It's April 1st and the world is still currently what scientists are calling "a mess".
So lemme point out some Classic Games You Might Not Have Thought About For Like 25 Years But Can Play Now In Your Browser:

QBASIC GORILLAS (hit shift-f5 after it loads)
The sort of "grown-up version" of Gorillas, Scorched Earth:
Classic Downhill Yeti Panic Simulator, SkiFree:
One of the greatest sidescrollers ever made for the PC, Commander Keen 4: Goodbye Galaxy!
One of the most unique implementations of one of the most common board games in history, Battle Chess:
A game you were almost REQUIRED to play in school, The Oregon Trail:
Speaking of games you had to play in school, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
And what's arguably the best game from The Learning Co's Super Solvers series, Gizmos and Gadgets.
Build vehicles to race, avoid RoboChimps in platforming section, solve educational (but fun!) minigames.
Let's control the fate of some weird funky green-haired creatures who just want to walk off cliffs in peace, but no, you gotta save 'em: Lemmings!
It's time to escape the dungeons and rescue the princess in the originally cinematic platformer, Prince of Persia:
Speaking of Cinematic Platformers, they really don't get better than Out of The World, aka Another World:
The PC's answer to Sonic The Hedgehog, from some little company currently dwindling into obscurity with some "fortnite" thing, Jazz Jackrabbit:
This one is less a game and more a "software toy", and it's not even from Maxis: It's The Incredible Machine!
Solve physics puzzles by placing assorted objects on a playfield, assembling a rube goldberg device to complete a simple task.
One of the best DOS 'shmups, Raptor: Call of the Shadows.
It contains zero dinosaurs, but a lot of EXPLOSIONS
Before Duke Nukem was a testosterone-poisoned Arnold parody quoting 80s action films, he was just a guy in a pink shirt who wanted to get back to watching Oprah.
The original Duke Nukem 1!
Another edutainment game you may vaguely remember playing: Word Rescue! Some mean aliens have stolen all the words, so you have to platform around and match words to their icons. Simple, but surprisingly fun
Long before they were just Epic Games, Epic had "Megagames" in their title and one of the ways they got to be so mega was with quirky platform games like Jill of the Jungle.
It's sometimes hard to remember that there was once a time when there weren't (many) first person shooters, and digital nazis were going sorely undershot. But then, Wolfenstein 3D changed the world forever.
Back before they renamed themselves to Blizzard, Silicon & Synapse was making some interesting platformers, like 1993's Lost Vikings. You have to manage a group of 3 adventurers, switching between them to solve puzzles and using their unique abilities:
DOS had a lot of unique simple-to-pick-up platformers, and one I particularly love is Crystal Caves. You're collecting gems in short small levels, avoiding alien baddies and natural hazards along the way, with some unique power ups to keep it fresh.
And you can't mention Crystal Caves without Secret Agent.
Instead of a space miner collecting crystals, you're a James Bond expy sent to destroy satellite dishes on a supervillian's island lair.
And along the same quirky-platformer lines, Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure!
A young alien gets stranded on an alien planet when his parents are kidnapped, and he has to suction-hands his way across a colorful world of danger to rescue them.
Second only to Space Cadet Pinball (which isn't here, as it's a Windows 95 game which you can't play in the browser yet), Epic Megagame's Epic Pinball was by far the go-to Pinball game of choice in the DOS era.
Another game in the sorta-educational genre, Alive Software's Animal Quest.
Pick one of several animals, and avoid predators and devour prey. This is the shareware version, so you only get the Forest Animals pack, however.
Another game in the "everyone played that" genre: Alley Cat!
One of the best zelda-likes for DOS, God of Thunder.
Play as Thor, questing across a puzzle-and-action filled world, to stop Loki's latest scheme to take over the world.
From the same company, Jetpack!
A Loderunner-inspired action-puzzler that has you fleeing from robots while collecting gems, with the twist that you aren't limited to wimpy jumps. No, you can FLY, rocketman style. Includes a level editor, too!
and I'm gonna stop with a game that's an interesting mix of relaxing and nerve-wracking.
SkyRoads! Bounce your SpaceCar along a hovering road in the sky, avoiding crashing into walls or falling into deep space. Lots of fun, and lots of difficulty.
There's ton more DOS games playable on the internet archive. Here's a great place to start if are looking for more!
and obviously, there's tons more classic DOS games I could have mentioned but didn't.
Adventure games like the Kings/Space/Police quest series from Sierra, Lucasarts, all the SimCity/SimWhatever games...
That was usually because they weren't playable on the archive.
although I left out a few games that are still happily ported to everything and therefore don't really need the benefit of emulators... I'm really just talking about Doom here.
When you can play a game from 1993 on your console from 2017, I'm not really helping anybody by pointing out a slightly slow and janky emulated-in-browser version.
but naturally, feel free to point out any games I overlooked, especially if they're playable on the internet archive
And if you're interested in getting into these games but want something more video-focused, rather than just a pile of games to play, lemme suggest a few youtube serieses on games from this era:
Ancient DOS Games is a great one with a standardized deep-dive format, covering one game per episode.
They cover a lot of the common games and a lot you probably never heard of, and there's hundreds of episodes:
These are both great overviews out of the output of a company over decades, and quick enough that you don't get bogged down on a game you might not care about. Great for introducing you to games you never heard of, or reminding you of games you thought you forgot!
And there's also Lazy Game Reviews.
Despite the name, he doesn't just focus on game reviews , but he's still done over a hundred videos on DOS games over the years. A lot of deep dives into classics, and spotlights on hidden gems you may have missed:
All of these are great to watch in combination with the internet archive, because you can watch them and when they're talking about a game that sounds fun, you just pop over to the archive, do a search, and most of the time you've now got it running in mere seconds.
in any case, whether you're someone who still remembers those times, or someone just getting into it now, DOS gaming is a great platform and it's surprisingly accessible these days.
Because the PC & DOS weren't owned by a single company, there's far fewer issues with emulation, so tons of DOSBox powered games have been rereleased.
You can buy a bunch of them on Steam and !
and with the internet archive putting so many of them online with automatic-loaders, you don't even have to fiddle with setting up your emulator, downloading the files, and using the command line to access the game (like we had to do back in the day)
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