A Look Back at the Best 1996 PC Games: Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Super Mario 64, and More

1996 PC Games – A Look Back At An Exciting Year of Gaming

The year 1996 was a vintage year for PC gaming. With releases like Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and Broken Sword, 1996 was a banner year for PC gamers. Today, we’re taking a look back at the games that made 1996 one of the best years ever for PC gaming.

Game Releases by User Score

1996 saw the release of some of the most beloved PC games of all time, many of which still have large fan bases today. Sid Meier’s Civilization II was released to rave reviews, as was Quake, Diablo, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and Duke Nukem 3D. Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares was also released that year and was widely praised.

Best Selling Games

The best-selling game of 1996 was Quake, for PC. It was followed by Heretic: Shadows of the Serpent Riders (PC, 1996) at number three, Duke Nukem 3D (PC, 1996) at number twelve, and WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness at number eleven. The highest-grossing arcade games in Japan that year were Street Fighter Zero 2 (Street Fighter) and Captain Quazar. Other popular games released in 1996 included Captain Tsubasa J: Get In The Tomorrow, Casper (video game), Castle Explorer, Castle Infinity, Catfight (video game), and Championship Manager 96.

Top 10 PC Games of 1996

1996 was an incredible year for PC gaming, and here are my top ten games from that year:

  • Pokémon Red/Blue
  • Super Mario 64
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Wing Commander
  • Quake
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Broken Sword
  • Tomb Raider

Resident Evil (1996 Video Game)

One of the most iconic games of 1996 was Resident Evil, a horror game released by Capcom. The game follows the story of Alpha squad, Jill and Chris, as they investigate strange cannibalized corpses on the outskirts of the city. The game became a massive hit, and spawned a series that continues to this day.

Super Mario 64

The best-selling home video game of 1996 was Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 console. The game was an instant classic, and was praised for its groundbreaking use of 3D graphics. The game’s success helped to usher in a new era of 3D gaming, and it was the first 3D platformer. The game also set the standard for 3D platformers, with its unique and creative level design, and its tight controls.


1996 was an amazing year for PC gaming. With a wide variety of games released, from classics like Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, and Super Mario 64 to innovative titles like Resident Evil and Command & Conquer: Red Alert, there was something for everyone. The games of 1996 set the standard for PC gaming, and they still hold up today as some of the best games of all time. 1996 was truly a vintage year for PC gaming.

Which PC games were released in 1996?

Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996 Video Game) …
Quake (1996 Video Game) …
Wipeout (1996 Video Game)

What was the most popular PC game in 1996?

In 1996, Command & Conquer: Red Alert sold 3 million copies, in 1995 Command & Conquer sold 3 million copies, in 1994 Theme Park sold 3 million copies, and in 1993 Myst sold 6 million copies.

What was the initial major PC game?

Spacewar! is known as the earliest computer game to be widely available and have a major impact on the industry.

What were the earliest computer video games?

The first computer game widely recognized as such is typically said to be Spacewar!, which was created in 1962 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Stephen Russell and others. This game was designed to run on a PDP-1 computer, which was quite large, similar in size to a car.


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