Question Virtual PC or Emulator for older PC Games?


May 26, 2019
I plan to either rebuild or replace my current gaming PC either by the end of this year or early next year. With this new PC, in addition to playing modern games and games provided by services such as Steam and Guild of Gamers, I would like to be able to play older PC games ranging from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. This is something that I have never tried before so I have some questions that I wish to ask to get a better idea of what may be involved with this task. If it helps, my computer will be running Windows 10 on either a PCIE-based SSD or SATA SSD using an upper end CPU from either the upcoming AMD Ryzen series or current generation Intel CPUs.

My questions are as followed:
  1. Would I be better off with an emulator or virtual PC?
  2. In reference to question 1, which program(s) would you recommend?
  3. With the era of games mentioned, would I be better off getting a copy of Windows 95, 98, XP, or Vista?
  4. I plan to load the emulator or virtual PC, with the games and recommend operating system on a drive separate from the one where Windows 10 is located. Would I be better off with a traditional hard disc drive or would the setup work with an SSD?
  5. Are there any other suggestions or recommendations that you have?
There are no emulators for win 95/98/xp they are all virtual machines.

Most if not all games you want to play, you can play right from windows 10, you can get them from good old games (GoG) or you can search for patches on the internet, most games will work fine if you can install them and that's why fans have made new installers that install your original game and let you play them.
A lot of the old games will also just install and play without doing anything special.

If you make a VM it can run from a file on your ssd or any hard drive you want.
You can also add a separate drive and make it exclusive for old games, it doesn't matter if it is ssd or spindle.

VMs cannot emulate a good GPU on the old OSs so you can only play games that can work on the default basic windows adapter.