You have a Raspberry Pi. You probably entertained the idea of using it for retro games. But what if we told you that you don’t have to stop there — that you can play a huge selection of games past and present using your Raspberry Pi?
You probably don’t believe us, but it’s completely true. With the exception of a few modern console games, you can play almost any video game on your Raspberry Pi. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
6 Ways to Play Video Games on Raspberry Pi
Incredibly, you have six game options on your Raspberry Pi. You are not limited to Linux games or games designed for x86 systems (like standard PCs). If you do everything right, you can enjoy a huge library of games on your Raspberry Pi:
- Retro games with RetroPie, RecalBox and Lakka
- Play Raspberry Pi-exclusive games
- Install classic games directly on your Raspberry Pi
- Play classic PC games with DOSBox
- Play PC games on Raspberry Pi with Exagear and Wine
- Stream modern PC games on Raspberry Pi with Parsec
Each of these six options will give your Raspberry Pi a great gaming experience. Let’s look at each one in turn.
1. Retro Games with RetroPie, RecalBox and Lakka
You probably already know about the possibilities of retro gaming with the Raspberry Pi. This is one of the most popular uses for a small computer! While separate emulators can be installed for each platform, it is recommended that you use one of the retro game suites that include support for all emulators, including MAME for arcade emulation.
Once installed, you will be able to copy your favorite retro game discs to your Raspberry Pi. In the video above, I demonstrate how to run Dreamcast games on Raspberry Pi 3. Note that as Raspberry Pi computers become more complex, more platforms are being added as emulators.
Be sure to only use ROMs for which you have a physical copy to avoid accusations of copyright theft.
2. Play Exclusive Raspberry Pi Games
Several games that have been developed to run on the Raspberry Pi are also available. You probably already know about Minecraft PE, which comes with Raspbian pre-installed (or even set up a Raspberry Pi as a Minecraft server).
Most of the games developed specifically for the Raspberry Pi are written in Python. You can find a large selection of Python games at pygame.org. In the meantime, you’ll find games that run on the Raspberry Pi using the Add/Remove Programs tool.
3. Install classic games directly on your Raspberry Pi
Over the past few years, an impressive collection of classic games have been re-released as open source, allowing them to be ported to other platforms. Often this means Linux, but usually only with x86 support. Luckily, it can also mean ARM which means Raspberry Pi compatible.