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Windows 95 finally became more than just a wrapper around MS-DOS. XP was a big upgrade; some people wish Microsoft stopped there.

Tweaking Edit

Most games here have been released quite a while ago and some, especially those polygon-heavy, might look bad for those that have eye-candy preferences. If that kind of thing bothers you, make sure to take a look around for mods or tools like this one, which allows you to add "modern" effects to your game. Using the package on the link, for instance, you can add AA, Bloom, Sharpen and many other enhancing filters to any game based on DX9 just pasting the files in the game folder and configuring the .EXE.

Picture Title Genre Year Released Description Where To Buy
150px Bad Mojo Puzzle/Adventure 1996 (Redux version released in 2004 and 2007) A gritty, eerie top down adventure game where you play a man who has turned into a cockroach and must travese over a seedy apartment building to find a way to change back into a man. Really clever puzzles and nice creepy atmos makes Bad Mojo one of the best surrealistic games ever made.
150px Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

(aka Circle of Blood)

Adventure 1996 Great classic adventure game about an american investigating a series of murders in Paris which, of course, are related to something much bigger involving an ancient cult descending from the Templars. Made years before all the templar/DaVinci craze. Serious story, but nice bits of humor here and there. The sequels get gradually worse, although the second game is still good. GOG
150px The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Action 2003 What is this? A GOOD LOTR game for the PC? And a LOTR game for the PC that iSNT an RTS? Yes, its true. As a matter of fact, this is a port from the PS2 version but its way better than that one. Play through three paths on the various settings of the movie ( not the book) with licensed music, movie scenes, voice acting and whatnot. Level up, upgrade your weapons and skills and, in the end, replay every mission with whoever you want. Unlock all the fellowship members plus Faramir ( and minus Boromir) and fuck orcs, Mumakils, Trolls, Uruk-hais and easterlings. Looks and plays great, a must-have for every LOTS or action game fans and a rare treat for PC gamers. Also, GLORIOUS Co-op.
150px Death Rally Racing 1996 Sure, it's a rally, but it's a DEATH rally. Load up the car's guns, put spikes on your fronts and sabotage your opponents' cars beforehand. Featuring racers such as Duke Nukem and Farmer Ted. It's a race you don't want to miss. Also released as freeware (without multiplayer)
150px Duke Nukem 3D FPS 1996 Always bet on Duke. Effectively, it's Doom, but it adds special items such as jetpacks and steroids, the ability to jump, vertical aiming, more weapons, and of course, strippers. The only bad thing about this game is that it raises expectations for the sequel a bit too high. GOG
150px Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail Erotic Adventure 1996 The final Leisure Suit Larry adventure designed by the series creator, Al Lowe, Love for Sail boasts some pretty attractive cel animation while giving the gamer even more goodies. There are heaps of easter eggs throughout the game that provide the well animated nudity, the game uses a very flexible and easy drop down menu mechanic and the humour is stronger than ever with amazing voice acting. There are so many goodies hidden in this game from the Where's Dildo mini-game to secrets in the actual games file directory. Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail is one of the best adventures of all time. GOG
150px Master of Orion 2 TBS 1996 Old-ass space 4X game with well-balanced and varied gameplay. Lots of tech and economy management, with optional tactical battles. Many different valid strategies to win the game. GOG
150px Neverhood, the Adventure 1996 You play as Klayman wandering through The Neverhood solving puzzles to save the creator of The Neverhood.Also it's the first game to be fully made using stop motion clay animation.
150px Pajama Sam Adventure/Puzzle 1996+ Quirky adventure series. Bit for children REAL MEN, but fun in any case.
150px Quake 1,2,3, Live FPS 1996 - Present Arena combat improved, populated, and perfected. Fast paced combat that demands mastering movement, spatial awareness, and every single weapon in the game. You'll need good hand-eye coordination, inhuman reflexes, the ability to read your opponent's mind, and yes, even a little bit of strategy. And that's just to get a 1:1 kill/death ratio. If you think you're hot shit at Team Fortress 2 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, you need to test your mettle in Quake. You could play this game for a decade and still be mediocre. Still has a thriving competitive and pro scene today.

If you are new to the series, start with Quake Live - it's free and played through your browser (Not as bad as it sounds), with slightly watered down weapon balance, and a skill matchmaking system to make sure your anus (and ego) are still intact after your first few games. If you start to get good, try the Quake 3 mod CPMA (Pro-Mode. Basically Quake 3 on crack).

Steam (1, 2, 3)
Quake Live (Oh shit, it's free!)
150px Toonstruck Point&Click Adventure 1996 A classic Adventure featuring the voice talents of Dan Castleneta, Tim Curry, Dom DeLuise, Jim Cummings, Tress MacNeille and a FMV Christopher Loyd whos been sucked into a cartoon world. Filled with parodies of all types of cartoons, definetly worth a look.
150px Z RTS 1996 You're a troop of red robots on a campaign to beat all the other colored robots in the universe. On your side you have a screaming robot-sergeant ready with a cigarr in mouth and a cowboy-hat. This isn't Halo, it's hardcore robot RTS-massacre. Everyone's got good voice acting and it's another take on RTS where your unit-building is limited by a timer which decreases with the amount of territories you acquire.
150px Age of Empires RTS 1997 Quality Microsoft (SOMEHOW) RTS, advance your tribe from the stone age to the medieval age while fighting off rival civilizations and managing an RTS economy. BEST FUCKING RTS YOU WILL PLAY EVERY DAY. R.I.P. Ensemble Studios
150px Atomic Bomberman Action/Adventure 1997 A different take on the Bomberman series. You should get it because it's just so damn hilarious.
File:Blood small.jpg Blood FPS/Action 1997 Old school Build-engine horror FPS, lots of gore and black humour. Multiplayer (deathmatch and co-op) were tremendous fun, but hard to get working nowadays. Also, tons of snappy one-liners similar to Duke Nukem. GOG
150px Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Action, Adventure, RPG 1997 The first game of a really important and beautiful saga, what can I say ? is a really exciting game with his incredible dark and gory medieval story, and his good melee\magic combat system, the game has also a good top-down 2d graphics, The real problem is the compatibility but no problem a good soul solved everything for us. Follow the instruction on the website and all will be ok if not perfect.
150px Carmageddon Racing 1997 Sensationally violent arcade-style racing game. Run down pedestrians and destroy other players to win.Probably best racing PC game to date. GOG
150px Curse of Monkey Island, The Adventure 1997 Sequel to Monkey Island 2. Less witty, worse story and stupider puzzles but worthwhile mostly because of qualities it inherits as the sequel to a great game. You take on the role of Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to become a pirate. Poison poodles Disguise yourself as El Pollo Diablo, trespass everywhere, and kick everyone's ass at Insult Swordfighting.
150px Dungeon Keeper RTS 1997 Dungeon Keeper is a strategy video game released for the PC in which the player attempts to build and manage a dungeon or lair while protecting it from (computer-controlled) 'hero' characters intent on stealing the user's accumulated treasures and killing various monsters. GOG
150px Fallout RPG 1997 The first Fallout game. Developed and released by Interplay in 1997.

Features the best story in the Fallout games. Lots of choices with character development and you'll have very different playthroughs depending on your characters' stats and choices. Thematically tight game. Combat is turn-based. Engine sucks ass though. Patching is absolutely essential if you don't want to drown in bugs. Fallout 2 (1998) is also very good and also listed here.

GOG
150px Interstate '76 Car Combat 1997 Arguably the greatest vehicular combat game that nobody has played. Taking place in 1976 where the U.S. oil crisis never ended, auto-villians now terrorise the American Southwest. As auto-vigilante Groove Champion, you drive your murdered sister's armed muscle car over 17 missions to take out the creepers responsible in a quest for revenge. In terms of mechanics, the game is best described as Mechwarrior 2 with cars, with its missions often consisting of more that just destroying everything in sight. Also like Mechwarrior 2, you have free reign to customize the car with parts and weapons salvaged from previous missions, as well as customize the armor and chassis strength for the sides. The soundtrack is amazingly funkalicious as well. GOG
File:Mdk.jpg MDK Action/Adventure 1997 Game made by Shiny, creators of the Earthworm Jim series. You play a guy name Kurt Hectic who goes up against an invading alien army trying to strip-mine the earth. Full of classic Shiny light-hearted and quirky humor like the "world's most interesting bomb" and human shooting range. The graphics are odd but beautiful and the game engine was completely software-based so it could run on weaker machines that didn't have 3d accelerated graphics. The fantastic soundtrack was composed by none other than Tommy Tallarico, and it really brings the whole world to life. There was a sequel made by Bioware that is also awesome (but even more insanely difficult). GOG
150px Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight FPS 1997 Shoot things, punch things, use the force to bitchslap the universe.
150px The House of the Dead On-Rails Shooter 1997 (PC) One of the games that founded the rail-way shooter genre. Play as Agent Rogan (PC version has a mode where you can choose different characters with different guns too) and his team-mate G as they stop the plans of Dr. Curien, intent at unleashing a zombie apocalypse upon the world. Fun to play.
150px The Last Express Adventure 1997 Set on the Orient Express in 1914, the player takes on the role of Robert Cath, an American doctor on the train's final journey from Paris to Constantinople (nowadays Istanbul) before World War I. Cath, already wanted by French police as he is suspected of the murder of an Irish police officer, is contacted urgently by his old friend Tyler Whitney, to join him on the Orient Express, gateway to the East, and a possible exit from all his troubles. Cath boards the train via a motorcycle and looks for Whitney, who is already on board (seen during the introduction). But as soon as he steps onto this luxurious train, Cath becomes involved in a maelstrom of treachery, lies, political conspiracies, personal interests, romance and murder. GOG
150px Tomb Raider II Action/Adventure 1997 Awesome gameplay, music and stuff. The Venice level is amazing. GOG
150px Total Annihilation RTS 1997 Very popular/good RTS up there with Starcraft, but released a year earlier. Features fully 3D terrain, realistic projectile physics, and land + sea + air. Expect huge, epic battles to huge and epic music. Similar to the more modern Supreme Commander games, but a whole lot better. GOG
150px Twinsen's Odyssey (Also known as Little Big Adventure 2) Action Adventure 1997 Cute mix of Science fiction and fairytale. Play the role of Twinsen, young wizard that goes on a crazy quest that quickly becomes a really, really REALLY awesome adventure. The graphics are good, gameplay is smooth and the music is very cool. The weapons vary from a blowgun to a laser pistol and the story starts like "go buy medicine at the drugstore" and gets like "you are the chosen one who must save the world!" GOG
150px Baldur's Gate RPG 1998 Role playing game based on the D&D universe; great story and characters, you have control over a party up to six heroes, and well, it's one of the best RPGs of all time. GOG
150px Battlezone FPS/RTS 1998 The game has two campaigns, the American NSDF campaign (Stars and Stripes Missions) and the Russian CCA campaign (Red Brigade Missions). The game takes place in an alternate version of the 1960s in which the United States and the Soviet Union use alien technology to wage a secret war across the solar system, fighting for control of a rare resource known as "bio-metal".
150px Commandos Series Stealth/Real Time Tactics 1998(Behind Enemy Lines)
1999(Beyond The Call Of Duty)
2001 (Commandos 2: Men Of Courage)
2003(Commandos 3: Destination Berlin)
Commandos is a successful stealth-oriented real-time tactics game series, available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The game is set in the Second World War and follows the escapades of a fictional British Commandos section. It leans heavily (though not always accurately) on historical events during WWII to carry the plot. The series was developed by the Spanish company Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive.

