The 37 best games of the MS-DOS era to play now and free in the browser

The 37 best games of the MS-DOS era to play now and free in the browser
The 37 best games of the MS-DOS era to play now and free in the browser

For years, The Internet Archive has been a prodigious resource when it comes to accessing content that has been disappearing over time in the network of networks, and in that work they have also had a special site for games. Thanks to its combination with the DOS Box emulator and the latest versions of browsers, a very special branch of those contents was presented at the beginning of the year.

It is neither more nor less than the possibility of executing in our browser any of the 2,400 games available in the catalog by those responsible for this project. Many options and much nostalgia that have forced us to make an attempt to select some of the most prominent. These are for us – here, of course, tastes can vary – the 37 best games of the MS-DOS era that we can enjoy directly and free in the browser thanks to this service.

Gauntlet (Atari, 1988)

This cooperative game was a great success in the 80’s and had a version on various platforms. And one of them was the PC, in which we could also enjoy that recreation of the world of “Dragons and Dungeons” and choose any of the four characters-each with its advantages and disadvantages-to try to get as far as possible. In this catalog is also its sequel.

To play | Gauntlet

Arkanoid II – Revenge of Doh (Taito, 1989)

The first version is not available in this catalog, but it is this sequel that reinforced the legendary original concept of a game in which as in many concepts of the time the graphics were something almost secondary. The level of addiction offered by that simple concept was amazing and as in other of the chosen from this list, Arkanoid had versions for virtually all platforms that existed at the time of its release.

To play | Arkanoid II – Revenge of Doh

SimCity (Maxis, 1989)

A classic that has had a sad ending recently with the closing of the study by EA but which was a milestone for the time. The creation of an absolutely brilliant Will Wright returns to take shape in our browsers and does so with that glorious 2D perspective so striking and so typical of those years.

To play | SimCity

Scorched Earth (Wendell Hicken, 1991)

You are going to allow me the whim to include one of those games that I spent more hours than the ones I played with my classmates – in the UPM’s Calculation Center of the UPM it was a classic-), because Scorched Earth was a prodigy of that magic in which simplicity did not prevent you from again and again wanting to play again. The calculation of trajectories that was the basis of this singular battle of tanks was not new, but it was the one that popularized a genre that later would be a fundamental pillar of many other successes later like Worms.

To play | Scorched Earth

Golden Ax (SEGA, 1990)

There are classics and there are classics among the classics. Golden Ax is one of them, and after achieving that many of us left the pay of Sundays in the recreational also triumphed in all the platforms in which it appeared. This arcade put us in the role of one of the three different characters -women warrior included, curious for the time – and forced us to charge us all the enemies that were put in front of us.

To play | GoldenAxe

Prince of Persia (Broderbund, 1990)

It was one of the games that really stood out as much for its playability as for its graphics or its music. In Prince of Persia, the character’s physics seemed more real than ever – its weight and inertia were key in the movement and when it came to avoiding obstacles – and that added value to a game that in fact would end up inspiring sequels as well. in video games as adaptations – not very lucky – to the cinema.

To play | Prince of Persia

Wolfenstein 3D (id Software, 1992)

It was not the first game of id Software and its great creators, but it was the germ of what would later be a revolution in the videogame industry. The First-Person-Shooters (FPS) owe a lot to this true myth of the video game industry that, yes, still did not allow things now essential as the side scrolling. But that gives you even more charm, do not you think?

To play | Wolfenstein 3D

Lemmings 3 – All New World of Lemmings (Psygnosis, 1994)

As with Arkanoid, the original videogame and its second part are not available in the catalog, but it is the third that confirmed the success of its predecessors and also maintained that fun concept of the tribes to divide the sympathetic and sacrificed ( Or safricables?) Lemmings in some of them. Of the twelve available in the second installment, however, they were left with three porqeu each of them had 30 levels with different enemies and additional ways that the lemmings were increasingly versatile.

