Windows 3.1 was also kind of shit at running things not made for it. It wasn’t until Win95 that playing DOS games became more viable in a Windows environment, and it wouldn’t be until DirectX that Win95 really took off for gaming. But even then some games just outright refused to play outside DOS proper, which is why I ended up not replaying Crusader: No Remorse for many years until DOSBox’s and my PC’s capabilities converged to the point of making it possible again.
See also why stuff like Doom 95 and WinQuake existed.
Anyways, just hitting up the old Apogee line of shareware has some good fun in it, some of my old favorites include Monster Bash, Duke Nukem 1 and 2, Major Stryker, Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Halloween Harry/Alien Carnage and Mystic Towers. Epic from their Megagames days are Jazz Jackrabbit and One Must Fall: 2097. For Blizzard there’s Warcraft 1, though the old ass interface renders it almost unplayable now. Blackthorne also was on the PC but nothing really warrants it over the SNES version as I recall.
I wonder if any ISOs of shareware CDs are out there? Because that’s the true early-mid 90s DOS gaming experience.
But to get slightly meatier than just name dropping there’s Zone 66 which always stood out for being a sort of free roaming SHMUP style of play, plus a fucking great soundtrack, The intro music is one of those tunes I can always pull out of my head ever since I first heard it.