15 Great Games That Are Playable On Low-End PCs

Written by Slapstic

Plenty of people use non-expensive laptops and desktop pcs for simple school projects, music management, and web browsing. A lot of these people are also gamers, but don’t buy games for their PCs because they think that their setup can’t handle anything beyond Bejewled. Well they’re wrong. I happen to be one of those gamers. I got my laptop last Christmas and ignorantly popped in the Orange Box and after the lengthy install, dove into Half-Life 2. It wasn’t pretty. I thought my computer was going to explode. So I started doing some research, and learned about system specs and what they meant. I found that all of the following great games worked well on my system. Here are my system specs so that you can compare for yourself and predict accurately how well the games will work for you. Before reading, prepare yourself. My machine is SUCKAGE.

I’m running an Acer Aspire 4720Z
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual CPU T2310 @ 1.46 GHz, 1.47 GHz
Memory (RAM): 1GB
System Type: Windows Vista 32-bit Operating System

Obviously there are other factors involved in how well a game will run on your system but those are the major ones. So here’s the list of games! There are some multiplatform games on the list, but I’m recommending the PC versions. All of the games below are absolutely quality.

1. Deus Ex

It’s not uncommon to find this game referred to as the greatest PC game of all time. I don’t necessarily think it deserves THAT title, but it’s definitely a great shooter. The graphics aren’t very pretty (but still passable), but it’s sort of like an old lady. She was hot at some point in time. But now that she doesn’t have any teeth and smells like Metamucil it’s like “eeeeeeh…”. Actually it’s nothing like that. This is a great game.

2. Diablo 2

I hope you like the sound of your own mouse clicking, because you’ll be doing it a LOT during this classic RPG. The character management and growth aspect of the game is fantastic, and anyone that’s played it will tell you that you NEED to play it.

3. Final Fantasy VII

Yes, nerds around the world, there IS a PC version of this game, and it’s exactly like the original. There’s no way you haven’t heard about this game already, so just go get it.

4. Unreal Tournament

Okay. So take any shooter and put it on acid. Congratulations, you have Unreal Tournament. It’s probably a cure for ADHD.

5. Guild Wars

There is no shame in playing a MMO that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for, and this one is just fun. The game gets a little choppy in towns on even the fastest of internet connections, but other than that it’s a flawless experience.

6. Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors Expansion

As the single greatest RTS ever created, this game is more fun than a taco filled with jello. In fact, it took me forever to write this article because I took a break to play this game for a few hours. Once you learn the ropes, the game is timeless.

7. Counterstrike 1.6

It’s fun, but please, just play with friends if you’re a beginner. The people online don’t have too much else in life to do, so they’ll pretty much destroy you. It’s a fantastic shooter, though.

8. Metal Gear Solid

Like FFVII, it’ll probably surprise many gamers to learn that this game is available on the PC. This game also retains the original version’s greatness, as it’s pretty much a straight port of the PS1 masterpiece.

9. Warcraft 3

Don’t play this game for the actual game. Play it for the mods. There are some truly amazing mods for this game, most notably the multiple tower defense packs that abound on the net. Nothing quite beats a round on the Jurassic Park stage with a few buddies.

10. Call of Duty

Undoubtedly the best looking game on my system, CoD runs at a smooth rate and maintains its PS2-quality graphics despite my laptop’s weak specs. It’s also a great shooter with fun multiplayer. There’s no reason not to buy.

11. System Shock 2

A gruesome, scary FPS with more than few similarities to Deus Ex, System Shock 2 holds up as one of the best of its genre. Miss this one at your own peril.

12. Fallout 2

Odds aren’t you haven’t played this game. Odds are you’d like it if you did. Odds are your crappy pc can run it. The odds are good. So just shut up and get this one: it’s an RPG classic.

13. Halo

Yes, Halo online multiplayer is fun. A LOT of fun. And if you haven’t spent the last 5 years with your head in a mud hole, you’re probably aware of that. Well one more thing to be aware of is that Halo doesn’t require too much power out of your PC. So get to playing.

14. Grand Theft Auto 3

Although on my system, the game gets a tad choppy sometimes, it’s totally worth it to play the game that basically crafted the sandbox genre. Fun story, fun driving, fun music, and tons of freedom make for a truly great game.

