These were the days before high-definition graphics, before epic soundtracks, before online multiplayer – heck, before Windows! But, oh, the magic we found in the simplicity. The chunky pixels and beeping sounds were our keys to unimaginable lands, full of challenging puzzles, dastardly villains, and epic quests.
Despite their low-res graphics and simple sound effects, these DOS games stole our hearts and many an afternoon (and let’s be honest, nights too). They laid the groundwork for the gaming world we know today, and their charm is far from lost.
Best Dos Games
Buckle up, gaming enthusiasts, because we’re about to embark on a retro-rollercoaster ride through some of the best DOS games that ruled our chunky monitors back in the day. Here we go:
- DOOM: The granddaddy of first-person shooters, DOOM took us through hell and back, blasting demons with a badass arsenal. A classic that never gets old!
- Prince of Persia: Platforming perfection! With its fluid animations and nail-biting time limit, it had us leaping over traps and battling guards like there was no tomorrow.
- Civilization: Who didn’t dream of ruling the world after playing this gem? It laid the groundwork for strategy games and is still going strong today.
- SimCity: Ah, the joy of building your own city only to unleash a disaster for fun. SimCity gave us the thrill of being a city planner and a catastrophe-causing monster all in one.
- Monkey Island Series: Packed with humor, clever puzzles, and memorable characters, this series gave us some of the best point-and-click adventures and left us with a lifelong fear of rubber chickens.
- Commander Keen: This side-scrolling platformer about an eight-year-old genius who builds a spaceship was the Mario of the DOS era. And boy, was it fun!
- Wolfenstein 3D: The Nazi-slaying, maze-navigating shooter that set the stage for DOOM and every FPS that followed. It’s where our 3D shooter obsession began!
- X-COM: UFO Defense: This tactical masterpiece combined world management and turn-based combat, keeping us up all night saying, “Just one more turn!”
This is just a slice of the DOS gaming cake. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer looking for a nostalgic trip or a newbie eager to explore gaming history, these classics are your tickets to the golden era of gaming.
There are many other iconic DOS games that are worth mentioning, such as Doom, X-COM: UFO Defense, The Oregon Trail, and Ultima IV. If you’re looking for a more modern DOS game, you might want to check out the cult classic Command & Conquer. If you’re looking for a more family-friendly experience, you might want to try the classic puzzle game Lemmings or the adventure game King’s Quest.
DOS games ranking
There is no definitive ranking system for DOS games, as the criteria for evaluating them can vary greatly from person to person. However, most DOS game enthusiasts consider classics such as ‘Doom’ and ‘Prince of Persia’ to be amongst the most popular titles. Other high-ranking games include ‘Wolfenstein 3D’, ‘The Settlers’, ‘Lemmings’, ‘Jill of the Jungle’ and ‘The Incredible Machine’.
- Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
- Doom (1993)
- Command and Conquer (1995)
- The Oregon Trail (1990)
- SimCity 2000 (1993)
- Myst (1993)
- Prince of Persia (1989)
- Street Fighter II (1991)
- Lemmings (1991)
- Duke Nukem 3D (1996)
Other titles that are frequently discussed in the DOS gaming community include ‘Commander Keen’, ‘Scorched Earth’, ‘Duke Nukem’, ‘Tyrian’, ‘SimCity’, and ‘Maniac Mansion’. Additionally, the ‘Doom’ and ‘Wolfenstein 3D’ series are often considered to be amongst the top DOS games ever made. It is worth noting that due to the age of DOS gaming, many of these titles are available as abandonware, allowing modern gamers to experience them without having to purchase them.
Action games are fast-paced and full of excitement. Whether you’re exploring a world or fighting enemies, there’s always something exciting to do. Here are the best action games for DOS:
Doom is a classic first-person shooter released in 1993. Players explore a 3D environment while fighting off demons and other enemies. The game was revolutionary for its time and is still popular today.
Wolfenstein 3D is another classic first-person shooter from id Software. It follows the same formula as Doom, but with a World War II setting. Players explore Nazi bases while fighting enemies and completing objectives.
Alley Cat is a classic platformer developed by Bill Williams. Players take on the role of an alley cat, exploring a city while avoiding enemies. The game is simple and fun, making it a great pick for casual gamers.
Adventure games are all about exploration and problem-solving. Many classic adventure games were released for DOS, and here are some of the best:
Maniac Mansion is an adventure game developed by LucasArts. Players take on the role of a teenager exploring a mansion filled with puzzles. The game was revolutionary for its time and is still a classic today.
