10 Awesome Classic Games to play on PC

Today's high-budget blockbuster games like Forza Motorsport 7 or Gears of War 4 are awesome, that's not up for question. But sometimes, don't you just want to go back to the old days?

Thankfully the Windows PC is the best platform for that and hundreds, nay thousands of old games will forever live on. Be they re-mastered, or just re-released through modern stores, there are decades worth of classic games out there to play.

We're not going to round them all up, because we'd be here for years, but we have picked out ten of our favorites. Let's jump in.

The Disney Afternoon Collection


Don't let the Disney fool you here, these are some tricky platformers that pushed some of us to our limits back in the day. For 2017, Disney has re-released and remastered Talespin, Duck Tales, Duck Tales 2, Darkwing Duck, Chip n Dale and Chip n Dale 2.

The games are here in their original form, all Disney did was enhance the visuals for modern day displays. They're higher resolution, the colors are nicer, but everything else is as it was. You'll need more than an afternoon to clear them all, though!

See at Steam

Sega Dreamcast Collection

Jet Set Radio

From the late 90s and early 2000s comes some of the finest games to ever grace Sega's short-lived Dreamcast console. In its day, the Dreamcast was cutting edge, and it had some really tremendous titles.

The Dreamcast Collection contains Sonic Adventure DX, Nights into Dreams, Crazy Taxi, Sega Bass Fishing, Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5: Part 2. Buy them on their own or save some cash by getting the whole bundle at once. Either way, there are many, many hours of quality gaming here.

See at Steam

Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Classics

Ah, the 16-bit era, how we miss thee. The Mega Drive (or Genesis for you North American folks) was Sega's competitor to the SNES and it gave us one of the most iconic platformers of all time.

The good news is you can play Sonic the Hedgehog alongside other legendary titles like Streets of Rage, Toejam and Earl, Alex Kidd, Ecco the Dolphin and so many more in this one bundle available for the PC. Go back in time and have a blast!

See at Steam

Half Life

Half Life

If you're only going to play one shooter in your life, make sure it's Half Life. This icon of first person shooters will never age, and while it's more difficult than a lot of modern games, it's entirely worth getting through.

Valve's first game is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, and mixes fast paced action with using your brain to survive. If you never saw what all the fuss was about, now's as good a time as any.

See at Steam

Sid Meier's Colonization


Going all the way back to 1994, Colonization sees you and your colonists setting up life in the New World. But nothing's ever straight forward, is it, and so you'll be faced with enemies standing in your way.

You control English, French, Dutch, or Spanish colonists and must oversee economic, political and military growth so as to declare your independence from your homeland. Colonization is a timeless classic you'd be silly to ignore.

See at GOG (opens in new tab)

Theme Hospital

Theme Hospital

Why on earth was setting up and running your own hospital ever a good idea for a game? More so, how come it was so much fun?!

Theme Hospital came from the brains behind Theme Park, and while setting up a park full of thrill rides is a natural fit, a hospital less so. But if you enjoy management sims, you should definitely try it out. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy it.

See at Origin

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


The best Star Wars game ever made is a seriously good RPG. Set thousands of years before the Empire, you alone are the last hope of the Jedi to save the Republic.

Or will you fall to the lure of the Dark Side? The path is yours, and one thing you can be sure of is that you'll quickly get sucked right into this bona fide classic. Wielding a Lightsaber has never been this good.

See at Steam

Homeworld: Emergence


Originally released as Cataclysm, Gearbox's space exploration game was renamed thanks to Blizzard owning the trademark on its original name. Otherwise, this is the same as the 2000 release.

After unleashing an alien terror, it's up to you to commandeer a mining vessel and turn it into a battle ready starship. Build a fleet, research new technologies and gather resources all the while searching for a way to rid the universe of the alien threat before it's too late.

See at GOG (opens in new tab)

Atari Vault

Atari Vault

Atari needs no introduction, and this collection contains 100 titles from the glory days of the 70s and 80s is proof of why.

Play classics from the arcades and the Atari 2600 like Asteroids, Breakout, Red Baron, Missile Command and many, many more. All from the comfort of your modern day Windows PC with updated controls and a heavy dose of nostalgia.

See at Steam

Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger

Wing Commander 3

Wing Commander 3 is literally a Hollywood blockbuster. Filmed in LA, the gameplay is interspersed with live action video and an orchestral soundtrack. For its time, this was a pretty groundbreaking game. It literally stars Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell!

Away from the glitz, this is an amazing space combat game where your decisions will ultimately decide the fate of the Terran Confederation. One not to be missed.

See at GOG (opens in new tab)

Your favorites

This is only the tip of the iceberg, but it's ten we think you should definitely play. You'll have your own favorites we didn't mention though, so be sure to drop them into the comments below!

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • It's good to note, that KOTR is a pretty bad port (at least the steam version is)
  • For sure could have been better.  You should check out the Kotor Apeiron mod that some group of guys is making for it.. gonna be awesome if it actually ever gets finished.
  • Elite
  • The Wing Commander series was great because of its accurate implementation of the physics of space flight.
  • Yup. NASA used it to plan the Mars Polar Lander mission.
  • Pinball and Dungeons & Dragons on Intellivision. Dungeon Explorer and Bonk's Adventure on TurboGrafx16. Below the Root on Commodore 64. Rush 'n Attack on Nintendo. Edit: Oops, I don't think any of these are available on PC, but if they ever are, worth a play.
  • I really liked the D&D game on the TurboGrafx16, as well (didn't play it on Intellivision). I also really enjoyed Blazing Lazers on that platform.
  • Below the Root has been great in emulation. Just have to remember those C64 commands.
  • I just found the Enhanced Editions of the Baldur's Gate series. I'm introducing it to my kids and they love it!
  • Anyone remember Kings Quest, Hero's Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest and of course Leisure Suit Larry by Sierra?
  • We played about every sierra and Lucas arts adventure growing up. I still play through quest for glory about once a year. Love that series. I'm so glad gog.com finally got pretty much all of them available from both companies
  • Yes, yes, and more yes. Such incredible games. I actually have SQ4-6 on GoG.
  • Space War
  • Man Half-Life looks so old now.
  • Man Half-Life looks so old now.
  • Man Half-Life looks so old now.
  • Still an awesome game though, but screw those god damn ninja's. Such a brutal design.
  • For anyone who thinks the graphics are too dated for Half-Life, I recommend trying Black Mesa.
  • Sorry about the triple post. I'm starting to think it's something to do with the mobile device having limited connectivity when hitting the post button. Back to your comments: Yes, still an awesome game. That and System Shock (what's the status on that remake?) are still my favorites. I think I tried Black Mesa back in the day. Was HL the first game to offer such support for game mods? I know they had to exist before that, but these were so supported it was almost part of the menu like what Bethesda is doing currently.
  • Double post.... Caught it before it became a third.
  • Is hl2 not old enough to make the list?
  • Strong list! Got a couple of gems to add: 1) SimCity2k 2) MechWarrior 2 3) Heretic and or Hexen 4) Microsoft's Monster Truck Madness...... Woot woot. Also -- StarCraft 1 remastered comes out next month!!
  • Go ahead and add Decent 1 and 2 to that list.