Behind Enemy Lines and Beyond The Call Of Duty were known for it's challenging difficulty. However, Commandos 2 is considered the strongest of the trilogy; Excellent missions and maps, varying from Burma and the Pacific to German cruisers on the North Pole, but easier than the previous games. Commandos 3 focused more on action than Commandos 2 and is considered harder, but inferior due to the lack of game length. Strike Force is a generic FPS spin-off that was received poorly, but has some unique elements that make it better. Made by a Spanish team so double awesomeness.

Steam

GOG

150px Fallout 2 RPG 1998 Developed by Black Isle Studios and released by Interplay in 1998. Both this and the original Fallout are isometric RPGs with tons of choices regarding character development and general gameplay. Like its predecessor, it features turn-based combat, but it's bigger and has a lot more content. GOG
150px FreeSpace – The Great War Combat/Sim 1998 The story places the player in the role of a human pilot in the Galactic Terran Alliance, as it engages in war with the alien Parliamentary Vasudan Empire. This war is interrupted by the appearance of the enigmatic and militant Shivans, who begin slaughtering Terrans and Vasudans alike. Putting aside their differences, the Terrans and Vasudans form an alliance, and the player is assigned to missions to stop the Shivans' genocidal advance. The player pilots a starfighter, and alongside competent AI wingmen, completes these missions to determine the fate of two races. Important battles in the story feature capital ships, which dwarf the fighters piloted by the player, and explode spectacularly on destruction. GOG
150px Grim Fandango Adventure 1998 Set in a day of the dead themed afterlife, Grim Fandango involves a Film-Noir style plot revolving around a salesman and a conspiracy in the Department of Death, an organization that helps guide souls from death to their eternal rest. Well known for its excellent in story, art style, music, characters, and dialog, this 3D adventure game is considered one of the finest in the genre.
150px Half-Life FPS 1998 Excellent Sci-fi shooter that's aged decently. Interesting story and combat featuring a variety of military, scientific, and box opening weapons. Varied maps make for a must-play multiplayer experience. A metric fuckton of mods exist for this; be sure to get Blue Shift, Opposing Force, and Decay. Steam
150px Heart Of Darkness Platformer 1998 A brilliant platformer from the maker of Another World. You play as a boy who enters a land where darkness rules over all to save his captured dog, Whiskey. Even if it is a bit hard and sometimes unforgiving, it's a classic to have if you love late 90s platformers.
150px Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Run-and-Gun Platformer 1998 The sequel to the classic DOS game. One of the highlights of PC platforming. Still maintains an active community today thanks to its adrenaline-packed multiplayer and flexible level editor.
150px Jurassic Park: Trespasser FPS 1998 This game is one that everyone should play. It has been called the greatest game ever made by some, and its physics inspired the classic puzzles of Half Life 2, and Portal. Plus you get to kill Dinosaurs and who doesn't like to do that.In all seriousness, the game is quite the mixed bag. Regarded by some as "a dog of a game," by others as something of an unfinished masterwork. Originally an ambition first-person survival horror with a number of puzzle elements, a number of problems plagued the development of the game. The dinosaurs didn't think right. The arm behaved like delicious jelly. Retards from Universally continually stepped in to tell the devs what to do without any regard for technological limitations. The team, ever-vigilant, assured the press that everything was fine, and that the game's overlong development and rapidly-growing budget were but minor setbacks.Of course, they weren't. The game shipped as something of a half-beta mess. The press eviscerated it. The public avoided it like the plague.And yet, the game remains quite the cult favorite, with a large modding community and fanbase attempting to bring the game's original vision to light so that the devs might be honoured.Make of it what you will.
150px Mech Commander Gold RTT, RTS 1998 Can't say if the campaign was inspiring or not, but what beautiful luscious designs! If your mechs walk over trees, the trees tumble over. There are detailed tiny cities with cars that your mechs can wreak havoc upon. And the mulitplayer in this game was fantastic. In it's heyday, you could play on GameSpy or Microsoft's own online servers for control over each team's base. All this with non 3d-accelerated graphics that could run on your grandma's Pentium 133!

In Mech Commander, you assume the role of a strategian who guides his predeployed mechs to victory. Unlike RTSes like Starcraft and Age of Empires, you do not mine for any resources. If you lose a mech, you hope that its pilot has ejected safely. Hence why 'Real-time Tactics' is more accurate than calling it RTS. Some mechs are better at sensing enemies in undiscovered territory versus other mechs. Some mechs can carry more weapons. You've got scouting mechs that are weak but fast, like the raven. A more defensive mech that's slow but packs a punch would be something like the Masakari, the Awesome, or the Atlas. Then you've got the always versatile Mad Cats that are obligatory in every Battletech game. There is quite a lot of variety to the weapons too: short range, mid range, long range, cannons, missiles, lasers, and more. Some have ammo limits, others have cooldown times. Mechs equipped with jump jets can climb over terrain that other mechs could not, much like reapers can in Starcraft 2. It is a very painstakingly detailed game with much depth. And it sure is a captivating foray into the Battletech world. TL:DR -- watch the intro and be mesmerized. "Don't think mech warrior. Find out." Note: Mech Commander Gold was an expansion to Mech Commander which added more mechs and a few extra levels.

150px Myth II: Soulblighter RTS 1998 Like previous the installment, Myth II is a real-time tactics where players are given a pre-determined selection of units with their own strengths and weakness, without the option to recruit any further units later in battle, emphasizing the strategy aspect of the gameplay.
150px Sanitarium Point 'n' Click/Adventure 1998 A point and click adventure game about a man who wakes up in an asylum, and must figure out what around him is real, and what exists only in his mind. GOG
150px Shogo: Mobile Armor Division FPS 1998 An anime-styled game from Monolith's early days. Half the missions take place on foot; the other half have you stomping around cities in your mech. GOG
150px Starcraft RTS 1998 Well-balanced RTS with probably the most challenging online/competitive scene of any game ever. This game is the national sport of South Korea. Despite its reputation as a hardcore RTS, Starcraft is relatively accessible for newcomers to the genre, featuring a great campaign. Fun turret defense and other scenario maps popular online. The community is, of course, still massive and very active.
150px Thief: The Dark Project Stealth 1998 This is the game that made stealth games a viable genre. Play as cynical wisecracker Garrett as he goes around stealing shit from rich assholes and getting involved in big conspiracies. Great stealth mechanics. GOG
150px Tribes FPS 1998 A overall great FPS featuring jetpacks and massive maps. Pretty much every weapon requires that you predict your enemy's movement in one way or another, and this combines with an ability to build up crazy speed, by skiing down hills and jetting to the next one, to make a plump and very rewarding learning curve. It's also (now) free. Go download it.
150px Unreal FPS 1998 A prison starship crash-lands on an unknown planet, and the sole survivor finds himself in the middle of the conflict between two alien races, one of brutal slavers and the other its rebelling subjects. Unreal looked stunning at the time, easily surpassing brown-tinted rival Quake II, and it still holds amazingly well. Its open levels truly give a sense of grandeur and alienation, unlike the typical cramped corridors of most older FPS titles (and many recent ones too). The tracker-based music is also renowned for its high quality.

Be sure to get the free community patch featuring improved renderer and compatibility.

