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The Best Emulators for PC

Gaming these days is becoming quite the complicated hobby. And by complicated, I mean expensive, but let’s be honest – they’re pretty much the same thing.

With all of the different available platforms and consoles, today’s gamers never really know which path to take. There are just so many options to choose from. And if you’re anything like me and you’re quite the old-school gamer, then you will most definitely be extremely confused by gaming nowadays. And you will inevitably be incredibly nostalgic towards the good old gaming days, wishing that you could go back and relive them without having to re-buy all of the old consoles and games…

Now you can.

Emulators are your ticket to achieving your dreams. The function of an emulator is to do just that: emulate. For all of your favourite consoles, there is an emulator available to download which simulates the graphics and gameplay and which also allows you to play on the games that you used to be able to on that console. All you have to do is download and install the specific emulator onto your PC and there you have it: the ability to relive a bundle of great memories at your fingertips!

In this article, I will be listing a bunch of great consoles and the respective emulators for each one.

Come with me and relive the happiest memories of your gaming lives!

Playstation 2pcsx2

Need I say more?

If you’re old enough to have played it, then you’re also old enough to know how much of an unbelievably good console the PS2 was. The graphics were actually incredible for its time and the gameplay – oh, the gameplay! The Playstation 2 existed in a time where development companies focused much more on plot and gameplay than they did graphics and special effects, which in turn meant for us gamers, that games were just so much better. And so much more addictive! We used to fall in love with the characters in the games because of the compelling storylines – and that is why we used to play them so much.

With games like: Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Jak and Daxter and GTA: San Andreas – how could you possibly argue against the fact that the PS2 is one of the greatest consoles of all time. And if by some chance you didn’t get to experience the greatness that is the Playstation 2, then don’t fret, because I have just the solution.

I’ve already introduced you to the greatest console, now let me introduce you to the greatest emulator: PCSX2. Simply download and install this emulator and you will be granted with a system that perfectly emulates the gameplay and graphics of the PS2. You will be given access to pretty much every game that was released on the console too – these you will have to pay for however. But hey, at least you didn’t have to fork out the considerable sum of money to buy a second-hand one from Amazon or eBay (which by the way, I have done – before learning of these emulators of course – and now I feel rather silly)

But you’re thinking: it won’t be the same playing my old favourites with a mouse and keyboard!

Well fear not fellow gamer, the PS2 remote is totally compatible with this emulator, making the gaming experience just as genuine as it was back in the day.

Go ahead, go and relive your childhood/early gaming days – you can thank me later.

Playstaion Portableppsspp

The Playstation Portable (or PSP) is undoubtedly one of the best handheld consoles known to man. Sony created a gem with this one! They took the awesomeness of the PS2 and put it into a totally portable, handheld version. If you were crazy about the Playstation 2, then you were definitely also crazy with this gem of a gaming device. It even had two little analog sticks, which were put, in place to simulate the analog sticks on the PS2 controller, which created a more complete PS2 experience, only in a portable form!

Some of the best games from the Playstation 2 were made playable on the transportable version of the console, it made the PSP perfect for long car rides, trips to the shopping centre with your girlfriend or the dreaded food shop with your mother… Whatever the occasion, the PSP was perfect.

And in order to relive the awesome experience of it, here’s the emulator to get: PPSSPP. Once downloaded, you must install the program and there you have it, the PSP, its gameplay and its games available on your computer. Not quite portable of course, but awesome all the same.

But do you want to know the best part?

This emulator is even available on IOS and Android – you’ll have to have a powerful enough device to handle the intensive graphics and if you do it’ll be worth the experience. Now you can experience the PSP in its truest and original form, without having to actually rebuy it.

Playstation 1 and PSXepsxe

This is the original. This is the one that began it all. The Playstation 1.

With classics like Rayman, Spyro and Oddworld, how could this console be any better?

By being able to relive it without having to buy one of course!

The Playstation 1 was so amazingly good. Forget the tremendous graphics of today’s next generation consoles, the storylines and gameplay of the old-school PS1 games made for the greatest gaming experience ever. They made you feel. They made you smile, they made you laugh and in some instances, they even made you cry. Whatever the occasion, however sad you may have been, the PS1 was your saviour.

Do you want to go back and play the PS1? Why am I even asking? Of course you do! And here’s how: download the emulator ePSXe and enjoy the ever-expanding list of PS1 and PSX games available on the emulator. Oh, and the best thing, you can even map your controller into the emulator so that you can experience the PS1 as you always used to.

