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Game Emulators

Old dedicated video game platforms from childhood can often be disproportionately expensive for what is oftentimes just a desire for a nostalgic escape from the moment. That’s where emulation comes into play. From multi-system emulation systems such as RetroArch to specialized and high performance emulators such as higan, there are many modern methods to play the games of your childhood without having to break the bank in order to get old hardware.

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux
    • Raspberry Pi
    More
    RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite classic games with the minimum set-up.
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Cubieboard
    • HummingBoard
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Nintendo Switch
    • Odroid
    More
    Lakka is the official Linux distribution of RetroArch and the libretro ecosystem. Each game system is implemented as a libretro core, while the frontend RetroArch takes care of inputs and display.


    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    More
    mGBA is an open source emulator of the Game Boy Advance. The goals are speed and accuracy.
  1. CoolROM is a database and download site for emulators and ROMs of classic videogame systems such as Nintendo 64, SNES, Game Boy and more.

    Warning

    The "Download Now" button downloads an application installer (CoolROM Downloader) that can contain harmful pieces of software. Use the "Alternative Download Link" to download the rom directly. Virustotal results - Windows: https://www.virustotal.com/#/file/8680cb03307d5d4f0910690c07edc8251df43183a3bf7cbfb81353c34e16357d Mac: https://www.virustotal.com/#/file/7f5cde211c7374fbd70d32d1b58a7fa9867cc537eacde62fa83c9ed4606c2b01

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    More
    higan was formerly known as bsnes. The project was renamed after becoming a multi-system emulator.
    No screenshots yet
    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    More
    Kega Fusion is an emulator for the Sega Genesis / Megadrive, Master System, Game Gear, 32x, SegaCD/MegaCD, SVP, Pico, SG-1000, SC-3000, and SF-7000 emulator for Win9x/ME/2000/XP/Vista/Win7, Mac OSX (Intel), and Linux.

    Discontinued

    The program is no longer updated. Last version, 3.64, released on March 7, 2010, can be still downloaded from the official website.

  2. Mednafen is a portable, utilizing OpenGL and SDL, argument(command-line)-driven multi-system emulator with many advanced features.
  3. PCSX-Reloaded is a PlayStation Emulator based on PCSX-df 1.9, with support for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X as well as many bugfixes and improvements.
  4. Mesen is a NES/Famicom emulator and NSF player. It is still a work in progress and under active development.
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    More
    Nestopia is a NES emulator that was written in C++ and it is perfect for games requiring precise timing since it is very cycle-accurate. With support for an incredible amount of mappers.

    Discontinued

    The project is no longer developed. Last version, 1.40, released in June 2008, can be still downloaded from the official website.

  5. VisualBoyAdvance (commonly abbreviated as VBA) is a free emulator of the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance handheld game consoles as well as of Super Game Boy and Super Game Boy 2.
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    More
    Mupen64Plus is a plugin-based N64 emulator for Linux which is capable of accurately playing many games.
  6. Experimental software to emulate Wii U applications on PC.
  7. FCEUX is a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Famicom, and Famicom Disk System (FDS) emulator. It supports both PAL (European) and NTSC (USA/JPN) modes. It supports both Windows and SDL versions for cross compatibility.
    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    More
    An experimental open-source Nintendo 3DS emulator/debugger written in C++. At this time, it only emulates a very small subset of 3DS hardware, and therefore is only useful for booting/debugging very simple homebrew demos. Citra is licensed under the GPLv2. Refer to the license.