Those who are nostalgic for video games, lovers of the classics and retro titles, will surely miss more than one game that they played decades ago on consoles. Other younger people, surely they are also attracted by these video games that never go out of style. Be that as it may, you should know some of the best retro roms that you can get for your Android device.
PlayStation 1 emulators, Mega Drive, Nintendo Game Boy, Cube, Atari, and much more. authentic technology history icons that revolutionized the market at the time and that now you can revive thanks to these apps.
What is an Android emulator?
The Emulators are a type of software that allows you to run programs or video games from a different platform to the one being used. In this case, it would allow running retro games from consoles that have a different hardware architecture and operating system other than x86 or ARM, and Android. They cannot be confused with compatibility layers and virtualization, as there are differences.
The emulation app will try to reproduce the behavior of a different machine to “trick” programs into running as if they were on the platform they are native to. For example, you could run the mythical Pong for Atari machines on your Android mobile.
Thanks to these emulators it has been possible recover and revive a multitude of classic or retro video games for those who no longer manufacture machines. All thanks to the modules or parts that these emulators are made of. Like the module to emulate the original machine’s CPU, the memory subsystem, for I/O devices and peripherals, or the operating system itself.
On the other hand, they also have a system where they can dynamically recompile (JIT) the programs or games, so that they are “understandable” by the device and host system where they want to be executed.
What are retro roms?
These emulators would be nothing without their ROMs. A ROM is an image or file with the program or video game. These packages used to be distributed as cartridges, floppy disks, magnetic tapes, or on more modern consoles and machines as memory cards or as optical discs. That is, it is the video game itself that has to be installed or loaded into memory to play.
Obviously, the Google Play emulators they cannot contain retro roms as that would be illegal. These ROMs with the games are protected by intellectual property, and it is considered piracy. However, there are many websites where you can download them for free and illegally, and where you can find almost all the classic games you can imagine. But from AndroidAyuda we do not encourage this type of practices, and if they do, you will do them at your own risk.
In short, once you have the emulator installed on Android, you should download the ROM(s) of the games to which you want to play, so you can run it in the emulator to start the fun.
The best multi-system emulators for retro roms on Android
RetroArch is free and without ads. It is an open source emulator compatible with many consoles and retro machines. This application allows you to add other “cores”, each of which allows you to add support for a new platform. Thanks to this versatility, it is one of the best, since you will have all the emulators in one.
among some supported consoles by RetroArch are the Atari 2600, NES, Sega Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, SNES, PlayStation 1, PS2, and PSP, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo DS, and Wii, among others. So this means thousands and thousands of compatible retro roms.
This other emulator can also be considered multiplatform, since it is capable of offering support for retro roms from consoles such as the NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Saturn, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, and many others. It also has some very cool features like touchscreen support, bluetooth game controllersand allows you to save games.
You can find two different versions in Google Play, one is normal, and free, and another is Gold, which is more complete by unlocking all functions and without ads.
Nintendo console emulators
This is another of the emulators for Android that you can find for free. Allows you to run many classic console titles such as Nintendo DS, SNES, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color and NES. With all the classic features, possibilities to save states and load them to resume the game, fast-forward function, compatible with external controls, etc.
It has great performance, and it works quite well even with devices that do not have many hardware resources. It does not have integrated purchases, but it does have advertisements in order to bring benefits to the developer.
Dolphin is another of the emulators that are dedicated to the Nintendo world. It’s also free on Google Play, but it’s likely that when it’s out of Beta development it won’t be free anymore. For now you can try it with your favorite retro roms for GameCube and Wii.
Although still in an early stage of development, works pretty well overalland it is one of the few emulators that work really well for these platforms on Android.
This app called Citra Emulator allows users to use retro video game roms for the Nintendo 3DS. It has everything you could expect from such an emulator, with compatibility with external controllers, the ability to save and load games, support for the microphone, camera, motion controls, etc.
Almost all 3DS titles It works like a charm, and it has a great quality compared to other alternatives that leave much to be desired. Of course, you won’t have to pay a penny, since it’s free, although it does have in-app purchases.
DraStic DS Emulator
DraStic DS Emulator, as its name suggests, is an emulator for Nintendo DS video games. It has save and load functions, virtual controls, ability to use top and bottom screens emulated on your Android device, 100% compatible with most ROMs, and is very stable.
It is compatible with game controllers. Also, you should know that there is a more limited version that is free to try, and another paid version for €4.49.
My Boy is another of the great emulators for Android. With the you can dust off your old retro ROMs for Nintendo Advance. Supports save and load games, fast-forward mode, supports cheat codes for video games, support for GDrive save sync, etc.
As for the price, it has a completely free version with ads, and the possibility of becoming a premium and pay to remove ads. On the other hand, you also have at your disposal a version from the same developer called My OldBoy, which is compatible with Game Boy Color titles and has the same functions as My Boy. In fact, it also has a free version with ads and a paid version without ads.
M64Plus FZ Emulator
This other emulator for Android is paid. M64Plus FZ is designed for emulate the Nintendo 64 platform. There are not usually too many emulators for this console that are really good, but this is one of the ones that offers the best results. Compatible with a huge number of N64 video games.
Is based on the Mupen open source projectand it has a free version with ads and another paid version for €3.89 that frees you from those annoying ads.
Emulators for PlayStation on Android
PPSSPP is another of the best emulators that you will find for PlayStation Portable or PSP. It is very stable, it can run a large number of retro ROMs without any problem, and its developer has provided it with a good repertoire of functions to save games, load states, etc.
On the other hand, you should know that there is both a free version of PPSSPP and a paid version called Gold and that you can obtain for €4.69.
If you like them Sony’s original PlayStation video games, this emulator will allow you to play all those classics again. FPse also has the ability to adjust the FPS of the game, increase or decrease the graphic quality for devices with limited resources, it is compatible with Bluetooth game controllers, etc.
On the other hand, in exchange for offering such a well-cared-for platform that offers such good experience, FPse does not have a free version. You will have to pay €3.39.
For €2.99 you can also download this emulator from Google Play with which you can enjoy endless retro ROMs for PlayStation Classic, and PlayStation One. Compatible for 2 players together with a single smartphone, although you will need external game controllers.
Best emulators for SEGA for their retro roms
The next emulator on the list is Redream, to be able to use Retro ROMs for the Dreamcast for free. It is quite “polished”, with excellent compatibility with almost all video games, few can really resist it. It is certainly one of the best for this platform.
This app is designed for high-end devices, since needs good hardware performance to work fluidly. If you don’t have a powerful mobile, better use Reicast.
It is the lightweight alternative to Redream. This Google Play emulator can also be installed for free, and allows you to run native Dreamcast titles. Instead, it works on mid-range and low-end smartphones No problem, since you only need a 2-core CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and a more modest GPU.
It can download completely freeand you will not find integrated purchases within the app, nor ads, for which it is appreciated.
Nostalgia Emulator is another of the best emulators on Google Play, with the ability to save and load games, fast forward, and other settings. Is compatible with BT controlsand it has a free version with ads and a paid version without ads (Pro for €1.39).
As you can imagine from the acronym GG, this emulator is compatible with the retro ROMs of the Sega Game Gear, another of the historical consoles of this company.
Sites to download retro roms
Finally, under your own responsibility, you can visit these websites where you can download thousands of retro roms for your Android emulators:
Not all ROMs are illegal, some sites allow you to pay for them, others are free, but have been released by their own developers, or are open-source clones, or have already expired registrations.