I love some older video games sadly though with Windows changing as much some games have been lost to time and are almost unplayable now unless you want to spend the money on an old computer that can support them.
Luckily there are services like Good Old Games or Gog.com that are in the business of breathing new life into old games. Their catalog is immense and growing. They have also updated most old games so they will run almost perfectly on a newer system.
So here we will be looking at multiple ways you can get your old games going and also just experience some old games you never had a chance to play.
Good Old Games
This is my first choice for playing old video games. They are DRM (Digital Rights Management) free and they offer games that normally are fixed. I say normally because sometimes their games need a little tweaking.
So first the good, their selection is very extensive and amazing. They have a sleek user interface and their games work normally out of the box. They keep most of their games up to date and it works very well.
Sometimes their games do not work out of the gates and need some fixing. This is not the case most of the time but it is more often then never. I just recently purchased the game Interstate 76 and it needed a tweak to work. Otherwise I could not get through any mission with a car in it that had been in the cut scene before.
For some reason the car would glitch out and the wheels would wobble and it could only go about 35 miles an hour. There were many fixes online not through Gog.com itself the one I found that worked was using a third party utility called Nvidia Inspector I was able to set my video card to 30 frames per second and that cured the problem. The annoying thing is if I want to play the game I have to always set my FPS before hand then remember to set them back to normal after. Kind of annoying really.
I believe that Gog.com should have set this fix into the game from the start. You can tell since Interstate 76 has been released on the platform this has been a known issue, so why have they not fixed it. Now for the most part their experience is not like this and it is great. This is just one case out of many.
My only suggestion is to read the recent reviews and then decide if you want the game. If everyone says the game is great and works without a hitch then go for it. If many of the reviewers say it doesn’t work then remember if you buy it you might be spending a good amount of time trying to fix the game.
Paying twice for games you already own is another problem I have with this format. I wish Windows had included better backwards support for old games, but they didn’t care all they wanted to do was to push out new product after new product and gamers who make up most of their user base be damned. So you may have the old disks for your favorite games but most wont even install anymore since Microsoft has thrown out everything that would allow you to play your old games.
The other problem with Gog.com is that they have to acquire a license to distribute a game. This is not their fault they don’t want to get sued, but this means there are certain games that will never be released on their platform since even most publishers don’t know if they own the rights to certain games but they will sue you into third world poverty to find out.
This happened to the game No One Lives Forever. A game developer wanted to re-release this game and it’s sequel and also update the game and bring it up to the present. They talked with all the companies that were involved with the game and all the companies that had bought out other companies, all said they didn’t know if they owned the rights but they would sue if the game developer released the game anyway.
So a great game is never coming back to life because of some corporate greed, and the developer was very generous with their offers as well it would have been a win win but they weren’t interested. Here is a complete article written about this whole debacle, plus how you can find the game other ways.
If a game is unable to licensed, sold and has been abandoned by its owners it is called Abandonware. Luckily there are repositories for such games where you can download them and maybe get them to work if you are very luckily.
A safe site is called My Abandonware it has ISOs of the games and some zip files either. Another site is called Old-Games.com they have some games that other websites do not have. These sites are not sponsored by the publishers so user beware.
Sometimes this is the only way to find a working version of some games that are hard to find. There are other websites that contain other abandonware so if you cannot find what you want you might be able to find them else ware just be careful downloading files from unknown sites and scan the files and check up on the safety of the site using forums and other resources like WOT or Avast site advisor.
Getting Them To Work
Sometimes this is nigh impossible if you do not know how to program. Here I will cover some fixes that can work for most popular games. This is going to be a general discussion pointing you to how to find solutions to your problems.
The first solution is to find the Dos Version of the game you want to play. This is the easiest solution to running most games that are old. Dos box has most fixes for every game you need, you may need to tweak some settings but most of the time you can find what you need to do to make a game work online.
If you do not find the Dos version of some games then you might be lucky and find a fix online the best place to find your solution is to look at google search and type in how to get your game working for your current operating system. This normally works because a lot of people on the internet have the same troubles, and have found solutions. This is normally how I find my solutions.
I find the Gog.com forum and the Steam Forum are great resources for fixes and help. Sometimes people will have websites dedicated to getting certain games working. This can be your best option.
The last option is to download a virtual machine program. This program emulates older Windows operating system run time environments. It works for most old Windows game.
This is not a perfect solution because it is a program running an operating system inside your own operating system so it will eat up a lot of resources. This is normally OK since most old video games don’t need the power of your current machine.
Using a virtual machine you can run an old game in the operating system it was designed for and this can get past most problems. To be honest this is not a solution I have had to mess around with since most of the games I want to play have had very devoted fan bases that have solved most problems, it just takes a little digging sometimes.
My first solution for most people is to see if Gog.com has the game they are looking for. For anything else remember to download safely and scan every thing that you put on your computer. If you fear that the file may be corrupt then don’t run it. Or get a virus sandbox program to run it in a virtual environment instead. Avast has one that works very well, just FYI.