To play | Lemmings 2 – The Tribes

Street Fighter II (Capcom, 1992)

This is one of the few titles that continue to be played today (although in particular is its sequel Street Fighter II Turbo, launched in 1994), which shows the degree of perfection that this fighting game achieved in his day. Even without such a striking 3D perspective of subsequent fighting games or with a catalog of more limited characters and movements, each in his style became a small legend in itself. Essential in the list, of course.

To play | Street Fighter II

Leisure Suit Larry (Sierra On-Line, 1987)

Larry Lafter was the Alfredo Landa particular of the videogames of the late 80’s. An irreverent game for the time and that even had sexual content – I did a test at the beginning to verify that you were of an appropriate age. The adventures of this very peculiar gigolo – with relatively recent 25th anniversary edition – conquered a lot of players on different platforms, and in fact they liked it so much that they had six deliveries more directly and others related that have even reached our times.

To play | Leisure Suit Larry

Dune 2 – The Building of a Dinasty (Westwood Studios, 1992)

The novels of Frank Herbert inspired films and, how could it be otherwise, video games. In this catalog we have the second installment of Dune, a strategy videogame with a simple development – Westwood Studios did it very well – but very addictive that was reinforced in the second installment and in which we could again choose between the different houses ( Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos) to compete for the conquest of the planet Arrakis and, of course, for the control of the spice. Beware of worms, yes.

To play | Dune 2

Aladdin (Virgin, 1994)

Virgin’s game is based on the Disney animated film of 1992 and is an ode to the platforms in which finally the adaptation of the Disney characters was a success. The videogame was as fun for the little ones as we were then something older, and although the control with keys is a small challenge – nice console controls – it is a fun and very charming game.

To play | Aladdin

Doom II: Hell on Earth (id Software, 1994)

The ambition after the launch of an absolutely revolutionary Doom went further in this installment -the first is not available- and its creators went from using (successfully, to the best of their knowledge) the shareware model to move to a commercial model in which the game It came directly to the stores. Although there were no major changes at the technical level, the evolution of the hardware was used to offer a game engine with much more intricate and large levels. More Doom than ever, go.

To play | Doom II: Hell on Earth

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (LucasArts, 1989)

Lucasfilm Games games marked a before and after in the segment of graphic adventures – now sadly forgotten – and one of its great successes was the adaptation of the third installment of the Indiana Jones adventures. As in the rest of the deliveries of this producer’s games, fidelity to the story was accompanied by a very special humor and those funny puzzles that made it almost impossible not to stay stuck to the screen until they were solved. If you want you can also enjoy another great Lucasfilm classic in this segment, Maniac Mansion. We will not have, however, access to those original methods against copies.

To play | Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Master of Orion (Microprose, 1993)

This game that had two sequels was one of the pillars of all kinds of games based on the mechanics of turn-based play. As it happened with Civilization – not available in the catalog, pity, and this places us in space – players had to build an empire through exploration, research, colonization and, of course, war. Enough ingredients to entertain the most painted.

To play | Master of Orion

Eye or the Beholder (Westwood Associates, 1991)

In MS-DOS there is an important catalog of videogames dedicated to the RPG genre, but one of the most outstanding was Eye of the Beholder, part of a trilogy that is fully available in this service and that therefore we can fully enjoy. Developed as a computer version of the famous board games of Dragons and Dungeons, it became one of the clear references and as in other cases its many successes were exploited by other similar titles but much more modern.

To play | Eye of the Beholder

Bust-A-Move (Taito, 1997)

Another success of the recreational that made its transition to various platforms of the time -more settled in the 16 and even the 32 bits- and which was also known as BubblePuzzle Bobble. Here Taito again demonstrated that a simple concept and simple 2D graphics can be perfect companions of a fun and very addictive development. Another of the classics of the puzzles in real time in which the bubbles of colors were our allies … or our nightmare, of course.

To play | Bust-A-Move

The Oregon Trail (Broderbund, 1974)

This game developed in the early 70s became a legend since its launch and gave rise to nine more deliveries. It sold a whopping 65 million copies, and was one of the “franchise” games on computers like the Apple II. Its original orientation was educational and tried to explain to children the realities of life in the American West in the mid-nineteenth century. For many, another of the essentials in the history of MSDOS games.

