|With most current titles retailing at well above Rs.1000/-, gaming is certainly not a cheap hobby. Even hardcore gamers can hardly afford to buy all the games they want, and casual gamers are often deterred from trying games by the price tag. Additionally, most new titles require rather serious hardware to run them. If you bought your machine more than a couple of years ago, these games simply won't run on it. So what's the way out for the financially challenged gamer? Is it a question of spend big bucks or die? Never fear – all is not lost. We've put together a list of games that offer unbeatable value for just about anyone. All the titles we have picked fit the following criteria : |
Most people who played Fallout when it was first released agree that it was one of the best games they've ever played. Set in a charmingly desolate post-nuclear world of guns, gangs and mutants, Fallout remains one of the most singularly memorable role-playing experiences of all time. It's a tribute to the designers that no other game has even tried to clone its setting and gameplay – there are Diablo clones, there are Starcraft clones, but there's nothing quite like Fallout available even today.
|Broken Sword – Shadow of the Templars |
The first Broken Sword adventure featuring American adventurer George Stoppard features some of the finest artwork and voice acting seen in an adventure game. The story starts off in modern day France and takes you through exotic locales such as Ireland, Syria and Spain as you try to solve a murder mystery that is not as simple as it seems. Broken Sword's elegant interface and simple gameplay make it easy for even newbies to pick up and start playing right away. The memorable story, well-written dialogues, interesting characters and challenging puzzles make this a timelessly enjoyable adventure.
|System Shock 2 |
A true classic in every sense, System Shock 2 remains one of the scariest, most atmospheric action-RPGs ever made. If you liked Deus Ex, Half-life or any other similar shooter, and you haven't tried this game, do it now. As a stranded soldier on an eerie, deserted spaceship facing off against creepy zombies, you'll find that this is horror gaming at its very best.
Though the seeds were sown by Command and Conquer and Warcraft 2, it was Starcraft that truly kickstarted the real time strategy genre's march to global popularity. With stunning graphics, intense gameplay, memorable music and an epic story, Starcraft became a worldwide phenomenon, and people are still playing it today. This is one of those rare games that seems truly ageless – offering a challenging and immersive experience years after it was first released.
It's not often that a game comes along that creates a sub-genre by itself, spawning a stream of imitators and wannabes trying to cash in on its success. Diablo created a sensation when it was unleashed on an unsuspecting gaming public – winning widespread acclaim and a devoted following. An action RPG with simple yet insanely addictive gameplay, hordes of evil monsters to kill and frightening dungeons to explore, Diablo remains eminently playable and tons of fun.
|Alpha Centauri |
Somehow, turn based strategy games don't seem to be as popular with Indian gamers as their real-time counterparts. However, if you're the type who enjoys playing strategy games at a less-than frantic pace, you'll simply love this gem from legendary designer Sid Meier. Alpha Centauri offers space exploration, sci-fi warfare and political intrigue in one slick game. And don't let the turn-based tag fool you – the gameplay is tense and involving, and you'll be sweating bullets by the time you realize it's four in the morning.
|Heretic 2 |
An underrated classic that isn't much talked about, Heretic 2 was a top-notch action game that went by almost unnoticed. Your staff-wielding hero can leap, roll, flip and go toe-to-toe with the best of them, and can cast devastating spells for good measure. And you execute all these cool moves in the midst of numerous fast-paced battles, slaying hordes of enemies along the way.
|Grim Fandango |
Many adventure gamers still swear that Grim Fandango remains the best ever made. Set in a bewilderingly charming and colourful gameworld populated by unforgettable, heartwarming characters, featuring groovy, smooth music and a twisting, bouncing, cartwheeling storyline, this is a game for all seasons. LucasArts outdid themselves with Grim Fandango – but don't believe me, see for yourself.
|The Curse of Monkey Island|
The best of the world-famous Monkey Island games, Curse was not just a brilliant adventure game, it was also one of the funniest cartoons I've ever seen … er … been in … er … whatever. Stop reading this. Run over to Odyssey (that's a plug, Ashwin) and buy it. Now. Seriously.
Half Life 2 wouldn't be here without the original. Nuff said. If you haven't played this, it's time to play it now. If you have, play it again. Even if your name's not Sam. The most engaging, action-packed, scare-your-pants-off shooter ever, until HL2 came along.