Steam

GOG

150px Warhammer: Dark Omen RTS 1998 There's an eclipse that has awakened some bad motherfuckin' undead all over the warhammer fantasy universe. You're a mercenary out after some cash so you lead your army throughout the country chopping up the undead, goblins and bandits on your way to unravel the mystery for the emperor. The gameplay is similar to the Total War series but there is more focus on smaller amounts of units with special abilities. Be wary, though, this game is merciless, extremely fun, and hard. If you're a strategy enthusiast, then play this.
150px Counter-Strike FPS 1999 (Mod)
2000 (Retail)
2004 (Source engine version)
Competitive multiplayer FPS with huge numbers of players, servers and mods of all kinds. May cause rage due to most of the servers being configured incorrectly while running a terrible game. Not quite as fun or lulzy, since the AWP was nerfed. Two remakes/modernizations, Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, have been released - but the original is still considered one of the best and remains very popular. Steam
150px Dungeon Keeper 2 RTS 1999 Another old RTS, this one with a focus on playing evil. Has a wicked sense of humour, like torturing masochist girls to increase their happiness level. Recommended for lan play as it's still fun, but not a lot of people play it anymore.Warning: Won't work on Windows 7Run in Windows 2000 compatibility mode, disable hardware acceleration. GOG (WARNING: It's there, but a lot of problems from modern systems aren't fixed)
150px Freespace 2 Action/Sim 1999 Excellent 3d space shooter boasting epic battles with enormous capital ships, a decent plot and great dogfighting gamelay.Quite possibly at the top of its genre. Also note that you can download a port of the first game's campaign, thus playing it on the fuckwin newer engine. GOG
150px Heavy Gear 2 Sim/Combat 1999 Set in a alternative world where two opposing factions fight for control using mechs, they now have to unite to fight a common enemy (eh). Awesome customization, good quantity of mechs and weapons for you to use, and pretty fun side missions. Mandatory for any /m/an.Nearly impossible to run on anything this side of the year 2000. Like, seriously.
File:Homeworld.jpg Homeworld RTS 1999 Probably the first strategy game of its kind. Homeworld places you in control of a space armada in three-dimensional space, which makes for more strategic opportunities (like attacking your enemy's Mothership from two separate points on the z-axis). Gather resources from nearby asteroids, dust clouds, and nebulae, develop awesome technologies ranging from fast-tracking turrets to gravity well generators, and build space craft ranging from the fast but weak Scout, to the lumbering Heavy Cruiser. The game's single-player campaign places you in the control of a race of Exiles from the desert world of Kharak as they journey through the galaxy to find their once and future Homeworld, Hiigara, and reveal the past they have long forgotten.
150px King of Dragon Pass Strategy 1999 You've got the responsibility of your own village in Dragon Pass and your goal is to become the king of it. To your disposal you have a council that give you advice and a large quantity of options of how to control your village. It's all done using a text-based interface. Every time time passes it will occur an event which you will have to deal with. This can go from dealing with a duel-dispute to having your male villagers being kidnapped by females, then them being released after being raped, then the females coming back with the children. GOG
150px Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor RPG 1999 First person RPG, party based. The mechanics are a bit outdated and teh graphcis are really ugly, but if you're a fan of the genre it offers a huge world to explore and gigantic dungeons filled with all kind of beasts. GOG
150px Omikron Adventure 1999 Go around a futuristic city possessing people. Features David Bowie (and his wife). GOG
150px Outcast Action/Adventure 1999 In 2007 the U.S. government successfully sends a probe to an alien world in a parallel universe. The probe starts transmitting video images of the world back to Earth. Then, just minutes into the mission, an alien life form discovers the probe and damages it, causing an unforeseen backlash of energy to create a black hole threatening Earth. Cutter Slade, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, is given the job of escorting three scientists (William Kauffmann, Anthony Xue and Marion Wolfe) on a mission to this alien world to recover the probe and close the black hole.Awesome voxel engine, awesome soundtrack by Lennie Moore and The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, pretty solid plot with a twist, large and beautiful world of Adelpha to explore, lots of quests.The latest unofficial patch fixes the Twon-ha riding and mud-slowdown bugs (works on both CD and DVD versions). You can find all you need at OpenOutcast and Planet-Adelpha.net. There's also a community patch that lets you play the game at resolutions up to 1280 by 1024 pixels, including regular HD, and claims to fix a few bugs. Grab it here (working download link on page 15). GOG
150px Pharaoh City building 1999 Ancient egyptian city building game. You lead a family to build cities all over ancient Egypt. Involves the usual quarry of providing services and goods to people of varying wealth along with some wild animals. Also includes custom missions with the expansion containing a mission editor. Fairly historically accurate. GOG
150px Planescape Torment RPG 1999 This is a very dark, story driven game. D&D rules are present, with a world where good verse evil is replaced with Law verse Chaos. (See Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn and Icewind Dale) The writing in this game is absolute gold. GOG
150px RollerCoaster Tycoon Sim 1999 You own a crappy theme park, it's up to you to add new attractions and build awesome roller coasters, while (usually) managing money, to make the park better. While a sandbox would've been nice, there are a lot of scenarios to triumph over, so this one will last a long time. (Pick the Scenario "Arid Heights" for a money free, pretty much sandbox mode.)RCT2 has more ride options and custom scenarios. However the default scenarios suck ass. All the RCT1 scenarios for RCT2 are here: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=LPEQFPA1 GOG
150px Shadowman Platformer, Action-adventure 1999 Game based on an obscure comic book series of the same name. Think of it as a darker, scarier and gorier version of Mario 64 where you get to kill Jack the Ripper. Supports gamepads and works on XP/Vista and Win 7. The only modding you can do with this game is changing the texture, music and SFX files. Also available on PS1, N64 and Dreamcast. This and the DC version are the best, N64 is passable providing you have the expansion pak, PS1 version is slow and ugly and should be avoided. Has a sequel on PS2, but it's crap.
150px Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri TBS 1999 Same folks who made the Civ. games. essentially Civ 2 in space, with a nice little story to it for the hardcore fans. A single player campaign follows the initial colonization up to different endings depending on what victory you go for. Play as one of a variety of factions (12 humans and 2 aliens, with 5 humans and the aliens coming in the expansion). You will be playing the game for quite some time depending on map size since it has a very expansive tech tree.

Hell, you could probably make the tech tree into a good Asimov novel. Read through the descriptions and watch the animations--it'll change your perspective on reality.

GOG
150px Silver Action/RPG 1999 There's a bad guy called Silver who's kidnapped your wife right in front of you, and it's your job to get her back, and what better way than to kill every bad guy in sight using swords and magic? This isn't your average Action RPG. The controls based on mouse movements and button combinations makes it just that much better. As you can tell it isn't the story that is the drawing-point but rather the lovely characters, Fat Bob, and the enjoyable gameplay. GOG
150px System Shock 2 FPS/RPG 1999 Survival Horror FPS-RPG Hybrid. Considered very scary and atmospheric. The game allows you to customize your character's stats and skills in various ways, allowing different game styles. For example playing the game like a "normal" fps without focusing on firearm-skills won't get you far, and you will most likely miss some areas/features accesable only to those with technical skills.  Those who find this too hard/scary/dated should look to Bioshock. If you're a fan of Deus Ex, and scary shit, you may love this game.

Notice that some people have experienced problems getting the game run right on modern platforms, but these can be fixed with various methods and fan-made patches, like this one.

GOG
File:Typingofthedead.png The Typing of the Dead Typing 1999 Actually, screw guns and shotguns. The keyboard is your gun and letters are your bullets. Yes, you heard me. Words come up in front of the zombies and you have to type them out with your keyboard in order to kill enemies. The Chariot fight is somehow even more intense now that you're paying attention to a story about bedwetting.
150px The Wheel of Time Action, RPG, Strategy 1999 Finally (for the time) a good action with RPG elements, and most importantly a really good story from the fantasy universe of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time book series; the game was made with the Unreal engine so expect a lot of good effect and atmospheric graphic even now.
150px Turok 2: Seeds of Evil FPS 1999 (PC) In Turok 2 the player is armed with different types of weapons in order to kill enemies. New to the game are mission objectives to perform, such as destroying ammunition dumps or activating beacons. These objectives have to be completed in order to finish the level. After doing so, the player must protect an Energy Totem from enemy onslaught, and then can proceed to the next level. Holy shit.
150px Unreal Tournament FPS 1999 On par with Quake 3 as one of the greatest online shooters ever to be created. Helped define the arena shooter genre to the masses with a large variety of weapons, imaginative maps that reached beyond Quake's cybergoth aesthetic. Also, lens flare errywhere. Despite its age, it still has an active online community, and a fuckton of maps and mods made by people over the years. There also may or may not be a /v/ server running at the time of writing this. Certainly overshadowed by its sequel, UT2004, but definitely something you need to play at least once. Modern Warfare and Halo kiddies, beware. Steam

GOG

150px Worms Armageddon Combat/TBS 1999 You play as a team of worms with lots of guns, grappling hooks, etc., taking turns to blow the hell out of the enemy team of worms, similarly armed. Lots of fun, especially with someone else to play with.Online community plays a wealth of creative and fun gametypes.
150px Age of Empires II: The Conquerors RTS 2000 The sequel takes you through the next 500 (actually, 1000 - from the fall of Rome, which was the 5th century CE, to about the fall of Constantinople, or 1453 CE) years or so, from the decline of the Roman civilization to the invention of guns. AOE III takes over from here, but it just doesn't have the charm of the first two. More detail, more customization, pretty much awesome all around, as long as you're into the RTS genre. Getting this with the expansion is recommended. Note: If you want play to play it online nowadays either play over Hamachi with some Bros or use Gameranger.
150px American McGee's Alice Action 2000 Remember Alice in Wonderland? Well, take that, and run it through the mind of psychotic killer on a bad acid trip while high on steroids, and you've got American McGee's "Alice".Lots of dark, weird, twisted imagery and gameplay, with surprisingly enjoyable twists on all your favourite characters from the classic story.

Mention should also be given to its great soundtrack,the music of which was written and performed by Chris Vrenna (of Nine Inch Nails) and Marilyn Manson was originally involved scoring the music for the game. All this contributes to creating a hauntingly brilliant tone for the game.

Recently, some badass artist called OmriKoresh remade many of the textures in the game, added a level selector and replaced the old artwork with gorgeous HD art with a mod, which brings the game's visuals closer to those seem in Madness Returns. Check it out. Now download it and go give that person some props.

150px Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn RPG 2000 You control a party of 6 characters, each with their own extensive personalities. If you carry both Good and Evil NPCs in the same group, or if you heckle them, they will often leave or try to kill you/each other. High charisma generally avoids more extreme reactions, however.

D&D rules are in effect, giving you the option to choose from almost any fantasy class or multi-class. A pause feature allows for perfect management of the 6 (or fewer) characters in your control. There are well over 100 different spells and 20 levels in the original, and more in the expansion.

GOG
150px Command & Conquer series RTS 1995 (Command & Conquer)
1996 (C&C: Red Alert)
1999 (C&C: Tiberian Sun)
2000 (C&C: Red Alert 2)
Classic series of RTS games developed by Westwood Studios with a kickass soundtrack. Construct your base, harvest Tiberium/ore, build a division of Mammoth Tanks and crush the enemy base - infantry, defenses, nuclear weapons, and orbital Ion Cannon strikes optional. The original series involves a conflict betwene the UN-formed Global Defense Initiative and the terrorist cult the Brotherhood of Nod, while the Red Alert series follows an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union (repeatedly) invades the West.

