In this article, you will see the top video game emulators that exist for Android. Emulate from Atari SNES, Mega Drive to Playstation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS and many other systems on your smartphone.
Your Android phone is a real emulation machine and I can prove it. Check out all the video game emulators and computers out there for Android smartphones and tablets. Combine that topic with controls, and you've got tons of video games in the palm of your hand.
This post is also ideal for those who have Android Box TV and want to turn it into an emulation machine.
Notice: The list is in chronological order of the systems, so don't go crazy. SNES, PSP and others are listed further down.
Notice 2: Playstation 2, Game Cube, Wii and Nintendo 3DS emulators require at least a current high-end smartphone (2018 or 2019).
Is there a Nintendo Switch emulator for Android? Find out here.
– Arcade (MAME)
Mame is an emulator well known by retrogamers. Capable of emulating old and even current arcade machines, it is generally used by fans of arcades from the 90's. The famous "electronic amusement" bars.
Ideal for emulating fighting games like The King of Fighters, Capcom Games and many others.
On Android, we have the following MAME emulators: MAME4droid, RetroArch, and MAME4droid (0.37b5).
– Atari 2600
Anyone who at least calls himself a gamer must know the first console to become popular worldwide. The Atari 2600, or simply Atari, is the video game your father or grandfather must have played at some point in their lives. But if you're an uncle like me, you must have played him in childhood.
Although the games are focused on "Arcade", some titles can be zeroed, but it will require a lot of patience from the player. Some Atari classics are: Riverraid, Enduro, Adventure, Pitfall, Pac-Man, Keystone Kapers and many others.
On Android we have the following Atari emulators: 2600.emu and RetroArch.
– Commodore 64
The Commodore 64 was not very popular in Spain. But if you study the history of video games, you should know that this is where some classics like The Bards Tale came from.
The family entertainment computer (formerly every video game had that name) was a device that only had an 8-bit processor and 64KB of RAM. At the time, something well above the average for video games.
On Android, the Commodore 64 emulator is Frodo C64, C64.emu and Mobile C64.
– Colecovision e Intellevision
After Atari, the company released the Atari 5200 which was not successful. At the time, it already faced strong competition with Colecovision and Intelevision, two very similar video games. Besides, of course, “family” computers.
Both Colecovision and Intelevision had flamboyant controls. But in the end, the games were very similar to the old Atari, almost identical copies.
Colecovision and Intellevision emulators for Android: ColEm and jzintv4droid2.
– Friendly Computer
Launched in 1985, the family computer was a super-machine with 16 MB of RAM. And it was simply absurd for the time.
The Amiga was able to reproduce impressive graphics, with a variety of spectacular colors – compared to video games of the time. But it's worth remembering that the Amiga cost an absurd $1.295, literally the price of a car.
It was from his friend that the best versions of: Lotus Esprit Challenge (Father of Top Gear), Shadow of the Beast and many others emerged.
On Android, we have several Amiga emulators: Uae4all2, UAE4Droid, Uae4arm and Amiga Forever Essentials.
Announced by Microsoft in 1983, the MSX was a family computer that came to compete with the Commodore and Amiga. To this day he is fondly remembered by many. The reason? This is where games like Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania came from.
The MSX version of Metal Gear Solid was already released for mobile back in the days of Java mobile phones, but that's another story.
The MSX emulators for Android are: fMSX, MSX.emu and MSX2Cas.
– ZX Spectrum
The ZX Spectrum was another one of those computers that could be plugged into a TV (at the time, buying a separate monitor was out of the question). A relatively simple machine. In Spain it became well known, but for business, not games.
The ZX Spectrum emulator for Android is Speccy.
– Nintendo 8Bits
The NES video game that changed the history of the industry was already perfectly emulated in the time of Java cell phones. Today, any Android smartphone from 2010 onwards can load and run the entire Nintendo 8Bits library.
I don't need to mention classics like Super Mario Bross 3, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda and many others. Indispensable games in the memory of any self-respecting retrogamer.
There is no shortage of emulators for the NES on the Play Store, check out some: Nostalgia.NES, Retro8, Panda NES, NES Emulator – 2 players, in addition to RetroArch.
– Master System
Direct competitor to the NES, the SEGA Mark III or simply, the Master System arrived with a sharper color palette and better graphics. Launched in 1985 in Japan, the video game started one of the fiercest duels in the gaming industry. A fight so hot that it makes the Microsoft vs Sony feud look like a playground mess.
The Master System has legendary games like “Summer Games”, Alex Kid, Fantasy Star, Out Run and many others.
