#1 Posted by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

I am building an old computer for fun. I was a console gamer in my youth, and while I have been playing PC games for many years, I missed on the PC games of late 90s and early 2000s.

I also like collecting old consoles so I will now build an old machine. The system I have in mind is:

Pentium 4 1.7 Ghz


Geforce 2 GTS 32 MB

Win 98 SE

I initially wanted to build it with a Pentium 3 1 Ghz, but couldnt find any easily where I live, so I decided to go with the pentium 4. This is the early pentium 4 generation, with this particular CPU being released in April of 2001, so not far off from what I wanted to build.

I will buy most games from GOG and also some discs ( Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 which also seem to have servers up even in 2014). The GOG installer doesnt work in WIN 98, but if I install them on a stick using my Windows 7 machine, I can then run them in WIN 98. Although I may need to crack some, I dont know yet. The GOG forums say it will usually work.

These are the games I have my eyes on, and please tell me any good or decent ones that I am missing. I am looking for games between 1998 - 2002.

Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, Serious Sam First and Second Encounter, Unreal Gold, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Red Alert 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Stronghold, Thief Gold, Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000, Red Faction, Max Payne, Soldier of Fortune.

Any other recommandations?

#2 Posted by Immortal_Guy (159 posts) -

Half life was 1997 - that's a pretty famous one, and I'd say it hold up alright today (I enjoyed the genuine original a lot more than half-life source, anyway). Also, it's in a different genre than your other choices, but Diablo II was fantastic.

#3 Edited by Christoffer (2104 posts) -

Arcanum: of steamworks and magick obscura. I can't recommend it enough.

#4 Posted by Arabes (383 posts) -

Sid meier's Alpha Centauri (the best Civ game!)

Fallout 1 & 2

Jagged Alliance 2

I would recommend red alert 2 over 3, but that's just perosnal preference. It was more serious while still being pretty silly :)

Dungeon Keeper maybe?

You shoudl probably check out GOG for ideas.

#5 Posted by Splodge (2289 posts) -

Dungeon Keeper 2. Most definitely. Favorite PC game of my youth. Countless hours played in the sandbox mode, and there are still people playing multiplayer games over VLAN (You gotta do some forum searching though).

#6 Posted by mosespippy (4746 posts) -

You are talking my era of PC gaming. Looks like you've got a lot of good recommendations so far but I'll add a couple. For starters the Need for Speed games of that era are great. Hot Pursuit is the one most people fondly remember but the PC version of High Stakes has all those tracks, cars and modes plus a lot more. It's my favourite from the entire series. Porche Unleashed is different but also good. GTA2 is super fun. Not sure if it holds up or not. I hope it does. There are also the sim type games of the era, like Theme Hospital, Sim Copter and Sim Golf. Now that I think about it those are probably why we can enjoy such games as Forklift 2014 today.

#7 Posted by GiantLizardKing (743 posts) -

If you are into strategy games, or are open to giving them a try,The Heroes of Might and Magic series and Civilization 2 are all incredible Incredible games, still playable to this day. Baldur's Gate I and II both hold up well to this day as well, IMHO.

Ah hell, just go here and start buyin'. You can get hundreds of hours of amazing experiences for probably 30-50 bucks.

#8 Posted by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

Thx, I will try those games out. I ordered the parts and I am also looking to buy a 19" 4:3 LCD display. Its much newer then what I would have gotten in early 2000s but I dont wanna risk buying an ancient display. And I don't want a CRT monitor either since their refresh rate is way higher and playing games v-synced would be much harder. Anyway, the one I have my eye on seems good.

#9 Posted by HammondofTexas (1159 posts) -

Stonekeep, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Starcraft

#10 Posted by SteamRickroller (318 posts) -


Seriously, it's bloody incredible. I hate CRPGs with a burning passion, but that game is an exception. You should definitely check it out sometime

#11 Posted by BeachThunder (13352 posts) -

System Shock 2!

