Say you’re stranded alone on a desert island with no internet and can only play 7 games for the rest of your life – what games would you choose?
Here’s my top 7 classic PC games that don’t require an internet connection and provide endless hours of fun.
1. Heroes 3 Complete
It should go without saying that one of the most important attributes of a game that you’d bring in the desert scenario is “replayability.” Heroes 3 Complete has this in spades. If you’ve never played Heroes 3, it’s essentially a tactical turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting. Players need to explore maps to locate resources nodes and build up an army to defeat their foes. This version of Heroes 3 combines the original release with the two expansions that came later into a single title. In addition to this, it features a comprehensive random map generator that will provide you with hours upon hours of entertainment. Or if you prefer, you can create custom maps of your own or even edit ones created by the generator! The possibilities are truly endless.
2. SimCity 2000
The pre-EA Games SimCity that was in my opinion the best of the bunch. As with most city builder games, there’s nothing to it: construct a city, manage your finances, and keep your people happy. Much like Heroes 3 and the other games featured on this list, SimCity 2000 also has a random map generator to keep each play-through a fresh experience with different challenges. While the graphics can’t really compete with today’s games, it really was a work of art at its release. If you zoom in at max level into the city, you can make out a level of detail that is truly impressive for something that was released in 1994.
3. Diablo 2: Lord Of Destruction
Hands down the most addicting game I’ve ever played. I don’t know what it was, but I was compelled by some force to grind this game every free minute I had upon it’s release. A huge arsenal of unique weapons, socketable gems and runes, and craftable recipes with the Horadric Cube allowed for an enormous amount of character equipment options. Add in the fact that there were 7 classes, tons of different skills, and special set pieces for each class – you end up with a ridiculous amount of character customization. Did I mention it also had a random dungeon generator? Yeah, it’s not hard to see why I spent so much time playing it before.
4. Civilization V
When talking about PC game replayability, you know a game by Sid Meier is undoubtedly going to make its way into the discussion. The Civilization series has been around for a long time and each game basically revolves around building up an empire and coming out on top over other ones. Civilization V retains everything that made its predecessors good and added a couple of extra tweaks that made this particular title stand out among the rest. By this point in this article, it should come as no surprise to you that this game also features a random map generator allowing for a completely different experience each time you start a game. When you consider the huge difference in difficulty from the low levels compared with the higher ones, you’ll find yourself having to practice the game for a long time before you can dream of tackling the hardest difficulty.
5. XCOM 2
Another Firaxis Game, XCOM was one of those games that I grew up with back in the day. I played the original DOS game and the music/effects scared the hell out of me if I was playing at night. For me, it’ll always be the original horror game. Though less iconic for me than the original, I do think the remakes do the series justice. A huge number of weapons, terrain/cover combinations, and different units make it a very complex game. It also features procedurally generated maps that add to its replayability factor. Though if I have to be nit-picky, I’d say its map engine suffers a bit because coming up with new XCOM maps requires a bit more complexity than people know how to program an algorithm to generate. In the end, sometimes the gameplay experience felt a bit repetitive. All in all, I’d still like to have it with me if I was stranded on a desert island.
6. Warcraft 3
Sure, Warcraft 3 had a solid campaign to play through, but let’s be realistic, it’s map creator was the most sophisticated map generator we had seen at the time. Remember guys, this is the map creator that essentially birthed the MOBA genre with the DOTA map, which later evolved into its own multi-million dollar generating game aka DOTA2. If you have endless amounts of time, who knows what kind of amazing map you could create yourself and play. Looking back, the fondest memories I have of playing WC3 are actually of its custom maps rather than it’s campaign or ladder modes.
7. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is the newest game to make the list and while not necessarily a classic, it is truly deserving of its spot. There’s just so much content in the game and so many ways to play with that content that you could spend endless hours playing the game without ever getting bored. From farming the land, to catching fish, to exploring the mines, not to mention building relationships, there’s just an incredible number of ways you can spend your virtual days. And unlike a lot of other games on this list, there’s absolutely no rush.
To this day, one of the first things I do when I get a new laptop/computer is put these games on it. Even if I never end up on a deserted island, you never know when your internet might go down and yet still need something to scratch that gaming itch. If you haven’t played one of the games on this list, you’re really missing out! In my humble perspective, these are some of the best PC games ever made and you really owe it to yourself to give them all a try.