The Best Emulators (Game AND Computer Emulators)

edited May 2020 in Video Games
Seeing that nobody's really posted anything about emulation yet, I'd like to start it off by asking about everyone's favorite emulators. Program name, console/computer system emulated and the OS the emulator runs on.

I'll start with my own emulators.

Nestopia 1.40 for the NES, runs on WinXP or newer.
Nesticle x.xx for the NES, runs on DOS
ZMZ 1.08 for the SNES, runs on WinXP or newer.
ePSXe 1.8.0 for PlayStation, supposed to run on Win9x or newer, but anything older than XP usually fails for me.
DOSBox and Virtual PC 2007 for MS-DOS, also WinXP and up.

Okay, now it's you guy's turn.
Thanks in advance,


  • When I used to do emulation gaming years ago, I used the following:
    • FCEUltra - The NES emulator I used most often, and one of the best I had used.
    • VirtuaNES - Another NES emulator, but this seemed better for the following reasons: the ability to quick save/load during gameplay and, has support for unusual mappers each time it is updated, mostly for these weird bootleg games floating about. I think I can recall a Chinese version of this too.
    • VisualBoyAdvance - Pretty much everyone uses for all Gameboy systems, and was the second most-used of all
    • Kega Fusion - Good support for all of Sega's systems, from the MegaDrive/Genesis to the Master System. It is one emulator I would highly recommend.
    • Snes9X - It might not be the best of all SNES emulators but, I felt more comfortable with it. People said that ZSNES was better but, I had a hard time trying to even load a ROM with it.
    • Stellar - An Atari 2600 emulator which works smoothly but is entirely minimal (as in, no menu bar at the top). I remember having to press a certain key just to go back to the ROM loading window.
  • Mini vMac: An early 68k macintosh emulator, runs on multiple platforms.
    SheepShaver: A PowerPC-based macintosh emulator, capable of running Mac OS 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9.0.4, runs on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux.
    QEMU: An emulator capable of running computers with different architectures, runs on multiple platforms. Also recently it can boot Mac OS 9.0.4 (G4 Cube Install CD only), 9.1, 9.2.2, Mac OS X Developer Previews 3 and 4, and Mac OS X Public Beta.
    VirtualBox: An i386/x86_64 virtualizer, runs on Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux, and Solaris.
  • The emulators I use the most:
    TRS32: A TRS-80 emulator by Matthew Reed for M1, M3, and M4
    ScummVM: Run many old classic PC Dos Games, especially LucasArts and Sierra
    Dosbox: For old Dos games
    PCE Emulator: For most old PC software
    PCem 11.0: For any old PC software with original Bios
    Stella: Atari video game emulator
    Fusion: Sega video game emulator
  • I know some of these have been mentioned here before, But I'll go ahead and list the emulators I mainly use here.

    Console Emulators:
    - Fusion: A Sega Genesis emulator that works great on older computers with Windows 9x.
    - PCSX-Reloaded: A great Sony Playstation 1 Emulator for modern Windows and Mac OS X systems.
    - Project 64 1.6: Pretty dated, But works nicely for emulating Nintendo 64 games on Windows.
    - VisualBoyAdvance: The best one for all GameBoy generations from Classic/Color to Advance, Runs on Windows.

    Computer Emulators/Hypervisors:
    - Microsoft Virtual PC (Mac): Interesting choice for running Windows versions up to XP on PowerPC Macs, I use 6.0.4 on OS 9 and plan on trying 7.1 on one of my OS X 10.4 machines.
    - Microsoft Virtual PC 2004-7 (Windows): Used for testing older Windows versions and software on the fly, Only works on Windows 2000-7.
    - PCem 11 and 86box: A fairly interesting choice since it uses genuine BIOS for systems ranging from 8086 to Pentium, Which makes it great for running old software from those eras, I use it on modern Windows systems where Virtual PC is out of the question.
    - VMware Fusion: Used for running Windows on Intel Macs.
  • Ninty Shit:
    NES: Jnes
    SNES: ZSNES (although with its mediocre Windows 10 support I have went to Snes9x recently)
    N64: Project64 (2.1, Core 1.4 for Netplay)
    GC/Wii: Dolphin, because nothing else exists or is relevant.

    Sega Shit:
    Fusion. Yeah pretty much that. Actually I use Satourne for Saturn shit too.

    Other things:
    I don't really know. I'm mostly a Nintendo fanboy so I'm not really into the other things. I have ePSXe laying around but never use it.
  • Nestopia for NES, Snes9x for SNES, DeSmuME for DS, Dolphin for GameCube and Wii (though I don't really use it anymore), VisualBoyAdvance-M for GB and GBA, ePSXe for PS1 and PPSSPP for PSP.