To play | The Oregon Trail

Last VI: The False Prophet (Origin Systems, 1990)

This colorful RPG game allowed PC players to explore this immense virtual world called Britannia, and in addition to the realism of some sections there was a unique feature: players could pick up, use or move virtually any visible object that existed in the Ultima VI stages . It was the first game of that legendary saga that was developed specifically for MS-DOS and took advantage of the power of the VGA graphics of the time.

To play | Last VI

Karateka (Broderbund, 1986)

Another of the fighting games that showed a lot of versions: all the platforms of the time had their corresponding edition, and the MS DOS version also allowed to enjoy those fights in which the enemies that were happening on stage They were getting harder and harder. There was not excessive variety in movements, but for the time it was one of the best and most popular fighting games on the market. A reedición appeared for Xbox, but it did it without pain or glory.

To play | Karateka

Stunts (Broderbund, 1990)

This video game, also known as 4D Sports Driving, was one of the pioneers in the treatment of 3D car simulation games, and in addition to that attention to simulation the game also had a racetrack editor. The game was also especially fun because of the presence of loops and jumps, and its creators even allowed to reproduce the race after finishing it. The codes that are requested at the start of each game to unlock security may come in handy.

To play | Stunts

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (Broderbund, 1989)

Another success of Broderbund, which was something like Electronic Arts of the time, was the Carmen Sandiego franchise, whose first delivery was this. In it, this signaled villain faced the ACME Detective Agency, but that playful section was combined with an educational one, since the game was conceived for the educational market with the aim of teaching geography and history – and later also mathematics and English – Carmen Sandiego is among the historical females of video games for VidaExtra.

To play | Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego

Gunship 2000 (Microprose, 1993)

The flight simulators became one of the most popular segments, and among the highlights was this Gunship 2000 that covered the field of helicopters and did it with ambition. You just have to take a look at his 170-page manual that accurately described the various options of a game that put us at the controls of different combat models and that despite those graphics is still a very curious proposal. Another mythical example is, of course, the Chuck Yeagers AFT.

To play | Gunship 2000

The Fidelity Chessmaster 2100 (Software Toolbox, 1989)

There were still a few years for Deep Blue to put Garry Kasparov in check, and never better said, but the chess games were also beginning to have their place in the PCs of the time and in fact began to be seen as valuable training tools for amateurs and professionals of this sport. The Chessmaster franchise was the one that sold more games of this type, and this 1989 title already showed a unique power. The creator of the video game placed it at about 2,000 ELO USCF points, but in fact it is estimated that his score was around 1,550-1,600 ELO points.

To play | The Fidelity Chessmaster 2100

Heimdall (The 8th Day, 1992)

This action game became very popular and in fact it had a second version. In its development we put ourselves in the role of Heimdall, a demigod of Norwegian mythology who was to protect the entrance to Asgard, home of the gods. The game of action and adventure presented an isometric perspective in which our hero was collecting objects to fulfill the main mission while touring the different islands present in the game. The graphics of the MS-DOS version are very reminiscent of those present at the editions of Amiga and Atari ST.

To play | Heimdall

Elite (Firebird, 1987)

One of the legendary games of the 80s explored ambitious science fiction and the concept of a model with open ends, in addition to using revolutionary 3D graphics for the time (although now they are logically simple) and that game mechanic in which Space trade was the basis of development. The influence of Elite was felt in its aftermath (Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters) and also in later titles such as Wing Commander and even Grand Theft Auto.

To play | Elite

Tetris (Spectrum Holobyte, 1986)

Some may argue with Tetris about the narrative, but it is impossible not to mention it in practically any list of myths in the world of videogames (there were rumors of the movie itself). In this version of the game for recreational developed by Spectrum Holobyte in 1986 at least had the detail of mentioning its original creators, A. Pajitnov and V. Gerasimov, and although the graphics are really mediocre-very MS-DOS, I would say-, the magic is still there.

