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900 classic arcade games for free

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80s arcade

I wasn’t really allowed to play in arcades much as a child. I think because my parents poured far too much money into Ms. Pacman – they preferred to just buy me games for the NES than let me throw tons of quarters into a machine. But now I can experience everything I missed out on, with 900 classic arcade games available for free; you can even play them in your browser.

The Internet Arcade is an archive of coin-operated arcade games from the 1970s-1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package. This is a project from Jason Scott (thanks Polygon) who basically just decided to play with JSMESS and see what he could do. Of course, not every game is perfect:

Of the roughly 900 arcade games (yes, nine hundred arcade games) up there, some are in pretty weird shape – vector games are an issue, scaling is broken for some, and some have control mechanisms that are just not going to translate to a keyboard or even a joypad.

But damn if so many are good enough. More than good enough. In the right browser, on a speedy machine, it almost feels perfect. The usual debates about the “realness” of emulation come into play, but it works.

Scott knows that plenty of people will be destroyed by their old favorite games, returning to their usual fare. However, he’s hoping that a handful will begin plotting out ways to use these games – in research, for game development or remixing these old games into modern classics. No matter what happens, it’s great that history can be preserved this way.

Who is ready for a coin-free arcade face-off? Does this get me off the hook for 900 weeks of Work Avoidance Wednesday?

Last Updated: November 3, 2014

17 Comments

  1. ToshZA

    November 3, 2014 at 14:04

    900 weeks, holy damn. That’s 17 years. I’ll either be a grandfather or dead by then.

    Reply

    • Rags

      November 3, 2014 at 14:08

      Don’t you think you put too much pressure on your children? πŸ˜›

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief 0

        November 3, 2014 at 14:14

        Oh snap!

        Reply

      • ToshZA

        November 3, 2014 at 14:31

        My son will be 24 then. So no, I don’t. πŸ™‚

        Reply

  2. L337J1MB0B

    November 3, 2014 at 14:12

    Dig the header photo of Geoff.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief 0

      November 3, 2014 at 14:15

      Magnificent! I like how high he wears his jeanpant

      Reply

      • L337J1MB0B

        November 3, 2014 at 14:16

        Indeed.

        Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      November 3, 2014 at 14:19

      Geoff?? πŸ˜›

      Edit: Clearly I can’t read…

      Reply

  3. Hammersteyn

    November 3, 2014 at 14:17

    And here I was getting so much work done today πŸ™ Oh well at least I lasted till now.
    *Fires up Ghouls and Ghosts.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief 0

      November 3, 2014 at 14:32

      Pfffffff, YOU? WORK???? PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 3, 2014 at 14:35

        Only on Mondays

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief 0

          November 3, 2014 at 14:35

          πŸ˜›

          Reply

    • Guild

      November 3, 2014 at 14:45

      Snap. Loved that game and now I can finally finish it!

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 3, 2014 at 14:53

        What? Finish it? One simply doesn’t finish it. But if you do you will have to finish it again for the proper ending… Dark Souls 2D version.

        Reply

        • Skyblue

          November 4, 2014 at 10:27

          Awesome comment!

          Reply

  4. Matewis Jubilai

    November 3, 2014 at 14:38

    Woopee! Golden Axe! I’ve always wanted to check out the arcade version πŸ˜€ sounds doesn’t work though πŸ˜›

    Reply

  5. Donovan Noyle

    November 3, 2014 at 14:40

    lol .”
    Server error 502 — probably because our servers are overloaded right now.”

    Reply

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