Kings Quest IV
Kings Quest IV is the fourth installment of the classic adventure series. Players take on the role of Princess Rosella, exploring the kingdom of Daventry while solving puzzles. The game is full of interesting characters and puzzles, making it a great pick for adventure fans.
Myst is a classic adventure game released in 1993. Players explore an island filled with puzzles and clues. The game was revolutionary for its time and is still popular today.
Strategy games require players to think ahead and plan their moves. Here are some of the best strategy games for DOS:
M.U.L.E. is an economic simulation game developed by Electronic Arts. Players take on the role of a colonist, exploring a planet and competing with other players to build the most successful colony. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
Civilization is a classic turn-based strategy game released in 1991. Players take on the role of a leader, building an empire and competing with other civilizations. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
Lords of the Realm
Lords of the Realm is a classic turn-based strategy game released in 1994. Players take on the role of a lord, managing a kingdom and competing with other lords. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
Role-playing games are all about character customization and exploration. Here are some of the best role-playing games for DOS:
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar is a classic role-playing game released in 1985. Players take on the role of the Avatar, exploring the world of Britannia and completing various quests. The game is full of interesting characters and stories, making it a great pick for role-playing fans.
Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight
Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight is a classic role-playing game released in 1988. Players take on the role of a bard, exploring the kingdom of Skara Brae and completing various quests. The game is full of interesting characters and stories, making it a great pick for role-playing fans.
Eye of the Beholder
Eye of the Beholder is a classic first-person role-playing game released in 1990. Players take on the role of an adventurer, exploring a dungeon and fighting monsters. The game is full of interesting characters and puzzles, making it a great pick for role-playing fans.
Sports games are all about competition and strategy. Here are some of the best sports games for DOS:
John Madden Football
John Madden Football is a classic football simulator released in 1988. Players take on the role of a coach, managing a team and competing with other teams. The game is full of exciting strategies and is still popular today.
Links: The Challenge of Golf
Links: The Challenge of Golf is a classic golf simulator released in 1989. Players take on the role of a golfer, competing against other players and trying to improve their score. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
NHL Hockey ‘94
NHL Hockey ‘94 is a classic hockey simulator released in 1993. Players take on the role of a coach, managing a team and competing with other teams. The game is full of exciting strategies and is still popular today.
Simulation games are all about creating and managing a virtual world. Here are some of the best simulation games for DOS:
SimCity is a classic city-building simulator released in 1989. Players take on the role of a mayor, managing a city and competing with other cities. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
Theme Park is a classic theme park simulator released in 1994. Players take on the role of a manager, building and managing a theme park and competing with other parks. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
Transport Tycoon is a classic transportation simulator released in 1994. Players take on the role of a manager, building and managing a transportation network and competing with other networks. The game is full of interesting strategies and is still popular today.
How can I play DOS games?
Ready to time-travel back to the golden age of gaming and conquer those beloved DOS games once again? Here’s the thing, you don’t need to dust off your old 486 or hunt for floppy disks. Thanks to technology, reliving those glorious gaming memories is just a few clicks away!
Your magic portal to the past? It’s called DOSBox, an open-source DOS emulator that runs on a variety of platforms including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It emulates an Intel x86 PC, complete with sound, graphics, mouse, and more, making it a playground for classic DOS games.
- Download DOSBox: This is an open-source emulator that can mimic an old-school DOS environment on modern machines, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
- Find Your Games: There are many online platforms where you can download DOS game files (legally, of course). Sites like GOG or the Internet Archive can be your treasure trove.
- Configure DOSBox: This may sound a bit techy, but it’s as simple as adjusting a few settings. The most important is learning how to mount the directory where your games are stored. The DOSBox’s user guide on their official website is a fantastic resource for this.
- Launch Your Game: Once everything’s set, all you have to do is type in the name of the game’s executable file, and you’re off on your nostalgic gaming adventure!
- Explore Online Platforms: The Internet Archive, for instance, offers a host of DOS games that can be played directly in your browser, no download or configuration required.
With DOSBox, you can delve into classics like “Doom”, “Prince of Persia”, “Civilization”, and countless others right on your modern PC. The steps are pretty straightforward – download DOSBox, mount the game files, and voila, you’re back to the pixelated, beep-booping glory days of DOS gaming!
Another cool option is online platforms like the Internet Archive, which allows you to play a multitude of DOS games directly in your browser.
DOS games have been around for decades, providing gamers with hours of entertainment. From classic platformers to strategy games, there’s something for everyone on this platform. With so many great titles to choose from, it can be hard to decide which ones are the best. This list of the best DOS games of all time should help you choose the perfect game for your needs.