Video Game Emulators
Video Game Emulators
Video Game Emulators

Video Game Emulators

Here you will find all the best video game emulators for every common OS & device!

I don't like it any more than you do that many video game emulators in the Android Play Store have ads or require you to pay. For this page, the status of whether an emulator is free or not is highlighted in “Availability”. If an emulator does require payment or have ads (and you're opposed to that), I point out an alternative either below it or in the description. Keep in mind that the pay emulators I do recommend are worth it and better than the free ones. I just want to make sure I present you with all the options so you can decide what's best for you.

Nintendo 64Gamecube/Wii

Dolphin

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Homepage

Everyone's favorite Gamecube/Wii emulator on Windows has an excellent Android port. Enjoy games for these two consoles in full HD (1080p) with several enhancements: compatibility with controllers, turbo speed, networked multiplayer, and more! Check out its compatibility list to ensure the games you want to play fully work. It's a CPU heavy emulator, so it requires higher end Android devices to run well.

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Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Mupen64+

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Size: 5.57 MB, Version: 2.4.4

Mupen64Plus FZ is one of the better N64 emulators for Android. It's not as good as Project64 on Windows, but it's close! The most popular games definitely run flawlessly.
*Don't have access to the Play Store? You can download Mupen64+ here.

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Super NintendoSuper Nintendo

Snes9x EX+

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Homepage

The great Snes9X that we all know and love from the PC is also on Android. Just like on Windows, Snes9X is the top SNES emulator for Android.
*Snes9X EX+ accepts save states & SRM saves from Snes9x on Windows!
*Don't have access to the Play Store? You can download Snes9x from its homepage. Their downloads include the X86 and ARM versions.

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Nintendo (NES)Nintendo

NES.emu

Play Store

Availability: $3.99 US, Homepage

Part of the great “.emu series” of emulators, here's its NES emulator. It has an intuitive GUI and the usual assortment of emulator features: save states, cheats, screen filters, etc. Game compatibility is virtually perfect. The emulator is tiny and barely takes up space on your device, too.

Nostalgia.NES

Play Store

Availability: Free with ads, Homepage

I'm not a big fan of the Nostalgia series of emulators, but it's a good alternative if you refuse to pay for NES.emu and insist on having a standalone NES emulator. If you can't stand ads, you can try the 100% free multi-system emulators, RetroArch or ClassicBoy, for NES emulation.

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Nintendo DSNintendo DS

DraStic DS

Play Store

Availability: $4.99 US

The fastest and most compatible Nintendo DS emulator! If you refuse to pay and you want a free emulator, there's nds4droid (below). Although DraStic DS is far superior over nds4droid.

nds4droid

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free

A free alternative to DraStic DS. DraStic DS is a far better emulator, though. Reviews for nds4droid are generally good. The most common complaint is that it can be slow. RetroArch and ClassicBoy (which are also free) support Nintendo DS emulation as well.

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Game Boy Classic/ Color/ AdvanceGame Boy Advance

GBA.emu

Play Store

Availability: $4.99 US, Homepage

Part of the great “.emu series” of emulators, here's its Game Boy Advance emulator. It has an intuitive GUI and the usual assortment of emulator features: save states, cheats, screen filters, etc. Game compatibility is virtually perfect. The emulator is tiny and barely takes up space on your device, too.

Nostalgia.GBA

Play Store

Availability: Free with ads

I'm not a big fan of the Nostalgia emulators, but it's a good alternative if you refuse to pay for GBA.emu and insist on having a standalone GBA emulator. If you can't stand ads, you can try the 100% free multi-system emulator, RetroArch or ClassicBoy, for GBA emulation.

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Game Boy Classic and Game Boy ColorGame Boy Color

GBC.emu

Play Store

Availability: $2.99 US, Homepage

Part of the great “.emu series” of emulators, here's its Game Boy Classic/Game Boy Color emulator. It has an intuitive GUI and the usual assortment of emulator features: save states, cheats, screen filters, etc. Game compatibility is virtually perfect. The emulator is tiny and barely takes up space on your device, too.

Nostalgia.GBC

Play Store

Availability: Free with ads

I'm not a big fan of the Nostalgia emulators, but it's a good alternative if you refuse to pay for GBC.emu and insist on having a standalone Game Boy Color emulator. If you can't stand ads, you can try the 100% free multi-system emulators, RetroArch or ClassicBoy, for Game Boy Color emulation.

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Genesis and Sega CDGenesis & Sega CD

MD.emu

Play Store

Availability: $4.99 US, Homepage

Part of the great “.emu series” of emulators, here's its Genesis emulator. It's a good emulator that can play virtually any game, except it doesn't support Game Gear and 32X games (RetroArch does). It has an intuitive GUI and the usual assortment of emulator features: save states, cheats, screen filters, etc. Game compatibility is virtually perfect. The emulator is tiny and barely takes up space on your device, too. It also supports Sega CD! Although playing Sega CD games is a little tricky. My directions for playing Sega CD games with RetroArch are actually the same for MD.emu. If you refuse to pay for MD.emu, you can try the 100% free multi-system emulator, RetroArch, for Genesis and Sega CD emulation.

