12 best emulators for Android

August 11, 2014

Best emulators for Android
Older consoles are an endearing and memorable part of a lot of childhoods. Not only were they bastions for gaming graphics and pushing the envelopes of their day, but they also had some of the best video games of all time. Even today you can find games on these consoles sprinkled among best-of lists of nearly every genre. So can we play these games on Android? You bet we can and in this list we’ll look at the best emulators for their respective consoles. In case you’re unfamiliar with emulators, your mileage may vary depending on your device, version of Android, which games you plan on playing, and your luck. Enjoy!


best emulators for androidC64.emu

[Price: $3.99]
If you’re into Commodore 64 (or you want to be), the most stable emulator around right now is C64.emu. It supports the most number of formats and seems to work better with things like multi-disc support. It is a tad pricy at $3.99 but nostalgia buffs won’t mind shelling out the price of a Big Mac to enjoy some old classics. If you absolutely must have it for free, there is a slightly less stable emulator that is free called Frodo C64 that’s worth a shot.
Get it on Google Play
best emulators for android


classicboy best emulators for androidClassicBoy (Emulator)

[Price: $3.99]
Despite its name, you should not associate ClassicBoy with other emulators on this list like MyBoy as they are not done by the same developers. This one is among the lowest rated on this list but it does have a pretty fun little function in that it emulates a bunch of systems all in one app. Some of the included emulators are SNES, PSX, GameBoy Advance and Color, NES, and Sega. It seems to work generally well but there are some titles that the emulator is not made for and thus has a lower game compatibility than a specific game emulator would. If your tastes are pretty broad, your phone storage is really small, and you need an all-in-one solution, this one isn’t half bad.
Get it on Google Play
best emulators for android


DraStic DS Emulator - best emulators for AndroidDraStic DS Emulator

[Price: $7.99]
First on our list is DraStic and it is the best Nintendo DS emulator out there. It isn’t totally complete just yet, but in terms of features, smooth game play, and ROM compatiblity, this is about as good as you can get. It supports a huge number of games and has good controls and menu options. It’s a tad pricy at $7.99 but for the chance to play some of the Nintendo DS classics, it’s worth every penny. Click the button to check it out!
Get it on Google Play
DraStic DS Emulator - best emulators for Android


FPse - best emulators for AndroidFPse for Android

[Price: $3.63]
It’s always been hotly debated on which PlayStation emulator was the best. Many say that ePSXe is the best but if you want full control, all the options, and the best overall experience, FPse wins out. It has an amazing ROM compatibility and more options and tweaks than you can shake a controller at. The only downside is the app is definitely not simple. Using it requires a slight learning curve but once you get around the app, it’s the best out there.
Get it on Google Play
FPse - best emulators for Android


John GBC - best emulators for AndroidJohn GBC (GBC Emulator)

[Price: $3.49]
If you were more of a handheld console person, there are some great emulators out there for you too. To start, John GBC which is a Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator. It’s highly rated, stable, and has the best ROM compatibility. Included is fast forward control, turbo buttons, and cheats are enabled. Reviewers have stated the emulator is quick and has virtually no outstanding problems. If you liked the GBA era, this is the emulator for you.
Get it on Google Play
John GBC - best emulators for Android


My Boy! - GBA Emulator - best emulators for AndroidMy Boy! – GBA Emulator

[Price: $4.99]
In terms of pure Google Play ratings, My Boy is the highest rated on the list. It’s incredibly stable with great compatibility and a lot of options. This includes the fast forward control so you can speed through slow parts of the game. This is a great feature for RPG players because it makes level grinding very quick. It looks good, is customizable, and worth every penny if you’re fan of Game Boy Advance games.
Get it on Google Play
My Boy! - GBA Emulator - best emulators for Android


Nostalgia.NES - best emulators for AndroidNostalgia.NES Pro

[Price: $3.99]
None of us will ever forget the days of the original Mario Bros video games. Now, you can relive those days with a good NES emulator and our pick was Nostalgia.NES. As with the rest of these, this has the prerequisite stability and ROM compatibility needed to be here. It also includes some awesome features like virtual controller customization and the rewind function. The rewind function lets you rewind a few seconds of game play so you can try it again. If you want to try it out, the button is right there.
Get it on Google Play
Nostalgia.NES - best emulators for Android


