Those of you who didn't have the pleasure to dial in to Bulletin Board Systems back in the late 80's and early 90's may not recognize a lot of the games in PCMag's list of "Twelve Forgotten Online Games". Many of these are true gems that I have very fond memories of, including NetHack, Neverwinter Nights (the AOL version recreated as Forgotten World), TradeWars 2002, Legend of the Red Dragon, and simply "MUDs" and "BBS Door Games":
There was a time when "online game" usually meant a text-based game played over the modem on an amateur-run bulletin board system (BBS). Most of these BBSes supported only one phone line, so players took turns dialing in and playing, but they still competed against each other.
Most BBSes today have long since abandoned their dial-up lines and become solely accessible through the Internet via telnet. Many of these BBSes provide a wealth of classic online gaming, including classics like Legend of the Red Dragon, Global War, Operation: Overkill II, Food Fight, and the aforementioned TradeWars 2002.
TradeWars and LORD were by far the most popular games on my old BBS. Good times.