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Play retro DOS games in a couple of clicks, thanks to The Internet Archive. The site, in an effort to help preserve the fading games of yesterday The Fading Games Of Yesterday, And How We Preserve Them [Feature] The Fading Games Of Yesterday, And How We Preserve Them [Feature] What is your favorite video game of all time? If you’re in your twenties, or older, there’s a good chance that you answer to this question isn’t a recent title. It may be a classic... Read More , is offering over 2,300 classic DOS titles, without the need to download anything. You’ll be playing in two clicks.

Head to the collection right now! Version 2 of the Archive’s interface gives you a quick way to browse and search games.

You can also use the old-school Archive interface, if you prefer.

This collection comes mere months after the Archive brought 900 classic arcade games to your browser Internet Archive Brings 900 Classic Arcade Games To Your Browser. Here Are 7 Of The Best Internet Archive Brings 900 Classic Arcade Games To Your Browser. Here Are 7 Of The Best Your town's arcade may have shut down in the mid-90s, but that shouldn't stop you from getting your classic games fix. Read More .

Does every game work? Some of them are slow, and sound is glitchy at best, but overall the experience is a good one – and a team is working to keep making it better. Archivist Jason Scott:

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Some of the games will still fall over and die, and many of them might be weird to play in a browser window, and of course you can’t really save things off for later, and that will limit things too. But on the whole, you will experience some analogue of the MS-DOS program, in your browser, instantly.

If you’re excited for some retro gaming, but don’t know where to start, here’s a quick roundup of games you might remember (they that are worth trying even if you don’t).

The Oregon Trail, 1990

Relive those happy childhood memories, like dying of dysentery! In this educational game you lead a party of pioneers across an untamed America, but why I’m I explaining this? You remember this game. Remember: bison give you the most meat, but squirrels are more fun to shoot.

There’s also the deluxe version, if you grew up in a rich enough school to be nostalgic for that.

Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, 1990

Before the PBS gameshow, there was this. Use your knowledge of geography to solve crimes and capture the bad guys. Bonus: because this game is almost 30 years old, the outdated geography – from the Soviet Union to Yugoslavia – adds to the challenge.

SimCity, 1989

One of a handful of titles that arguably brought gaming to the mainstream, Sim City is an absolute classic. People who’d never played a video game before spent hours on this simulation, trying to get their cities to grow.

SimFarm, 1993

No sane person would argue this game is just as good as SimCity, but it’s a worthy diversion nonetheless. Protip: grow strawberries. That’s where the money is.

Prince Of Persia, 1994

Run! Jump! Fall onto spikes! A classic diversion that includes the first instance ever of motion capture in a video game. Sure, that running motion can be hard to control, but you have to admit: it looks great.

Castle Wolfenstein 3D, 1992

The granddaddy of modern first person shooters. Explore a maze of rooms supposedly representing a Nazi prison, and ultimately take on Hitler himself.

Golden Axe, 1990

This is pure side-scrolling, beat-em-up madness. Play alone or with a friend (if you’re comfortable crowding around the keyboard). Remember: it’s not useful to cast your spells right when you get magic, but it is hilarious.

Tank Wars, 1990

Ready. Aim. Fire! Take control of inexplicably stationary tanks, picking the angle and force at which to fire missiles. The terrain is damaged with every shot, meaning it’s possible to literally bury your opponents if you try hard enough.

Commander Keen 5, 1991

The fifth game in a series of classic platformers staring an eight-year-old. Save the galaxy!

Tetris, 1986

This DOS version of this USSR puzzle game spread throughout the Western world, crippling productivity everywhere. Was it a conspiracy? Thirty years later, we can’t be sure – but also can’t stop playing. Note that this version of Tetris uses the number pad, not the arrow keys.

Sure, there are other places to play Tetris online 19 Games Like Tetris You Can Play Online For Free 19 Games Like Tetris You Can Play Online For Free If you love Tetris, you can play it anywhere, even if you're at work. There are many places to play Tetris online; here are a few of the best. Read More , but this is a chance to see what one of the first versions of the game looked like.

Frogger, 1983

It’s a tale as old as time: frog crosses road, jumps onto the backs of turtles, and gets the girl. Or insect. Whichever is there, really.

