The Internet Archive is one of our favorite spots on the Internet, and that is not only because of its excellent wayback machine to access changed or deleted webpages and sites, but also because of the numerous archives that are maintained on the site.
DOS games can still be played on modern Windows machines through emulation, e.g. by using a program like DOSBox. The Internet Archives' collection runs the emulation part in the web browser which takes away much of the burden of setting up games correctly.
As far as MS-DOS games are concerned, the collection includes known and unknown games; it should not come as a surprise that many of the games are probably lesser known. PC users who enjoyed the DOS period may remember games such as Wizardry, The Three Stooges, Incredible Machine 2, Biing, The Great War, or the under-appreciated Genghis Khan II.
The collection has a handful of surprise additions. You find the second part of Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series, Daggerfall, several classic LucasArts adventures, The Secret of Monkey Islands and Loom, the original Bard's Tale, Descent, Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Ultimate Underworld series, or the smash hit Cannon Fodder in the collection.
There is also Street Fighter II, Summer Games II, several SSI classics including Roadwar Europe, Horrorsoft's Elvira, The Last Ninja, Star Wars Tie Fighter, Redneck Rampage, or, one of my favorite games of all time, The curse of RA.
Tip: change the sort order to views to get a list of the most popular releases of the collection.
All games can be played directly in the browser; just click on the play button on the game's page on the Internet Archive website to start it. Archive.org uses the DOSBox emulator to make the games playable in the browser.
Note that the games are downloaded whenever you start them; it is not a major issue as most games are quite small in comparison to the Gigabyte-sized games of today. Still, some games have a size of several hundred Megabytes so that it may take a while before you can start playing the games.
Most games can be played with the mouse; that is one advantage over arcade games or console games that usually require a gamepad or the use of keys on the keyboard. You still need to use some keys, e.g. ESC to leave DOS mode as the mouse is locked while you play the game.
Games played fine on a fairly modern PC with lots of RAM and a good processor. Games may play less good on older machines especially if you play taxing games on the machine.
The new addition to the MS-DOS games archive of the Internet Archive adds dozens of classics that can be played in the browser. While the selection is mostly of interest to users who played these games when they were younger, it may also be of interest to gamers who never players these but want to play some of the all-time classic games of PC gaming.
Now You: Have any favorite DOS games? Let us know in the comments below.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.