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Community Manager

What PC games started it all for you?

One discussion topic that my friends and I bring up every couple of months when we take a trip down PC gaming memory lane is: The game(s) that really kicked off our interest in PC gaming.

For me, and likely many of us I'm sure, I can date my first adventures into the gaming world with the help of an Atari 2600 or NES system. But I’m talking about PC gaming in particular – the game(s) that might’ve pushed your PC and FPS to the limits and made you think, “maybe it’s time I start looking into building a computer…”

I didn’t seriously start PC gaming until around my early teens. Games like Warcraft 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Doom 3 were a few of the games that really kicked off my interest in PC gaming. My uncle even helped build my first PC that had a whopping 4GB of memory, but a generic, integrated GPU. Still, I was over the moon!

You can almost make out what's going on here in Unreal Tournament 2004!You can almost make out what's going on here in Unreal Tournament 2004!


This was also during a time before I knew of any voice chat software, so my friends and I would just call each other on the phone to game together. (Yes, my mom used to yell at us to get off the phone since we had hogged the phone line all day.)

I can remember playing custom games like “Footman Wars” and Tower Defenses in Warcraft 3 that really pushed my frames to the limit (so much FPS lag during larger battles that I would just disconnect from the game; example below), and UT 2004/Doom 3 looking like a bunch of pixels (UT 2004 pictured above / Doom 3 not pictured because it still gives me nightmares 😅).

Example of Footmen Wars in WC III. This kind of scenario would have lagged me until I most likely DC'd, lol.Example of Footmen Wars in WC III. This kind of scenario would have lagged me until I most likely DC'd, lol.

That PC lasted me throughout high school until I got a laptop for college – which essentially became a World of Warcraft machine for years (which also brought back the FPS lag during larger raids, LOL).

I could go on and on about other games that were part of my “PC gaming movement”, but I’d love to hear about your stories of games and PCs that kickstarted your passion as they did for me!

74 Replies
Volunteer Moderator

The Digimon game on Fox Kids old website. From there, my actual first experience with an actual PC game was Diablo II. 

ASRock X570 Taichi, Ryzen 7 5700X, 32GB RAM 3600Mhz, Gigabyte RX 6800 XT Gaming OC, Corsair HX1000 1000 Watt Fully Modular PSU, Win11Pro

I didn't get into Diablo until D3 came out, but one of my relatives played a bunch of D2, and I used to watch him play all the time. Definitely a classic!

Diablo 2 brings back alot of memories.


A game didn't really push me into PC gaming. I just liked like the freedom with higher FPS and graphics fidelity that came with using PC. But to stay in the spirit of this topic, I'll say Wolfenstein. A friend of mine loaded the game on all our high school computer room PC's in the early 2000s. I did enjoy playing that a lot on mouse and keyboard, lol.

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Wolfenstein was a classic for sure. My friends an I used to play a free version called Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory that we loved to pieces! Still think about that game to this day...

Adept II

For me i think it was wolfenstein the first and only real one

But i am old so most gamers are babies 🙂

I start with ping pong so you probably have no clue what that was, i programmed it on my sharp mz back then it was very addictive then came the era of better suffer like commodore i forgot how all i had all the first had not even 1k memory the later ones started to have some memory till the legendary C64 arrived

After that it went fast improvement over improvement for me the biggest inovation was the Amiga and then IBM started selling consumer pc's booom then it was PC all over all the play thingy kinda disappeared and actually non of the play boxes can compete with a good powerfull pc.

Still we are very far away from real lifelike graphics even though many think the new GPU's are powerfull, they actually are babies not capable to real good graphics but in time humans might see lifelike graphics in 3d around them, for now i estimate that will take at least 3 ages before tech is good enough to really achieve that goal.

Still i admit i am stunned about the constant innovative new tech AMD has shown this far, sure it is not perfect but its the proper way to go.

Not pump up constant the frequentie to get more speed as that is a dead end anyway.

The only way is find new ways or materials to improve what can be done

One hint AMD do not make your highest clocking device only the most expenssive that is a fail.

Sure it looks awesome all those cores but you darn well know that they do nothing almost 90% of the time

So stop the BS and start making lower core models with higher frequenties again as i am 10000% sure you can do it with ease.

When i look what my current 8/16 core really uses in all games i own is 2 to 6 max cores at about max 53 % load the rest is at 1% how idiot is that powerwise.

So overkill and extra power usage fior nothing

Wolfenstein totally slipped my mind.  I used to fill a room with dogs and enemy and shoot them as they came thru the door to the point where no one could get in or out.

One of the first true 3D games.  How could I have forgotten it?

OH snap! I remember playing Dam Busters on the Vic20... using cassette tape drives!

Performance over Pretty.

Glad to see another old Commodore user.😀


I'm showing my age now.

An old Commodore game called "Raid On Bungling Bay".  

With AMD CPU's etc.  Command & Conquer I.  Then through all of the extensions, CNC 2, Red Alert, Yuri's Revenge, CNC 3, Kane's Wrath.

