If you get Stalker, I'd recommend the Complete 2009/2012 mod
for Shadows of Chernobyl. CoP can be played vanilla but SoC is pretty buggy even with the official patches and Complete Mod fixes much of that, enhances the graphics and adds some quality-of-life improvements (UI, repair abilities, etc) without dramatically altering the game. There's a Complete mod for CoP and Clear Sky as well if you want.
Even if you're a purist who wants to play unmodded, at least seek out some community bug fix mods for SoC.