Indotechboy — Game for life, life for game! For me, a game is no different from a song or a movie that has values and arts. Inside the game, the developer has thought for a good combination of story, music, difficulty, secret, so that people will be interested to play it.
Although new games with more modern system keeps developed everyday, but the legendary old game will keep in gamer sweet memory. To relive the beautiful days together with the old games, that’s where a technology called “emulation” comes in.
Emulator is a program or software created so we can run other system on our device. For Android itself, I think it is become the mobile OS that has the most game emulators apps created. Something we will not get from its closest competitor iOS, because they are very strict to emulator applications (At least that’s what from I read).
Now for you who want to relieve your old games memory, for you who want to finish all the game franchise series you loved so much start from the oldest titles, and also for you millennial kids so can know where that fancy graphics games your are play right now came from, here is the 7 best game emulator applications on Android.
7 Best Classic game emulator apps for your Android device
1. PPSSPP (PSP emulator) – free & paid
What can be greater than a nice performance & graphic and open source emulators? That’s right, PPSSPP is the best Playstation Portable (PSP) and maybe the best game emulator app on the Android platform. Great game compatibility, nice performance, best graphic, complete features, make PPSSPP become simply the best PSP emulator on Android (and maybe on other platform too).
PPSSPP can play PSP game on Android device with high resolution. Even we often can play PSP games with double the original resolution or 3x or 4x of the original resolution on our Android device. If you have a low end device, don’t worry cause’ you still can enjoy PSP gaming by reducing the graphic quality or just find some light games.
Unfortunately, because it is open sourced, I found so many app on the Android market created by different developers that indeed just a duplicate to the original PPSSPP. But once you have tried the original PPSSPP by Henrik Rydgard to play your PSP game, surely you will not find more better PSP emulators out there except PPSSPP.
There are 2 versions of PPSSPP emulator Android app. The regular free version with blue icon, and the premium gold one with gold icon. The paid gold version of PPSSPP Android app is meant to be a way for the user to contribute by ‘donate’ to the PPSSPP project. There’s no different features between them.
The PSP game file format used to play in emulator program should be .iso or .cso.
2. ePSXe (Playstation emulator) – paid
Now for the second entry we have ePSXe, the Playstation (PS1 / PSX / PSOne) game emulator. I think ePSXe is the best PSX or Playstation emulator Android app because their simple and easy-to-understand user interface. When I just started play my PSX game using ePSXe emulator app on my Android phone, then I started to mastered it in no time.
The performance is good. ePXSe emulator can also enchant your PSX game graphic by running it in doubles the resolution. Or if it a 3D game, you even can get more gorgeous graphic by applying the ‘OpenGL’ settings. ePSXe is sold on Play Store for about ±$5 USD.
The PSX game file format used to play in emulator program should be .iso or .bin.
3. DraStic DS Emulator (Nintendo DS emulators) – paid
DraStic DS emulator is simply the best Nintendo DS / Dual Screen (NDS) game emulator application available on Android platform. The game compatibility, complete features, fastest game performance, and active development are the reason why I choose this NDS emulator to be the best.
With the newest version of DraStic Ds Emulator Android app, we even can now improve the graphic quality in 3D games with 3D rendering option. However, the 3D rendering is working best only on high end quad cores Android devices. DraStic DS emulator Android app is sold on Play Store for about ±$6 USD.
The Nintendo DS game file format used to play in emulator program is .nds.
4. MegaN64 (N64 Emulator) – free
Nintendo 64 is a game console released under Nintendo Inc. There is not so many Nintendo 64 (N64) emulators released on the Android market. Some of them is very bad on performance. But there is one N64 emulator which is the best in its performance, and it is MegaN64 (N64 Emulator app).
There is not much customizeable things you can do in a Nintendo 64 game emulators android apps. But still, you can enjoy the quiet nice 3D graphic, nostalgic, or even feel how is Nintendo 64 game console if you haven’t play it before.
The Nintendo 64 game file format used to play in emulator program is .n64.
5. MD.emu (SEGA Genesis & Master System emulator) – paid
Are you familiar with SEGA Genesis game console? If yes, then you must be an adult :D. Maybe because this game console is created long time ago, there aren’t many emulator for Sega Genesis and Master system created for Android compared to other game systems I posted here.
MD.emu is one of the best SEGA Genesis and still consistent on the development track to bring all Android users a nice SEGA Genesis (MD) and Master System game emulator application.
MD.emu has great features and high speed to play your SEGA Genesis and Master System ROM games on your Android devices. Besides run SEGA Genesis and SEGA Master System ROM games, this emulator can also run SEGA CD (still on beta development though). MD.emu emulator Android app is sold on Play Store for about ±$5 USD.
The SEGA Genesis game file format used to play in emulator program is .md.
6. My Boy! (GameBoy Advance emulator) – free & paid
Ohhh… Gameboy Advance or GBA, maybe you who used to play Pokemon in old times using Gameboy Advance was enjoying catching Pokemon and trade each other with your friend 😀 .
Don’t worry because nowadays, there are tons of Gameboy Advance emulator apps on the Android market. And the best GBA emulator for Android platform on my preference is My Boy!.
I choose My Boy! as the best Gameboy Advance (GBA) emulator because it’s easy-to-understand user interface. Whatever Gameboy Advance ROM games you want to run with My Boy! emulator, we can run it on full speed, no problemo 😀 . We even can increase the graphic resolution and apply some special shader effect to the graphic.
Check out the Best 3 GBA emulator on Android, for my full review of best emulator Android apps to play Gameboy Advance games on Android device.
7. ClassicBoy (All in one emulator) – free
Last but not least, we have a special game emulator app for Android, that is ClassicBoy (Emulator). Why is special? Because this app can emulate 8 game systems at once 😮 . You can play old school game consoles like: PlayStation 1 (PS1 / PSX / PSOne), Nintendo 64 (N64), GameBoy Advance (GBA), GameBoy Classic (GB), GameBoy Color (GBC), NES/Famicom, Sega Genesis, and SNK NeoGeo.
“Wait, did you just said all in one emulator app? Then why you told me the others six, as they are separate apps!”. It’s true you will get all in one game emulators in ClassicBoy Android app, but for there’re advantages, there must be disadvantages.
Although it is an all in one game emulator app, you will not get much of advance options and features such as the virtual button remap options, graphic enchantment settings, and other setting as much as the separate emulator like ePSXe (for Playstation game only) or My Boy! (for Gameboy Advance game only). Let’s just say “to get something, we must sacrifice something”.
ClassicBoy to be truth is a freemium Android app. Some features like save state, gesture controls, etc are blocked. Users can unlock additional features by purchasing it through in-app-purchase.
That’s all the 7 best old school games emulator apps for Android. Although they are now dead (not being produced anymore), but the golden games and its memories still can be passed from one generation.
And it is all thanks to the hardworked developers who invent a technology called "emulation", so now we can play the old school games with smoothly on our Android phone, tablet, and other device.