Do you happen to have the gaming bug? Do you have a soft spot for retro games that take you back to your childhood or teenage years?
This article shows you what you need to know about playing retro games on a PC or a TV.
How To Play Retro Games On PC
If melancholy decides to pay you a visit, you may choose to play retro games on PC. It will require you to install the software (emulator) and make the necessary adjustments so that everything runs smoothly. The wide range of emulators available for PC makes this option of playing retro games the one that offers the most flexibility.
The next thing you need is a ROM, which is the ripped copy of the game you want to play. You upload the ROM to the emulator’s ‘ROMs’ folder and then it should do the rest of the work for you.
A plus is that you can find a variety of rereleased retro games suitable for PC. Convenient, right?
How To Play Old Nintendo Games On PC
If you are specific about the retro games you want to play and they happen to be old Nintendo ones, read on!
We have already established that you need an emulator and a ROM. In this particular case of Nintendo games, you can use the FCEUX NES, SNES9x, VBA-M Game Boy or Project64 N64 emulators. You download and install the one you prefer. Then you to go to a ROM library, such as ROM Hustler, where you find retro games listed in alphabetical order. Upload it from your ‘Downloads’ file to the designated folder of your software and enjoy!
The Best Emulator Console For TV
You will need an HDMI cable to link your PC to your TV. If you would like to take it up a notch and invest in gaming gear, you might want to consider one of the following: RetroPie or the Android set-top box. Another option would be for you to stream from your PC.
Let’s discuss each.
The release of Raspberry Pi, the Linux computer, brought with it the birth of RetroPie, the correspondent emulator. It is software that also organizes ROMs. In terms of hardware, the Pi is fast enough to emulate every game system from NES to N64.
It is important to know that RetroPie also supports arcade emulators such as MAME and FinalBurn.
How can you get it? There are two options: you purchase the Pi and install the software following YouTube instructions – more on that later on – or you buy RetroPie already set up and loaded with ROMs.
The Android Set-Top Box
It is another minicomputer designed to turn your TV into a gamer’s delight.
The Nvidia Shield TV Pro is the most famous in this category. You need to download and install the desired emulator. It supports up to PlayStation 1, N64 and PSP in high-resolution 3D. It has an internal storage of 16 GB. If that is not enough for your ROMs, you can always rely on an external drive for extra storage.
Streaming From Your PC
Investing in dedicated systems to play your favourite retro games is one way to go, but there is another: streaming. The most popular solution for this option is the Steam Link app. You will need to create an account on Steam and install the app on your PC. It is where you link shortcuts to the emulators of your choice. You will have to use a Bluetooth mouse and gamepad with your computer. Just keep in mind that a strong Wi-Fi connection is required for streaming to work well.
How To Build A Retro Gaming Console
If you opt for the Raspberry Pi computer and corresponding RetroPie software, you get a DIY project that, on completion, will feel most rewarding.
Here is what you need to purchase to build your own retro console:
– The right model of Raspberry Pi for you. The first and the second models work the slowest, while the third and the fourth are more powerful and have built-in Bluetooth. The most convenient is the Pi 3 Model B since it has all the essentials of Pi 4, but the extra advantage of a lower price.
– The Pi 3 case.
– A microSD card. A 16 GB should be enough.
– A power source. You can use a mini-USB cable or a third-party option.
– An HDMI cable.
– A gamepad. There are two versions here, the USB and the Bluetooth connected controller.
Make sure you download and install the free software RetroPie on the microSD card that you insert into your PC. Use the HDMI to connect your computer to your TV. The microSD card will then go into the Raspberry; at this point, the keyboard and gamepad are also plugged in. The software will run the setup process and then you connect to Wi-Fi. Finally, you transfer ROMs from your PC to your Raspberry using a USB memory stick.
Home Retro Gaming Console Review
The Nintendo NES Classic Edition is responsible for turning home retro gaming into a successful and long-lasting trend. It has 30 games, an HDMI connection and a nostalgic vibe.
The controller looks and feels true to the original Nintendo, with the sunken Start and Select buttons. However, the cable that connects it to the console is too short and has you glued to the TV.
The packaging is, too, a miniature replica of the original box, with the same colour scheme and design.
Among the 30 games included are Castlevania (1 and 2), Dr. Mario, Final Fantasy, Kirby’s Adventure, Mega Man 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.
This Classic Edition renders sharp images on your modern TV. It also features the Save option for your games.
The Best Retro Games
Different tastes lead to different opinions, so there is no Top 10 (or 20 or 100) Retro Games. Instead, here is a list of the most popular games from the past: Super Mario World (1990), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998), DOOM (1993), Tetris (1984), Resident Evil 4 (2005), Tomb Raider (1996), Super Mario Kart (1992), Final Fantasy 7 (1997), Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Half-Life 2 (2004), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997).
Whatever you choose, you are definitely in for a good time.