So I bought a new PC earlier in the year- a reasonable middle of the road machine. I haven't played PC games since the year 2000 (!) so there are a huge number of games that I have missed out on in that time.
After some experimentation I've found that the limiting factor on my machine is the graphics card (no shock there then). Its an integrated chip that is perfectly capable of running Half Life 2, but can't handle Fall Out 3 (boo!). This probably means that anything up to around 2007/2008 is good to go, beyond that is a gamble that I would rather avoid. I may splash out on a graphics card IF there is something incredible around that I simply have to play. Nothing has jumped out yet.
1) Pretty much anything between 2000 and 2008 is fair game.
2) Any genre so long as the game is good, though I am especially interested in a decent racer, as that is a big hole in my current library.
3) Games I am currently playing include Half Life 2 (as a part of the orange box), GTA 3 (How I survived this long without playing a single game in the series is beyond me- I will be buying Vice City/San Andreas in the near future), Age of Empires 3... and some of my old catalogue (HL1, Deus Ex, UT, Quake 3 etc.)
Any advice appreciated- its a pain digging through game sites for old reviews, especially as some games age worse than others.