One of the best Master System emulators for Android is RetroArch, which can emulate many other systems. When downloading RetroArch, be aware that there are two versions: one for cell phones with a 32bit processor and another for 64bit.
– Mega Drive (Genesis)
In the sequence, still trying to beat the rival, SEGA launches the Genesis (Mega Drive in Spain). The 16-Bits video game was much more powerful than the Nintendo 8Bits.
This was the console I had the most pleasure to play at the time (the second was the SNES). Classics like Street of Rage, Sonic 2, Beyond Oasis and others are available for free in the SEGA Forever initiative, but if you want to play other games from that era, we recommend the following emulators: RetroArch, Retro GEN – MD Emulator, MegaGen and MD.emu .
– Super Nintendo (SNES)
Finally, the first big reason for nostalgia for many people. The Super Nintendo was one of the most popular video game consoles in Spain. He popularized the famous “time rentals”, where you paid to play for minutes or hours.
The SNES was also the most desired Christmas present back in the early 90s. Classics that are still unsurpassed today, such as: Super Mario World, Metroid, Mega Man X and many others, live in the hearts of the most passionate gamers.
There is no shortage of Super Nintendo emulators on the Playstore: Snes9x EX+, SuperRetro16, SNNES, the list is immense.
PC Scumm and DOS games
Before we jump into the 32bit and 64bit generation, let's take a moment to look at other games that were very popular in the early to mid-90s, computer games.
At that time, many important games were released. With RetroArch you can enjoy many of these games. The emulator has Cores for DOS games and the popular Scumm platform. For those who don't know, Scumm was a scripting language that LucasArts produced many adventure games with.
Among Scumm classics we have: The Curse of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and many others.
DOS classics that run on RetroArch: Red Alert, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, Dune 2, Prince of Persia, Fallout 1 and many others.
If you don't want to download RetroArch because you find it complicated, you can download the ScummVM emulator.
– Playstation 1
Fruit of a disagreement between Sony and Nintendo, the first Playstation is one of those atomic bombs that arrive to change the market.
Nintendo had plans to launch a console with CD in partnership with Sony, but internal differences made it abandon the project, and Sony set out to debut a video game that would revolutionize the market and kill many other consoles along the way.
Thanks to the capacity of CDs, the PS1 could store 700 MB of data against 32 MB which was the maximum for cartridges at the time.
Clássicos do Playstation: Tekken, Crash the Bandicoot, Winning Eleven (PES), Mega Man X4, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Legacy of Kain, Resident Evil, Silent Hill… Ufa, a lista é imensa.
Emulators for Playstation on Android abound. The best are: FPSE, and PSXe.
– Nintendo 64
One of the consoles that has aged well over the years has been the Nintendo 64. The reason for this is its select list of games, but which contains absolute classics. All run perfectly on Android phone.
Games like Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, TLoZ Majora's Mask, Mario Kart 64 and many others. Excellent games to beat on mobile.
Damn it! It's such a good game that no one knows where to start. And to top it off, there are plenty of options for Nintendo 64 emulators for Android: Mupen64Plus FZ, MegaN64, Mupen64+AE FREE and many others.
– SEGA Saturn
When the Playstation 1 was launched, SEGA had very well-structured plans to fight the rival. The Saturn was well planned, but it was a console more focused on 2D games than 3D graphics. In addition, piracy helped to popularize the PSOne much more.
Saturn left us with many unsurpassed classics like Panzer Dragon, Virtua Cop, Virtua Fighter, Nights and a collection of nostalgic RPGs like Lunar. The Saturn version of Castlevania Symphony of the Night is worth checking out as it contains some unique areas.
The best emulators for saturn are: Yaba Sanshiro (fans will understand) and RetroArch.
The Dreamcast is the lost dream that came late to the console wars. When SEGA's powerful video game arrived, Playstation 2 and Xbox were already knocking on the door. Still, it's an unforgettable video game for anyone who's ever had it.
Now console emulation on Android starts to get serious. Until the Saturn, any smartphone from 2013 onwards emulated video games with a “hand on the back”. But from the Dreamcast onwards, only if you have an intermediate or top of the line.
Reicast is the top Dreamcast emulator for Android. It will still run all games on some mid-range phones, but older models will already start to suffer from battery consumption, which ends up being uninteresting.
But if you have a device from 2016 onwards, you will be able to emulate the Dreamcast without too many problems.
Among the best Dreamcast games are: Sonic Adventure, Resident Evil Code Veronica, Shenmue, Power Stone, SoulCalibur and many others.