From there, Call Of Duty, Medal Of Honor.

Even old timers like me still enjoy gaming.  I'm not into any of the more modern games.  Heck I'm still playing Age Of Empires 2 Conquerors, and still enjoy it more than any.  It is a pain to get working properly on a Ryzen 9 3900X / Radeon RX 5700XT / Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4 NVMe 2.2280 SSD / MSI MEG X570 ACE / GSKILL 32GB 3200 / SoundBlaster ZSE.  You have to know a few requirements for the program to run, like NET Framework 1.

My wife found a box in our basement on a shelf that had many, many old user manuals from the early to mid 1980's in it.  Here are a few:

EasyScript.jpgGEOS.jpgGeoPublish.jpgQuantum Link.jpgF15 Strike Eagle.jpgRaid Over Moscow.jpg

All for Commodore 64 / 128.  I have some sentimental ties to a couple.

EasyScript : I wrote my PHD dissertation using this Word Processor.  Had to get a daisy wheel printer because they would not accept dot matrix.

GEOS :  And you thought Windows 1 was the first Graphic Environment Operating System.

Hope you enjoy these.



I love this question @Wally_AMD , it really made me go back and think about my history with gaming.

I know I started playing PC games with Virtual On: Cyber Troopers

However, this was not what really started my fascination with PC Gaming. That would definitely have to be Counter Strike 1.6 | I even remember where I first played it, at a gaming cafe in Singapore with a friend who took me there to try this new game in the early 2000s.



This was my real first introduction to the world of multiplayer PC games. However, back in the day, we used to play local LAN games with friends at internet cafes, and we would spend HOURS playing. It still lives as some of the best memories of my upbringing.

Adding to this, my first introduction to MMORPGs was through RuneScape


I really enjoyed playing this game, and would even stay up at night to try and sneak in some more sessions, but my obsession (at the time) with MMORPGs definitely started when I started playing SilkRoad Online



I spent a good number of years of my life in this game, until it became overrun with Bots and ultimately died off. After SRO, I was led to World of Warcraft during University, joining halfway through Burning Crusade, and ultimately putting the game down during Legion.

And the rest is history.

**Canadian Gamer & Father -** - Live Wed & Fri at 8:00pm PST - Come join!

Love the history and overall timeline here. Runescape was definitely a big one for my friends and I growing up, but I was late to the Counter Strike party and didn't play much until CS: Source. Even then, we mostly played modded game modes like "Zombies," heh. 

Also, shout out to internet/gaming cafes! We had one in our neighboring city growing up that we would go to every other weekend. Good times and loads of memories for sure. (So much Team Fortress 2...)


I started gaming on PC before anything else.  The games I remember most on C64 were,



Later I played quite a few of the Microprose games like "Silent Service" and Sid Meier's Pirates!  I also was a huge fan of the Dungeons & Dragons Gold Box RPGs published by SSI.

Don't remember Warp, but Impossible Missions was a classic.  That was a very busy time in my life working on my PhD with prelims, dissertation, and courses. I liked to play Impossible Mission every opportunity I had.  When my wife found that box of manuals in our basement, nostalgia was out of this world with all of the memories.  I had disposed of most of the 5.25 floppies long ago.  


I started playing several games in my childhood but tech was rare at that time in my country, state secretaries worked with this back then, yes, a QZERTY Olivetti Typewriter, computers were pretty much a rare sight.


So we would self invite just go to the houses of the kids lucky enough to have tech.

One had a Spectrum 48K and we enjoyed playing PSSSST or TMNT


The other would have Commodore Amiga and Street Fighter was the bomb.

Also played ATARI and had the fortune of having a Gameboy (I still have it today!)

But eventually I ventured in the computer world and there I got hooked by the DOOM, that's the game that made all the difference in the world. 



The Englishman

This is an awesome trip down memory lane! Doom was a game I actually went back to play (after I tried Doom 3) and really enjoyed it -- even with the older graphics.

I still have my Gameboy too. The original that is the size of a VHS tape. Good times with that thing. What did you think of Doom Eternal?

ASRock X570 Taichi, Ryzen 7 5700X, 32GB RAM 3600Mhz, Gigabyte RX 6800 XT Gaming OC, Corsair HX1000 1000 Watt Fully Modular PSU, Win11Pro

I have the original one but I'm afraid it stopped working. 😕 But a colleague of mine can do full restorations, going to put mine back to full glory.


Also have the Advance to keep playing from time to time



I've played the Doom 2016, was amazing a great comeback, kind of short but intensive.

The Doom Eternal had a change in the weapon design (and much more) to look similar to the original Doom and that appealed me a lot! The gameplay also became a bit more chaotic.

If run&shoot without a plan other than survive is your thing, then its on!

