Emulator Guide

Emulators are very interesting pieces of software, they allow you to run programs and games from other systems such as running sega or N64 games straight from your computer. Emulators have been around for a while and almost every past system has been emulated in some way or another on some platform. This page is concerned with Windows PC emulators only. Also note that different countries have different laws regarding emulators and their legality so I do not accept any responsible for any illegal activities committed by using this information.


Click on a banner to go to the emulator recommendation for that platform

Nintendo GameCube Nintendo Wii GameBoy Gameboy Color Gameboy Advanced Nintendo 64 Nintendo DS Playstation 1 Playstation 2 Sega Master System Sega Genesis Super Nintendo Entertainment System

GameCube & Wii

A banner showing Nintendo Gamecube with zelda's link character A banner showing Nintendo Wii

Emulator: Dolphin


Dolphin is the only 7th Generation console emulator out at the moment and its actually at a very high level of progress with many games supported. It started out as just a gamecube emulator but as the wii is similar hardware to the gamecube, the designers decided to program it also to emulate wii as well. Due to this dolphin supports both Wii and gamecube and at time of writing Dolphin is in version 3 so it supports a lot of games playing at near full speed or even perfectly. Other advantages of this emulator is that it supports xbox360 controllers and with a bluetooth dongle you can use official wii controllers, making it a perfect Wii emulator. During my testing of Dolphin I managed to get Ledgend of Zelda Twilight Princess to run at 100% speed on my i5-2450M with HD integrated graphics and I couldn't see any graphical glitches or hear any wrong audio so any fairly new mid range hardware should easily run games.

-Supports both wii and gamecube games
-Works with x360 pads and Wii controllers
-Lots of supported games and many run at near full speed

Recommended System Requirements
-Your CPU needs to support SSE2, Pixel Shader 2.0 running Windows XP or higher
-At least 2Ghz Dual Core

Site: Visit Dolphin's Site
Download: Visit Dolphin's Download Page
Compatability List: Wii - GameCube
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GameBoy & GameBoy Advanced

A banner showing Nintendo GameBoy with link character A banner showing Nintendo GameBoy Color with megaman character A banner showing Nintendo Gameboy Advanced with pikachu character

Emulator: VBA-M


This emulator is a one stop shop for all your portable console games, or more importantly pokemon. VBA-M is a merge project of the many previous versions of VBA and so is very compatable and plays almost all gameboy, gameboy color and gameboy advanced games you can throw at it making it a perfect platform to play all your old portable games. VBA-M has many features such as cheats, video recording, and savestate with its most notable being Turbo allowing you to speed the game up greatly allowing you for instance to easily train pokemon quickly. Also really interesting feature is JoyBus which allows you to connect this emulator to dolphin for games like Four Swords Advanced which use the gameboy advance as a controller. Overall this emulator plays alot of games with near perfect speeds and thats why its my top pick for GBA/GBC/GB.

-Plays GBA, GBC and GB games
-Great features such as JoyBus and Turbo
-Good compatability with the games

Recommended System Requirements
-Windows 2000 - Vista (x86 or x64)
-700 MHz CPU+ for GBA emulation, more if filters or other improvements are enabled
-GPU with 32MB VRAM and latest drivers supporting DirectX9

Site: Visit VBA-M's Site
Download: Download VBA-M
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Nintendo 64

A banner showing Nintendo 64 with mario character

Emulator: Project64


Project64 is a mature emulator, it has been around for years and is still being worked on to this date. Due to this it is compatable with many games and works quite well with those that it is compatable with. Wikipedia quotes around 75-80% of games are compatible and will play almost perfectly. With another estimated 10% that work but with problems. Like many emulators, Project64 goes far beond the orginal with many tools to make the games look better, including 16x anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering. Another important feature is it supports texture packs so if the community creates a high definition texture pack for a game you will be able to import it to make the game look amazing. This emulator wins top spot for N64 due to its large support for games, its features and the fact its still in development after several years.

-Support for Texture Packs
-Support for Plugins
-Compatable with a lot of games and gets good speed.

