The Best Retro Games On Gamesville

What comes to mind when you think of retro games? 

Do you immediately think of arcade games from the ‘70s? Computer games from the ‘80s? PC games from the ‘90s? Mobile games from the ‘00s?

What about table games that have been around for centuries? 

Whatever your definition is, we probably have a version of your favorite retro games right here on Gamesville. 

Better yet, you can play them all for free, anytime, anywhere.

Here are my personal favorites.

Artistic impression of the best retro games to play online on Gamesville

1. Chomp Chase

One of the first games that comes to my mind when I think of retro games is Pac-Man. 

This 1980s phenomenon became popular in arcades around the world as people rushed to get the titular little yellow circle dude through the electronic maze before the ghosts ate him. 

Originating in Japan, Pac-Man is still considered one of the most successful video games ever made. 

And luckily, Gamesville has its own modern-day version of the game which you can play for free! 

Screenshot of Chomp Chase during gameplay

How To Play Chomp Chase

Just like the original, Chomp Chase tasks players with getting through a maze without being eaten by the enemy. 

The main differences between our version and the original are the characters: instead of ghosts we have colorful spiders, and instead of Pac-Man we have a robot head. 

But avoiding the spiders isn’t enough to move on to the next level: your robot also has to eat all the pellets scattered throughout the maze. 

If you’re bitten by spiders 3 times, you’ll die, so it’s important to strike a balance between escaping the spiders and eating the pellets. 

Chomp on the golden power-up pellets to momentarily turn the spiders blue, which slows them down and makes them edible, for a satisfying, crunchy twist. 

What Makes Chomp Chase Timeless

Chomp Chase has all the best features of the original Pac-Man, with the added bonus that you can play it as much as you want on your computer or mobile device.

It perfectly blends strategy and a bit of luck sprinkled with adrenaline and excitement. 

And the best part is you don’t have to buy tokens or wait in line for the machine to be free, giving you endless access to this fun version of the classic arcade game. 

2. Run Run Duck

Although it’s a Gamesville original, this runner game has all the elements of a retro game.

The pixelated graphics, arcade sound effects, and cute characters bring a nostalgic feel to this modern game reminiscent of classics like Mario Bros. 

So if you want the feeling of playing on an old-school Nintendo right on your phone, check out this fun alternative! 

Screenshot of Run Run Duck during normal gameplay

How To Play Run Run Duck

Assist your protagonist –a cute duck– on its quest to gather a golden egg while collecting coins as it makes its way through a landscape filled with deadly obstacles. 

Headbutt bricks to get boosters like feathers and potions, and crush the pink globs before they kill you. 

Be careful about falling into deep holes and try to find the golden egg as soon as you can. 

The 2-minute timer on each of the 8 levels adds a sense of urgency to the game, though if you’re anything like me, the timer will be the least of your worries!

What Makes Run Run Duck Timeless

The similarities in mechanics to classic 1980s and ‘90s video games makes this game feel like a blast from the past. 

Run Run Duck’s simplicity is one of its best features as players can focus on beating each level without distracting backgrounds or side quests. 

So put your reflexes to the test with this fun retro-style game!

3. Starship Defender

Set in outer space, this popular arcade-style game screams retro. 

To win, you and your little gray spaceship have to defend your home planet from an alien invasion all on your own. 

From the pixelated graphics to the kinds of sound effects you’d make when shooting finger guns, Starship Defender will take you to another galaxy and back in time. 

screenshot of Starship Defender during normal gameplay

How To Play Starship Defender

Gameplay is simple: maneuver your spaceship forwards and backwards as you shoot the incoming waves of enemy ships trying to blast you to pieces. 

Destroy your enemies before they kill you with your bullets, or use bombs to clear them all with a single hit. 

But be strategic– you only have 3 bombs and 3 lives, and you’re outnumbered! 

Keep an eye on your alien enemies and on your ammo, and don’t let anyone crash into you or your ship will dissolve into stardust. 

What Makes Starship Defender Timeless

Space-themed arcade games evoke a specific and very lively image of arcades lit up in neon. 

Its mechanics are also reminiscent of its retro inspiration, but don’t let it fool you, as you need quick reflexes and forethought to beat your enemies. 

4. Space Alien Invaders

Space Alien Invaders is one of my favorite space-themed classics available for free on Gamesville. 

This fun shooter game was inspired by the 1970s arcade game Space Invaders, an icon of its era that changed the industry as the first video game with endless gameplay. 

Once upon a time, Space Invaders was the best-selling video game ever, so if you’re looking for a hit of nostalgia, look no further. 

Screenshot of Space Alien Invaders during gameplay

How To Play Space Alien Invaders

Your job is to shoot the incoming waves of aliens before they reach your rocketship. 

You start off with 3 lives and unlimited ammo and have plenty of hiding spots, so you’re in a good position to beat them despite being on your own. 

