How to Play Old Games in Windows 10, 8.1

By: Radu Tyrsina
3 minute read

A few days ago, I was discussing with you that an old game, namely Diablo 2, was running with problems in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. So now I’m going to take about the easiest way that you can take to make sure old games run without problems in Windows 8 and newer versions.
old games windows 8
Running old games on your new Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system isn’t impossible, but you might encounter big problems with some, if not the majority of them. There are plenty tips, tricks and advices that we can offer you, but there’s a method that we have personally tested and we recommend it to all of you. That way, you’ll make sure you can run the good old Duke Nuke, Quake and others, as well as MS-DOS games on Windows 8, 8.1 and enjoy the good old times.

Do old PC games work on Windows 10?

What you can do to see whether you can run old games in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is you make sure you take all of the following steps:

  • Always run the game as administrator
  • Enable compatibility mode (go to Properties and from there choose an older Windows version)
  • Tweat some more settings – also on Properties, choose the “reduced color mode” or run the game in 640×480 resolution, if needs be
  • Use DosBox for really old Dos games
  • Try using a virtual machine
  • Run the troubleshooter on the game which doesn’t work.

If you’re still experiencing issues while running old games on your Windows 10 computer, then run the Windows Compatibility troubleshooter. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshooter > select and run the troubleshooter.

program compatibility troubleshooter windows 10

Note: If your games use SafeDisc or SecuROM DRM, Windows 10 won’t run them properly. In order words, due to digital rights management schemes, some older games on CDs or DVDs will be affected by install issues on the latest Windows OS version.

Best way to run old games on Windows 10, 8.1

Unfortunately for those who were hoping for a free “magic fix”, I have to disappoint you, as the best way to make sure your favorite old games run on Windows 10, Windows 8 is to buy them from a place where their compatibility has been certified. So, unless they work by applying the above mentioned fixes, a good idea would be to get them from Steam, but the best place is on the Good Old Games website. Here’s what the website has announced a while back:

windows 8 old games

So as of today we’re adding official Windows 8 support for most of the games in GOG.com catalog. There are currently 431 titles fixed, tested, and reported to be working properly under Microsoft’s new OS. Note that most of these have not had the master builds updated, so you shouldn’t need to redownload the installer or anything. Some of the titles, our build ninjas performed their usual magic on, and they’ll work now in Windows 8–and we’re even adding Windows 7 support to a few. We’ll also be adding more Windows 8 games as time goes by and we’ve got time to apply some fixes to more of the classic games in the catalog.

If you think it’s too much to pay a few dollars for some good old games (sic), then be on the lookout for some sweet deals, as there are always some. I’ve used the GOG service and have downloaded plenty of old games and all of them are working! So, go ahead and download them and let us know if this did the trick.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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