do what you wanted to do was incredible. I remember the first time I killed a child. I had such a grin on my face, I couldn't believe they let me do it!"
#29 - Ultima VII (The Black Gate & Serpent Isle)
This is considered by many to be the peak of the Ultima series and the last of the truly great games before Ultima VIII began the series' downward spiral. Little things like removing the visual tile grids was just the beginning. Ultima VII is beloved for its shift to real-time, its brilliant AI companions, and the game world's interactivity. Britannia never felt more alive.
"Ultima 7 is the crowning achievement of Richard Garriott and Origin. The open world, character development, and sophisticated environment interaction set a bar that in some ways hasn't been matched to this day."
"Best RPG Ever Made"
"Deep, highly interactive world. It felt like I was transported to another place. I have never experienced this sense of exploration since."
"Origin creates worlds, and the mystery of Britannia, starting with a grisly murder, launches into one of the most interesting story lines in RPG history. I remember how much of a quantum leap the graphics were in this game, and how you could bake bread (or use a bucket of blood to make "blood bread"). I think this game broke my 386 and my parents bought me a 486 to replace it (yay!!!). The Fellowship and the Guardian were great adversaries, and the Blackrock sword is pretty much the best weapon ever next to the Hoe of Destruction! RPG gaming at its finest!"
"After submitting my first top15 I rethought the order. Ultima 7 IS my favourite game but part 1 and 2 have to be judged seperately. This one deserves all the praise and probably will be the one ending up in the top 100. It's one of the most important and maybe also influencial RPGs. This needs to be at the top, but I had to honor Serpent Isle here as well."
#28 - Fallout 3
With Black Isle Studios a casualty of Interplay's demise, it fell to Bethesda to keep the Fallout legacy alive. The result was Fallout 3, with Bethesda fully grasping what made Fallout such a wonderous experience, while adding in an incredibly deep character progression system and a beautiful soundtrack that complemented the time period perfectly. With a world the size of Bethesda's other franchise and all the freedom to play around in it, The Elder Scrolls, it was everything that a Fallout fan could have ever asked for.
"I don't want to set the world on fire."
"Genre defining action RPG. There was so much to do. Great noir world, artwork, tons of things to do, and loads of freedom."
"Bethesda did an amazing job recreating the D.C. area, and who can't love LIBERTY PRIME!!!!"
"This choice was difficult. I decided to do one game per franchise, and this one was pitted against Fallout 1 and New Vegas for me. I chose Fallout 3 because I think the ruins of the District of Columbia are the most cohesive and consistent in the series, whereas the other games feel like too many disparate environments and themes slapped together awkwardly. Despite some massive weaknesses in storytelling and minor weaknesses in gameplay, I fell in love with this game and got lost in its' wonderfully depressing world and downtrodden characters."
"This was another series that I had never played before, and wasn't sure I would like. But I picked it up on a Steam sale and become a wanderer for about a week straight while glued to playing. I had probably never played a game with such a vast and realistic exploration aspect before. And I love Liam Neeson's role as Dad."
"Confession: I never played this one on the PC. Own it, but it was played via the 360 on the couch. That said, it was one of the few sandbox games that have ever kept my attention. It does so many things right. The minigames fit perfectly into the world. The VATS system was a ton of fun. The optional radio stations always kept humming along."
#27 - Doom II: Hell on Earth
It would have taken a lot to improve upon the original Doom, but id Software was more than up to the challenge. Sure enough, they were able to create a second Doom experience that captivated just as much as the original. Only this time around, there was a much grander scope, meaning that you could hang onto your inventory throughout the entirety of the game. That would turn out to be useful, because Doom II had bosses that were just as big and bad as the ones in the original.
"Doom, Doom 2, and Quake could really be interchanged. Some of my favorite games ever. Played the hell out of all of them."
-the man with the briefcase
"Doom 2 is only this low because Doom already appeared. Doom 2 brought the much loved double-barreled shotgun, but more importantly for me this was where 4-player deathmatch took off through BBS services. I played a ton of 4-player Map 1 chaos DM and loved every second."
"Immensely satisfying fast-paced holy shit awesome gameplay is the only reason it's on my list, and the only reason it needs to be. It's a tighter experience than its similar predecessor. Whether in single or multiplayer, this game feels like a nonstop glorious heavy metal cocaine-and-PCP rampage through hell, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Doom II rules, Doom 1 drools"
"Wolf and Doom go hand in hand as classics, but it's Doom 2's timing with very basic multiplayer internet that had us playing for ages and ages. fast and brutal it was hilarious deathmatch. Good single player game for its time but the maps were increasingly large and confusing with multiple runs from end to end to get the keys. Hellish end of game fights with massive weaponry. classic PC gaming."
#26 - Duke Nukem 3D
Hail to the king, baby!
Duke Nukem 3D was truly a product of its time, pushing video games in the mid-90s to places it had never been before. It put forth a decidedly adult package filled with gory violence and over-the-top sexuality, but behind that was an extremely clever effort filled with rich humor, satirical pop references, and inventive weaponry. All of it was flanked by some of the best FPS action seen on PC at the time. Duke's legacy would endue, particularly through expansions and mods that would extend the life of this game for many years. In fact, it's still getting content to this day, with Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition getting new multiplayer earlier this year.
