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January 16, 2011

Top Games of the History of PC Games

Super Mario

In 1980, Nintendo of America (NOA) was suffering from the flop show of Radar Scope , Which left a thousands of units unsold. 

By 1981, Miyamoto had completed Donkey Kong - the game that saved Nintendo of America. While Yamauchi insisted that the Donkey Kong title remain unchanged, Nintendo of America was given the task of localizing the game's text for North America. Arakawa decided to rename Jumpman after the landlord of NOA's warehouse in Segali Business Park, Mario Segali. Thus, the name Super Mario was born. Donkey Kong soon became the fastest selling game that the arcade industry had ever seen, eventually selling 65,000 units. At first, Miyamoto called him "Mr. Video" because he planned to include the character in every game he made, inspired by the way Alfred Hitchcock appeared in the movies he directed. "Jumpman" did not have his name for very long, however. NOA had to prepare the game for American release, which included naming the characters. As the story goes, they were mulling over what to name Jumpman when the landlord, Mario Segale, arrived at the warehouse, demanding the overdue rent payment. When he left, the staff had a new name for Jumpman: "Mario."

Age of Empire III

When it comes to era of RTS (real time strategy) games, no one did it bigger or better than Microdoft's Age of Empire. Though it lacked the sophisticated tactical action of Starcraft, Age of Kings' rock-paper-scissors combat model and its subtle balancing of a wide range of civilizations makes it one of the most enjoyable RTS games ever. Later versions of his game (II and IIIrd) overcome he lack of sophisticated and used the advance graphic rendering techniques.

Sure, the historical setting required a bit of similarity among the unit types but the advantages and disadvantages of each civilization were so intriguing that no one side played like any other. You choose your favorite civilization and you feel like a time traveler. 

Possessing one of the most engaging resource models in any RTS before or since, Age of Empire was just as much about your infrastructure as it was about your armies. The RTS has definitely evolved a lot over the last eight years but Age of Kings still represents the peak of what historical RTS games used to be. 

Game Menu of Age of Empire.

Half Life 2

For many, the fist-person shooter genre really bloomed with the original Half-Life. While the game introduced grand new storytelling techniques and used atmosphere and tension to draw gameplay along, we decided for today's purposes that Half-Life 2 is simply the better game. Amazingly enough, the sequel did manage to best the original through the wide variety of gameplay provided. Whether it was straight up run and gun, vehicle combat, or physics based puzzles, there were no dull moments to be found in Gordon Freeman's assault on City 17. The same story-telling techniques that made Half-Life so popular were back and improved thanks to character models with emotion (in voice and animation) and the brilliant dystopian City-17 of the future. The game immediately managed to draw us in and create the best single-player first-person shooter entertainment experience ever made on the PC. That long six year wait ended heroically.

Crime scene from HalfLife.

SimCity 2000

Fitter, happier, more productive. The citizens of your city are free to live long and happy lives presuming you have any clue what goes into city planning. If not, SimCity will give you a crash course to help create your own utopia and then allow you to smash it with an alien or monster attack when your citizens have grown too fat and lazy (they don't, but imagination opens up all kinds of possibility). SimCity gave players an open sandbox in which to create their own perfect (or disastrous) city using a clever paint tool style interface. The more services a city had, the more attractive it would become to people hoping to move there. In addition to being sickeningly addictive, the title helped provide a base for players to educate themselves on the workings of a city and the dangers of crime and pollution.. SimCity 2000 is a sleeker model of the original and still one of the most ingenious and creative titles ever shipped for the PC.If you were to sit down the developers of Asteroids or Pacman that one day the most popular game in the world would involve cleaning up after a family of four, they likely would have asked why you had stopped taking your brain medication.

As Iain noted, the rather morbid nature with which many people play Sim-series games is quite interesting. For some reason it's great fun to drop a piano on your Sims characters or unleash Godzilla to do the Tokyo Stomp on your Simcity metropolis.

Thats how simcity looks alike. isn't it real ?


