1986 dos games

Reviving Nostalgia: The Top 10 1986 DOS Games

Games MS-DOS Retro

Hey there, fellow gamers and tech enthusiasts! Today, we’re going on a nostalgic journey back to the 1986, and we are going to take a look at the top 10 1986 DOS Games from that era.

A time when computing was in its infancy, and DOS gaming was at the forefront of digital entertainment. It’s incredible to think about how those early games laid the very foundation for the gaming industry we all know and love today.

Back then, personal computers were just starting to become a part of our lives. The concept of home gaming was still evolving, and it was DOS, or Disk Operating System, that became the gateway to a whole new world of interactive adventures. These games weren’t just bits of code; they were windows into fantastical realms and epic quests, all experienced through the hum of a CRT monitor.

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the significance of DOS gaming in the 1980s. We’ll explore how these games not only captured the hearts of early gamers but also shaped the very essence of what we now call the gaming industry. It’s a journey that’s sure to bring back fond memories for those who were there and offer a fascinating history lesson for those who missed out on this golden era.

But that’s not all; our main purpose here is to compile a list of the top 10 DOS games from the year 1986. These games aren’t just relics of the past; they are timeless classics that continue to inspire game developers and captivate players today. From thrilling adventures to mind-bending puzzles, these titles have left an indelible mark on the gaming world.

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So, if you’re ready to hop into our virtual time machine and explore the DOS gaming landscape of 1986, buckle up, because we’re about to embark on an unforgettable journey through the annals of retro gaming history. Welcome to the world of classic PC games, where pixels were king, and gameplay reigned supreme

The Top 10 1986 DOS Games

Here is the list of the Top 10 1986 DOS Games of all time!

Don’t like the list… well you can always create your own!

10.) Starflight

1986 dos games

Starflight, released in 1986, is a notable addition to our list of the top DOS games of that year. Developed by Binary Systems, this space exploration and role-playing game allowed players to command their own starship and venture into the cosmos.

In Starflight, you’re tasked with exploring a vast and mysterious galaxy, encountering alien races, discovering new planets, and unearthing the secrets of the universe. The game’s open-ended nature and sense of discovery captivated players, making it a standout title in the early years of PC gaming.

As you upgrade your ship, recruit a diverse crew, and navigate the challenges of interstellar exploration, Starflight delivers a unique blend of adventure and strategy. It’s a game that showcases the pioneering spirit of 1980s gaming, where players were given the freedom to chart their own course through the stars.

So, with Starflight now taking the number 10 spot, let’s continue our journey through the top DOS games of 1986 and discover the gaming gems that shaped an era.

9.) Pirates!

Arrr, matey! At number 9, we have a classic from 1986, “Pirates!” This game, crafted by the legendary Sid Meier, put you right in the boots of a swashbuckling pirate on the high seas.

In “Pirates!”, you get to live the dream of being a pirate captain. You’ll engage in epic ship battles, scour the seven seas for buried treasure, and embark on daring adventures. It’s all about making choices – do you want to be the scourge of the Caribbean, a cunning merchant, or perhaps a charming diplomat?

The game was a true pioneer in open-world gaming. You could explore a vast, randomly generated world filled with islands, towns, and other pirates, each with its own unique charm and challenges. The freedom to carve your own path and the endless replayability made “Pirates!” a standout title in ’86.

So, hoist the Jolly Roger, me hearties, and get ready to set sail in “Pirates!” – a game that lets you fulfill your wildest pirate fantasies in the golden age of DOS gaming.

8.) Wasteland

Now, here’s a true gem from the early days of gaming – “Wasteland.” This 1986 classic, cooked up by the folks at Interplay Productions, is the OG post-apocalyptic RPG that laid the foundation for epic series like Fallout.

Picture a world ravaged by nuclear devastation, where survival is the name of the game. “Wasteland” dropped players right into the heart of this desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland. Your job? Lead a ragtag group of survivors through the perilous remains of civilization.

The game was way ahead of its time, offering a richly detailed world and a deep storyline that reacted to your choices. From character creation to tactical combat, “Wasteland” set the bar high for what role-playing games could achieve.

And here’s the kicker – “Wasteland” wasn’t just a game; it was an inspiration. It sowed the seeds for the beloved Fallout series, proving that storytelling and decision-making could thrive in the harsh landscapes of the apocalypse.

So, as we delve into the top DOS games of ’86, remember the pioneers of the RPG genre, and tip your hat to “Wasteland.” This game is a testament to the imaginative power of early gaming and a crucial part of gaming history.