"Duke is larger than life. No other FPS has ever had a protagonist as iconic. The action was fun, the weapons inventive, the environments more immersive and with more variety than would come for many years. Although, id games had more polish and technology, Duke was more fun."
"Cameras and doors (first toilet)"
"Even though the engine felt dated upon the game's release, Duke's humor and in-your-face attitude made him the first (and perhaps only) FPS hero with a personality. The interaction of the game world was unprecedented for the time as well."
"For (this vote), I debated between Doom and Duke 3D, but picked Duke because it was more fun. The humor was great, fun story, fun weapons (Shrink Ray, pipe bombs), and great levels."
"In the words of CrustaR... it 0wns!!!"
-The Grolar Bear
"Dognose is gonna be mad at me for not making this my #1. Sorry buddy. Anyway, Duke 3D is a great example of how you can use stupidity as a craftsmanship tool. If it wasn't for the power of dumb, this game wouldn't have a great collection of fun weapons to wipe out aliens in a series of crazy, unique, well-designed and thoroughly fun maps. And don't deny it, no matter who you are, once in a while you want to be a big dirty badass."
"Mostly I just like it for the strippers.
And the guns.
But mostly just the strippers."
"Behind Doom and Quake, Duke was easily the most entertaining FPS I'd ever played at the time. The level of interaction, and the admittedly juvenile humor worked perfectly for me when I played it. Even looking back now, the actual gameplay was a blast, although tragically, it seems it was incapable of being repeated, given how DNF turned out."
"This game added jumping to the FPS, and the jetpack. I mean, come on. Hail to the King, Baby!"
-the man with the briefcase
#25 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Few developers have treated the Star Wars license better than BioWare. Rather than tread familiar ground, though, Knights of the Old Republic ventured back into an even longer time ago to tell whole new stories. The result was some of the best lore ever brought to a Star Wars video game, wonderfully-crafted dialogue, and some amazing new characters. BioWare continues to dabble in the Star Wars universe, but it has yet to truly live up to the standards set by Knights of the Old Republic.
"The difference in paths between good and evil has never been as great as it was in KOTOR. Few games give you as much control over the story And what a story it was. Arguably the best Star Wars game story and best Bioware story ever. Mass Effect is far more polished but where its combat excels KOTOR beats it in story, characters, and player agency. Unfortunately, KOTOR's combat was crap."
"I loves me some Star Wars and RPG so it's only natural that I'd love this game and I did. Very much."
"Greatest twist in a video game."
"The first game in the Star Wars Universe that actually felt immersive. Plus dual wield lightSabers? Come on!!!"
"I played this game 5 times in a row when I first got it and could easily pick it back up and play again today. I was sold from the very idea of creating your own Jedi. This was the most I had ever been engaged in the story of a game at that point. It also brought me back into PC gaming after a couple years of more casual playing Madden and other less memorable games on Xbox."
"I am a passionate Star Wars fan, so I'm biased. Excellent story, good gameplay, many logical explanations of the highly illogical SW universe, and the twist in the middle... super fun."
"HK-47 would shoot me like the meatbag that I am if I didn't include this game on the list. Also one of the very few RPGs I've completed multiple times"
"Since I was a kid I had always been a Star Wars fan. I had played a ton of other games set in the universe but none like this. Also being a long time fan of Bioware RPG's and older editions of D&D, I had to get this game ASAP. It felt like it was laying some great ground work for Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Great characters, great RPG mechanics and the ability to lean Dark or Light side made me love this game."
#24 - Unreal Tournament
There's nothing quite like the original. Epic Games' Unreal Tournament remains one of the most beloved multiplayer FPS games of the late 90s. It was Quake with a shinier coat of paint, bringing online deathmatch games to the next level. With six multiplayer game modes, Unreal Tournament proved just what Epic was capable of in this realm years before Gears of War was a blip on anyone's radar.
"I can't remember, but I believe this was the first FPS I played that featured alternate fire for weapons. Figuring out the unique ways in which to use each weapon's dual modes of fire, coupled with the built-in modifications and diverse selection of levels, made UT99 the finest arena-based shooter of its time. (Yes, even better than Quake 3.)"
"CTF has never been the same before or after"
"M M M M O N S T E R K I L L !
Yeah, I'm in camp UT99. I'm not much of a multiplayer but unreal tournament was just more fun. More entertaining weaponry and brighter colors is was attracts me most I think."
"While Q3A was the serious business shooter, UT was the looser (and maybe more fun) game. Added tons of interesting/easily implemented modifications (mutators) to gameplay. Years later, this is still my go-to game for absentmindedly blasting bots when I have a few minutes to kill."
"The iconic face-off between two mighty FPS giants, Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament '99, was a defining moment of twentieth century gaming. Both games are masterpieces in their own right, but I fall firmly into the UT camp. While I would agree that Quake 3 *feels* like a better game, Unreal Tournament’s paper-thin plot and varied game modes won me over. In particular, Assault's entertaining objectives made the game feel multi-dimensional rather than the cut and dry deathmatch or CTF of Quake. Unreal Tournament '99 holds a special place in my heart because it was the first fully 3D multiplayer game that I was moderately competitive in. I played enough UT to be skillful, and I had hours of fun stomping pubs on the servers. Every once in a while, I'll fire up UT99 and play some classic CTF-Face."
