Read this guide to discover how online gaming has developed throughout the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s.

Video games have come a long way since the days of Pong (the classic 1972 arcade game). Now, most video games come with ultra-realistic graphics, awesome gameplay, and the ability to let you play online. The online factor is especially important and is one of the main reasons why gaming is so popular today.

Let’s start by going back in time to the 1990s — which was when online gaming first started to take off.


It was during the 1990s that computers first started to become popular in households all around the world. This was largely thanks to the growing popularity of Microsoft Windows, which everyone loved.

For example, when Windows 95 was released in 1995, people camped overnight outside computer stores to get their hands on a copy. It sounds unbelievable now, but computers were a huge deal back then.

The most exciting part about owning a PC in the 90s was being able to play games online. This is something that you could do via web browsers (such as Internet Explorer) and games that you physically purchased from the store.

As online gaming started to grow in the 90s, it became a no-brainer for companies to start launching online casinos. This made perfect sense, as casino gambling culture was remarkably popular in the 90s. Suddenly, people no longer had to visit Las Vegas to gamble — instead, they could do it on their PCs at home!

This sparked a huge trend that has not slowed down since the 90s. In 2023, millions of people worldwide have online casino accounts and play games such as video slots at If it weren’t for the emergence of online casinos, the online gaming industry wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.


The 2000s is widely regarded as the golden era for online gaming.

During this decade, countless classic games were released, such as World of Warcraft and Halo: Combat Evolved. Not to mention, there was an insane variety of browser-based online games to enjoy, too, such as RuneScape and Habbo. People look back at this era with so much nostalgia that many of the online games from the 2000s remain popular to this very day. For instance, Halo: Combat Evolved is still actively played by thousands of worldwide players.

Halo combat evolved


It was during the 2010s when online mobile games started to take over. From the iOS and Android app stores, people could finally download games that were also multiplayer, such as the iconic Pokémon Go, which came out in 2016. This was a real game-changer, as people no longer had to buy expensive consoles or PCs if they wanted to play online games. Instead, they could simply use the smartphones in their pockets.

pokemon go


Now, it’s the 2020s. What you see today is a beautiful blend of console, PC, and mobile gaming. You also have popular handheld devices like the Nintendo Switch that you can also play online games on, too.

The biggest online gaming trend in this decade has been the explosion of free-to-play online games. Without having to pay a dime, people can download games like Warzone 2.0 and play them for free — and this trend will likely continue for years to come.