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YOUR favorate game era.

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First post, by chinny22

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After watching LGR's video of the Sony PC from the year 2000 I realised just about every game he played I had strong nostalgic feelings towards and made me think.
I always thought dos gaming was my favourite era. The art style, Midi, smaller developers and technical limitations and the tricks to get around them.
But with a few notable acceptations I actually play turn of the century games much more.

Dos games played annually but usually only one of the series, eg Doom or Doom2 so that's only 2 games really!
Doom 1993
Doom 2 1994
Warcraft 1994
Warcraft 2 1995
C&C 1995
RA 1996 ( I always preferred the dos versions until The First Decade Patch with its added content so that now gets played in Windows)

Annual Windows games (accept GTA where I'll only play one)
NFS3 1998
NFS4 1999
AOE2 1999
NFS Porsche 2000
Diablo 2 2000
RA2 2000
GTA3 2001
GTA VC 2002
GTA SA 2004

So going off my list turn of the century is my golden era.
I guess the timing was just right. The 486 that we got in '95 excluded me from late dos era had now ben replaced with a P2 400 16MB TNT allowing me to play D3D games for the first time.
and that I graduated high school end of '98 giving me and my mates more free time for LAN parties.

And of course I play many more games from dos to roughly mid 2000's just not as often.

Anyway that's me, it seems like this era was the start of the end of the wild west. Game companies were merging (EA already owning Westwood as an example out of my list) Gone were the imaginative hardware and software implementations, 3DFX was loosing favour to DirectX, yet it seemed games were wide and varied vs (IMHO) today where companies simply release sequel after sequel.

But then most of my games are sequels and some may think the decline had already started for the reasons above? just wondered what others think.

Reply 1 of 62, by Desomondo

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This might be cheating but probably the ten year period of 1996-2005. Quake and Tomb Raider were major obsessions, especially once I got my first 3DFX card. I probably spent more time making maps and levels for Duke Nukem 3D, StarCraft and Warcraft III than playing the damn games. The initial wave of source ports in the early 2000s got me back into Doom, Heretic and Hexen after an almost half decade absence. Diablo 2, Red Alert 2 and Max Payne 2 are still yearly-ish playthroughs for me, along with lesser appreciated stuff like Heavy Metal FAKK 2. And Doom 3, Half-Life 2 and F.E.A.R. where probably the last major PC releases to feel like a major leap forward. (Crysis as well I guess but we are well into the twilight years by this point for me.)

Last edited by Desomondo on 2021-09-01, 13:21. Edited 1 time in total.

Win95 PC: Pentium II 400 | 440BX | Voodoo3 3000 | Vortex 2 + ESS 1869F
Win98 PC: Pentium 4 HT 641 | 865G | Geforce4 Ti4400 | Audigy
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | G41 | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X | X570 | Radeon RX 6800 | X-Fi Titanium

Reply 2 of 62, by Namrok

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I still put the high water mark at 1997. You bracket that by 5 years on either side, so from 1992 to 2002, and you wind up with I think the most prolific era of pc gaming we've ever seen. The output of some studios in that period is baffling and incredible. ID Software publishes Wolftenstein 3D, Doom 1-2, Quake 1-3. Bullfrog, already with Populous under it's belt publishes Syndicate 1-2, Magic Carpet 1-2, Theme Park/Hospital, and Dungeon Keeper 1-2. Origin finished off the Ultima and Wing Commander series, had the amazing Ultima Underworld spinoffs and System Shock. Almost all of Westwood's best output is in the period, taking us from Dune II to Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. And unlike other independent studios they dabbled in adventure games and rpgs too with Blade Runner, Nox, Lands of Lore and Legend of Kyrandia.

These studios had a depth and breadth to them we don't see anymore. There are currently what, 3 different studios all laboring away on Call of Duty? Mojang is just the Minecraft company? Even successful indies get stuck on their first hit and just update that until the money runs dry. Seemingly too afraid to try anything different. I simply haven't seen a single modern studio with the incredible body of work the masters of their craft cranked out in the 90's.

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Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 3 of 62, by Carrera

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1997 to about 2003... whereby I have to say I tended to not have the latest and greatest in hardware so I was often installing games after they had been out for a year or two.
I think WarHammer 40k Dark Crusade (2006) was that last game I ever bought (until StarCraft 2 came out) and I had to crank everything down to the most basic settings.

From 1997 though I played almost all car and Mecha sims that were out there and I never felt "jipped" by having wasted my money.

Reply 4 of 62, by Joseph_Joestar

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Early '90s to mid 2000s for me. Pretty much all of my favorite games are from that time period.

