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The Top 25 PC Games of All Time
We've compiled our top picks into one, easy-to-read list.
- You've seen it on IGN64, the boys over at IGNPSX have laid their opinion out for all to see...now it's our turn. Today we give you our very own Top 25 Games of All Time list, this one highlighting PC games of course.

Oh, and before we forget, a special thanks goes out to IGN Affiliate MobyGames for box shots of some of the older games in our Top 25 list. They're a great resource for classic gaming information, so if you're interested in the games that started it all, you should definitely stop by and check them out.

25) Duke Nukem 3D

Developer: 3D Realms
Publisher: FormGen
Year Released: 1996

Synopsis: Ah, Duke Nukem 3D...how many hours of our lives have you robbed? Not only was this sassy, tongue-in-cheek 3D first-person shooter as addictive as chocolate-covered crack, but the Build engine was one of the first to support destroyable objects, making Duke Nukem 3D one of the most interactive 3D shooters of its time. Who didn't blow up a toilet or two to drink the rich, life-giving water inside? Don't answer that! The game featured some of the most creative level and weapon design of its time, and is truly a classic among shooter fans.

Other games influenced by Duke Nukem 3D: Shadow Warrior, Kingpin, Half-Life, Soldier of Fortune, Deus Ex

24) Wasteland

Developer: Interplay Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Year Released: 1988

Synopsis: In our opinion, this post-apocalyptic RPG from Interplay (and co-designed by current Interplay CEO Brian Fargo) one of the best RPGs to ever grace the PC. In Wasteland you took control of a motley group of Desert Rangers who have been sent to investigate reports of "disturbances" in the desolate radiated deserts near the Ranger Center. Starting out with a party of four characters, you could eventually swell your ranks to seven through the addition of several NPCs that you met throughout the game in such places as Highpool, Needles, Darwin Village, and even the City of Sin, Las Vegas. Wasteland was one of the first RPGs to use a skill point distribution system, making it a truly innovative RPG for its time.

Other games influenced by Wasteland: Fallout, Fallout 2

23) Unreal Tournament

Developer: Epic MegaGames
Publisher: GT Interactive
Year Released: 1999

Synopsis: As you probably already know from our glowing review of Unreal Tournament, we liked this game...a lot. So much, in fact, that it received the highest score we have ever given a game in our two year existence: a 9.6. As Trent said in his review, "What really makes Unreal Tournament stand out is its tremendous number of game options. Where most other first-person shooters release with a handful of standard deathmatch selections and ask players to start whipping out the mods themselves, UT ships with a number of cool play options each more entertaining than the next." In addition to the sheer number of game types, UT also has some of the most creative weapon design in any shooter to date, fantastic level layout, and offers up some of the best multiplay options of any shooter to date.

Other games influenced by Unreal Tournament: Yet to be fully realized

22) Syndicate

Developer: Bullfrog
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Year Released: 1993

Synopsis: Bullfrog's first major PC release (and one of Peter Molyneux's early forays into the PC entertainment market) turned a lot of heads in the industry. This ultra-violent, fast-paced, futuristic mob shooter put you in control of a gang of cyborg mercenaries. Your mission? Simple enough...travel around the world assassinating rival Syndicate members and destroying their operations. Syndicate was set against a multi-level backdrop, meaning you could not only walk in and out of buildings, but also up and down stairs and ladders, gaining access to upper and lower levels. While Trent's favorite weapon was the Persuadatron, Tal favored the scream-inducing power of the flamethrower. The fast-paced gameplay kept us all glued to our monitors, and its easy-to-use mouse interface was perfect for gamers looking for a bit of action on their PCs. And while the game was an action-lovers dream, it was also quite in-depth as you had to carefully manage your resources as well as research new cybernetic upgrades and weapons throughout the game.

Other games influenced by Syndicate: X-COM: Apocalypse, SWAT 2, Postal

21) Aces of the Pacific

Developer: Dynamix
Publisher: Sierra
Year Released: 1992

Synopsis: One of the best WWII sims to ever make it to land on store shelves. Loads of different planes and great enemy pilot AI made this one a huge hit with flight sim fans, but the game's accessibility and customizability made it a big hit with those who were new to the genre. Aces of the Pacific featured land-based as well as carrier-based missions in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and virtual pilots could fly over 30 US and Japanese fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes in single missions or a full career mode. The game also included a mission recorder, which allowed you to review your mission through a VCR-style control panel from various angles. Tal and Steve still talk about this game with fond remembrance, often over cheap American beers down at the local VFW bar.

