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Emulators and classic games on Android

24 mayo, 2021

Android It is a platform that has grown a lot in recent years and developments (games and applications) for it do not stop. However, surely many of you enjoyed the Retrogaming article that we saw in Engadget and that took a look with nostalgia the time of the 80s and 90s in the field of games.

We want to offer you a compilation of emulators of arcade machines and classic consoles that you can use with your Android smartphone or tablet and even some mythical PC game such as Maniac Mansion or Monkey Island among others.

Last year we gave you a glimpse of the possibilities offered by Android in this field. But there is more, much more and we want to leave you a general guide on what emulation is and finally a table with a great compilation of emulators that we can complete with your contributions.

What is an emulator and what is it for?

An emulator, in the field in which we are speaking, is an application that is capable of replicating the operation of an original machine or console via software using the original game files.

Android emulators

In other words, it is a program that makes it possible to run applications on the machine it emulates in question. In Google Play there are not as many emulators as there could be and the reason is none other than for many to work a file (BIOS / Firmware) of the original machine is required, whose distribution is usually not legal.

Apart from this, we will need the games, also popularly known as ROMs, and we either have devices like Retrode to extract the games legally or backup copies of them that you can get through the Internet.

Emulation: expectations and real experience

Most users are looking for a system that is install, play and go, but first of all we want to state that it is not such a transparent process. It is not very complicated, but it does require a powerful Android device and some knowledge of the emulation scene, ROMs and BIOS.

The expectations when it comes to playing emulated titles we have are good as long as you don’t expect to emulate recent console games. The arcade emulation via MAME or 80s and 90s consoles is practically perfect and you can get an experience similar to that of the original machine.

emulators

The same happens with consoles from the year 2000, but here we begin to find some obstacles since the more power the original machine has, the much more potential is required when emulating it. In these cases we can comment that on Android you can play some games from NDS, N64 and even PlayStation (the original model) but you cannot go any further.

As a detail we suggest that many of the emulators we offer can be configured to use external controls, either via USB or via Bluetooth (Wii Remote, Xbox 360 or PS3) which makes the experience more real when using a physical controller and not on-screen controls.

Emulators for Android

Here is a table in which we highlight the platform to emulate, the different emulators and examples of featured games on that platform.

They are not all that there are, but they are the most representative, in addition, we want to emphasize that due to being on a border between legal applications or not, many of them are not hosted on Google Play, so we offer you direct access to their APKs. To install them, you will have to activate Unknown origins from Android settings.

Emulators for Android Featured Games
Atari

Atari 2600

  • 2600.EMu
  • Droid2600
  • Pac Man, Pong and many more.

    Atari
    Friend500

    Friend 500

  • UAE4Droid
  • Monkey Island, Turricane II, Battle Squadron, among others

    BBC Micro

    BBC Micro

  • Beebdroid
  • 007: License to Kill, Frogger, Superman and many more.

    ColecoVision

    ColecoVision

  • ColEm
  • PitFall Saga, HERO, Chuck Norris Superkicks and many more

    ColEM
    c64

    Commodore 64 (C64)

  • Frodo C64
  • Mobile C64
  • International Karate, The Last Ninja, Ghost & Goblins, Puzzle Bubble and endless games

    Commodore
    cps2

    CPS 1 and CPS 2

  • Jrioni Arcade
  • CPS2HD
  • Fatal Fury, Marvel vs Capcom, Alien vs Predator and many more

    cps
    dreamcast

    Dreamcast

  • Reicast
  • Shenmue, Virtua Tennis, Crazy Taxi and many more

    Gameboy

    GameBoy / GameBoy Color

  • GBC.emu
  • DroidEmu
  • Tetris, SuperMario, Pokemon saga and many more

    Gameboy
    gba

    GameBoy Advance (GBA)

  • My Boy!
  • GBA.Emu
  • VGBA
  • DroidEmu
  • Sagas MegaMan, Pokemon and Super Mario Advance among others

    GBA
    Game gear

    Game gear

  • MDEmu
  • MD Emu Free
  • Gearoid
  • DroidEmu
  • Sonic, Marble and more 8-bit Sega titles

    Master Gear
    MAME

    MAME

  • MAME4Droid
  • Tiger arcade
  • Jrioni Arcade
  • MAME emulates multiple arcade machines so surely there are games that you have seen before: Metal Slug, Pang, Tetris, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, etc.