That was before the dark times of DLCs, microtransactions, loot boxes, always online DRM for single player games and so on.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 5 of 62, by Martin8bity

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I do not play games much, but wouldn't say there is one gaming era for me. I still nostaligicaly return to 1977 Start Trek from time to time, as well as to 3 years old Kingdom Come. I play DOOM, Age Of Empires or some 8-bit compuers game meanwhile.

Reply 6 of 62, by Gmlb256

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I'm more nostalgic about 1992-2005 games since I grew up with them, this includes casual Windows games such as Minesweeper.

The last game that was forward-looking to me was the original Crysis. Most modern games feels kind of repetitive to me (open world, linear gameplay, more focus on multiplayer, less variation on genres, etc...).

Reply 7 of 62, by newtmonkey

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1985-1995 for me. The encompasses the best years of the C64, the rise of PC compatibles (and DOS) as a legitimate gaming platform, and much of the 8/16-bit console library.

As a massive RPG fan then and now, the number of amazing RPGs that came out over these 10 years is simply unbelievable. So many great RPGs on the C64, DOS, and also on NES/SNES/Genesis. On PCs, you had the entire Gold Box series, Ultima IV-VII, Might & Magic I-V, Wizardry V-VII, The Bard's Tale I-III... and awesome one-offs like Wasteland, Dragon Wars, and Demon's Winter. On consoles you had the entire Phantasy Star series, Final Fantasy I-VI, Dragon Quest I-IV, and the amazing Mother on Famicom. That's not even getting into all the amazing strategy games and platformers from Apogee/Epic on the PC, or the fantastic platformers and sports games on the consoles during that era.

Reply 8 of 62, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Late 90's to early 2000's, when 3D acceleration was booming and MIDI was still around. Those were my golden years of PC gaming and I want to relive them very much, by playing the stuff I enjoyed and the stuff I missed out on.

Reply 10 of 62, by Cosmic

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I'm not sure I have a favorite time, but I definitely have some discrete game playing periods.

Pre-school: I played a lot of DOS games with my dad and even learned my way around COMMAND.COM. Mostly Duke Nukem I and II, Kings Quest VI, and some learning games like Millie's Math House and Operation Neptune. I actually bought Millie's Math House on CD-ROM a couple years ago because I couldn't find it online anywhere. Still need to image it and check it out for some sweet nostalgia.

Elementary: Duke 3D, Gnome, Lego Island, Sim City 3000, Sims 1 & 2. Lots of Starcraft and building unstoppable bases and forces against the CPU players. Never played Diablo or Warcraft but wish I had. Command & Conquer. Later I would get GTA II and III and end up being late for school a couple times because of it. This started my love of the GTA series and I'd play them for hours, installing mods, tweaking things, listening to music. It was a blast. I also played with Game Maker and learned some simple programming.

Middle/Highschool: I got into Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 2, and Garry's Mod. I loved these games so much I learned how to use the Hammer editor and make my own maps to mess around on. Spent hundreds of hours in TES IV: Oblivion. Portal 1, Left 4 Dead, and GTA IV came out around the end of this time.

College: Lots of Kerbal Space Program. Revisited Oblivion and started a new playthrough with some mods after losing my original save to a hard drive monster.

Present: These days I mostly just play Satisfactory, some VR games, Subnautica, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six Siege. I have other pursuits that keep me from going to deeply into new games, but the fire of nostalgia for retro games and hardware lives on.

I left out a lot of games... looking through my NAS I can find more, but then this would be an even longer post, haha.

So I don't really think I have a favorite, they're all special in their own way. If I had to pick I suppose I'd go with the present period because I can still get completely immersed in modern titles. 😀

Reply 11 of 62, by leileilol

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Probably 1990 to 2000. Moore's law at work, 16-bit boom with lots of game mechanic experimentation with all those new buttons, shareware's prime before it got all corporate, arcades still existed, etc..

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Reply 12 of 62, by Caluser2000

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-09-01, 13:44:

Early '90s to mid 2000s for me. Pretty much all of my favorite games are from that time period.

That was before the dark times of DLCs, microtransactions, loot boxes, always online DRM for single player games and so on.

I must have slept through all that.....😉

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 13 of 62, by Joseph_Joestar

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-09-01, 19:30:

I must have slept through all that.....😉

Sadly, those things are becoming commonplace nowadays. It's the main reason why I rarely get excited by modern games. Current publisher line of thinking:

  • Want to win in a competitive FPS through skill? Nah, go gamble on some loot boxes instead. Pay to win is the new norm.
  • Want to unlock that extra character in your favorite fighting game by beating it on the highest difficulty level? Nope, you need to buy the DLC instead.
  • Want to unlock a special outfit for your character? We'll make that a micro transaction. Pay up or get lost.
  • Want to play your favorite single player game when the internet's out? No way, you dirty pirate! Have some always online DRM!

