Really Good PC Games That Run On Older PCs.

I have a crappy older PC, 2.2 ghz, a gig or so of ram and a crappy onboard intel graphic’s card (with no transform and lighting which basically every computer game since 2004 or so needs), so it can be hard to find good PC games that run on it since I can’t play anything new on it.  So I figured I’d give a nice little list of games that run well on older PCs for anyone in a similar pickle.

Very pretty third person fantasy RTS where you build and command a small army (not an isometric game like starcraft).  You learn spells as you go to support your troops and after each battle convert the “heathen” souls of your enemies to strengthen your forces, which means you really live or die with the success or failure of some battles.  Very fun and unique game.

Arx Fatalis


If you liked the very old game “underworld: the stygian abyss”, you will love this game as it is a sort of spiritual successor to it (they wanted to call it underworld 2 but couldn’t secure the rights).  It takes place in an extensive and very engrossing underground kingdom that really makes you feel like you’re there, only unlike the original the point is not to escape, the world has permanently taken refuge under the surface after the sun went cold…  You awaken in a goblin prison cell with no memory and no knowledge of your identity, only to find out eventually that…  Well, you’ll see : ) 

Very good game.

One spoooooky game, you awaken from emergency surgery with experimental military grade psionic implants only to find the city-sized ship you are on, far from any possible rescue, has been taken over by… something else.  If seeing the ghosts of your recently dead crewmates (due to psionic implants) doesn’t creep your shit, maybe shooting infected crewmembers as they chase you through dark corridors screaming “I’m sorry!” and “Kill me!” will : )  A definite don’t miss.

Deus Ex

One of the best player customization systems of any game ever, a very interactive game environment a very long game, the ability to heavily influence the game not just by dialogue options but actual in-game decisions and more well-written content, plot and dialogue than you can shake a stick at make this in many peoples’ opinions, the best PC game ever made.  I can’t say there are many contenders.  It’s a veritable Sgt Pepper of PC games.

Halo: Combat Evolved

You may need to disable a few graphics options, but this will run surprisingly well on a 10-12 year old system.  Great plot, characters, humor, gameplay and the most epic environment of any recent game.


A repetative hack n’ slash where you play a viking killin’ evil for odin I think it is.  It’s a pretty game, runs well on older systems and I’ve never seen anyone talk about it, so I’m including it.

Half Life 1&2

Both games (and all expansions) are excellent, very engrossing and fun, never dull and a great plot, tons of scripted events etc, and remarkably even the second one runs very well on my system with only occasional lag.

Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

One of the best games I’ve ever played in basically almost every possible way hands down – extremely engrossing atmosphere (look at the picture for fuck’s sake), characters, voice acting etc.  One of the all-time best skill trees of any game, an amazing plot and an excellent and very in-depth vampire mythology that makes you want to dust off interview with a vampire and re-watch it.  Oh, and did I mention you can play as a “bloodline” of vampires that is defined by clinical insanity?  Your dialogue options through the entire game will reflect this.  Oh, and you’re a vampire, so of course you get a nubile slave along the way for doing a good deed while raiding the local blood bank…  : )   AWESOME game.  And it’s based on the HL2 engine, so it also runs well on my comp.  A bit more lag than HL2 but I ain’t complaining.  I only recommend you get it patched, it greatly decreases the loading time which can be a game-killer.

Starcraft & Expansions

Still far and away the best RTS out there, gorgeous graphics, detailed gameplay, and best of all none of that leveling up “eras” crap in some games where you have to work forever to be able to use decent weps… every single level.  This game has been cloned so many times but never once replicated.

Aliens Vs. Predators 2

One of my alltime favorite games, I consider it basically as good or better than the best of the best aliens and predator movies.  It is literally three full games in one, you play the alien, predator and marine in three completely separate stories (but which cross paths).  The predator is tricked out and completely badass, playing as the marine is terrifying, they build up the suspense brilliantly, you go a long while before you are attacked, it’s honestly just like being in the first aliens movie.  And then you play the alien…  you literally start as the crabby crawly face-hugger thing hatched from an egg in a mis-handled crate and have to find a host… then when you hatch you need to find food so you can grow big and strong…  then you’re a full-on badass alien.  It gets kind of boring, but not immediately and the other two campaigns are awesome.  Best movie game ever IMO.