Other games influenced by Aces of the Pacific: European Air War, Jane's World War II Fighters

20) Sam & Max Hit the Road

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Year Released: 1993

Synopsis: While there was certainly some disagreement about other games that hit the list, this one was a unanimous pick. Sam & Max Hit the Road, based on the sidesplitting comic series of Steve Purcell, was one of the funniest pieces of media (movie, album or game) to ever see store shelves. While the basic idea of the game itself, taking control of a giant dog in a trenchcoat and a naked homicidal rabbit who are travelling across the country looking for an escaped Sasquatch sounds great in and of itself, the real joy in this game were its crazy puzzles and constant barrage of humorous attacks on Americana. The best puzzle in the game forced players to hit fish into a lake with a golf club to lure alligators to position themselves as a bridge. Linear thinkers need not apply.

Other games influenced by Sam & Max Hit the Road: Hard to say which games it directly influenced, but the humorous flavor is very similar to games like the later Monkey Island series and Grim Fandango.

19) Homeworld

Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: Sierra
Year Released: 1999

Synopsis: While most of our games come from the annals of video game history, Homeworld was one of a handful of titles from last year that absolutely had to make the list. Not only did Homeworld take the real time strategy game into 3D with style and grace, the game's graphic design, silky smooth animation and seamless interface make it a near perfect example of what can be accomplished by a creative design team. Better still, the game's storyline is better than a lot of movies that are hitting the screens these days. After finding an artifact that leads them to believe that their ancestors came from another planet, an entire planet's population leaves their dying world to try and find their homeworld. The game's smoothly ramping difficulty level combined with loads of plot twists kept us coming back to this title again and again. We ended up giving this game a 9.5, but now that we've had a chance to see how well the game stands up to the test of time, it may have deserved higher.

Other games influenced by Homeworld: Since it's such a recent release, we're still waiting for a flood of influenced games, but from what we've seen O.R.B., The Rift, and of course Homeworld: Cataclysm owe a lot to this brilliant space-based RTS.

18) Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi

Developer: Origin Systems
Publisher: Origin Systems
Year Released: 1991

Synopsis: It was really hard for us to pick Wing Commander II over the original Wing Commander, but in the end the sequel's great storyline (in which Blue Hair gets framed for the destruction of a Confederation carrier), fantastic gameplay, and cool speech pack option (which came on about a million floppies and made WCII one of the first games to really take advantage of the Sound Blaster's DAC chip) made this the best of the series. After Wing II, Origin started using real actors and FMV for their cutscenes, loosing a little part of what made the first two titles so incredibly absorbing.

Other games influenced by Wing Commander II (well, Wing Commander anyway): Virtually every space combat game released since including, Mantis, Privateer, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Freespace, Freespace 2, Tachyon, X: Beyond the Frontier, Starlancer, and Bang! Gunship Elite.

17) Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Developer: Westwood Studios
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Year Released: 1996

Synopsis: Oh man, this was a hard call as well. We all loved the Command & Conquer series in its entirety but you have to admit that this one was, by far, the best of the lot. Time travel, Commies, Stalin and crazy RTS antics? Forget about it. Red Alert was a near perfect RTS title, combing fantastic graphics, an interface that had been refined over years of player testing and tweaking, incredible unit and building design (including the Tesla Coil, V2 Rocket Launcher, submarines, engineers, and, of course, Tanya) and long, difficult levels. Better still, because the camera was zoomed out a good deal further than previous iterations, players could really see a lot more of what was going on, an advance made possible by Red Alert's ability to show scads of units on screen at the same time. Still, no matter how great the single player game was, the real reason that this title ended up on our list was because of its blindingly good multiplayer mode. This is the game that made kids start building their own home networks.

Other games influenced by Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Oh c'mon... Every RTS that's come out in the last four years has ripped off the C&C series at some point or another. Still, a few of the more obvious titles include: the Total Annihilation series, the Dark Reign series, Earth 2150, Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3 (shudder), Dune 2000, Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds, and Machines.

16) Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods

Developer: Bullfrog
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Year Released: 1993

Synopsis: This game still stands as one of the greatest games ever released and was the first title to really introduce gamers to Peter Molyneux's genius. A refinement of the 1989 release Populous, Populous II added better graphics, an easier to use interface and a handful of new powers. This was also the title that introduced gamers to the idea of God games as they commanded their group of followers to wipe out those who were so unwise as to worship other gods. Some of the more memorable effects ranged from the powerful volcano that ruined an opponents landscape past the point of repair, the lightning bolt, which would strike down an enemy follower that had particularly displeased you and, our favorite, the plague, a quiet attack that slowly spread throughout the enemy's population and killed them. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Populous II though was the fact that it boasted a strong multiplayer component that allowed gamers to take each other on as rival gods through a serial link or modem connection. While this may not sound all that cool to you now, keep in mind that the year was 1993 and multiplayer gaming usually consisted of a friend sitting behind you shouting advice.

Other games influenced by Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods: Populous: The Beginning, Black & White

15) SimCity 2000

Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Maxis
Year Released: 1993

Synopsis: Almost every gamer, no matter how old or young, has spent some part of their life sucked into one of the titles in the SimCity series. Along with Populous, this game (the original SimCity shipped in 1989, as did Populous) invented, and over the years refined the god game genre, and to this day Tal claims that SimCity 2000 was the sole catalyst responsible for him choosing Urban Planning as his major in college. Unlike most of the titles on this list though, SimCity never really claimed to be a game in the traditional sense, preferring instead the label "interactive toy." Starting out with a big piece of land, would be mayors had to first zone their city and then encourage virtual citizens or 'Sims' to move in by providing it with power, water, entertainment and crime prevention. In addition to being hideously addictive, the title helped educate an entire generation of game players on the real-world dangers of pollution, crime and urban decay. For those of a less philosophical nature, instant joy was no further away than the disasters button that gave you several different ways to deliver the electronic version of kicking over your own sand castles at the end of the day. One of the most ingenious and creative titles ever shipped for the PC.

Other games influenced by SimCity/SimCity 2000: The SimCity series of games are some of the most influential ever. Not only were they partially responsible for the wave of society-building games such as Caesar, Pharaoh, and Civilization, but you can trace the base-building side of most RTS games like Dune II, Outpost, Command & Conquer, and Warzone 2100 directly back to SimCity. There are also numerous games like Theme Park and A-Train that owe a big debt to the granddaddy of all Sim games.

14) Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Developer: Totally Games
Publisher: LucasArts
Year Released: 1994

Synopsis: Star Wars! Friend, mother, secret lover. While there are copious numbers of great space combat sims in the annals of gaming history, only one series (the one from LucasArts...duh) allowed you to take a role in one of the most beloved sci-fi movies of all time. Sure, flying for the rebels was great and all in LucasArt's Star Wars: X-Wing, but the call of the Dark Side was strong, and once TIE Fighter hit the shelves in 1994, we forgot all about being on the side of righteousness and good in favor of signing up for the Imperial Navy. One of the big improvements that TIE Fighter added to the Star Wars series of flight sims was adjustable difficulty, a much-desired feature given the difficulty of X-Wing. And, of course, who could forget the incredible soundtrack?

Other games influenced by Star Wars: TIE Fighter: We can't think of any direct influences, but TIE Fighter still stands as one of the best space combat sims out there, and in our opinion it's the best Star Wars game ever made...yes, even better than Jedi Knight.

13) Alone in the Dark

Developer: Infogrames
Publisher: Interplay
Year Released: 1992

Synopsis: Alone in the Dark started a horror craze in video gaming that continues to this day. In the guise of Carnby, a tough Victorian-age private investigator who's trying to sort out a suicide that just doesn't make sense you must explore an ancient manor and put a stop to the evil that permeates it to the core. In addition to the fact that the game looked great for the time it was released (this was the original third person 3D action title), Alone in the Dark boasted an incredibly creepy storyline that kept us looking over our shoulders as we played into the wee hours of the morning. Lovecraft fans will remember with glee the horrors of opening the front door too early and the ghost of the old woman that still freaks me out whenever I see an empty rocking chair. Perhaps the funniest thing about Alone in the Dark though is how long it took to become popular. When the title was first released, it had a pretty uninteresting cover and little US marketing. Consequently, the game sat on shelves for a couple of months before word of mouth got out about how great it was. These days, if a title doesn't sell within the first thirty days, it disappears... Fortunately, the Internet keeps you from having to wait three months to hear whether or not a game is worth buying.

