Question Any problem running 90s PC game with today's computer

brannsiu

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I'd like to buy some 90s PC game (usually come with CD-ROM) from secondhand market, they are mostly marketed to be supporting windows 95 or windows 98. Is there any problem to run those games on my today's computer? Intel i5, 8GB RAM, Windows 10. Will I need any extra software to help run those old games? In fact, I have tried some old games I'm interested in with simulator on the web, but it's so difficult to control the cursor, making me lose the interest
 
Some will play no problem but a lot of them will fail mainly due to the installer, you can look up each game you are interested in on the web, most games have unofficial installers and/or patches that will let you install and run them correctly on a modern system.
 

brannsiu

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Some will play no problem but a lot of them will fail mainly due to the installer, you can look up each game you are interested in on the web, most games have unofficial installers and/or patches that will let you install and run them correctly on a modern system.
Where can I get or what do I have to be careful when getting those "unofficial installers"? Will it contain malware? Is those installer/patches usually generic or specific to a particular game and different games may have different installers?
 
Where can I get or what do I have to be careful when getting those "unofficial installers"? Will it contain malware? Is those installer/patches usually generic or specific to a particular game and different games may have different installers?
You can check your games here, they will have a list of things you have to do to make the games run well.
Installers are always specific, but other tools like glide wrappers to make games run better are generic for plenty of games.
https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Home
 
The answer is "it depends". Here's a list of potential issues:

  • Games/Installers that are 16-bit will not run on 64-bit versions of Windows. Note that while by the mid-90s most games were 32-bit, many still made use of the old 16-bit Windows installer. Hence the recommendation above of using an unofficial installer to get the games installed.
  • There may be various graphical issues; depends on the title really. I highly recommend visiting PcGamingWiki.com to look up any specific issues/workarounds for running specific titles on newer versions of Windows.
  • DOS executables will not run, but you can always run them through DOSBOX (or similar). Note many early 90's titles shipped with both a Windows and DOS version, so this is always a fallback option if necessary.
  • Worst case, you can use a VM, which while somewhat resource intensive should work.
 

Nighthawk117

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I'd like to buy some 90s PC game (usually come with CD-ROM) from secondhand market, they are mostly marketed to be supporting windows 95 or windows 98. Is there any problem to run those games on my today's computer? Intel i5, 8GB RAM, Windows 10. Will I need any extra software to help run those old games? In fact, I have tried some old games I'm interested in with simulator on the web, but it's so difficult to control the cursor, making me lose the interest
Yes unfortunately you are likely to face compatibility issues, I've found this with even more recent XP and Windows 7 games. It does depend on the game though. If you do have issues, I've had success running virtual machines using VMWare Player. Please note though 3D performance is not very good through a VM, but for extremely old games it shouldn't be an issue. VMWare player is free, but you'd need a copy of your desired operating system.
 

brannsiu

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Yes unfortunately you are likely to face compatibility issues, I've found this with even more recent XP and Windows 7 games. It does depend on the game though. If you do have issues, I've had success running virtual machines using VMWare Player. Please note though 3D performance is not very good through a VM, but for extremely old games it shouldn't be an issue. VMWare player is free, but you'd need a copy of your desired operating system.
Hi. Is SIM City and SIM Tower considered to be "extremely old games"? Because I am finding ways to play this game smoothly
 

Nighthawk117

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Hi. Is SIM City and SIM Tower considered to be "extremely old games"? Because I am finding ways to play this game smoothly
Yes extremely old, there are modern versions of Sim City though but I assume you mean the original. Sim Tower came out in 1994 so yes definitely an old game. When you say your finding ways to play it smoothly, are you saying you've tried and it doesn't play smoothly?
 

brannsiu

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Yes extremely old, there are modern versions of Sim City though but I assume you mean the original. Sim Tower came out in 1994 so yes definitely an old game. When you say your finding ways to play it smoothly, are you saying you've tried and it doesn't play smoothly?
I played the online browser version by simple Google search, there are many, but the cursor experience is so bad, I'll go crazy playing with it for even an hour, so I am figuring out how to play it differently. I still have original CD-ROM bought in 90s but they don't run on Windows 10 now. My friend who is a professional programmer and he highly recommends me to use Virtualbox but I will need to install Windows 95 or 98 right? Then I have a headache, where can I get the setup file of Win 95 or 98?
 

Nighthawk117

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I played the online browser version by simple Google search, there are many, but the cursor experience is so bad, I'll go crazy playing with it for even an hour, so I am figuring out how to play it differently. I still have original CD-ROM bought in 90s but they don't run on Windows 10 now. My friend who is a professional programmer and he highly recommends me to use Virtualbox but I will need to install Windows 95 or 98 right? Then I have a headache, where can I get the setup file of Win 95 or 98?
Oh ok, yeah I wouldn't want to play anything in a browser either. I've used both VirtualBox and VMWare Player, either should be fine for your intended purpose. In terms of Windows 95 or 98, I'm sure you could find a copy on ebay or something. However you may also have luck with the 32-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista or 7. So if you have a CD for any of those lying around, you might want to try that. I only mention it because I've occasionally found with some of my games that don't work on Windows 10, that they do work on the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
 
My friend who is a professional programmer and he highly recommends me to use Virtualbox but I will need to install Windows 95 or 98 right? Then I have a headache, where can I get the setup file of Win 95 or 98?
That's not the only problem, virtual machines only simulate a very basic VGA leaving you with terrible resolution and performance even for extremely old games and giving it access to your real GPU is also not an option because windows 9x will have no idea what to do with it.

Luckily there is a pre made image of windows 98 that works much better since they integrated helper tools to make everything run as well as possible.
 
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