Whether you want to relive old favorites or discover classics for the first time, the Internet is here to help. Luckily for the retro game enthusiast, there are tons of websites dedicated to old, classic video games. Best of all, they are free to download, install and play to your heart’s content.
1. My Abandonware
My Abandonware is a treasure trove of older video games (mainly for the PC) that have been “abandoned” by their developers. The site features a slew of instantly recognizable titles from first-person shooters like “Doom” to real time strategy games like “WarCraft II.” With over 14,000 titles spanning from 1978 to 2017, it’s safe to say that there is something for everyone.
It is important to note the legality of sites that host “abandonware” software. Abandonware refers to software that is no longer being developed, and the copyright is no longer being enforced.
However, this doesn’t mean that the games are in the public domain. Sometimes, abandonware is freely distributed by the copyright holders, other times the company who created the software no longer exists. If the idea of downloading “abandonware” games gives you pause, have a look at the other websites on this list.
2. Good Old Games (GOG)
Want to venture a guess as to what Good Old Games specializes in? If you said something along the lines of critically acclaimed games from yester-year, you’re only partially correct. In addition to rounding up all your forgotten favorites, Good Old Games (or GOG for short) also has new titles on offer.
Most of the games on GOG are available for a price; however, there is an extensive section of free games. Furthermore, all of the games on GOG are DRM-free. This allows users to buy the game once and install it on different devices if they choose to do so.
Once upon a time, independent games were considered to be low quality, unpolished games made by amateurs. Thankfully, gamers said goodbye to that stigma a long time ago. If you’re a fan of quirky, unique games with innovative story and gameplay, then indie games are where it’s at. Fortunately, Itch.to hosts over 100,000 free games ranging from RPGs to puzzle games.
While there are tons of freebies to choose from, some of the games available on Itch.io require you to fork over some cash before you can play. In addition, Itch.io also connects players with developers. Users can follow their favorite creators and get real time updates on projects and more.
4. Internet Arcade/Console Living Room
Archive.org is an ever-updated repository of digital culture. Fortunately for gamers, this includes video games. Archive.org has a large collection of games that have appeared on a variety of different consoles. The games are organized into two libraries, Console Living Room and Internet Arcade.
Console Living Room is where you’ll find classic console games from old favorites like the Atari 2600 to the original Playstation. Internet Arcade features a whole slew of coin-operated arcade games like Out-Run and Space Invaders. Many of the games found in Archive’org’s collections are free to download. (Note: to play console/coin-op arcade games, you will need an appropriate emulator.) Those that are not available for download can be played directly within your browser.
Steam is the premier online video game retailer. It is home to a massive number of games, and its library is constantly being updated. Steam may be known as a portal to AAA titles, but it also has many free-to-play games. There are literally hundreds to choose from.
That being said, Steam has had some quality control issues in the past. However, with a selection as big as what’s on offer at Steam, you’re bound to find some shameless cash grabs. Fortunately, you can filter the available titles by what’s most popular to avoid the clunkers. Of course, you can always be adventurous and roll the dice … they’re all free to play after all!
Do you use the sites mentioned above? If so, which games do you recommend checking out? Do you know of any other websites that offer quality, free-to-play games? Let us know in the comments below!