Arcade Games For PC Archives

Arcade Games For PC Archives

Arcade Games For PC Archives

Arcade Games For PC Archives

Is there an archive for out-of-print video games?

It's 4 o'clock on a Friday, and you're done. Sure, work is still there to do: reports to read, papers to file, emails to send. But in the real world, you're mousing around, desperately wishing the Internet would send you something interesting to explore. Now, what if you were to stumble on, say, a massive trove of old video game titles that you could play on your browser without additional software or emulators? It's great news for Friday afternoon — and terrible news for literally every other time you need to get work done.

Now brace yourself, because this online treasure trove really exists. The Internet Archive began cataloging and offering all sorts of out-of-print video games to users in the site's Console Living Room section in [source: Archive Living Room]. Even cooler, these old console games (meaning games played on a console device offered by companies such as Sega or Nintendo) are no longer tied to a Genesis or Nintendo 64, so now you can play "Mortal Kombat" on your browser. Ran through the thousands of console games already? No biggie, just start on the hundreds of arcade games that it started offering in [source: Archive Arcade]. Once you're done with "Champion Baseball" and "Street Fighter," you can move on to the MS-DOS titles that you remember playing on your childhood computer [source: Archive Library]. From "Oregon Trail" to "Ms. Pac-Man" to "PGA Tour Golf," you have an excuse to never work the last hour of the week again.


So that's the easy answer to our question. The Internet Archive does, in fact, have old out-of-print video games. Huzzahs and high fives all around!

But that's only a small part of the story. In the bigger picture, it turns out that trying to figure out a way to collect and archive games has proven to be a pretty fraught (and surprisingly political) enterprise, especially if you're trying to collect either official reissues or original copies of your favorite old games. For one, a lot of games need an emulator, or a device that can "pretend" to operate like the Nintendo Entertainment Systems or PlayStations (just to name two) of yore. And these emulators might not capture the game entirely correctly; in fact, designers might even find that an efficient, speedy emulator does the original game's pacing no justice [source: Winget and Murray].

Then there's the not-so-little matter of copyrights, property rights and who exactly owns what. Early games might've been developed by one studio (or even one person) and then acquired by another publisher through a sale — and then enveloped by yet another company in a takeover. Add in a product license (say for a character like Batman), and you've got a whole new layer of complexity when it comes to reissuing games [source: Parish].

So while it's certainly gotten a lot easier to find a browser-based version for an out-of-print game, there's not yet a systematic way for studios, publishers or designers to sell or release outdated titles to the public. But if you're looking for a way to kill an hour while strolling down memory lane, all you need is an Internet connection.

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15 addictive video game picks from the Internet Archive’s new arcade

Kiss your productivity goodbye, and kiss your sense of nostalgia hello with these classics of the video arcade, thanks to the Internet Archive.

By Jon Gold, Senior Writer, Network World|

No quarter given! (Nor any required.)

Yes, it’s true – the Internet Archive, stalwart home of the Wayback Machine, now has a special section for the video games of yesteryear, in the Internet Arcade. There are titles available, according to the site, running on a specialized Java emulator known as JSMAME. While not all of them are working quite right yet, there’s already an impressive selection available for you to play right in your browser window. Here are some of the highlights.


The game that did possibly more than, well, Breakout to popularize the breakout formula is first on the list. Given the difficulty standards of the era, this is an unsurprisingly tricky version of the age-old brick-breaker, with the ball speeding unforgivingly past the ends of your small paddle. (Also, did you know there was a plot? I didn’t know there was a plot.) Obviously, the breakout action is fun, but there are plenty of slicker, slightly more forgiving options available online.


This one has some engaging Frogger-esque action, set to jaunty can-can music. Unfortunately, it’s handicapped a bit by finicky controls and yes I did include this solely based on the name, which I am choosing to pronounce “ZIZZ-ix.”


I’m trying to hit at least a few lesser-known titles here, but I couldn’t in good conscience leave Galaga off of the list. Chances are, you already know whether you like it or not, but on the off chance, this is the evolved, more frenetic version of Space Invaders. Beware, your co-workers will almost certainly notice your maniacal mashing of the control key.

Golden Axe

The side-scrolling brawler stuck with us long after the arcade’s heyday was over, and Golden Axe is part of the reason why. I have zero idea what the story here is, but there’s apparently a village on the back of a giant turtle, and the bad guy’s name is Death Adder. Work your way through waves of sprite-art baddies as one of the three fantasy archetypes, including hyper-buff guy, scantily clad woman, and axe-wielding dwarf.

