The best abandonware games | PC Gamer

Abandonware, by its most lucid definition, refers to any piece of software that is no longer being sold or supported. That isn’t the same as freeware, which is explicitly offered free of charge, like the original Spelunky or Dwarf Fortress, or the No One Lives Forever games. Instead, the abandonware library contains commercial software that is no longer being exploited by its copyright owner or no longer has a clear copyright owner due to some variety of game industry chaos: expired licenses, shuttered studios, hostile takeovers, and so on. 

Abandonware games only exist, in an official capacity, on their original installation discs, most of which are moldering away in forgotten discount bins, or the recesses of gamer basements. No Steam release or GOG remaster is in sight; the code has been, for the lack of a better term, abandoned. 

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