    master system

    Master System

  • MasterGear
  • DroidEmu
  • Alex the Kid, Sonic, among others

    master system
    megadrive

    Megadrive

  • MDEmu
  • MD Emu Free
  • GenPlusDroid
  • DroidEmu
  • Sonic Saga, Chopper, Golden Ax and many more

    modem
    MSX

    MSX

  • fMSX
  • MSX.emu
  • BomberMan, Galaxian, Aliens and many more

    MSX
    neogeo

    NEOGEO

  • NEO.emu Free
  • NEO.emu
  • MAME4Droid
  • Jrioni Arcade
  • Metal Slug Saga, AeroFighters, King of fighters and many more

    NPM

    NeoGeo Pocket

  • NGP.emu Free
  • NGP.emu
  • Versions of Metal Slug and SNK vs Capcom among others

    .

    NES

    NES

  • John.NES Lite
  • NES.Emu
  • NES-FC Lite
  • DroidEmu
  • Mario Saga, Megaman Saga, Ninja Gaiden and many more

    N64

    Nintendo 64

  • Super N64
  • Mupen64
  • Mario 64, Zelda 64, Mario Kart 64 and many more

    nds

    Nintendo ds

  • NDS4Droid
  • DSoid
  • DraStic
  • Traditional Nintendo sagas, see games

    psx

    PlayStation (PSX)

  • FPse
  • ePSX
  • Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot and many more

    psp

    PSP

  • PPSSPP
  • WipeOut, Crash Bandicoot, etc.

    ppsspp
    scummvm

    SCUMMVM

  • ScummVM
  • Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Day of Tentacle, Indiana Jones and many more

    scummVM
    Snes

    Super Nintendo (SNES)

  • SuperGNES
  • Snes9x
  • DroidEmu
  • SuperMario World, Killer Instict, Mario Kart and many more

    pcengine turbogfx16

    PC Engine / TurboGfx16

  • PCE.emu
  • Shanghai, Galaga, R-Type and many more

    Zx Spectrum

    ZX Spectrum

  • Marvin zx
  • Xpectroid ZX
  • Crime Abbey, Alien, Football Manager and many more

    Is it legal to download ROMs from the Internet and use them?

    We are facing a question that does not have a clear answer, depending on the case and the country in which you are. To be correct we must say that depends.

    The general case in Spain is that if a user does not have the original console / game that he is going to emulate, downloading and using that ROM could be a crime since we would be obtaining copyrighted material for free and without the direct consent of the author, without However, otherwise, there would be no problem because it is considered a backup.

    As we read in bricoarcade.es about the legality or not of the emulation system:

    * Emulator: The emulator itself is not illegal, as long as it is an application that through reverse engineering manages to replicate the functions of the machine it emulates. The programmers of this type of application usually provide the emulator with additional features that were not contemplated in the original machine, such as the ability to save games, video and audio enhancements, tricks, etc. * Machine rom (BIOS / firmware): This aspect is more controversial. If the emulator programmers have managed to reverse engineer their own Rom that works the same as the original Rom of the machine they are emulating, it is legal. Well, it is a totally new Rom, not presenting this aspect major problems. The problem comes when the emulator does not include the Rom, in this case it is necessary to use the original Rom from the console or computer manufacturer, which has legal rights. To be able to use this original Rom it is necessary to have the original console or computer. If we use the Rom without having the original machine we would be committing a crime, but if on the contrary, we still keep our original console or computer, in principle we can use the original Rom from the manufacturer without problems. There are Rom that belong to very old equipment, which the manufacturers cannot take advantage of, so they are released so that they can be used freely. Neogeo console * Rom of games / programs: As is logical, they consist of copyright and their distribution, without the express consent of their authors, is totally illegal. In any case, the same happens as with the machine’s Rom, if you have the original game: cartridge, CD or any other medium in which the original game for said machine is distributed, it is not a crime.

    In order to download ROMs There are many sources on the Internet and we leave you the most popular resources so that you can take a look when looking for the backup of your favorite game:

  • ROMs 4 Droid
  • CoolROM
  • FreeROMs
  • ROM World
  • As you can see we have infinite options to recall old games from Android. Surely there are more emulators and many games that we left behind, so we would like you to help us complete the table with more emulators.

    In addition to this, we would also like you to share with us what are the games that you remember with greater affection of your childhood.

    In Engadget Android | Console emulators on Android.