For one reason or another, we've all been under the oppressive heel of a computer that just doesn't have the beef to play some of our favorite and more modern games at settings that we'd like to play at, or in the worst case be unable to play at all. For these situations, I've compiled a list of fan-favorites that have run on a range of generally low-end hardware. Whether it be an old tower, a laptop, or a netbook, this guide should have something for you to enjoy. I've separated these games into three general performance categories to provide users with a varied library right off the bat.
It is particularly difficult to guarantee that any specific game will run flawlessly on every toaster, especially since I only have four control groups: my Toshiba NB505 netbook which I added an extra GB of RAM to (bringing it up to 2gb RAM), my ASUS A53SV laptop, my Lenovo Thinkpad X200, and Dell mass-produced office computers (the types one would commonly find in a College/University Computer Lab or in your average office). While reading this guide, make sure that you have something like Speccy open so that you can make a sound judgment call based on the hardware I've tested these games on in comparison to your hardware.
I've tried to include as many legal acquisition methods as possible when listing the games in this list since some people are not comfortable having Steam installed on their system, others feel that Steam is offensive DRM, and still others simply want a hassle-free installation and storage option. I'm not going to talk about piracy methods here; read the FAQ for a pointer.