Fallout really had it all: dynamic, believable characters; a quality of narrative and storytelling too rarely seen in games; and the opportunity for players to drastically affect how events proceeded. It was a game that above all else recognized and rewarded the player's free will. Fallout's fiction and game world were vivid, it's character development system deep, and it possessed an often hilarious tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Peering past the post-apocalyptic science fiction surface, deeper cultural themes become apparent, echoing notions of humanity's absurd fallacies hit on in novels like Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. Though games like Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Planescape: Torment and plenty of others are all worthy of the PC RPG crown, this 1997 release from Interplay is our choice for the top of the heap.

Combat snapshot. absurd fallacies. 

Project IGI

Project I.G.I  was a tactical first-person shooter developed by Innerloop Studios and released on December 15, 2000 by Eidos Interactive. It is one of the first computer games to feature realistic weaponry and tactical combat situations.The awkwardly named Project IGI: I'm Going In follows in the trend of the Rainbow Six series, the Delta Force series, and SWAT 3. It eschews the outlandish futuristic weapons and imaginary settings of many traditional shooters and focuses instead on contemporary realism. In the game, you play as David Llewelyn Jones, a former Special Air Service member who now works as a freelance operative for both the British and American governments. The game features a blend of stealth, covert surveillance, and high-powered firefights at secret military bases, and it has much of the thrill and daring of the James Bond films of the late Cold War era. But it also has several significant shortcomings. In many ways this is a very good game, but there are bugs and there are features that could make the game a fair bit better. This is another one of the games I've been playing for extreme amounts of hours at a time, so therefore in my book it's good. Hopefully there'll be released a patch for at least some of the bugs, even if a multiplayer possibility might be too much to ask.

Various characters of IGI. Priboi was my favorite. 

Civilization IV

One of the Civilization games was absolutely going to be in the top 5 in this list, it was just a matter of which one we chose to occupy the spot. For years, it was largely understood that Civilization II was the best in the series offering up complex strategy in a palatable and even graceful format. Some out there would probably still argue that it's the best of the bunch, but we decided the latest went above and beyond that great title with more improvements than can be counted. From the revamped damage system to the diplomatic improvements and inclusion of religion, Civilization IV provides the most addictive 4X experience on the market. Even worse for those of us incapable of quitting to desktop is the inclusion of a very workable multiplayer solution. Turn-based strategy has never been easy this way, but Firaxis managed to make it easy, make saves work, and make it easily as much fun as the single player if not more so. Civilization IV is a brilliant game.

Gandhi represents civilization.

Call of Duty : Modern Warfare

We’ve had the best single player first-person shooter now we come to the best multiplayer. This was really tough to choose because over the years my pent up aggression has burst into virtual destruction in various arenas and I like to think I’ve left thousands of frustrated players from around the world thumping their keyboards in anger (I’ve certainly done that often enough myself). From taking on terrorists in Counter Strike to jumping around space stations in Unreal Tournament, from the….well….the battlefields of Battlefield to the….uh….fortresses of Team Fortress 2? Anyway you get the idea.
The Call of Duty series was a breath of fresh air for multiplayer FPS and not so much because it offered anything revolutionary, because it didn’t, more because it got the basics right. They cherry picked all of the best mechanics from various games and tied them together with a solid weapon set, some great map design and impressive visuals.
With Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare they finally made the move away from the crumbling backdrop of World War II and dragged us kicking and screaming into the modern day. There’s a fantastically exciting and cinematic single player backed up by an intensely addictive multiplayer game with features seeping out of its many bullet wounds.
It looks fantastic, it plays beautifully and they’ve added an addictive hook to the multiplayer to encourage you to climb the ranks. Shooting that nippy guy in the head again was always enough to keep me coming back for round after round but there’s no doubt the rank system has been a big hit. There have been a lot of great multiplayer FPS games over the years but because the genre is so cannibalistic there’s little joy to be had by going back and playing the old ones. CoD 4 represents the current high tide mark.

Real Army game. Call of Duty. 

