What is the "common wisdom" if I want to play my old DOS games on a modern System (say, Windows 7 64 bit)?

Should I use some form of emulation layer to get the games running under a modern Windows or should I set up a VM (e.g. VirtualBox). (And if a VM; should I run it with my DOS 6.22 or should I run it with my Windows 95, as that should also run most games just fine).


1 Answer 1


Depending on exactly what game you want to run, the easiest (and most common solution) is DOSBox, as you mentioned. Some games have issues with emulation - you may have to Google issues you run into now and again (e.g. setting clock speed for games running too fast, etc.).

If you wanted to, you could certainly set up a VM running DOS or Windows 95/98 and play things that way. As far as which OS you use, that's more of a comfort decision - whatever will get you up and running the fastest.

  • 9
    DOSBox FTW. The two biggest reasons to choose DOSBox instead of a VM running DOS: 1. The ability to control the CPU cycles given to the game. 2. The ability to use any controller / sound card / monitor without the complicated setup procedures required in DOS.
    – au revoir
    Oct 17, 2011 at 14:30
  • A DOS VM is usually much more work than is needed. I only reach for a VM when there's absolutely no way to get a particular game to work in DOSBox. You haven't mentioned which games in particular you want to get working, but some of the bigger titles (eg. Doom, Monkey Island) may have better ways to run in modern operating systems such as source ports or reinterpreters. Oct 17, 2011 at 22:27
  • 3
    I'd like to add that DosBox Game Launcher is a nice app I was recently introduced to that basically gives you a UI front-end to launching games via DosBox.
    – Sterno
    Mar 5, 2012 at 17:23

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