Which “old school” games do you like the best?

Had an interesting conversation at lunch yesterday. The lads and I got onto the subject of gaming. This was brought on by Microsoft all but dropping PC gaming, but now they’re back-pedaling and saying PC gaming will get their full attention. This coincides with Age of Empire Online and Microsoft Flight. As a side note I think its crap that Microsoft shuts down Ensemble Studios (makers of AoE) then turns around and makes an online version. But I digress.

Anyway, we began talking all sorts of modern day games like Starcraft II, Borderlands, Crackdown, etc. Then we got onto the topic of which games from the past did we like the best and which ones did we waste the most amount of time on.

Ultima was immediately one of my choices. I loved this series. I played Ultima II on an old Apple ][ and a Commodore 64 (yeah, that’s how old I am). I played Ultima 3 on the Apple IIe and Ultima 4 on an Apple IIGS. For it’s time the game was massive and complex. It had dozens of characters to interact with, lots of places to explore, dungeons, towns, open plains and all sorts of things. It was an incredibly rich story so even though the commands and graphics were simplistic the game was incredibly fun to play. I briefly played Ultima 5 and 6 but that’s where it ended for me. Not because I disliked the games, but back in the day I didn’t have the money or hardware for such fancy new games. 🙂 I’m a total budget gamer.

But I do have them now on CD somewhere, in a box, lost to the world. Too bad Lord British and Origin got screwed by EA…

Quake was another game that I just loved when it came out. Sure, Wolfenstein was a great game, but Quake offered so much more as far as graphics and movement. I remember the original alpha test that had just three small levels, no monsters and was just used for multiplayer. My buddies and I spent a whole lot of time playing that after work. In fact, I just bought the Quake bundle during the QuakeCon sale, so now I have Quake, Quake II, Quake 3 and the expansion packs. Such a fun game and a huge springboard for the many games that came after it.

Diablo/Diablo 2 took up way too many hours of my time. I think these both hearken back to my love of Ultima. The graphics were great, the quests were fun and Diablo 2 was a massive game with plenty of areas to explore and the ability to keep going back to find better weapons just consumed way too damn much of my time. I’m sure Diablo 3 will be amazing (when we finally get it) but I’ve really had some great times playing the originals.

Age of Empires and the follow up Age of Kings, Rise of Rome, and AoE3 (not to mention Rise of Nations) are all special favorites of mine as well. My strategy in these games was pretty damn lackluster but damn I had fun playing these. Such an amazing set of games. It’s too bad Microsoft ended the series and the companies behind them.

Lots of other games were mentioned, but these were my favorites from the last decade and beyond. What are you bringing to the table? Which games still give you fond memories?

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