Other games influenced by Alone in the Dark: This was the game that started the horror/survival craze, but it also spurred on the 3D third person revolution. You can see bits of Alone in the Dark line on in games like Resident Evil, Ecstatica, Dark Earth, and the Tomb Raider series.

12) Elite

Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Firebird
Year Released: 1987

Synopsis: Firebird's Elite was one of the greatest games ever made, and Trent was pushing pretty hard for this one to get the top spot. Years ahead of its time, Elite used the simple graphics that were available at the time to put forth what still stands as the greatest space combat simulator ever. As a young pilot, you had to buy and sell goods to improve your ship and kill enemies to build up your combat rating. Elite featured a fantastic economic model that required you to do research about a potential trading partner to figure out whether it would be a good match for the cargo you were carrying at the time. As the game continued, plot points were introduced and you got the chance to take on secret Navy ships, unscrupulous traders, and even an entire alien fleet. Favorite moments? Trading in illegal substances and then trying to land at a space station after fighting it out with a handful of Vipers (the local police ship). Sadly, Firebird (and Gametec after them) never figured out that the ultra-simple flight model was what made the game so fun to play. Every sequel that came out to this title used real space physics and were, of course, a complete waste of time.

Other games influenced by Elite: This was one of the first space combat sims, so its influences are numerous. Games like the Wing Commander series, the Freespace series, the Privateer series, X: Beyond the Frontier, and Tachyon are the most obvious.

11) Diablo

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
Year Released: 1997

Synopsis: Okay, so we didn't go goo-goo gah-gah over Diablo II, but we do have to give props to the original beast. No one can deny that Diablo is the definitive action/RPG dungeon hack--the one that everyone remembers, especially since millions upon millions of you have picked up a copy of Diablo since it was released in 1997. Diablo put you in the shoes of either a warrior, sorcerer or rogue and pushed your mouse-finger to the limit in hour after hour after hour of addictive gameplay. Sure, it was mindless fun, but boy was it fun! And although the Battle.net servers were flooded with cheaters, Diablo was even more entertaining online.

Other games influenced by Diablo: Although Diablo owes a lot to Gauntlet, Diabloesque games are a dime a dozen on the PC. Darkstone, Revenant, and Nox are just a few of the game directly influenced by the success of Diablo.

10) Half-Life

Developer: Valve
Publisher: Sierra
Year Released: 1998

Synopsis: Half-Life is, hands down, the most impressive game that has shipped in the years that IGNPC has been around, and it nearly shut down the office for about a month when we first got our hands on it. Not only is Half-Life a near perfect action game, but it pushes story-telling to a whole new level and may have been in part responsible for consumers' refusal to buy more traditional adventure games in the months following its release. While we're at it, we should probably mention the game's ability to make us jump every time a face-hugger leapt at us, the enemy AI that was far smarter than any intern we've ever had here (those marines were real bastards), an excellent selection of realistic weapons, and a multiplayer mode that completely and totally rocked. Even after two years, no action game has ever come close to eclipsing Half-Life's single player experience. A must for every serious gamer's library.

Other games influenced by Half-Life: Any cinematic action game like Soldier of Fortune. While there haven't been all that many games directly affected by Half-Life yet, it's safe to say that every first-person shooter in development right now will probably be an eventual candidate.

9) Master of Magic

Developer: SimTex
Publisher: Microprose
Year Released: 1995

Synopsis: From the late eighties to the early nineties, Microprose owned gaming in a big way. Master of Magic, developed by SimTex (who Microprose eventually purchased) is a good example of why they held on to the crown for so long. Obviously influenced by Sid Meier's Civilization (which shipped about a production cycle before MOM hit shelves), Master of Magic put players in the shoes of a powerful wizard looking to expand his kingdom, protect his people and conquer his foes. The game was an absolute refinement of the world building genre and nearly every exercise in the game, from researching new spells and gathering magical troops to exploring mysterious landmarks and building up townships, was really, really entertaining. Perhaps the biggest step forward made by Master of Magic was the fact that it allowed players to wage war on several different dimensions simultaneously, an innovation that was also used in the Heroes of Might and Magic series and more recently in Civilization: Call to Power. If you haven't played this one, you owe it to yourself to find a copy and get cracking.