#23 - Mass Effect 2
Not only was BioWare able to improve upon everything they had built in the first Mass Effect, but they were able to allow players to continue their own individual stories right where they left off. Beyond that, it's fantastic action RPG action with truly gripping choices and compelling characters. Given BioWare's pedigree, it says a lot that Mass Effect represents some of the best character work in the studio's history.
"I'm Commander Shepherd, and this is my favorite poll on the Citadel."
"The Mass Effect Series as a whole is one of my favorite gaming series of this generation. While Mass Effect 1's story might have been superior, I feel like Mass Effect 2 was a more interesting and fun game overall. Also, f*** you Mako. Sorry, I'm not sorry."
"Drama! Space opera! Neo-noir lighting!
Say what you want about the standard 3rd person shooter gameplay, and the overall story arch, the characters are what make this game.
I gave a s*** about the intro (WOW!) and I really really gave a shit about the final mission! Not many games can say that."
"Fun, well written, great companion characters, all of the things that made Mass Effects 3 and 1 wonderful (and significantly more ass effect). Just... not as interesting. I didn't care about this one as much as I cared about the others."
"Bioware has made a lot of great RPGs, but the ME series sticks out for me because of how rare sci-fi RPGs are. The first title was fun, if weighed down by boring random sidequests and clunky menus and loot systems. The third game suffered from over promising and under-delivering.
But ME2? It was basically perfect. The combat was more satisfying, the universe packed with content that was interesting and varied, and the characters felt distinct and important. I'm still a bit sad over how many of them got sidelined in ME3, given their importance in ME2."
"I won this game from BioSector in a Shacknews contest and it's gone down to be one of my favorites. Genuinely caring about your crew, an interesting story, lots of customization."
#22 - Fallout
We've already seen Fallout 2 and 3 hit this list, which has paved the way for the original to crack this list. Fallout was truly an innovation, taking RPGs to new places while also refining what it means to build a character in a dystopic world. It had amazing combat, a story unlike any other in RPGs, genuine humor, and clever characters. It was a true masterpiece.
"War never changes, but games have forever been changed for Fallout 1, 2, 3, New Vegas, and the aura around that series.
I seriously thought about putting Elder Scrolls: Morrowwind in this spot, since those two elicit similar reactions from me. Fallout edged it out for being retro-futuristic and more socially relevant."
"A game with its own unique sense of humor and style. This game cares for you as much as the nuked out wastes. If you want to survive it you'll need luck, wits, and the ability to laugh it off when a car sized scorpion demolishes your stupid smirking face... For the 10th time."
"This is the game that made me. It informed my interests and hobbies, my preference of aesthetics and my appreciation of humor."
"The original and the best. Tight, suspenseful strategy game with a hilarious sense of humour. Spawned the great Fallout2 and the amazing Fallout 3 and NV, the later two being pipped for top 10 success by GTA3."
#21 - Quake II
Quake II carried forward the grand shooting tradition set by the original, even if Id didn't always intend for it to be the official sequel. It improved many aspects of the first game, right down to an improved network model that ensured better-quality online multiplayer. And just as with the first Quake, the modding community was rich with ideas, coming up with some fantastic mod ideas that would soon hit the online space.
"Beautiful graphics. Beautiful brutalist level design. Satisfying weapons. My first experience with deathmatch. My first experience with modding. This game holds a special place in my heart."
"Really fun FPS to play. Looked great at its time esp. once they added OpenGL driver. Great enemies and weapons. Played hundreds of hours of MP too."
'Rail Gun,' 'Rail Gun FTW,' and variations on the theme.
The remainder of the Top 100 will be released throughout the week. To see the Chatty community discuss the ongoing list, be sure to check out the original Chatty thread for their reactions. Special thanks to watcherxp and the rest of the Chatty community for voting. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next 10 games on the list!
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time: #30-21.
After weeks of tabulating the votes, the Shacknews Chatty community has come up with their Top 100 PC Games of All-Time! Today, we count down #30 through #21!
I remember waking up Saturday mornings in my late teens/early 20s and endlessly browsing for custom Q2 maps, trying to build a massive collection for 1-on-1 matches with my buddy. I also bought all of the expansions, including the unauthorized ones, and played the living shit out of the multiplayer with regular maps before the point release even came out. After that I was lost in the blue hallways of Q2DM8 or of course the earthtone spiral staircases of the Edge. The novelty of trapping someone in a lava hallway or slime pit never seemed to wear off. Although I liked Q1 better, I began playing computer games a little late into its lifespan, so Q2 for me was my first gaming obsession.
#24, Unreal Tournament is a picture of Unreal ..
Same thing don't kill me
I have a soft spot for Duke 3d. I loved Doom but Duke 3d took what I liked about Doom and put in a billion things that I wanted on Doom and made it a reality.
How did Duke Forever go so wrong?