CD Projekt Red’s favorite PC games of all time

As TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week is all about celebrating the wonderful world of playing games on our computers, we thought "what would be better than asking the staff of one of the most respected games developers in the world what their favorite PC games are?"

That’s exactly what we did, with CD Projekt Red, the team behind the acclaimed Witcher III, taking time out of developing its eagerly awaited follow up CyberPunk 2077 to tell us about the PC games that helped inspire its staff.

CD Projekt Red is a Polish video game developer (as well as publisher and distributor), based in Warsaw, and was founded in 1994. While it began life translating major English-language video games into Polish, it made a name for itself with the highly acclaimed Witcher series of games, which were based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski.

It is currently working on the open world role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077, which is based on the Cyberpink 2020 table top game.

Welcome to TechRadar's 3rd annual PC Gaming Week, celebrating the almighty gaming PC with in-depth interviews, previews, reviews and features all about one of the TechRadar team’s favorite pastimes. Missed a day? Check out our constantly updated hub article for all of the coverage in one place.

Quake

I’d say Quake, since it’s a game that — in a way — landed me my job in game development. I started experimenting with my own levels for Quake in the late nineties.

Simple rooms at first, they later evolved into complex buildings full of meticulously placed enemies. Back then, the geometry/enemy combinations Quake allowed offered level designers an unlimited array of possibilities to challenge gamers. 

Plus, the level of detail of the graphics made everything simpler — you didn’t have to focus on the artistic aspect of level design, it was pure gameplay. This is what made me want to make games professionally, and it’s what powers me as a designer today.

Metal Gear Solid

Wow, to pick one title as the best game – for me, that’s an impossible task. I can try, though. 

When I’m thinking about the most definitive gaming experiences throughout my life, in most cases, the first game that comes to my mind is Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation – that was also released later on PC, so that counts right?

When I played it for the first time, I was around 14, but I still think about this game to this day. I watch walkthroughs of it even today. 

I can easily say that this game has aged exceptionally well. Great music, phenomenal story with really unexpected twists, and visual art value — it’s all still there. The amount of details packed there is also crazy. The fight with Psycho Mantis, and his trick of "reading your mind" – that is crazy even after almost 19 years. 

Gothic II

I would say that Gothic II is one of my all-time-favorites on PC — it's one of my first RPG games, and one of most the immersive RPGs I played. 

I remember that I was very surprised how every NPC had their own place in the world; how they reacted to various player actions like entering their houses, taking their things, or even just unsheathing your weapon in front of them. 

This, plus the right combination of immersive gameplay systems, made the world feel alive and believable — you wouldn’t just enter a UI-based crafting panel and craft a sword like you do nowadays, you would heat up the metal first, then form it on an anvil, then heat it in bucket of water, and later sharpen it on a grindstone. 

When joining a faction or a guild, the world around you would also react to you in different ways. For example, if you get arrested, you could expected a guard to let you go since you’ve become a revered Fire Mage. Those are just a few examples of how Gothic handled things differently, which always inspired me to strive for crafting most immersive experiences possible.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate

First of all, it’s very hard to pick one favorite game. There’s so many kinds of awesome games — I mean, can you seriously compare Diablo with Dune 2 or The Secret of Monkey Island? 

That’s why I decided to pick one of the first games that made me want to work in the industry and develop RPGs — Ultima VII: The Black Gate. 

A fully-fledged RPG, with a really good plot (for the time), a good character development system, and a gigantic open world that you could traverse on horseback (or magic carpet, if you’re a magic carpet person).

Other RPGs that come to mind are Eye of the Beholder and Might and Magic VII, but Ultima VII’s  "Avatar! Know that Britannia has entered into a new age of enlightenment!" is something that has been etched in my memory in a unique way.

Jagged Alliance 2

Picking a favorite game is like being asked which of your kids you love most – it’s a hard one to answer! 

But, if I’d really have to choose, I’d go with Jagged Alliance 2. Huge open world to explore, deep tactical combat with RPG elements, a well-told story – and, best of all, amazing character interactions!

I remember in particular how in one run I accidentally hired two recently divorced mercenaries who hated the guts out of each other and bickered the whole time, ruining the whole team’s morale – and eventually undermining the whole mission. 

Even though the graphics have aged a tad, the game is still heaps of fun and I boot it up at least once a year. If you haven’t given it a try yet, I suggest you rectify your mistake right away!

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