20 Nostalgic Computer Games Every Millennial Played

20 Nostalgic Computer Games Every Millennial Played

With an explosion in popularity in the 90s, more and more households had a personal computer. While adults were working on spreadsheets and surfing this new phenomenon called the "internet", millennial kids were having a blast playing a variety of fun and unique PC games. Here’s a look back at 20 nostalgic PC games every millennial played. 

1. Quake

Following in the footsteps of its older brother Doom, Quake was id Software’s first 3D contribution to the FPS genre. This fast-paced shooter smash hit helped popularize several new staples of the genre, including competitive multiplayer, a robust modding community, and the emerging art of machinima (movies/recordings created within video game engines).

PcthumbChristo on Wikimedia Commons

2. The Sims

Developer Maxis cleverly made mundane life into a fun simulation game that allowed players to create their avatars and control the world around them. From building houses to interacting with neighbours, The Sims offered gamers a fun and chaotic sandbox to live out their wildest suburban dreams. 

1024Px-The Sims 3 Launch In Empik StoreSergey Galyonkin on Wikimedia Commons

3. RollerCoaster Tycoon

A massive hit upon its release in 1999, Roller Coaster Tycoon successfully expanded the scope of building sims and allowed players to build their very own amusement park. From designing outlandish roller coasters to managing staff and visitors, Rollercoaster Tycoon was an integral part of the millennial gaming experience, spawning several sequels and spin-offs. 

Dan-Gold-Byrprogg4Ka-UnsplashPhoto by Dan Gold

4. Age of Empires II

This sequel to the lauded Age of Empires was an instant hit with critics and players alike upon its release in 1999. By improving upon every aspect of its predecessor, this beloved real-time strategy game had players leading armies and battling it out through a variety of compelling historical periods. 

1024Px-Age Of Empires Ii 26 02 2023 03 57 59RANDOM USER2121 on Wikimedia Commons


5. SimCity 2000

Who knew city planning could be so fun? Building upon the success of the beloved 1988 classic, SimCity 2000 offered players an isometric look at what it takes to put together a bustling, thriving city. From zoning and public services to natural disasters, SimCity 2000 had it all. 

SimMaxis on Wikimedia Commons

6. Doom

As the world’s pioneering first-person shooter, Doom introduced an entire generation to the thrills of fast-paced, gory shooters. It was a ubiquitous title in the world of PC gaming and holds a special place in the hearts of millions of gamers to this day. 

DoommQuakeCon on Wikimedia Commons

7. Myst

This unique point-and-click adventure was instantly recognized for its breathtaking visuals and challenging puzzles. Known for its beautiful, mysterious worlds and immersive storytelling, Myst sold more than 6 million copies, making it one of the best-selling PC games of the 90s. 

MystCyan Worlds on Wikimedia Commons

8. Command & Conquer

This real-time strategy classic was an instant hit with millennials upon its release in 1995. Selling over 3 million copies and winning numerous awards, Command & Conquer helped popularize the RTS genre, paving the way for one of gaming’s most beloved franchises. 

C&CChristo on Wikimedia Commons

9. StarCraft

Another classic RTS title, famed developer Blizzard Entertainment knocked it out of the park with this spiritual successor to their beloved Warcraft series. It quickly gained traction among PC gamers and has gone on to sell well over 10 million copies, making it one of the most popular PC titles ever. 

1024Px-People Playing Starcraft At Pc Bang In 2001Alex C on Wikimedia Commons

10. Prince of Persia

This action-packed romp through ancient Persia was a PC gaming staple in the 90s.  Known for its smooth rotoscoping animations and challenging platforming gameplay, Prince of Persia was a critical darling upon its release in 1989.  

1024Px-Budapest, Csokonai Kulturális Központ, Csokonai Mikroklub, 2015.11.20, Prince Of Persia Zx SpectrumChristo on Wikimedia Commons


11. Diablo II

Another classic Blizzard title, Diablo II successfully built upon the features of its predecessor with refined gameplay and a better story. Critics and gamers alike were impressed with the game’s expansive world and gameplay mechanics, leading to over 4 million copies sold worldwide. 

1024Px-Diablo Panel And Cosplay At Blizzcon 2013 019Morten Skovgaard on Wikimedia Commons

12. SimAnt

This quirky simulation game tasks players with taking on the role of an ant attempting to establish a colony and ward off a variety of predators and rival ants. Both addictive and remarkably engaging, Sim Ant was praised for its strategic gameplay and unique premise. 

MaxisCellarDoor85 on Wikimedia Commons

13. Oregon Trail

Education and fun are usually not concepts that go together, but Oregon Trail brilliantly made learning about history both fun and immersive. With Oregon Trail players had a chance to experience the perilous trials and tribulations of trekking across the American West, including hunting, managing resources, and avoiding diseases. 

OregonFeldBum on Wikimedia Commons

14. Warcraft III

This iconic RTS title introduced players to the rich lore of Azeroth (a locale that would later be further explored in World of Warcraft). Featuring both a compelling single-player mode and a massively popular multiplayer mode, Warcraft III was a huge hit upon its release in 2002, going on to sell well over 4 million copies. 

1024Px-Gamescom 2014 (14741934408)Sergiy Galyonkin on Wikimedia Commoms

15. Baldur's Gate

Providing players with an expansive and well-crafted virtual synthesis of the popular tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons, Baldur’s Gate was a surprise hit when it was released in 1998. Offering an enthralling world, deep storyline and complex character development, this PC classic set a whole new standard for what RPGs could be moving forward. 

BaldursInterplay/Bioware on Wikimedia Commons

16. Half-Life

An undeniable landmark in FPS games, this revolutionary title took the gaming world by storm in 1998, helping to put famed developer Valve on the map. With its immersive story, innovative gameplay, and detailed world, Half-Life took the FPS genre to new heights. 

1024Px-Half-Life (3080617459)Long Zheng on Wikimedia Commons


17. Civilization II

This turn-based strategy hit gave players the monumental task of building up an entire civilization from ancient times to the modern era. Building upon the success of its predecessor, this sequel impressed critics and critics alike with its immersion and strategic depth. 

CivGeMet and MicroProse on Wikimedia Commons

18. Lemmings

This puzzle-platformer classic puts players in charge of safely guiding anthropomorphized lemmings through a variety of obstacles and objectives. The game was a massive hit upon release, quickly becoming one of the highest-selling PC games of the early 90s. 

1024Px-Lemmings Christmas Demo, For Amiga, 1991Neuhaus on Wikimedia Commons

19. Duke Nukem 3D

This bold and in-your-face shooter introduced the world to its iconic titular protagonist and changed the FPS landscape as we know it. Its addicting gameplay, low-brow humour, and interactive environments provided players with countless hours of fun. 

1024Px-Duke Nukem Stand In 18+ Area At The Gadget Show Live (5616408281)Andrew Girdwood on Wikimedia Commons

20. Worms

Tasked with controlling a team of highly weaponized worms, this humorous turn-based artillery classic was a staple for many Amiga gamers in the mid to late 90s. Its levity, destructible environments, and surprising strategic depth made it an irresistible multiplayer sensation. 

1024Px-Amiga500 SystemBill Bertram on Wikimedia Commons