WOF: What was the first game you played online?

By on July 30, 2010, 7:58 PM
[Weekend Open Forum] People who have been gaming for just a few years might take online functionality for granted. After all, with the latest generation of consoles you just need to pop in the game disc to start playing with someone across the globe -- provided you have an Internet connection and in the case of Xbox 360 owners, signed up for an Xbox Live subscription. But to get where we are today many years have passed since the early days of dial-up and BBS turn-based games -- or PLATO time-sharing systems if you go way back, according to Wikipedia.

You could say I was a bit late to the party if you consider remote gaming has been around, in one way or another, for almost four decades. But it was not until the mid-1990s that online games really blossomed. Around that time a friend borrowed me a copy of Command & Conquer, which included two CDs, one for the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and another for the Brotherhood of Nod, in order to make multiplayer gaming possible with a single purchase of the game. We had unreliable dial-up connections, but that didn't stop up us from playing until the wee hours of the morning.

I was blown away by the real-time strategy element, so it was a while before I started paying more attention to the first-person shooter genre that is also wildly popular amongst online gamers. Ironically, bearing in mind how the gaming landscape turned out, my first steps into the computer gaming world were made on a Mac.

We've asked you before about the first video game you ever played and the ones you are looking forward to. Today we want to know which title got you started into online gaming and which one has you hooked right now. Discuss.

User Comments: 109

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EvilFallenAngel said:

Diablo 1 Dupe FTW

Guest said:

My first was starcraft

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Technically it was some version of Risk that I played on a dial up BBS.

The first game I played via modem against another player was Command and Conquer.

The first online game I played was Call of Duty 4.

Guest said:

Either the original C&C or Half Life. Both were awesome games at the time. Ah, I can remember the days when your health didn't come back on it's own, you had to run around the map searching for med packs.

Guest said:

Red Faction on PC,

ColdFusion1990 ColdFusion1990 said:

Counter-Strike, of course

Gamuholic said:

Runescape. I don't play much more because they modified the trade system and make it hard to make money. That, and for some reason i got bored with clicking a rock for 6 hours at a time.

posermobile89 said:

EvilFallenAngel said:

Diablo 1 Dupe FTW

YES! but the first actual game I played online and devoted time to was halo 3

Guest said:

Haha awesome, Counter-strike and Team Fortress Classic, timing the ping just ahead of the enemy for a headshot.

and Quake lan at my mates house on the old coaxil bus network setup.


Guest said:

Doom on DOS, through the dial-up Dwango service in Texas.


After that came Quake95 on iiNet, again on dial-up with no latency prediction. Quakeworld came soon after.

- [TRB]_ReKTeK

KG363 KG363 said:

Starcraft maybe

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Darkforces 2: Jedi Knight, the only FPS I've ever held my own in.

treetops treetops said:

Warcraft 2, that game got me hooked back in the 90s, I played with my friends modem to modem. There was also some sort of network setup locally where you could dial in with your modem and 4 people could play at once (The Cage), there was no battle net back then, The Cage was just setup by some dude and his friends, you could chat on it, play war2, duke nukem 3d, there were some text based games you could play, actually only 4 people could even connect to the cage at once! It was 5$ a month for a premium account, most of it was free. This was before very many people had the internet and my parents would have thought it absurd to pay for the net back then .

Guest said:

Operation Flashpoint

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

hmm.... has to be counter-strike.

Guest said:

Falcon on the Amiga via a 300 baud modem

Guest said:

Age of Empires!!!

Fragrant Coit Fragrant Coit said:

Unreal Tournament... On Dial-up.I still play it online occasionally.

Prosercunus said:

Diablo, but I think what got me addicted to online gaming was Rainbow Six.

sprunk said:

the first online game i ever played is the one that i am still playing now. which is combat arms that i am addicted to playing.

motrin said:

OMG thats the game ! thats the game ! (command & conquer) that made me anti-social and a tech enthusiast.

But the first game i play'd online was Rainbow Six. With my slow dial-up, that i still have

Guest said:

Unreal Tournament in 1999. I remember I used to play online using dial-up. My download speed was about 6-8 kbit/s. That was sad. Lol

veedubguy said:

That would have to be Diablo! Epic goodness!

Guest said:

Probably SubSpace

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:


Guest said:

Duke Nukem 3d!! On dial up then we got ISDN. Then I remember heat.net coming online :D

Guest said:

Quakeworld (1996)

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i started online play - the real one quite recently - maybe the 1st game i played against a complete stranger would be Windows Othello game i think.

but i did play against opponents over LAN & then over the phone in the 90s, we setup up 1-1 races in NFS2:SE, 'death-matched' in heretic & maybe some other games.

was the good old days, LOL!

now i play online almost every week-end


Reloader2 said:

Diablo II Lord of Destruction (I never got to play online in the original game).

Now Battlefield Bad Company 2 takes my time, and Alien Swarm that is surprisingly addicting,

MarkHughes said:

Started with WOW, About 4 years ago, First and only, It delivers all I need and I havnt yet felt compelled to try anything else...

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I had real internet issues when I first started playing games so my first proper online game was Unreal Tournament 2004.

Man was that the good old days

viperpfl said:

"The 4th Coming" was the first game I played online and what got me into online gaming. I played the game for 7 years before I moved onto better things.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Quake 2

Guest said:

Spectre VR for the Mac then Mechwarrior 2 for the Mac by modem direct connection.

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Diablo 1,Quake

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

Diablo 1,Quake

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Probably Start Wars Battlefront II.

Guest said:

Counter Strike!!!!

Guest said:

unreal tournament..i had all the unreal games..unreal tournament G.O.T.Y started it..ut 2004 took it to the next level...now it's cod modern warfare 2...

g4mer said:

Counter-Strike 1.6 !!!!!!!

Guest said:

I played a game called Decent, via DIRECT connection, my computer had to "call" a friends computer over the phones.

After that, I got hooked on the Mech Warrior series.

Then it was onto Rogue Spear, still via 56k for many years, until broadband.

Those were the days...

Renrew Renrew said:

Since I am as old as dirt--Hangman on Apple 2+ programmed by myself in Basic.

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

Define "online"? One of the first where I connected with another person was Modem Wars on my Commodore 64 using a 1200 baud modem against a friend back around 1990ish. The first internet multiplayer game that i remember was Tanaris, an online tank game. The first MMO I played was World of Warcraft, they were the first MMO to offer free play time to try out their game, I wouldn't buy a game like that unless I could try it out free first, and after being ripped off by Sony Online (Tanaris) I wouldn't pay them another dime for Everquest. I'm still a WoiW addict, patiently awaiting Cataclysm while leveling my 15th toon to 80.

cogenmaster said:

Can't believe no one has mention Outlaws by Lucas Arts. I can't even remember the name of the gaming servers but they worked well in 97. Use to carry my computer over to my father-in-laws house and hook up to his and play over a serial connection. First strategy game was C&C and then Total Annihilation. Played TA for more hours then I care to remember. HAHA

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Starcraft in 1999 using a 56K modem, played the shit out of that game online.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:


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