Ranked: The Best Windows 95 Games Ever

by Staff & Contributors on August 21, 2020

in Gaming

Is there anything more instantly nostalgia-inducing than the Windows 95 startup sound? Anyone who remembers that soothing chiptune melody will instantly be transported back to a simpler time when data was stored on floppy disks and even sending an email was a Herculean struggle.

We’ve come a long way since then, but that doesn’t mean that everything about the Windows 95 era is worth forgetting. Few people remember that the variety of games available for Windows 95 was actually staggering and that many of those games were pretty good.

Looking back, there are several Windows 95 games that could most definitely compete with some of the top-spec console games out there today in terms of entertainment value. Since we are all dedicated fans of retro gaming, here is our round-up of the very best Windows 95 games ever made. What’s more, all of the games on this list are currently available to download as freeware or shareware, meaning you can start playing them today.

4. Hover!

Largely considered to be one of the first first-person video games with anything approaching 3D graphics, Hover! is still widely loved among vintage gaming enthusiasts. The game was originally designed merely to show off the multimedia capabilities of the Windows 95 OS prior to its release, but it became a surprise hit. Hover! is a cross between fairground bumper cars and capture the flag, where you take control of a speeding bumper car and drive it across and increasingly outlandish range of maps to capture elusive flags.

3. Poker Broker

When thinking of vintage Windows card games, most people’s minds just go straight to Solitaire. However, long before that came along, there was the free-to-play game Poker Broker. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a classic poker click game that can be played against bots. You get a $5000 bankroll at the start, and standard Texas Hold ‘Em is the only game available. These days, players have preferred to head to other places to play PC poker, especially since they can now play for real money. Sites as Legalbetting.com, introduces you to the basics of online poker and what you need to know to get started. Also, finds the legal online poker sites for whatever poker variation you fancy, which means that games like Poker Broker have, sadly, had their day in the sun.

2. SkiFree

SkiFree is actually older than Windows 95, having first been released in 1991 for Mac. The game will likely seem instantly familiar to you if you have ever played one of the thousands of ski-jump clicker games from the App Store. However, SkiFree was a pioneer at its time and remains one of the more visually stunning and challenging versions of this popular gaming format. SkiFree was originally designed so that the character could only jump in response to live coding requests, which is why the game remains hugely popular among the hacker community.

1. Myst

Many gaming fans will probably already know Myst quite well, given that its many, many iterations have managed to make a lasting impact on games and gaming culture. In the original ’95 version, the premise remains the same. You open the mysterious ‘Myst’ book and are transported to a mysterious and whimsical island world, where you must solve puzzles and navigate palace intrigues to find your way home. The game was notable at the time for the fact that there is no time limits, no enemies to find, and no threat of dying at any point in the game. It is for these reasons why Myst made such a splash, going onto sell 6 million copies and cementing its position as an all-time cult classic.

These games demonstrate that you don’t need high-tech graphics and powerful processors for hours of gaming fun. Simply download these bad boys onto your laptop for free and step back in time.

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