Several expansions are available: The Covert Operations for the original Command & Conquer, Counterstrike and Aftermath for C&C: Red Alert, Firestorm for C&C: Tiberian Sun, and Yuri's Revenge for C&C: Red Alert 2. There is also a spin-off FPS, C&C: Renegade (2002), which incorporates some RTS-like features and which still has a small but undying multiplayer community. A compilation called C&C: The First Decade is available, and includes all of these titles and expansions, patched and with compatibility issues resolved.

After the release of C&C: Renegade, several titles were developed and published by Electronic Arts under the Command & Conquer brand, but these are generally held to be of much poorer quality than the original games developed by Westwood. These titles are C&C: Generals, C&C 3: Tiberium Wars, C&C: Red Alert 3, and C&C 4: Tiberian Twilight. They're almost never recommended on /v/.

Amazon
150px Deus Ex FPS/RPG 2000 FPS/RPG with a brilliant story based on various conspiracy theories, level design that favors multiple routes/character types/strategies, ranging from pacifism (sort of) through stealth to blowing everything up. Great by itself but mods are available to make it even better. Won lots of awards because it's awesome. Seriously, if you haven't beat this game then FUCKING REINSTALL. Steam

GOG

150px Diablo 2 RPG 2000 Sort of like a roguelike with a very easy to use interface, Diablo and Diablo 2 are rpg dungeon crawlers that use random generation of maps and items to provide a lot of variety to players.

Specially Fun playing with friends. And if you've worn yourself out on vanilla Diablo, there are some very professionally done mods out there, like [Eastern Sun.

Blizzard Store
150px Escape from Monkey Island Adventure 2000 The continuation of the Monkey Island series. The graphics look real shitty and the Monkey Kombat is a real shit storm as well, but if you can get past that it is a really good Monkey Island game like any other. Not the best of the series, but humorous and adventurous as it's brethren.
150px Giants: Citizen Kabuto Action 2000 3rd-person shooter vidya game with real-time strategy elements.Good blend of the genres, lots of humour one damn fine game! GOG
File:Ground Control.jpg Ground Control RTS 2000 RTS based only in combat and tactics, forget about building a base and gathering resources, the only thing that counts here is your ability to command your units. Now free to download. Fileplanet
File:Homeworldc.png Homeworld: Catacylsm RTS 2000 Not sure why this game isn't here yet, because it is awesome. Despite not being made by Relic I do think it's one of the stronger entries in the series. You play a mining sect of the heroes from the first game who encounter a malevolent space virus that can infect both organisms and machinery! Uh oh, spaghettios! Familiar to the first with lots of new ships and upgrades not found in either part 1 or 2. Stuff like multibeam frigates, hive frigates, siege cannons, shields (actual FUCKING shields) and infected cruise missiles will make you jizz rainbows. None of this stuff makes it into part 2 for some stupid reason.
150px Icewind Dale RPG 2000 (See Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn and PlaneScape: Torment) You have the ability to custom create your entire party. While this makes for a fun combat group, it takes away the unique character personalities that are present in other Black Isle games.

The Icewind Dale series are purely combat oriented, forget about a memorable story or great dialogs, what counts here is to clean the dungeons of hundreds of beasts.

GOG
150px Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business TBS/RPG 2000 A turn-based, squad-level strategy game with a roleplaying aspect, excellent mechanics, and good storyline. High initial learning curve, but very solid gameplay once you're familiar with it. Its prequel, Jagged Alliance 2 has also an active community and a very popular unofficial Jagged Alliance 2 v1.13 patch, which refurbishes the game with a fuckton of weapons and improvements. Great for satiating your inner /k/. It's the best in this genre. A unique jewel. GOG
150px MDK2 Action/Adventure 2000 Fun 3rd Person Shooter with huge environments and 3 different player characters. Humour and satire all throughout. Fans of Earthworm Jim may appreciate this. GOG
150px Master of Olympus: Zeus Sim 2000 (Original)
2001 (Poseidon)
Sierra goodness. Build a city in ancient Greece, protect the inhabitants from diseases, enemy armies and obtain the favour of the gods. Call in heroes to kill mythical creatures that estabilished on your land, and stuff like that. Expansion adds a couple of tweaks.


150px Messiah Action, Adventure, TPS 2000 Messiah and Sacrifice, the last good games released by Dave Perry and his Shiny Ent. This game emanates some pretty weird vibrations. You play as a little cherub sent by God to clean up the corruption and sin on Earth. You are absolutely harmless and cannot harm a fly. You can easily be killed. Even flying is a bit of a problem, your tiny weak wings can't hold you for a long periods of time. Everything changes when you find a stronger and more dangerous body to possess. And you can invade and control the body of almost every NPC in the game. And that's where the fun part begins.Grimdark cyberpunk future setting, OST by Jesper Kyd and Fear Factory, fun puzzles and the Satan himself as the final boss of course. GOG
File:No One Lives Forever.jpg No One Lives Forever FPS/Stealth 2000 60s Superspy themed FPS. Play as a Cate Archer, a petty thief turned secret agent, and fight an evil organization attempting to take over the world. Game is known for its humor, very wide array of gadgets, and setting.
150px Nox Action RPG 2000 Very good Diablo clone, character class making a large difference to the game experience. Multiplayer is spiced up with customisable magic traps and co-op scenario levels. Quirky art and story that will stick with you.

Also, you have 360 degrees of movement (instead of 8 directions like Diablo), ability to jump, and a field of vision effect that is better than Diablo as well. Includes a cool soccer multiplayer mode, a drag and drop hot-key system that makes multiplayer quick and furious, and a nifty quest expansion that is free but you have to download seperately. Official servers are dead, so you'll have to lan or go to one of several online communities.

GOG
File:Sacrifice.jpg Sacrifice RTS/Action 2000 Sacrifice provides a truly fresh approach in the 3-D RTS genre, allowing players to act as both commander and combatant over huge, real-time, generated landscapes in single or multiplayer modes. Wizards will not be disappointed as Sacrifice serves up over 50 spells and creatures.

Multiplayer can be played via LAN, TCP/IP, or private server. There is a manual patch (includes all fixes in Patch 3) which fixes the lobby bug and is required to play on the private multiplayer server. http://sacrifice.kicks-ass.net/

GOG
150px Sims, The (series) Sim 2000 (Original)
2000-2003 (All seven expansions)
Holocaust: The Game. If you have ovaries, you will love this game.
150px The Longest Journey Adventure 2000 What Funcom was known for BEFORE the atrocity that was Age of Conan. The sequel, called Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, is tarnished by subpar combat mechanics, but both have incredibly amazing stories with snappy, and often hilarious, dialogue to boot(Mostly in the first game).

To argue that these games are as tragic as Mother 3 and MGS3 would not be unreasonable.

GOG
150px Thief 2: The Metal Age Stealth 2000 Garrett continues his work through the city, trying to earn enough money to finally retire. Unfortunately for him, he keeps getting involved against his will in larger-than-life plots involving the corrupt police, crazy religious zealots and hippies. Graphics-wise, it's only marginally better than Thief 1 and the rest is almost the same. Where this game shines is in its level design: all the levels are very well designed, some of them are HUGE. All of them offer interesting challenges. It's arguably the best stealth game ever. GOG
150px Aliens Vs Predator 2 FPS 2001 Play as Aliens, Predators or Marines, each with very different abilities and tactics.The campaign is very atmospheric, especially the Marine campaign which does a very good job of bringing the feeling from the movies.

The radar's filled with white dots closing in, you just have your flashlight spinning in circles hoping to see them before they jump you. They're right on top of you according to the radar. Silence. Then hell breaks loose. The first avp (gold edition) is nice too.

150px Anachronox RPG 2001 A game with JRPG elements, but without all the teenagers, campy androgynous villains or ridiculous hairstyles. You play as Silvester 'Sly Boots' Bucelli, a failed private detective, who in his desperation to find work (and thus repay his debt to the local mobsters) falls upon an evil plot, etc. Anti-hero protagonist is a breath of fresh air in this genre, as is the originality of the other characters in the entourage (joining the party you have a miniaturized planet and an aging Mexican wrestler, to name a couple). If you like sci-fi, sci-fi-humor and RPG games, you'll probably like this one.

Note: Make sure you patch it if you get it, as the unpatched version is buggy as hell.

GOG
150px Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura RPG 2001 Steampunk RPG set in a world where magic and technology exist in constant conflict.With no set classes, you're free to set up any character you want, from gun-slinging thief to magic-powered diplomat.

Tons of shit to do and you can approach pretty much every single situation from different directions, with genuinely different gameplay depending on what you do. Combat system's quite broken (and quite easy to exploit); if you put it into realtime, it's far more tolerable. You're not playing this game for the fightan anyway. There are already Unofficial Patches fixing some of the glitches and bugs but the gameplay is still about 80% playable with some of the broken things rarely noticed.

