Which Are The Most Popular MS DOS Games?

Martin Wilson

Apr 12, 2022

Although there have been many technological advances in PCs and video games, the real test is whether the game is enjoyable to play. Retro-style games are back, and more fun than ever, but classic DOS games still offer some of the most enjoyable gameplay. This list includes the top DOS games, which are still enjoyable to play and well worth the minimal installation requirements. Some of these games are available on digital game download sites like Steam and GOG, while others have been made free.

Wolfenstein 3D

This game is what sparked the first-person shooting craze. This game was inspired by Castle Wolfenstein, a 1981 2D Apple II game from Muse Software. Wolfenstein 3D lets you play the role of William B.J. Blasckowicz. During World War II, this game places you in a Nazi mega-prison called Castle Wolfenstein. You must escape through various levels that are filled with guards. The final boss is mecha Hitler, equipped with four chain guns. It is fast and brutal, with plenty of blood and gore.

Duke Nukem 3D

Another fun FPS with a protagonist that resembles action heroes from 1980s films like "Die Hard" or Terminator. The game has a light comedic feel with crude humor and a hero who spits cheesy jokes as he blasts away his enemies with his huge guns. The plot is simple and serves only to tie everything together. You are Jon St. Jon, and you must fight an alien invasion of planet Earth. Duke Nukem's destructible environment was one of its strengths. You could also use back doors and air ducts to get around enemies and find hidden caches. You can also tip the strippers to get a provocative response.

Scorched Earth

Scorched Earth was a step beyond the traditional artillery style. Gorillas.BAS was a straightforward approach. Scorched Earth was called "The mother of all games." While you still had to destroy the opponent's tank by judging power, angle, and against wind speed and direction, you could earn money with Scorched Earth. Linux users have enjoyed a 3D version of Scorched Earth for years. However, it was back in the BBS shareware days when version 1.2 came out, and we could play with the physics and economics of the landscapes and weapons. Unfortunately, I didn't get to play version 1.1.0. Although the purists would argue that it is better (or 1.0b), it was still an excellent game. Did you know you could change the messages displayed on the screen?


Doom was the beginning of a new generation of action games that advanced visual techniques to push PC hardware limits. Doom allowed PC gamers to experience the same gameplay, graphics, and sound as home consoles. It also introduced network multiplayer options, coining the term "deathmatch." These are still popular to this day.


Today, we are used to violent games. Rarely does anyone blink at the sight of a character falling from a building or inserting a knife into someone's neck. However, Syndicate was a controversial videogame violence focus group that caused some eyebrows to be raised in 1993. You are looking into the dark future, and you want to rule the world with the aid of an android team. To increase your power, influence, and cash reserves, you'll need to execute kill orders, rescue allies, and use persuasive tactics. As long as the goal of world dominance is achieved, you can be as violent or passive as you wish. Many of us here grew up with Syndicate, so we have a lot of affection for this title that is often forgotten. The sequel was even more intense.


The MS-DOS gaming universe is missing Blood, which is almost a criminally underrated title. Blood uses the same Build engine as Duke Nukem 3D. Despite its outdated technological base, it is far more interesting than Quake in character, design, and gameplay. Although the plot pits one man against a mad cult and their evil God, it feels seamless in design and control. Its vivid graphics create a coherent, terrifying whole. The voice and sound effects are unique in the DOS era. Blood is the best DOS first-person shooter with the most varied and creative level design.

Under a Killing Moon

This is more like an interactive film instead of a game. However, it's an enjoyable experience that takes you on a journey with the detective Tex Murphy. The story is set in San Francisco during a post-World War III time. It is the year 2042, and corruption and crime have been ravaging the city as they do in the rest of the globe. The radiation results have led to the creation of two types of people: normal people and mutants.

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