DOS Shooter / Platformer
Mach 3 (1987) is a classic arcade shooter released by Loriciel Electronics. The game was popular during its time and is known for its fast-paced gameplay. Slay all the enemies, avoid the mines, and travel between distinct worlds to kill the evil mastermind. The action is very smooth, and overall it's a very polished CGA game that manages to overcome many hardware limitations. Mach3 remains a nostalgic favorite among retro gaming enthusiasts.
StarGlider (1987) is a legendary wireframe 3D action shooter developed by Argonaut Software and Realtime Games. One of the first of its kind ever. Your goal on each level is to find Starglider one, a golden bird with animated wings, then destroy it. With revolutionary spaceflight dynamics and a long list of innovative features, StarGlider ranks as one of the most underrated space sims of all time.
StarGlider 2 (1989) is not just a shoot 'em up space sim like its predecessor Starglider. The graphics are no longer just wire-frames but solid filled objects and there are plenty of things to explore. The game has adventure elements in terms of "quests" you can solve that will provide you with new weapons and goodies when you complete them. It may not have the same level of depth in diplomacy, adventure, and economics that Elite does, but it is one of the coolest space sims here.
Prince of Persia (1990) is a fantasy cinematic 2D platformer. The plot revolves around the eponymous Prince who has been imprisoned by the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. He has one hour to escape the dungeon and rescue the Sultan's daughter who has been placed under a curse by Jaffar and given a choice to marry him or die. The felicitous character animations, considered cutting edge at the time, were based on videos of the game designer's brother performing stunts as well as action sequences from classic films. Jordan Mechner used a technique called “rotoscoping” to get life-like ultra-fluid animations for the prince. You can learn more about the process from this Forbes article.
Xenon 2: Megablast (1990) is a SHMUP (Shoot 'm up) masterpiece. Piloting the "Megablaster" ship, your mission is to survive five levels, blasting hundreds of aliens in the process. Xenon 2 introduces significant innovations to the genre; the graphics are superb throughout. Definitely one of the best-looking and most fun SHMUP in PC gaming history, and a must-have for every shooter fan. For invulnerability press F7 in the graphics selection and "I" during game :)
Gorillas (1991), also known under the source code's file name GORILLA.BAS, is a cute little video game included free with the first version of Microsoft's QBASIC program. It is a turn-based artillery game. With allusions to King Kong, the game consists of two gorillas throwing explosive bananas at each other above a city skyline. The players can adjust the angle and velocity of each throw as well as the gravitational pull of the planet. "Gorillas" is a good example of a small, but well-coded BASIC game with which you can spend more minutes than you realize. Simple gameplay and primitive graphics probably won't make the game addictive for anyone, but it's certainly a lot of fun while it lasts.
Tyrian (1995) is a slick science fiction shoot-’em-up game inspired by Xenon. Taking on the role of space pilot Trent Hawkins, you are sent on a mission to the planet Tyrian that goes tits up, and fast. Tyrian has a surprisingly deep storyline for a game of its type and it will offer many surprises. Trent’s fighter is fully upgradable and you can change everything from hulls and shields to weapons and generators. Buy and sell multiple weapons and upgrades to build your ideal ship. Tyrian has many secret levels to discover. Here are the cheats... The installer already contains DOSBox, you start it with a *.bat file.
Duke Nukem 3D (1996): Murderous aliens have landed in futuristic Los Angeles, and humanity suddenly finds itself atop the endangered species list. The critically acclaimed followup to the hit Duke Nukem II raised the bar for first person shooter interactivity to new heights. Run, jump, crawl, swim, jetpack and shoot your way from Los Angeles to the moon and back in over 40 levels ranging from movie theaters, skyscrapers, space stations, to alien lairs and more. Here are the cheats... The installer already contains DOSBox, you start it with a *.bat file. Be sure to try it out!