#12 Posted by Hone_McBone (271 posts) -

I'm not sure you'll be able to run Red Alert 3, it did come out in 2008 & requires dx9.

No ones suggested Carmageddon or Star Control 2 yet, I'd check those out & definitely go for fallout like Arabes said.

#13 Edited by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

Sorry, I ment the second Red Alert. The third one wouldn't even start. I did play Red Alert 3 back in '09 and liked it.

#14 Posted by sub_o (951 posts) -

Ultima 7, it's available on GOG. But the original one on DOS requires memory management extension which might be hard for you to do it now. The GOG version runs on windows perfectly well though.

#15 Edited by CaLe (4341 posts) -

Soldier of Fortune. I remember I left my computer on for over 24 hours to download the 88Mb demo!!!!!!!!!! WOW Can you believe it?!?!?! Now I could download it in a matter of seconds!!!!! THE FUTURE CAME.

You already mentioned it. I'm a big dummy. OK in that case, Deus Ex.

#16 Edited by ArtisanBreads (4948 posts) -

The Star Wars Dark Forces games around that time frame and are really cool. I'll say the level design doesn't hold up (you'll be lost ASAP, but that's happened with a number of old games I've gone back to lately). The third game (Outcast) and Dark Forces II were both great.

Max Payne 1 is great, but you HAVE to play 2, criminally underrated game.

Deus Ex is my favorite game of all time so play it guy.

Grim Fandango is another one to play. Probably my favorite Lucas Arts adventure game.

Also Freedom Force, Silent Storm, and Commandos for interesting tactical games.

#17 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (476 posts) -

Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos is great and pretty obscure. I played a ton of hours of Roller Coaster Tycoon and Star Wars: Dark Forces is a great Doom clone.


No One Lives Forever, Heretic 2, Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Alpha Centauri and Rise of the Triad

#18 Posted by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

Yeah CaLe, the future came and is bringing us 40 GB games... :(

#19 Edited by edsone (303 posts) -

Off of the top of my head. There're loads more certainly.

#20 Posted by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

@edsone: thx man, that's alot of games. I'll check them out.

Btw, you are right about Splinter Cell. It heavily uses pixel shader 1.1 and while it can be disabled it will still run really bad on that card. I do however own all the Splinter Cell games on Steam (except Pandora Tommorow bcz is not on sale) since I am a big fan of them. And from what I remember playing it, it looks way better then what the Geforce 2 is capable of.

PC gaming seems like it was really scary back then. Video cards were becoming obsolete in 1 or 2 years. The Geforce 2 was released in 2000 and completely abandoned by Nvidia themselves in 2002.

Nowadays you have games using pixel shader 3.0 and DX9 for 8 years and video cards like the 8800 GT having a life span of 5 years. And if you count indie games, its probably viable even now to some extent. And now that we are at DX11 we seem to be staying here for a couple of years too.

Video cards do get better and better, but older cards are viable for way longer. For example I have a GTX 660 TI OC'ed and Battlefiled 4 runs at 60 fps in singleplayer at 900p with details at high and between 40-60 fps in multiplayer on full servers. It's crazy how much PC gaming has changed.

#21 Edited by OldManLight (1086 posts) -

wing commander, any 2d game that was released around that time. i get the nostalgia project to a degree, but windows 98 was a TERRIBLE OS. please consider XP. also if you wanted a more powerful P4 or some more RAM, i might be able to hook you up. I've got a bunch of that stuff in a recycling pile at work right now.

#22 Edited by Scampbell (504 posts) -

I guess with all the Blizzard games already mentioned, it would be a shame if the first Diablo game where left out. When it comes to pure atmosphere it beats all of its sequels in my opinion. Though I suppose it did come out on console, so maybe you've already played it. Besides that I guess Free Space 2 haven't been mentioned. Also if you're into games like Civilization, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is in my opinion still the coolest of the Sid Meier games, and it boggles my mind that they haven't revived that franchise yet.

