100 Games to play on your netbook or home computer

So you have just recieved your new netbook. Of course, the prime use for a netbook is for working, and for using simple applications such as MS Word and surfing the web. However, there is often more power crammed into these tiny things than you might expect. So, although you will probably be working on your new home or office computer, I’m sure that at some point you may feel the need to let off some steam with a little gaming. Choosing games that are good, don’t feature severely dated visuals, and run smoothly on a netbook are hard to find. However,  we have tested hundreds of games on 3 different computers (specs below) and picked out a delectable selection for you to choose from.

9- Year Old Hewlett-Packard Desktop

  • Cpu: 1.6 ghz Intel Pentium 4 (Single Core)
  • RAM: 256 MB- DDR 400 mhz
  • Graphics: GeForce 2 MX, 32mb video memory

2- Year Old Dell Inspiron Laptop

  • CPU: 2.1 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo (Dual Core)
  • RAM: 2 GB- DDR2 667 mhz
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD, 384 MB video memory (shared)

New MSI Wind Netbook

  • CPU: 1.6ghz Intel Atom N270 (Single Core)
  • RAM: 1 GB – DDR2 667 mhz
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950, 128 MB video memory (shared)

These are the computers we will be using to evaluate the performance of our 100 games. For each game I will give a short low down on performance experienced.

N.B. Shared video memory indicates memory that is utilized from system RAM, and some computers may not be able to use that much, it depends on the amount of RAM. The number stated indicates max possible video memory.

Before we get started just check out this key
  • Smooth = Average 35+ FPS
  • Playable = Average 24-34 FPS
  • Unplayable = Average 0-23 FPS

Also, sometimes only the sequel game is listed. If you see this, assume that the original game performs as well as or better than the sequel. *

Shooter Games

callofdutyactionshot

Shooters were some of the earliest form of games, and it is safe to say that this is one genre that has only improved with time. As such, the games here may not match up to the action found in the latest releases, but they will provide some decent stress busting to break up your workload.

America’s Army

  • HP: Playable, choppy at times (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (mostly high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (med settings)

F.E.A.R

  • HP: Did not run
  • Dell: Smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Playable, choppy (low settings)

Left 4 Dead

  • HP: Did not run
  • Dell: Mostly smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Project I.G.I

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Quake 3

  • HP: Playable (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Quake Arena

  • As above

DOOM 3

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable, very choppy
  • MSI: Unplayable

No One Lives Forever 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Counter Strike Source

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Max Payne 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Medal of Honor Allied Assualt

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Call of Duty

  • HP: Smooth (high-med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Call of Duty 4

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Far Cry

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable, choppy (low settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Freedom Fighters

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth, some graphical glitches possibly due to hardware (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

  • HP: Very sluggish, unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (med settings)

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (low-med settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Half Life 2

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Playable (high settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Mafia

  • HP: Playable (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable, sometimes choppy (high settings)

Operation Flashpoint

  • HP: Playable (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

  • As above

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix

  • HP: Smooth, sometimes choppy (high settings)
  • Dell:  Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

System Shock 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Deus Ex

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Unreal Tournament 2004

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Battlefield 1942

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Hitman Contracts

  • HP: DNR (Hitman Silent Assassin works fine)
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (low settings)

Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

  • HP: Smooth, occasionally choppy (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

RPG Games

rpggames

The RPG genre, in many people’s minds, has become somewhat delapidated as time has gone by. Some of the all-time classics are the older ones in this category. Sure, there are modern greats like Dragon Age: Origins or Fallout 3, but if you want to play RPG games on your netbook, you are getting the best or the rest.

Baldur’s Gate II

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Diablo II

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Gothic 2

  • HP: Playable (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (med-high settings)

Fallout 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Knights of the Old Republic

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Final Fantasy XI Online

  • HP: Playable (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Playable (med settings)

Planescape: Torment

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

World of Warcraft

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable (low settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Sims 3

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Unplayable

Mount and Blade

  • HP: Playable (low settings, DX7 mode)
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Neverwinter Nights

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Vehicle- Based Games

il2

The games that fall into this category are simply any game that requires sole use of vehicles throughout the game. Racing games, like shooters, have improved with time, but don’t let that stop you from having a good race. Pedal to the metal!

