Games Suggestions After 4 Year Hiatus

Hi everyone. I have returned from a 4 year hiatus of gaming (17 years of post secondary education have finally come to an end) – the past 4 years have been the hardest. The last video game I have played was the demo for the original Company of Heroes back in 2006 ( ).

Since I probably can’t play every game that was released for the PC I am looking for suggestions for the highlights over the past 4 years. Especially the AAA games that people thought were good.

I think I should also sign up for a Steam account.

My neighbour is also giving me her Nintendo Wii for the summer so I suppose I should also ask for good titles (FPS, action, RTS) for the Wii as well. She has Lego Batman, some cheesy Wii sports games and Rockband with the guitar so no sense in suggesting any of those types of games.

Looking forward to your suggestions!

before you get a big response, a couple of questions:

[li]What shape is your PC in?[/li][li]What games did you like to play besides CoH? just FPS WWII types?[/li][/ul]

Company of Heroes is a great start if you enjoy the genre. I’d heavily recommend Mass Effect 1 and 2 as excellent FPS/RPG hybrids which can be either light or heavy on actual FPS player skill depending on the difficulty you set it at.

Farmville has been pretty popular, you might want to check it out. Also, Evony.

I recently bought a Phenom II X4 910, 8 gig DDR3

The video card is just an ATI Radeon HD 4350 and the power supply is only 330W so I realize it is underpowered graphically (I purposely bought this system so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy a nice gfx card and end up gaming instead of studying).

I like RTS, FPS mainly… and any well made game for that matter (AAA).

Just trying to catch up on what I missed. Please post a list of titles I should check out. PC and Wii.


You can get all the good ones. I’m working on a backlog for most of this decade, plus genres I never explored earlier as a kid.

Plenty of PC to do the Bioshock twins, which are a lot of fun…

With regard to your system specs, here is my suggestion.
Get Steam. Get Impulse.

Steam Exclusives
Left 4 Dead (I don’t know if you’ll be able to run the second one.)
Team Fortress 2
Portal (Ouch! You just missed the free price.)

Impulse Exclusives
Galactic Civilizations II

Other Stuff
Plants vs Zombies
Mount & Blade
WoW (Lots of changes since '06.)
Fallout 3 (If you can run it.)

2006… maybe you’ve never really played a Tower Defense game? In which case I’d recommend Defence Grid (available on Steam) because it’s quite excellent.

Quality stuff that definitely runs on pretty much any PC from the last 4 years:
Plants vrs Zombies (popcap’s take on tower defence, kind of)
World Of Goo (puzzling goodness)
Gratuitous Space Battles (there’s a demo on cliffski’s site)
Torchlight (Diablo-stylee)

They are all available on their own sites as well as on Steam.

I see recommendations for Team Fortress 2 and Portal, but not Orange Box, which includes both, plus Half-Life 2 and all its expansions to date. Wha? Get the Orange Box.

As far as the Wii goes:
No More Heroes: Good God, Suda 51 is insane. Love it.
Zelda - Twilight Princess: First Party Nintendo, so it’s good. Then again, it’s a bit samey to those of us who’ve played 6+ other Zelda games.
Okami: Very much a Zelda style of game. Interesting combat and ‘drawing’ mechanic. Very pretty.
Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Boom Blox are good with friends.

If you can get your hands on a PS2, I really (really) liked Shadow of the Colossus.

Dude, Fallout 3 is an as-huge-as-you-wanna-make-it RPG in a fucking cool world with great graphics, awesome combat, and a TON of shit to do (if you wanna). Great storytelling playground.

I really enjoyed Batman: Arkham Asylum. For some reason it’s the only really good AAA game from the past 4 years I can think of right now, although I’m sure there are others.

Batman: Arkham Asylum
COH + Opposing Fronts (skip Tales of Valour)


When did Titan Quest come out? That’s my most played PC game of all time.

Fallout 3 and Oblivion are good, Oblivion came out in 2006 but it’s a radically different game now if you load it with mods.

Portal - Play this first. This should be at the top of the pile.

Now then there are several places you can go next. If you want to leverage your Wii:
Super Mario Galaxy 1 and/or 2. Although you may not want to OD on Mario.

If you want to scratch that RTS ich, the land of RTS has been shaken up a bit over the years but there are still some core games, mainly ones of epic scale:

Sins of the Solar Empire (slower paced with 4X elements)
Supreme Commander 2 (more traditional)

Now shooters. Strictly PC Shooters? Hit up S.T.A.L.K.E.R. There is a whole freaking series of them now. The latest one is really good and really stable. Free roam gameplay: some non-scripted dynamics, some interesting AI behavior, little hand holding and very atmospheric.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat <-Latest and greatest

If you want multiplayer
Left 4 Dead 2 (focuses on Co-op/Griefer Mode)
Team Fortress 2 (Team-based multiplayer, which has a ton of updates)

If you want RPGs:

Mass Effect & Mass Effect 2 - Action “Shooter” RPGs.
The Witcher - Lone PC action-esque RPG. Choices.
Dragon Age - A return to the the slick party based tactical combat ala Baldur’s Gate
And if you have NWN2 = Mask of the Betrayer

If you want open world mayhem:

Fry Cry 2
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Just Cause 2

And last but not least a little quirky title that should be played also:

World of Goo

Since you like CoH, how about Dawn of War II? Same kind of small unit stuff, only, y’know, W40k.

Supreme Commander II
Sins of a Solar Empire
Was Civ4: Beyond the Sword out when you left PC gaming?

If you like the Gothics, Risen is pretty great.

Agreed that you should get The Orange Box. Shop for prices on Steam and in bricks and mortar stores. Half Life 2 + every episode afterwards, Team Fortress 2, and Portal in one fell swoop = awesomeness. You’ll end up with Steam anyway, so go ahead and install it.

Steam will have deals sweet enough to give you a backlog of gaming you missed in the past 4 years.

You guys are amazing. The Qt3 community always comes through. Bookmarked this thread.

Keep the gaming goodness suggestions coming please.

Dual monitor set up – will be playing all of these and more (after I get caught up watching Lost).