5. Return to Castle Wolfenstein (PC – 2001)
The much anticipated sequel of the father of all first person shooters, Wolfenstein 3D, is hard to exclude from a top five list. The game is essentially a reboot of Wolfenstein 3D from the early 1990s, but offers a very modern take on the classic that still keeps up quite well with what more modern offerings have to provide. In it, players assume the role of Blazkowicz who must escape from a Nazi stronghold and investigate the secret paranormal division that’s around him. It is a linear FPS experience that doesn’t deviate from what players might already know from the original video game.
The visuals received a complete overhaul to keep up with more modern times. When played at maximum settings, which isn’t beyond the means of many computers used today, the levels become very vivid in their presentation. Although I was left with the impression that it wasn’t very “prison-like”. Instead, the levels seem rather medieval and take on a more literal meaning of “castle” in many respects. However, this does little to detract from the overall experience of the game and it keeps to its predecessor quite well.
Overall, it’s hard to find fault with the game’s single player mode, but the game truly shines on its multiplayer mode: experiences that were sorely missed in the early 1990s unless players had the technical knowledge to create IPX networks. Despite being over 10 years old, Return to Castle Wolfenstein still has a vibrant online community of dedicated players who are unlikely to disappear anytime soon!
IGN Score: 9.0
Personal Score: 7.0
Age Advisory: Mature (17+) f95 zone
4. Battlefield 1942 (PC – 2002)
It’s hard to think about WW2 PC games and not have Battlefield 1942 come to mind. While comparably dated like Return to Castle Wolfestein, it’s a game that’s hard to beat in the multiplayer realm due to the voluminous capacity of players who are able to take part in any one match. Up to 64 players are able to play in an individual campaign, which are set in the Pacific Theater and Stalingrad. It’s also set apart by its well-developed vehicle system. Increasingly modern games attempt to incorporate vehicles into the gameplay experience, but Battlefield 1942 still stands out as players have access to over 32 vehicles that are on land, sea, and in the air.
Given the age of the game, most modern computers released within the past few years would be able to handle Battlefield 1942 flawlessly. However, the visuals do indeed show their age nowadays. They still stand out as remarkable for the time of the game, but are losing their appeal as time goes on. Yes, it’s understandable than an 11 year old game would do this, but visuals certainly aren’t what keep players involved in the game. I’d argue it’s the sheer capacity of players per match that make it one of the most unique WW2 games on the PC today.
If players are into full-scale combat, then this is a game that’s hard to beat. It’s by no means the best WW2 game available for the PC today, but has stood the test of time and is still widely enjoyed by players; much like Return to Castle Wolfenstein.