Other games influenced by Master of Magic: Age of Wonders and Disciples come to mind although both of those game were probably more in the vein of Heroes of Might and Magic (which came out the same year as Master of Magic).

8) Doom

Developer: id Software
Publisher: id Software
Year Released: 1993

Synopsis: While there's no doubt that Wolfenstein 3D was an excellent game, it was Doom that really took the third person shooter ball and ran with it. While it may seem a little bit crude now, for the time, Doom's graphics and gameplay were unsurpassed and every single first person shooter on the shelf owes its existence to the release of this title. And, while many sophisticated gamers may cast jeers at Doom's storyline, we personally found the one man, many demons angle to be pretty sweet. Keep in mind also that this is the title that cemented the shotgun, chaingun, and rocket launcher arsenal into the minds of virtually every developer in the world. Network play in 1993 was unheard of, but Doom made it a household word. One of the most, if not the most important releases in PC gaming history.

Other games influenced by Doom: Er, every first person shooter out there. The more obvious selections include: the Duke Nuke 'Em series, the Quake series, Unreal, Half-Life, Sin, Blood, Redneck Rampage, and Soldier of Fortune.

7) Starcraft

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
Year Released: 1998

Synopsis: With all of the real time strategy games that have been released over the years, there have been very few that have really stood the test of time. This masterpiece of strategy from Blizzard took what had become a formulaic approach to the RTS genre and added brilliant race design and a near perfect interface that changed the face of the genre. The three races, the Zerg, Terrans, and Protoss, are so different in design and style of play that it still amazes us that one race has never emerged as the most powerful. Not only was the gameplay superb, but the sound, graphics, and interface were also of the quality that we've come to expect from Blizzard. After two and half years on the market, Starcraft has stood the test of time and still regularly graces the top ten lists in sales. Now that's staying power.

Other games influenced by Starcraft: Hmmm, hard to say. The argument would go that Starcraft was really influenced by everything else that had come before. Still, the races in Conquest: Frontier Wars leads us to believe that the future will be very Starcraft oriented.

6) Tetris

Developer: Alexey Pajitnov
Publisher: Spectrum Holobyte
Year Released: 1988

Synopsis: It may not seem as glamorous a selection as the rest of the games on this list, but let's face it, this title changed the face of gaming forever and has probably been played more times the world over than any other release out there. So why was this game so ridiculously successful? Three big reasons... It was easy to learn - just about anybody could pick up the idea of making shapes fit together in a pit. It was easy to play - right, left, down and one action button was all you needed to make the game functional which explains why it's shown up in so many different forms on so many different systems. It was accessible to anyone - just about everyone, from hardcore action fans to grandmothers who had never even seen a video game before fell in love with this title after about five minutes. Unfortunately, most of the follow-up titles attempt by Alexey Pajitnov, the game's creator, to repeat the success of his masterpiece were horrible. If only we could erase the pain of Hatris, Weltris and especially Facetris.

Other games influenced by Tetris: Sadly, quite a few bad ones including: Hatris, Weltris, and Facetris, but it also started gamers' love affair with color meets shape puzzle games and so is responsible for Klax, Columns, Bust A Move, and Poyo Poyo as well as the fairly playable clones Wordtris and Wetrix.

5) Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

Developer: Blue Sky Productions
Publisher: Origin
Year Released: 1992

Synopsis: This game was literally years ahead of its time and remains the favorite RPG of a great number of genre fans. While there's no doubt that the game still holds up well, what should really blow you away about this first-person representation of the Ultima universe is that it was released in 1992, offering up slick first person action, complete with an RPG style inventory and tons of monsters, a full year before Doom even hit the shelf. While the game's scope was a little limited by today's standards (you're thrown in a dungeon for a crime you didn't commit and spend your game wandering through its depths), in terms of storyline and game length, it's worlds beyond even the biggest RPGs of the last few years. In late 1993, Origin released the sequel to this title, Ulitma Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds, which featured the Guardian as the big villain. These two titles led (at least intellectually) to the company's 1994 release of System Shock, another breakthrough title. An amazingly rich title that showed the world that first-person engines were capable of a lot more than simple shoot-em-ups.

