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From Downloading ROMS to Using Steam – 5 Ways You Can Play Retro Games

  • PRG

If you’re wondering how to play your favorite retro games, there are 5 ways to do so. You can either download the ROM version and play them on unofficial emulators, or try using virtual consoles.

I was going through my closet recently and found my old Nintendo N64. I tried plugging it in; however, it didn’t work.

I did some digging to find out how to play retro Nintendo games, which led me to discovering virtual consoles and emulators.  

I have not only discussed what I learned about them, but how to play retro games as well. Keep reading to find out more.

1.    Steam

Steam is one of the largest gaming platforms online. They have a host of modern games, but there are a couple of retro titles on there too. Just keep in mind that if you want to play these older titles, you will have to pay for them. They’re not very expensive, though.

You will also have to download the Steam player and sign up for an account before you start downloading the titles you want to play.

Here are some of the best retro games you can find and play on Steam:

  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
  • Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
  • Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
  • Tomb Raider
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Half Life (1998)

2.    Google/ Apple App Store

The Google and App store have hundreds of games, so it’s no surprise that they have retro titles too. This is especially true when it comes to Nintendo and SEGA classics.

Some of my personal favorites on these platforms include Doom 64, Sonic 64, Chrono Trigger, and of course, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

If you can find the game you want to play on your respective app store, this makes things easy for you. You won’t have to download a special ROM or player, like you do with Steam. Plus, it’s usually free too.  

3.    Dedicated Websites

Of course, I have to mention sites, like Play Retro Games. This makes playing retro games super easy, as they have libraries full of titles that you can access with a click of a button. However, they only work on your PC – you just load up their site, then go through the library to find what you want to play. Then wait for the controls to pop up before you get started. There’s no fee or anything to download either.

4.    Unofficial Emulators

By far, the most popular method to play retro games is by using unofficial emulators. They’re popular because they let you edit important controls and settings that you wouldn’t be able to change otherwise.

Just keep in mind that some emulators are easier to use than others. I advise you to do your research, as a couple of methods that work well for me might not work well for you.

When it comes to emulators, you may be wondering how to find and play the title you want. You will have to download the ROM file for it first. There are special dedicated sites, like ROMsmania and RomsMode that you’ll have to visit to do this.

If you speak to gamers that uses emulators and ROMS, they will tell you to use a VPN to keep your data safe, and I would definitely agree. Some ROM sites can steal your data and harm your devices, which a VPN would protect against – it would block your IP while tunneling you to a server abroad.

Plus, the VPN can help you in case there are strict copyright laws where you live, which makes downloading ROMS illegal. After all, your IP would be hidden, so your ISP won’t know what you’re up to.

5.    Virtual Consoles

Last but not least, there are virtual consoles. They are basically the virtual version of the physical console you want to play. Not all consoles have virtual counterparts, though. However, Nintendo is known to have a couple of good ones.

Once you’re on a virtual console, keep in mind that you will have to buy the retro title you want to play. However, they aren’t too expensive. You’ll only have to pay a couple of bucks.

Final Thoughts

As discussed, there are quite a few ways you can play retro games. By far, the easiest is to check whether the titles you want can be found on sites like PlayRetroGames. You can also check whether Steam or your respective app store has them.

Of course, you can also download ROMs and play the games on unofficial emulators. Just keep in mind that you should probably use a VPN if you are going this route.

Hopefully you found everything discussed above useful. Keep these tips in mind for the best ways to play retro games.


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