Do you remember those classic Nintendo 8-bit (NES) games like Super Mario Bros, Tetris, Aladdin, Donkey Kong, 1942, Adventure Island, Contra etc., that we used to play in our good old days? If you want to play those games again, then let’s check out in this post how to emulate them in Windows, Linux and Mac OS X using DOSBox?

From where to download games?

Before going into further details, following are some resources using which you can download the games for free:

  • While writing this post, the website contains more than 600 free MS-DOS based games.
  • Website contains around 300 games which are freeware, shareware or a playable demo. The site will also give you information about whether a particular game is compatible with DOSBox? and whether it contains violence like blood, gory graphics etc.?

If you are unable to find your favourite game in above sites, then you may want to search on Google (Example).

Very Important Note: The game files are generally compressed in an archive (.zip or .rar). When you download a game archive, you should always scan it with an anti-virus software with updated definitions. No matter what, don’t forget to scan the archive, as the game files are executable (.exe) and may corrupt/infect your whole system, if you have downloaded the archive from an untrusted source.

How to run the downloaded games?

1. Suppose you have downloaded onto your computer’s hard drive. Copy the compressed archive to C: Drive and extract its content to a folder named Aladdin.

2. Now download DOSBox for your OS (in my case I am using Windows OS) and install and run the application. When you run the application, you will see a DOS screen with Z:\> prompt like this:

dosbox z prompt

3. We want to load Aladdin Game from C: Drive, so we type Z:\>Mount C C\:Aladdin:

mount c drive

You will get a message from the emulator that Drive C is Mounted as Local Directory C:\Aladdin\.

4. Now in order to make the emulator directly access C: Drive on your computer, type Z:\>C::

c prompt

The Z:\> Prompt will now change to C:\> Prompt. This means that the emulator is ready to work on C: drive.

5. As final step, type C:\>Aladdin.exe and your game will start running in the emulator instantly:

aladdin exe

aladdin dosbox

You can also check out following video to see Aladdin game in action using DOSBox emulator:

The above steps remains same for other DOS based games also, as almost all of them are compatible with DOSBox. All you need to do is to carefully pick the correct .exe file (in case there are multiple .exe files are present) by browsing the downloaded game folder manually.

Super Important Note: You can also use cheat codes in the emulator!