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The 10 greatest PC games of all time

Simply the best games of the past 30 years

When it comes to PCs, there have been some brilliant games over the past 30 years. We've rounded up what we think are the 10 greatest PC games of all time.

When it comes to good PC games, as far as I'm concerned, the best are those that deliver a transcendent gaming experience that is possible only with the aid of a personal computer. They don't simulate board or card games, reproduce real-world sports, or try to approximate movies. They are an art form unto themselves.

I surveyed dozens of PC game developers, asking them to share their picks for the 10 greatest PC titles of all time. In addition to weighing their opinions, I took into account factors such as influence, innovation, design, and replay value.

To be considered, a game must have achieved most of its prominence on a PC platform. (This explains why Tetris, for example, didn't make the cut: it was clearly the Nintendo Game Boy's killer app). I defined a 'PC' as any consumer computer that has a keyboard the user can program with arbitrary code - not just a PC of the IBM variety.

Without further ado, here are our 10 greatest PC games of all time, counting down from Number 10.

10. Trade Wars 2002

Released: 1990
Developer: Martech Software
Publisher: Martech Software

For a surprising number of people, Trade Wars 2002 (TW2002) is the greatest PC game they've never heard of. This epic text-based space strategy game hails from a somewhat secret world of Bulletin Board System doors - early online games played on dial-up BBSs, which peaked in the 1980s and 1990s.

Of the thousands of BBS door games programmed over the years, none has had the staying power of Trade Wars 2002. Long after the BBS era, the turn-based trading game continues to thrive thanks to Trade Wars Game Server, which hosts stand-alone games of TW2002 over the internet.

To gauge the influence of Trade Wars, you need look no further than the popular massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, which many observers describe as a modern 3D version of Trade Wars. Another link to latter-day glory: Drew Markham, one of TW2002's ANSI artists, later directed ID Software's Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

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NEXT PAGE: Myst, The Sims and StarCraft

  1. These are the best PC games of the past 30 years
  2. Myst, The Sims and StarCraft
  3. Rogue: The Adventure Game and M.U.L.E
  4. SimCity, Sid Meier's Civilization and Doom
  5. The greatest PC game of all time


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