Remember the good old days of id Software and Epic Games? Their constant battle in the PC FPS graphics arena? - Quake, Unreal. Quake 3, Unreal Tournament. Back in those days we had the ah-mazing 3dfx Voodoo range of video cards. Those things were unstoppable for smooth gaming at the time.
3dfx ushered an entire new unseen era that just didn't seem possible at the time and really pushed graphics to the edge of imaginations for both gaming developers and gamers alike. But, we always needed the gaming developers pushing envelopes and PC seemed to have the exclusives virtually every year.
We could always count on another release of an FPS every year or so which blew the previous top FPS out of the water. Do you remember Doom? After Doom was released, the floodgates were open - FPS was the new king of gaming. We had Doom-clones everywhere. Then all the games that followed, they were great but never really pushed those boundaries.
Then we had Duke Nukem 3D which even had 3D in its name, but never really gave us a 3D environment. Duke brought with it crude humor, insanely fun multiplayer and still lives on in gamers hearts today, over 15 years from its release. Then there was Quake. Quake brought with it frantic gameplay, one of the most amazing graphics engines at the time and the onslaught of modding from the online community.
Quake grew very quickly and with Glide patches coming out, we were able to run it smoothly in 3D with a $400 video card. Quake 2 cemented id Software's position as king of the hill, but Epic Games finally debuted Unreal. Unreal had epic outdoor areas which seemed to be the bizarro-land compared to Quake and its indoor frenzy.
In the middle of all of this we had some ex-Microsoft guys create Valve Software. You may have heard of them. You also may have heard of their little smash hit, Half Life? Half-Life ran on id Software tech, featured amazing AI for the time, great story telling, immersive environments, characters you felt for and most of all, set the game up to have sequels. It was games like this that made you proud to be a gamer.