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videogamesThere are sufficient free games available for the budget gamer, many of which we’ve already reviewed on MakeUseOf, but it’s not the only alternative.

Sometimes, developers choose to re-release their games as freeware, or sometimes they simply neglect to support their creations and let the support dwindle away. Whatever the reason, a lot of commercial games – which, admittedly, often work with a bigger team on a bigger budget – become free over time.

Today we’ll take a look at the best sites to download old PC games for free. These will include (abandonware) DOS games, but also newer releases that are thrown to the masses by publishers in a good mood.


Abandonia is an index of abandonware, “dedicated to classic DOS games”. Abandonware titles are games (or software) with expired copyright, or games which are no longer supported by the publisher.

The site was founded in 1999, when the concept of abandonware was merely two years old. After a few inactive years, it was and has continued to blossom, with new ‘abandoned’ games added nearly every day. At the time of writing, the Abandonia database hosts 1,063 downloadable games and counts a total of more than 100.000 members.

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download old pc games

Most games get a thorough review, screenshots, an editor rating as well as a user rating. You can browse and download old pc games by name, year, rating and category. As the game’s focused on DOS games, you won’t find any of the ‘newer’ abandonware games here, but the vast DOS archive should satisfy most of your gaming needs — at least for a while.

DOS Museum

Another DOS focused site – the name gives it away – is DOS Museum. Their goal is to preserve old DOS games and make sure they won’t be lost over time. Through one of their other initiatives, they try to encourage other copyright into making their work available, “either for sale or as freeware”.

download old pc games

With over 1,600 resources (although this includes various patches and save-games), DOS Museum offers an even wider array of games. Through an easy, graphical interface, you can browse the games by name, rating, date or popularity. Although you won’t find excessive reviews like on Abandonware, basic information (usually in two or three sentences) is provided.


One of the best sites to look for an ex-commercial video game is Wikipedia. That’s right – on one of their pages, they keep a pretty up-to-date list of abandonware (loose interpretation) titles.

free old pc games

The list shows less games than these other sites, but from a wider array. You’ll find games from 1988 to 2008, all of them with a short descripton, most of them worth a try. If you think there’s a game ‘missing’ from the list that should be there, you can add it yourself – after all, that’s what wikis are for.

Remain In Play

Another site that takes on a wider array of (also non-DOS) games is Remain In Play. This site refuses to take in abandonware and games that were free from the start. They only focus on commercial games that were deliberately released as freeware.

free old pc games

Even though site navigation is not optimal, they host plenty of great games – both new and old. If your search is superfluous, you might want to consider their ‘top 10 games’ in the sidebar, for it is the only way of sorting titles by rating. Otherwise, you can search their database by name, data (type), genre, or OS.

I hope you’ve found some great new sites today and will continue to discover cool free games to waste your precious time. If you’ve got any other “abandonware” recommendations, or have anything else to add in that direction, feel free to take advantage of the comments section below.

  1. Don
    May 17, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I think we could use a new Dos Parameters program developed to play the oldies ;-0 I for one would but technology or Windows view certainly don't want that :-(

  2. jhon kay
    July 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    you can try this site too

  3. WinWorld Abandonware
    February 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    If you're looking for old versions of MS-DOS, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 to run old games on check out WinWorld at

  4. Chris @
    February 14, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Thank you so much for these links, I've been looking to recapture some of those classic gaming moments. XCOM:Ufo Defense is one such game I'm looking for!

  5. The Geek
    January 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I wonder if they have such a thing for macintosh users, would make things easier for me :D

  6. rb3
    January 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    can any one tell me where to get an old game by title Shadow Watch?

  7. Electronic Smokeless Cigarettes
    December 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Yes! Thank you so much for this, now its just a matter of remembering all the old Amiga games I used to play 20 years ago... omg I'm getting old!
    - Smokeless Cigarette

  8. Electronic Cigarette Club
    December 5, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I like this site, thanks!

    - e cigarette

  9. Ps3 Modern Warfare 2
    November 9, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Old pc games! this is really good way to get old pc games from such sites and quite helpful for those who have been waiting for this from long time.

  10. Raging Bull
    September 25, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Are you leaving out Squakenet!? It's the biggest abandonware archive as far as I know. Quite good design and always up to date with a particular automatic system.

  11. Joel
    September 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Well done. The real thieves are here.

  12. zero nonsense
    September 25, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Want Full Free Version Games ,
    You Get it at
    NFs Shift
    Year: 2009
    Genres: Arcade / Racing (Cars) / Simulator / 3D
    Developer: Slightly Mad Studios / EA Black Box
    Publisher: Electronic Arts
    Platform: PC

  13. Apocalypso
    September 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I see that System Shock is pictured there under Abandonia. I'm playing that right now. I didn't get it from there or any site, though.

    About the copyright issue that was brought up earlier. That's actually quite correct. Abandonware or Oldwarez is a grey area. Those sites under the Abandonware Ring were shut down years ago because of their activities.

