Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Gaming culture can be somewhat enigmatic if you don’t follow it heart and soul. New games can demand prices upwards of $60 USD and, unfortunately, price has no correlation with the final quality. Not to mention first having to invest in buying a console (most recently the Xbox One and PS4) or building a gaming PC. And then are other issues like digital rights management. But when you want affordable, high-quality, DRM-free games, GOG will always have your back.
GOG, formerly known as Good Old Games, is a game distribution service that focuses on classics that are natively available on or have been ported to either Windows or Mac. GOG’s availability is worldwide, AND their “fair price policy” means you always pay the same amount no matter where you are in the world. Combine that with the fact that ALL games on GOG lack DRM and you’ll see that there’s no reason NOT to use GOG.
Myst: Masterpiece Edition [552MB] [$5.99]
Myst was a revolutionary game in its time. Through its use of pre-rendered 3D graphics and point-and-click gameplay, it managed to immerse the player in a whole new world of mystery, magic, and discovery. So good was the game that it quickly became the best-selling PC game of all time until 2002, when The Sims claimed the crown 9 years later.
At its foremost, Myst is a logic puzzle game that spans multiple locations. Every object you come across is a hint in some way, shape, or form, and only the most imaginative and clever players will be able to reach one of several endings. The Masterpiece Edition is an update to the original game’s pre-rendered graphics.
SimCity 2000: Special Edition [79MB] [$5.99]
SimCity 2000 was another big pioneer for video games, only this time in the genre of city building and management. You take on the role of a city mayor, and you must construct an entire city – roads, power plants, residences, business, police and fire stations, hospitals, and more – while maintaining a positive budget, keeping citizens happy, reducing crime, and such. I remember losing hours to this game in my youth and the game will immerse you if you allow it.
The Special Edition contains all expansions and the Urban Renewal Kit, which allows you to edit in-game sprites to create your own buildings and assets. Don’t let the recent controversy with SimCity turn you away. There’s a reason why the controversy exists in the first place: because SimCity 2000 put the entire franchise on the map.
Rollercoaster Tycoon: Deluxe [360MB] [$5.99]
Rollercoaster Tycoon is similar to SimCity in that it’s a management simulation, but instead of managing an entire city, you’re left to create and oversee an amusement park. Not only do you need to keep all of the park visitors happy and entertained, you need to keep your park clean, make sure there are enough bathrooms, and ensure all of your rides are operating safely. The coolest part, however, is building your own roller coasters and seeing what the visitors think of them.
The Deluxe edition comes with both expansion packs, Corkscrew Follies and Loopy Landscapes. I lost many hours of my life to this game and I would not take them back. Rollercoaster Tycoon is immensely fun and well worth its price tag on GOG.
Ultima 7: The Complete Edition [30MB] [$5.99]
When talking about old-school RPGs, especially the ones on PC, you can’t go five minutes without someone mentioning the Ultima series – and from that series, Ultima 7 is arguably the best. In the game, you must investigate strange events that are occurring throughout the lands of Britannia. The isometric viewpoint of the game might throw you off because it’s not like most traditional RPGs, but you’ll get used to it and the story will have you gripped.
The Complete Edition comes with The Black Gate, Forge of Virtue, Serpent Isle, and The Silver Seed, meaning you get the full game and all expansions. It’s an incredible value for the price and you’ll sink plenty of hours into this game.
Might and Magic 7 [628MB] [$5.99]
The Might and Magic series is definitely a classic that I can get behind. As a boy, this was one of the games I would always fall back on when I didn’t have Internet access (thank you, dial-up modems!) because it never failed to transport me directly into a new world of wonder. Modern 3D RPGs owe some of their existence to Might and Magic, and you should really give the game a try if you love the genre.
Many consider Might and Magic 7 to be the best in the series. Over a hundred hours of gameplay await you, not to mention the wonderful in-game card game, Arcomage. The world is fully realized and ready for you to step into.
The phrase “You get what you pay for” often holds true, but not with GOG. They’ve managed to offer some of the best video games to grace the scene at low and affordable prices, all while making sure that those games are free from DRM protection, AND available all across the world. I really don’t see how it gets any better than that, especially with these five masterpiece games available in their catalog.
What do you think of these games? What do you think of GOG? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!