Classic PC games only get better with age--but if you don't apply the right tricks and tweaks, they won't run on your Windows 7 computer. Not to worry: We've assembled a series of quick how-to guides to help you make your favorite games work on your modern PC, in all their 640-by-480 pixelated glory.
Every now and then we get tired of blowing up baddies in Battlefield or running raids in World of Warcraft. Sometimes we just want to settle down for a spell and play through Daggerfall for the umpteenth time, or take the Marathon series for a spin and see what all the hubbub was about. We yearn for a simpler time--a time when MIDI soundtracks rang in our ears as if our Sound Blaster had an orchestra in it, and we could still count the pixels on the screen.
So we dig out our old CD wallets and burrow through boxes of old floppy disks, only to discover that even though we still have the game, it won't install or play on our modern Windows 7 PCs. Even XP is too new for most of our favorite classics. Instead of playing games, we end up spending hours scouring the Internet for patches and install guides to get our old games working on our new PCs.
And now we're going to save you the trouble. We've got eight how-to guides that will help you get Deus Ex, Daggerfall, the Marathon Trilogy, MechWarrior 4, Duke Nukem 3D, Grim Fandango, three RPGs based on BioWare's Infinity Engine (Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale), and any classic adventure game using the ScummVM engine (the Monkey Island series, for example) working on your PC perfectly. What's more, some of these games have been updated to look better than new, with fan-made patches that make the game work with 16:9 monitors at high resolutions, update the in-game graphics and rendering engines, and more. And every time we figure out how to get another classic game working, we'll add it to the list on the right side of the page.
Be warned: Some of these guides can be pretty tricky to follow. You'll need to be well acquainted with your PC to get many of these old games to work. And in some cases you'll need to dust off your DOS skills and get to know the DOSBox emulator (we've included a DOSBox primer, as well). No one said it would be easy.
So what are you waiting for? Break out the joystick, and let's get gaming!