The Oldest Computer Games We Own

Screenshot: Myst
Written By: Elijah Moon Blackwell

We are not even a year old yet and our collection has exponentially grown since our founding. Recently, the collection hit the 500 mark. Five HUNDRED physical computer games and software. We started the website in May with a handful of games from our childhood and now we have a massive library of products.

At first we were just getting fairly new games (mostly the mid-2000s), but eventually, we began acquiring older games.

Starting in the year 2000, I’m going to show you a game from each year. The last game will be the oldest one we own.

Swat 3 – 2000

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The particular version in the photo is the elite edition. This version includes new content and multiplayer support. While the first iteration of Swat 3 came out in 1999, this version was released in 2000. Unfortunately, I do not have the original release. But it’s still an excellent video game and the whole reason I started this website. Swat 3 is criminally overlooked. I released a YouTube video about the game, and you can find it by clicking here.

Put simply, Swat 3 is an attempt at simulating real world swat tactics. It is a fun game for those seeking a more realistic shooter. Always calling today’s first person shooters unrealistic? Check out Swat 3. If you want a digital copy, GoG is the best place to go. We are not sponsored by GoG but their version is the most hassle free as it comes packaged with fixes to work on modern operating systems.

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun – 1999

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I picked this title because this box is ridiculously big. Why on earth they chose to make this box so huge is beyond me. Several video games have giant boxes like this and it is just a waste of space. Cool to look at but impractical.

Command & Conquer is a series of real time strategy games. They were revolutionary for the time and many video games would copy their formula. When the game starts you collect local resources, build different factories, and form a giant military to take out your opponent. Tiberian Sun can be played for free now by going here.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six – 1998

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The game that spawned an entire franchise. Ubisoft took a Tom Clancy book and turned it into a unrelated video game. The only connection between the two mediums are character names. Eventually, Rainbow Six would be a franchise, but back in 1998 it was just a stand alone game.

This game can be found on the PlayStation Classic that just hit the market. Of course, it is the console version, which is very different in terms of control and quality. Like Swat 3 this game can be found on GoG. However, for what ever reason, this game is not on Steam.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II – 1997

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What a weird year. Tiger Electronics would release their own handheld console called game.com. No, that isn’t a domain name; it’s the name of the handheld. And it was garbage. Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero would go down in history as the worst Mortal Kombat game to release. On the opposite end of the quality spectrum, amazing video games released that year. Star Fox 64, GoldenEye 007, and a few more timeless classics hit the shelves.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is probably one of the most overlooked gems on PC. But who could blame the oversight? 1997 was the year Grand Theft Auto first came out. Also, Fallout would stun the role-playing game fan base with it’s post-apocalyptic narrative. That’s why I chose Dark Forces II to show you, even if my box looks like someone sat on it, because it deserves some attention. It includes full motion cut-scenes with real actors and intense combat. It can be found pretty much everywhere. Be warned, however; it has some severe issues on Windows 10. If you can get it working, you’ll get a chance to wield a lightsaber and pick which side you align with.

Join the dark side, we got cookies.

Diablo – 1996

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Nothing beats the atmosphere. The music is terrifying, with it’s long drawn out notes and instruments that sound like someone screaming. Every villager has something depressing to say, as happiness is only a dream. Diablo would be the most Gothic Christian game of the series. Christian crosses were used and a demon called “the Butcher” tortured his victims in a cathedral. You will never see something this intense release today without massive criticism. It is an role-playing game like no other and it is unique compared to it’s successors.

Praise aside, it is dated. New equipment doesn’t show on your character and the overall gameplay is stiff. Ninety percent of my praise is due to the horror element and not the actual game.

Diablo II would improve the core gameplay and make the game much more accessible and fun. But the usage of real world religious symbols and the horror elements would not return. Both games (and the third one) are worth a look. Unfortunately, Blizzard has ignored the first Diablo. It has not been re-released on their digital client. Downloading the game off third party websites is currently a legal grey area. Because we do not promote potentially illegal methods of obtaining products, I am just going to advise buying the CD-ROM off Ebay. (Remember: Google is your friend).

1995

This year is not represented in the collection.

