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How To Find & Play 1980s & 1990s Console Games On Your PC

The modern video game landscape is rife with exciting new products, but sometimes the latest and greatest don’t take away that retro itch. From time to time, there is a desire to quickly play Sonic the Hedgehog or Mortal Kombat, but not all of us live in mansions with retro consoles or the right settings to enjoy them.

But you’re probably reading this article right now about something that can quench your thirst for everything about retro console gaming: your PC. Yes, it is very possible to play old console games from the 80s and 90s (and earlier!) On your PC, and there is no need to bypass the law to do so.

If you have the time, a computer capable of handling rudimentary graphics, and a keen desire to play retro games, there are many ways to do it without spending a dime. Get ready to blast from the past.

How to find classic console games online

Ready to start your search? While there are many questionable ways to get games online, we certainly don’t want you to be wrong with the law.

Luckily, you don’t have to engage in any grim activities to play the games you miss your childhood the most. Many of them are hidden in plain sight, but others may need a little digging. Here are some great stops you should make in your quest to find classic console games on your PC.

Internet Arcade (from the Internet Archive)

Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can play nearly 1000 classic console games online without leaving your browser. Check out The Internet Arcade, a massive emulation project that lets you explore a wide variety of classic games without downloading potentially malware-infected files or trying to find an emulator that will launch the game you’re looking for. P>

From Burger Time to Lode Runner, there are tons of different titles that you can discover in no time. By using the keyboard to control each game, you can instantly immerse yourself in a fantastic retro gaming session and instantly jump off the page as you play. No fuss, no fuss, and you don’t even have to look very far to find it.


If you’re ready to ride the retro wave, get ready to strike at the mother location. ClassicReload is home to a large number of classics for different platforms such as Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, Commodore 64, TurboGrafx-16, ColecoVision and more. There is a wide selection of PC games to level up your huge collection.

Any game can be played in your browser, so you don’t have to go all out or do extra work to get them up and running. Plus, the site always adds new zipped software for you to check out.

If you prefer to play with your gaming tablet, it supports them as well. Perhaps the real problem is hiding it from your boss and pretending to be busy?


If you’re tired of console games and want to spend some time with PC games, check out the Abandonia Archive, which houses a huge repository of downloadable games released for PC between the 1980s and the late 1990s.

There are thousands of titles here, all for your convenience in downloading. Best of all, you can get as many games as you want, because they all fall under the free software “opt-out” clause. This means that it is essentially computer software that has been “abandoned” by its owner and is no longer supported or sold.

The Abandonia team makes sure that every game posted on the site is subject to these rules before downloading and has therefore created a huge collection of games that you can browse. If you’re looking for a favorite kids game that you forgot the name of years ago, or just want to watch it, this is your best first stop.

However, keep in mind that you will need to download a free DOSBox emulator if you want to play these games on your computer, as they are not optimized for modern PCs and may require special tweaking to work properly.


By now, you should already have at least a few places where you can find your favorite 80s and 90s console games online and play them on your PC. While there are still others that exist in the legally gray area, we recommend sticking to those that are open to discussion. With so many games available legally, how could you possibly have time for anything other than that?

Just remember, the next time you feel like blowing out that NES cartridge slot, or cleaning up the yellow grime from the Super Nintendo, you’ll have alternatives. You have the Internet and your computer – what time to be alive.

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