The best free and paid emulators for Android | Digital Trends Spanish

The massification of smartphones has brought a revival of many classic games, but the ports they do not always live up to the original. And if you feel that need for games vintageIt never hurts to consider some of the best Android emulators available.

In case you want to relive the experience of the old consoles, there are a good number of emulators in the Google Play Store. And in addition, there are also many controls that connect via Bluetooth to avoid using the buttons on the touch screen.

Before starting:

It is legal to download and use an emulator, but you have to be careful with games.

There are a lot of abandonware available on public domain websites and playable without fear of legal trouble. However, ROMs extracted from cartridges and disks are illegal if they do not have a physical copy. For example, there is the – remote, but real – possibility of getting into trouble if you have a ROM of Super mario world on the computer, but not the physical cartridge.

That said, there is no problem with downloading or creating a digital copy of a game you already own; the only thing you don’t have to do is distribute them. And some emulators require the BIOS of the console, something that can also be illegal.

About Chromebooks

Most modern Chromebooks have the Google Play Store, therefore emulators for Android can be installed. The downside is that there will be no touch screen and not all emulators allow you to use mouse and keyboard, so you will need a controller like the PS3, the Xbox 360 or the Pro Controller of the Switch.

Free emulators

Citra Emulator (Nintendo 3DS)

The Nintendo 3DS is a strange console to emulate, due to its dual-screen design, but this emulator does it without problems on single-screen devices. It achieves this with a transparent layer or by placing the content of the second screen to the right or downwards. Citra Emulator is one of the newest on Google Play and for the same reason it is in an early access version, but it still has several interesting features like control support, motion control, texture filtering and more.

Dolphin (Sega Dreamcast)

The best console Sega created was the Dreamcast, hands down. It was the first with an internet connection, as well as support for mouse and keyboard with Quake III Arena. Unfortunately, Sega abandoned it too quickly, but the games on that console can still be revived with the Dolphin emulator, one of the oldest to date but with its 2018 redesign received several improvements that make the experience much more refined .

M64 Light FX (Nintendo 64)

What good days were those in which Doom 64, Super Mario 64, Hexem 64 or GoldenEye 007 they delighted Nintendo 64 owners. And it’s possible to relive those experiences with M64Plus FZ, a flawless Nintendo 64 emulator for Android. One of the interesting details of this emulator is that it scans the device and creates a library of the available games, including the cover photo if it is present. Plus, it’s customizable too, and the $ 4 Pro version adds SD card support and support for Google Drive backups.


best emulators for Android

Anyone who wants to go back to the days when arcades were the best has to take a look at this software. MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, and the Android version supports more than 8,000 different ROMs. For the most demanding games, you will need decent hardware and you may have performance issues.

MyOldBoy! (Nintendo GameBoy Color)

We can’t make a list without this GameBoy emulator, which works for both the original four-color console and the one that came later. Features include Cable Link emulation, GameShark code support, the option to fast-forward emulation, and more. The $ 4 paid version removes ads, makes fast forward, adds Google Drive sync, and emulates GameBoy Advance.

PPSSPP – Portable emulator for PlayStation

best emulators for Android

If you want to run your Sony PSP games on your Android cell phone, then PPSSPP is the emulator for you. You can use it to play games homebrew developed by hobbyists, or download your own PSP games in .iso or .cso format. You can even transfer saved games from your PSP. You will need sufficient specifications to run the games. Not everything works perfectly and slowdowns are quite common, depending on the Android device you use.


best emulators for Android

If you are going to enjoy different types of old video game consoles, then you might want an emulator that covers all those platforms. RetroArch is an open source engine that includes other open source emulators. You’ll find options for the NES, SNES, PlayStation, Sega Genesis, N64, and many more. Select the one you want to run when RetroArch starts.

Snes9x EX + – Super Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator

best emulators for Android

This free SNES emulator is open source and compatible with the vast majority of games. You will need an Android device with at least a 1 GHz processor, which is not going to be a problem today because even the most basic cell phones integrate it. It comes with Bio Worm, and you can add multiple ROMs to your internal storage or to the SD card. As long as the games are in .smc or .sfc format then they should work fine. There are also no ads, which is rare for a free app.

Payment emulators

2600.emu ($ 3)

best emulators for Android

Who can resist the old school Atari action? The 2600 emulator is open source and works well on most Android phones. You will need ROMs in .a26 or .bin formats, and the compressed files will work perfectly. It also supports saving games and some controllers via Bluetooth.


C64.emu ($ 4)

best emulators for Android

If you have fond memories of the Commodore 64 computer, you can relive those early eighties games with this emulator. It supports a wide variety of file formats, and you should be able to get a Bluetooth keyboard or a gaming-specific one to work.

DraStic DS Emulator ($ 5)

best emulators for Android

Here is a Nintendo DS emulator that is impressively fast and stable. You can save and resume the game at your leisure, advance the game, use various controls, and sync saved games via Google Drive. You can also adjust the size and location of the DS screens.

DosBox Turbo (MS-DOS, $ 3)

This is an emulator that can be used to run classic DOS and Windows games directly on an Android phone or tablet. It is well optimized, so it runs fast, although there is the possibility of encountering some crashes, just like DOS programs. It has full support for mouse, keyboard and controls, plus other features like LAN game support, making it one of the best emulation options on the PlayStore.

MD.emu ($ 5)

best emulators for Android

If you love Sega video games, you will love this emulator. Supports Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, CD and Master System drives. If you have a fast enough device, this emulator will run just about anything, and it supports .bin, .smd, .gen and .sms formats, in zip files if you prefer. The sound quality and stability are excellent, and it offers cheat code support for .pat files.

FPse for Android ($ 3.63)

best emulators for Android

If you want PlayStation One action, look no further. This emulator is solid, compatible with the vast majority of games in various formats, and easy to use. It supports real-time recording, game compression, and a host of controllers, including the one for PS3. It is worth spending money on.

NES.emu ($ 4)

best emulators for Android

With this application you will enjoy a solid emulation of NES games. It also emulates the old Zapper pistol and other parts. It will read ROMs compressed in .nes or .unf format, and you can handle .fds files with a Famicon BIOS. With support for saving games, configurable controls and memory for backups, you have everything you need.

Don’t you get tired of classic games? Bring the retro action to your computer with this Macintosh emulator.

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