10 Amazing Retro Games to Play on Low-Spec PC Configuration

It is more and more obvious that graphics are not everything when it comes to computer games. In fact, many retro games come with low requirements and work wonders on low-end PCs. Believe it or not, there are quite a few modern games that follow the same requirements too.

The thing is many times, developers tend to sacrifice the gameplay for graphics, which puts everyone off. In theory, retro games should not require much anyway, but if you have an old computer, here are some of the most impressive options out there that have been loved by millions and if you love some of them, there are sequels of many games.

Some coming this year like Diablo IV by Blizzard.

1. Hotline Miami

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Hotline Miami has pretty interesting gameplay for old games. The action takes place in the 1980s and players will end up with one purpose in the game, killing everyone. It is an old-fashioned shooter that can still give you a thrilling experience.

You need to change weapons and go from one room to another, explore hallways and eventually leave a trail of blood behind you. Everything is shot from above, so you have a pretty clear view of who is coming toward you or what you are supposed to do next.

All in all, this is the type of game that will work on a 20-year-old computer with no issues at all, so it will most likely fly on a modern one.

2. Age of Empires 2

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Age of Empires 2 is one of those retro games that requires a bit more than average back in the day. For today’s PC market, the game would run extremely smoothly with no issues at all. You could probably run it on a smart fridge or toaster too. It is one of those games everyone played at some point or another.

Age of Empires 2 is a powerful contender for the best real-time strategy game in history. Erect buildings, develop strategies, and make sure you can manage wars with multiple enemies at once. The gameplay is still impressive and there are more modes and campaigns to try on.

Released in 1999, the PS2 version is probably the best one to try today with an emulator, but the PC version is just as good.

3. Railroad Tycoon

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Forget about all these modern building games that take hours of your time to erect a village, only to have someone else come over and destroy it. Railroad Tycoon is one of the ultimate business and building retro titles out there. The graphics would obviously seem old-fashioned, but the gameplay is still fascinating.

The objective is pretty straightforward. You need to run a railroad company. You have to build tracks, erect stations, and buy trains. You are responsible for schedules and running times as well. Obviously, you are pressured by the time every now and then.

There are lots of scenarios and options to keep you engaged too. Seems Interesting, right?

4. Myst

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The puzzle-based game Myst gained notoriety for three reasons. First, the graphics were outstanding. It revolutionized the gaming industry. Second, the gameplay was just as attractive. You had to find books, and go from one world to another, complete puzzles, find more books, and eventually save a brother.

Third, despite all these, it did not require too much to run. Given its popularity, it has been through a plethora of remakes over the past few decades, but the truth is none of them can match the impact of the original release.

5. Duke Nukem 3D

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Duke Nukem 3D is one of the first shooters to take the world over, as well as one of the first games to show everyone what a tough man looks like. Muscles, a buzz cut, and sunglasses defined one of the most appreciated symbols of the 1990s in the gaming industry.

The gameplay made the difference. It was active, intense, and crazy. There was always some action involved and some enemies to kill. Just like other games, it has been through a few remakes, but matching the original impact is probably impossible.

6. Abe’s Oddysee

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This is an old-school type of prison break, but unlike most other similar games, you are actually the alien trying to escape. Anyway, the action takes place in Rupture Farms, a plant dealing with meat. The only problem is local aliens are turned into delicious treats for a different race of aliens and you might be next.

Abe is a bit wiser than other aliens and realizes what is going on. You need to plan your moves a few steps in advance. You can also save some of your fellows on the way, however, it is not mandatory. But as you may realize later on, the number of aliens you save will have some consequences.

The game Abe’s Oddysee had a remake less than a decade ago, but it failed to get the desired attention.

7. Diablo

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Diablo may not be considered the best game in the series, but it is definitely among the best RPGs to hit the market. Sure, there are other similar games out there. In fact, Blizzard has even released a mobile one, but the impact of this second release is impossible to match.

The only major requirement was disk space because the game was huge for those times. The same issue hit the second release. Other than that, the gameplay was smooth and there were thousands of enemies.

Besides, there were countless types of creatures and there was always something new to surprise you when the game got a bit boring.

Diablo IV coming out in June 2023.

8. Baldur’s Gate

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When Baldur’s Gate came out in 1998, it was the ultimate RPG. Just like other RPGs, its only downside was the size. It was big and required space, but the gameplay itself was excellent. Graphics were great too and most importantly, you had days, if not weeks of fun and entertainment.

You had the main story, as well as side quests and different chapters. The best part about it? There are plenty of mods for this original release. While a new version was released in 2012, the truth is you can stick to the original and just try out different modes.

9. StarCraft

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StarCraft become a cult among strategy fans. It was not for everyone though. Some people fell in love with it straight away, while others hated it. It is, however, a classic and no one can deny it. Being a strategy game, PC requirements were relatively low.

The real-time strategy game allowed players to choose between three different races, including humans. Then, it was the classic run. Develop, grow, upgrade, expand and conquer others. Believe it or not, StarCraft still has a very active community around it.

10. Quake

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Introduced in 1996, Quake was the heavily upgraded version of Doom. Everyone playing Doom moved on to Quake, 3D graphics, better weapons, more realistic environments, and so on, everything taking action in a medieval gothic setting.

The game introduced an exquisite multiplayer experience that could support up to eight players. Back then, most games were barely supported for players. Clans and groups popped up all over the world to compete against each other.

The bottom line, the list can definitely go longer than this, but these are some of the most revolutionary retro games out there. They did not require too much back then and they require even less today. While some may see them outdated, they can still bring in an exquisite experience.

Salman Mustafa
Salman Mustafa

Hey! A big gamer at heart and one of the founding members behind this site. I've combined my passion for gaming and my love of design to bring you the best in gaming news, builds, and advice. When I'm not gaming or working on cool new designs, I'm always on the lookout for the latest tech updates. Join me as we explore the world of gaming and build the ultimate gaming rigs or explore indie games together!
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