Old PC games that are better with 3DFX than with Direct3D?

Last night I finally figured out to get the NGlide wrapper working for my GOG copy of Freespace. While there’s a FS port in FS Open, I don’t like the visual changes made to the background graphics of many of the missions and changes made to the secondary weapon behaviours make an objective early in the campaign basically impossible to get.

That made me wonder though, are there any other old-school PC games that are better played with a 3DFX wrapper, either because it genuinely looks better for whatever reason or because they don’t offer 3D acceleration otherwise? Let’s name all of 'em!

Wow, I haven’t thought about Glide in a really long time. The big one that comes to mind is Ultima 9 - I recall it running much better with my 3Dfx card than anything else. (Might have been one of the reasons I held on to a Voodoo card for so long.) U9 ran like crap in general, though, so it’s not saying much here.

I had a Voodoo 2 card back in 1999-2001. I remember using Glide. I can’t recall what games worked better but I’m thinking Half-Life was one at the time.

Most Windows games with support for Glide also had support for Direct3D and/or OpenGL. Often times it will be just as good, or better with OpenGL due to the colour depth difference.

Carmageddon had a patch to support Glide, as did Tomb Raider. Half-Life was OpenGL only, Voodoo users had to use a wrapper (MiniGL). Diablo 2 ran notably smoother with Glide during the 2000s, so much that people used a wrapper with their GeForce, but I don’t know if it’s still relevant with the overpowered machines of today.

Here’s some that I played back in the day.

  • All the old Quake I and Quake II games and any game that used their engines
  • All the Mechwarrior 2 games
  • Need for Speed 2, 3, High Stakes
  • Lots of the Star Wars games from that time period, like Jedi Knight, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Rogue Squadron, etc
  • Carmageddon 2 supported it natively
  • Forsaken was very pretty on PC with it’s glide support and coloured lighting (can’t believe people actually liked this game on PS1 and N64 when the PC version existed!)
  • Unreal and Unreal Tournament