PPSSPP - best emulators for AndroidPPSSPP – PSP emulator

[Price: $5.99]
The PSP emulator market is fairly skim but there is one that’s separated itself from the pack and that’s PPSSPP. It’s not as polished as some of these but PSP is also a less popular console than a Super Nintendo or a Sony PlayStation so it’s expected that development would take longer. That said, it does have an above average ROM compatibility and it works on a lot more devices than most of the others. It’s far from perfect but they are working hard on it. If you like PSP games, this is the one you’ll want to try out.
Get it on Google Play
PPSSPP - best emulators for Android


retroarch best emulators for androidRetroArch

[Price: Free]
RetroArch is here by popular demand from our readers. It apparently emulates a number of systems all at once and the developers are working on ways to have it play movies and have augmented reality stuff. While the future looks great, the present isn’t so bad either. Much like ClassicBoy above, the all-in-one emulator does have some compatibility problems that a one-system emulator probably wouldn’t have but generally speaking it’s pretty solid and has a decent game compatibility list. It’s also free so it’s not like you would be wasting money if you didn’t like it!
Get it on Google Play
retroarch best emulator for android


Sega Emulator GENDroid - best emulators for androidSega Emulator – GENDroid

[Price: $5.99]
Sega as a console company are dead and gone but their best days will be fondly remembered by every Sonic the Hedgehog fan out there. A great way to get back into it is to get a Sega emulator and our recommendation is GENDroid’s option. It’s a little complicated and the options are a little rough to navigate, but it does actually play Sega games and at the end of the day, that is what’s important. Also, it’s one of the few free options on the list, so there is that.
Get it on Google Play
Sega Emulator GENDroid - best emulators for android


SuperGNES - best emulators for AndroidSuperGNES (SNES Emulator)

[Price: $3.99]
Super Nintendo is generally heralded as one of the best consoles of all time. It had a range of games from shooters to action/adventure games and one of the healthiest RPG selections ever. Even though games are bigger and more beautiful than ever, you’d be hard pressed to find a gamer who doesn’t like to pop open Super Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy 3, or Chrono Trigger every once in awhile. For an emulator, we recommend SuperGNES. It’s solid and stable with a plethora of options and customizations. It’ll even go find the game art for your ROMs so you can select like you do with music.
Get it on Google Play
SuperGNES - best emulators for Android


SuperN64 - best emulators for AndroidSuN64 Emulator Free

[Price: Free]
The emulator crowd on Android was begging for a functioning N64 emulator and they finally got one. It’s not perfect and there are some minor graphical glitches here and there, but it’s the most complete N64 emulator you can get right now. It’s also based on the popular Mupen64 so if you liked that one, this one is pretty similar. Also, it’s free (with ads) and free stuff is awesome. If one isn’t working, simply give the other one a shot. One of the two should have what you’re looking for.
Get it on Google Play
SuperN64 - best emulators for Android


Best emulator for Android wrap-up

Emulators are funny things. Sometimes they work flawlessly and sometimes they just don’t. Years ago, the Super Nintendo emulators used to work fine except for games like Super Mario RPG. Now, problems like that are in the past. The emulator space is far from perfect but the developers seem to be working hard to let everyone play their old favorites once again. These things are also pretty difficult to find in the Play Store. If we happened to miss one and you want to tell us about it, feel free to do so in the comments below.

Comments

  • Rickrau5

    Mupen64 AE gets my vote.. 3 video plungins plus external Gamepad support and Hi-res texture pack support…

    • JosephHindy

      SuperN64 is built on top of Mupen64 ;) so it should have at least some of those features too.

      • Rickrau5

        Ah it looks like superN64 is just a relabled Mupen64 AE (android edition). I would suggest downloading the real one for the latest updates..

        • JosephHindy

          That’s an over simplification. It’s not just a copy, it’s been worked on and optimized :D

          • me

            Super n64 just turned ad-based, super annoying, and I get better performance from mupen, too

          • adama

            My antivirus reads SuperN64 as having malware. Mupen passes it fine.