#23 Edited by Yesiamaduck (1493 posts) -

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2

#24 Posted by edsone (303 posts) -

@andreigradinaru: Indeed. I could go on and complain that consoles are part of the reason for theses changes and say it's holding back the platform but to be honest, these more stable times sure have benefits. It was crazy back then AND very expensive. I like some pretty graphics too, helps with immersion but I don't wanna be changing my pc all that often. Most may not agree with this but for me PC gaming is better than ever. Especially when you consider we now have decent controller support for most games; Steam and a growing indie market. It's just a shame it's ignored in the Japanese market. I suppose you could still play most games reasonably well with a single Radeon HD5770 :P

About Splinter Cell, it's a shame not having Pandora Tomorrow on Steam. I always enjoyed 1 & 3 more though (both from the Montreal Studio) so it's not so bad. I don't own neither for PC however. I've got both for the original Xbox. I bought many multi-platform games for the xbox back then. They'd usually run better than on my old pc.

#25 Posted by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

@edsone: I enjoyed 2 and 3 more then the first one personally. Pandora Tommorow was made by Ubisoft Shanghai I think. Had them on PS2 back in the day (didn't look nearly as good as the Xbox version tho). I read on the internet that the way it did shaders back then is incompatible with modern video cards, that's why they don't have it for sale anymore.

By the way, did you own Double agent on Xbox or Xbox 360? I had it on PS2 and really liked it, but when I bought it for PC years later I discovered it's a very different game.

It has the same story and characters as the PS2 version, but on PC and 360 it was made by a different studio to take advantage of next gen stuff, so the levels are big and open and most take place in daylight to show their shiny HDR.

On the PS2/Xbox/GC it's made by the original Montreal team and has smaller levels, mostly in the dark, the story is explained better too, and it's generally very similar to Chaos Theory which is a fantastic game. So I think that the PS2/Xbox/GC version was much better than the PC/360.

#26 Posted by edsone (303 posts) -

@andreigradinaru: I like Pandora too. In a way it was a more important game when you consider the multiplayer mode. Was one of the most interesting from that generation. I heard about that problem too :( Too much trouble to go there and fix it somehow I reckon.

Double Agent I also had for the Xbox. I wanted the Montreal version. Had no interest in the direction it was heading with the 360 version. I have been disappointed with Ubisoft as a company for many years now. it used to be one of my favourites. Even so it was my least favourite out of the first 4 games and a step back from Chaos Theory even gameplay wise (I don't recall the details now). They also did away with spies vs mercs I think.

About the first 3 if you replayed them on PC (1 & 2 at least) you probably noticed they're a bit different from the ps2/GC versions right? Graphically, level design (what hurts the most in my opinion), multiplayer modes (sometimes) and difficulty levels overall. The 1st one for ps2/GC was the closest to Xbox/PC. They might have slightly simplified levels on PS2 but it had 1 more level if I recall correctly. I never seen the CG version though. Double Agent is a bit different too I think. They apparently still did a good job on the other platforms but was substantially better on Xbox/PC. The series was one of the (few) things the xbox had over the ps2 aside from shooters.

My favourite one was the first by the way. The series improved in many ways afterwards but I enjoyed the first's campaign the most. The first 2 had more stealth I could say. Man, I really miss the series now (as it was that is).

#27 Edited by bmccann42 (152 posts) -

Master of Orion, and Master of Magic!

#28 Edited by AndreiGradinaru (43 posts) -

Just to let you know guys, I found a bunch of games I want, all from GOG. They have decent to very positive reviews and personally interest me. Also, with the exception of MDK 2 I never played any of them.

System Shock 2

Project Eden

Planescape Torment

Unreal Gold

Giants: Citizen Kabuto

Dungeon Keeper 2

Serious Sam: The First Encounter

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter





The Longest Journey

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2

Freespace 2

Alpha Centauri

Carmageddon 2


Omikron: The Nomad Soul


Atlantis 3: The New World

Shadow Man

Blade of Darkness


My Geforce 2 GTS will get a workout!