old pc games on a iMac (2012)

I checked the forums and saw thing like Crossover mention etc. But everything is about 8 years old in conversation. I don't really want to go to the trouble and use boot camp for I only have a few pc games I'm interested in playing.


How old are we talking? DOS games will run in DOSBox. GOG has a surprising number of early Windows-based PC games with Mac versions. Newer stuff that's windows only and doesn't require much GPU power could probably run in a VirtualBox VM.

Thanks for reply. It’s a 2002 Windows game. Is VirtualBox easy to deal with?

If it's a 2D game, VMWare or Parallels might work. I think VMWare Player is free on the Mac, and that might be enough to get a virtual Windows installed and your game going. (I haven't used the free version.) If not, there's payware version of the software that should at least get Windows operational.

Parallels is basically the same thing, but they charge a lot for upgrades, and I have some vague memory of them playing a bit dirty to try to get you to upgrade to new versions.

VirtualBox is basically a freeware version of the same kind of software..... it's much slower and less featureful, and the UI kind of sucks, but it may work, and doesn't cost anything.

If it's a 3D game, the whole thing becomes much more chancy. Macs are slow at 3D to begin with, and then you've got a translation layer when you're running a virtual Windows. It *might* work, but chances are quite high that you would find it unacceptably slow. As I recall, Parallels is the fastest of the three VM systems at running 3D graphics, but I haven't seriously read about Mac virtualization software in a long, long time. You should definitely read reviews.

Boot Camp, where you run Windows directly on the hardware, will give you the best overall outcome. With a 3D game, there's a pretty good chance that this is the only solution that will work at reasonable speed. Apple, however, may not provide Windows 10 drivers for a machine that old. You might be stuck with installing the unsupported Windows 7. That involves drive partitioning and a fair bit of hassle, but honestly, it's not much worse than trying to configure a VM. Those suckers can get kind of intricate.

If it were my machine and I had the space free on the drive, I'd probably go right to Boot Camp, myself.

Thanks for the information Malor! (I'll take your advice: Boot Camp)