Great PC games from the days of DOS

Doom

Ah, the era of DOS games. It was a time when a title came on multiple floppy discs, you had to put 3D in the title because it was not a given – a time when the greatest games today were born.

Here are some of the more memorable games that made their debut in the era of DOS.

3D Pinball Space Cadet

Let us start with the game that we first played once we finally got our PCs up and running – 3D Pinball.

It is a classic which, if you play today, brings back memories of getting up early on weekend mornings so you were the first one at the family PC.

Duke Nukem 3D

Duke Nukem is the most memorable game from my childhood, with any mention, shot, or sound clip from it bringing on waves of nostalgia.

Remember the pig squeal, the jet-pack alien’s mumble, and the freaky octopuses – oh, how Duke Nukem changed our lives.

Hocus Pocus

I never got the full version of this game, but that did not stop me playing it over and over again.

Hocus Pocus is a classic platformer whose music and sound effects can never be forgotten.

Wacky Wheels

What other game lets you drive around a race course as a shark controlling a kart?

Wacky Wheels was the DOS kart game of the decade, and its classic characters will always have a place in the hall of gaming greatness.

Doom

If you had to pick one game that could be called the mother of the modern-day FPS, Doom would be a top contender.

Even with all the controversy that surrounded it, it rose to become one of the greatest games ever made.

Jazz Jackrabbit

A green rabbit with a headband and machine gun, is there anything more you need in life?

Jazz Jackrabbit was a shoot-em-up classic and the Holiday Hare version took the game to the extreme. As we used to say back in the day: gnarly.

Wolfenstein 3D

Alongside Doom and Duke Nukem, Wolfenstein 3D completed the holy trinity of FPS titles that shaped the genre.

Robot Hitler, crazy Nazis, rabid dogs, and one man with a gun – perfect formula for a winning game.

God of Thunder

Before The Legend of Zelda there was God of Thunder, one of the greatest top down adventures ever created for DOS. You were Thor, a ginger dwarf with a hammer, and your task was to venture through an open world and confront Loki.

Along the way you came into contact with giant spiders, bats, and goo creatures. It was an adventure for only the bravest warriors.

Hexen

With its magical powers and supernatural creatures, Hexen blew us away when it arrived on the scene.

Not only did it look amazing, but you also had three classes to choose from. This was ground-breaking for an FPS DOS game

SimCity 3000

I never played a SimCity title, but I had to include one on this list for the fans. Everyone I spoke to said SimCity 3000 was the best of them all.

Prince of Persia

The Prince of Persia franchise has come a long way since its DOS days, but we cannot forget where it all started. I could never get past that guy with the sword. That damn guy and his damn sword.

MDK

Dropping from space while dodging rockets, fast paced shooting, an epic soundtrack, and eating apples to refill your health – MDK was confusing, but one of the best third person shooters of its day.

Which were you most memorable games from the DOS era? Let us know in the comments and forum.

More gaming news

Win gaming PC-centric prizes with rAge and Syntech

Do you still pre-order games? Activision says “not so much”

Gaming makes you happy, emotionally stable, and helpful

Forum discussion
Authors

Related posts

  • Kane

    I thought you said from the days of DOS? Where is Zork? and Pipez? Battle of Britain? Hurkle? Grand Prix? Hot Rods?

    Most of these games are from closer to the days where DOS was still included with Windows rather than the days where DOS was the primary operating system 😛

  • RCN

    For me, it was:
    – Dune 2
    – Master of Orion (both 1 and 2)
    – Maybe Quake 1? I felt it had a larger impact than Doom.

  • BeoTeK

    What, no Commander Keen ?

  • Charl van der Merwe

    Quake 1 opened the world of multiplayer fps for me!

  • Mossel

    OK but SimCity 3000 came out on Windows 98 if I remember correctly, so not exactly DOS…
    Also, why no Dangerous Dave!?

  • Mossel

    Grand Prix! Damn I even had Grand Prix 2 on like 2 stiffies! Freakin huge!

  • Herman Leon Erasmus

    What no master of orion ? Just one more turn and next thing its 3 in the morning ….

  • Ebrahim Ally

    MDK was also the first “true sniper” game imo

  • Dave

    Hmmm I’m guessing you’re a bit younger than a lot of people here if pinball came on your first PC? Unless I’m missing something I thought it was a windows game?
    Some of the first PC games I played included: Police Quest 1 and Defender of the crown.
    I still remember playing some of those ID shareware classics for the first time. Wolf 3d, Commander Keen etc.
    And lemmings… lemmings 2 was the business.

  • Dave

    Don’t forget F-15 Strike eagle and Street Rod.

  • Dave

    Oh and unless you’re talking about a different game, God of Thunder apparently only came out in 1993, Zelda came out in 1986.

  • The Rich

    Honestly I don’t recall ever playing any of those, so either you have unusual taste in games or you truly are from another era. I started playing games on a pc in around 1993 when California Games and Prince of Persia were the big things and they had to be launched in DoS, then along came Wolfenstein and Wing Commander but by that stage I think we had Windows 3.1. Awesome times.

  • Koning Rosekraans

    I prefer Pinball Fantasy to 3D Pinball space cadet.

