For the impatient, let’s start with Virtual Apple is awesome and you should run off and tinker with it right away.
For anyone who is still left, Virtual Apple is really awesome. Off you go!
Wait, what? Some of you are still here? Oh, alright then.
Virtual Apple is a Web-site with over 1300 Apple II and Apple IIgs disk images, and an embedded emulator that works on most browsers and systems. You can play a lot of old Apple II games from the 1980s right in your Web-browser, or you can download disk images from the site to work with a local emulator.
For simpler games, you can just load the page and start playing. For more complex ones (games that require custom player disks and the like) you might want to download the images and an emulator for your system… but Virtual Apple allows you to sample most of these treats before committing to the (admittedly microscopic in modern terms) download. One or two of the images online won’t work due to copy protection (Earth Orbit Stations comes to mind) but a local emulator may be able to bypass such fuss.
Yes, Apple II games were not the most sophisticated. It was an 8-bit system with limited sound and graphics capabilities, and very little memory to go on with. That said, you can find some real gameplay treasures in the archive (many of which deserve remaking).
The Web-based emulator itself has gone through numerous revisions, so if you’ve visited the site in the past but have been away for a while, it is worth checking out again.
Now, go on and get out of here and spend some quality time with Virtual Apple.