Gameboy Colour/AdvanceGameboy colour

Talk about old school. I remember having Action Man on the Gameboy and I also remember having the Bugs Bunny game where you had to progress through various different castles by finding the keys. The good old days! I used to sit and play on my Gameboy for hours and hours on end; it was certainly money worth spent.

And then when you consider the fact that absolute classics such as: Pokemon, Zelda and Smash Bros existed on the Gameboy and you need no other reason as to why the handheld console is amazing. All Nintendo would have to do in order to have people rebuy their consoles would be to release another version of one of these classics and people would rush to the stores and buy Gameboys like there was no tomorrow.

That is, if I wasn’t here to provide you with an emulator to relive the memories free of charge. Simply download the Visualboy Advance or VBA for short and once installed you will be free to enjoy the classic Nintendo games all over again. This emulator allows you to run them smoothly without issue.

Nintendo DSDeSmuME

Another one from Nintendo. This time it’s their DS, the console that revolutionised handheld gameplay by bringing in a perfectly executed touch screen element. I used to love playing Pokemon Platinum and Nintendogs on my DS – the touch screen was especially good for the latter. If you’re like me then you will have taken your DS anywhere and everywhere given the chance. On holiday, to the shops, to school – literally everywhere!

The Pokemon games alone are enough of a reason to get a Nintendo DS, but now you have another. If you never had one – or even if you did and you just want to experience it all over again – then you’re in luck. Now you can experience the exquisitely awesome gameplay and games of the Nintendo DS totally free and from the comfort of your own home.

Simply install the two emulators (two because of the fact that not all games are available yet, but by switching between the two you can play a considerably sizeable array) and enjoy. The emulators are: No$GBA and DeSmuME. Both are available for free, but the memories that you will be able to live through them are priceless!

Nintendo 64mupen64plus

I know I’ve already mentioned classics many times already in this article, but this, this is a true classic. The classic of all classics maybe!

The Nintendo 64 was by far the most advanced console of its time, in terms of, well… In terms of anything! It had the best graphics, the best gameplay features, the best feel, the best experience and not to mention, the best selection of games. Boasting absolute classics such as: Golden Eye, Mario 64, Ocarina of Time and Mario Kart! I’m getting excited just typing this!

I feel as though everyone has the right to relive these awesome experiences. Or if you aren’t old enough to have played on the Nintendo 64, then I feel like everyone has the right to experience them for the first time too. And everyone can! Download either of the following emulators: Project64 or Mupen64+ – both work flawlessly, so there’s no need to choose between the two. Just pick one, download it and get playing. You can play pretty much every game that was released on the Nintendo 64 – making for a totally complete gaming experience all round.

And also, for that added bit of fun, you can connect a controller to your PC to relive the experience as genuinely as possible.

Sega Mega Drive 2 (Sega Genesis)sega

Believe it or not, this is one of the very few older consoles that I’ve never had an experience with! But I do know of one famous character who was introduced by this console – and I’m sure you do too! Yes, that’s right; Sonic The Hedgehog was introduced by this console and boy what a run he had (and is still having actually!)

This console sparked a massive rivalry with Nintendo and actually gave it a run for its money. It quickly became one of the most successful consoles back in its time, subsequently making Sega one of the gaming giants too. But the two have evidently made up nowadays considering the fact that the Nintendo Wii has the games Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. It’s good to see that the two gaming giants managed to come together, sharing characters and platforms to bring their combined fan-base with a truly awesome experience.

There is a massive list of totally awesome games to be played on the Genesis and having never experienced any of them myself, I just might take my own advice and try this emulator out for myself!

The emulator is called Kega and it is undoubtedly the singlehanded best was to experience the sheer genius that is, was and always will be, the Sega Genesis console.

What Are You Waiting For?

Why are you still reading this? Stop. Right now. You must go and try out these emulators for yourself. They’re your one-way ticket to reliving old memories and also creating fresh new ones. If you ask me, emulators are a gift from the great lord himself. The lord of gaming, that is. I’ve always thought of what the perfect world would look like, what it would contain. But I needn’t imagine anymore. I already know. It looks like a world in which I have access to all of the greatest consoles throughout gaming history all in one place, all with a few simple downloads. And guess what? I do! We all do! Isn’t it beautiful?

Whether you’re a Sony fanatic, a Nintendo lover or a Sega mega-fan, these emulators are the ones for you. Try them all out. Why try one and limit your experience? Try them all and relive the greatest gameplay, game selection and characters, in gaming history.

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