How to turn your Android device into a retro gaming console

We recently made a list of retro gaming consoles that you can buy to satisfy your nostalgia, however, if you are tight on budget but still want to play the classic console games, here’s how to do it using your Android smartphones.

If you’re not familiar with emulators, to put it simply, they are programs that can “mimic” an original device’s functions and capabilities to a platform where you can’t normally run them. In this guide’s case, the retro gaming console emulators can be downloaded in the Google Play Store. Here are emulators that can run games from different platforms:

MAME4droid (0.139u1)

Publisher: JohnDev

The MAME4droid is an arcade game emulator that can run over 8000 of games supported by MAME 0.139u1 romset. Do note that game titles with a copyrighted material of any kind are not included.

[appbox googleplay com.seleuco.mame4droid&hl=en]

Snes9x EX+

Publisher: Robert Broglia

This is an emulator based on Snes9x 1.55 that can run almost all SNES games without any problems.

[appbox googleplay com.explusalpha.Snes9xPlus&hl=en]

My Boy! Free – GBA Emulator

Publisher: Fast Emulator

The My Boy! app is a GameBoy Advance emulator that can run almost all game titles without any problems and is the only one that features support for link cable emulation with decent speed.

[appbox googleplay com.fastemulator.gbafree]

My OldBoy! Free – GBC Emulator

Publisher: Fast Emulator

Of course, if they have an emulator for the GameBoy Advance, they most definitely have one for the GameBoy and GB Color!

[appbox googleplay com.fastemulator.gbcfree]

NDS Emulator

Publisher: CPU Studio

The NDS Emulator is the perfect choice for players who want to revisit and play the Nintendo DS games that filled their hearts with joy. Do note that only legal game titles can run on this emulator.

[appbox googleplay com.cpu.free.dsemulatorv6]

ePSXe for Android

Publisher: epsxe software s.l.

ePSXe is most likely one of the most popular PlayStation 1 emulators for PCs and Androids. It can run almost all the game titles for the PS1 platform but here’s the catch, you’ll have to pay PHP 183.11 to enjoy using it. To me, it’s worth the price due to its stability and optimization for Android devices.

[appbox googleplay com.epsxe.ePSXe]

N64 Emulator – Super N64 Games

Publisher: JohnDev

As the name suggests, this app can run games on the Nintendo 64 platform. Games such as Mortal Kombat, Super Mario 64, and Mario Kart 64 can be played on this emulator.

[appbox googleplay emu.nes.snes.gba.arcade.n64.x3335]

Dolphin Emulator

Publisher: Dolphin Emulator

This emulator can run games from the Nintendo GameCube and Wii consoles. Games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Melee, 007: Agent Under Fire, Okami, and a whole lot more can run on this emulator.

[appbox googleplay org.dolphinemu.dolphinemu]


Publisher: Henrik Rydgård

PlayStation Portable is arguably one of the best handheld consoles in the world and to me, this made my life complete. Thanks to PPSSPP, I can still play the games either on PC or Android. If you’re looking for a stable PSP emulator then this one is the best pick that you can download for free.

[appbox googleplay org.ppsspp.ppsspp]

Now that you already know which emulators to download, there is only one question that remains to be answered — where do we download the games for these?! Worry not, as you can download most of the ROMs and ISO files at Emuparadise, CoolROM, or FreeROMs.

So that’s it! I hope you’ll enjoy your gaming nostalgia experience with these emulators. Let us know in the comments section below if you have more suggestions and emulators to share.

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