  14. Advocate
    September 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    This website has a good handful of "abandonwarez" games as well as soundtracks. also, demos, videos, screenshots etc. of the genre.

  15. Dan
    September 15, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for the crapware sites you moron !

  16. adam
    September 14, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Great list. ( Classic Games has some old pc games done in flash on such as Rick Dangerous and Street Fighter.

  17. gaming mouse
    September 14, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Amazing list. The problem with a lot of sites you'll find that supposedly host older games is that they're too chock full of ads to navigate through, or they only have crappy games, of several other issues that make trying to find classic games a pain in the butt.

    Remain in Play is a new one for me, so thanks for that. Also had no idea you could use Wikipedia to find some older games. Most excellent! :D

  18. Joel
    September 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Yeah, that explanation Simon sounds like a really awesome excuse to pirate stuff.

    • Bryan
      November 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm

      Joel, who put the thorn up your butt, perhaps un-pirated Sesame Street is more your speed, in otherwords, go away dipstick.

      • Joel
        November 22, 2009 at 5:23 am

        Wow, Bryan. Awesome reply there. Wherever you go I'm going to follow because... damn, you really owned me there. Hey, why don't you share with us all some more of your incredible wisdom? The world really needs to hear more of the opinionated drivel that's floating around inside your head.

        • Bryan
          November 22, 2009 at 7:54 am

          Joel, with your flippant, cavalier, supercilious attitude, I think most people can tell you are a complete self centered, selfish, baby. Grow up, please come back with something better than that last pathetic reply, unless you are in third grade, it was extremely LAME!!!

        • Joel
          November 22, 2009 at 8:01 am

          As I said Bryan, I can't compare to you. But, thankyou for replying with such a thoughtfully constructed message, created from almost every word from my thesaurus.

        • Bryan
          November 22, 2009 at 8:17 am

          What is a thesaurus????? lmfao@the village idiot. Whatever A-HOLE, have a nice day, and this is the last response you will be getting from me, you are now blocked, adios no juevos Joel.

  19. Bob
    September 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    "Abandonware titles are games (or software) with expired copyright"

    There is no such thing. Copyright is so freaking long that anything that has an expired copyright is older than computers. No software, of course, is older than computers, so no software copyright has ever expired.

    You also fail to warn readers that downloading "abandoned" games is illegal in most countries. Unless the copyright owner has specifically denied copyright (public domain) or has otherwise authorized its free distribution, then it is still copyrighted. I suppose you expect us to already know that, but your article sort of implies otherwise, that downloading these games is legal.

    • Simon Slangen
      September 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

      I looked the definition up again after your remark. In most cases it means that the copyright indeed hasn't been revoked, but that the copyright ownership is unclear (due to diverging reasons). Thusly downloading isn't exactly 'illegal' either.

  20. Pappy
    September 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm is good too. They only have a few free games, but the rest are reasonably prices ($5.99 - $9.99) and are all DRM free!

  21. mik
    September 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    jsut search for "abandonware" on google and you can get almsot every game..

  22. Comet Arcade
    September 13, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Awesome! I love old classics like Monkey Island.

  23. Trevor
    September 13, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Not free, but Good Old Games has old school PC games for $5-$10. They removed all the DRM and updated the code for compatibility with modern Windows systems. They also include PDF manuals and extras like concept art and wallpaper. I was on the site recently and picked up Battle Chess Deluxe and the Oddworld series -- very cool to relive my favorite games again.

  24. Chris H
    September 13, 2009 at 2:24 pm


  25. xOrion73x
    September 13, 2009 at 9:15 am

    So... you do realize those are console games in the pic.. you know.. in an article about "PC Games".

    just sain..

    • Simon Slangen
      September 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      err, easter egg? :-D

      No, you're right, that's a slight error.

  26. self
    September 13, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Note to self, those are not PC games, those are NES games...

  27. Simon Slangen
    September 13, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Read Wired's Top 10 Eighties Computer Games Worth Playing (Again) for abandonware inspiration!

  28. John Roberts
    September 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Wow, amazing resources, thanks for sharing!


  29. bob
    September 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    yea nice list, also home of the underdogs an old skool classic games site is back, , nice to see them return...

  30. Sophie A.
    September 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Liked the post! The way you explained everything is much appreciated! Will definitely return.

  31. Mk
    September 12, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Don't forget the game site "".

  32. dr, no
    September 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    home of the underdogs is still around

  33. Andrew
    September 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm is really good too!

  34. Casual game downloads
    September 12, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Wonderful posting . Very informative and descriptive one. This is very useful and valuable. Thanks for posting.

  35. eSPy
    September 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm
  36. Hugo
    September 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    You can add Mr Old games it is a very good site.

    • Nitesh Patel @techmadly
      January 31, 2010 at 1:45 am

      yea Mr Old games is really a nice website fro old games
      and your list is very nice...

  37. Vincent
    September 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Don't forget Liberated Games:

    Also allow me to introduce my own blog which is geared to reviewing some 900 DOS games. No download links provided but if you're clever you can probably find the games yourself:

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