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This page is based on the 2020 version of this information. There is an updated 2021 version available.

Emulation#

Resources#

Quote from source:

Keep in mind that this list is really subjective because most of the time it's really hard to define what is the best emulator of a system. Yes, it tries to show a top list, but primarily it's a general view of great emulators.

Emulators#

Nintendo#

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)#

  1. Mesen
  2. puNES
  3. Nestopia UE (active development has ceased)
  4. FCEUX (not cycle accurate like the others, but has a lot of great features)

Super Nintendo (SNES)#

  1. bsnes (same core, different UI with less features: ares (formerly higan). In general bsnes is the best choice, because it has way more features than ares. Just disable every enhancement option and bsnes is as accurate as ares.)
  2. Mesen-S (balance between super accuracy (ares) and performance (snes9x). Amazing UI and a ton of debug tools.)
  3. Snes9x

Virtual Boy#

  1. Mednafen (GUI)
  2. VBjin

Game & Watch#

  1. MAME

Nintendo 64 (N64)#

  1. m64p (mupen64plus+GLideN64+a GUI)
  2. ParaLLEI N64 with Multithreaded Angrylion (libretro core)
  3. Project64
  4. CEN64

Nintendo GameCube / Wii#

  1. Dolphin

Wii U#

  1. Cemu
  2. Decaf

Nintendo Switch#

  1. Yuzu
  2. Ryujinx

Game Boy / Game Boy Color (GB/GBC)#

  1. Sameboy (SNES emulator bsnes is using this core for Super Game Boy emulation)
  2. BGB
  3. Gambatte (has ceased development. Just libgambatte exist now.)
  4. mGBA
  5. Mesen-S

Game Boy Advance (GBA)#

  1. mGBA
  2. ares (formerly higan)
  3. VBA-M

Nintendo DS#

  1. DeSmuME
  2. melonDS

Nintendo 3DS#

  1. Citra

Sony#

PlayStation (PS1/PSX)#

  1. Mednafen (GUI)
  2. Beetle PSX HW (libretro core)
  3. XEBRA
  4. PCSX-R PGXP
  5. ePSXe

PlayStation 2 (PS2)#

  1. PCSX2
  2. Play!

PlayStation 3 (PS3)#

  1. RPCS3

PlayStation Portable (PSP)#

  1. PPSSPP

Microsoft#

Xbox#

  1. Cxbx-Reloaded
  2. xqemu

Xbox 360#

  1. Xenia

Sega#

Sega Game Gear#

  1. Genesis Plus GX (libretro and bizhawk core)
  2. TwoMbit

Sega Master System#

  1. Genesis Plus GX (libretro and bizhawk core)
  2. TwoMbit

Sega Mega Drive#

  1. Genesis Plus GX (libretro and bizhawk core)
  2. BlastEm
  3. Exodus
  4. Kega Fusion
  5. Gens

Sega Mega-CD#

  1. Gens

Sega 32X / CD-32X#

  1. PicoDrive
  2. Kega Fusion

Sega Saturn#

  1. Mednafen (GUI)
  2. SSF
  3. Yaba Sanshiro
  4. Yabause

Sega Dreamcast#

  1. Flycast (libretro core. Standalone build: https://flyinghead.github.io/flycast-builds/ )
  2. redream
  3. DEmul (Malware? At least some users said this here, so I don't link to the site)

Atari#

Atari ST#

  1. Steem SSE
  2. Hatari

Atari 8-Bit computer (Atari 400/800, 1200XL, 600/800XL, 130XE, XEGS, and 5200)#

  1. Altirra

Atari Lynx#

  1. MAME
  2. Mednafen (GUI)

Atari 2600#

  1. Stella

Atari 7800#

  1. ProSystem
  2. MAME

Atari Jaguar#

  1. Phoenix
  2. Virtual Jaguar

Computers#

MS-DOS#

  1. DOSBox (best two forks which have all SVN changes and some more features: DOSBox ECE and DOSBox-staging)
  2. DOSBox-X (Fork of DOSBox with focus on accurate emulation of the hardware and many more ways to tweak and configure DOS)
  3. PCem (focus on accurate emulation)

Windows 95 / 98#

  1. PCem
  2. 86Box (Fork of PCem)
  3. DOSBox-X (Fork of DOSBox)

Macintosh#

  1. SheepShaver (PowerPCs -> MacOS 7.5.2 - 9.0.4)
  2. Basilisk II (68K Macs.)

Apple#

  1. MAME
  2. AppleWin

Commodore 64#

  1. Micro64
  2. Vice

Commodore Amiga#

  1. FS-UAE (integrates the most accurate Amiga emulation code available from WinUAE)
  2. WinUAE

Acorn Archimedes#

  1. ArcEm
  2. RPCEmu

Sinclair ZX Spectrum#

  1. Fuse
  2. Zesarux
  3. Retro Virtual Machine

Other#

PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16#

  1. Mednafen (GUI)
  2. Ootake

WonderSwan / WonderSwan Color#

  1. ares (formerly higan)
  2. Beetle Cygne (libretro core)

3DO#

  1. Phoenix Project
  2. 4DO

MSX#

  1. openMSX

Neo Geo Pocket#

  1. Vdmgr
  2. Mednafen (GUI)

PC-FX#

  1. Mednafen (GUI)

ColecoVision#

  1. Vdmgr
  2. MAME

Vectrex#

  1. VIDE

Sharp X68000#

  1. XM6 TypeG
  2. XM6 Pro-68k
  3. MAME

Gamate, Casio PV1000, Casio PV2000, Tiger electronics handhelds#

  1. MAME

Watara Supervision#

  1. Wataroo

BBC Micro and Master 128#

  1. BeebEm