GOG
150px Black & White RTS 2001 Play as God as you bring your chosen people through several different worlds. Use miracles and raise your giant pet. Recommended for those who don't mind elements which seem to have been crafted for a kids' game.
150px Clive Barker's Undying FPS 2001 Horror FPS about some Irish paranormal investigator investigating occult happenings at an estate of a friend. Features lots of Lovecraftian horror and other typical occult supernatural things. You can use guns and magic.
150px Empire Earth RTS 2001 Great RTS which lets players advance through history from the Prehistoric Age to the Nano Age. Neat campaigns, with three based on historical events and one very good future sci-fi campaign. There is still a small active multiplayer community. Nice soundtrack. The Art of Conquest expansion pack adds new civilizations, units, campaigns, and an extra Age past the Nano Age. On par with Rise of Nations. GOG
150px Gothic RPG 2001 War has decimated the land, Orc Hordes are invading human territory and the king of the land needs a lot of ore to forge enough weapons for his army to stand against this threat. Prisoners from all over the empire are imprisoned in a large magical sphere where they have to work in the mines for the king. You are thrown into the sphere to give a letter to the high mages, this letter may be the turning point on the war against the Orcs. GOG
150px Hostile Waters Strategy 2001 Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising is a hybrid vehicle and strategy game released on the PC in 2001 by the British company Rage Games Limited. It was inspired by an earlier game known as Carrier Command (Realtime Games, 1988). GOG
150px Max Payne TPS 2001 This Noir-styled shooter was the inventor of bullet-time. Tense story, cool action scenes. Graphics a little dated but surprisingly still manage to convey atmosphere, even alongside newer games.
150px Serious Sam: The First Encounter FPS 2001 Action packed FPS probably intended to be played at LAN parties more than anything. Huge numbers of enemies requiring all the basic FPS tactics and weapons to dispatch. A must have for LANs, or a quick blast with an online friend. Also available as Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter. Same game, but with updated graphics and up to 16-player online co-op mode. GOG
150px Severance: Blade of Darkness Hack 'n Slash/Adventure 2001 One of the greatest slashers ever created. Large levels with simple puzzles, tons of weapons and armor, lots of combos and special moves. Four characters: a barbarian, a knight, a dwarf and an Amazon; absolutely different styles of combat for each of them and a different starting level. No weapon restrictions. A barbarian can use an Amazon weapons although much less effectively and the other way around. Fountains of blood and dismemberment. How about chopping off that goblin's arm and then...Yes, you can use his own severed limb to beat the shit out of him.
150px Startopia Sim 2001 Business sim set on a space station. Humour is reminiscent of Douglas Adams' work, and for once it actually makes you laugh instead of cringe. Build robots, look after aliens, farm stuff on the biodeck, manufacture stuff, trade goods, build hotels, factories, sick bays, prisons etc etc... Decent, fun space sim. GOG
150px Stronghold RTS 2001 Half Castle contrstruction and half traditional RTS. Players must manage a complex castle system including food and weapons production while building huge siege defences. GOG
150px Survival: The Ultimate Challenge RTS 2001 FIX THIS DESCRIPTION. I googled it because this was blank. It seems this is basically an RTS/RPG where you are stranded on an island and must level up and build shit like signal fires to eventually be rescued. Not sure if it has any sort of plot.
150px The Mystery of the Druids Adventure 2001 The cover art is arguably the best there is, but info for the game is limited, because no one has ever played it.... And lived. (See: Daikatana)

Attempt to uncover the killer(s) involved in a strange string of homicides. There's something about druids sacrificing people and cursing babies in England. Point and click detective-style adventure game.

150px Zoo Tycoon Tycoon 2001 You've got your own zoo, and you want to make as much money as possible. Simple, right? Guaranteed fun with Marine Mania and Dinosaur Digs expansion packs, as you can have orca shows and a FUCKING T-REX in your zoo while watching how some kid can't find a trash can.
150px Age of Mythology RTS 2002 Step back from Empires II and embrace the mythic age. You command one of three classical civilizations ― Norse, Egyptian, and Greek ― and from each choose various patron gods as you advance ages to give you new units or bonuses depending on the dominion of the god. Arguably one of the best RTS games out there.You also might want to try out the Titans Expansion, which adds a new civilization: the mythical Atlanteans.
150px Arx Fatalis RPG 2002 Arx Fatalis is set on a world whose sun has failed, forcing the above-ground creatures to take refuge in subterranean caverns.The action in Arx takes place in one of these large caves, where individuals from such races as trolls, goblins, Dwarves, Humans &c. have made their homes on various levels of the cave.Has a ton of possible player builds and in-depth crafting/cooking/magic/&c. Drawing runes for spells is pretty awesome.

Since the source code was released, a fanmade open source port of the game has been made. Arx Libertatis updates and improves Arx Fatalis by supporting modern systems, porting the game to new systems as well as eliminating bugs and limitations. Future plans are to improve and modernize the engine as well as enable customizations and mods by the community.[http://arx-libertatis.org/ Changelog: http://wiki.arx-libertatis.org/Changelog]

SteamGOG
150px Battlefield 1942 FPS 2002 Team-based FPS with a WW2 theme and the possibility of games with 64 humans or bots at the same time. Very fun, and was a starting point for DICE and the Battlefield series.
150px Beyond Good and Evil RStealth/Action 2002 From the creators of Rayman; you play as an independent journalist trying to uncover a conspiracy. Very fun and solid storyline, but pretty short. While compared to other Ubisoft releases, the port may be of higher quality, there are still a number of bugs to beware, along with some rather persistent letterboxing. An HD version of this game has also been released for PSN and Xbox Live. SteamGOG
150px Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind RPG 2002 A sprawling RPG featuring a surreal and imaginative setting. This is open world gameplay at its best. Despite the gameworld's huge size, it is painstakingly detailed. The game allows for many different playstyles. Be warned however, that the combat is rather clunky and dicebased. Regardless, if you let it, Morrowind will immerse you like no other game out there. This game also has a very devoted modding community. Be sure to check out Planet Elder Scrolls for mods that strike your interest. A vanilla playthrough is recommended for new players. Steam
150px Escape Velocity Nova Combat/Sim 2002 Third in the Escape Velocity series and first to be released for Windows, EV Nova is a Space Trading and Combat game with addictive mechanics, tons of ships and upgrades, and a huge galaxy to explore, trade with, or conquer. The game features six different major storylines and several sub-stories, several factions and quite a lot of fun. Plug-in support also allows you to play the first two games in the series - Escape Velocity and Escape Velocity Override - using the engine. Ambrosia SW
150px Gothic 2 RPG 2002 Rock-solid RPG. After the first game, you awaken in the tower of an old friend of yours as you discover that the cave in which you fought the final boss of the first game collapsed killing you. You awaken without powers, and now you must reobtain them while a new evil rises... et cetera. Be sure to get the expansion Night of the Raven, it rebalances the whole game and adds lotsanew stuff. GOG
150px Heroes of Might and Magic 1-6 TBS 1 (1995)
2 (1996)
3 (1999)
4 (2002)
5  (2006)
6 (2011)
Great games where you control an army of creature in turn based combat again another team (AI or and other person), on a hexagonal battlefield (games are all in 2D goodness, up until 5).Each new title bringing something new to the table, 5 finally making the transition from 2D to 3D successfully. Heroes 3 has a gold edition with all the expansions and the original game all on one disk, as does 5, so it's recommended you grab these. Heroes 4 features a deep change in gameplay from the rest of the series, but it's advised you get it just because of the incredible soundtrack that trumps the other Heroes games. GOG (1-4)/5

Steam (5)/Steam (6)

150px Mafia TPS 2002 GTA-like game that takes place in the USA in the 30s and tells the story of a beginner in the world of crime and his carrer in the ranks of the Mafia.

The gameplay is buggy as hell, but it's very fun. At first it may seem like a mediocre GTA clone, but the story is fucking awesome, about friendship and betrayal. There are very big chances that you will CRY MANLY TEARS at the ending, like I did

150px Medal of Honor Allied Assault FPS 2002 You should blame this game for WWII SHOOTAN-theme invasion. Like Call of Duty 4, it was an FPS trend-setter: from time to time you are followed by a group of allies who do nothing but die pointlessly, you fire from an MG42 while defending some house, and so on. It was created with Steven Spielberg, so plenty of action and top-notch voice acting, even by tomorrow's standards. The campaign features many iconic battlefields from WWII (Omaha Beach, herp derp) and a few stealthy missions. The soundtrack accompanying the Nazi-killing goodness was recorded by the Seattle Symphony and it's gorgeous. The Spearhead expansion pack is pretty decent, but Breakthrough is mediocre. Part of the team who developed this game later worked on Call of Duty. GOG
File:NoOneLivesForever2.jpg No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way. FPS/Stealth 2002 Everything great about the original is back. NOLF 2 delivers everything a sequel ought to; new weapons, more expansive levels, and even quirkier characters than before. The missions are a lot less linear, and the skill point system offers incentive to gather intel and complete the optional quests.
150px Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast Action, Adventure, FPS 2002 One of the first SW games with comprehensive lightsaber combat, as well as plenty of fun force powers to play with. Fairly typical SW story, but it's entertaining enough to get you through. Has great multiplayer.
150px The House of the Dead 3 On-rails Shooter 2002 Screw the guns, now you've got shotguns. Set years after the first & second game and a zombie apocalypse, Agent G and Lisa Rogan (The daughter of the character from the first game) go and look for Rogan, who has recently dissapeared. Hilarious cutscenes and laughable bad voice acting, especially the ones when Dr. Curien talks to his son. Many, many zombies, nice levels.
File:Uplink.jpg Uplink Strategy/Sim 2002 Hack computers. Don't get caught. Decent story, full of intrigue. Bring down corporations and destory people's lives for money to upgrade your computer while searching for a mysterious virus. Don't let the appearance fool you, the later missions are hard and intense, and the game has quite a few secrets. GOG
150px Warcraft 3 RTS 2002 (Reign of Chaos)
2003 (The Frozen Throne)
If you like RTS, you should fall in love with this game. Play as four different races (Humans, Orcs, Undead and Night Elves) and attempt to destroy each other in gameplay similar to Starcraft. Apart from the Human one, it has a fuckwin campaign. And the expansion makes the game even better, balancing it and adding four other campaigns. Unfortunately, has some of the most bored/boring voice actors of any game ever. Win online, fun custom games with user made maps. Every custom game is now DotA. (Don't know what DotA is? Look up Heroes of Newerth or League of Legends and other similar games. DotA is the grand daddy of them all.). There are plenty of well made and fun custom games around other than DotA. Look'em up
150px Alien Shooter Arcade shooter 2003 Do you enjoy Shadowground? Do you enjoy killing aliens?Do you enjoy killing aliens in masses?Well, then this is the right game for you. All you have to do is to grab a gun and shoot the crap out of the countless shitheads! Tons of fun! Recommended for people who plan to become mass murderers.The game is being updated onto the AS-2 engine under the title "Alien Shooter: Revisited". Steam

