It's 2018. Copyright issues shouldn't keep games in limbo, remove existing titles from digital storefronts, or lead to "updates" that strip content from purchased games. We should be able to buy any PC game ever made and start downloading within moments. But here we are, barreling along the stupidest timeline.
For my money, these are the most notable games that cannot be purchased.
(Sure, you can find scuffed discs somewhere, but who in their right mind has a computer with a DVD drive?)
Perhaps you've heard of Diablo 3 or Diablo 2, which is the game that came before Diablo 3. This is the game that came before both of those games. Diablo.
One of the most important and atmospheric games of all time. And you can't buy it. Blizzard has its own digital store for Blizzard games. You can buy noted terrible non-Blizzard title Destiny 2 in that store, but not Diablo.
No, not Wolfenstein 3D. Not Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Not 2014's Wolfenstein. Not the mulitplayer-only Enemy Territory. You know, Wolfenstein from 2009.
Not ringing a bell? Let this description from an illegal download site jog your memory:
It's worth noting that this was made by Raven software, who made two more games you can't buy: Soldier of Fortune and Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force.
No One Lives Forever 1+2
Of all the games listed in this article, the absence of these two hurt my body the most. They're unbelievably inventive, silly FPSes with terrific level design and a visual style that holds up remarkably well 15+ years later.
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries
I don't really know a lot about this series but everyone agrees this is the best one, because it has robots.
Rainbow Six Rogue Spear
Oh my god I spent so many hours running co-op LAN party missions in this game. Between the map variety and the mission planner's perfect balance between tactical precision and ease of use, this was easily the best game in the series.
Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity
A Beavis and Butt-Head adventure game from the creators of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective? Of course! This was surprisingly well made, at a time when licensed games were almost entirely trash.
The PC Gamer demo disc containing Virtual Stupidity's Hock-A-Loogie minigame demo became a permanent fixture in my shitty hand-me-down Packard Bell.
Before the noted terrible game Destiny 2, and even before Halo, Bungie made these fantasy games about dwarfs exploding into gross bloody chunks on hills and bridges.
My favorite space game. It's got a plot, and shooting, and trading, and exploring. Every element has been done better in another game, but somehow their combination here is uniquely relaxing and evocative.
AKA the peak of the series. Arcadey as heck and all the better for it. Driving aircraft carriers onto islands. Packing WW2 jeeps with headbanging buddies and driving over dynamite, blasting off into orbit.
Sid Meier's SimGolf
Build golf courses badly. Play golf badly. I don't condone reading or supporting other websites, but if you happen to have a Giant Bomb premium sub check out this video with Sid Meier and the late great Ryan Davis.
I don't really know a lot about this series but everyone agrees this is the best one, because it has blimps.
I'm ruined. Every dream in my life has been dashed. Fantastic product! Would buy again!
Astronaut AJ Tucker returns from a long hiatus to offer his insight about the possible "alien probe" spotted zipping through our solar system.
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