But you have to be strategic and have good timing and quick reflexes, because not only do you have to shoot the aliens, but you must avoid their attacks. 

Aim for the bottom row of aliens first as the game will be over instantly if they reach your ship, but keep an eye on the UFOs flying above, as you’ll get extra points for shooting them down. 

Move left and right as the aliens move down the screen towards you to dodge their hits and finish them all off as soon as possible for a higher score. 

What Makes Space Alien Invaders Timeless

Released in Japan more than 40 years ago, Space Invaders made waves when it first came out and is still considered a pioneer in the industry. 

In fact, it was inducted in the World Video Game Hall of Fame back in 2016 and has inspired countless other games with its innovative gameplay. 

The free Gamesville version is just as cool as the original, and you can play it for as many rounds as you want, all for free. 

5. Lightspeed Challenge

Although the original concept for this game was first introduced back in 1976 in a 2-player arcade game called Blockade, it gained its status as a classic when Nokia released it as a single-player game called Snake in 1998. 

Tron, the video game inspired by the 1982 movie of the same name, uses similar gameplay in its Light Cycle.

Gamesville drew inspiration from Tron and Snake for Lightspeed Challenge, making it a no-brainer for one of my favorite free games.

Screenshot of Lightspeed Challenge during normal gameplay

How To Play Lightspeed Challenge

In this fast-paced game, players have to guide a light beam through a grid, making sure not to crash into the walls or its tail. 

The light beam gets increasingly longer as it eats the microchips scattered throughout the maze. 

To avoid crashing into the growing beam and the walls, players need quick reflexes and some strategic thinking– it’s easier than you might think to trap yourself! 

And it only takes a single crash to die, so you definitely want to think of an exit strategy before you loop yourself into a knot. 

For an even bigger challenge, change the speed to x2 (if you dare!). 

What Makes Lightspeed Challenge Timeless

Clearly, people all over the world love snake games. 

From the ‘80s until now, gamers of all kinds have been fascinated by the challenge of trying to fill the screen with the snake (or, in this case, the light beam).

Whether made for an old console, an actual arcade machine, an early 2000s mobile phone, a Spotify playlist (check out the “eat this playlist” option), or on your favorite browser, there’s a reason developers keep making new versions of this game. 

But if you want to play on the go (and for free), you need to check out Lightspeed Challenge right here on Gamesville. 

6. Mine Sweeper 

Minesweeper, the strategic game of deduction this is based on, was popularized in the 1990s when it became a staple of Microsoft home computers’ pre-installed games. 

Though several versions have been created throughout the years, the basic premise remains the same: find mines randomly placed on a grid without blowing them up. 

An exciting mix of strategy and odds, this game has been challenging players for decades. 

Screenshot of the normal gameplay on mine sweeper

How To Play Mine Sweeper

To start playing this puzzle game on Gamesville, choose your level of difficulty, which will define how big your grid is and how many mines are hidden in it. 

Then press “play” and pick your first tile, which will reveal a number that tells you how many mines are directly adjacent to that tile. 

It will also reveal other safe tiles surrounding it. 

So if a tile is marked with a number 1, you know only 1 of the 8 tiles surrounding it has a bomb. Your goal is to figure out which one it is. 

To flag a tile as a bomb without detonating it, hold it down to mark it as dangerous so you don’t accidentally blow it up. 

While some people like to start with the tiles in the middle, others prefer to begin with the tiles along the edges. 

I personally like to start on a corner, but everyone has their own strategy. 

Keep clicking tiles to uncover numbers (or mines if you’re not careful!) but keep in mind that to win a game, you have to flag all the bombs. 

What Makes Mine Sweeper Timeless

There’s something nostalgic about this game that takes me back to computer class in elementary school. 

The smiley face at the top, the flags, the sudden explosion of the mines ending it all so abruptly. 

For as long as people have been looking for ways to waste their time on a computer, a version of Minesweeper has been there, beckoning, and testing our logic. 

Can you beat the grid? 

7. Classic Solitaire 

Solitaire is easily the most popular single-player card game in the world. 

Though it’s been around since the 18th Century, it reached the masses in 1990 when Microsoft added it to its home computer game collection. 

Adapting it for the modern age has made Solitaire even more accessible, and it’s one of my personal favorites. 

If you’re feeling nostalgic for pre-Y2K computer games, you can travel back in time with Gamesville’s free version of Classic Solitaire.  

Screenshot of the normal gameplay on Classic Solitaire

How To Play Classic Solitaire

You’ll start with a full deck of cards set up in 7 columns, though only the top cards will be revealed while the rest are face-down. 

Your objective is to arrange all the cards by suit into 4 piles known as foundation piles starting with the Ace and ending with the King.

To do this, you have to uncover and arrange the cards in the columns first, alternating between red and black suits in descending order. 