Doom 2016 Plasma Rifle vs Doom Eternal and Doom 2






The Englishman

For me it was more than one game that got me started. I didn't really have the means to own any games, so I just had to play the games that others had who I was around. Mostly, that was offline games, but when I got old enough to go to libraries by myself I was able to expand that into online games as well

  • Load Runner: The Legend Returns  (sierra)
  • Lemmings
  • Frogger
  • Age of Empires II Age of Kings
  • Monster Truck Madness (1996)
  • Midtown Madness 2
  • Neopets
  • Recoil (1999), Tank Game
  • Puzzle Pirates
  • Runescape
  • Wolfteam
  • 9Dragons
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The original Civilization circa 1991.
Community Manager

Civ is dangerous... Blink and you've lost your whole day. 😂

Yes... Multiplayer particularly is a black hole. Time and space have no meaning there.


I had to force myself to stop playing that game. It was starting to become a bit of a problem.

13900k • Z790 Asus ProArt • 4090 • 2x16Gb-7200-C34 • 1200 Corsair Shift • 420mm Arctic II Push-Pull • Noctua • 802 Silent Base •

WOW. I'm not sure I have any game that would even remotely challenge the time you've put into Civ VI. /bow

Adept I

My first game was Conan the Barbarian on an Apple 2e the game that started me working on computers was Kings Quest on an IBM 286.

Community Manager

Wow, I enjoy reading and learning about you all, and the game(s). I can relate to every reply. Staying on topic, when thinking of the PC game that started all for me it was "Golf" LOL. I know right! I don't remember the official name. I had a 286-based PC, with a 40MB HDD, 5.25 floppy drive, and some sort of video adapter (VGA?). No sound card, just the motherboard speaker. I can't remember how much RAM I had. My monitor was a monochrome display (green), and I even had a dot-matrix printer. Yay! But this game, and the rig, got me going. I immediately started to look for upgrades, which helped me play: Doom, then Wolfenstein, followed by lots of flight sims (i.e. Falcon 3.0 by Spectrum Holobyte). 

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lol Sam. Mine too. It was PGA Championship Golf 1999 Edition for me, and I think it was on a Pentium III or something like that. 


Triangle chested Lara Croft in the first Tomb Raider is what got me into PC gaming .. and then it was the first Half Life game

ThreeDee PC specs

Cncra-win-cover.jpgFor me it was Command & Conquer: Red Alert. We had just got our first read computer, because I had been mowing lawns all summer my parents thought it'd be great to reward me with a game. At the time I had wanted a Flight Simulator. That's what I asked for and my parents did there best to reaffirm that with the sales associate. He lead them to the games and pointed out that C&C:RA had planes on the back of the box... Luckily soon after I started playing I fell in love with it and the franchise.

I spent most of that summer playing whenever I got a chance. I'd spend hours and hours destroying Russian bases and equipment. One of the hidden gems in the game though is It Came From Red Alert!


Of course I later played the originals, and the many variations. But to this day C&C:RA is still my favorite.





Jane's_F-15_Coverart.jpgIt's worth noting that I didn't get that flight simulator until I found a copy of Jane's F-15 in a clearance bin at Walmart. I spent a lot of time that winter with my head in the clouds.

I never had F-15. I had ATF Gold and AH-64 Apache: Longbow Gold, though.

Performance over Pretty.

Hell yes! Command & Conquer and Warcraft 2.

Volunteer Moderator

Unreal and the follow-up Unreal Tournament were my favorite games.  I played those with my kids and it really got me started into building my own computers - which led to the creation of my hobby of Big Al Computers.  

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".
Adept II

I remember playing World Games and Super Zaxxon on Commodore 64, and was it Kings Quest on an old Mac. Then Wheel of Fortune on Win 3.1/dos. But I think it was Commander Keen, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem that really got me going.

Journeyman III

Scram on my Atari 800. Yep, I'm that old. 

Ryzen 7 5800X Radeon 6800 Asus Tuf Gaming X570 wifi
Adept II

For me it’s bioshock infinite. I originally built a pc for my senior project back in highschool with a small budget so all I could afford was an apu build using an a8-7600. Back in 2016ish ryzen hadn’t come out and intel was expensive so I made due. Modern games wouldn’t run so I looked to the 360 era of games and I found bioshock infinite on sale. I played through that whole game straight at 720p medium 40ish fps still one of my favorite games and moments.

Adept I

Some golf game back in the 1980's, all I can really remember about it is that it was golf and everything was green.

Adept II

The very first video game I've ever played was either Lion King or Aladdin for the DOS (basically played both around the same time honestly), but the first one that really did it for me was either Age of Empires 2 or Heroes of Might and Magic 3 - I can't quite remember which.

It actually makes me so happy knowing that both are still maintained and updated. AoE2 keeps getting updates and patches, as well as new DLCs. HoMM3 is supported heavily by the modding community and is available with an HD remaster on GOG.

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AoE is getting a lot of love here. I never played it unfortunately and now it feels like I really missed out on something great! Maybe I'll have to look into AoE 2...