The early '90s were a glorious time for any kid who enjoyed computer games. Computers were big, bulky, and slow, but the '90s computer games we ran on them were amazing. It’s hard to shave down the best computer games from the 1990s because what we played at that age ingrained itself in our brains and became genuinely personal. Your favorite game from the early '90s might have been a weird bargain bin find from an electronics shop, or perhaps it was an educational game that just happened to be super fun.
Back in school, the easiest way to pass the time in class without getting busted was to play a few games of the Oregon Trail. Even if you finished the game without the passing of dysentery, you likely wanted to play this one over and over again.
Doom helped create the first-person weapons genre. If you were sick and staying home from school during the '90s, you probably spent more than a few afternoons blasting your way through Doom's many challenging levels.
Earthquakes, tornadoes, and all kinds of disasters plagued players of Sim City. Nearly everyone spent some time playing God with this city-building simulation.
Math is not a favorite for many students, but back in third grade, Math Blaster made solving simple equations kind of fun.
Your parents probably weren't psyched about you playing a game about a muscle-bound character fighting off an alien invasion, but if you grew up in the '90s, you found a way to play this one. One of the original first-person weapons games, Duke Nukem, paved the way for games like Mass Effect, Halo, and more.
Laugh all you want, but SkiFree was the kind of simple game that pulled players into a never-ending world of snow and abominable snowmen. Whether you wanted to admit it or not, when you booted up SkiFree, you were committing the next three hours of your day to hit the digital slopes.
For a lot of kids, Wolfenstein 3D was a portal into the world of alt-history, and the complete nerdiness of the historical aspects of the far-right movement. What the game lacks in historical accuracy, it more than makes up for in first-person fun and ridiculous storylines. And honestly who doesn't love a game that lets you take out the bad guys of World War II?
Myst was an incredible adventure/puzzle game that allowed its players to wander a desolate island and solve super spooky puzzles. For a young gamer, this seminal piece offered hours of gameplay and an escape from the regular world.
Back in the '90s, few people would have guessed that the original Warcraft game would become a global phenomenon. Many kids spent hours building and supplying armies so that they could take down the computer's artificial intelligence.
Think back, if you can, to a time before the Star Wars prequels. This was a time when all we had to live our dreams of a news story about the Rebel Alliance was this first-person game about a stormtrooper going rogue and trying to take down the Empire from the inside. Why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah, because Star Wars: Dark Forces let players do just that.
Remember Mario Teaches Typing? It wasn't as fun as the Nintendo games. However, for kids who were learning to type, this was the perfect excuse to stomp some goombas and figure out how to hit that comma while typing as fast as possible.
If you grew up in the '90s, you might have seen Jurassic Park in theaters. You may have also created your version of a dino-themed amusement park, thanks to Dino Park Tycoon. The game taught kids how to manage funds and even explored the horrors of employees trying to take sick days.
There wasn't anything quite as gratifying as sitting down at a computer during a free period and queuing up a MUD server for a quick bit of text-based role-playing. Was it nerdy? Of course. Was it also incredibly fun? Definitely!
Dust was one of the few western computer games that players liked. Whether it was because the gameplay was so involving, or because of the myriad mini-games, it was a chance for kids to play a game that gave a variety of outcomes depending on the decisions that they made.
For curious kids who loved reading and puzzle-solving, Eagle Eye Mysteries was the best. The mysteries were easy to solve without making players feel like babies, and the gameplay would help pave the way for an entire generation of point-and-click games.
Were you the type of kid who just liked to play whatever games they could find in dollar bins? If so, then you remember playing this video game based on the original Harlan Ellison short story. Some of the concepts were hard to grasp for a kid, but the puzzle-based gameplay (and varying storylines for the different characters) was a treat for players of all ages.
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