A lot of people who grew up gaming in the 80s and 90s ended up creating websites and blogs where they talk about their favorite video games. Unsurprisingly, many of these games are the same ones they grew up with. But one of the main problems with covering such games is that you’ll have a difficult time finding good images to go along with the text. Displays have advanced considerably over the past decade and modern ones don’t do a good job at showing old games as we used to see them back in the day. This is particularly noticeable in the case of old PC games, which used to look considerably worse than their console counterparts until about the early 2000s.
So is there anything you can do to enlarge screenshots of old PC games in order to make them look good on modern displays? Yes, fortunately, such a solution does exist and it goes by the name of Vance AI Image Enlarger. True to its name, this powerful tool can take any image, regardless of resolution, and enlarge it by up to 8 times its original size. Even more impressive is the fact that it can do so without compromising the image quality. As an added bonus, the tools is very intuitive and easy to use. Here’s how it works:
1. Go to the Vance AI website and hover over the dropdown menu labeled AI Solutions to find the AI Image Enlarger tool. Now either upload the image you want to enlarge or select one of the available sample photos if you only want to test the tool at this time.
2. Next, it’s time to decide by how much you want to enlarge the image. With the Free plan you can only choose between 2X and 4X, but you can gain access to two additional options (6X and 8X) if you decide to upgrade to a paid plan. Choose the desired amount and make sure to also tick the Suppress Noise and Remove Blur options because they will help improve the quality.
3. With that out of the way, all you have to do is initialize the process, wait a few seconds for the tool to do its magic, and then download the resulting image. Simple as that.
Now that you know what tool you need and how to use it, it’s time to see this AI Image Enlarger in action. We’ve scoured the internet looking for images of iconic old PC games and we ran them through the AI to see what happens. Check out the results down below.
First off we have the original Doom, the game known for pioneering the FPS genre and for being able to run on pretty much any type of electronic device you can think off. From Apple Watches and printers to ATMs and everything in between. Despite the recent and very successful reboot of the series, the original Doom remains one of the old PC games most often talked about to this day. And one of the titles most often featured whenever you’re talking about the history of PC gaming. Or just gaming in general. There have been various reworks of the game over the years designed to run on higher resolution displays, but if you want to use screenshots of the actual original, you’re going to need AI to properly refine them.
From one of the founders of first-person shooters we jump to one of the most influential real-time strategy games of all time - StarCraft. Similar to some of the other titles covered in this article, StarCraft ended up getting a remastered version many years after launch, however, the original still has a special place in the hearts of many fans of old PC games. StarCraft came out during a time when most games didn’t have a zoom function, which meant you couldn’t really get a good up-close look at the units. Thanks to AI, that’s no longer the case, as can be seen in the image below that shows a Terran Battlecruiser. As an FYI, the game is free now on Battle.net so make sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
Better known as UFO: Enemy Unknown in Europe, at least back in the 90s when it came out, X-COM: UFO Defense is an amazing turn-based tactics game that ended up creating its own genre. The original X-COM is one of the main reasons why we wanted to see if we could enlarge screenshots of old PC games with no loss in quality because most of the images available are really small. X-COM has a very long and storied history dating back to the early 90s and stretching all the way to present day. We’ve had a number of successful (and some not so successful) X-COM sequels and spin-offs over the years but we sometimes still like going back to the original regardless. The graphics haven’t aged particularly well, as you might imagine, but the gameplay remains very solid even compared to modern titles.
Most gamers are familiar with recent entries in the series, such as Fallout 4 or the ill-received Fallout 76, but some may not know that the very first installment launched all the way back in 1997. While Bethesda holds the Fallout license these days, for more than a decade the IP was propriety of Interplay, a company that still exists but is rarely even mentioned these days. The Fallout games, on the other hand, continue to be extremely popular and might continue to have a bright future ahead now that Bethesda is owned by Microsoft. As far as the Classic Fallout PC games are concerned, they’re a bit rough around the edges but still a blast to play even now. The 1950s vibe that the series is famous far is definitely present in the originals as well.
We just couldn’t write an article about how to enlarge old PC games without mentioning Gothic, despite the fact that it wasn’t as popular as the other titles we covered. At least not in the US. But what the original Gothic lacked in popularity, it more than made up for in revolutionary game design. Gothic was one of the only true open-world RPGs of the early 2000s with no loading screens between areas, a feature that’s still lacking in many modern-day RPGs. In addition, the game also featured a day and night cycle, robust factions system, NPCs with jobs and schedules, deeply immersive world, and so much more. The sequel is even better but only because it had such a solid foundation to build upon. Gothic turned 20-years-old earlier this year and has a remake in the works as we speak.
We’ve had a lot of fun writing about how to enlarge screenshots of old PC games and we hope you enjoyed reading this article. We wanted to enlarge images of classic games because most of the available ones tend to be awfully small, but keep in mind that this was just a little demonstration. Vance AI Image Enlarger works just as well with any other types of images you throw at it. Depending on the original image, you can enlarge by up to 8X without fearing loss of quality. But in the case of old PC games screenshots, it’s probably better to stick to 4X at the most because there’s a lot of pixilation that becomes more evident the more you enlarge the image.
As far as the pricing is concerned, Vance AI uses a very fair model where you can test out any of its tools for a limited time before having to upgrade to a paid plan. Premium packages start at only $9.90 per month and unlock access to not only more features but also the ability to work with larger images and faster processing speeds. But the best part is that a subscription includes access to all the tools developed by the company for a single price of $9.90/mo, or $19.90/mo if you’re going with the Pro plan. Not a bad deal given that there are already 9 tools available, with more coming in the near future.
Related article: How to Use Vance AI Image Enlarger for Platforming Games