To play computer games these days you have to meet high system requirements but it doesn't have to be that way, there are games out there that almost any computer can run smoothly.
Popular game-making companies have groundbreaking and exciting games that are years old, always improved and worked on- leading to series of game releases. The ones with the release date closer to 2012 will most likely have more requirements to meet in terms of hardware (or even software) but look on the bright side these new releases will probably have prequels and sequels ( depending on the game) almost just as awesome in gameplay. You don't have to buy a computer every year for this reason, this is the beauty of a long video game franchise.
Gaming is under 'entertainment' so fun and engagement is the point of it. As long as it provides those two, video quality is not an absolute criterion for a 'game'. Do you remember when you played Mario or Tetris on a crappy console yet the hours of fun you had!
This game is the reason for that untimely clogging of internet traffic when millions of people are online, trying to find a team and an opposing team. Counter-strike is a FPS game which originated from a Half-Life modification by Minh "Gooseman" Le and Jess Cliffe. By the fourth beta version, Valve Software, the developer who created Half-Life, began assisting in the development of Counter-Strike. In 2000, Valve bought the rights to Counter-Strike.
In a Counter-Strike match a team of terrorists play against a team of counter-terrorists in a series of rounds. Neither sides represent good nor evil, it just a nomenclature - like team A and B; certain weapons are only available to one team while the other has its own unique arsenal. Each round is won by either completing the mission objective (such as planning/defusing a bomb) or eliminating the opposing force. Only requiring a RAM of 256 MB and a space of less than a gigabyte counter-strike is in a good position in this list.
Counter Strike 1.6
Next in the list is Rockstar Games's Max Payne. The third-person shooter is on the third release as of 2012. Although I must admit Max Payne 3 does have high requirements for a smooth gameplay and it is probably not what you are here for but the first and second release which is Max Payne 1 and 2 has only 128 Mb to 256 Mb RAM of minimum requirement to play, and I assure you that those two will run well on any video card.
The game gives players enough range of choice in arsenal of weapons. The game is somewhat similar to a novel as you play through stories and truth unfold and you find out a lot more about the character you are playing, a renegade DEA agent and former NYPD officer; a series of flashbacks and nightmares follows as well. A large part is played with the titular character Max Payne and another character Mona Sax is playable on certain chapters who aids Max Payne on uncovering the murder of Max's family. The plot itself is thrilling and interesting throughout the game.
Max Payne 1 & 2 is worth the play and will run fine on any system earning itself a spot on this list.
Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne
Deus Ex is a cyber-themed first-person shooter (FPS) game by Ion Storm in 2000. The game runs surprisingly well on a 64-128 MB RAM at a point where people may mistakenly think it of it as a mediocre-level game but, hold on to your hats, it got the "Best PC Game of All Time" in PC Gamer's Top 100 PC Games and in a poll carried out by UK gaming magazine PC Zone and won Game of the Year award. Other elements such as role-playing, stealth and puzzle-solving are also present which makes the game really awesome.
There are 41 chapters to play through as United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition's (UNATCO) J.C Denton(protagonist), a nanotech-augmented agent in charge of a terrorist force. The setting is in a dystopian earth in the year 2052. As Denton carries out his missions he finds out more about a big conspiracy and encounters organizations such as MJ12, the Illuminati, the triads in Hong Kong, FEMA.
One of the greatest thing about this game is the role-playing(RPG) element. You can choose from a variety of weapons. You can engage in combat in more than just one way (stealth, direct confrontation or even avoid enemies) and you can also engage in conversations with the common people, other agents or the police. The RPG fused with action, adventure, shooting, stealth provides a good sense of thrill throughout the game. The video graphics are unbelievably good for a 2000 game and it is pretty surprising for a game that requires such a low disk space and RAM.
GT Interactive published this FPS game for PC in 1999. The game is mostly known for its multiplayer deathmatches. The single player only includes campaigns with bots. The offers many types of play such as: deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, domination, last man standing, assault and some additions in the sequels. Weapons in Unreal Tournament are not anything like that of our present day military technology; some examples are link gun (plasma gun), shield gun, tri-barrel rocket launcher, lightning gun, ball launcher etc.
Official system memory requirements are 32 MB but 64 MB is suggested; and only requires around half a gigabyte of disk space. Unreal Tournament has three sequels: Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament 3 which may have more hardware demands (still highest ‘minimum’ being 512 MB memory).
A typical FPS games lover worships this game and won’t disappoint anyone if you are looking for an exciting FPS to play with your friends.
Unreal Tournament 2003
The first game was Hitman: Codename 47 brought to the public by Eidos Interactive in 2001 while IO Interactive being the mind behind it. Hitman is a third-person shooter game.
Agent 47 is the main character, a test subject from a facility, identifiable from his bald head and the barcode printed on the back of his head. He is trained rigorously in fields such as stealth and assassin; with a large knowledge of silent-killing Agent 47 escapes the facility and is hired by an organization called International Contract Agency (ICA). Briefed by his handler agent Diana Burnwood 47 sets off on a series of missions involving assassinations, thefts, deceptions etc.
Because the game is stealth-based you can do activities such as changing clothes to deceive your enemies or sneak up behind them to engage in your style of combat; a knife may be efficient and fast but a gun without a silencer may make a ruckus but it is up to you so, in my opinion, it is also a form of RPG although you are suggested to stick to stealth/deception but you can have it your way. With a memory requirement under 256 Hitman franchise is definitely for any old computer but excluding the Hitman: Absolution(2012) which may have high hardware demands.