Do you miss the days of pumping quarters into the machines at your local arcade or want to introduce your children to games from the 80s and 90s? It’s relatively simple to get everything set up and start retro gaming today, provided you have a few of the basics.
- ROMS (the games themselves) – The first thing you will need are the games themselves. If you don’t have your old Sega Genesis or an arcade cabinet sitting in your garage, don’t worry. There are a couple of great places to find copies of all your favorite retro games. If you are looking for just the games themselves, be sure to check out the Internet Archive.
- Emulators – Once you have the ROMS for the games, you will need a way to play the games. There are a few individual Emulators which will do the job. I’ve found that the most flexible in this regard is RetroArch. RetroArch will let you play just about any ROM you through at it and it’s easy to set it up with the controller of your choice and even add cheats.
- Controllers – This really depends on your own personal setup. I personally use Xbox One controllers with my PC as the use can use them wired or connected to bluetooth. You can connect them pretty easily to an Andoid box as well. If you are looking for something with even more universal compatibility, check out the 8Bitdo line of controllers. My favorite is the 8Bitdo Pro 2 as it looks and feels like a retro controller but with dual sticks for more modern games.
- Display – Depending on what you have available to you, the most authenic experience would be on a CRT TV from the 90’s or early 2000’s. You can still pick one up for cheap at a garage sales or online but they are usually very heavy and awkward. Your PC probably includes an HDMI, and if you have a cable long enough, you can kick back on your couch like it was 1993 all over again. A lot of the Coin Ops all in one packs include some great filters to help recreate the retro gaming experience on modern day LED TVs.
- All-in-One Pack – If you are looking for a really slick setup, check out Arcade Punks. If you know how to download torrents or through newsgroups, you should definately check this site out. It is loaded with all in one gaming packs. Whether you are planning on using a windows PC, original Xbox or even a retropie, this site has packs of games with the included emulators and artwork all pre-loaded. Check out the video below for an idea of the type of setup that you can download and start playing. This nice thing about the packs is that they include the games, emulators and are as close to plug and play as you can get.
Hopefully, this project suggestion has given you a couple of helpful links and will help you get the ideas going for jumping back into some of the best games from the arcades and home gaming from the golden age of 2D gaming.