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Abandonware Games and Free PC Classic Games
In this short series of articles we will discuss and discover great ways to both download and play classic PC games for free. Older games are often no longer available for legal purchase, meaning there isn’t an outlet for them. Fortunately for avid video game enthusiasts, sites which host or database abandoned software (abandonware hereafter) can be a rich source of classic PC games and provide some excellent experiences.
Abandonware games mainly exist due to either being discontinued by their publishers, obsolete technologies, an expired copyright (placing the software into the public domain) or because of its non-existent support and legal ability to purchase the game anywhere.
When this occurs, the usually modus operandi of abandonware centric gaming web sites is to host the game or direct you to a site that has it for download. There are plenty of web sites that provide such a service for the avid retro PC gamer. In this mini-series of articles, we will look at some of the better places to find, download and play free classic PC games.
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Abandonia - Home for Free Abandonware Windows Games
Surpassing the Home of the Underdogs to be possibly the premiere abandonware site on the internet, Abandonia welcomes a monolithic archive of classic PC games, with in-depth analysis and a nice review aspect. The clean aesthetic is often easy to navigate and the genre specific categories and advanced search options give you a digestible format to find the right classic PC games.
Abandonia provides both manuals and even cover shots for many of the titles it contains within its massive library of older games. Much like the sites from previous articles, it either hosts or points you towards the downloads for these games, giving several options therein The sites main focus is on DOS based games that are technologically obsolete and are unavailable through retail avenues.
The site also has a well rounded and very active community allowing for interaction and discussion on all the abandonware and DOS classics you’ll encounter on while browsing. In addition to this community, the site is regularly updated with new games, while providing short articles detailing them.
If the widest selection and largest brevity of games is your preferred MO then Abandonia is probably the best bet for finding what you need. The reviews are great, but less personal than something akin to The House of Games, while the community aspects and constantly updated aspects give a great platform for abandonware downloads.
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Abandonia Reloaded - A Free PC Classic Games Haven
Unlike the other locations and sites listed in these articles, Abandonia Reloaded is a place for fan made re-makes, de-makes and a bounty of independent titles including the Trilby series of games created by “Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame. Classic indie PC titles and free downloadable games are plentiful, even if they don’t have the abandonware or retro pedigree, having the genre search instantly recognised when looking at the homepage.
Another focus of the site is on creating a fleshed out database pertaining to the developers and other notable game makers of classic PC games. This repository gives some information on the companies and people behind the abandonware games you’ll likely be searching for.
Supporting ratings systems, forums and user submitted reviews, Reloaded is a great place to pick up some classic PC games and even independent titles currently being released across the web.
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Free Classic PC Games and Abandonware
Hopefully these two articles have provided some easy-access ways to investigate and profligate abandonware games and older PC titles that aren’t available through retail avenues any longer.
Have fun reading up on the vast libraries of classic PC games, not only utilising the sites listed here and in the previous article, but also finding your own abandonware and classic PC games sites. Happy hunting, retro game enthusiast!