What elements push a game beyond mere goodness and into greatness?
To this author, PC games are best when they deliver a transcendent gaming experience that is possible only with the aid of a personal computer: They don't simulate board or card games, reproduce real-world sports, or try to approximate movies. They are an art form unto themselves.
I surveyed dozens of PC game developers, asking them to share their picks for the ten greatest PC titles of all time. In addition to weighing their opinions, I took into account factors such as influence, innovation, design, and replay value.
To be considered, a game must have achieved most of its prominence on a PC platform. (This explains why Tetris, for example, didn't make the cut: It was clearly the Nintendo Game Boy's killer app). I defined a "PC" as any consumer computer that has a keyboard the user can program with arbitrary code--not just a PC of the IBM variety.
Without further ado, here are our ten greatest PC games of all time, counting down from Number 10, Trade Wars 2002.