To play | Tetris

Double Dragon (Technos, 1988)

Another of the omnipresent titles in the 16-bit computers of the time and that also came to MS-DOS in a conversion that graphically certainly did not stand out but at least kept the other components of this arcade fight in which our goal It was carcarnos to all enemies based on cakes. The possibility of playing simultaneously with another player was one of the clear attractions of a game that has also become a reference.

To play | Double Dragon

Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios, 1995)

This classic of real-time strategy games has all those ingredients that made this genre explode in the mid-90s. As in many others, the idea is to build a base, acquire resources and thus finance the production of all kinds of forces and units with which to assault and conquer enemy bases. The idea is basic, but we assure you, it hooks.

To play | Command & Conquer

Rogue (Artificial Intelligence Design 1983)

Basic to not be able to, but also interesting for that simplicity. We will have to throw some imagination, but here our protagonist will have to explore the dangerous Damned Dungeon to get the precious Amulet of Yendor. The game uses ASCII characters to represent locations as well as objects, monsters or the protagonist himself. Alucinad with monsters like the Leprechaun, which is represented with an L, for example.

To play | Rogue

Lode Runner (Broderbund Software, 1983)

Another game from that first era in which graphics could not give more and the important thing was the gameplay. In Lode Runner we found a visually more ambitious approach to a platform game that also had an impressive novelty for the time: a complete level editor that allowed players to create levels without having programming knowledge.

To play | Lode Runner

The Castle of Dr. Brain (Sierra On-Line, 1991)

This game of the legendary Sierra is the first part of a series of two games aimed at solving educational puzzles. We will solve those puzzles through mathematics and logic, but also useful knowledge to solve cryptograms or the odd astronomical riddle. The second part of the game is ‘The Island of Dr. Brain’, also available on The Internet Archive.

To play | The Castle of Dr. Brain

SimAnt (Maxis Software, 1991)

The success of SimCity made that in Maxis other simulators with different areas were raised, and curiously the one that they devised with the ants as protagonists achieved a resounding success. We will control an entire colony to conquer the rest of the colonies of the land, and between the threats will be both the spiders and the humans. There is even a tutorial mode to teach us the basics of a game that went into those simulators different from the usual.

To play | SimAnt

Epic Pinball (Digital Extremes, 1993)

More modern and therefore more ambitious, this game managed to recreate the magic of pinball machines to transfer them to the PC. The graphics were especially striking thanks to the VGA support of 256 colors and a fluid movement, but in addition there is a special role of music. The android machine was especially striking, and among other secrets of the game is that it was completely programmed in assembler.

To play | Epic Pinball

Alone in the dark (Infogrames, 1992)

He was one of the precursors of the genre ‘survival horror’ and anticipation of what the sagas of ‘Resident Evil’ or ‘Silent Hill’ would bring, but in ‘Alone in the dark’ we find a mythical title with 3D polygon graphics in the one that the characters moved on pre-rendered funds in 2D. For the time that was the most of the most, but is that the game was really entertaining.

To play | Alone in the Dark

Battle Chess (Interplay, 1988)

The game power of its algorithms may not be comparable to modern chess engines, but Battle Chess not only stands out for presenting us the always exciting game of chess, but also because it does it in a fun way: when a piece is eat another, they engage in a nice fighting animation. The game had multiplayer support through the modem or the serial port, and was transferred to many other platforms such as the Amiga, the Atari ST or the Commodore 64.

To play | Battle Chess

Bubble Bobble (Taito, 1988)

One of the most popular recreational of all time, in Bubble Bobble we find two protagonist, Bub and Bob, who enter a cave in which they become dinosaurs. To return to their human form they have to finish the game, which consists of a series of levels in which we will have to collect various fruits and avoid the enemies that are appearing and that we can turn into those fruits by releasing the mouth, attention, bubbles. Because that’s what the dinosaurs have always let loose in their mouths.

To play | Bubble Bobble

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com