(Image credit: No One Lives Forever)

FREE CLASSIC GAMES

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StarCraft – These days Blizzard sells a shiny remaster, but if the original’s good enough for South Korea, it’s good enough for us. There’s a reason that even today it’s an esports sensation – this iconic RTS remains a triumph of tight strategy and intense competition, with an incredible amount of depth for devotees to get lost in.

The Dark Mod – A tribute to the Thief series, this standalone game lets you download a massive variety of user-made stealth levels, from tightly contained ones like Thief’s Den to the more open variety of Return to the City, and plenty of spooky ones like The Creeps.

The Operative: No One Lives Forever – The classic stealth FPS, never re-released thanks to licensing hell. Its clever humour and charming 1960s setting hold up nicely, as do the arsenal of goofy, Bond-esque gadgets at your disposal. That includes lipstick bombs, sleeping gas perfume, and a briefcase rocket launcher.

The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall – 1996’s Elder Scrolls sequel was huge and ambitious, letting you explore High Rock and Hammerfell. A lot of series staples, like joining the Mages Guild, started here.

Beneath a Steel Sky – This point-and-click adventure features art by Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons, a twisty sci-fi story, and a really goofy sense of humour. One of its neatest ideas is how you can stick your AI pal Joey’s electronic brain into different mechanical robots to solve puzzles.

The MS-DOS Archive.org library – A collection of thousands of classic, free PC games playable in your browser. The MS-DOS collection on Archive.org contains more than 4,000 games, all emulated and easy to play in just a few seconds. Wolfenstein 3D, Prince of Persia, Jazz Jackrabbit, Carmen Sandiego… you could spend a lifetime of lunch breaks in here. But then you might starve.

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article!

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