  • Koning Rosekraans

    Oh! And Streetrod 1 + 2!

  • Munchkin

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PC.
    Terminal Velocity.
    Magic Carpet.
    Sim City (original).
    Ultima Underworld.
    Kings quest.
    So many….

  • Nico Van Der Merwe

    Nobody ever had the full version of hocus pocus lol. Ah the apogee shareware collection 😉

  • Nico Van Der Merwe

    I friggin’ loved that game.

  • Nico Van Der Merwe

    Zork!!!!!oneoneone

  • MossySloth

    Golden Axe!

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Just wanted to say that! WHERE’S THE KEEN!?!?!

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Articles like this keeps me coming back! A walk down memory lane :)

  • Uberutang

    Funny thing is you can still buy and play these on any PC you have. GOG

  • BrendanMcCT

    And what about Civ???Though that wasn’t really dos based. But Test Drive was.

  • RCN

    Oh, and Stunts! What I wouldn’t give for a remake of that.

  • Michael Visagie

    Operation Wolf.
    Spyhunter.
    Winter games.
    Double dragon.
    Bubble Bubble.
    Robocop.

    Oh yeah, and Wing Commander!

    All good ones on DOS.

  • Mark Widdicombe

    Leisure Suit Larry…

  • Adam Jorgensen

    Duke Nukem 3D, one of the most over-rated games of all time.

    Basically only Episode 1(a.k.a The shareware version) was worth playing. Episodes 2 and 3 were especially awful while episode 4 managed to return to the feel of Episode 1 a little.

    People raved about Duke and ignored the real Build engine gem: Blood.

    Hexen was cute but I think Heretic was more fun. Hexen certainly helped pioner the whole hub-based FPS thing but by god was it annoying having to trek back and forth in empty levels trying to find some damn switch or other.

  • Adam Jorgensen

    Zork predates DOS by many years.

  • http://codefridge.com/ Codefridge

    Ah the days when games came in a big box, with a proper manual. You got something special back then. PS: Did anyone ever play the full Hocus Pocus? Loved it

  • Wotalotigot

    Jones in the Fast Lane, Gauntlet II, Space Quest series, Police Quest series, Heroes Quest series (later Quest for Glory),…n.

  • BrendanMcCT

    Does anyone remember Cobra? on the ZX Spectrum? You had to eat burgers and stuff. and the Ghost busters..damn those were the days

  • Yahya Atiya

    Quality of articles getting worse by the day. God of thunder was not “before Legend of Zelda”. Zelda was released 1986, GoT 1993.

    Secondly, Space Cadet itself was a Windows game, not DOS. As was the standalone release of Full Tilt pinball.

    At least try to get the facts right, and match your article to its title….

  • R Khan

    Does anybody remember the game Abuse.. it was about aliens, some of the enemies looked sort of like the baddies from the movie Alien

  • R Khan

    LSL ftw! The password is “Ken sent me”

  • R Khan

    the lost vikings too!

  • R Khan

    didn’t he evolve into duke nukem?

  • R Khan

    ditto. also dangerous dave was pretty high-end at the time

  • hairyback

    You can still get it for old times sake, as far as I know it was released into the public domain

  • neil

    and F19 – also a DOS only game, Captain Comic, Crystal Caves, Dangerous Dave, Haunted House, Battle Chess, Arctic Adventure

  • R Khan

    yeah, I have it.. somewhere.

    tyrian was also a great space shooter game (sort of like raiden).. “level complete”.. “warning, large structure ahead”

  • Mogo

    And to think I was utterly terrified when playing Doom 1 as a lity…

  • Doug

    One of the best games I have ever played was the DOS game X-Wing based on Starwars. I really wish they would produce a Windows version. I played this game from start to finish a few times over a good few years, I was even able to get it working properly in Windows 98.

  • Ryan Felton

    My best is Commander Keen, Dangerous Dave, Big Red Racer, Crystal Caves and Duke Nukem Episode 1, Mortal Kombat I and GODS

  • Ryan Felton

    @disqus_9zXe1Per2A:disqus that could be. He was a bad ass kid

  • Ryan Felton

    True. Got myself a copy of Shadow Warrior and Duke 3D there 😀

  • Razmo

    Shadow Warrior!

  • Zinzan Zonzo

    Sopwith, Digger, Stunts, Test Drive, Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, Kings Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Abuse, Carmageddon, Dune2, Wing Commander Series, SimCity … oh the list can go on .. I still have many of the originals 😛

  • Jaco DeBeer

    Commander Keen, Prehistoric 1 + 2, Dune 2

  • Jans

    Return of the Triad! Blakestone! Crystal Caves! Mystic Towers! Alone in the Dark! Betrayal at Kondor!

  • Annunaki

    blood …where else do you get to use a lighter and spray cans to kill people, or a flare gun, road rash also rocket tits and ass

  • NicoR

    SimCity 3000 is on here, but no Dune / Dune 2?

    For shame.

  • Sean

    Now Dune was an awesome game. Wish they would remaster.

  • Viper-Smiddie

    I can remember play all of these. But Mortal Kombat/test drive should also be on this list

  • GuiltyasFaak

    with Oculus rift integration :)

  • GuiltyasFaak

    best pinball = psycho pinball

Top