DigDug, 1983

Keep digging, then squash the innocent creatures who live in the earth! Classic.

Microsoft Flight Simulator, 1989

Learn the (very) basics of flying a plane in this, the first in a long series of flight simulators from Microsoft. What do all those dials mean?

Alley Cat, 1984

It’s a bunch of minigames involving cats. You do cat things to win the love of a girl cat, because video games in the 80s didn’t need much of a premise.

Is This Even Legal?

You may be wondering: can Archive.org, a legitimate organization, really offer all of these commercial games for free? As it turns out, yes. As explained on their legal page, The Internet Archive has a few exemptions to the DMCA:

  • Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete.
  • Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access.

So don’t worry: Archive.org won’t be shut down for letting you play these games, and you won’t get in trouble for playing them. This is all above board.

More Fun With DOSBox

These games are all powered by DOSBox, an emulator that lets you run any DOS program on your modern computer. If the games don’t run well in your browser, and you have an original copy, you might have better luck getting them to work using the desktop version of the software.

We’ve got a guide to setting up DOSBox on your computer Run Old Games In DOSBox Without Mounting Drives Run Old Games In DOSBox Without Mounting Drives Tired of mounting drives in DOSBox every time you want to run an old game on a modern Windows machine? With a little trick you can play your game without wasting time mounting drives. Read More , if you’re interested in learning more.  Mac users should check out Boxer, an OS X version of DOSBox Play DOS Games On Your Mac In Style With Boxer [MUO Gaming] Play DOS Games On Your Mac In Style With Boxer [MUO Gaming] When it comes to DOS emulation, the general consensus around these parts is that DOSBox is the way to go. It’s free, completely cross-platform and runs virtually any DOS game or app you can throw... Read More with a really nice interface.  You can even run DOSBox on your Wii Run Classic DOS Games On Your Wii With DOSbox Run Classic DOS Games On Your Wii With DOSbox Run DOS software on your Wii, just because you can. DOSbox for Wii puts the complete DOS experience – command prompt and all – on your Wii. DOSbox isn't just for Windows, though: it works... Read More , if you really want to. It’s that flexible.

Which Games Did You Find?

This is just me scratching the surface of this 3000+ game collection. I want to know: which gems did you find in this collection? Share links to your favourites.

Alternatively, you can try to find the worst game – but you’ll have competition.

Image Credits: Blake Patterson Via Flickr

  1. john
    January 30, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Looking for dangerous dave game for past 6 months. Provide me the link if anyone got it.

  2. Cristian Ioan
    January 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Can't play Heretic. It has very low fps.

    • Justin Pot
      January 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Yeah, depending on your computer some of these might be unplayable – and some might be even if you own a supercomputer.

  3. Xoandre
    January 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I just captured CARMEN SANDIEGO in less than 3 hours!

    I played that game on the Apple IIe for days on end back in the late 80's.

    And now I am trying to acess the links, but I think we may have crashed their server, because it won't load the pages. :/

    • Justin Pot
      January 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Seems to be back now! Congratulations on your crime solving skills, BTW.

  4. Prasa
    January 11, 2015 at 7:06 am

    How come Dangerous Dave be missed out in this list??

    • Justin Pot
      January 12, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Because apparently I had a deprived childhood! Never heard of it, and I couldn't really playtest 3000+ games before writing this – I'd never finish! But I just did a search and there are indeed 2 Dangerous Dave titles in the archive. Enjoy!

  5. Ahamed Mahuizn
    January 10, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Wow.........!!! games which are interesting & stress free for machine....!!! :) Thanks.

  6. A41202813GMAIL
    January 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

    ARCHIVE.ORG Has Some Really Good Games To Download Too - WOLFENSTEIN Included.

    Unfortunately, One Of Them Was Not Properly Tested, Before Being Available For Download, And Installed A Lot Of Unrelated Crap In My PC.

    Cheers.

    • Justin Pot
      January 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      The Virus Also Seems To Be Affecting Your Capitalization. ;)

      Seriously, though, the games linked to above are all from Archive.org, and there shouldn't be much of a chance that you get a virus from them. Did you let the Archive team know this happened, and which game it was?

  7. AleRuete
    January 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    • Justin Pot
      January 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      You're welcome!

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