Those who know me, probably know that for the most part, I’m a PC gamer. Sure, I have my handheld games, and been doing more console gaming, but PC gaming is where I’ve started, PC games are the ones I own most of, and the PC is where I prefer to play.

There are a few advantages to PC gaming. One I like that I’ve touched on with Baldur’s Gate II is the customizability. Yeah, you’ve got the existing game, and that’ll often be good enough. But sometimes it’s nice to be able to change things. Add features or levels for some games, using the provided editors or fan made ones. Would a game like Starcraft or Neverwinter Nights have worked on another platform? It seems unlikely.

Just as applicable sometimes are fan-made patches. A company often doesn’t want to keep supporting a game and keep patching it. The game is too old – there’s no money in it – or they don’t have the time or money to do so. If fans like it enough and have the capability to do so, they’ll jump in and write fan based patches. There’s several games that gained a shelf life because of this. Sometimes even core code is rewritten to support this, such as in the ScummVM engine… without it, it’d be a lot harder to run an older game.

Technically not allowed, according to the license agreement… but if it means the game keeps running? Adds more to play? It’s not a bad thing and is, in fact, sometimes a reason a game gets sold more often. It doesn’t hurt.

Related to that is a larger advantage: backwards compatibility. Looking at the current consoles, the Wii has backwards compatibility with the Gamecube… but don’t try to play anything older, you need a rerelease for that. The XBox 360 has limited compatibility with XBox games… they might work when patched, but there are no guarantees. PS3 backwards compatibility is even stranger – old models run PS2 games, but newer ones don’t, so you’re out of luck with them. Then again, it does support PS1 games. Handhelds… get more confusing, with the DS only in some models supporting GBA games, and the 3DS only supporting DS games.

PC games are supported as far back as we can go. You might need the help of DOSBox, or do a bit of Googling to get a solution, a compatibility patch or something else. The fast, fast majority of games, whether they’re 2 or 20 years old, will work on modern machines with a bit of luck.

And then we don’t even consider emulation, which allows support of other consoles. Legally not right in all cases, but still an option.

The PC has the bigger gaming library, thanks just to backwards compatilibity… although at the same time, if games aren’t exclusive, a PC port tends to be fairly common, compared to other platforms.

Then there’s upgradability – it’s easier to upgrade a PC to get a better video card, CPU or have more memory. Cheaper integrated machines just work, or if you put in some more money, you can build it the way you want to. Cost is the major factor here – a PC is more expensive than an average console.

Its many other uses help here though – there’s more you do with your PC than just play videogames. Other consoles aspire to this too, but don’t always reach it entirely.

There’s a lot of PC games on the list that we have yet to cover. A number of these could do with a good PC – either to run, or to make sure we can get the best performance of it – graphics and sound.

And, to be honest, I’ve always dreamt of having a proper, up to date gaming PC, one that’s not behind, that can run every game I throw at it. I want the gaming PC I like as a PC gamer.

So after saving up for a long time, that’s what I did. I got a proper PC like that for our use. And here it is:

Six core 3.3GHz CPU, 16GB memory, 6970 ASUS Crossfire card, 24″ widescreen monitor (up to 1920×1080) and several other goodies. It’s a monster and has been named such, now being known as the Kraken. But it’s worth it.

You’ll see a lot more of this. When you see another PC game come up in the list, you now know what this has been played on.

For I have touched my future, and it is awesome.