– Game Cube e Wii
What less than 3 years ago would have been a completely crazy dream, today is already a reality for anyone who has a top-of-the-line smartphone. It is now possible to emulate the Game Cube and Nintendo Wii on devices with a 64bit processor and Vulkan support.
Android smartphones like Galaxy S7 onwards already emulate many Game Cube games. But with the arrival of the Snapdragon 845, the game went to another level. The Galaxy S9, for example, already emulates all Cube games in 1080p at 60fps.
The best Game Cube emulator is Dolphin and it can also emulate some Nintendo Wii games.
Known Game Cube games: Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart Double Dash, Resident Evil 4, Mario Masion, F-Zero GX (absurd racing game) and many others.
For the Wii I recommend checking out: Donkey Kong Country Returns, Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Xenoblade Chronicles and many others.
– Playstation 2
It's my friends, the evolution – or rather, revolution – of mobile processors doesn't stop. It is now possible to emulate Playstation 2 on a cell phone and play games like God of War I and II.
DamonPS2 arrived in 2018 with a bang. It caused a lot of confusion, it was removed, it comes back, it's paid, it's free, but it's there on Google Play for anyone to download.
Right away, I'll warn you that if you have an intermediate smartphone you can forget about it. The Playstation 2 emulation on Android, for now, is intended for very powerful devices.
Even the Snapdragon 845 struggles to emulate some games (not all are compatible). But as new processors come out, we'll see PS2 emulation become more and more common.
The best (and only) Playstation 2 emulator is DamonPS2 which has two versions, one free and one paid.
Game Boy e Game Boy Advance
The reason we're here, having this conversation via text, is because of the Game Boy. Were it not for Nintendo to infect the world with a “virus” called a handheld console, no one would have thought of adding games to cell phones.
A lot of people think the Game Boy is more recent, like 1998, but in reality the Big N handheld console was released in Japan in 1989!!! But he became popular in Spain, after the Pokémon fever.
Around here, the Game Boy Color with Pokémon Red was the ideal package to carry in your pocket and play for hours.
In 2001, Nintendo would keep the flame burning with the Game Boy Advance. A 32-bit handheld console that wasn't very good at 3D gaming, but many companies committed to keeping the console satiated with amazing games.
Nowadays, Game Boy Color and Advance emulation is easy to perform on Android. Any cell phone becomes a GBC or GBA. The simplicity of the controls dispenses with even an external control.
Recommended GBC Games: Pokémon, Super Mario Land, The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages, Wario Land, Shantae and many others.
GBA games you need to know: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Metroid Fusion, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Castlevania Aria of Sorrow, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island and many others.
Emuladores: My Boy! e My Old Boy!
– Sony PSP
One of the most accessed posts on the site has always been PPSSPP games. Sony's portable emulation has been a reality for quite some time now. It looked like witchcraft in the old days, but today, everyone thinks it's normal.
Since 2016, emulating PSP games is a common task. And in 2019, this is a barrier already overcome by most smartphones. Not all games will run smoothly 100% of the time, but the main ones can be played on mobile without any problems.
The best PSP emulator remains PPSSPP which is free and on Google Play.
Must-see PSP games: God of War: Chains of Olympus, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Dragon Ball Z – Shin Budokai and many others.
The LIGHTEST (and Compatible) Games for PPSSPP on Android
Naruto, God of War and More: PSP Games to Play on Android (PPSSPP) #1
List of compatible games for PPSSPP (PSP Emulator for Android)
- Nintendo DS
Another handheld console that helped to sink the N-Gage in 2005 was the Nintendo DS. But the payback came with the simple and easy Nintendo DS emulation. Even easier than the PSP, the DS can be easily emulated by any Android smartphone from 2016 onwards.
Dastric is the best Nintendo DS emulator for Android. It has a layout that makes it easy to play. The best of them, in my opinion, is that it unites the two screens, to play with the smartphone “standing”. Another very good emulator is Retro NDS.
25 Best Games for DraStic (Nintendo DS Emulator)
– Nintendo 3DS
The icing on the cake for those who imagine that portable emulation would stop on the PSP. Citra, the best Nintendo 3DS emulator for PC is now available on Google Play.
3DS emulation, as well as Playstation 2 emulation is at an early stage. Not every game runs. But if you have a current top-of-the-line smartphone, you can already test some games.
The best Nintendo 3DS emulator for Android is Citra.
This is the emulator that I carry on my cell phone to run some games that I can no longer buy. J2ME Loader allows you to run .Jar games without the need for any additional hacks.
And that was our list of currently available emulators on Android. I know the post got a little long, but calm down, I'll expand it even more as new emulators appear on Google Play.