Internet Archive adds 2500 playable DOS games to the archive
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.
We talked about the ability to play DOS, classic computer, and arcade games already in the past, and about other archives, e.g. the classic computer magazine archive or the gigantic music archive.
The maintainers of the site announced recently that 2500 additional playable MS-DOS games were added to the site. MS-DOS games are classic computer games released predominantly in the last century.
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,Â 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.
Neat, Ultimate Doom runs terrible though. Low framerate, I guess around 10fps. It’s playable because it runs at the correct speed, but it’s not enjoyable. Plus the mouse is configured weirdly, walk and turn around. I guess the game was intended to be played on keyboard only, but since it’s emulation you could alter its behaviour. In ZDoom I mapped it to a more modern layout: WASD for walk/strafe and mouse for turn left/right (disabled the fake look up/down, it’s weird and Doom does not have/need this).
What are the specs of the machine you ran this on?`Can you post a link to the game, I’ll try on my machine.
Sure, this is the link: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Ultimate_DOOM_The_1995
It’s a laptop with an 8750H with turbo boost disabled from BIOS (I hsould probably try enabling it, but don’t want to restart it now), 32GiB of RAM and a 1050ti.
Works great on my system, Intel Core i-6700K, 32 GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 530.
Odd, here it plays, but not in a way I would describe as enjoyable. Tried running Chromium with Intel HD Graphics 630, and it’s the same.
I’ll have to find a YT video on how the game actually felt on real hardware at that time. Something tells me my expectation of 60fps might be a bit unrealistic..?
Hah, enabling TurboBoost does make the game run fine. Playing it makes Chromium use almost an entire CPU thread though o.O
Works great with Firefox 69 (Win10) on a I9-9980XE with 128GB DDR4-4000 and 2x 2080TI. Maybe you need a better computer???
I had the same laggy DOOM1 experience on my Xeon 8176 /w 96 GB and some no-name GPU (Aspeed). It seems the web version of Dosbox doesn’t like CPU frequencies under 2.50 GHz.
Nice! Can’t wait when they will finally start adding Windows games. My favs from childhood are 3D Ultra Minigolf, Catz and Presswurst 3D.
The best of the best!
Holy suck. I tried playing Golden Axe. Can’t even get past the dos prompt coz I need to press ‘4’ and I’m on a tab so no way to bring up virtual KB. Who needs those crummy old games when plenty free mobile apps can keep me plenty occupied like Arena of Valor?