PC Gaming really took off in the late 90s. Likewise PC gaming magazines really took off in the late 90s. This PC gaming boom is perhaps why my PC always felt underpowered for the games in magazines, or that I had to upgrade. PC gaming was generally more involving than consoles yet magazines seemed to focus on the newest games and also the most graphical-heavy FPS with "3D graphics". But why when 2D games had been pretty and in colour for at least a decade? I always felt I missed out on these games in effort to be a cool PC gamer. This PC gaming shift was to the detriment of deeper more involving games with greater longevity. So in my search for games which provide deep engrossing experiences I try to look at games first popular before the commercial shift in PC gaming.
Where was the PC games industry before 1995? DOS that's where! It just so happens Windows 95 became the standard as PC gaming industry became more commercialised. Although its not necessarily the reason for the commercialisation it is a handy historical dividing line. So for this post I am going to suggest some (roughly) DOS-era games available for the PC you might like to play. Don't feel tied to digging out your old copy of MS-DOS. DOSBox is the obvious choice in which to play these games if you're using a remotely modern computer.
Command & Conquer
The Secret of Monkey Island (any SCUMM game Indiana Jones, Broken Sword etc.)
Grand Theft Auto
The Settlers II
The Oregon Trail
Sid Meier's Colonization
Most of these had demos on coverdisks so in theory the demos should still be available floating around on the internet. Some have open-source clones but sometimes these clones use much more in resources.