GOG

Armed and Dangerous Run'n'Gun, TPS 2003 An entertaining third person shooter with lots of humor from a time when LucasArts was known for more than Star Wars. Steam
150px Battle Engine Aquila FPS/Flight 2003 Walker mode, kill stuff while on land. Jet mode, kill stuff while in the air.Watch your shields, attack factories and blow shit up on an epic scale as a one man army, fightin' the bad guys and participating in dynamic battles. If you like FPS games, and you like freedom of movement in all three dimensions,you will drool like a senior over this mean motherfucker.
File:Bloodrayne small.jpg BloodRayne Action 2003 Play as an unrealistically huge-breasted female half-human half-vampire chick, who somehow got lost in the plot of every Wolfenstein game. Tits, insane levels of gibbing and some cool gameplay ideas make up for rather unimaginative level design, muddy graphics and occasionally frustrating and unclear semi-puzzle elements. The basis for another horrible Uwe Boll movie. Steam

GOG

150px Call of Duty FPS 2003 WWII game that started a rampage of sequels, now blown out of proportion. Innovative and interesting for its time, often disregarded, but still a whole heap of fun. The campaign features American paratrooper missions in 1944 France, clandestine British SAS missions, and glorious Soviet conscript/tanker missions during and following the 1942 Battle of Stalingrad. The United Offensive expansion pack is pretty good, adding a few new weapons as well as another set of American, British, and Soviet missions. Steam
150px Freelancer Sim 2003 Open-world fighter simulation. In space. Plenty of replay value and a relatively smart plot to go along with it. Several mods for it, as well as several excellent servers, some of which are hosted by /v/
150px Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Action 2003 Grand Theft Auto III introduced most fans to the series, but Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was what sealed the deal and became one of the best-selling games of all time. You play as Tommy Vercetti, a career criminal and opportunist involved in a drug deal gone wrong - and now you're pissed and want your money back. Set in 80's Miami, with all the awesome music and awful fashion it entails.
150px Hidden and Dangerous 2 Stealth/First(or third)-Person Tactical shooter 2003 Awesome game, I can't believe it's not on here already. You are basically some surly English commandos tasked with killing Nazis and blowing shit up. It's mostly a stealth game, but shooting everything that moves is also a viable strategy. The campaign is actually really long, and takes you from North Africa to the Czech Republic. Before each mission you choose your loadout, including tools (compass, wire cutter, aqualung), weapons (American, English, German, Russian are all here), and even your uniform. You also pick 4 commandos to make up your squad, who are good at some things but not others, though you'll probably find yourself using the same 4 guys over and over, unless someone gets killed (they die more or less permanently).

The multiplayer was really good back when I first got this, but I doubt many people still play. Had an expansion that I never could get my hands on it.

File:Homeworld 2.jpg Homeworld 2 RTS 2003 (See Homeworld.) Over a century ago, the Exiles returned to their Homeworld, Hiigara. Follow them once more in their quest to stop the savage and determined Vaygr from conquering the galaxy. Retaining the atmosphere of the first game, Homeworld 2 adds new gameplay elements, such as fighter and corvette squadrons, upgrades, and capital ship hardpoints, modules, and subsystems, adding more variety to gameplay(like disabling a Battlecruiser's engines, for instance). The game also has a good modding community.
150px Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis Tycoon/Sim 2003 The best Jurassic Park game out there. You're in control of John Hammond's organization and you have to build a theme park - with dinosaurs. Loads of attractions and tons of details which make up for an awesome and fun experience.

PROTIP: Always check the weather forecast. If there's a tornado coming the next month, activate emergency mode immediately and hope that the tourists run out fast enough. Yes, they're that slow and if a tornado catches them it'll wreck your entire economy.

Also on the PS2 and Xbox.

150px Knights Of The Old Republic RPG 2003 Based on the engine for Neverwinter Nights (and, conseqently, a modified version of D&D rules), this game is a Star Wars RPG. As with Neverwinter Nights, gamers who prefer action may find the dice-roll based battle system slow and boring, but despite that, it's a fine Star Wars experience with a compelling story. The debate about which is better rages on, but if you like RPGs, you owe it to yourself to play both this and the sequel. Steam
150px Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne Third Person Shooter 2003 Sequel to Max Payne. Has many changes, but still stays true to the original game in terms of gameplay, story, characters, and atmosphere. The big changes include more polished graphics, new actors for pretty much every character, and fixes to bullettime/bulletdodge mechanics. Takes place two years after Max Payne; you're in a hospital, and it seems that you did some bad shit in the recent past. You make an escape, and spend half of the game flashing back to what happened. Not going to spoil anything. The gameplay is the same, but improved. More balanced weapons, better bullettime. You still need to save the game constantly like your life depended on it. Steam
150px Nethack Roguelike 2003 A very popular roguelike, with good reason. Complexity. There are hundreds of coded interactions within this game, many of which are beneficial, many more so of which are deadly. (example: [1], because it makes this section very tl;dr) Dozens of monsters, items, and spells have different properties and can be combined for surprising results. Pick a class and deity, then prepare to dive into 50 or so levels in search of the Amulet of Yendor. Each step brings you closer to victory... or to perma-death. No save system, folks, except for reloading a game in progress. Official website
File:Neverwinter Nights.jpg Neverwinter Nights RPG 2003 Do you like third edition Dungeons and Dragons? Well, this game is basically that, but in computer form. Play as whoever you want, read nice big blocks of text, and enjoy slow, somewhat lengthy turn-based battles. Plenty of mods out there for those who want them and tons of persistent worlds (mini-MMORPGs, ranging from action PvP to deep DM-heavy roleplaying) still online. GOG
150px Postal 2 FPS 2003 Ever wanted to kill a blockish sprite of Gary Coleman? With a can of gasoline? Want to piss on him to put out the flames? Well, look no further than Postal 2!You can do all this and more in the wonderful city of Paradise, Where the character, Postal Dude, (lol creativity) spends the majority of his time murdering the shit out of various people in surprisingly limited ways, ("oh wow i set him on fire. oh wow i shot him in the face." x 1000000), and not much else. Despite all the murderin' you could do, it's possible to go through this game as a complete pacifist. Lots of low-brow humor and a contrived, XD-RANDUM story. About 10 NPC models, repeated over and over again to fill the map. Good for you Columbine types. Noteworthy for being sandboxy as fuck with tons of exploration and a good modding community; basically Deus Ex meets South Park and worth a look even if you don't think putting out fires by pissing all over everything is the best gameplay mechanic since mouselook (it is). This is also "that game where you can stick your gun up a cat's ass and use it as a silencer". Steam

GOG

150px Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Platformer 2003 The soulmate of ICO, from the minds behind Beyond Good and Evil and Jordan Mechner himself. You are some Persian Prince who travels with his father back to their homeland. But a treacherous Vizier convinces them to raid his lord, the Maharaja of India, instead. After party vanning them, they take many treachures, including a mysterious hourglass and a glowing dagger, to the King's old bro, the Sultan of Azad. The vizier persuades the Prince(yes, that's his name. Really creative,huh?) to open the hourglass with the dagger. Shit happens, and everyone except the Prince, the enslaved Maharaja's daugher Farah, and the evil Vizier turn into Zombies corrupted by the Sands of Time. Now the real fun begins: With the help of the snarky princess and her sexy bow you have to travel through the kingdom of Azad with your athletic skills, beat the crap out of the zombies and manipulate time to outsmart death. If you like time foolery and An Hero'ing, that's the right game for you. Beautifully made game which is a pearl under the many PC-Games, also for people who enjoy Oriental architecture, challenging puzzles and an awesome script ("Look, a crack!"). GOG

Steam

File:Simcity4.png SimCity 4 Sim 2003 Take control of a city as its Mayor, and try to expand whilst keeping the residents happy. The bigger your population, the bigger your dick becomes. However, unlike Simcity 2000, this game has an active modding community. Look for these: Simtropolis / Sim City Devotion / SimPeg Steam
150px Star Wars Jedi Knight 3: Jedi Academy Action, Adventure, FPS 2003 Sequel to Jedi Outcast. Non-linear choice of missions and improved saber combst from the previous games. Has a decent amount of customization. HUGE modding community over at Filefront. Kick-ass Multiplayer as well.
150px Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun Grand Strategy 2003 In this game you play as any country in between 1836-1920. Unlike other paradox games this one focuses MUCH more on building up your countries infrastructure rather than invading other countries, but of course as this takes place in the victorian era you colonise the shit out of africa, asia and other such places and perhaps eventually challenge the countries near you. WARNING this game will make even dwarf fortress players cringe with its awful interface and confusing game mechanics, it is very much recomemded that you read the VickyWiki.

also make sure to get the expansion Victoria:revolutions

150px Dawn of War RTS 2004 Polished Warhammer 40K-themed RTS with a bunch of expansions allowing players to play as any of the Warhammer races, except the Tyranids. Be wary, the sequel is completely different with no base building, don't buy it expecting more of the same. Play Dark Crusade and Soulstorm if you like playing the board game "Risk" a lot. Play Vanilla Dawn of War if you prefer actual story with character development. Winter Assault's story didn't develop much however, and it's a bit difficult to figure out the canonical victors of each expansion. Despite the fact that it lacks base building, Dawn of War 2 is fine too. Company Of Heroes is heavily based off this game. Steam
150px Evil Genius Sim 2004 Similar to Dungeon Keeper. Fun and quirky management game with a cartoonish style similar to Team Fortress 2. You must go about your plans for world domination while averting attention from the rest of the world. Carve a secret lair out of a mountain on a deserted island (giant skull shape and volcano not included). Notable for its humour and references to the spy drama genre, most specifically the James Bond movies. Steam

GOG

150px Far Cry FPS 2004 FPS set in a tropical island paradise. Good looking with a cliché story and interesting AI. Challenging with some interesting gameplay concepts: sneak past the guards, kill them and shoot your way through the rest of the now-alerted base, or find an armed vehicle elsewhere to massacre everything. Made in Germany; you know the Germans always make good stuff. Game gets a lot worse after you meet the overpowered mutant monkeys. Steam

