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26 Retro Games You Can Run on Modern PCs

26 Retro Games You Can Run on Modern PCs
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Revisit the classics decades later

It's a bit ironic that as we've moved on to more modern OSes, running older games has become a headache. It's less a matter of having too little processing power, and more about compatibility. Luckily, many classic games are still accessible thanks to remakes built by teams of volunteers, emulators like DOSBox, or sites like GoG that regularly carry retro game titles. We'll update this list as we find new software to feature, so feel free to share suggestions in the comments below.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    radium69 , January 13, 2012 10:29 AM
    Helllooooooooo Ricoooooo???

    What about!??!!?:
    DUNE II: The building of a dynasty
    X-WING
    DESCENT
    WACKY WHEELS
    TERMINAL VELOCITY
    WOLFENSTEIN 3D
    HEXEN
    HERETIC
    DOOM
    WING COMMANDER?
    THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE?
  • 12 Hide
    DSpider , January 13, 2012 11:19 AM
    "Retro" is very subjective.

    Ask a 15 yo and he'll tell you Starcraft, Red Alert 2, Diablo II, etc., something he played as a kid.
    Ask a 35 yo and he'll probably tell you Dizzy, Manic Miner, Space Invaders...


    I would've probably added OpenTyrian to the list, as well as Abuse, Contra, Outrun, Monkey Island and a lot more and it's why I think this list is shit (except maybe for The Lost Vikings). "Secret Maryo Chronicles" ? Come on.
  • 11 Hide
    ethaniel , January 13, 2012 1:17 AM
    Both X-COMs are there. Everything is in order.
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    dotaloc , January 12, 2012 3:32 PM
    scorched earth? is this not a blatant tank wars rip? the graphics look almost identical.
  • 1 Hide
    WyomingKnott , January 12, 2012 6:05 PM
    DOSBOX does an awfully good job with games like Lemmings. I just have to find a version of that old game with the snake that climbs ladders and dies if it steps on a tack. Anyone remember what that was?
  • 7 Hide
    Lovolt , January 12, 2012 6:16 PM
    Bard's Tale, M.U.L.E., heck even Zork
  • 8 Hide
    TeraMedia , January 12, 2012 7:59 PM
    "Secret Maryo Chronicles"? Really? Because it wasn't enough that the game developer had to rip off Nintendo's game play and art. They also had to infringe on their trademark? I'm surprised at TG for pitching obvious rip-offs to other products.
  • 8 Hide
    mortsmi7 , January 13, 2012 12:16 AM
    dotalocscorched earth? is this not a blatant tank wars rip? the graphics look almost identical.

    I remember playing it 15+ years ago.
  • 11 Hide
    ethaniel , January 13, 2012 1:17 AM
    Both X-COMs are there. Everything is in order.
  • 5 Hide
    ethaniel , January 13, 2012 1:19 AM
    ethanielBoth X-COMs are there. Everything is in order.


    And Apocalypse too. Even better.
  • -3 Hide
    nottheking , January 13, 2012 4:18 AM
    I thought that this would focus entirely on PC (and/or home computer) games, not console ones... So someone's Mario rip-off seems out-of-place. There's only one such ripoff I allow, and that's id's Dangerous Dave. (the original alpha, a tech demo of John Carmack's scrolling engine, was called Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement, and had a level ripped directly from SMB3)

    While X-Com was significant as well, it's blasphemy to suggest it alone brought TBS to PC gaming, and ignoring the major 4X franchises. While perhaps not so many might like to play the original Civilization compared to the newer installments, one should never forget SimTex's two franchises, Master of Orion, and Master of Magic. The latter, in particular, perhaps tops the list of "why hasn't this game gotten a sequel yet?" After all, numerous series sprang up simply to try and clone it, such as Age of Wonders and Heroes of Might & Magic. (almost all fantasy strategy games take at least strongly from MoM)
  • 9 Hide
    yannigr , January 13, 2012 6:59 AM
    I am playing Unreal Tournament (the 1999 original) on Windows 7 64bit. What a beautiful game that works on every windows with every card I have used. No problem with drivers or windows version. A really well coded game. Not like newer titles that are badly written, ultra slow and want a special driver+OS+extras combination to run.
  • 2 Hide
    Goldengoose , January 13, 2012 7:07 AM
    srgessWhat the fuk are those games? Only game i know is Sim Tower. what about shadow strike, duke nukem , sim city, carmagedon, dungeon keeper ?

    I'm afraid i only reconised two of those games (GTA) and i had to play them when my mum had gone bed because she 'disagreed with it'. Sounds like we grew up in the same era, but i think the ones listed above are much older than what we would call 'old classics'.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 13, 2012 9:53 AM
    What defines a retro game? Does it have to be a DOS game or just have crappy 8bit graphics?

    Either way, where is Elite?
  • 16 Hide
    radium69 , January 13, 2012 10:29 AM
    Helllooooooooo Ricoooooo???

    What about!??!!?:
    DUNE II: The building of a dynasty
    X-WING
    DESCENT
    WACKY WHEELS
    TERMINAL VELOCITY
    WOLFENSTEIN 3D
    HEXEN
    HERETIC
    DOOM
    WING COMMANDER?
    THE INCREDIBLE MACHINE?
  • 12 Hide
    DSpider , January 13, 2012 11:19 AM
    "Retro" is very subjective.

    Ask a 15 yo and he'll tell you Starcraft, Red Alert 2, Diablo II, etc., something he played as a kid.
    Ask a 35 yo and he'll probably tell you Dizzy, Manic Miner, Space Invaders...


    I would've probably added OpenTyrian to the list, as well as Abuse, Contra, Outrun, Monkey Island and a lot more and it's why I think this list is shit (except maybe for The Lost Vikings). "Secret Maryo Chronicles" ? Come on.
  • 2 Hide
    hawkwindeb , January 13, 2012 12:50 PM
    DOSBox is great, most listed in this article are not or I've never even heard of them!

    With DOSBox and front end "D-Fend Reloaded" on the PC (Win XP or Win 7 64bit), I play Decent II, 688 Attack Sub, M1 Tank Platoon, Sentinel Worlds I (ok this last one was not well known, but still a fun RPG). I also play some of these on the MAC also using DOSBox and its front end Dapplegrey on the MAC.
  • 3 Hide
    p3t3or , January 13, 2012 12:55 PM
    I played the hell out of some Scorched Earth. Missing from the list is LOOM and Lemmings!
  • 8 Hide
    elduderino32 , January 13, 2012 1:43 PM
    What? No Oregon Trail?
  • 1 Hide
    andywork78 , January 13, 2012 2:20 PM
    Real nice guide.

    But there are emulator out there called "MaMe32"

    It's emulator for old $0.10 games back in 1992.

    You will love it.

    Classic games are still fun.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 13, 2012 4:29 PM
    Allot of people are complaining that their games aren't listed. However, to notate the top, "Retro Games for Windows, Mac, and Linux." These games are ones that can still be playing on modern hardware despite the drift away from the command line aspects. Remember that Windows XP is not a modern platform even if it is still in use.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 13, 2012 4:38 PM
    Some of these still require a basic 3D card (Secret Maryo Chronicles for example) else they are too slow.

    I recommend Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid.
  • 2 Hide
    lockhrt999 , January 13, 2012 6:03 PM
    I have huge respect towards these games. It'd have been great if released year and makers' name were also mentioned.
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