Play classic Atari arcade games in your browser

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 31, 2012
Updated • Feb 19, 2014

Ah Atari, what a big name they were back in the beginning days of computer gaming. I had my first experience at home with the Atari 2600 system and classics like River Raid, Frogger, Pong or Pitfall, as well as arcade games such as Arkanoid. I had lots of fun playing those games alone and with friend, and am grateful looking back that my parents restricted the play time as I'd otherwise would have spend all my spare time playing them.

Microsoft in an effort to promote Internet Explorer 10 and touch devices has teamed up with Atari and GSkinner to recreate modern versions of classic Atari games. While designed to promote Internet Explorer 10, the games should run in other web browsers as well. You may however see a small ad when games load that mentions that you get the best experience when you play it in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10. The very same message appears if you load the games in older Internet Explorer versions as well.

I did however experience another issue in other web browsers that made the games barely playable. Eventually, the game screen would change and ask me to rotate the device, which obviously can't be done on a desktop PC. There was no way to continue playing the games. This changed after I switched to Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8.

The following games can be selected on the arcade website:

  • Asteroids
  • Centipede
  • Combat
  • Lunar Lander
  • Missile Command
  • Pong
  • Super Breakout
  • Yars Revenge

All games can be played alone, while Combat, Missile Command and Pong support multiplayer as well. The games play directly in the web browser supporting both keyboard and touch inputs. If you are using the keyboard to control the game, you can use the WASD or cursor keys to move, and space to interact.

The games feature modern graphics and play reasonably well in the web browser. You can register an account at the site to save high scores and play the multiplayer games with your friends.

It is definitely fun to play a game or two of the games, but once you have done that, you are probably craving for games with more substance. Still, if you want to relive some of your childhood memories or have a classic game of Pong against your buddies, then this may be exactly what you are looking for. The screen rotation error needs to be resolved, as does issues for users who run the Windows XP operating system.

Other than that it is pretty nice to see what HTML5 and JavaScript can bring to the table game-wise. Oh, and if you want to see high end contents using nothing but HTML5 and JavaScript, you can take a look at this demo. (via Caschy)


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  1. joh said on September 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I like HTML5 games a lot. That said, these Atari games only make me cringe. Playing the “improved” version of Pong in color, with annoying soundtrack and effects feels like watching an “improved” version of Casablanca with added color, sound effects and computer generated explosions. I guess it is an age think, I’m old enough to remember the original fondly and being really impressed by it.

    Does anyone know of a HTML5 version of pong that is just like the original game and can be played at fullscreen?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      I only have a Flash version

      1. joh said on September 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

        Thank you, that is much better. I did some searching and didn’t find any better version out there. I did find a weird version that was fun and surprising here . The ball and paddles are browser windows! I hope we’ll see html5 versions

  2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    And if you want another reason why Duck Duck Go is great, check out this search:

    1. Sina said on August 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Wow, great find !

    2. MrEprize said on August 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Nice find! Try this one out also :)

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