If you are a fan of retro games or simply low priced video games, you are probably familiar with the website Good Old Games (GoG.com). If you aren’t familiar, it is similar to Steam, but specializes in older games and refuses to sell any games with any form of DRM. While the games may be older, they are still quite excellent and older games have the advantage of running well on almost any computer. This is especially true for action games where older computers usually can’t run modern games. If you are looking for a good, cheap action game that can run on just about any computer, the following are the top five best action games available on GoG.com.
5. Star Control 1+2 – As amazing a game as this is, it is only half an action game. The other half of the game is a trading simulation / strategy game. As the name suggests, this bundle includes two games, the second of which is by and far considered the best game in the Star Control series. If you enjoy classic strategy games, but prefer a little more direct action than a game like Civilization, this will appeal to you.
4. Thief 2: The Metal Age – The Thief series is famous for being able to win the game without ever killing anyone. In fact, this achievement is one that many who play the game spend uncounted hours trying to achieve. You can play Thief 2 as a pure action game, directly fighting everything in your path, but you can also play it as a true stealth game that even makes classic stealth games like Tenchu seem more like Contra. One of the nicest things about this game is that missions really fit the flavor of the game, requiring you not only to steal, but occasionally to frame someone else for your crimes.
3. Carmaggedon 2 – The designers of the Carmaggedon series hit pay dirt when they came up with this concept. The series is played out in a series of races where actually winning the race is only technically the goal. You can win by pure driving skill, but there simply isn’t any fun in that. The best parts of the game involve intentionally crashing into opponents in order to cause the most spectacular of wrecks. And, the game rewards that as well, since you can win the game by destroying all opponent cars, or if you are feeling really sadistic, killing every pedestrian. The graphics are a little dated, but no other game gives you such a visceral thrill while driving a car.
2. Beyond Good & Evil – This classic completely redefined the genre when it was released. First, it was a rare action game with a female protagonist and an even rarer example where that protagonist wasn’t sexualized in any way. Additionally, the main game play mechanics involved stealth and photography. You could attack enemies and occasionally you had to, but the majority of the game involved some form of evasion. It has surprisingly aged rather well and sits among the best action-stealth games ever published.
1. Psychonauts – Psychonauts is one of those games that basically failed when it was first released only to be rediscovered years later and recognized as the classic it was. It plays like a rather standard platformer, but has an intricate story that catapults it way above your basic Super Mario game. As a child with psychic powers in a camp full of other kids with similar powers, you must foil a dastardly plot. This basic premise is fully expanded on while you run around a stunningly animated world filled with subtle and playful humor. The wide range of powers available to you makes the game play much more intense than your average platformer, as well. Overall, this is simply one of the best games of the action genre ever released.