Retro gaming is an art form that continues to be one of the best influences on the industry, even many years down the line. Thanks to the smart idea from early Windows developers to add games to their Operating Systems, we’ve had the opportunity to experience many classics. Today, we’ve decided to celebrate these classics with a list of some of the most memorable retro Windows Games we grew up on.
A free game that was actually graphically impressive? Microsoft truly set a new bar with the inclusion of Space Cadet Pinball on the Windows OS.
It was a great decision because there are at least two generations that are forever nostalgic about the existence of the game. Truth be told, most of us never really knew the history of this game, so we were quite impressed to find out that Maxis is the Studio behind it.
Another popular project they’ve created is The Sims, a highly acclaimed series of games. Maxis also created two more tables in addition to Space Cadet. The actual game with the three maps is called Full Tilt! Pinball.
There you have it, an entirely new reason to revisit this retro Windows game today!
Before Microsoft gave us the free version of Solitaire, there was definitely a good dose of head-scratching when it was mentioned around the world. Now, it seems like there is a universal familiarity with it.
Just to see how much Solitaire’s popularity can be attributed to Microsoft, try to find one out of 10 random strangers that have actually played it by hand. It’s highly unlikely. Yet, most would instantly recall their boring Saturday nights being rescued by this seemingly unconventional take on card games.
If that isn’t a testament to how amazing the Solitaire era was, then there’s no convincing you.
Those who would like to revisit the classic game Solitaire online, check out play-solitaire.com.
Ok, we are going to go out on a limb and say that Minesweeper is the most polarizing game on this list. There are people that get the gist of how it’s played, and then there are those that swear it’s just random buttons and luck. Regardless of whichever camp you’re in, you’ve more than likely put in multiple attempts at succeeding in the game. For those that are in tune with its rules, you’re likely having a better time than the others.
Minesweeper is pretty easy to grasp once it clicks, but that doesn’t make the tension any less prevalent during gameplay. Carefully uncovering the numbers and taking your sweet time to know whether the next box could spell your doom. That sounds like a retro Windows game and a core memory.
If you thought Minesweeper was bad in terms of playing on your intelligence, then you might not have spent enough time with Mahjong. There were some elements that definitely helped with sticking around, but matching these tiles felt like the biggest IQ test that could ever pop up during a casual gaming session.
So many of us have tried every iteration of Mahjong that came along, right from the Windows 98 days, but it never really seemed to stick. On the off chance where the stars aligned, that sense of control was quickly whisked away, leaving you with a downward-facing roller coaster of self-doubt and a promise to never play it again. Then the next day appears and you’ve got a new idea to conquer it. Rinse and repeat.
An older one that many 90s kids of the internet era would recognize, SkiFree is a simple but impressive retro Windows game that graced us all the way back in 1991. Skiing and attempting various freestyles is definitely a fun way to pass the time, but things suddenly get serious when the Abominable Snowman comes from nowhere and begins to attack you. At that point, SkiFree becomes a survival horror game in the most exciting ways possible.
If you think Subway Surfers is a pioneer, go play this and think about how you feel. SkiFree also has three modes with access to it available through keyboard controls or the mouse controls. As you get more familiar with the game, freestyling with different tricks and making attempts to get a convincing high score becomes an incessant need.
It was definitely one of the most popular retro Windows games.
A puzzle video game with a very similar premise to Tetris, don’t be fooled by Pipe Dream. Experienced Windows users will also be familiar with this one from the early 90s. It has a relatively confusing barrier to entry, but in a few games, you’ll be able to get up to speed.
The Pipe Mania concept may be more familiar to you if you’ve tried out more recent video games that feature hacking scenes. The mini-games presented in such moments are usually inspired by Pipe Dream and it’s no surprise.
Pipe Dream provides that quick challenge that is good for players that need to take a breather from other hectic parts of gameplay. For the people that played it during the actual peak of its existence, they’ll be quick to testify that it is no slouch when taking centre stage.
A Solitaire card game that makes use of the entire 52-card deck, this is one of the most memorable entries on this list, and it’s no surprise. FreeCell is what got a lot of people into cards. That love has evolved in a multitude of ways, including card magicians and gamblers. The potential is undeniably endless. That popularity has also been reflected in Microsoft’s inclusion of FreeCell in every version of Windows since 1995. That is a level of dominance that most developers aspire to have with their games.
Playing FreeCell has also managed to stay fun thanks to the existence of simple hints that guide you through the process. With the option to even challenge AI to some games, getting a new high score always comes naturally thanks to the sense of competition. If you want to get a quick dose of FreeCell on Windows 10 and up, you should check out the Microsoft Solitaire Collection app on your OS.