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The best PSP emulators for Mac

Really, it's just PPSSPP and then a couple of all-in-one PSP emulators that use PPSSPP.

Published onApril 25, 2023

OpenEmu best PSP emulators for Mac
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The PSP was a popular handheld console from Sony. It’s been out of production for many years at this point, but many folks still want to play the games. That is, after all, why you’re here. There are a few decent options for PSP emulators, but the generally accepted recommendation is PPSSPP. Luckily, it’s available for Mac. Still, to get your money’s worth, here are some other great PSP emulators for Mac.


For the most part, we recommend PPSSPP. It's the most popular and actively developed emulator. Even if you go with OpenEmu and RetroArch, both of those all-in-one emulators use PPSSPP cores for their PSP support. Basically, no matter what, you're using PPSSPP.

Additionally, every emulator on this list supports Apple's M1 chips as of this writing. In fact, we tested each emulator with an M1 Macbook Air.

The best PSP emulators for Mac


OpenEmu PSP macOS
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

OpenEmu is an all-in-one emulator developed specifically for macOS that also includes Sony PSP support.

What we like:

  • It played our PSP test games without issue.
  • It is relatively easy to configure thanks to its native built-for-Mac mentality.
  • You can play other consoles with it as well.
  • The emulator uses the PPSSPP core for its PSP support, ensuring high compatibility and good performance.

What we don’t like:

  • It doesn’t support as many consoles as RetroArch.

OpenEmu is a perfectly serviceable PSP emulator for Mac. It’s an all-in-one emulator that supports dozens of other consoles, and PSP is simply one of them. It does this by integrating an existing PSP emulator, in this case, PPSSPP, so you get all of the benefits of PPSSPP. The compatibility rate is pretty high, and the controls are simple to change. It read the ROM ISOs we provided without issue, and honestly, it’s a pretty drama-free experience for us. It’s also free to play, and we like that you can play other consoles as well.


PPSSPP on Mac screenshot 2023
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The top dog in PSP emulation on any platform is also available on macOS.

  • Pricing: Free / $2.49-$49.00
  • Platforms: macOS (and many others) (Downloads)

What we like:

  • PPSSPP is the gold standard in PSP emulation on every available platform.
  • It boasts high compatibility, excellent performance, and it’s available on multiple platforms.
  • The premium version, PPSSPP Gold, is optional. At least, on macOS it is.
  • It played our test games without issue.

What we don’t like:

  • Nothing.

PPSSPP is the best PSP emulator on any platform, including macOS. It booted without issue on our Macbook Air and played our test games without drama. The menu system is pretty easy to follow, and there are several configuration options that you can use. Your Mac may flag this when you first install it, but just push through and open it anyway. It’s not malware. In any case, there isn’t much else to add here. This is as good as PSP emulators get on macOS.


RetroArch PPSSPP screenshot macOS
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

An all-in-one emulator that uses PPSSPP for its PSP support.

What we like:

  • It can emulate more consoles than OpenEmu.
  • It uses PPSSPP for its emulation, so you get the same compatibility and performance.
  • You can install RetroArch on a toaster, probably. It supports tons of platforms.
  • It includes a bunch of extras, like game-based achievements, Netplay, and more.

What we don’t like:

  • There is a fairly steep learning curve for beginners.
  • The UI isn’t the most ergonomic.

RetroArch is arguably the best all-in-one emulator. It supports tons of gaming consoles, and it works on a bunch of platforms. It uses “cores” to emulate gaming consoles. You simply download the cores for the consoles you want, and you get a customized all-in-one emulator. It uses a PPSSPP core for its PSP support, so it should play the same games at the same performance level as the main PPSSPP emulator. The only downside to RetroArch is that it is much harder to learn at first than the other two emulators on this list. However, we think it’s worth the effort since you can use this to emulate way more than PSP games.

If we missed any PSP emulators for Mac, tell us about them in the comments.

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