If you came to Fallout via Bethesda’s games, with their fully voiced NPCs, real-time combat, and switching between first-person and third-person cameras, you might think Fallout 1 and 2 look intimidatingly old school. And while they are 1990s RPGs with lots of text, turn-based combat, and a top-down camera that refuses to zoom in on the wasteland like it’s afraid of what the place smells like, they’re still enjoyable to play today.

The original, released as Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, remains a high-water mark for cRPGs thanks to its juxtaposition of Mad Max and Atomic Age sci-fi,  the number of approaches and problem-solving styles it encouraged, and strong replayability. If you’re short on time, it’s worth knowing it can be wrapped up in a neat 20something hours too.

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