          • WeActOnImpulse

            There is no such thing as malware on Android because Android software can’t cause damage to the device without root access, which very few people have. The worst you can get is adware.
            My Antivirus and security (Lookout Mobile Security) returned SuperN64 as clean. Either your Antivirus is a fake (which it most likely is) or you’re just lying to get your opinion across (also possible.)
            Edit: perhaps this is your Antivirus? http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/4/8/5594196/another-bogus-android-app-briefly-tops-google-play-charts

          • em0rox

            Every single thing I own is rooted…

          • WeActOnImpulse

            Well you would still have to grant root access to the app. Just because the phone is rooted doesn’t mean every app automatically has access to root as well. That is why supersu exists: to keep apps away from your root.

          • Rickrau5

            So what your saying is if your rooted which Im sure ALOT of ppl ob this type sites are, then stay away from the shady app SuperN64.. Got it.

          • Gon

            SuperN64 gone worser than ever!
            Buggier and way too many ads.
            Please replace it with Mupen 64 AE. It also is updated with new code and better compatibility.

  • Fakhruddin Fakhrul

    the only reason for me to get an emulator is because of pokemon. nuff said

    • Zaria

      That’s an over simplification. It’s not just a copy, it’s been worked on and optimized :D

    • Niggerly Von Niggerton

      What about portable Tekken?

    • milkmaloy

      Uh.. Earthbound? Fire Emblem? Metroid? Or some other game that you’ve not played through 5 times already?

    • Gon

      Screw pokemon all about Metroid

    • DAVID DOUILLET

      I love Pokémon***Pika**Pika***

  • lambo

    For me PPSSPP is the best emulator because
    1. It’s free.
    2. It supports my Tegra2 phone quite well.
    3. It runs Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 perfectly :)

    The second best emulator is ePSXe (android) because
    1. It’s simple & easy to set up.
    2. It runs Time Crisis 1 & Project Titan very well :)

    Sadly, Drastic DS didn’t work on Tegra devices… ugh… *sob* >,<

    • Meloboi

      How come I was able to play Pokemon Black 2 on Drastic..? com,on man..!

  • zebastianviden

    Frodo C64 for those who grew up with a Commodore 64. There are some alternatives on Play.

  • Stanley

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    • Dman

      I just discovered JNES and it’s the best NES emulator I’ve encountered thus far!!!

  • Boonlumsion Piyapon

    RetroArch?

  • James Houston

    I’d have to go with the ‘John NES’ for emulating NES games. And the ‘GBC A.D.’ for Gameboy games. But I agree with anything else mentioned in the list.

  • Edward

    for GBA i prefer Gameboid over myBoy
    well, many people will not even found it on playstore since it had been removed
    i think Gameboid is better than myBoy since it’s easy to use and it can not only fast forward the game till 4X it can even slow the game down to 0.5X which is really help while playing castlevania series

    • JJLaw

      Myboy can do that too

      • fcolvera

        Yeah HisBoy can do that too!

      • Non-Specific Action Figure

        Since its removal from the Android Marketplace (as it was called at the time), Gameboid has been made completely free on the developer’s website.

        MyBoy is $4.99.

        For the featureset, I’d go with Gameboid over MyBoy any day.

        • JosephHindy

          The reason why that developer’s stuff was removed from the play store (he did SNESoid too) is because he copied source code that didn’t belong to him for his emulators. So to pimp out free work that is essentially a rip off of other people’s work is actually piracy so I hope no one listens to you.

          Also, he stopped working on those emulators years ago. They haven’t been updated in ages and MyBoy has a much larger feature set.

          This is why iOS gets all the nice games and apps before we do. That horrible (I never pay for anything) attitude. Grow up and spend a few bucks dude. For shame.

          • Rickrau5

            Yet your here advocating SuperN64… For an “optimized” (which you dont even know what that means) , rip off app/ad machine, if Mupen64.
            Emulators have always been controversial, which is why they dont exist in Apple’s store. Thats retarded comparison

  • trevor

    Just saying, i have the emulators nesoid, snesoid, gbcoid, gbaoid, and n64oid. Not only were they all FREE, but they have just as much fuctionality, compatibility, smooth gameplay as the others. N64oid is actually better than those on the playstore, with better framerates and higher compatibility. Come on, man. Do research, dont just go off of google playstore ratings…..