Dungeon Keeper

As much as Peter Molyneux is praised as a design genius I have to admit to some serious disappointment in his last few titles. The Black & White and Fable series didn’t work for me and the last game he was involved with (as Executive Designer which probably means he just okayed the game created by the actual designers) was The Movies. We have to go a fair bit further back for his real moments of genius – there was Populous, Theme Park, Magic Carpet and then there was Dungeon Keeper.
To create a game that casts you as the big bad, building your dungeon and populating it with all manner of creepy beasts to defend against those pesky invading heroes was quite simply a delicious idea and it made for an incredibly fun game. You had to carve your chambers out of the rock and create lairs for your skeletons, giant spiders, vampires and demon spawn. Your workforce of imps would do your bidding and you could pick them up and deposit them wherever you wanted, you could even give them a slap if you felt they weren’t working hard enough.
It was an odd real-time strategy game for sure and it was unusually dark but playing the villain is great fun. The sequel tried to introduce more comedy and it was a good game too but the original Dungeon Keeper was the best.

snapshot of a the loading screen.

Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas

San Andrea's massive world hinted at the epic scale to come in RDR. And while the previous two GTA titles were big, San Andreas dwarfed them, while also giving the same detail-drenched attention to deserts, rivers and forests as the previous two titles' urban environments. On top of crafting a picturesque world practically fit for horseback riding, some of San Andreas' other notable tweaks to reappear in RDR include deeper character customization, the ability to set way-points, and the absence of loading times while traveling long distances.

San Andreas was the big one. And in so many ways. This expanded the GTA idea from a city to a state, introducing countryside for the first time to a game that, in all other respects, was the very definition of ‘urban’. And while all the familiar elements - do-anything chaos, Hollywood voices, gritty stories, action movie physics - were there, San Andreas expanded on seemingly every element to a nearly insane degree.
Certain elements are reworked for every GTA, and SA was no exception. Dual wielding debuted and targeting was improved again, inspired by another Rockstar game, Manhunt, with some of that title’s stealth elements coming along too - donning a mask let you creep into certain houses at night and rob them. Melee combat was hugely expanded, with extra moves available for those who trained in the gym. And, at last, you could swim.
 Driving physics and car explosions were brushed up, and for the first time you could tune and customize cars, even adding hydraulics or nitrous. If your car was big enough you could also recruit a three-homie gang to help out with drive-bys, while it was even possible to respond (either positively or negatively) to the comments of passing pedestrians. Their responses would be influenced by another new feature, your character CJ’s evolving look - unlike previous characters, he could gain or lose weight, get stronger, become more adept at skills such as swimming, driving or cycling and change his hair, jewelry, tattoos and clothes. San Andreas was a whole lifestyle.

In-san(e) Andreas

Need For Speed : Underground

Need for Speed originated in a small gaming studio by the name of Distinctive Software, Inc, better known as Unlimited Software, Inc. This company was known for its releases of 4D Boxing (1991), Stunts (1990), Test Drive (1987) and Mission Impossible (1991).

Prior to it being bought out by Electronic Arts, Need for Speed was already made, under another two names, Stunts and Test Drive. Test Drive also had a sequel to it, The Duel: Test Drive II.

In 1991, it became EA Canada, a major component in the future EA Sports, in a deal worth US$
1 million. This had a significant effect on Accolade, which lost credibility, and market share, upon this deal and in the following years. Although the Need for Speed series' development started in 1992, I stick by my previous statement that it already existed in a different name.
You anticipated it, you wondered what would happen, and then it came, the sequel to Underground 1.
Featuring free roam, this game was revolutionary to the series, allowing you to go anywhere within the map, and travel to your own races, and it allowed you to own more than one car, this game saw 
the use of the Underground Racing League, and Street X modes, and far more tuning options, such as speakers for your car, although they didn't do anything they looked good in the all new magazine photo mode.

Unlike other racing games such as Gran Turismo and Forza, the central theme of aNFS game will change with each title. In one game players will be out-running the cops, while in another title they’ll be playing a cop undercover. One moment players can be illegal street racers and in the next they can be professional racers, taking part in drift and circuit competitions to gain sponsors.
While the main mechanic in the new Need for Speed Hot Pursuit focuses on the player being on either side of the law, it wasn’t always like this in previous NFS titles. In fact, the series started out as a racing sim targeting car enthusiasts.

To see just how far this series has come take a look at our visual representation of theNeed for Speed timeline. Hard to believe there were so many games.

The C Factor : Cars & Chicks 


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