Doom II: Hell on Earth 1994

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The father of first person shooters got a sequel this year. Personally, I feel that Doom II is not as good as the first game. Mostly because the maps are claustrophobic with tight hallways and not much room to move around. Also, the game takes place in the city, but you never truly feel like you are in a city. The majority of the game is spent in sewers and libraries. As a child I thought the game was an expansion pack because it only adds a few enemies, a new gun, and maps. Still, this is nit picking. The original two Doom games are masterpieces that are frozen in time. I can pick these games up any day of the week and have fun.

Remember when I praised Diablo for it’s Gothic Christian nature? Well I love Doom for it’s satanic imagery. You get to kill demons and destroy Hell’s army as some average Joe marine. It’s awesome. The original classic games can be bought in a bundle on Steam. GoG sells the games separately for about the same price.

Myst – 1993

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I hate puzzles and this game is exclusively that. Myst would be copied by several developers over the years. These titles would later be classified as adventure games. This is because each game involves exploring detailed environments. Solving puzzles unlocked new areas explore.

Myst is common. Every time I go hunting for PC games in thrift stores or flea markets I often see Myst and its sequels. There are 6 titles in the series and I have them all. Myst is as common as pennies.

Not much more to say. Maybe one day I’ll write about why Myst earned its place in history despite my hatred for it.

Aces of the Pacific – 1992

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WWII flight sim. I actually haven’t played it yet. I got it for Christmas and have yet to fire up the ol’ IBM machine to play it.

For now we can just admire the box.

Sid Meier’s Civilization – 1991

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Reviewers gave this game a perfect score. Computer Gaming World magazine called it the greatest game of all time. It brought board game style strategy to the computer with intelligent AI to play against. Civilization spanned centuries. Could you form your nation and make it survive the test of time?

Playing it today would not do it justice. The later games improved the overall gameplay, user interface, and graphics. The biggest problem is the controls. If you don’t have the manual, you have to look it up online because everything requires a specific keyboard command. Want to enter a city to manage it? Better know the combination of keys to do so!

Describing how the game plays would drag this article out. The in-depth nature of this beast requires its own article or video. Sadly, much like Diablo, the developers have not released the game again. So unless you have the original game with a computer to play it on, you are out of luck.

Tom & Jerry: Yankee Doodle’s CAT-astrophe – 1990

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A very mysterious game. Not much info exists on the internet about this game. I made an effort to play it when I first got it to see what it’s like. It is a children’s game with very easy objectives. The game play is slow, most likely due to the hardware, and you have to try to fail. My box is beat up but the older we go the harder it is to find a pristine box.

Basketball – 1989

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No name, no prefix, just Basketball. To distinguish it from other basketball games, most collectors call it Omni-Play Basketball. Omni-Play are the developers. It is a primitive game, very basic. It is still super fun for a few hours.

Guardians of Infinity to Save Kennedy – 1988

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Yes this exists and yes it is weird. I’m trying to write an article about this game but its existence alone boggles my mind. It is a text adventure game. You type what you want to do and your goal is to keep John F. Kennedy from being killed.

Apparently his death made time go on a different path which ends mankind in the future. Saving him stops that from happening? It’s…it’s….weird……

1987-1986

Like 1995 we got nothing for these years. I may try to seek out some products to buy so we can have a complete timeline.

Koronis Rift – 1985

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I only have the disc for this one. Lucas Arts made a lot of games and this is a fairly early one. It does feel like a Star Wars game to a degree. You are on an alien planet, driving around a vehicle with a mounted gun, destroying machines an ancient civilization left behind. Yeah okay…it doesn’t sound like Star Wars, but the science fiction atmosphere along with the Lucas Arts name makes me think of the movies.

Ghostbusters – 1984

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Again, only the disc. This is the oldest game in our collection.

It sucks. Yes, it sucks. It is probably the best version, as this game was released on every console at the time, but it is still infuriating. Ever wanted to drive down an empty road to capture ghosts for money? Only to spend that money on gas? Only to get to one of the hardest ending levels in gaming history? Sounds fun? It isn’t. Sorry to end the list on a bad note but there is no sugarcoating this game’s trashiness.

What old games do you own? Tell us about them in the comments or email me at elijahcdrf@gmail.com

Alternatively, you can go to the “Say Wassup” tab at the top of the page!

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