Tech Tip of the Week: A List of PC Game Classics Available Free of Charge

By on March 10, 2010, 5:05 AM
Major game companies don't hesitate to charge an arm and a leg for new releases, with most launching around $60 these days. As much as you enjoy lining up outside the local GameStop at 3AM to embrace the latest shooter, parting with 60 big ones hurts a little inside. It doesn't help that many developers rub salt in the wound by lacing titles with DRM mechanisms -- but let's not go there.

Alternatively, there are tons of free games online, but very few are worth playing (yeah, we're looking at you Obama Alien Defense). What you may not be aware of however, is the wealth of older commercial titles freely available, just waiting to be discovered.


Dozens of old school favorites like Doom and GTA can be had at no cost. We've compiled a brief list of popular titles from yesteryear that you can download absolutely free of charge -- and that's something to appreciate in an age of hidden fees and fine print.

Continue reading our Tech Tip of the Week.




User Comments: 68

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ToastOz said:

That's some oooooldschool.

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Free is definitely good and boy does that bring back some memories.

yorro said:

The only way to acquire most old school games is either free or "free". Its up to the users how they get their free games, both involve intensive internet research.

Neojt said:

i remember a couple years back(2001 i think) you could get GTA & GTA2 (2D versions) for free at freeloader.com but you had to dowload 1 episode at the time . i.e you finish a setion of the game they gave you a code to dowload the next section

i think we might intal a few that have multiplayer at work and have fun during lunch time !!

Serag said:

Awesome!, freebies are good

I kind of know about most of them but putting them altogether in a topic + the wikipedia page is really useful, Thanks..

vegasrez said:

At least you know you're getting your monies worth

Puiu Puiu said:

I remember playing many of these classic games when i was little. I wonder if i'll ever enjoy games as much as i did back then.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Man, I'm gonna have to dust off Dosbox and play a few of those... Hmm, yet another reason to go ahead and order a Pandora! (Like I need more reasons)

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Thanks for the list :-) I do really like what Good Old Games is doing with their updates/ports as well. I would gladly pay $5 for a bunch of old games if they worked correctly with the latest OS/video cards.

Docnoq said:

This brings back memories.. I remember playing Doom and the original C&C when I was about 4 years old on my mom's comp. I could barely spell but I knew how to launch those games from DOS nonetheless :-P

zaidpirwani said:

I think that similar to games, other companies should also consider this strategy, I don't think it would hurt to give away older versions of the software for free, that way people can check out and work, if they want to and update to the newer version if it is worth it.....

Like Microsoft giving away free all windows and office versions free which were prior to 2000......

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What about SNES emulators? Or do they not count as "free"? Street Fighter II is one of the best ways of using your lunch break

megrawab said:

making it free is a good way to gain popularity for the game and the creator. nice!... is microsoft really giving away old versions!... good...

Tizzlejack Tizzlejack said:

I've been meaning to try Battlefield Heroes. Anyone play that yet?

natefalk natefalk said:

Anyone ever play Outpost 1&2. That game was a classic.

SNES emulators are great for games that will never get ported to the Wii... I wish Earthbound would get ported, but it won't b/c of copyright content. Earthbound is in my top 5 RPGs of all time, but the only way to play is to hookup the ol' Super Nin or with a Emulator.

levar said:

oh my gosh, C&C I love that game they've also got Red Alert! which is even better

Thanks for sharing this! Its good to play a classic every once it a while.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i shall check the command & conquer series, i used to love these games.

just dld the fallout for PC, i don't think it's good for file is less than 400K

thank you for the news ...

cheers!

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Aaaaah, thanks for the nostalgia TechSpot. Now we can revive some cherished memories that are now freeware.

Guest said:

Also, Ground Control, liberatedgames.com

Guest said:

Yes, there are way more but here is another worth your time:

http://download.cnet.com/Starsiege-Tribes-full-install/3000-
441_4-10294998.html

z71kris said:

thats an awesome way of drumming up a lil business from people who killed lots of time playing these games years ago to buy the newest versions

alexandrionel said:

I just filled in the form for GTA2 and already sent the link to a friend of mine. He loved GTA2 as much as I did.

P.S.

I have had an account on Quake Live for about 4 months already.It was nice at the beginning but, I honestly got bored of it. Maybe I just don't enjoy games as much as I did when I was younger.

