PC Gamer’s “The Best PC Games List” Includes Ultima Underworld, Drops Ultima 7

PC Gamer produces a yearly feature entitled The Best PC Games, in which their editors…well, here’s their explanation of the decision process:

Every year, the international PC Gamer team puts its heads together to hash out a list of the hundred PC games you need to play. This year, we’re stressing ‘play’. With a handful of exceptions, every game on the list is one that you can access and enjoy today. Where that’s not the case, it’s because that game is special and we feel you should know about it anyway. The hope is that you’ll read through this list and discover a classic that you’d never otherwise have played.

Our selection process is democratic and subjective. Every member of the jury put forward their personal top 15 games of all time, and those lists were combined to produce our longlist. Finally, one person each from the UK and US teams entered a room (well, a Skype call), went through the entire thing, and emerged with a final list that we’re proud of.

This year, they’ve got Ultima Underworld (a new entry on the list, actually) listed at #59, which is a reasonable score. And they certainly heap praise upon the game:

Tony: Before Doom, before even Wolfenstein 3D, this was the game that took players out of two dimensions into immersive, texture-mapped, first-person reality. And where id’s games would be mere shooters when they arrived, this was a sophisticated fantasy RPG, where you could swim, talk to people, pick things up, develop skills and cast magic. You could even look up. And incredibly, we got it all at once, all in one game.

Ultima Underworld was a leap forward in gaming technology that has yet to be equalled. In the narrative of videogame evolution, this is the bit where one monkey smashes another monkey’s brains in because he was told to by a monolith.

Chris T: I’m always banging on about how Thief invented the meditative FPS, and that’s true if you stick to shooters. Ultima Underworld is a vital part of the same chain, however, developing the idea of first-person fantasy in a way that The Elder Scrolls would, decades later, run with. This was an RPG developed with the goal of immersing yourself in a world that was entirely yours to explore and manipulate: a fantasy that developers still chase, that players still flock to Kickstarter to support.

However, there’s also a bit of an upset in the list; Underworld is the only Ultima game included on it. Last year’s list listed Ultima 7 at #82, and while that score was certainly unacceptable, at least the game was on the list. This year, it has been dropped, which is a rather upsetting turn of events.

Quite the upsetting tradeoff, though somewhat fitting in a certain sense. Last year and in mid-to-late 2013, Divinity: Original Sin was still claiming the mantle of Ultima 7 as one of its major design inspirations, so perhaps the game was fresher in mind. This year, Underworld Ascendant has brought Ultima Underworld back into the spotlight, which could explain its inclusion on the list this year.

Home Forums PC Gamer’s “The Best PC Games List” Includes Ultima Underworld, Drops Ultima 7

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Frank 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #39472
    WtF Dragon
    WtF Dragon
    Participant

    PC Gamer’s “The Best PC Games List” Includes Ultima Underworld, Drops Ultima 7

    PC Gamer’s list of The Best PC Games now includes Ultima Underworld, but no longer includes Ultima 7.

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  • #39490

    Micro Magic

    Don’t feel bad about it, mate. They have SC2 and neglected Brood War. They even put SC2, Dota 2, and CS GO ahead of LoL. Which is pretty silly considering it’s one of, if not, the biggest game in the world and the catalyst that jump started e-sports in the western world. Then you have Team Fortress 2 above CS GO. This list is an abominable joke.

    Past the obligatory outrage, the list reminded me of Planescape Torment. I’ve always wanted to go through it, but on my first attempt I felt like the game world was too small and constricting. Then I was stopped by a crash when I was teleported somewhere. Does the game ever open up outside the city?

    • #39491
      WtF Dragon
      WtF Dragon
      Participant

      …the list reminded me of Planescape Torment. I’ve always wanted to go through it, but on my first attempt I felt like the game world was too small and constricting. Then I was stopped by a crash when I was teleported somewhere. Does the game ever open up outside the city?

      Couldn’t tell you. It’s an Infinity Engine game that isn’t Icewind Dale, so I can’t bear to play it beyond the first ten minutes or so.

  • #39499

    Ridd

    What a joke. I just lost a lot of respect for PC Gamer.

  • #39553

    Frank

    I lost a lot of respect for pc gamer back in 1996 when I read their Quake review, now, duke 3d and quake were the two big fps games at the time and while I loved both equally, quake opened up a whole new world of FPS.

    Now, Pc gamer actually wrote in their review that quake wasn’t bringing anything new to the table technology wise, I’ll have to find my old issue to get the exact wording but that line always resonated with me, I just thought it was silly then.

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