Other games influenced by Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss: Ultima Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds, System Shock, System Shock 2.

4) Civilization

Developer: Microprose
Publisher: Microprose
Year Released: 1991

Synopsis: Holy cow! Back before anyone realized that they were both game design geniuses, Sid Meier and Bruce Shelly sat down together to design a title that proved to be one of the most important releases in the history of the PC. The result, Sid Meier's: Civilization, lets players take on the persona of a tribal leader (with a surprisingly long lifespan) at the beginning of human history who must lead his people from the dangers of nomadic life to the responsibilities of running a global empire. There are so many things that were revolutionary about this game that a listing becomes pointless, but here are a few highlights: the incredibly deep and complex research tree, the massive number of units that reflected the time and technology level of their creators, the town development system that enabled leaders to improve their cities' ability to produce new units and resources and the Wonder system that let players create huge monuments that gave them advantages over their opponents. Civilization was not only impressive as an exercise in game design, it was also amazingly well thought out from a historical side as well. The connection between certain inventions and the units that they brought to the table on their discovery (Wheel gets you Chariot, Feudalism brings the Knight and Conscription served up Riflemen for example) were often obvious, but a few of them didn't make a lot of sense until you really thought about them for awhile. One of the finest games ever crafted and a precursor of great titles to come.

Other games influenced by Civilization:Pretty much every strategy game released since '91. Obvious examples include Civilization 2, Colonization, Alpha Centauri, Age of Empires, Age of Empires 2, the Caesar series, Pharaoh, Outpost, Master of Orion and Master of Magic.

3) Pirates!

Developer: Microprose
Publisher: Microprose
Year Released: 1988

Synopsis: The greatest tribute to Sid Meier's greatest was Pirates!, a naval strategy/adventure game that even now has never been approached in its subtlety and ability to entertain. You started the game as a citizen from one of four different nationalities (English, Spanish, Dutch or French) with a long lost sister to rescue (a foreshadowing of the X-Files if I've ever seen one) and a thirst for adventure. After outfitting your ship with a crew, food to feed them and guns to fire at your enemies, you set to the sea in search of adventure. You could either play the game as a raw pirate sliding from island to island looking for any ships you could loot and sink or you could ask the various governors that you encountered for letters of cachet that would reward you richly for sinking their enemies. The latter tactic could lead to gold, titles of nobility and better and better marriage prospects. The game also featured several different forms of combat (all equally entertaining) which allowed captains who preferred hand fighting to lock with their enemies as quickly as possible and those who favored traditional naval battles to dance nimbly out of range while peppering their foes with their cannons. If you were really lucky, you could discover a treasure map that would lead you to a fortune or you could get information that would lead you to the treasure fleet (although the latter wouldn't give up its gold without a fight). One of those rare games that managed to give something to everyone.

Other games influenced by Pirates!: Loads of adventure and strategy games borrowed from this one at least in part, but there were a bunch of naval trading games that were direct descendants including Cutthroats, High Seas Trader, the Man of War series and the upcoming Sea Dogs.

2) Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty

Developer: Westwood
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Year Released: 1992

Synopsis: This is the game that started real-time strategy. Dune II combined a great license with incredible strategic play and interface breakthroughs that developers are still modeling their systems on today. The game also introduced a branching mission structure into the strategy mix and offered up three separate sides to choose from ( the Harkonnens, the Atreides and the Ordos, each with their own signature units), a feat that wasn't really repeated until Starcraft. Unit design was rich and well-balanced featuring units of raw force, like the Harkonnens Devestator, units of subtle assault, like the Atreides Sonic Tank and units that are just plain devious, like the Ordos Deviator. The game also introduced the random element of the sandworms, overwhelmingly dangerous natural enemies that could swallow an entire assault force before it had a chance to respond. Trent still keeps a boxed copy of this game on his desk to remind him of the greatness the PC games can aspire to.

