For those feeling nostalgic for the video games of their youth, technology now allows users to play their favorite childhood games thanks to an emulator. Retro gaming is the newest hype and Mac owners can join in the fun and relive the good ol’ gaming days when joysticks, controllers and 16-bit graphics reigned supreme.

Retro Gaming

Retro gaming, sometimes called classic, old school, or vintage gaming, pertains to playing games from older generation consoles, previous versions of computers, and coin-powered arcade games on your current Mac or PC. A game that is at least 15 years old or any game that goes as far as the 1970’s is worthy of the retro game category.

Think of classic games like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter and Sonic the Hedgehog, plus a lot more that comes to mind. You might even get misty-eyed as you recall the sense of achievement you felt when you rescued Princess Peach, made combo moves without depleting your life bar or dreamt of speed like your favorite blue hedgehog.

Unfortunately, these games may either be obsolete or discontinued, and your memories are the only part of the games that linger. The good news is that new technology has made them more than just throwbacks as you can actually play them with the use an emulator.

What is an Emulator?

An emulator is a computer software that simulates another device. It allows your Mac to run programs that were previously available for other operating systems. An emulator also permits you to run programs across several devices, making them accessible anytime and anywhere.

The two most popular forms of emulators are OS-designed and video game emulators. OS-designed emulators let you activate a different operating system on your computer (ex. Windows OS on Mac). Video game emulators, on the other hand, allows you to play video games from consoles and arcade games.

Video Game Emulator for Mac

A video emulator gives you the look and feel of classic video games with an added convenience. This software works to simulate the run-time environment and the game compatible with your current Mac version. A Mac video game emulator also provides access to gaming consoles and arcade games straight to your Mac or laptop. The most popular video emulators designed for retro gaming on Mac include Sega Dreamcast emulators, PS 2, Nintendo DS, MAME, and Xbox emulators.

Set-Up on Mac

Setting up an emulator so you can play your cherished 90’s or older video game takes several steps. Here’s how to run old games on your Mac:

  1. Install a Mac video emulator

There are a number of video emulators for Mac, and you might need to download several to experience classic gaming as not all may support gaming consoles or arcade types. Mac experts recommend using OpenEmu as a video emulator because it makes it easier to access older generation titles and systems ranging from Atari, Nintendo, Sega and even arcade-type video games. It also features a user-friendly interface as well as a built-in library of platform-sorted games. OpenEmu also includes needed ROMs to run the games and matches controller setups with each emulated game.

  1. Download ROMs

ROMs are the next thing you need to make your video emulator launch your retro game. These can be found online, but you would need to ensure that downloading ROMs is legal in your country. If it is, you also need to run malware trackers to make sure they’re not viruses in disguise.

  1. Gaming Peripherals

Retro games aren’t complete with matching controllers. Aside from giving you recall power on which buttons produce the greatest combo or the highest jumps, controllers also make it more enjoyable. You can connect compatible installers or use third-party controllers to your Mac and use them for all your classic games. The keyboard and mouse work well, too. Whatever you chose is entirely up to you and your convenience.

  1. Playing Games

Once you have the video emulator and required ROMs installed, you can begin your retro gaming experience. Video emulators sport the same look and feel of the games. Some emulators even have enhancements ‘save game’ or take screenshots.

Conclusion

Gaming is one of the greatest forms of entertainment. Technology has paved the way for computer, specifically Mac, users to play the latest games and even play games from a bygone era. Playing retro games through a video emulator not only makes one nostalgic but it also offers a second chance to play and conquer familiar worlds.