This guide is meant to promote the best emulators, and get new people into emulation. These emulators are named the best emulators because they are all easy to use and highly compatible. While this may seem like lots of fun to some, others complain that it’s piracy, and to bring up a topic like this is socially taboo in some forums, so it is rather interesting that emulation has become a topic here.
Copy write holders retain their right to copy protection for a term of 70 years after death or 95 years as a corporation. Unless they renew that copy write their products become eligible for copying, manipulating, and generally whatever you want to do with them.
Much like the auto industry has third party product sales after that copy write expires, the gaming industry is developing a 3rd party market, though this market is free. This 3rd party gaming market takes the form of the best emulators these emulators emulate (pretend to be) the traditional hardware which was used to play your favorite retro gaming titles.
Usage of ROMS or ISOZ for which you have “not purchased rights for” is technically illegal under the 70 or 95 years copy write. Use caution and your best judgment when downloading these files for games you do not own. Emulation is still viable on many platforms without downloading ISOZ, you can easily rip the games yourself in the case of Sega Saturn, Sega CD, Playstation, and the PS2.
ROMS can also be ripped using a chip burner (a piece of hardware that reads firmware) though chip burners are more for the eccentric which is why many of the available ROMs have been made available on the internet.
The best emulators Intro,
There are many emulators today, these best emulators include Zsnes, NESticle, ePSXe, Gens, No$GBA, Project 64, and many more, I will not list all of them as you would likely lose interest in this topic, long before you read about all of those! So instead I’ll stick to these, and provide places where you can download the “ROMS” and each consoles “best emulator“.
Keep in mind companies have a right to renew their copy writes, or patents on ideas, and some of the games available may be protected under the “DMCA”. Emulation has always, and will always remain a legally gray area. Just try not to overstep the lighter side and end up in the dark side of emulation.
ZSNES the best emulator for SNES,
Zsnes is the best emulator for retro gaming designed to let you play SNES games on your computer. Amongst it’s features include the ability to add shaders to your games, these shaders can make your games look considerably better. While there are other notable SNES emulators out there this one has been the fastest most compatible, and best emulator for me for years. You may download ZSNES from sourceforge or Emuparadise as it is an open source project, and you may download ROMS (remember ROMs are the games you play on an emulator) from Emuparadise.
Nesticle the best emulator for NES,
NESticle is a NES emulator which allows you to play your Nintendo based games any of you remember Mario 1? You can download this best emulator from NESticle main web page and you can get the ROMS at Emuparadise. This is a very simple best emulator to use, simply click file open ROM click on the ROM you downloaded and click play.
ePSXe the best emulator for PSX,
You can download ePSXe from the ePSXe homepage and the ISOZ you can get from Emuparadise while PSX is a bit different and ePSXe is a little more difficult to configure you can find a guide to ePSXe written by me on another page. ePSXe is rather simple once you get use to a plugin system.
Gens the best emulator for Genesis,
Gens is a sega genesis and master systems best emulator, I bet a few of you never even heard of the master system, it was available prior to the Sega Genesis released around the same time the NES was and it was an 8 bit system which featured a card input slot as well as a cartridge input slot. The master system had a built in labrynth game. You can download Gens at the Gens hompage and get ROMS to play on it at Emuparadise.
No$GBA the best emulator for GBA and Nintendo DS,
No$GBA is an emulator for Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS games, while most DS games are still copywrited, you can play most GBA games and download them with no DMCA orders. No$GBA can be downloaded at the No$GBA homepage and the ROMs can be downloaded at Emuparadise. No$GBA is by far the best emulator for the NDS. I have written a guide on No$GBA as well.
There seems to be some debate on the subject of the best GBA and DS emulator so I’ve decided to add an alternative.
Ideas the best emulator for DS and GBA,
You can get this emulator from the Ideas homepage and the ROMs are at Emuparadise as per the usual there are other emulators such as desmume which may also fill your needs.
Project 64 the best emulator for N64,
Project 64 is a Nintendo 64 emulator which features a plugin system much like ePSXe while Nemu64 can be a bit difficult to get use to at first it does an excellent job of emulating most N64 games and upsamples the N64 resolution to look great on PCs. You can download Nemu64 from the Project 64 home page and you can download the N64 ROMs at Emuparadise as usual. Project 64 is one of the best emulators available.
Win kawak, and FinalBurn Alpha best emulator for arcade games on PC,
Win kawaks and Final Burn alpha deserve some attention in the field of arcade gaming for sure, both of these emulators have extremely high compatibility, feature shaders, and are high speed. When performance is a necessity you should look to these emulators for your arcade needs. You can find win Kawaks home page here and FinalBurn here. As always Emuparadise has you covered on the ROMs.
NullDC the best emulator for DreamCast,
NullDC is by far the best emulator, when it comes to playing your DreamCast games, this emulator features the ability to up sample the traditional resolutions as well as use shaders and more. NullDC also features a plugin system so you can change out your plugins for better compatability when needed. You can get the best Emulator for Dreamcast, NullDC from it’s home page, and the ISOZ to play on it are available on both Bittorent and Emuparadise.
Out of popular demand the best emulator for PS2 and the best emulators for GameCube have been added,
Dolphin the best emulator for GameCube,
This GameCube emulator has all the functionality you have come to expect from the best emulators, it supports save states loading from images and more. You can get the emulator from the Dolphin homepage, and by now I’m sure you know where to get the ISOs for use with this emulator, so I’ll leave it at that.
PCSX2 the best PS2 emulator,
This emulator functions much like it’s counter part PCSX, which is an emulator for the PSX with the exception that it plays PS2 games. Don’t expect too much out of it though. The hardware requirements are very high for this emulator, and even if you meet them it may play slow. But it’s the best that’s available for now so enjoy. Drop by the PCSX2 homepage to get this emulator.
That about sums it up downloading each of these emulators will let you play every game made between 1980 and 2000 on your PC and with enhanced graphics on most. I only list the best emulators because only the best emulators deserve the attention. Many of these emulators require little or no setup at all, so all you need to do is download them and start playing. Enjoy your retro gaming my friends, and don’t forget where the best emulators are.