IL2 Sturmovik

  • HP: Smooth (highsettings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Combat Flight Simulator 3

  • HP: Smooth (highsettings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Colin McRae 3

  • HP: Smooth, occasionally laggy (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Colin McRae Rally ’04

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Crimson Skies

  • HP: Smooth (highsettings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

FlatOut 2

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (low settings)

Ford Racing 3

  • HP: Playable (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (med settings)

Lego Racers 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Motorcross Madness 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Need For Speed Underground 2

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (med settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Trackmania

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Driver

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Crazy Taxi

  • HP: Smooth, although many consistent frame rate issues (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth, although many consistent frame rate issues (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth, although many consistent frame rate issues (high settings)

Virtual Skipper 5

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

The Simpsons Hit and Run

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

NASCAR Racing 4

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Carmageddon II

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)


Strategy Games

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Fortunately, the old strategy games do tend to be the best. Although it’s hard to resist the photo realistic graphics seen in some of the newer strategy games, the best is commonly found by taking a look back at around the year 1998…

Starcraft

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Dawn of War

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable (med settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (Safe Mode)

World of Goo

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Anno 1404

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Unplayable (although almost bearable after you get used to it)
  • MSI: Really is unplayable

Homeworld

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable (low-medsettings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings, shader must be set to Low)

Empire Earth

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (high settings)

Age of Empires 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Europa Universalis 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Hearts of Iron

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Civilization III

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

The Settlers IV

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Sudden Strike II

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Silent Storm

  • HP: Playable, choppy (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Soldiers: Heroes of World War 2

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth, sometimes choppy (med settings)

Praetorians

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Rome Total War

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Playable (low settings)
  • MSI: Playable (low settings)

Jagged Alliance 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Total Annihilation

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Ground Control

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Rise of Nations

  • HP: Smooth (medsettings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Warcraft III

  • HP: Smooth (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Dune II

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Simcity 4

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Theme Hospital

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Theme Park World

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Majesty

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Black and White

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Adventure Games

Many of you will probably be familiar with the Assassins Creed games. Although these recent ones won’t work on our test computers, there are a ton of older games out there that will give you a similar experience. By similar experience, I mean something that isn’t overtly shooter related, but something that maybe requires platforming, or stealth. Sure, these games might not have the scope or size of newer games, but hey- they are a lot of fun.

princeofpersia

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

  • HP: Unplayable
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (med settings)

Tomb Raider II

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Trine

  • HP: DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (low settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (low settings)

Splinter Cell

  • HP: Playable (low settings, shadows off)
  • Dell: Smooth (medsettings)
  • MSI: Smooth (low settings)

Theif: Deadly Shadows

  • HP: Playable (low settings, but with shadows off, and Theif with shadows off is rubbish)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (high settings)

Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Rayman 2

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

The Curse of Monkey Island

  • HP: Smooth (high settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

  • HP:  DNR
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (med settings)

Beyond Good and Evil

  • HP: Playable (med settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Smooth (high settings)

Second Sight

  • HP: Playable (low settings)
  • Dell: Smooth (high settings)
  • MSI: Playable (medsettings)

Well there you go, 100 games to play on your netbook. Admittedly, a lot of the games are pre-2001, and won’t have such pretty graphics. However, shouldn’t gameplay come first?

We have tried our best to get you as many games as possible, and we’re sorry if your favourite game isn’t here. However, if you want a game to be tested, tell us in the comments below!

So finally, whether you own a netbook or a top-end gaming rig, these are 100 games you should try.

*Except Call of Duty/4 and Command and Conquer 3/RA 2



  • mrthepietro16

    Can I run Amnesia: The dark descent on my desktop?
    It has:
    Processor: Intel Pentium 4 E6500 2,93 Ghz Dual Core;
    RAM: 2Gb 400 Mhz;
    Graphics: Intel GMA 4500 64 Mb Dedicated Memory

  • kevin

    can i play left for dead?

    my specs is
    windows 7 ultimate
    intel atom n450 1.7ghz
    intel gma 3150 250 mb graphics memory
    1gb of ram

  • ginger

    i have the same spec laptop….but i can play call of duty 1,2….smooth playable fps 20-30fps with custom med-setting….just install gma booster and gpu emulator…even prince of persia i run with high setting….tips from me if u want to run any game with low spec laptop u must uninstall or disable any services run on ur laptop…that should increase performance ur low spec laptop….email me if u have a problem or want help from me….zulfiean91@gmail.com..

  • http://www.breakingawesome.blogspot.com Jawad King

    Please review more racing games for the Dell model, like MotoGp series etc

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