In years past, the internet was the place to go for new and interesting games. Sure, consoles have been popular for decades, and have often boasted the best games. But there was a time when various forms of online arcades were daily, go-to options packed with entertainment. Today though, there is much more focus on console and mobile games, simply because these are the systems through which most gamers find their fun. Per a statistical round-up on Variety, nearly 70% of Americans play video games, and about 90% of those gamers play on their phones and tablets. 47% of the gamers surveyed play on consoles, with 52% using laptops or PCs (though presumably often for console titles). In short, mobile apps have taken over gaming, and console-level games are next in line.
With that said, one reason it’s still relevant to consider internet speed for gaming is that there are still a lot of great games you can find with nothing but your browser bar. They may not be the primary options, but they still entertain untold millions of gamers on a day-to-day basis.
Basic arcade websites have been around for a very long time now. And though they’re definitely a little bit old school, they’re still around, and still packed with fun games. Some of these games are nostalgic, some still serve as surprising finds, and others have since been updated or adapted to mobile app form. It’s really a delightful hodgepodge of options that makes it easy to go through your browser bar, find any game you like, and give it a try.
Not entirely unlike arcade sites, there’s an old-school association with casino sites. When you visit them today though, you find sprawling, modernized collections of slots and similar games offering a very different look than what you might have seen in years past. There are whole series of games from major developers based on Ancient Egypt and the Olympian gods and heroes; there are slot reels based on rock bands and pop stars; there are games based on popular TV shows like Friends and The Chase among the exclusive games on Foxy Bingo, and there is even an expanding roster of original characters (a fox named Foxy, an explorer named Gonzo…) across numerous sites. It’s a dynamic, vibrant category of video games now, and one more reason internet browsers remain viable gaming options.
The MMORPG genre now exists across a range of systems and mediums. However, a lot of the best games in the category can still be played in browsers. Titles like Runescape, Eldevin, Drakensang Online, and Aberoth represent some of the most enjoyable and beloved action in the genre, and are all available in this format. And these games in particular tend to be a lot more impressive with a strong internet connection optimized for gaming.
There are also a lot of emulators available across the web, and while some certainly work better than others, they are by and large useful tools for playing retro video games in particular. For those who aren’t familiar with the emulator concept, these are essentially platforms that allow you to play or download video games from across genres, developers, and systems. You might find anything from an old Sega Genesis game to an SNES favorite, to a long-lost PlayStation 2 title at any given emulator, and take yourself back to a past era of gaming through your computer browser.
Lastly, we mentioned that some console-quality games are now played commonly through laptops and PCs, and these too are worth mentioning. While they’re not technically played in browser windows, these games are typically downloaded from platforms that are easily accessed online. Steam is far and away from the most famous of these platforms, but Polygon did us the service of listing a number of handy alternatives as well. Through Steam, GOG, Origin, Green man Gaming, Itch.io, and Humble Bundle, you have a pretty good shot at finding a favorite console game to download.
All of these options lead to excellent gaming experiences online. They’re all the more reasons for anyone with even a casual interest in games to maintain a speedy and reliable internet connection.