It’s getting late and that’s a lot, might do a part 2 if anyone finds this useful.

About agnophilo

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21 Responses to Really Good PC Games That Run On Older PCs.

  1. TheSutraDude says:

    i loved the original Unreal Tournament. i would not be surprised if people still played since even if Epic shut down their servers clans rented and managed their own. ours had 4 servers. the tools to create new maps and upload them to the server and to websites for others to download added so much to the game. although the game came with great maps and awesome music some of the best were created later by end users. 

  2. agnophilo says:

    @TheSutraDude – I checked out UT 2004 and the download size was like 9 gigabytes it’s been updated so much, lol.

  3. TheSutraDude says:

    @agnophilo – lol. UT 2004 is a different animal. the graphics in games have become huge. the original UT, sometimes called UT 99 was more like the original Quake. was awarded game of the year when it came out. we moved to UT 2k3 and 2k4 but as beautiful as they were graphically they didn’t hold the same excitement. i think UT 99 was something like 500 megabytes altogether if that. 

  4. I loved Starcraft!  I might pull it out and load it up again sometime this month!I purchased AVP on sale a couple of years ago but never really played it.  =(

  5. Great post!  I use a Mac, and it’s annoying that some games aren’t made for it.  I recently downloaded Team Fortress 2 since it’s for Macs now, but I haven’t gotten around to playing it, mostly because I’m intimidated to be such a noob.

  6. agnophilo says:

    @TheSutraDude – I believe I played the original, some kind of railgun or hot-bolt type gun was the big one-shot-kill weapon.  Was fun, though the deathmatch levels could’ve been done better if I recall.@bluepillorredpill – You should, it’s great.@methodElevated – Yeah I bought team fortress, tried it and kept insta-dying and I’m just not willing to sink a week of constant play into a game before it becomes fun. 

  7. agnophilo says:

    @daavidd – Won’t run on my system.

  8. Half-Life rocks! Also: I’ve heard good things about System Shock 2 before this blog, but now I think I’ll try and find it. I’m a console gamer, though I used to rock Doom and others when I was young. Maybe it’s time to cross over to PC as well.

  9. agnophilo says:

    @deadsunflowers – Might be better off just torrenting SS2, it’s hard to find a hard copy.  I have one, but it was hard to find when I got it and that was years ago.  A quick search shows it’s on ebay, but be prepared to pay 30-40 bucks minimum for it.

  10. Have you tried Fallout 3 & New Vegas? I’ve been meaning to try those on my PC, but I’m worried they’ll rape my computer.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @TheThinkingPerson – My computer couldn’t play either – did you read the specs?

  12. @agnophilo – Well if it’s as good as you say, I’m sure I won’t mind shelling out that kind of money for it.

  13. agnophilo says:

    @deadsunflowers – It’s a classic, but it is an older game, so if you’re looking for xbox 360 quality effects or anything you won’t get them.

  14. @agnophilo – Oh I have no problem looking at older graphics/dealing with older effects. I grew up playing all the older systems, anyway.

  15. agnophilo says:

    @deadsunflowers – Alrighty – in that case I recommend it.  It’s based on the thief game engine to give you an idea of the atmosphere.

  16. Mikke3vArt says:

    lol sad to say i knew all of these. i guess iits an advantage to being friends with nerds xD

  17. Sarudomin says:

    Heroes of Might and Magic III will always be a favorite of mine. From the same age as Starcraft I so runs pretty well.

  18. agnophilo says:

    @Mikke3vArt – : )  Well it’s hardly a comprehensive list – might do a part 2 later.@Sarudomin – Never played – the graphics look nice – I remember playing the old game exile which was fun (sort of a 2d stygian abyss).  This looks much nicer.  Will try it out, thanks : )

  19. Mikke3vArt says:

    yes, yes you must. 

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