Gaming

Play over 4,000 retro games free online

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David Cornish
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Street Fighter II. Sim City. Dune II. Aladdin. Championship Manager. Doom. If any of these titles cause your eyes to glaze over and your mind to fill with 8-bit music, best free up your diary for the day. 

Thanks to software programmers Jason Scott and David Mulholland, some 4,000 classic titles that stole hours of your childhood are now free to play on your internet browser over at the Internet Archive.

While many of the titles have existed online for years, the Archive has now made the process of finding and playing them painfully simple: just type the name of your favourite pixelated pastime into the search box and chances are there'll be an MS-DOS version available. 

If you've got a shiny new, chances are that it's going to collect dust for the next few weeks. You can scroll through the entire catalogue of titles (which is still growing) here, or check out our favourite picks below.

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 20

    The Oregon Trial

    A text-based adventure that sees you attempt to guide your wagon of pioneers along the infamous Oregon Trail. And then inevitably die. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 21

    Prince of Persia

    Hard-as-nails platformer, you jump around Persia (largely its dungeons) in an attempt to free the Sultan of Persia's daughter. You die. Loads. And have loads of fun along the way. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 22

    Pac-Man

    You're a weird little hungry yellow head. You want to eat loads of little dots. There are ghosts that want to stop you. It's all a bit weird when you think about it.

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 23

    Wolfenstein 3D

    One of the granddaddies of first person shooters, you must escape Castle Wolfenstein, which is filled with Nazis. Six legendary levels that everyone should have a crack at. For some reason you carry your gun in the very centre of your body. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 24

    Dune 2

    The very first real-time strategy game that helped set the foundation for the likes of Command & Conquer. Set in the world of Frank Herbert's Dune, you must harvest a planet's valuable spice stores whilst battling other houses hoping to control the same commodity. A proper classic.

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 25

    Disney's Aladdin

    You've seen Disney's Aladdin, right? Well, it's that story, just converted into one of the greatest side-scrolling platform games ever made. If you didn't play this in your childhood, we're not sure we can be mates. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 26

    Bust-A-Move

    A bubble-stacking game that sees you fire coloured bubbles at a slowly advancing mass of coloured bubbles in the hope of matching colours and scoring points. Matched bubbles will burst. The game ends when the bubbles reach your line. Like reverse Tetris, but with bubbles. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 27

    Donkey Kong

    The birth of many Nintendo staples: you control Jump Man (precursor to Mario), who must navigate his way up ladders and slopes to rescue Pauline (precursor to Princess Peach) from Donkey Kong - who has a nasty habit of lobbing barrels at you. 

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 28

    Championship Manager

    The lord and saviour of all football management titles. Guide a team from the bottom of the league to top of the table glory. Lose your social life. This is more important.

    Play it here

  • Play over 4,000 retro games free online 29

    Super Street Fighter II

    One of the keenest tests of your reactions ever conceived. Become a combat god, battle other combat gods, forget all the combos and just mash your keyboard, have all the fun.

    Play it here

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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