Unleashing Nostalgia: A Gamer's Guide to Enjoying CLASSIC Games on Modern PCs

Sometimes the old games are just better. Sometimes it’s the simple 8-bit pixelated landscapes of the ’80s. Other times it’s the quaint, low-res 3D worlds of the ’90s. The point is that we still love playing our old games, even though most can’t run natively on the latest PC hardware. No problem. Here’s your guide to combining the best from the old games with the newest PC power.

Embracing Windows’ Alchemy

It’s tempting to leap right into third-party magic, but you should always try Windows first. Try a right-click on the game icon and the magic words Run as administrator. If that doesn’t work, try the menu option Properties, cast a spell on the Compatibility tab, and select Run this program as an administrator.

Still not having any luck with your favourite classic? Try Compatibility Mode to transport the game to an OS canned illusion of its glory days. Or switch to Reduced color mode or Run in 640x480 screen resolution to force the game a little more gently.

The DOSBox Spellbook

DOSBox is a spell that helps you bring your games back to life. DOSBox doubles as a magical gamebox – when it wakes up, it gets up and there’s no need for following other instructions to make it do anything. But what magical gamebox is complete without tricks and easter eggs? Let’s take a look at the familiar spells in the DOSBox spellbook.

Summoning ScummVM

Do you enjoy washing your brain clean over and over with ancient adventure classics, resurrected through the summoning circle known as ScummVM? This recreational emulation of classic point-and-click adventures from the LucasArts and Sierra On-Line vaults is a playground for old-school adventure fans – and a time machine back to the golden age of point-and-click, whenever you want, on any of the many modern platforms that run ScummVM.

Crafting a Virtual Sanctum

Sometimes the only thing to do is conjure a virtual machine – an elaborate, powerful spell, intended to create a safe space on your modern PC, a hidden paradise where old classics remain frozen in time. VirtualBox, a textbook anyone can read, guides you through the rituals of conjuring ancient operating systems such as Windows 95 into which you can summon the spirits of old classics such as 3D Pinball Space Cadet.

The Quest for Remasters and Re-Releases

When lost and down and out, the modern scrolls of remasters and re-releases can sustain you. So many classic games have been given new life – their core and their spirit preserved, if not their every last bit of digital DNA – encoded and bulging with the spells of compatibility and translated into the lingua franca of the present day. The new cathedrals for these reincarnated classics are Steam and GOG.


There are many ways to bring old games to modern PCs – from the arcane spells of Windows to ancient emulations such as DOSBox and ScummVM, to a cathedral of virtual machines. Finally, the classics can be brought back from the grave in a remaster or re-release.

Understanding the Essence of CLASSIC

When we talk about games as classic, we’re talking about more than just their age. What we mean is legacy: a timelessness that’s ingratiating and inspiring, games notable for such innovative gameplay and compelling story and characterisation as to establish new norms and genres. To play a classic game is to learn about the origins of gaming as a cultural phenomenon, to experience a kind of connection to gaming’s golden past. So, when the classic is incorporated into the cutting-edge fabric of modern-day technology, gamers are doing more than wallowing in a feeling of nostalgia for what gaming was like when they were kids; they are also building a cultural bridge between different generations of gamers – people who grew up in different eras – so that the magic of a bygone gaming era might continue to have its hold on both the young and old.

Jun 02, 2024
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