Online gaming is on the rise, as broadband Internet allows users to play high-quality free online games. However, gaming options for users who cannot or do not want to be constantly online still exist. Downloadable games on the Internet are abundant, ranging from vintage gems to demos of the newest releases. All of these games are available for free and the only thing you need is adequate harddisk space and to meet the system requirements.
Companies distribute free playable demos to the public, so that players can test the game and discover its virtues. For gamers, it's an opportunity to play for free new games -- or at least segments of them. Demos can also be an opportunity to try new game genres, as well as evaluate much-hyped new releases. Fileplanet by IGN offers demos of the latest games, but the size of the files are huge -- often surpassing 1 GB -- so be prepared for long download times.
From the old Atari 2600 up to the more recent Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64, vintage games are available for free from numerous websites. The Old Computer contains one of the largest libraries of vintage games, for most of which you need a free subscription. To run each game you need the corresponding system emulator, which you can download from the "Emulators" section of the website.
Microsoft Windows users already have a number of games that they can play offline. Even though their quality is not impressive, these games can offer some pleasant moments to casual gamers. Card games dominate Microsoft's pre-installed games, while Windows 7 also feature a 3D chess game. A fully updated Minesweeper is also available, featuring new graphics, sounds and exploding mines. The Games folder is located on the All Programs section of the Start menu.
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