7.) Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight

Ah, ’86 was a year of epic adventures, and “Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight” was right at the heart of it. This rollicking RPG sequel, following the footsteps of the original Bard’s Tale, took players on a journey of heroic proportions.

In “The Destiny Knight,” you once again step into the shoes of the Bard, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Your party of adventurers faces a daunting quest to save the land from an ancient evil. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

This game was a masterclass in storytelling and character development. It expanded on the beloved Bard’s Tale universe, introducing new locations, challenges, and characters. The addition of character classes and improved combat mechanics added depth to the gameplay.

What sets “The Destiny Knight” apart is its timeless appeal. Even today, gamers are drawn to its rich narrative and strategic battles. It’s a testament to the enduring charm of classic RPGs and a reminder that epic adventures never go out of style.

So, as we continue our journey through the top DOS games of 1986, raise your swords and spells in honor of “Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight.” This game is a legendary chapter in the history of RPGs, and it’s one adventure that stands the test of time.

6.) Defender of the Crown

At number 6, we’re setting sail into the medieval realm of “Defender of the Crown.” Developed by Cinemaware, this game transports you to a time of chivalry and knights, where you’ll defend your kingdom and vie for the crown.

Picture yourself in medieval England, a land torn apart by war and political intrigue. As a noble knight, it’s your duty to protect your realm against rival lords and claim the crown. The game’s mix of strategy, action, and even a touch of romance made it a standout title of its time.

“Defender of the Crown” was renowned for its stunning visuals and cinematic presentation, which were quite the spectacle back in the day. From jousting tournaments to castle sieges, every moment felt like a scene from a medieval epic.

What’s fascinating is how this game influenced the future of strategy gaming. It set a high bar for combining real-time action with strategic decisions, paving the way for the strategy games we know and love today.

So, as we delve deeper into the top DOS games of 1986, don your armor and prepare to defend the realm in “Defender of the Crown.” This game is a true testament to the spirit of medieval adventure, and it’s a must-play for anyone with a love for classic gaming.

5.) Maniac Mansion

Now, let’s dive into “Maniac Mansion,” the original PC version from 1986, which paved the way for its subsequent NES popularity. This quirky adventure game, developed by Lucasfilm Games (later known as LucasArts), is a significant chapter in the world of DOS gaming.

“Maniac Mansion” on the PC invited players into a mysterious and eerie mansion filled with eccentric characters and bizarre puzzles. It was a pioneering example of the point-and-click adventure genre, where players gathered a group of teenagers to explore this peculiar place and uncover its secrets.

This PC version showcased the innovative spirit of early PC gaming. Its unique blend of humor, horror, and puzzle-solving set it apart in an era when gaming was still finding its identity.

While the NES port of “Maniac Mansion” gained considerable popularity, it’s essential to recognize that the PC version laid the groundwork for its success. The NES port brought this classic to a broader audience, but the original DOS experience remains a cherished memory for many who ventured into the mansion’s enigmatic depths in 1986.

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4.) Bubble Bobble

Get ready to embark on a bubble-blasting adventure with “Bubble Bobble,” the DOS version from 1986 that captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. Developed by Taito, this arcade classic made a delightful transition to the DOS platform, bringing its charming and addictive gameplay to PC screens.

In “Bubble Bobble,” you step into the shoes of two lovable dragons, Bub and Bob, on a quest to rescue their girlfriends from the clutches of mischievous monsters. Armed with the power to blow bubbles and trap enemies, the dynamic duo navigates through a series of colorful and maze-like levels.

The DOS version of “Bubble Bobble” retained the joyful spirit and simple yet engaging gameplay that made the arcade original so beloved. Players were challenged to clear each level by trapping enemies in bubbles and then bursting them to earn points. The game’s cooperative multiplayer mode allowed friends to team up and tackle the challenges together, adding to its appeal.

What made “Bubble Bobble” truly special was its ability to provide hours of fun and laughter. The DOS version, while slightly different from the arcade version in terms of graphics and sound, still captured the essence of the game, making it a cherished part of the DOS gaming landscape in 1986.

So, as we continue our journey through the top DOS games of that year, don’t forget the delightful bubble-popping adventures of “Bubble Bobble.” It’s a game that reminds us that simple, joyful gameplay can stand the test of time.

3.) Arkanoid

Breaking blocks and chasing high scores, “Arkanoid” made its mark in the world of DOS gaming in 1986. A classic arcade game originally developed by Taito, the DOS version brought the excitement of paddle and ball action to the PC.