    There's a few other emulators I use or used at some point, but they aren't really relevant. For computer stuff I only use VMWare Workstation Pro, used to use Parallels on Mac, and I very rarely use DOSBox for virtualization, I don't think I ever emulated an OS aside from something like Macintosh OS on Mini vMac, though that was mostly experimental.
  • garirry wrote:
    There's a few other emulators I use or used at some point, but they aren't really relevant.
    This is a thread for emulation in general. There are no irrelevant emulators. Which ones did you leave out?
  • BigCJ wrote:
    This is a thread for emulation in general. There are no irrelevant emulators. Which ones did you leave out?
    I believe I have Oswan installed for like one Wonder Swan game, I also have tried Hourglass to emulate PC games in order to try TAS, but it didn't go so well. I also used SixtyForce for N64 on Mac, but I don't recall having used an N64 emulator on Windows in a long, long time. There's been another GBC emulator I forgot the name of I used on Mac, and I think that's all I can remember.
  • BGB - much better for original Gameboy games than VisualBoy Advance.

    UAE - highly refined Amiga emulator with an insane amount of configuration options.

    Steem Engine and Hatari - superb Atari ST emulators (use Steem if on Windows, Hatari if on Linux)

    Kega Fusion - the most accurate emulator I've ever seen. The Mega Drive emulation is almost indistinguishable from the real hardware. Also emulates SG-1000, Master System, Game Gear, Mega CD and 32x.

    ZX32 - my favourite Spectrum emulator and the one emulator I haven't been able to find or suitably replace on Linux.

    Vice - emulates Commodore VIC-20, C64, C128, CBM II, Plus/4 and the PET. Fairly steep learning curve if you're not that familiar with Commodore computers and you'll have to compile from source if you're on Linux but well worth the effort.
  • Bizhawk for all of the console emulators, (or, most of them) I would say. That's what I use and it works great. A lot of customization options and pretty much everything.
  • SEGA MS/MD:Fusion, but i rarely use it due to owning a MegaDrive, but i can't afford some of my favorite games.
    GB:I don't (normally) use emulators for this , i have a GB classic an Advance SP.BUT i did an experiment with windows XP running a windows 98 emulator, emulating DOS emulating a GBA, playing Phantasy Star collection (The GBA emulates this via a SegaMS/MD emulator runtime)
    PC:My 16-bit MS-DOS subsystem, or DOSBOX (loaded w/ real dos for better compatiblity!) or if the suker plain refuses, i use laptop (has DOS on 17 gig partition, it was MESSY and used tons of CDs to install, i'm NEVER doing it again.) to run it.

    EDIT: well my brother deleted my dos partition so dammit all
  • Bizhawk it has a hex editor :D
  • PC OSes: VirtualBox
    Old OSes: PCem (running in Wine, I have a Mac) or DOSBox
    Android: Android Studio emulator
    C64: VICE
    GameBoy: GBA4iOS / TI-Boy (TI-84 graphing calculator)
    iOS: iOS Simulator / Xcode
  • I find retroarch amazing for emulating everything except computers. Runs on pretty much anything relatively new.

  • I hope that the thread is not dead, because here i come!

    For emulating windows 95 and 98, I use VMware Workstation 12.
    For other PC systems, I use Virtualbox.
    For DOS games and Windows 3.x games, I use DOSBox and DOSBox ECE (Enhanced Community Edition) just in case certain games don't work properly.
    For the Commodore 8-bit machines, I use VICE.
    For the 68k Macs, I use Mini vMac (I have diffrent builds for emulating a vast selection of games) and Basilisk II (when a game needs Mac OS 7.6 and above).
    For the PowerPC Macs, I use Sheepshaver.
    For the Commodore Amiga series (CDTV and CD32 included) I use WinUAE.
    For the Game Boy family, I use VBA-M.
    For DS games, I use Desmume (although it is very slow on certain games like Pokemon Black).
    For the Apple II series, I use Applewin and GSport (for the IIGS).
    For the Atari 8-bit line and the Atari 5200, I use Altirra.
    For the Atari ST, I use Steem SSE (Steven Seagal Edition).

    What about when I want to play on the go? (Android)

    For the Game Boy family, I use My Boy! (for GBA) and My Oldboy! (for GB and GBC).
    For arcade games, I use MAME4droid.
    For DS games, I use DraStic.