You win when all your cards are in their foundation piles. If you can’t arrange them all, you’ll lose the game. 

What Makes Classic Solitaire Timeless

The fact that Classic Solitaire is a single-player card game is one of its biggest draws, since most card games require at least 2 players. 

And it requires a mix of strategy and luck, which we already know is a winning combination. 

It’s fun and low stakes, since you’re playing against yourself, making it the perfect choice to pass the time. 

8. Backgammon

Retro doesn’t even begin to describe Backgammon

This table game has been around for thousands of years, with its first iterations dating back to ancient Persia and Mesopotamia. 

And there’s a reason it’s still a favorite today: it’s the ultimate mix of luck and strategy. 

Screenshot of Backgammon during normal gameplay

How To Play Backgammon

Usually, you need 2 people to play this game, but on Gamesville, you can play against the computer without the need for a board or checkers. 

You and your opponent each get 15 checkers, which you must move from one end of the board to the other with each roll of the dice, across 24 triangles (or points). 

You can move just one or two checkers per move –it’s up to you– and you’ll get a second throw if you hit doubles. 

But if you leave one of your checkers on one of your opponent’s triangles all on its own, it can get eaten and put in jail. Then you’ll have to start moving it again from the beginning.

What Makes Backgammon Timeless

Backgammon has literally stood the test of time (and geography), adapting to new cultures and technologies that have seen empires crumble.

And after thousands of years, you can now play it any time you want right here on Gamesville. 

If that’s not timelessly retro, I don’t know what is!

9. Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders is a classic table game that first made its way to the UK from India all the way back in the late 1800s, though it existed in the subcontinent long before that. 

It is believed to have originated as a representation of life and destiny: if you work hard, you can make your way up to the top (by climbing the ladders), but if you don’t, you’ll fail (and fall down the snakes or chutes).

And it kind of makes sense, because just like life, this dice game is based on pure luck. 

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it only takes one unlucky roll of the dice for everything to come tumbling down. 

While other times, all it takes is one stroke of luck to climb your way to the top. 

Luckily, this game is way less complicated than real life. 

Screenshot of the normal gameplay on Snakes and Ladders

How To Play Snakes & Ladders

The premise of this game is very simple: roll the dice and move your token through the board, always aiming to beat your opponent to the top of the grid. 

Some of the squares on the board are connected by snakes and others by ladders. 

If you land on a square with a ladder, you can use it as a shortcut. If you land on a square with a snake, you’ll be rolling back down to the bottom. 

On Gamesville, the first step is choosing your avatar. Then, you can choose whether to play a bot or another player. Games can have 2 or 4 players. 

Once the game starts, all you have to do is roll your dice and cross your fingers that your token lands on more ladders than snakes. 

Whoever makes it to the top first, wins! 

What Makes Snakes & Ladders Timeless

The beauty of this game is its simplicity and easy fun. 

It’s the perfect game to waste your time or to clear your mind because there’s no strategy involved– it’s pure luck! 

And although the original concepts of good (ladders) and evil (snakes) are no longer obvious, now that you know the history, you can give it more depth. 

10. Hangman

If you were in school before everyone had a mobile device attached to their body at all times, you probably played Hangman on whiteboards and notebooks with your friends. 

This simple but fun word game tests your vocabulary skills and your memory without ever making you feel like you’re taking a test in English class. 

And with Gamesville’s free version, you don’t even have to draw up the gallows every time you want to play– just start a new game when you’re done! 

Screenshot of the normal gameplay on Hangman

How To Play Hangman

The rules are simple: guess the right word before your little stickman dies by hanging. 

A bit macabre, sure, but the threat of imminent death does add a bit of adrenaline to this classic game! 

This single-player game starts with a hint –the theme or subject the word fits into– and the number of letters in the word. 

Pick one letter at a time to guess the word before your stickman hangs. 

For every letter you get wrong, another part of his body will be drawn, bringing him closer to death. 

For every letter you guess correctly, you’ll get points. 

You only get 6 guesses so choose your letters carefully! If you lose, not only will he die, but he’ll cry. And no one wants that! 

What Makes Hangman Timeless

Hangman will never go out of style because word games are the perfect way to stimulate your brain through play. 

And as long as language exists, Hangman will live on (well, the game– the actual hangman is only 6 wrong guesses away from death). 

And with this version, you can play by yourself, on the go, anytime you want. And you don’t even need a pen and paper! 

Are These The Best Retro Games Online? 

The 10 games listed here are my favorite retro (or, in some cases, ancient) games available for free play on Gamesville. 

Whether I’m playing them for nostalgia’s sake, to waste some time, or to unwind after a long day, I know I can’t go wrong with any of these retro titles. 

And if you haven’t tried them yet, there’s no better time to start than the present! 

After all, there’s a reason they’ve been around for so long.