The Ultima saga from Richard "Lord British" Garriott and Origin Systems is one of the most long-running, well-respected series among PC RPG players. Now, thanks to Good Old Games' partnership with EA, the first four entries in the series are available to all, along with Peter Molyneux's classic "God Game" Populous.
Ultima 1, 2 and 3 are relatively simplistic top-down RPGs with primitive graphics but some very large worlds to explore. While they may look horrific by today's graphical standards, back in the 80s they were the very pinnacle of computer gaming. If you can get over the aesthetics, there's some very deep adventuring to be had here -- and at $5.99 for the three games the price is definitely right.
Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar, conversely is available for free. Arguably the game that put the franchise well and truly on the map, the game introduced the virtuous "Avatar" concept for the player character, which remained in place right until the series finale with Ultima 9. It also showed that RPGs could have strong stories as well as deep game experiences, and bucked the trend of most games following the "kill the bad guy, save the world" tradition.
Alongside the first four games, later spinoff titles Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 are also available on Good Old Games.
As well as these RPG legends being released today, early god sim Populous, from the creative mind of a young Peter Molyneux, is also available. Casting players in the role of a divine entity competing against other gods for supremacy, the game was one of the first to show how much fun inflicting natural disasters on tiny virtual people was. With 500 levels, too, it will keep you busy for a good long time. It costs $5.99.
The release of these titles sees Good Old Games with just three more packages to release in its current crop of EA games. That might just leave space for Ultima 5 and 6 in one bundle, both parts of Ultima 7 as another bundle, and Ultima 8 as the final one. Most Ultima fans prefer to forget that Ultima 9 ever existed. Or perhaps we'll see Populous 2? Or perhaps some of Origin's lesser-known titles like Times of Lore and Space Rogue? We'll find out in the next few weeks.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Ultima 1-4 and Populous Hit Good Old Games