So, you're looking around the wiki, find some good games to play for the older consoles, but you don't actually have it. And you're not willing to buy a new console just to play it, or as a result of time passing, dem bricks have jacked up their price tags on eBay beyond your budget. So what do you do? Use the emulator. This page has the best emulators for each console, along with it's features. Note: Emulators aren't perfect. Depending on the game, you might get some minor glitches. None of these should be game-breaking though. Also, there are very few emulators for this generation, with the exceptions of the Wii and original DS. PSP and Xbox emulation is also very rough. And PS3 emulation is in bare infancy.
- Admin note: There's nothing wrong with linking to pages, so long as you don't claim direct ownership and responsibility. That said, don't link to ROMs or any .exe direct-install links. (This note is just to cover the site's collective ass, and I apologize for the need of it.) - Derpiko
|150px||DeSmuME||DS||Great||Windows, OS X, Linux||Though it started out slow as shit compared to No$GBA, constant open-source development has pushed this emulator beyond No$ when it comes to performance. Starting from version 0.9.8, even a busted old Core 2 Duo brick can run most DS games at stable speed. Other than some tough nuts like Golden Sun Dark Dawn, it's compatible with the majority of NDS library, highly customizable and much more feature-rich than No$ (savestates, frame recording, magnification filters, microphone emulation,...).|
|150px||Dolphin||Wii and Gamecube||Good||Windows, OS X||Notable for being the only emulator out there to play Wii games, which is a godsend for pirates. Aside from that, it's a very great emulator, and is updated often. Includes support for the Wiimote, so you don't have to use the mouse for it (you're on your own for a sensor bar though), and allows you to output to even 3D 1080p.|
|150px||DOSBox||DOS||Let's Get Dangerous.jpg||All computer OSes, numerous forks for consoles||Probably the most famous emulator, DOSBox emulates the old IBM PCs of the '80s and early '90s. Plays everything from Duke Nukem to The Oregon Trail. Although made for playing games, it's built around FreeDOS, a DOS clone, so other programs are supported. You can even install Windows! HUGE WARNING: This is a complex, dangerous emulator with a fair amount of bugs. Read the instructions, check compatability, and please, do NOT set your drive to C:\. This does have a chance of fucking up your computer if you're not careful. It's not totally sandboxed, and can do many things the Command Prompt can. BE WARNED.|
|150px||PPSSPP||PlayStation Portable||Mediocre||Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Meego||Much faster alternative to the above. The main draw is its speed and portability, runs faster with less requirements than JPCSP and there are builds for iOS and Android devices. Latest builds has solid support for a/v now. You only need a custom at3+ decoder renamed into "at3plusdecoder.dll" while waiting for the official implementation. Compatibility List. Official builds.|
|150px||SNES9X||Super Nintendo Entertainment System||Great||Windows, OS X, Linux, PSP, Android||Another excellent SNES emulator. No visual eye-cancer like ZSNES, but you will get more accurate sound with this one, and it plays games even better. There are ports for tons of systems, both official and unofficial, including a GP2X version you can play with an OpenPandora.|
|150px||bsnes||Super Nintendo Entertainment System||Excellent||Windows, OS X, Linux||The most accurate SNES emulator out there, bsnes, while a pain in the ass sometimes, is probably also the best one. It's takes much higher system requirements than the others, but can play just about, if not all games perfectly. If your computer can handle it, this is probably your best choice. Note: The developer only provides a Windows version, so if you're on OS X or Linux, use RetroArch with the bsnes core. Now part of the super |
|150px||ZSNES||Super Nintendo Entertainment System||Poor||Windows, OS X, Linux||Speedhack SNES emulator, has a horrid layout and background, |
|150px||SSF||Sega Saturn||Good||Windows||Shockingly compatible Saturn emulator, even though it's still a beta. It took quite some time due to the Saturn's terribly complex setup of processors, but now you can play some (if not most) of your favorite Saturn games on your computer. It doesn't run disc images natively, so you have to either play the originals or burned discs, or mount the images with something like DaemonTools. You'll need a reasonably strong computer to run games at full speed, and you may also want to use the Saturn BIOS to make the system settings easier to manage, and improve compatibility.|
|150px||Visual Boy Advance-M||Game Boy Advance||Great||Windows, OS X, Linux, BeOS, Wii and more||One of the best Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance emulators out there. It does pretty much everything a GBA can do, with the possible exceptions of the motion controls for WarioWare Twisted and Kirby Tilt 'n Tumble, and force feedback with the cartridges that had Rumble Paks. Some extra features included over the original VBA: compatibility with Shantae and GameCube linking feature via Dolphin (requires a GBA rom file).|
|Gambatte||Game Boy/Game Boy Color||Excellent||Windows, OS X, Linux||This is hands down the most accurate Game Boy and Game Boy Color out there thanks to years worth of extensive hardware tests. It has the essentials that come with every modern emulator such as save states but it doesn't support game linking, as if that matters. Go get it.|
|150px||Kega Fusion||Sega Genesis/MegaDrive, Sega 32X, Sega CD, CD32X, Pico, Master System, Game Gear||Great||Windows, OS X, Linux||
SSSSEEEEEEEEGAAAAAAAA!! If it has SEGA on it's name and it has been created before 1996 this emu WILL play it. Compatible with pretty much anything ever released for all the consoles listed.
