7 best retro games to play online (Free Play)

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Feel like playing something but don't like installing AAA games? Online retro games are a solution.
  • There are plenty of free retro games currently available on the market, and all you need is a browser to play them.
  • The article below will be covering some of the most popular retro games, so make your pick.
  • All of the entries are free-to-play, and they all belong to long-established and beloved franchises.
retro online games
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A lot of users might install emulator software to play retro games from the 1980s and 1990s. However, you don’t need to install any software to play the best retro games.

There are numerous game emulator sites that include a plethora of NES, Master System, Genesis, SNES, DOS, Game Boy, and arcade retro games. Therefore, you can play some of the best games ever in your web browser!

Quick tip:

playing games within your browser, no matter how retro or simplistic they may look, will always feel better when the interface through which you’re doing it has an intense gaming vibe.

That being said, we recommend using Opera GX to access the online games below, since not only does it have the RGB looks that give off a gaming PC feel, but it is also optimized to give you the best gaming performance.

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Which are the best retro games that I can play online?


Pac-Man retro games online

Pac-Man is a points-scoring game originally launched in the arcades during the 1980s. This is one of the highest-grossing arcade games in history that won the hearts of players the world over.

It’s a simple maze chase game in which players clock up scores by gobbling up all the dots and fruits on its levels. The simplicity of Pac-Man, like other retro games, is in many respects its beauty.

There are loads of websites you can play Pac-Man games on. To play the original Pac-Man, check out the Original Pac-Man site. Or you can play a Google doodle variation of Pac-Man.

Play Pac-Man 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Zelda: A Link to the Past retro games online

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was one of the best games on the 16-bit SNES console.

This is one of the RPGs of Nintendo’s Zelda series, and for many fans it remains one of the best additions to the franchise. Lots of Zelda fans enjoy playing this epic RPG all over again on retro game websites.

You can play Zelda: A Link to the Past at numerous retro game sites that include SNES emulators. Play Emulator is one of the good websites to play A Link to the Past at. That website also includes a lot of other Zelda games for fans of the series to play.

Play A Link to the Past

Super Mario World

Super Mario World retro games online

Super Mario World was the launch title for the SNES console, and it’s one of the best 2D platform games ever. This was the Mario game that introduced Yoshi the dinosaur for players to ride on through levels.

The game includes a map with 96 levels for players to discover and play through. It was a big leap forward on the more linear platform games of its time.

Play Super Mario World


Doom retro games online

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Doom defined the 3D first-person shooter genre on Windows and consoles. This is a first-person shoot ’em up in which players blast through demonic hordes throughout a series of levels.

It was one of the first games that seriously embraced online multiplayer gaming during the earlier years of the web. So, Doom was the game that redefined PC gaming a few years before Microsoft launched Windows 95.

Doom got released on lots of gaming platforms. You can play the original DOS Doom at Legendary videogames ONLINE. Play Emulator includes five of the Doom games for consoles.

Play Doom

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong retro games online

This is a 1980s arcade game in which players jump barrels tossed down levels by Donkey Kong to rescue the princess. Donkey Kong has its place in the gaming hall of fame primarily because it was the first game to include Mario in it.

This was one of Nintendo’s very earliest game titles from the big N’s foremost game designer Mr. Miyamoto. Aside from being the first game with Mario in it, it also started the Donkey Kong game series.

Play Donkey Kong

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog retro games online

Sonic the Hedgehog was the first game in SEGA’s Sonic series launched in the early 1990s.

This is a 2D side-scrolling platform game that’s comparable to the early Mario titles. However, Sonic the Hedgehog has faster-paced gameplay than many of the alternative platform games of its time.

This was the game that sold the SEGA Genesis. The original Sonic the Hedgehog online game will provide a lot of nostalgia for fans of the series.

Play Sonic the Hedgehog


Tetris retro games online

Tetris is another of the most widely played games in gaming history. This is a game of Russian origin in which players rotate falling blocks into lines to amass points and stop them stacking up.

The game’s designer originally released Tetris on the Electronika 60 in the 1980s. However, the golden age of Tetris was the period Nintendo had rights to the game and distributed it with the Game Boy.

Tetris was an ideal game for gaming on the go with the portable Game Boy.

There are many variants of Tetris you can play online. If you want to play the classic Tetris Game Boy game, check it out on arcade spot (linked in a subheading).

You can also play a color variant of the game on the Tetris website.

Play Tetris

Those are just a few of the great retro games online. You can have loads of fun in your browser with those classic games that will give you a blast from the past.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, you can certainly play retro games online with the most updated versions of Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Edge. Explore the best emulators on the market.

  • Yes, a surprisingly large number of retro game emulator websites still rely on Flash even though it will be obsolete by the end of 2020.

  • No, you can play games on most game emulator sites without registering accounts with them.

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