Set foot on any college campus, high school playground, or even office break room, and you're liable to hear the smack talk: "Today's PC gamers just don't have it as good as we used to back in the day." Maybe so. Or maybe yesterday's outings were more memorable simply because they helped lay the groundwork in terms of design and innovation for the countless equally enjoyable titles surging up the charts today. Either way, you don't know what classic means until you've played the below interactive outings — each of which has easily stood the test of time, and helped redefine gaming as we know it along the way. Happily, a growing range of retro downloading options (see: an ever-expanding roster of online retailers who now offer access to countless reissues and remakes of classic gaming hits) makes it easier than ever to get back in the game. And as you'll quickly discover, many older titles remain every bit as playable today as they were once upon a chunky old monitor ago.

Better still, you'll find that the classic gaming experience is also simpler to access and easier to enjoy than ever. Credit the rise of cutting-edge computer hardware such as the many gaming-specific PCs, laptops, and add-ons/upgrades (e.g., mind-blowing graphics cardshigh-end monitors, and premium motherboards) that manufacturers like ROG now offer. If you experienced classic gaming during the golden years, then you'll remember the one overriding complaint with respect to old-school gaming: that most hardware systems weren't upgradeable quickly enough to keep up with the latest gaming advancements, or powerful enough to allow you to get the most from software titles. Instead, many players found themselves using specialized hacks (e.g., overclocking machines, using memory managers to better handle RAM usage, or cranking in-game audiovisual settings way down) to get more from systems and to make their favorite titles playable on underpowered hardware readouts. This often meant reducing first-person shooters to little more than pixilated facsimiles of the actual white-knuckle experiences developers intended, or reducing real-time strategy gaming speeds to laughable levels.

Thankfully, today, courtesy of ROG and other providers, you don't have to make sacrifices like this anymore — you can experience these classic titles as their creators originally intended. Think: no more having to reduce graphical settings and on-screen images to indecipherable blurs, shrinking the number of computerized opponents you can play against to a single adversary, or being forced to play on maps so small you're practically sitting on top of opponents. Now, playing on an ROG system or hardware, you can experience these titles like never before — and the way that they should have been experienced once upon a time, long, long ago. The bottom line: whether you're looking to relive the halcyon days of your lost youth, or simply rediscover PC gaming's roots, be sure to check out all your favorite classic titles once again. Here are 10 of the best you'll be wanting to revisit without delay.


Doom (id Software)

Released in 1993, seminal sci-fi run-n-gun outing Doom wasn't technically the first first-person shooter to hit the market, yet it's ultimately come to be hailed as the genre-defining title when it comes to FPS gaming. Moreover, it remains one of the industry's most influential titles more than two decades after it first stormed PC monitors, winning over legions of fans with its brutal blend of pixilated demon-slaying mayhem. The original — wherein a lone space marine attempts to turn back the forces of Hades by blowing the living hell out of floating eyeballs, horned horrors, and other assorted mutants crawling around a labyrinth of dark corridors — doesn't stand out just for its original gameplay. It stands out also for its business smarts, foreshadowing the arrival of today's massive free-to-play gaming market, with the original Doom being divided into three nine-level episodes, the first level of which was given away as free downloadable "shareware." Almost a bait-and-switch for unsuspecting players, who'd never seen such in-your-face 3D action before, the trick actually worked, helping propel the franchise to sales of more than 10 million copies, and a permanent place in players' hearts. With a star-studded series reboot due out this year, now's the perfect time to revisit its original entry — still every bit as fresh, frightening, and fun to play with the lights out as the day it was first made.


Fallout (Interplay)

This spiritual successor to classic cult-favorite sci-fi role-player Wasteland (an interactive ode to big-screen films like Mad Max, which recently received a franchise reboot itself) clearly wasn't the first post-apocalyptic title to hit the PC. However, its sprawling open-world design — inviting players to explore a living, breathing dystopian alternate future, wherein mutants and scavengers roam the barren wastes — took the setting and genre in an entirely new and original direction. Successfully combining humor with the all-too-timely topic of mutually assured global destruction, Fallout's intricate combat, rich storyline, and retro-futuristic vibe quickly captured the hearts of millions of tactical enthusiasts. Offering a cast of colorful characters, a rich setting to explore, and multiple decisions that affect the player's journey through a world gone horribly wrong, the title's massive replayability and vast range of adventures to pursue still make it a wonder to experience today.