To me, it feels like games aren't made to be fun anymore. They are just money extracting schemes now. Of course, there are some exceptions, but those are in the minority. Thankfully, I have a backlog of old games to go through, so I don't have to deal with this current day publisher idiocy.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 14 of 62, by RandomStranger

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I find this a little difficult to answer. I don't know how to define an era. Unlike for period, I like to tie the beginning and end of an era to something well defined and significant. All of them would be arbitrary.

DirectX 9 era? 2002-2007 (from the introduction of DX9 to the introduction of DX10)
The fixed function 3D shader era? 2000-2006 (from the introduction of vertex shader to the introduction of unified shader architecture)
The PlayStation 2 era? 2000-2006 (the release of the PS2 to the release of the PS3, okay this is the same as the previous)
Windows XP era? 2001-2009 (from the release of XP to the end of its mainstream support)
The 2000s? (were there anything technologically significant in late-2009 to end an era?)

I'd say games I played during my mid teens that are mostly from the "DX9 era" if I want to narrow it down to the minimum. I like and appreciate a lot of games from before and after this period that I think are masterpieces which old up well and mop the floor with more modern games, but from before it's more about fascination with the technology (limitations and overcoming those limitations) over the games themselves.

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Reply 15 of 62, by zyzzle

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1st gen: 1977 to 1982, the age of the 2600, coin-ops, and the Colecovision. The release of the C64, and the Apple II series going gangbusters all the while.
"modern" gen: 1985 to 1995, is the overall best time, I think. When PC gaming came into its own, before things got bloated and crazy. Under A Killing Moon was the start of the bloat game in "video frenzy" and high 'professional' production values. I remember buying UKM in 1994, and it came on *four* CD-ROMs. I was more impressed with King's Quest series, the last of which came on six or seven 1.44M floppies.

After 1995, things started getting crazy, and fast, with DirectX games and their bloat. 3D acceleration was nice, for the early games (Tomb Raider, Carmageddon, Screamer, Descent), but quickly went down the rabbit hole in bloat. Bloat made up for lack of creativity and good, fast code. Large texture sizes and awful videos did not a good game make.

Today, we've come full circle. I'd much, *much* rather play Kaboom on my Atari 2600 or Popeye on my Colecovision than any of the absolute crapola of games released today, which require $4000 video cards, terabytes of hard drive, and months of frustrating play to explore their "sandboxes." Ridiculous and tortuous.

Reply 17 of 62, by Almoststew1990

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It's got to be mid 2000s for me. Mid PS2 to early Xbox 360. The hardware was there to deliver complex, interesting worlds but modern game publishing practices like microtransactions, live service gaming, aggressive / 'need to own to complete the story' DLC etc weren't here.

This is the era that brought us HL2, Portal 1, Bioshock, Mass Effect 1, Oblivion and Fallout 3, Battlefield 2, COD4, GTA:SA, GTA4, Saints Row 2, Tony Hawk's Underground, Burnout Paradise...

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Reply 18 of 62, by 386SX

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If I have to choose a game era I'd probably go back far to the Z80 and 68000 based game consoles up to the 80486 computer one, this last because it convinced me that computer was becoming the new thing to have for both games and everyday tasks. The 80486 were the config on which I first watched Stunts game that basically for me was like a next-next-generation game on a CRT "high resolution" monitor of those time compared to the RF connected TVs CRT not to mention.
That was one of the main reason to buy our own 80386SX cheap second hand computer where the computer passion started.
Even if the best 'computer game era' technologically imho was the Directx6 to Directx7/8.1 one, I was more interested in the hardware itself and only few games. My hardware couldn't play early Doom/Doom II/Quake games until I finally had the K6-2/V3 2000 just released but only few titles were interesting like Half Life, Thief The Dark Project even the older Duke Nukem 3D, Quake II etc.. but at the end I have played much more hours the Game Gear and Master System games before not to mention the old Capcom arcade machines.
From '95 to 2003 there were so many components released each months with new features and so many players in the market for every ideas. I remember each time I entered a computer store it was so interesting to just loose time around looking at which new component was released. I still have memories of "video cards sector" with the Voodoo1 already cheap, the Voodoo II, the Voodoo3, the Matrox G200, the Savage3D and 4, the Matrox M3D, all in brand new boxed and I could loose so much time just standing there reading the boxes. 😉
A thing I sure miss of those times was that you never knew what you'd find in the store.. every times there were new components, new software, not having internet the only way to know what was happening was specific newspapers for sure but every stores at some point had a "computer sector" and sometimes there was some no-brand useful component you didn't even know existing. Great times.

Last edited by 386SX on 2021-09-02, 11:59. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 62, by Anonymous Coward

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Anything before 1995 is okay by me. I prefer 80s games.

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