a blog from CenturyLink

How to play retro video games in 2021

by | Jul 30, 2021


Video games have come a long way since Pong in the 1970s. These days, gamers have a huge variety of options, including PC, console, and VR gaming. Even though advancements in gaming are fun, sometimes it’s cool to revisit the oldies but goodies.

You can still play retro and classic video games today if you know where to look for them. Many are online, while others can be played with a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online or PlayStation Plus. Still others can be downloaded on your PC. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the retro video games you can play in 2021. Let’s get gaming!

Retro video games are available to play online and via download.


Let’s start with the ultimate classic retro video game, Pong. First released in 1972 by Atari, Pong is a game of virtual table tennis. Starting off first as an arcade game, Pong eventually became a console game and was played in many American homes. Now, you can play Pong online against the computer or with a partner.


Another early digital video game, Spacewar! is an epic battle between two spaceships. At the center of the map, a star’s gravity pulls the ships inward. With a limited supply of torpedoes, each spaceship must try to destroy the other before they get pulled into the star.

Bring the arcade home with retro video games.

Space Invaders

You don’t have to go to an arcade to play Space Invaders. One of the earliest shooting games, Space Invaders set the bar for many of the games that came after it. Space Invaders was the first game with a “high score” goal for players to aim for. Play it online here and let us know what your high score is in the comments.

Nintendo games

After a period of oversaturation in the video game industry and a decline in interest, Nintendo released several iconic games, like Super Mario Bros.,The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong. You can still play these retro video games in all their glory with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription for free. The Nintendo Entertainment System download includes the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, The Legend of Zelda, and the original Donkey Kong. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System download includes some other favorites, like the first Super Mario Kart.

Nintendo also offers other classic video games like PAC-MAN, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Frogger.


DOOM Eternal just came out, you can still find the original DOOM and DOOM II: Hell on Earth as easter eggs in the new game. To access DOOM, you have to do a little work to find floppy discs throughout the levels in the game. DOOM II is located on the Doomslayer’s computer after you enter a code. Thanks to these extras, DOOM Eternal is more like three games in one.

Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and Warcraft II

Originally released in 1994, the classic real-time strategy computer game was released on GOG.com in celebration of Warcraft’s 25th anniversary in 2019. The game includes the Tides of Darkness and the expansion, Beyond the Dark Portal. You can also play Warcraft II. Both games allow for multiplayer gameplay so you can play with your friends over LAN.

You can find your favorite old retro video games on some gaming platforms, like the Nintendo Switch with a subcription.

The Oregon Trail

Want to try your hand at surviving The Oregon Trail? You can play this tricky retro video game at Visit Oregon. Originally developed to teach school children about the difficulties of life as a pioneer, The Oregon Trail still poses a fun (educational) challenge.

PlayStation games

Like Nintendo, PlayStation is home to several classic games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Castlevania. PlayStation Plus offers some titles for free every month, including some classics. Others they have remastered and re-released, like Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil 2.

Last words 

When it’s time to return to classic video games, we hope you’ll keep this list in mind. For more fun gaming experiences, check out how to play exercise video games and multiplayer video games.

What’s your favorite retro game? Let us know in the comments and we’ll help you find where to play it in 2021.

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/kirstenqueen" target="_self">Kirsten Queen</a>

Kirsten Queen


Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.