Other games influenced by Dune 2: Every single one of the RTS titles out there. The Command & Conquer series, the Warcraft series, Starcraft, the Age of Empires series, the Dark Reign series, the Battlezone series and countless others.

1) X-COM: UFO Defense

Developer: Mythos Games
Publisher: Microprose
Year Released: 1994

Synopsis: While there were a lot of arguments between us as to what games would make the list and where they would end up, the number one title was never even discussed. Microprose's X-COM: UFO Defense is, simply put, the greatest PC game we've ever played and the main reason why most of us got into the video game business in the first place. Like many of the games on this list, the premise was simple: you control a group of international alien hunters as they try to protect the Earth from an invasion. Actually pulling this stunt off wasn't quite as easy. First you had to build and equip a base that would house your soldiers, your scientist and your engineers. Your base also needed a radar station that would allow it to pick up signals from invading alien craft. Next it was time to buy enough equipment to make sure that your soldiers would actually be able to survive a battle. With this accomplished, it was time to wait for an attack and for your scientists to research new items and equipment to help you in your battles to come. Once a craft appeared on the screen you sent out attack craft to ground it and once it was down, it was time to put your soldiers in the field to eliminate the alien presence and try to capture as much alien equipment as possible. The game's economic model was such that if you ever ignored alien incursions into a certain area, that nation would no longer fund you anymore. Eventually you had to figure out where the aliens' base was on Earth and use that information to try and stop the invasion at its source. X-COM was cool for so many reasons... First, its slowly unfolding storyline gave you the sense that you were up against overwhelming odds without ever being frustrating  quite Aa trick to pull off. Second, the individual battles (in part because of the game's turn based engine) served up a tension and suspense that we've experienced in no game since. There's nothing quite like the feeling of opening a door and seeing an alien just as your movement points run out. Third, the game allowed you to personalize your play experience by letting you rename all of the characters and bases in the game. It means a lot more to you when one of your friends freaks out and starts shooting at you than when some random name from a database does. Finally, the game featured several innovations that are really hard to define as a group  the aforementioned psychological system would cause your soldiers to run from battles, go berserk or even start shooting at their teammates, the game's promotion system gave you a real feeling of accomplishment as your soldiers made sergeant, lieutenant and major and the game's use of the research system as a storytelling tool has never been matched. The finest PC game we have ever played.

Other games influenced by X-COM: Surpisingly, there haven't been all that many games of this type released over the years (certainly not as many as we would have liked), but the Jagged Alliance series, Incubation, and Shadow Watch are all pretty good examples.

Okay, that's our list and we're sticking to it... Just so you know though, there were loads of titles that we wanted to get on the list that we just didn't have space for. Here's a few games that we thought deserved an honorable mention: Sword of the Samurai, Master of Orion, Ultimas III and IV, Bard's Tale, Roadwar 2000 and Roadwar Europa, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Tribes, Quake II, Mail Order Monsters, Warcraft II, Castles, Shard of Spring, King's Quest V, Secret of Monkey Island, Zork, System Shock and System Shock 2, Centurion, Pool of Radiance (and the entire Gold Box series), Baldur's Gate, Starflight, Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Wolfenstein 3D, Fallout, Myth, Star Control, BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks' Inception, and Star Control II.

Here's a little information on the editors who have taken part on putting together this list of IGNPC's Top 25 Games of All Time:

 
Name: Trent C. Ward Tal Blevins Vincent Lopez
Nickname: You Bastard! NancyBoy Sir Delicious
Position: Editorial Manager Editor-in-Chief PC Mutha'
Age: 30 27 14
Favorite Genres: RPG, turn-based strategy, space sims, shooters RTS, RPG, shooters Anything with cute animals or games where you have to use your butt to jump on mushrooms
Quote: "G'day, mate."  "You're fired!" "Ding a ling a ling."

 
Name: Steve Butts Dan Adams Bobo
Nickname: Dutch Lobot The Boss
Position: Ass. Ed. Do-Boy Monkey
Age: 27 25 3 (33 in monkey years)
Favorite Genres: World War II flight sims, war games, strategy, RPGs RTS, adventure, sports, big headed cart racers Banana, banana, banana, banana
Quote: "Why do you keep hitting yourself?"  "I hate you." "Eep!"


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