Free Vintage Video Games You Can Play Online

Play free old games online with the Historical Software Collection hosted by the Internet Archive. Without having to get the old Apple or Atari out in the garage, it’s a terrific way to show your kids what games were like in the good old days (just ignore their eye-rolling). Let’s now play 11 timeless oldies and enjoy ourselves.

The 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

While E.T. for the Atari 2600 is undoubtedly memorable, we’re using the term “classic” somewhat lightly here. All told, the game was such a legendary failure when it was first released in 1982 that it almost brought down the fledgling video game industry. Even if it’s hated, it still exists in the history of the business, and you may play it online to determine whether it’s a good, awful, or ugly game.

Word Munchers

In the 1980s, did you ever work in a school computer lab? If yes, you have probably played the incredible grammar/pronunciation game. Try it out and see how it stacks up against your recollections of those antiquated computer games from decades ago.


One of the first role-playing video games was Akalabeth: World of Doom, created by Richard Garriott when he was still a teenager. Garriott would later go on to build the popular Ultima series. Although it’s obviously archaic by today’s standards, it represents a significant turning point for the role-playing game genre if you’re interested in the history of video games.


is one of the unusual games that began life on personal computers before making the transition to arcades. At school, I think the educational value of playing it on an Apple IIe was saving little captives. Keep in mind that the number 0 rotates the helicopter around, and you must utilize the number pad to move (ALT fires).

Castle Wolfenstein

Castle Wolfenstein is a classic, even though I prefer the much later Wolfenstein 3D. It introduced themes that were later applied more successfully in first-person shooters. Click on it to view “the grandfather of the FPS.” (And check out these reviews for controls; if not, it’s very perplexing.)


The Atari 400/800 version was surprisingly good, even if it wasn’t as beautiful as the arcade version. Remember that the number pad on the keyboard is used for movement when playing this game online (there’s a guide in the reviews here). F1 is the “start” key.


sold over 4 million copies of the game over its Atari 2600 lifespan, making it one of the most popular titles. The key to this is timing your jumps; you’ll need to time them perfectly to escape those annoying rolling logs, grab onto ropes, and hop over crocodiles. Even though it’s about forty years old now, you can easily lose an hour or so once you start it up.

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