What's a great PC game I could pick up cheap now and run on my aging system?

I have a decent computer - P4/1.8, 768mb of RDRam, two fast hard drives - but it’s definitely on the extreme low end when it comes to games. I can run The Sims 2 and was shocked to find that I could run the demo for Age of Legends, but my main bottleneck is my graphics card, which is the lowly NVidia GeForce2 MX with 64mb of ram.

What great PC games out there can I pick up cheap now, in retrospect, that will run on this system? What did I miss that’s still enjoyable? I’ve heard great things about Neverwinter Nights, the last Sim City game, Civilization, Age of Empires, something called Baldur’s Gate, that superhero game (Freedom Force?), Zoo Tycoon, and more.

What shouldn’t be missed?

How much does graphics coolness matter to you? There are many incredably good games in existance whose only failing is that the graphics looks terribly basic by modern standards.

Well, graphics are cool, but I’m more interested in great games, period. I guess I’m specifically asking for something fairly recent, just from the past few years - or at least that runs on the WinXP platform - because I’ve played games for years, so reccommending “M.U.L.E.” isn’t really what I’m looking for. :slight_smile:

The Baldur’s Gate series, Fallout 1 & 2, and Planescape: Torment are all games that are absolutely great (if you enjoy computer RPGs), should be available cheap, and will run on your system, no problem.

The ‘Civilisation’ and ‘Heroes of Might + Magic’ series are both turn based games involving hours of strategy and tactics.

Civilisation involves building cities, funding armies + research and keeping your population happy.
Heroes involves capturing cities by buying troops and moving them about the map.

Civilisation 4 recommends:

  • 1.8GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 128MB video card
  • 1.7GB drive space

(I’m sorry I don’t have Civ 3 stats to hand)

Heroes 3 recommends:

  • 133MHz processor
  • 32MB RAM
  • DirectX7.0 compatible video card
  • 425MB drive space

Anything you haven’t played in this “What are the best PC games of all time?” thread running concurrently would be worth while getting hold of.

The original Freedom Force was great, if too short. The sequel (Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich) captures the spirit of the original but is much harder.

Try any of the Lemmings games. They’ll run on just about any system, and they’re a hoot.

Just in case you don’t know about this — http://www.elizium.nu/scripts/lemmings/

The Doctor

do a web search on abandonware. Loads of games which will run great on an aging system for free. It looks like underdogs shuts down which is a pitty since it was a great site.

“Home of the Underdogs” is still active. According to the Wikipedia article, they had problems in March and were back by late April. The article above has the current web address.

Man, that’s just cruel. The OP is NOT going to be able to run Civ 4. Civ 2, on the other hand, is a fabulous game - many people named it at the top of their lists in the other thread.

From Freedom Force Vs. The 3rd Reich

Recommended system:

1.8 ghz intel pentium 4 or AMD,
128 MB RAM
ATI Radeon 9600 or Nvidia GeoForce FX 5700 video card or equivalent
24x or faster CD-rom

Minimum standards are:

733 mhz processor
128 MB Ram
ATI Radeon 7000 or Nvidia GeoForce GTS or equivalent DirectX 9.0c compliant 32 MB video card with hardware T&L
700 MB HD space DirectX compatible sound card

Best of all I bought it at an Everythings a dollar store for a dollar and they had tons (Dollar Tree, Everythings a dollar, etc) Probably can find it for a similar price at Big Lots.

I find it great fun! but difficult.

I still go back to Diablo II every once in a while, though I’ve owned it for, oh, six years now. It’s just that playable.

Looks like the “Diablo Battle Chest,” which includes the first game and its expansion, as well as the second game and its expansion, is $40 at your favorite big box store. You might be able to find just the second game (and I’d definitely say go with the expansion for it too) for less.

I’ve been playing this game called “Fate” for a while now. It’s basically a 3d Diablo clone with updated gameplay and slightly cutesy graphics. Horrifically addictive. Should run just fine on your system. Link here–go check out the demo.

It’s fairly recent, too. Loads of randomly-generated goodness. Plus you get a pet that can do useful stuff for you. Unlike the mercs in Diablo 2, you can make your pet fetch and carry stuff for you, go back to town and sell loot for you and so on. You can also do odd stuff like go fishing. Most of the fish you get will turn your pet into useful monster forms for a brief amount of time.

Much like Diablo 2 (and most other rogue-likes), it gets a little samey after a while, but otherwise it’s a great pick-up-and-play sort of game.

I’m in the same situation you are, with a really old graphics card, and here are some suggestions:

Sim City 3. 4 might not run on your system, but 3 is a very good game. Build the city from the ground up, balance the budget, deal with whiny citizens. It combines the thrills of a townhall meeting with the excitement of a zoning board.

Civ 3. Very good game, and, I think, probably better than Civ 2.

Medieval: Total War. Much better than its predecessor, (Shogun: Total War), with a realistic tactical combat system, and not so realistic province management

Master of Orion II. An old game, but still a good one. Explore the galaxy! Colonize strange new worlds! Meet alien races and blow them up!

Galactic Civilizations. What Master of Orion III should have been but wasn’t. Explore the galaxy again! Colonize strange new worlds again! Blow up aliens again! Decide if you want your star empire to be a benevolent representative democracy or a brutal evil tyranny.

Heroes of Might and Magic IV will play on your system also and can be found cheap these days. I used to play the heck out of this game. Every scenario and then I created and downloaded more. Really fun if you like turn based games.


Aww, I came in here just to mention Planescape: Torment, and someone done beat me to it. Well, I’ll recommend it anyway. Try Planescape: Torment. I b’lieve it’s out of print but you should be able to score a used copy for cheap. It’s the closest I’ve ever seen a computer RPG get to actual role-playing.

Diablo 2
Rise of Nations

The original Half-Life, along with the expansions Opposing Force and Blue Shift should run just fine. And they’re great.

Another vote for Diablo 2.

Nox is another pretty fun game somewhat similar to Diablo.