15. World of Warcraft

Yeah… It’s WoW. No comments here. Just try not to get TOO addicted once you start. So that’s the list! If you don’t like those games, you probably smoke crack. Thanks for reading!

-Ryan Rigney

28 thoughts on “15 Great Games That Are Playable On Low-End PCs

  1. Bujold

    My laptop is just a little bit stronger than yours (Intel Celeron M @ 1.60GHz) and I ran Portal with very little problem with some tweaking. Gary’s Mod is still way off-limit tough.

  2. Terry Smith

    Your suckage system is better than mine… 🙁

    You missed the awesome first two Serious Sam games and the great No One Live Forever 2 – the tornado tailer park sword fight is worth the $ all by itself

  3. Droniac

    Great list of games, although I disagree with a few comments/choices you made. I certainly wouldn’t have put those console ports (FF – for poor controls, Halo – for insane system requirements) in there. I’d also hardly call AoE2 the best RTS ever made, but I never really got into the whole AoE series.

    If you mention Call of Duty then you really also should give Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory a try: it’s free, decent looking and doesn’t require much of a PC to run. It’s also loads more fun than Call of Duty, but a fair bit more complex so it takes some getting used to.

    As for getting destroyed in CS online… I always found it to be a very newbie friendly game, for a shooter. If there was ever a shooter wherein a newbie could win from a decent player – CS would most certainly be it. I think your comment on this game would be better suited for UT. I know many an experienced FPS player who got disheartened by the prospect of playing UT, simply because they ‘always get destroyed online’. Not a newbie friendly game by any means, but certainly loads more fun than CS once you get the hang of it (in my opinion).

  4. Mike

    The title is 15 Great Games That Are Playable On Low-End PCs. It doesn’t say the ONLY 15 great games that are playable on low-end PCs. It doesn’t say that there aren’t others. Sure, there are others. Most of these games are pretty good, and most will run on your laptop.

  5. Tim

    Dude, you forgot the original Half-Life! I played that thing on a Pentium 220 with 32MB RAM on Windows 95, I’m sure that it can play on anything, and everthing, made since then.

  6. Verum

    Fallout, Planescape Torment, Blade Runner, Worms World Party, Anachronox, and Starcraft, one of the best RTS’, are some more good games with extremely low requirements.

  7. jordan

    what about morrowind??????? my specs are similar to yours and the game runs as smooth as hell. and you cant deny its one of the best rpgs out there.

  8. DMon

    Um, what about Crossfire??? that game is the shiznit. A completely engrossing online FPS with a tab bit of lvl’ng thrown in. and i run it flawlessly on an acer aspire one with wireless. There’s also a couple games I would add to the list. Such as Freedom Fighters, and World of Goo both of which a fairly new and loads of fun. And in case you haven’t thought of it you can always run emulators. N64 was the SH!t!!!! Goldeneye and marioKart Btchz

  9. jon

    if you are interested in diablo 2, acquire the median xl mod by brother laz. it adds a lot to the game and makes single player actually enjoyable.
    unfortunately however… it makes player vs player not at all a worthwhile pursuit.

  10. Anonymous

    Way too late, but for anyone else reading, Killing Floor (Steam Game) runs great on my acer aspire 5290 which has 1.5Ghz intel core duo a 2GB of RAM–Not great. But I’m sure it could run well on even a lesser cpu.

  11. HELLO¬!!!!

    Yo, guys. I could run Garrys mod on my Packard Bell dot s (specs: IAP n450 and a GMA 3150. Crap huh? not for gaming…) but in small levels, gm_flatgrass, uhh… cs_Italy, it was playable.

  12. DarksmokeX

    Lol age of empires was a good startegy game but you cant forget starcraft is the best rts. Also you shouldve said fate its an awesome game that will run on probably any comp anyways thanx for the info peace

  13. Das

    MAn youve,got good pcs,,,mine is 128 ram,,,16mb graphic,,it caN ONLY BE USED for playing music and checking time

  14. sh3r1ly

    i used to have a horrible computer that barely handled my favorite game(age of empires) but i just got a new computer and i installed wondows vista, now my computer is too good for AOE II. the game is so old vista doesnt have the required software to play it. . .

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