Five classic adventure games that need to be rereleased as digital downloads

We're pleased to see some old Lucasarts games come to Steam, but here are five classic adventure games that need to be re-released as digital downloads, pronto.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read
Grim Fandango's suave hero, Manuel "Manny" Calavera.

It used to be that playing classic, out-of-print PC games required you to find shady download sites or old dusty retail boxes on eBay, then hope that your ancient Windows 3.1 game would work under XP or Vista.

One of the most welcome recent developments in gaming is the relatively sudden availability of a huge back catalog of classic games, across multiple platforms.

Like classic films finally being released on DVD, you can now play great (and not-so-great) games from the '80s and '90s via the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, as well as on your PC via download platforms such as Steam, GameTap, and Good Old Games (which is especially notable for offering DRM-free versions of classic games for $5-10).

Recent examples include LucasArts' The Secret of Monkey Island(available on Xbox Live and the iPhone), and the classic Fallout and Tex Murphy games on GOG.com.

While the future of PC gaming may be in question, many of our fondest video game memories are not of console games played on a living room TV, but of classic PC adventure games -- a genre virtually ignored today.

Sadly, many of our favorites are not yet available on any of these retro gaming platforms, so we present for you, in handy gallery form, our list of five classic adventure games that need to be re-released as digital downloads, pronto. Disagree with our choices? Let us know what classic games (adventure of otherwise) deserve a second chance in the comments section below.

[Note: We fully admit to not playing any of these games since their original release, so our fond memories may be more nostalgia than reality.]

Five classic adventure games that need to be re-released as digital downloads

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