GOG

150px Hitman 2: Silent Assassin Stealth/TPS 2002 For some reason, this game was overshadowed by its sequels but it really shouldn't. In terms of story, gameplay, soundtrack and atmosphere, Hitman 2 really beats the competition even to this day. The only annoying thing about this masterpiece are the japanese: YAME, YAME, YAME, YAME, YAME. Also on the PS2, but the PC version controls are so much better GOG
150px Hitman: Contracts Stealth/TPS 2004 Pretty much the same as above, but it's an older game. Probably the most grimdark Hitman released. Has some amazingly atmospheric levels and music.
150px Painkiller FPS 2004 Classic FPS set in fantastical supernatural occult settings varying from citadels and churches to graveyards to gigantic castles and beautiful palaces to dark caves, cold cities, and theatrical auditoriums. A HUGE variety of enemies from the typical occult skeletons to Lovecraftian monsters and a vast array of unique weapons to fight them. All you really need to know is that there's a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. GOG
File:Perimeter.jpg Perimeter RTS 2004 Perimeter's tagline, "Real Time Strategy Reborn", speaks volumes about this game's innovative gameplay. It features gameplay mechanics which had never before been implemented, unique unit and base building methods and a deep sci-fi plot [if you can follow it, which may at times be difficult]. Challenging until you have mastered the gameplay, full of replay value, and graphics which look shiny and cool despite its age. GOG
150px Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within Platformer 2004 The dark horse of the Sands of Time trilogy, this game returns to the Prince's story seven years after the first game, where he has taken a serious turn for the grim and dark. Not without reason, as he's being chased by a Final Destination-style creature hellbent on seeing him killed to eliminate the final error in the timeline caused by the events of Sands of Time. If you can get past the suddenly dark, gritty approach, complete with wailing electric guitars and blood imagery, as well as the weak script, the plot is decent and the combat has taken a considerable step up from Sands of Time, along with general gameplay improvements, though sadly the puzzles take quite a dive. It's still worth playing, if just to see whether you'll like it or not, but it's nowhere near as classic a game as Sands of Time. GOG
150px Rome: Total War RTS/TBS 2004 A great RTS/TBS where you take control of one of three Roman factions fighting over control of Rome and the surrounding nations. Campaign mode has a 4X-style strategic world map where you manage your nation, cities, army divisions, and economy, but the real fun is when you engage in combat. You switch to an zoomed-in tactical view of your troops and control them RTS-style.

Also has a thriving mod community. Get Europa Barbarorum and it's like playing a whole new game.

150px Sacred Hack'n'Slash RPG 2004 An alright H'n'S RPG with much content. Sacred features a big open world of Ancaria to explore, many interesting quests, 6 characters to choose from, dozens of items and a good sense of humor.

Has an expansion called "Sacred Underworld", which adds 2 more characters and a new story mode taking place in Underworld. I recommend picking Sacred Gold for both games, as well as many bugfixes. There is also a sequel called "Sacred 2: Fallen Angel" and Sacred 3 will be coming out in 2012. Also on Linux.

150px The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay FPS, Action, Stealth 2004 Perhaps the best movie-to-game ever created, because Vin Diesel likes video games, so he made his own studio and told them to make a video game based on his movies that didn't suck. Basically, you break a lot of fucking necks. Play this game and its sequel.
150px Thief 3: Deadly Shadows Stealth 2004 Not the best of the series, but its prequels are getting old. Smaller zones with loadings between them and intrusive body awareness makes it worse than the previous entries. Still a great Thief game and an excellent stealth title. Atmosphere is superb and will raise your standards regarding the immersion factor when you play other games.

That level in the abandoned sanitarium orphanage/hospital/insane ward or whatever will make you shit a brick house.

GOG
File:Unreal Tournament 2004.jpg Unreal Tournament 2004 FPS 2004 Fast-paced arena FPS, based heavily on acrobatics and aim, recommended for its complexity and variety. Gametypes range from vehicle-based Onslaught mode to football-like Bombing Run. Unreal Tournament 2004 is commended for consistent developer support, and a once-massive mapping/modding community that produces quality content to this day. The single-player is boring but the AI is rather intelligent in all maps, especially deathmatch. Don't worry about skipping over UT2003, because it includes every map, model, character, music, etc. from UT2003 and more. UT3 is also worth checking out, and also has an awesome community. GOG
150px Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines RPG 2004 RPG using the Source engine made by Troika, the Fallout developers, and utilizing White Wolf's World of Darkness setting. Gameplay structure similar to Deus Ex in that it rewards problem solving (stealth, combat, negotiation), rather than dungeon grinding. Good story, satirical humour throughout. Quite unique, and worth multiple playthroughs.  Bugs up the ass though. Play as a Malkavian your second time through if you want to go batshit insane on everyone and have an exclusive dialogue with a stop sign.

Don't forget to grab the [www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/files/patches/ latest unofficial patch]

150px Advent Rising TPS 2005 Mass Effect before Mass Effect, minus all but a few superficial RPG elements. If you can get past the lack of polish, some bugs, unforgivably pretentious writing and the poor first half of the game, you can find a solid TPS (Translation: If you can get used to playing shitty games, you won't mind playing shitty games.) with very good balance and differentiation in the variety of "powers" you accumulate [telekinesis never gets old]. From the makers of Shadow Complex. PC version recommended over XBOX version. And please ignore the plot and writing - they took a screenplay excreted by Orson Scott Card and tried to run with it, but whoever was in charge of that buggered it up pretty badly. Steam

GOG

150px Battlefield 2 FPS 2005 Class-based FPS featuring 64+ players per server vying for control of capture points in deserts, jungles and industrial areas around the world, as part of a fictional global conflict set in the near future. Warring factions are the USMC (United States), PLA (China), EU (European Union), and MEC (Middle Eastern Coalition), though each map features only two of these factions pitted against each other. Each faction possesses different weapons and vehicles, restricting the player from having a universal favorite - unless he unlocks one, using the games rank system, which doles out rewards based on universal player points, gained by kills, point captures, and rounds won. This title brings some fun new options to the Battlefield series, such as the UAV, which spots enemies on the player's map. BF2 also improves upon the use of vehicles with this title, allowing the player to be highly mobile, keeping the pace fast and fun. One note: grenades can be a frustration with this one...The new 1.50 patch that was just released also includes the two booster packs Armored Fury and Euro Forces and addresses a lot of gameplay issues, making this one of the better values on the PC, since you can buy it pretty cheap.

Note: The game is full of cheaters'Note: Not really, the game just has really small hitboxes

Steam (Note: Steam UI goes in conflict with Punkbuster, disable Steam Community In-Game by right-clicking on the game -> Properties)
150px Call of Duty 2 FPS 2005 I know, I know, Call of Derp WWII Shootan. But it is the best WWII shooter ever made, and the online community is still one of the best, especially since it's been years since the MW crowd has been around. Steam
150px Cube FPS 2005 An open source game engine for FPS games, named for its use of textured cubes for level building. Now on its second iteration. The game Sauerbraten is close to Quake while ASSAULT CUBE is closer to Counterstrike. A version of Cube is available for the iPhone. Very fast paced gameplay, so, increasingly, it's becoming more and more popular among ADD riddled children. Official site
150px F.E.A.R. FPS 2005 Scary FPS by the company that made Blood. You play as a member of an fictional elite special forces team and are called in to contain a mysterious supernatural phenomenon. Your character has superhuman reflexes, represented in gameplay with a slow-motion ability. Good atmosphere with very well-done thrills, nice combat with satisfying-to-use weapons, and brilliant AI make the game quite tense and exciting. Very customizable, allowing adjustment of various graphical settings and keybinds to your liking.
There is a multiplayer version versus other players which is free, but likely empty.
Has two expansion packs ("Extraction Point" and "Perseus Mandate") not made by Monolith, but are still decent with true-to-the-original core gameplay.
Also on Xbox 360 and PS3.
Steam
150px Gish Platformer 2005 An indie platformer with an interesting premise: the main character is a 12 pound sack of tar, who can make himself hard, sticky, or slick. Tons of secrets and extra content add onto the already enjoyable gameplay and music, increasing playtime a bit. Newcomers will probably find the controls and the character's movements cumbersome and awkward, but you'll get used to it. Good for killing a boring afternoon. Official site
150px Hearts of Iron 2 RTS 2005 Big ass real time strategy game made by Paradox Interactive. Takes place during WW2 and allows you to pick any fucking country that existed during that time(except shitty ones like Liechtenstein). Build huge panzer armies and fuck shit up, deal with dissent in your nation if you screw up, research bigger and badder tanks and planes, and generally have fun conquering the world.  Get Carpal Tunnel because HOLY SHIT DEPLOYING TROOPS IS A PAIN IN THE ASS. As of now, the sequel Hearts of Iron 3 is a bugfest- Paradox likes to rely on its mod community to finish their games for them.
150px Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix FPS 2002 The first one was meh, the third was just horrible but this one really is something. Lengthy plot, multiplayer, several locations to play, randomly generated missions aside from the main game that gives this one pretty much an infinite replayable value. Did I mentioned that you can blow arms and heads off with your shotgun?

One of the definite FPS of the generation. Grab it.

And don't let the rainbow six look-a-like cover fool you, this is nothing like that.

150px Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords RPG 2005 Same as KOTOR, but was developed and written by Obsidian, known for their rather exceptional writing. It is however ruined by bugs and lacks a conclusive ending. Unfinished, but worth playing because what they focused their attention on is brilliant.

Be sure to use the restoration patch that restores A LOT of the game's content that never made it into the actual release (The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod).

