With the announcement of the PlayStation Classic and the previous smash-hits that were the Nintendo NES Mini and the SNES Classic Mini, we got to wondering what it would be like if a hypothetical PC Classic Mini was announced.

Obviously, PC being backward compatible makes the whole prospect a little absurd. On PC we can play any old game whenever we want, provided we do a little bit of fiddling around. Just imagine though, a 25-year-old retro PC thrown into a tiny box and re-released today for a hundred bucks. It could even come with a little beige CRT monitor and a crappy mouse and keyboard.

Most importantly though, it would come with the games. Which 20 classic PC games from yesteryear would make the cut on our device? These 20 games should hopefully demonstrate the breadth and depth of PC gaming, covering a wide variety of genres.

OK, so the guidelines for this are pretty simple. This is to be a collection of 20 (or fewer) retro games that could make for the definitive old-school PC. To make things simple, this includes any game released before the year 2000. If you’re too young and healthy to have experienced these halcyon days, well, the comments should hopefully provide you with some fantastic old games to have a play with.

I’ll kick things off with my 20, although this is a list that’s constantly in flux in my head. Half-Life has to be in there of course, and this would include all the mods and assorted goodness, so that rolls in Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat to the equation. For the rest of the list, I’ve plumped for what I believe are some of the finest turn-based strategy games of all time, classic management with RollerCoaster Tycoon, the best of adventure with Monkey Island, and the ultimate in space simming with Wing Commander IV. I think there should be a little something for everyone here, although it pains me how many games I’ve had to leave off the list.

  1. Civilization II
  2. RollerCoaster Tycoon
  3. Baldur’s Gate
  4. Half-Life
  5. Doom
  6. Quake 3
  7. The Secret of Monkey Island
  8. Myst
  9. Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
  10. Command & Conquer: Red Alert
  11. Tomb Raider II
  12. Carmageddon
  13. Grand Theft Auto II
  14. UFO: Enemy Unknown
  15. SimCity 2000
  16. Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom
  17. Delta Force
  18. System Shock
  19. Deus Ex
  20. Fallout 2

Now I’m just thinking about Ultima, Warcraft, Diablo, Tie Fighter, Thief, Starcraft, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper, oh god the list goes on.

Over to you now, and good luck with this one. What are the 20 or fewer games that you would pre-install on a PC Classic? Let us know below!