PC Gaming in the 21st Century

Run Classic PC Game Titles On Your PC

You have come to the RetroGamingOfDenver.com Web site and now we see some interesting PC game titles.  Possibly old favorites or something new you want to try.  The question is can you have a modern PC running Windows 10 and still play a game from the early 2000’s or even before? The short answer it YES!  Here are some quick tips on how to get that game title installed and running. 

In most cases it is easy and simple to get the game installed and working.  In other cases you might have to spend a little time to get a workaround to get everything working smoothly.  In most cases it is a simple click here or there.  So if you’re willing to invest a little time and effort, you could soon be playing your way down memory lane with some old classic games on your current system.

Computer games written in the days of Windows 95 typically ran using a gaming software for Windows PCs, called Direct X. Any games written for Windows in 2000 or thereabouts should work with no problems. The most important thing you need for these games is the original CDs that contain the game’s software files.

Back in the day, putting games on physical CDs was the primary way of protecting them against theft or copying. To install, you need administrator rights on the PC you’re using. If your PC has a DVD or optical drive, drop in the disc, and you should be able to start the install.

When installing classic games on your current-day PC, follow through with the regular game install but don’t install Direct X. Instead, change the compatibility option for the game by taking the following steps.

- After completing the install, right-click on the game icon and select Properties
- You should see a pop-up box with several tabs. Select the Compatibility tab
- Locate the Compatibility Mode box, which will un-gray the dropdown menu below it
- Select the previous Windows version you want to run the game in

Like previous iterations of the Windows operating system, Windows 10 has an option to run as administrator and an option to troubleshoot any compatibility issues.

Your windows operating system will automatically detect the version of the game you’re running. So, for example, if you’re installing a classic game from 1997, Windows will give you compatibility options going back as far as Windows 95. If you play any other games on your PC, you likely already have Direct X installed. For this reason, if you get asked to install Direct X, you should skip this step.

Keep in mind that this method doesn’t always guarantee success. You might find that old DOS games from the dinosaur ages can present a particular install challenge (although sometimes that’s the fun part!).

Fortunately, you can do some other things to get these older games working on your current machine by installing some other helpful software or tweaking a few settings.  If you want to install these older software versions that require DOS or even Open GL research these through a search engine or better yet YouTube and you will be given a step by step method of getting older titles to work. 

The Windows Compatibility Mode software mechanism is built-in functionality that helps the current operating system emulate its previous versions. Microsoft usually attempts to make its game and other software backward compatible, but this doesn’t always work. In some cases, the time gap is too large between the game’s release date and the operating system release.

Whether an old game runs on Windows 10 using the compatibility mode does depend on whether it fits with the operating system’s backward compatibility and how the original game was designed and optimized to run on various systems.

Here are some other reasons to consider if your classic games don’t automatically run using the compatibility mode:

  1. The 16-bit applications or games are no longer supported by 64-bit Windows 10.
  2. Most games from Windows 95 era are 32 bit so you are good to go.
  3. Read the side of the CD case to see what version of windows it is compatible with
  4. Some older games might have digital rights management (DRM) controls that prevent the files from booting or executing. In many cases this is you owning the original CD it needs to remain in the optical drive you installed it from. The game simply checks to see if the CD is in the drive and there you go it works.

    Some of the current gaming platforms like Steam offer a rebooted version of the classic PC games. This is great you get to play the game and it works fine. The problem is your still missing out on what made these games great in the day.  These classic games included amazing artwork and manuals.  It reminds you of how modern music is delivered.  You are listening to your favorite classic album on some online streaming service. Although it sounds great, it’s just not the same as having the full album. Pink Floyd The Wall sounds ok streaming but you miss out on the feel of the art on and in the album. The same holds for classic PC games when you play the streaming versions. If you crave the feel of the genuine classic experience, Retro Gaming of Denver has definitely got you covered. Always included in these old games are some very cool manuals.  The manual for Falcon 4.0 a flight simulator is over 300 pages of great images history and instruction.

    When you buy original, classic games from us in many cases, you will get the box, artwork, maps, and manuals that came with the game initially. You’ll receive a classic game that runs on your current PC with no tweaks required, and all the other accessories that help you get immersed in the game.

    It’s time to check out some classic games and see what the buzz is about. Once you play them, you’ll understand why they’ve endured as classics to this day and enjoy hours of fun and story immersion.

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