    • C Butler

      N64oid IS Mupen 64. Come on, man. Do research.

      • Roet-Ivar

        Sure, if you want worse performance and more graphical glitches, go for Mupen. If not, go for N64oid (which indeed is an optimized version of Mupen).

        • Rickrau5

          Im sorry what? Optimized? Really.. In what way, enlighten us? GTFO. Yea i optimized with ads!! Bwahah
          Mupen64 has never gotten credit on this site. Dont know why. Its the only consistent and upto daten64 emulator out there AND ad free. SuperN64 is a ripoff, and not even on the PlayStoree anymore

          • Roet-Ivar

            Huh, we’re talking Android here right?
            I’ll enlighten you would this: They use different video plugins. Why don’t you test a couple of roms for your self and come back…
            Oh and that language of yours is unnecessary.

          • Rickrau5

            They use the exact same plugins. Ive tested both and SuN64 is shit. Thanks for pointing out your incompetence

          • Roet-Ivar

            When running say Smash bros or Zelda: OOT for instance I get crazy glithes when using Mupen, so
            then I decided to test N64oid, the results was night and day for me. This is weird right?
            I’d take Mupen64 over N64oid any day if it wasn’t for this, Mupen got so much better controller support too.

            N64oid is initially branched from Mupen64plus, but they don’t seem to have very much in common anymore regarding source code. So no need for insults buddy!

            EDIT: Source that supports my claims from Paul himself: http://www.paulscode.com/forum/index.php?topic=148.0

          • Rickrau5

            Dude what are you talking about here. N64oid or SuN64? Two different apps. The latter is a copy and ad machine of Mupen64..qnd hasn’t been updated in over a year

          • Roet-Ivar

            I talking about N64oid, I have never tested SuN64.

      • Rickrau5

        The site has a bias for SuperN64 although its an ad piece of shit app as though the “developer” created it

    • MrMiketheripper

      I couldn’t get full compatibility with my Xbox controller on N64oid so I dropped it in favor of CoolN64 which I believe is based off SuperN64 and Mupen. However for my phone where I don’t use a controller, I use the -oids and they’re perfect.

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  • theforsaken7

    My old boy is a GBC emulator made by the same people who made my boy, Ifyou like my boy you will love my old boy

  • John

    N64oid has much smoother graphics and sound when playing Majora’s Mask than SuperN64 and Mupen64 Plus AE. There’s no flickering or missing textures. The sound is a little choppy when entering new areas but it’s much better than the other emulators. N64oid 2.7 is available on SlideMe Marketplace for $5. I haven’t seen the app update in over a year I don’t think but it works good and it’s the best in my opinion.

    • Roet-Ivar

      I Agree completely. The n64oid was initially branched from Mupen64plus AE, but now most of the code seems to have been re-written which explains the performance improvements, all this according to Paul: http://www.paulscode.com/forum/index.php?topic=148.0
      It’s a shame that N64oid is closed source though.

  • Roet-Ivar

    I¨m still looking for a great NES emulator that runs Double Dragon II smoothly. I love that game and if I can´t deliver those crouching knees the emulator is a no-no :(

  • http://gamesemulation.blogspot.com.br/ Saulo Vitor

    This is how I would make my list for Nintendo Emulators:

    GB+GBC – GBCoid
    SNES – SNESoid
    N64 – N64oid
    GBA – My Boy! GBA Emulator
    NES – NESoid

    • JosephHindy

      4 out of 5 of those are developed by a guy who jacked so much source code that he got banned from the play store. Just saying.

  • jose

    http://www.linkbucks.com/zSYV link de descarga del ppsspp psp emulator

  • Gon

    SuperGnes is a ripoff of Mugen.

    • JosephHindy

      Mugen is open source. You can’t “rip off” an open source project. The code is freely available for anyone to use.

      That’s why it’s called open source. The source (code) is open (for anyone to use).

      • GJV

        Wait, wait, slow down there Einstein. I don’t quite get it.

  • Adon

    Classics,love em.

  • http://www.onlineincomemethods.com/ Hasan Shahzad

    Android Game Emulators revive childhood gaming memories. They may not be perfect for HD gaming with today’s standards, but still good enough for playing favorite old games.