Supports netplay for bro times in games like Sunset Riders.
|150px||NullDC||Sega Dreamcast||Good||Windows||A good DC emulator that plays a lot of DC games, but has some bad effects on them. Some like Street Fighter III Double Impact just goes dead flat after the select screen. But even at that, when you burnedthe game onto a CD-R, it may run perfectly on your Dreamcast, so if you don't know what games work/wonk out on here and use this as a emulator tester, just use those errors as signs the ROM is good and works well on any other Emulator such as Chankast. Not the best DC emulator, but a good one if any, and it runs the games stabily.|
|150px||Chankast||Sega Dreamcast||Okay||Windows||Another DC emulator. This one hasn't been updated in ages and has lesser compatibilty than NullDC, but may be better for some fringe cases.|
|150px||Nestopia||Nintendo Entertainment System||Excellent||Windows, OS X||
Excellent emulator, compatible with everything - from your traditional NES titles to Famicom ones, and even the Famicom Disk System games. Miss Duck Hunt? Nestopia has a mouse function to replace the zapper. Supports netplay, 4 players, and even an audio "console" to change the volume of every channel separately. Hasn't been updated for five years but it is still one of the best.
The original Nestopia hasn't been updated since 2008, so someone else has taken up the mantle and forked Nestopia to fix bugs and add features. You can get Nestopia UE (Undead Edition) here.
Nintendo Entertainment System
|Excellent||Windows, OS X, Linux||
A combination of all of the forks of FCE Ultra plus itself into one package. Basically compatible with all NES and Famicom disk games and comes with a shitton of tools such as Lua scripting, network play, and re-recording.
|150px||Project64k||Nintendo 64||Decent||Windows||Runs off the same code as Project64, and also implemented a Kallera server for online netplay. Not much more to say other than it gets the job done, and is great for playing Super Smash Bros online with your Bros. Check that shit.|
|150px||Mupen64+||Nintendo 64||Good||Windows, OS X, Linux, Android||The best all around N64 emulator; it has high compatibilty, can look great, and runs fast. The drawback? No GUI, it's command-line only and all setting changes are done through notepad/notepad++. There is a RetroArch version in the works.|
|150px||Xebra||Playstation||Excellent||Windows||A Playstation emulator by a Japanese author that boasts almost perfect compatibility. Like pSX, it is a no-frills emulator that plays games exactly as a real PlayStation would and nothing more. The user interface can be a bit of a pain sometimes, though (Pre-configured version).|
|150px||PCSX-Reloaded||Playstation||Great||Windows, Linux||A fork of the old PCSX emulator, this version is constantly being updated by its developers to this day. Like ePSXe, it uses the plugin system for the graphics, sound, and disc drive, however, it also lets you use the excellent PCSX2 controller plugins. Compatibility surpasses ePSXe. Be sure to get the latest SVN from emuCR, as the current stable build is quite old. And while you're on EmuCR, grab the shader pack, also. They are intended to be used with Pete's OpenGL2 plugin. With the right combination, the emulated game can look nearly like an early 6th-gen game.|
|150px||RetroArch||Multi-system||Varies||Windows, Linux, OS X, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Android, and more||A multi-system emulator frontend for open source emulator libraries in format called "libretro". Allows you to play NES, SNES, GB/GBC, GBA, Arcade, Atari 2600, PC-Engine/TurboGrafx16, Playstation, and more, using the same settings and interface. It also has extensive support for pixel shaders in both .cg and bSNES XML format, which are similar to the filters in other emulators except they run on the GPU instead of the CPU and allows you to do more complex effects without slowing down the emulator (such as this shader that simulates a CRT TV screen). A guide to using RetroArch can be found here and here, and shader files can be found here. PC-Engine CD and Playstation require BIOS files to be placed in "system" directory you define in Settings>General, using the file names "syscard3.pce" and "scph5501.bin" respectively.|
|150px||NesterJ||Nintendo Entertainment System||Excellent||A very good NES emulator made basically for PSP. Has neat features like the slow down/speed up buttons (A.K.A. L and R) as well as screenshots and savestates.|
|Snes9x Euphoria R5 Beta3 NoME 0.2||Super Nintendo Entertainment System||Decent||SNES emulation isn't that great on PSP unfortunately, but this is the fastest and most compatible one out there.|
|Daedalus 64||Nintendo 64||Poor||The best N64 emulator for PSP. There's a big problem though: it's a N64 emulator for PSP. Check here for the few games that do work.|
|150px||Master Boy||Game Boy/Color||Excellent||Plays your GB/GBC games in a perfect quality as well as like Nester J, has savestates as well as a turbo button. But this one is a different button combo. So now you can beat Poke'mon in 2 hours!|
|GbSP Kai||Game Boy Advanced||Excellent||A good GBA emulator that pretty much is the one and only for PSP. has good features and supports most games.|