Abandonware is a tricky legal subject. On one hand, the games are still copyrighted, on the other, they aren’t sold or supported anymore by the publisher, so unless you’re lucky and find a copy at a yard sale, thrift store, or bargain bin, you’re out of luck. (Of course, you can still buy some of them online, if you have a credit card.)
What is abandonware? Let’s go to Wikipedia.
Abandonware refers to computer software that is no longer sold or supported, or whose ownership may be unclear for various reasons. While the term has been applied largely to older games, other classes of software are sometimes described as such.
Some of the better known abandonware games include: SimCity, Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, and many more I can’t remember ‘cos it’s early in the morning.
Some of my personal favourites are the Maxis “SimGames,” like SimAnt, SimEarth, SimTown, SimIsle, SimEarth, SimPark, SimSafari….you get the idea.
Where can I get them, you ask, if they aren’t sold anymore?
That’s where abandonware sites come in.
You can also get the manuals at replacementdocs.
Note: Technically, abandonware downloading is illegal. Do so at your own risk.