  • I find that Bochs does a good job for very temperamental PC OS's like OS/2 1.x and 2.x. Although once installed, PCem/86Box do a great job of bringing additional peripherals to the OS.

    SIMH is excellent for much older minicomputers like the PDP-11, VAX-11/780 among other old DEC and other systems. Additionally it has Z-80 and i8080 CP/M emulation. It recently added the AT&T 3B2 for ancient SYSV UNIX.

    ESXi is a great server platform. It's a breeze to pass supported devices up to VM's, for stuff like USB controllers, and network cards. Although I've had no good luck with consumer video cards.

    Dynamips is a great cisco 7200 MIPS/PowerPC emulator. It's really great running actual Cisco IOS. I also like it's emulated frame relay, and ATM networks (although it's just point to point, no inherent support for LANE).

  • I've had great luck with all the default emulators included with retroarch on my pi2. Havn't touched it on Windows as I haven't quite figured out how to set it up on Windows. I run NES/SNES/GB, GBA, Sega Genesis and PSX. It can't quite handle N64.

    I've used Nester and PCSX on Windows without issues. PCSX2 worked fine for certain games but compatability varies as far as getting the game to load.

    Gamecube? Buy a Wii. They're cheap and softmod easily and work with external hard drives/SD cards.

  • I have been using Oracle Virtual Box for a long while to run and test a wide variety of Operating Systems. Virtual Box is a great emulation program especially for most Windows Operating Systems and programs. I love how you can customize the settings and configurations easily in the emulator.

  • there's FCEUX, a beefed up version of FCEUltra

  • For emulating Apple A/UX, I use Shoebill. It's buggy but it works.

  • My two favorites are vDOS and DOSbox which allow running any DOS app on any version of Windows. Both deal with all memory issues, so there's no need to configure memory. Both vDOS and DOSbox share the same origins, but vDOS was developed for business apps and is much more friendly to printers and external devices.

  • These are the emulators I use:

    • My Nes - A NES emulator
    • snes9x - A SNES emulator
    • Project64 - A Nintendo 64 emulator
    • ePSXe - An original PlayStation emulator
    • mGBA - A Game Boy Advance and Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulator
    • Dolphin - A GameCube and Wii emulator
    • melonDS - A DS emulator
    • Citra - A 3DS emulator

    I use melonDS instead of DeSmuME because it supports Wiimmfi, is faster and is currentl, a fanmade Nintendo WFC replacement service. Dolphin also supports Wiimmfi.

  • edited November 2019

    My emulators on Windows 10:

    For Apple/Mac:

    Applewin-Apple II
    Basilisk II-MacOS 7.0-8.1
    Kegs32-Apple IIGS
    LisaEm-Apple Lisa OS
    MinivMac-System 0-System 7.55
    Pce Macplus-System 1-System 7
    PearPC-MacOSX 10.1-10.4
    QEMU-MacOS 9.0.4-MacOSX 10.5
    Sheepshaver-MacOS 7.5.2-9.0.4
    86box/PCem-Rhapsody Grail/Titan (x86)

    For Windows,OS/2, Dos and all others:

    Pce Macplus
    VMware Player

  • I use AppleWin for Apple ][ and Apple CP/M. atari800 for Linux works very well for me now. DOSBox runs halfway decent on my Chromebook- a miracle all things considered.

  • Here are some emulators I use:

    Altirra- Basically an Atari 800 - Atari 5200 emulator. It emulates very well and I didn't had any problem.

    Project64- A Nintendo 64 emulator which emulates almost the same graphics as an authentic Nintendo 64.

    VBjin- A VirtualBoy (more like VirtualShit) emulator. I have nothing to say about it.

    MAME- A Arcade Machine emulator.

    NGAE- Neo Geo emulator. It emulates perfectly the Neo Geo arcade machine. Even though Neo Geo was also a Home Console.

    RetroArch- It's a junk emulator. It's entirely garbage and useless.

  • OpenEmu - Multi console emulator for macOS
    VirtualBox - I don't think I have to explain this one
    Basilisk II - Emulates classic mac os versions (7-Early 8)
    DOSBox - Emulates an old DOS machine
    Wine - Technically not an emulator but allows you run windows apps on mac, linux, and bsd
  • OpenEmu: great multi console emulator for macOS
    VirtualBox: Use it mostly on Linux crap because drivers are easier to install there
    VMware: Has better performance than vbox and used to test Windows malware
    RetroArch: This multi console emulator can run on anything. Including a toaster!
    PPSSPP: Don't use too much but its a good emulator.
    Citra: 3DS emulator
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