PC Gaming 15 years ago


It’s difficult to put ones finger on what is exactly different between PC gaming now and 15 years ago. Aside from the obvious differences common to all platforms; the technology, graphics, sound and hardware etc were older – but there was something more exciting about gaming back then.

It felt like PC gaming was evolving monthly, compared to now when PC gaming is very much dorment thanks to the consoles taking over the world.

Between 1995-1998 we went through 6 different version of Directx, probably a hundred different models of soundblaster and various Voodoo / 3dfx graphics cards. The technology evolved so quickly, you couldn’t keep up.

I photographed some old PC gaming magazines for this article, and uploaded an advert (see photo in the gallery below article) to Reddit for a 1995 Apricot PC, costing £1,349, and the comment below it (while not the most eloquent) sums up the sentiment correctly.

PC gaming in the 90s reddit comment

Anyway on with the nostalgia!

Looking back through those magazine, it’s hard to believe how expensive PC games were. So much so, there were separate game charts – budget gaming, cdrom games, and full price titles!

In the mid-90’s we were well into the ropey FMV-based cdrom titles, because, afterall, filling a game with FMV was the only to really fill a CD-ROM back then. . check out this classy title ‘Voyeur’, and what a price. .

Point n’ click adventure games were very popular, too. If only we still saw titles of the same calibre as Full Throttle and Discworld:


Modding was still very popular, even before home internet was the norm. Check out this ‘elvis’ mod for Doom – these came on cover CD’s or floppy discs, depending on which version of the magazine your pocket money would stretch to. .

Crap games!

Tie Fighter – “Recommended price” of £49.99

Demo Disc!

The 1337 rig you need to play them on!

2 Replies to “PC Gaming 15 years ago”

  1. PC gaming isn’t “Dormant” as you put it. As consoles have sprung up, they’ve become more popular – are generally cheaper in the short term, and easier to set up – so have got more limelight, as PCs are thus considered slightly archaic, which all the stuff you need to know to be able to build one (which, isn’t much, but to the layperson it seems as such).

    In fact, game development has become more domant (if you wish to call it such), as gaming has become commercialised big-up stylie, with large companies now making games. Large companies don’t like risk, and that’s what game development is, especially for non-cookie-cutter games. If people will buy the same thing, just with shinier graphics, that’s what they’ll sell, so the companies don’t lose money.
    Before, in the windows `95 era (and before that even, in the DOS era) gaming was done less by large companies (or even large game development software teams) but by small ones working on their own, or even bedroom developers, who cared less about a profit, and more about the final product.

    Thanks to things like the indie marketplace on xbla, and greenlight project on steam, smaller teams are once more getting the recognition they deserve. However, putting consoles and PC in a free-for-all, PC gaming easily outstrips console gaming: developers can make the software they need or the engine they want with the user having to worry about being able to play, while console devs have to make their stuff work around what they’ve been given (for at least 7 to 8 years). Plus, modding is easier and larger in PC gaming, and most PCs have the ability to plug a console controller in. The only reason for not PC gaming is not wanting to mess with the computers insides.

    But the 50,000 odd people on Steam will tell you PC gaming isn’t dormant. Not at all.
    Good article by the way, really brought back nostalgia!

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