After an absence due to cataract surgery, the Gelatiman is back with Part II of his top 10 of all time and he’s making no apologies.. Check out part I here
Gelatiman’s Top 10 PC Games of All Time – Part II
5). Half Life – 1999
The game that put Valve software on the map, and perhaps without it we wouldn’t have Steam, which is significant.
The year was 1999 and I had just joined my first IT company and was starting to cash paychecks, so what did I spend my money on? Healthy food I hear you say? No, a meaty rig to play this game! Rocking an AMD K6-2 CPU with 3DNOW! (Marketing gimmick) and a Voodoo Banshee graphics card this game ran pretty well.
And what an amazing game it was. Brilliant storyline, dark setting, amazing weapons and level design. But where it really shone was in the multiplayer and add-on arena. It should never be forgotten that the Half Life engine gave us the original Counterstrike and Team Fortress.
Yeah the graphics are a bit pox by today’s standards and I probably won’t play it again, but this title was a trailblazer for the genre and to me it has to make the top 5.
4). Diablo 2 – 2000
Diablo 2 took an already excellent precursor and amped it up into an epic. With 7 characters types for selection (2 were added in the Lord of Destruction expansion) and 4 huge acts, the game was an intense action RPG which surprisingly didn’t need great hardware to run, despite looking great.
The aim was to kill Diablo which was hard enough, but Blizzard being the sadists they are decided to introduce a Hardcore mode, which meant that if you died your character was lost forever and you had to restart the entire game. I mean as if it wasn’t mean enough that it is impossible to save the game unless you have found a waypoint – bad luck if you need a toilet break!
The multiplayer was fun. A mate and I used to team up over Battle-Net. This guy was a pro and knew how equip his Sorceress with a rune combination in her staff which basically gave her unlimited mana. Dem baddies didn’t stand a chance after that!
Many have copied this game since. Torchlight which is fun and the excellent Path Of Exile (check it out if you haven’t already, it’s free), but none have quite nailed the dark setting and feeling of D2. Even Diablo 3 fails to recreate the magic. A classic.
3). Grand Theft Auto 3 – 2001
Rockstar games completely rewrote the engine that gave us the top-down perspective GTA 1 and 2, and produced this masterpiece; a 3D sandbox, effectively the same thing we see with the recently released GTA 5 some 13 years later!
Graphically, it’s amazing, even now. Do yourself a favour and have a read on some of the challenges the developers faced getting this engine to move so smoothly on 2001 hardware.
The feeling of sheer freedom in this game is something to behold. Play through the storyline or just do whatever the hell you want! It’s fun to see how much you can wind the cops up! Buy property. Pick up a prostitute. This is the game every parent fears their kid is gonna play, hence the R-rating.
If you do play through the storyline, expect to steal rare sports cars, assassinate people of interest, deal with the mob, avoid cops and make bucket loads of cash. Basically everything I wanted to do if I didn’t get myself into IT!
2). Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – 2010
It feels like this game has been around forever but it’s not all that old. It seems so familiar because it builds on Blizzards excellent Starcraft 1, which really was just a refinement of Warcraft 2. With the exception of Command & Conquer and Total Annihilation it’s fair to say Bliz have been the kings of the RTS for some time now.
Wings of Liberty kicks of the Terran campaign, last year we had Heart of the Swarm which was the Zerg expansion and now hopefully this year we will get the Protoss oriented Legacy of the Void (no official release date has been set yet).
It’s hard to explain this game to the uninitiated. The campaigns are great but at its heart this is a multiplayer game. The balance is amazing. And I mean AMAZING. All 3 races have different strengths and weaknesses but as a whole they cancel each other out, effectively making this a purely skill based affair. I once heard someone explain SC2 as a giant game of rock, paper, scissors. Spot on I say, it could be said the Terran are the rock (ultra-defensive), Zerg are the paper (its everywhere) and Protoss are the scissors (they will cut through you with their tech).
Check out twitch TV to see some of the pros (players I mean, not the GTA variety!) in action. There is some serious incentive to get good at SC2 with $1.6 million in prize-money on offer in 2014 alone!
1). World of Warcraft – 2004
Yeah I know it’s a Bliz game again! 3 inside the top 5. Sorry about that. Honestly I reckon they make the best games hands down.
I was relatively late to the WOW scene – 2007 I think it was when I started playing. I quickly got my wife playing as well so she would understand why I was putting in the hours I was and she wasn’t seeing me much. “Look babe, you can make a cute little Gnome with pink hair that shoots fireballs, and you can pick flowers and ride around on mechanized chooks and and and….”
In truth I had her at the pink hair bit…
Yeah Blizzard have milked the hell out of this game with 4 expansions and a 5th to follow. Still no sign of WOW going free to play. After pumping some 176 days of play over 6 years into the game I no longer have a WOW subscription and boy is my bank balance happy about that.
Again I come back to balance, and this game has amazing balance. Classes are balanced. Raids are generally fair. Don’t enter a dungeon if you are chasing loot or glory you don’t deserve. The game will quickly smack you down.
Read my first blog post on the competitive nature of raiding. WOW is the closest thing to going a few rounds of squash with your best mate. Competitive, sweaty, fun and a complete zone-out.
It’s now possible to play to level 20 for free with a digital download of the WOW Starter edition, I encourage you to give it a shot but don’t blame me if you become utterly addicted!