The Might and Magic series (I’m not counting the Heroes of Might and Magic spin-offs here, which I really don’t much care for), has been around for a long time. The first game of the 9-game series was released back in 1986, making it about 23 years old now. That’s what you’d call fairly venerable in gaming terms.
The ninth (and so far the final) game in the series was released in 2002. There was also a first-person action spin-off called Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (recommended). But for the moment, it’s the first six games that concern us here today.
The original games were of the first-person, tile-based, turn-based sort, not dissimilar to other series of the era, Wizardry (1981-2001, eight games) and The Bard’s Tale (1985-1991, three games).
Why do the first six games particularly concern us?
Because Gog.com has a limited-edition pack of Might and Magic 1 through 6, (and a bonus adventure: Might and Magic, Swords of Xeen) ready-to-run under Dosbox right out of the installer for a piddling US$10. [The sixth game in the pack, Mandate of Heaven, actually doesn’t use Dosbox, and you may need to set it to Windows 98 compatibility]
The first game or two might be a bit low-tech for modern tastes, but the third may win more hearts, and games 4 and 5 (which combine into a single mammoth game, Might and Magic: World of Xeen) are definitely worth your attention. Still, if you’re a completionist, the games feature story-arcs that track across multiple games in the series.
Being that the games are older, of course, they’ll run awesomely (and windowed) if you want that, on just about any hardware you have, and use barely any system resources besides. Given the turn-based nature of the series, that makes them ideal to have open to play a few turns between other things.
The very least of the games in this pack should net you more than a dozen hours of gameplay, with later ones providing considerably more than that. There’s a ton of old-school CRPG gaming here, even if you only play one of these.
The Might and Magic series itself features an interesting fantasy setting, mixed with sci-fi, high and low humour, and high and low adventure. Recommended.