5 Of the Oldest Games You Can Play Online


Jul 9, 2024
Oldest GamesOldest Games

Most games come and go without making much of a splash. Indeed, in an age when more than 10,000 games are released each year, it’s inevitable that a huge chunk of those titles will fail to break through.

And it’s probably always been that way. People have been playing games for thousands of years, but we have no idea about the vast majority of games they were playing, for the simple reason that they weren’t popular enough to go the distance. Some, however, very much did prove they had longevity on their side, so much so that when online gaming took off, they were among the first to get the digital treatment. If you’re looking to play a classic game in a modern environment (the internet), check out the following games.


Chess might just be the greatest game of all time. Its origins date back to 600AD, when chaturanga, a precursor of the game, was invented in India. The modern version of the game was finalized in the 1500s, and it’s been popular ever since. While you’ll find people playing chess in neighborhoods and chess halls all over the world, most people today opt to play online. A single site, chess.com, hosts a staggering 12 million games each day. As with most games on this list, the transition to the online world helped rather than hindered chess, since it made it possible for many more people to play.


There’s debate about which casino game is the oldest, but roulette has a strong claim. The game as we know it was invented in the 1700s in France, but its history dates even further back, to 1655, when a famous mathematician named Blaise Pascal accidentally invented the roulette wheel (he was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine). The game has been hugely popular since the 1800s, and today players can find various versions of the game online. As with chess, the digital version of roulette helped to widen the accessibility of the game — in the United States, only around a third of the population lives within 25 miles of a real-world casino, and even then, not every casino has a roulette machine, which tends to be expensive.


Backgammon isn’t quite as popular as chess, but it does have a longer history. Historians believe that people have been playing this game for more than 5,000 years, which makes it one of the oldest continually played games in the world. Today, it’s still played in the real world, especially in countries such as Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon, but most players, especially beginners, play online. It’s relatively straightforward to learn the rules of backgammon, but it can quickly become complicated. The easy access and never-ending availability of online backgammon means players always have the opportunity to improve their skills.



Even if solitaire isn’t the oldest card game in the window — blackjack, for instance, is more than one hundred years older — it certainly feels old. Or maybe that’s because so many of us grew up playing the game on rainy days thanks to its inclusion on Windows computers. It has come pre-installed on every Windows computer since Windows 3.0, way back in 1990. Anyway, it’s an old game, which historians believe originated in the late 1700s in Eastern Europe. Since it’s not exactly the most exciting game on the planet, it’s difficult to say whether the many online versions that are available have helped to increase its popularity. Even now it feels like a game you’d only play if you had a deck of cards and no internet connection. But that’s just us!

Retro Arcade Games

Finally, there’s those classic arcade games. Titles such as Street Fighter, Space Invaders, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Earthworm Jim are bona fide classic arcade games that helped to push the video game industry forward. Today, arcades are mostly obsolete, but you happily play all those titles — and just about every other game from the pre-PlayStation era — online.

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