Steam
150px Pathologic Survival Horror/Adventure 2005 You play as one of three doctors, each with their own morals and practices, and each trying to find the cure for a virus infecting a small town. Unlike most games, there is a heavy emphasis on survival, and the choices you make can have long-reaching effects. Each time you play the game things might happen completely differently based on what you do.
150px Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Platformer 2005 Sadly, the original stealth-platforming-sandbox-action game this was meant to be, Kindred Blades, was never released. But the redesign, Two Thrones, was meant to appeal to those who liked Sands of Time but didn't like Warrior Within; toning down the darkness a bit and trying to give an experience closer to the first game--but not quite nailing it, in part due to a lack of time, having gone through major changes mid-development. But if you've played the other two, no reason why you should stop now: play this, and round out the platforming trilogy. GOG
150px Psychonauts Platformer 2005 Play as an carnival escapee who runs away to a summer camp for psychics.Original storytelling and well written humor compliments this game. Hailed as one of the best platformers of the PS2/XBOX generation, now "out of print" but available for download on steam and other places on the net. Whilst the game can be incredibly frustrating due to bugs and/or camera, the sheer brilliance of the music, visuals, level design, retarded amounts of originality and a feeling of childlike joy eclipe any problems it has. [2]
150px SWAT 4 FPS 2005 GET ON THE GROUND NOW! Has a mediocre campaign with 13 missions (the AI isn't all that great), and fun multiplayer with co-op, TDM, VIP, and bomb defusal. Yell at perps and shoot the ones that don't comply before they shoot you. It's 90% realistic and 10% TACTICOOL. The expansion adds 7 more single-player missions, 2 new multiplayer modes, and 7 weapons.
150px Star Wars: Republic Commando FPS 2005 One of, if not THE, manliest Star Wars game out there. As a member of an elite squad of clone commandos, your orders are to fuck shit up. It is also one of the few games to do squad combat correctly, making it feel like each member has something to contribute to the mission. None of that jumping-in-front-of-you-while-you're-shotting garbage like in most squad games. It has a relatively short campaign, but it is a massive amount of fun. The worst thing about this game is they never made a proper sequel.
150px The Movies Simulation 2005 Holy fuck, did we have a lot of good games in 2005. Made by Molyneux, and not bad at all (unless you ate up the hype, you know you should never do that or else you shouldn't browse /v/ at all). You're a movie producer. Hire actors, build studios, shoot films. You can actually script the movies yourself. The game covers 70 years of movies (1930s - Today) and all the cliches of the different movie genres are in place, giving a nice touch of humour. Started the machinima craze.
150px Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Stealth/Action 2005 You have no excuses for missing out on this game. Play as Sam Fisher in his third game. Sneak, shoot at lights, interrogate, this game has it all. The graphics look really good even at this day, and the soundtrack is amazing. Plus, high replayability value due to different ways to get past problems. Seriously, if you missed out on this game then get it. (Warning: There's an issue if you install this on Windows 7; The anti-piracy drivers can't install on a non-supported system. You'll have to apply a no-CD crack even if you buy it yourself. No worries though, the CD key still works for online.
150px Ys I & II Complete Action RPG 2001 A game that's older than you are. Released in 1987-88, Ys was a fast-paced action RPG with some creative bosses and was praised for its great soundtrack. Fast forward to 1997, Falcom remakes the first two in a bundle called "Ys Eternal", in 2001 they updated it and fixed some inconsistencies between both games, added some Easter Eggs, improved graphics and made it overall better. Good game, but it's dated in every way possible, although it's quite impressive technologically (seriously, dynamic lights and shadows, water reflections, etc).
150px Ys: The Oath In Felghana Action RPG 2005 A masterful remake of Ys III, which was already good. Not only has the music been rearranged to levels surpassing the PC Engine version, but some plot details have been added, stages have been redesigned and become a bit more challenging, and some extra modes were also added. In addition to all of that, Adol has gained A LOT more moves from the 2D entry, which you WILL need to take on this bigger, better game. An english steam version is available
150px Ys Origin Action RPG 2006 A prequel to the original Ys duology taking place 700 years before. Play as two different characters in a 6 hour quest each as they explore Darm Tower. An additional character is unlocked after you clear the game as both characters as well as the classic Time Attack modes (in which you can play as Adol). The gameplay is improved from Felghana, making it faster-paced and more balanced. Still has kickass music and bosses. The engine also got a graphical update, even though it's still outdated by today's standards, it now has pretty effects like blur and other particle based features. An english steam version is available
150px Ys VI: Ark Of Napishtim Action RPG 2003 Quite different from other entries but still worth a shot. A more open-ended entry of the Ys series, a bit slower-paced than other titles and a bit more of a traditional ARPG. Best version of the game, since the PSP version has awful load times and the PS2 is quite different, thanks to KONAMI messing with it.
150px rFactor Racing 2005 Pretty much the racing game for the PC, designed to be easily extensible; countless cars, tracks, and series have been added by fans since its release. It has realistic physics, including advances in tire modeling, complex aerodynamics and a 15-degree-of-freedom game engine. In March 2009 ISI announced the development of rFactor 2, which will include weather effects, reflections, and accurate shadows on a variety of textures. Official site
150px DEFCON: Everybody Dies RTS 2006 A very well-done independent RTS based around just what its name suggests: Nuclear War. The player strategically places (can't stress how important planning is here) units like radar stations, naval fleets, and - most importantly - missile silos, then engages in at first conventional warfare and then global thermonuclear war. Get the upper hand by destroying your opponents' military capability, and win by inflicting the most megadeaths - civilian deaths, in millions - relative to megadeaths suffered. Deeply atmospheric, even with only simple 1980s-command-center-style vector graphics. Also has a pretty active Steam group named DefconNukan, so if you ever have an itch for a game, go there. Steam

GOG

150px Dark Messiah of Might and Magic FPS/Action 2006 The player controls Sareth (THE BOOT), the apprentice of the wizard Phenrig, after he is sent to the city of Stonehelm to accompany an expedition trying to retrieve a powerful artifact known as "The Skull of Shadows.' Some of the most fun melee combat you're going to find in an FPS-style game, combined with some laughably awkward voice-acting and a story that's unabashedly cheesy. Have fun kicking orcs into spikes / chasms / fires / etc. Steam
150px Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion RPG 2006 As compared to the fantastical setting of Morrowind, Oblivion is set in a rather plain western Europe-esque land (supposed to be a jungle, according to lore). Still, the game is a solid sandbox-style RPG, and plays much more action-oriented than its pen-and-paper-based predecessor. As always with Bethesda's Elder Scrolls games, there are mods out the wazoo for those that want them--mods to fix the leveling system, to increase variety in monsters and in the game world, to improve the graphics, and to add quests. The various add-ons to the game are nothing big, but the expansion pack, The Shivering Isles, shows the same level of creative genius that went into Morrowind. /v/'s Recommended Oblivion Mod List Steam
150px Garry's Mod Sandbox 2006 Sandbox physics simulator for the source engine. Freeform gameplay revolving around creating scenes and contraptions using the characters and props from Half-Life 2 and other Source games like Team Fortress 2. Ridiculous number of mods and extensions available. Free and paid versions available through Steam. Steam (Paid)
150px Hitman: Blood Money Stealth/TPS 2006 As a hitman, you sneak into... everywhere in the entire world, steal the clothes of various people on-site to blend in, hide your equipment in various discrete places, plan your shit out so you can make a perfectly-executed move when the time is just right.

It's a masterpiece. Play this shit, for real.

150px OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast Driving 2006 You, your girl, and a sparkling Ferrari. A full tank, good music, and the endless road before you. No speed limits.
150px Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 FPS 2006 Super realistic first-person shooter set during World War II (I know, I know) on the Eastern Front. Realistic gameplay means if you get shot once, you're probably dead. Emphasizes teamwork, and one really good player doesn't ensure victory for his team. Don't play the game like it's god damned Call of Duty and you will appreciate what it has to offer.
150px Sengoku Rance / 戦国ランス Strategy/FAP 2006 Quality H-Game (SOMEHOW) where you attempt to raep say hello to all of Japan. Imagine Advance Wars with medieval units, H-scenes when you capture princesses, and multiple endings with newgame+. Yandere translations has a full English translation.
File:Company of Heroes.jpg Company of Heroes RTS 2006 3D World War II European-Theater themed RTS. Single player campaign covers Normandy to the final defeat of Nazi forces in Germany from the American's perspective. Known for its destructible terrain, intelligent infantry squads, and use of tactical elements such as suppression, cover, and territory control. Has two Expansions : Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor. Opposing Fronts adds a lot of new Stuff, while Tales of Valor is a bit lackluster. Highly recommended by the RTS crowd. Steam
150px Dwarf Fortress Sim 2006 (initial)
2012 (current)
Comes with 2 game modes: Fortress mode where you set off with a bunch of dwarves to make your fort in the wilderness, and Adventurer: A roguelike with no purpose(yet). Addictive gameplay, very in depth damage system(even keeps track of how much damage each FINGER receives), and a game so confusing to newcomers it is recommended to read MagmaWiki thoroughly before playing, or watch the tutorial videos like 51ppycup's YouTube. It's definitely the most complex game you've ever played, and probably the most complex game you will ever play. It's worth the endeavor though. Official site
150px IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 Flight Simulation 2006 The latest expansion to IL-2, adds in some prototype jets including the YP-80, Yak-15, and MiG-9. The latest patch also adds in more maps, planes, and new static campaigns based on theoretical and real events. The community has also modded it to cover jets up to 1956, including some Korean and Vietnam era planes such as the Mig-19 and the F-86, the mod pack also redesigns the game's main menu to look better, and organizes planes based on their respective nations. Many standalone skins and jets have been added, including the MiG-21 and the F-4. For a guide on installing the latest mod package and IL-2 1956, even with the Steam version, see this thread Steam

GOG

150px Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Action-Adventure/FPS 2005 That's right, a good movie tie-in! Made by Rayman/Beyond Good and Evil creator Michel Ancel. Apparently Peter Jackson liked BG&E so much he chose Michel's team to create the game!

Play in first person as Jack, or in third person as Kong himself. Really fun, really atmospheric and very faithful to the movie, with some great voice acting from the movie's cast. One of the first games to throw away the HUD and rely on visual/audio cues to let you know what's up. While it's short (4-6 hours) and could use a few more Kong levels it's a great game and worth checking out.

Also on the Xbox 360, Xbox, Gamecube and PS2. The Xbox 360 version is superior due to heavily upgraded graphics.

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