Yie Ar Kung Fu

Speaking of fighting games, this curious little entry has some elements reminiscent of Kung-Fu Master and Karate Champ. Lots of high-jumping action, with a wide variety of possible moves make this a worthy time-waster.


Admit it, you saw this movie, and then you got excited when you saw this game in the arcade. It’s an arcade game about a movie about a guy who’s good at arcade games getting sucked into a computer and having to play arcade games. Kind of. Be warned, the default controls are kind of a mess.


I mean, obviously. Unfortunately, Pac-Man doesn’t really work right on a PC – it’s functional and everything, but the whole idea was always to rack up as many points as possible on a single quarter. Playing it on your computer, with unlimited continues, seems like it defeats the purpose.


Paperboy is a sadistic, cruel game. It’s like an early entrée into the working world for impressionable kids: GET BLAMED! For stuff that isn’t your fault! CRASH! Into negligent commuters! If I ever have a kid that says “gee, Dad, I want to play a game that will get me used to throwing up my hands at the unfairness of the world,” I’ll let him or her play Paperboy.

Street Fighter II

OK, yes, it’s still around in one of its innumerable modern guises. Which, yes, means you could probably have a more satisfying experience than one that requires bashing away at awkward keyboard controls. But it’s Street Fighter II – the first fighting game that I can remember causing competitive young nerds to nearly come to real-life blows.

Great Swordsman

An absorbing little game of cut and thrust, across three different styles of swordsmanship. It’s a little bit like recent (albeit retro) indie darling Nidhogg, with the simplified, yet complex interrelation of high, medium and low lines in fencing. It’s not an all-time classic by any means, but just try not to enjoy the ending bit where the loser gets poked in the head by a flying foil.

Space Harrier

There’s some proto-Star Fox DNA in Space Harrier, a kinetic rail shooter with engaging, if not terribly inventive action. Personally, I’m curious about what kind of invisible jetpack this guy has, where he can run as fast as he flies. I suppose it’s not really important. Some good elements, but it’s not particularly challenging.

Burger Time

If you don’t get a little nostalgic when you hear the jaunty music from Burger Time, you might want to have a doctor look at your nostalgia bone. Nothing quite like the noble quest of a burger chef to walk all over his food and tame unruly ingredients with pepper. It’s addictive, tricky and fun.

Bull Fight

Ah, a light-hearted take on the barbaric “sport” of bullfighting. This actually comes off pretty well, since the graphics aren’t very good, the gameplay is tricky, and there’s a satisfyingly lengthy mauling animation for when you screw up. Think of it as a prequel to Burger Time.

Green Beret

I knew this one primarily as a console title (Get it? Rush ‘n Attack?), but this pre-Contra side-scrolling shooter retains much of the finicky hit detection and frenetic pace of the classic without the lurid, overpowered weapons and weird alien foes. Just go find a Flash port of Contra, really.

Out Run

OK, this version might not be the best one out there, but just think – would we have ever gotten Final Lap without Out Run? Or F-Zero? Or, for heaven’s sake, Crazy Taxi? I think not! Kudos, Out Run. Kudos.

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Arcade Games For PC Archives

Play 1, Classic Arcade Games Right Now on The Internet Archive (No Quarters Necessary)

Arcades, in most cities, are a distant memory, but you can relive over a thousand classic games right now thanks to The Internet Archive.

The site, which aims to preserve our digital past, offers a massive collection of emulated arcade titles, which you can play here (via The collection currently includes 1, games, all emulated right in your browser.

RELATED:Re-Live 90s Computing In Your Browser Right Now

Highlights you might remember include The Simpsons, Rampage: World Tour, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. But there are all kinds of titles here most gamers have never heard of&#;especially gamers in North America.

A large number of titles were added in the past month or so. Here&#;s Jason Scott, the curator of this collection, in a blog post about recent the new additions:

Advancements by both the MAME emulator team and the Emscripten conversion process allowed our team to go through many more potential arcade machines and add them to the site.

The majority of these newly-available games date to the s and early s, as arcade machines both became significantly more complicated and graphically rich, while also suffering from the ever-present and home-based video game consoles that would come to dominate gaming to the present day. Even fervent gamers might have missed some of these arcade machines when they were in the physical world, due to lower distribution numbers and shorter times on the floor.

Take some time to dive into the collection&#;you might find something you loved before, or will love now.

Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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