For almost as long as computers have existed, we have found ways to use them to play games. A game called Spacewar!, which was developed at MIT way back in 1962, has been attributed as being the first ever computer game. Although the graphics are a little primitive, and the computer it was designed for was about as big as your car, the premise of the game is similar to many that are released today: hit your opponent before they hit you.
Despite this, it wasn’t until a whole 11 years later that a computer game was produced commercially. The legendary game Pong was released by Atari in 1973, and it had graphics even simpler than Spacewar!—just 3 rectangles moving around on the screen.
Nowadays we have computers that are many times more powerful than the entire computing power used by NASA to land Neil Armstrong on the moon; in fact, an iPhone is more powerful than the computers used in Apollo 11. Thanks to this, computer games have progressed significantly, giving us photorealistic graphics, ragdoll physics and online multiplayer. This has made games more open-ended and given them the ability to provide many more hours of gameplay. Here is a look at some of the best modern games that’ll have you playing for hours on end.
Whilst its graphics are certainly not anything to brag about, Minecraft has grown to become one of the most popular games across many platforms. The game allows players to explore a sandbox world and build anything they choose using blocks. There is no real story. Instead, players are essentially dropped onto a blank canvas for them to use their imagination; they are required to mine materials to build more complicated structures.
Minecraft’s multiplayer version allows players to work together to create their own world, although the game’s open-endedness also means that unsavoury players can destroy what you created.
Grand Theft Auto V
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a 2D, top-down, open environment, driving and shooting game in 1997. The latest version, Grand Theft Auto V, was a huge hit for the consoles, but it has been enhanced for its PC release. The greater computing power of gaming PCs provides a smooth 60fps frame rate and richer graphics. As well as 30 hours of single-player, storyline missions, Grand Theft Auto V provides many more hours of enjoyment with side jobs, Easter eggs and regularly-updated online play through GTA Online.
Since the first online casino opened in 1995, there has been an explosion in the growth of iGaming providers across the internet. One of the biggest is PokerStars, which provides several versions of poker, other card games like blackjack and baccarat, and casino-style slot games. Players are required to download and install the company’s software, which is available for both PC and Mac. Wagering is not a requirement; PokerStars, like many iGaming companies, offers free-to-play games. Unlike some of the other games listed here, you will need to remain connected to the internet whilst you play.
This racing simulation game is aimed at hardcore driving game fans and petrolheads. Unlike many other racing games, Assetto Corsa was built specifically for the PC, although it has since been ported to the Playstation 4. The AI drivers you will be pitted against are very difficult to beat, even on the easiest settings. However, it has the most accurate handling model of any racing simulation game on the market and will teach players of the importance of smooth application of the throttle, brake and steering. The attention to detail is second to none when it comes to vehicle setup changes and could even translate into learning how to better set up a car in the real world.
The game’s graphics are not quite on par with some of the latest Forza and Gran Turismo releases, but they’re certainly good enough. The game pays more attention to detail on the cars than on the surroundings, but this is to be expected of a game for hardcore petrolheads.