Unlocking Nostalgia: How to Play Classic Games for Free
There was a time, not that long ago, when playing online games for free was a lot of hassle.
Small gaming selections and patchy internet connections meant that if you did find the game you were looking for, you often had problems playing it smoothly thanks to laggy servers and connectivity issues.
This isn’t the case nowadays. The web is stocked full of amazing classic games that continue to wow players. And the best part is most of them are free. The key is to know where to look.
Carry on reading for the five best ways to hunt down these gems – and not spend a cent.
Download free games from online stores
Online stores exist to make money, of course, but many have a selection of free games for you to download.
Many of them also preconfigure older games so you don’t have to mess around with them before playing.
One of the most popular examples of these stores is GOG.com. Focused on classic DOS and Windows games, it has a generous range of classic games in its ‘Free’ section.
To find these, just go to its homepage and select the “Show only free games” and “Hide DLCs and extras” filters. This will give you a list of options to choose from, including the likes of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall and There’s Beneath A Steel Sky.
Many other titles are available, such as The Elder Scrolls III, but these come at a cost of between $2.99 and $5.99. Still, you may be tempted to fork out for these if it means you own them for life.
Internet gaming archives
The vast world of classic games means that setting up archives to store them in is increasingly necessary.
The biggest example is the Internet Archive, which has over 8,200 titles in its MS-DOS games library, including the likes of Civilization and Doom. Here you can relive the golden era without the hassle of setting up desktop emulators.
While the collection offers a nostalgic trip, brace yourself for the quirks of 1980s- and 1990s-era game design.
Archiving doesn’t stop at video games, either. If you’re a fan of slot games, then resources like the Temple of Slots have a wealth of options, ranging from classics like Sizzling Hot Deluxe to modern favorites like a Lucky Cat demo.
The beauty of these sites is that they give you the chance to discover, play, and reminisce – all without spending a dime.
Try out gaming providers
Gaming providers want you to play their games first and foremost, knowing that if you like them, you’ll buy them. This is why demos exist.
This theory extends to classic games, too, with many providers providing full versions of their old-school games to get you acquainted with their style.
Epic Games is a prime example of this. Every week it offers a classic game for free to its website visitors and this has been a hit with gamers who keep coming back to the site for more.
It’s a smart move. It’s a form of (almost) free advertising for Epic, while you get your hands on free content!
OK, we know that this isn’t technically ‘free’, but if you already subscribe to a service then you could benefit from their free gaming content as part of the deal.
One major development was the launch of Prime Gaming by Amazon in 2020. Previously known as Twitch Prime, the service made tonnes of games available to Prime users for free. It even threw some in-game loot and Twitch TV subscription in as part of the bargain.
While the games may not be the best you’ve ever played, its free library is large enough for there to be something for everyone.
Video gaming resources
Some websites don’t actually offer you direct downloads, but they tell you where to go to get them.
AllGamesAtoZ is one such resource. Here you can access lists of free PC games that you can download right away. It has frequent updates and links to popular sites that we’ve mentioned, like Epic Games.
Many gamers bookmark this site because it saves them trawling through the web to find new gaming offers, so it may be worth you are doing the same!