ClassicBoy

Play Store

Availability: Free, but*

A good multi-system emulator that supports Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear, and Master System. The only drawback is its size. MD.emu only takes up 5 MB of space while ClassicBoy takes up around 150 MB of space. It is, however, easier to use than RetroArch. Getting Sega CD games to work is the same routine as with every other emulator.
*ClassicBoy and its Sega systems emulation is 100% free. However, it has 'ads' in the sense that it teases you with support for SNES and other systems, which requires purchase to use.

Extras

Size: 264 KB - The Sega CD BIOS files that are required for booting up US, Euro and Japanese games.

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Sega SaturnSaturn

YS's Saturn

Play Store

Availability: Free with ads, Homepage

Yaba Sanshiro's Saturn emulator (also known as uoYabause) is excellent. Game compatibility is really good. I recommend reviewing the compatibility list before trying out games. It's a CPU heavy emulator; it may not run well on slower/older devices. Don't forget to download and configure the BIOS (which is right below). RetroArch supports Saturn emulation as well, but this emulator is the better option.

Extras

Size: 889 KB - Contains 'mpr-17933.bin' (US/UK BIOS) and 'sega_101.bin' (JP BIOS). This is required for all Saturn emulators.

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Sega DreamcastDreamcast

Reicast

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Homepage

The most popular Dreamcast emulator for Android. Graphics are gorgeously rendered in a higher resolution than the real thing. It's updated regularly. One drawback is that it's a CPU heavy emulator, so it may not run well on slower/older devices. Reicast is compatible with most Dreamcast games. I recommend checking its compatibility list before trying out games.

Extras

Size: 2.10 MB - This is required by Reicast. The zip contains the standard BIOS, Flash BIOS, and VMS BIOS.

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Game GearGame Gear/Master System

Multi-system

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There aren't any standalone Game Gear or Master System emulators that I recommend. Not only that, the ones that are available all share a strange bug where a portion of the right side of the screen is cropped off. What I recommend is the free multi-system emulator, RetroArch. It emulates Game Gear and Master System perfectly. ClassicBoy is another good multi-system option that's easier to use than RetroArch.

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Playstation 1PlayStation 1

DuckStation

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Homepage

This is a relatively new & promising PlayStation 1 emulator. Its emulation quality is fantastic, perhaps even better than ePSXe. It requires no setup. Swapping ISOs for multiple-CD games is easy to do. ePSXe, though, still offers more features and has an easier user-interface. I recommend enabling the PGXP corrections to correct texturing and jittery animation. DuckStation is entirely free. This is a great alternative if you refuse to pay for ePSXe. It requires the BIOS (grab it below).

ePSXe

Play Store

Availability: $4 US, Homepage

ePSXe is a top PlayStation 1 emulator for Android. Unlike the free version on Windows, this Android version will cost you $4 US. It supports a wide range of ISO formats. It also makes it easy to swap ISOs for multiple-CD games. If you refuse to pay for ePSXe, you can try DuckStation or the multi-system emulator, RetroArch.
Note: ePSXe requires some setup. (1) You need the BIOS (grab it below), (2) you need to install the OpenGL plugin so that you can enable upscaled 3D graphics, and (3) you need to change sound quality to “Full sound effects” - all of this is shown here.

Extras

Size: 236 KB - ePSXe and DuckStation need this in order to boot games. It's “Scph1001.bin”, the most common BIOS file. In most cases, this is all you need.
*It's a zip file with the extension changed to “_ip”. On Windows, follow these directions for changing it back to “zip”. On Android, it should recognize it as a zip file for you to extract it; here's more info.

Size: 236 KB - This is “scph5501.bin”, the BIOS file required by multi-system emulators such as RetroArch.
*It's a zip file with the extension changed to “_ip”. On Windows, follow these directions for changing it back to “zip”. On Android, it should recognize it as a zip file for you to extract it; here's more info.

Size: 2.67 MB - If for whatever reason you need all the PS1 BIOS files, here they are.
*It's a zip file with the extension changed to “_ip”. On Windows, follow these directions for changing it back to “zip”. On Android, it should recognize it as a zip file for you to extract it; here's more info.

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Playstation 2PlayStation 2

DamonPS2

Play Store

Availability: $9.99 US, Homepage

DamonPS2 Pro is a superb PlayStation 2 emulator. It also supports PSP emulation. Some people report bugs with saving, loading games (black screen), and slowdowns. The slowdowns, though, should be expected given the CPU-heavy nature of running PlayStation 2 on an average smartphone. There's a pretty hefty price tag on this emulator at $9.99. RetroArch doesn't support PS2 emulation, so DramonPS2 is your only worthwhile option.

Extras

Size: 12.7 MB - This is required in order to run games with DamonPS2.
*It's a zip file with the extension changed to “_ip”. On Windows, follow these directions for changing it back to “zip”. On Android, it should recognize it as a zip file for you to extract it; here's more info.