In “Arkanoid,” players controlled a paddle at the bottom of the screen, bouncing a ball to destroy a wall of bricks above. The game introduced power-ups, special bricks, and unique challenges that kept players engaged and addicted to achieving the highest score possible.

The DOS version of “Arkanoid” retained the essence of the arcade original, offering players a satisfying blend of precision control and fast-paced gameplay. It quickly became a favorite among PC gamers, providing a perfect way to unwind and test their reflexes.

The success of “Arkanoid” on DOS can be attributed to its addictive nature. Players found themselves saying, “Just one more game,” only to continue for hours. It was a testament to how simple concepts, executed flawlessly, could captivate an audience.

As we journey through the top DOS games of 1986, “Arkanoid” holds a special place as a game that brought arcade excitement into the homes of PC gamers. It’s a reminder that sometimes the most straightforward games can provide the most enduring fun.

2.) Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter

Prepare for a journey to the stars and beyond with “Space Quest,” the DOS version from 1986 that catapulted gamers into a futuristic universe filled with humor and adventure. Developed by Sierra On-Line, “Space Quest” introduced players to the misadventures of Roger Wilco, a hapless janitor turned unlikely space hero.

In this point-and-click adventure game, you’ll guide Roger through a series of comical and perilous situations across various planets and spacecraft. The DOS version of “Space Quest” delighted players with its quirky humor, clever puzzles, and a unique blend of sci-fi and satire.

What set this game apart was its ability to fuse a compelling storyline with hilarious moments. Roger’s bumbling escapades and witty one-liners created an unforgettable gaming experience that had players both chuckling and scratching their heads in puzzle-solving contemplation.

The DOS version of “Space Quest” captured the essence of classic adventure gaming. It challenged players to think creatively, navigate challenging scenarios, and immerse themselves in a richly detailed and often absurd universe.

As we reach the pinnacle of DOS gaming in 1986, “Space Quest” stands as a shining example of how storytelling, humor, and engaging gameplay can merge to create a timeless classic. It’s a reminder that even in the vastness of space, there’s always room for a good laugh and a thrilling adventure.

1.) King’s Quest III: To Heir Is Human

Crowning our list of top DOS games in 1986 is the iconic “King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human.” Developed by Sierra On-Line, this game epitomized the adventure genre and set the standard for interactive storytelling in the world of DOS gaming.

In “King’s Quest III,” players assumed the role of Gwydion, a young and enslaved wizard-in-the-making. This epic adventure transported players through a beautifully crafted, fairy tale-inspired world filled with puzzles, magic, and perilous quests.

What truly set “King’s Quest III” apart was its pioneering approach to storytelling and gameplay. It immersed players in a richly detailed fantasy realm, where their choices and actions had real consequences. The game challenged players to think critically, solve puzzles, and make decisions that shaped the course of the narrative.

The DOS version of “King’s Quest III” was a testament to the power of interactive storytelling. It allowed players to become part of a captivating fairy tale, where bravery and wit were key to unlocking its secrets. The game’s success not only solidified Sierra On-Line’s reputation as a pioneer in adventure gaming but also left an indelible mark on the entire gaming industry.

As we reflect on the top DOS games of 1986, “King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human” reigns supreme as a timeless classic that continues to captivate players with its enchanting story and challenging puzzles. It’s a reminder that in the realm of DOS gaming, the magic of storytelling knows no bounds.


As we journeyed through the annals of DOS gaming in 1986, we unearthed a treasure trove of unforgettable classics. These games weren’t just pixels on a screen; they were windows to worlds filled with adventure, humor, and innovation. In a time when gaming was still finding its footing, these titles stood out as pioneers in their own right.

From the daring escapades of “Maniac Mansion” to the cosmic battles of “Arkanoid,” each game offered a unique experience that left an indelible mark on the hearts of gamers. “King’s Quest III” showcased the magic of storytelling, while “Space Quest” had us laughing and pondering the cosmos in equal measure.

But let’s not forget the power of simplicity, as seen in the addictive joy of “Bubble Bobble” and the timeless challenge of “Defender of the Crown.”

These games represent not only the gaming landscape of 1986 but also the foundation upon which the industry has grown. They remind us that, at the core of gaming, lies the thrill of adventure, the joy of discovery, and the power of imagination.

As we bid farewell to this journey through DOS gaming’s past, let us celebrate these classics that continue to inspire and entertain. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a curious explorer, there’s always room to appreciate the timeless charm of these gems from 1986. So, grab your joystick or keyboard, and let the adventures continue in the world of DOS gaming!

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