By 1987 the PC market was growing so quickly that the formerly business-only computer had become the largest and most important platform for computer game companies. An early text-adventure, Adventure, was developed for the PDP-11 minicomputer by Will Crowther in 1976, and expanded by Don Woods in 1977. By the 1980s, personal computers had become powerful enough to run games like Adventure, but by this time, graphics were beginning to become an important factor in games. As with second-generation video game consoles at the time, early home computer game companies capitalized on successful arcade games at the time with ports or clones of popular arcade games. By 1982, the top-selling games for the Atari 400 were ports of Frogger and Centipede, while the top-selling game for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was the Space Invaders clone TI Invaders. That same year, Pac-Man was ported to the Atari 800, while Donkey Kong was licensed for the Coleco Adam. In late 1981, Atari attempted to take legal action against unauthorized clones, particularly Pac-Man clones, despite some of these predating Atari's exclusive rights to the home versions of Namco's game. By the end of 1989, however, most publishers moved to at supporting at least 320×200 MCGA, a subset of VGA. VGA gave the PC graphics that outmatched the Commodore Amiga. Computer games, however, did not disappear.
The CD-ROM had much larger storage capacity than floppies, helped reduce software piracy, and was less expensive to produce. These cards allowed IBM PC compatible computers to produce complex sounds using FM synthesis, where they had previously been limited to simple tones and beeps. By 1989 Computer Gaming World reported that "the industry is moving toward heavy use of VGA graphics". While some games were advertised with VGA support at the start of the year, they usually supported EGA graphics through VGA cards.
These publications provided game code that could be typed into a computer and played, encouraging readers to submit their own software to competitions. Microchess was one of the first games for microcomputers which was sold to the public. PC gaming currently tends strongly toward improvements in 3D graphics.. The 1993 release of Doom on the PC was a breakthrough in 3D graphics, and was soon ported to various game consoles in a general shift toward greater realism. Yamaha began manufacturing FM synth boards for computers in the early-mid-1980s, and by 1985, the NEC and FM-7 computers had built-in FM sound. The first PC sound cards, such as AdLib's Music Synthesizer Card, soon appeared in 1987. These extras gradually became less common, but many games were still sold in the traditional over-sized boxes that used to hold the extra "feelies". Home computer games became popular following the video game crash of 1983, particularly in Europe, leading to the era of the "bedroom coder". A Mindscape executive agreed, saying that "Unfortunately, its effect has been extremely negative. As 3D graphics libraries such as DirectX and OpenGL matured and knocked proprietary interfaces out of the market, these platforms gained greater acceptance in the market, particularly with their demonstrated benefits in games such as Unreal. However, major changes to the Microsoft Windows operating system, by then the market leader, made many older DOS-based games unplayable on Windows NT, and later, Windows XP (without using an emulator, such as DOSbox). Computer games, however, did not disappear.