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PSPPSP

PPSSPP

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Size: 30.6 MB, Version: 1.9.4, Homepage

Everyone's favorite PSP emulator on Windows is also on Android! Just keep in mind that this is a CPU heavy emulator. The average smartphone can't handle PSP emulation at peak capacity. Here's a performance guide to help boost performance.
*Don't have access to the Play Store? You can download PPSSPP here.

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ArcadeArcade

RetroArch

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This is a stub to highlight that my top recommendation for arcade emulation is the #1 multi-system emulator, RetroArch. It has the latest core for MAME and multiple cores for older versions of MAME by year. It has a core for FinalBurn Neo (the latest version of FinalBurn) and FinalBurn Alpha. If you've tried arcade emulation before, you know it can be a frustrating experience due to finding out that many of the arcade roms readily available in rom sites don't work on the latest arcade emulators. So making it easy to jump between new & old arcade emulators is an essential feature for the best arcade emulation experience, which RetroArch does well. Otherwise, if you want to keep things simple you can just use MAME4droid below.

MAME4droid

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Homepage

MAME has always been a reliable arcade emulator. The Android port is pretty good. One advantage it offers is a small size. Its size is around 100 GB while multi-system emulators take up around 150-300 MB. The NeoGeo BIOS is needed for playing NeoGeo games. Grab it below.

Extras

Size: 931 KB - Arcade emulators need this in order to play NeoGeo games.

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TurboGrafx16 / Turbo DuoTurboGrafx16

PCE.emu

Play Store

Availability: $3.99 US, Homepage

Part of the great “.emu series” of emulators, here's its TurboGrafx16/PC Engine emulator. It's a good emulator that can play virtually any game. It has an intuitive GUI and the usual assortment of emulator features: save states, cheats, screen filters, etc. Game compatibility is virtually perfect. The emulator is tiny and barely takes up space on your device, too. It also supports CD games! Although playing CD games is a little tricky. My directions for playing CD games with RetroArch are actually the same for PCE.emu. If you refuse to pay for this emulator, you can try the 100% free multi-system emulator, RetroArch, for TurboGrafx16/PC Engine emulation.

ClassicBoy

Play Store

Availability: Free, but*

A good multi-system emulator that supports TurboGrafx16/PC Engine and CD. The only drawback is its size. PCE.emu only takes up 5 MB of space while ClassicBoy takes up around 150 MB of space. It is, however, easier to use than RetroArch. Getting Turbo CD games to work is the same routine as with every other emulator.
*ClassicBoy and its PC Engine emulation is 100% free. However, it has 'ads' in the sense that it teases you with support for SNES and other systems, which requires purchase to use.

Extras

Size: 492 KB - The BIOS files that are required in order to boot CD games.

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Wonderswan and Wonderswan ColorWonderswan & Wonderswan Color

Multi-system

View

Android doesn't have any standalone emulators that I recommend for WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color. Rather, both of these systems are fully supported on the free multi-system emulators, RetroArch and ClassicBoy. They emulate these systems perfectly.

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Multi-systemsMulti-system

RetroArch Plus

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Size: 100 MB, Homepage

This is a mass system emulator with support for pretty much everything: PlayStation 1, N64, Nintendo DS, SNES, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NeoGeo Pocket Color, Virtual Boy, Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD, 32X, Sega Master System, Game Gear, PC Engine/TurboGrafx16 (plus CD support), Wonderswan Color, Atari Lynx, arcade (MAME), and more. It offers lots of features: screen filters (shaders), save states, different screen overlays, cheats, netplay, and more! It's highly customizable! I highly recommend RetroArch.
*RetroArch Plus is for Android 8.0 or higher installed.
*Need help? Check out my RetroArch tutorial.
*Don't have access to the Play Store? RetroArch's website has the APK for download.

RetroArch

Play Store

Availability: 100% Free, Size: 100 MB, Homepage

This version of RetroArch is for devices that don't support RetroArch Plus. In general, this is intended for older devices.
*Need help? Check out my RetroArch tutorial.

ClassicBoy

Play Store

Availability: Free, but*

A good multi-system emulator. It comes with support for PlayStation 1, N64, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES, Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear, Master System, and arcade games. Additionally, it has a plugins section where you can download support for additional systems such as Nintendo DS, Saturn, NeoGeo Pocket Color, Wonderswan Color, and PC Engine/CD. I still recommend RetroArch over ClassicBoy, but I can say ClassicBoy is easier to use and less intimidating than RetroArch.
*ClassicBoy and its base selection of supported systems is 100% free. However, it has 'ads' in the sense that it teases you with support for SNES and other systems, which requires purchase to use.

Extras

Size: 3.45 MB - This is a handy bundle of all the BIOS files required for emulating PlayStation 1, Sega CD/Mega CD, TurboGrafx-CD/PC Engine CD, Sega Saturn, and NeoGeo arcade games.
*It's a zip file with the extension changed to “_ip”. On Windows, follow these directions for changing it back to “zip”. On Android, it should recognize it as a zip file for you to extract it; here's more info.

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