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The 101 best PC games ever, part two

Feature: The countdown continues... 75 to 51 inside

Page 2 of 3

69. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
YEAR 2007: A diamond in the rough this one. Unpolished and unremittingly Eastern
European, yet wondrously scary and beautifully envisaged. Trekking around the Chernobyl fallout zone is a truly haunting experience, while the roving dynamic AI pulls all manner of surprises out of its hat. Pretty much worth the wait...

68. Trackmania: United
YEAR 2007: A racing game, a track construction kit, a virtual racing community - TrackMania: United is as mad as a box of frogs (no offence to French developers Nadeo), and a game likely to induce lucid speed-licked dreams in the most placid of participants. It may cause retinal damage, but the optometrists haven't caught on yet, so our secret remains safe.

67. Garry's Mod
YEAR 2006: What began as a way to make the G-Man appear to take Alyx roughly from behind has now bloomed into a Great Egg Race meets Scrapheap Challenge box of delights. Completely sandbox, completely stupid and quite possibly the most romantic entanglement you and your brain will ever have, this is one mod that has truly transcended its, erm, 'source' material.

66. SimCity 2000
YEAR 1993: OK, so technically the most fun you got from SimCity was turning on the riots, fires and alien invasion and watching your carefully crafted creation burn, but the management bits were damn good too. Plus, there was the added bonus that your new-found knowledge of city planning could be used to pass your geography GCSE. A classic of addictive gameplay from Maxis.

65. SWAT 4
YEAR 2005: After the abortive Urban Justice sank without a trace, it looked like the noble SWAT series was done for - until this top-notch instalment saved the day. Developers Irrational certainly didn't spare any grit as you led your five-man team through a series of challenging and at times unsettling scenarios. Decent multiplayer and a robust level editor completed the resurrection.

64. X3 Reunion
YEAR 2005: The learning curve may have been a little steep on the third game in the X series, but no-one ever said space life was going to be easy. What's more, once you mastered the umpteen controls required, this game really did offer everything you could ever wish for in a space sim. It demanded a lot, but gave a lot too.

63. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
YEAR 2003: There he was, our once pyjama-clad Prince all grown up and muscly. A time-shifting, acrobatic, death-defying warrior - who was simultaneously crap with women and a bit of a ponce. Fight mechanics improved with two further POP iterations, but nothing came close to rivalling the inherent loveliness contained within The Sands Of Time.

62. Dungeon Keeper
YEAR 1997: One of the most loved titles to emerge from the late, great Bullfrog Productions, this fantastically wicked game turned us all into cackling dungeon keepers, prodders, pokers and fiddlers. Its robust design and rather British sense of humour ensure that it remains relentless good fun even today. Sim evil at its very best.

61. Planescape: Torment
YEAR 1999: A firm favourite of RPGers everywhere, Planescape: Torment is still loved, still discussed and still sadly lamented. It was one of the first (and only) games to really capture the grimy weirdness of the Forgotten Realms world - pregnant walls, floating skulls, towers built around giants, the lot. Players valiantly ploughed through the swathes of text in the game, proving that gamers will read anything and everything just as long as it's suitably interesting. Indeed, with its memorable characters, great dialogue and engaging plot, Planescape: Torment is the ultimate proof that games can be a powerful storytelling medium.

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