LightHeart said:

Thanks

Thanks for the list. A good game is still a good game years later and free is even better. Games are supposed to be fun and entertaining not just some cool graphics with no plot like some modern games.

elroacho72 said:

Thanks, TECHSPOT...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good stuff! Every once in a while I'll break out a golden oldie to play. There's even an Intellivison emulator out there that's very good. They're pretty short-run in the entertainment department though. Even though these games may have rocked my world at the time they came out, the luster seems to be lost with age and new technology.

supyo said:

cool! thanks for the link!

alexandrionel said:

Thanks for the list. A good game is still a good game years later and free is even better. Games are supposed to be fun and entertaining not just some cool graphics with no plot like some modern games.

I don't agree with you.

What is modern now for you and me it will be at one point classic and for sure there will be people that will say in 10 years "god! I miss playing that".

Guest said:

I'm with you lightheart, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II was immersive and broke the mold with those wide open vistas back in the day, and can even play on modern OS. Up to then most games were in dark tunnels or rooms. It also had a backdrop plot that wasn't mind numbing or clumsy or non-existant like so many are today. Another example, the Need For Speed series is really adrift(!) these days. In contrast, NFS Porsche Unleashed was extremely well done and is just begging for a well done sequel, much to the angst of most of the genre's fans. Who's listening?

Deso said:

I loved red alert back in the old days, never got Westwood online to work tho , it's the program you used to play it online

Vicenarian said:

Hey, I know this isn't a "classic" game per se, but Trackmania Nations Forever is a totally FREE arcade racing type game, with awesome graphics (I really mean that) and online gameplay. You can watch a trailer for it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HOJxiQ34C0 (watch in 720p if possible)

And you can get it here: http://www.trackmania.com/

As well as on Steam I think...but yeah, it's a free game, and it's awesome. You can race the more realistic tracks, or you can go all out on the crazy tracks with loops and stuff like that. It also includes a full featured TRACK BUILDER. Enjoy!

rskapadia2294 said:

even though the old games lack the graphics detail and much better gameplay that is offered by the new games of now but the old games are a faun to play with!

they are great! u start playing one and u get addicted with it! and the best part is they are free! YIPEE! go try some!

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I have to admit vicenarian, TrackMania looks like a pretty cool little game. Thanks for sharing!

Arcanum67 said:

Wow this stuff is old.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I was playing the windows version of Doom a month ago, I was surprised how much fun it still was. I ended up playing for 6 hours straight, haven't done that in a long time.

DryIce said:

You just made my day Techspot!

TuesdayExpress said:

Ah, Fallout, Daggerfall.and C&C. Talk about a trip down memory lane...

For any of you thinking about giving Fallout a spin, be sure to hit up NMA's Fallout patch site: [link]

You should definitely grab the unofficial patch (bugfixes) and the hi-res patch. Plenty of other good files there if you nose around a bit.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ah, C&C is a great classic and any RTS fan should play it. While I personally am a bigger fan of the Tiberium series all three are a lot of fun. Dune II would be the best start if you can find it though as that's the true beginning of RTS play .

AfricanTech said:

Must confess that I find it hard to invest the kind of time that I did 20 years ago! It's also very disappointing when you try to play these games on the big monitors that we now have - it's just not a very good experience.

Riun355 said:

people get way too hung up on graphics these days. need somma that oldskool gaming to put em in their place.

ourboyblue said:

I spent so many hours playing thous games...

I learned a lot about networking when Doom multi player came out, the first Lan-Partys man that was fun...

Orionlocke said:

Some of those games definitely brings back some memories! I remember taking turns with my brother playing some of those games when a 25MHz processor was lightning fast!

Timonius Timonius said:

Sweet. Thanks for the info, I was aware of some of these but it's good to find out about others. Reminds of my good ol' abandonware hunting days

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

GTA2 rocks big time!

Also, FEAR Combat looks very promising, downloading now!

zyodei said:

Oh man, I would love to play red alert again. I have some fond memories

Man, I HATED GTA2. I thought it was such a dog. Even GTA1 was way more fun. I guess that's just my opinion.

burnunit burnunit said:

Thanks! My kids love these old games and we can run them on our older system! Excellent Article!

jacob007 said:

That's what i'm talking about

IDKFA

rufio said:

nice! quality games right there. i think i'm going to install doom just for old times sake. i remember staying up late night playing that game with the lights off haha

ashwingeek said:

I already have the full version of that C&C title.

I have played a few of the other titles when i was a kid.

Good list of freebies

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