Recommended System Requirements
-Intel Pentium 800Mhz CPU
-128MB Ram
-DirectX 7 compatable video card

Site: Visit Project64's Site
Download: Visit Project64's Download Page
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Nintendo DS

A banner showing Nintendo DS

Emulator: DeSmuME


DeSmuME is a fairly new emulator compared to other emulators mainly due to the DS being a newer console, however don't let the smaller development time fool you as this emulator does a pritty decent job of emulating DS games. It has the usual features such as savestates and increasing screen size but also contains neat features such as filters, hence increasing the image quality and so making it possible to make the game look better than on the DS. DeSmuME wins top spot for NDS because of its large compatability of games at this early time in its development.

-Savestates, video recording and resizable screen.
-Filters to make games look better
-Good Compatability

Recommended System Requirements
-Windows XP or newer
-2 GHz Core2Duo processor or better

Site: Visit DeSmuME's Site
Download: Visit DeSmuME's Download Page
Compatability List: DS
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Playstation 1

A banner showing Playstation 1 with Lara Croft character

Emulator: ePSXe


I have been a fan of ePSXe for many years and first played classics such as FF8 on this emulator, and I have to say it doesn't disapoint. This emulator is very mature and supports all games for PS1 but that isnt the best part of the emulator. The most important features of this emulator are its ability to upscale games making them look a lot better than on a PS1. It also supports Shaders giving for some nice or interesting new looks to games, I have provided a guide below to show you what I mean. Another important feature of this emulator is Turbo, many years ago I could play parts of FF8 at 4 times speed making the game much more fun. But more importantly this shows that many years ago emulation was so good it was capable of outputing the game 4x faster than it needed to, so on todays computers it should work perfectly. This is why ePSXe gets my vote for top PS1 emulator, it does what it says and it does so very well.

-Very Good Compatability
-Filters/Shaders/Upscaling to make the games look better

Recommended System Requirements
-Pentium III at 1 GHz
-512 MB RAM
-3D capable video card with support for OpenGL, DirectX, or Glide

Site: Visit ePSXe's Site
Download: Visit ePSXe's Download Page
Compatability List: PS1
Shaders: Guide
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Playstation 2

A banner showing Playstation 2

Emulator: PCSX2


PCSX2 is also a fairly new emulator to the scene, and although it hasn't reached version 1 yet, don't let that make you think this emulator isn't pritty dam good. PSCX2 offers good framerates and improved graphics over the orginal PS2 and with 72% Playable games and 17% able to get ingame, its far from imcompatable with the PS2s games. Although you will need a fairly powerful computer to reach the high graphics with good framerates, this is still an impressive emulator and I look forward to future releases when things can only get better.

-72% Playable PS2 Games
-Good Framerates and Improved Graphics

Recommended System Requirements
-Windows XP, Vista, 7
-Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.5 GHz or faster CPU
-GPU that supports DirectX 10 (NVIDIA GeForce GTX series or ATi Radeon HD 2000 series or later)
-2 GB RAM (3 GB or more if using Windows Vista or Windows 7)

Site: Visit PCSX2's Site
Download: Visit PCSX2's Download Page
Compatability List: PS2
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A banner showing Sega Master System A banner showing Sega Genesis with Sonic

Emulator: Kega Fusion


Kega Fusion is a very capable emulator and is highly focused on 100% accuracy and it doesn't disappoint on what it promises. Kega is capable of emulating Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Mega CD, Sega 32X, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, SG-1000 and SC-3000 making it a perfect sega emulator. Its main feature that puts it above other sega emulators is that it attains very high sound emulation boasting 100% accurate sound chip emulation. It is also very compatable with the games and I haven't found a game yet it won't play perfectly. Overall Kega is a perfect all-in-one sega emulator that runs games brilliantly.

-High Accuracy
-Plays Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Mega CD, Sega 32X, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, SG-1000 and SC-3000 games
-High Compatability

Site: Visit Fusion's Site
Download: Visit Fusion's Download Page
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Super Nintendo Entertainment System

A banner showing SNES with mario and yoshi

Emulator: Snes9x


Well what can I say, Snes9x plays all the games you can throw at it and it does it very well. It has all the usual features that you'd expect from a mature emulator, turbo mode, video recording, image filters, shaders, savestate and netplay. In fact it has more features that you can shake a stick at, and enough filters to make your retro games look really good. Plus its still being developed so can only get better. If your looking for a pritty perfect snes emulator, look no further Snes9x will fill your needs.

-Plays all SNES games you can throw at it
-Has a good amount of filters and shader support

Site: Visit Snes9x's Site
Download: Visit Snes9x's Download Page
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