People often see me enjoying the wonders of retro gaming on my PowerBook and they ask me “How do you play those old games?” or simply say “I wish I had that on my computer!” Well everyone can, it’s easy peasy! Every aspect is free and time-tested. There are only two steps. Download an emulator, download a rom (game), open the rom with the emulator. That’s it! Optionally, you may want to get a controller to make your experience more enjoyable. I use an Xbox360 controller for all my retro gaming needs and it has been perfect. I am going to make this whole process so easy for you there is no excuse. I have provided all the links, done all the research, read on, and relive your memories!
Not many people even remember DOS anymore but for some, this was the first system they played games on. That is certainly true for me! I played Prince of Persia, and Alone in the Dark on DOS waaaaaaaaay back in the day. More recently I have been playing the hell out of Master of Orion II, one of my top ten games of all time. The OSX emulator Boxer is just completely amazing. You don’t actually need to know any disgusting DOS language to use it. It has a graphic user interface and drag and drop functionality! I wish I could say the same for Window’s DOSBOX which is pretty much just a DOS prompt and you need to know how to use it. However there are “front ends” you can install which should make it easier to use. I actually wouldn’t know, I am afraid you are on your own with that.
What can I say about Nintendo? So many great games. This is where Mario, Kirby, Link, Bill Rizer, Simon and MegaMan were born. Nestopia seems to be the emulator of choice for both Mac and Windows and I can attest to it being the best for Mac. I have been enjoying it for years.
In my opinion, SNES is the pinnacle of gaming. I bet seven out of my top ten games of all time are on SNES. When I am in the mood to kick back and enjoy my childhood I turn to my favorite system. Did I mention how perfectly an Xbox360 controller lends itself to SNES emulation? SNESx9 is the goto emulator for OS X, and it seems to be a toss up between SNESx9 and ZSNES for windows. I am sure both work fine.
In my experience kids fall on two sides of the fence. The Nintendo kids and the Sega kids. I didn’t have much Genesis in my life, although I do have fond memories of Altered Beast. I know for a fact Genesis Plus works for every game I ever tried on Mac. Fusion is the best of breed windows emulator. If you know of any must-play Genesis games please drop me a line, I am just starting to explore this system.
Game Boy Advanced is like a portable Super NES. Pretty amazing if you ask me, however I don’t feel like these portable style of gaming is very suitable for sitting at your computer. Still, there are some great games and sequels on it.
Some people live and die by official console controllers. This usually involved purchasing NES->USB or PS2->USB adaptors which range from $10-$25. Of course you can purchase your favorite brand of PC controller from a variety of manufacturers like Logitec or Razor. My personal favorite is the Xbox360 USB controller, all you need is a quick driver and it works perfectly. Of course there is nothing wrong with using your trusty keyboard. It works great on RPGs, turnbased games, and strategy games; but you might want to consider upgrading if you are going to play Super Street Fighter.