The Nintendo 64 was in a class all on its own. It was one of the last consoles ever to use cartridges and featured some legendary games such as Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Now you can play those classics on your Android phone using N64 emulators. Which ones are the best? In this list, that’s what we intend to find out.
First up is M64 Emulator. This is based on the Mupen64+ source code (like every other app on this list). Most user reviews state that it’s a pretty good start but there are some bugs here and there that can get pretty bad. Some complaints include on-screen buttons not working sometimes, save states not saving, and game incompatibilities. It is free so you won’t waste any money trying it out and it does seem to work pretty well for some people.
[Price: Free / $0.99]
Mupen64+AE is the app from which all these others base their code. So if you’re looking for the experience that is likely the furthest along in development with the latest updates, it’d be this one. The reviews seem to reflect this as they all say that this feels like a more solid offering than most of the other ones. There is a free version and a paid version. They’re totally identical but the paid version funds development of the project. It’s fairly solid but there are still a lot of bugs that need to be worked out.
Of the emulators on this list, SuperN64 seems to be the most complete. Based on user reviews, there are fewer bugs and incompatibilities than pretty much all of the others. This is the one you ought to try first when getting an N64 emulator. It’s the most solid even if it still needs a lot of work before it’s stable.
Last up on our list here is Super N64 Emulator. Like the rest it is Mupen64+ based so don’t expect any miracles. It’s not the best spin off from the original but it is one of the better ones. As with the rest of these, it comes with pretty much the same bugs and incompatibilities as the rest of them. This app gets bonus points because instead of posting a paid version, they link to the original Mupen64+AE donate version and tell you to go donate to them to fund the project as a whole. We kinda liked that. If none of the others are working for you, it’s worth giving this one a shot.
Unlike many other emulators, the N64 series of emulators is almost universally based on the same open source app (Mupen64+). This is both great and terrible. It’s great because that means when the original source gets better, all the other apps get better. It’s terrible because any improvements the spin offs make may or may not end up in the original source code. As with any emulator platform, it’ll take some time for these developers to work all the bugs out. Until then, patience is a virtue. If we missed a good N64 emulator, tell us about it in the comments below!