The Google Play Store today has a massive collection of around 478K games. This means today’s kids get access to half a million games at their fingertips and most of them are for free! But we all know this wasn’t always the case. We come from a generation where we had to buy particular consoles to play the game. Moreover, the game graphics/visuals were nothing compared to the Android games today. But, it was fun!
These consoles like GameBoy, NintendoSwitch, etc are outdated and discontinued now. Obviously, older consoles like SNES or SEGA are discontinued too. Now you must think these classic games are long lost. But don’t worry because Emulator Info got your back! For the sake of nostalgia, here comes the Age of Emulators where we can emulate any console on our latest mobile devices. So let’s have a look at the 10 Best Emulators on Android to Play Classic Games.
Play them All!
8bit and 16bit Era
All leading industries always have rivalries and the Gaming industry is no different. The first gaming rivalry was between Nintendo and SEGA. SNES came out as the winner but SEGA Genesis was almost equally loved by the gaming community. Following is the 8/16bit generation of gaming consoles:
- Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
- SEGA Master System
- SEGA Genesis
The awesome 2D Classic games from the above consoles were all 8Bit or 16Bit. For comparison, most basic Android games today are at least 32bit whereas high-end games with stunning visuals are 64bit. This also means that modern mobile phones can easily emulate these consoles without breaking a sweat. So here we go to explore the 10 Best emulators on Android to play classic games.
Best NES/SNES emulators for Android
The NES is an iconic console from the 1990s which revolutionized the way games were played. The NES library had numerous popular games. NES/SNES also had an easy-to-use controller. As we discussed, this amazing console was discontinued.
Luckily, you can easily scratch your itch to play these classic Nintendo games with our robust and trustworthy emulators on your Android Phones. All of these emulators work seamlessly with near-zero bugs. In addition, high game compatibility enables you to play every game and customizable controls let you set the gameplay to your preference. The system requirements are too basic. Get the ROMs and game on!
NES/SNES are old and outdated consoles but EmuBox is a new project. It is an all-in-one concept for emulation. This means it emulates not only one but multiple consoles simultaneously.
- With SNES, emulates Nintendo DS, PlayStation, GBA, and GBC too
- Completely Free
- General emulator features like load and saves states
- Extra features like hardware controller support and fast forward
- Advanced performance tweaks
- Cheats are supported
- Minimal issues
2. John NESS
Unlike EmuBox, John NESS is an NES/SNES-exclusive emulator. It won’t emulate other consoles apart from NES and SNES but will surely give you many features like:
- Cheat support
- Save and load states
- Customizable software controllers
- Turbo buttons
- No bugs detected to date
- Supports slow motion
- John DataSync Plug-in enables Dropbox sync (optional)
NES.emu is created by legendary emulator developer, Robert Broglia. It is based on the FCEUX software. This enables it to switch between devices as you like.
- Easy switching between PC and Mobile
- Supports hardware controllers
- Open-source project
- Zappers and other peripherals are supported
- Save and load states
- Famous and renowned developer makes the software trustworthy
Nostalgia.NES is quite a popular emulator for NES and SNES. Hardware accelerated system will benefit its functioning even more. The premium version costs $4.99 but the features justify the price. It has some usual and a few special features like:
- Bare minimum system requirements: only Android v2.2
- Save states and load states
- Hardware controller support and turbo button
- WiFi controller mode
- Worldwide region support
- Zapper emulation and Cheat code support
- Never-seen-before rewind option if you mess up
Last but definitely not least, RetroArch is a powerful and fast multi-console emulator. It is not really an emulator but acts like a host/framework for multiple emulators. Highly recommended to download emulator-specific cores from the official website.
- Easily available on Google Play Store
- These cores are equipped with all the desired features
- Probably the best console emulator ever!!
- It can emulate a variety of consoles
- Amazing functionalities but might take a while to understand fully
- Free and open-source
- Setup can be a little tedious but emulation is worth the extra work
- Different cores enable RetroArch to run different console emulators accordingly
How to Download and Install RetroArch Emulator on iPhone
Best SEGA Emulators for Android
Next in our 8bit and 16bit generation comes the epic SEGA consoles namely SEGA Genesis and SEGA Master System. These didn’t have as many games as the NES/SNES but the visuals and gameplay were arguably better. These SEGA systems had legendary games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Ghouls and Ghosts. So if you desire SEGA-themed Nostalgia, check out these SEGA emulators to play amazing SEGA games with the ease of your Android mobile phone.
1. ClassicBoy Pro
ClassicBoy Pro replaced the original ClassicBoy as the all-in-one emulator which emulated many consoles from different brands. You can try out the free version and make sure it works in your system before buying the paid version. Most gamer reviews are positive due to good performance and the following features:
- Emulates SEGA Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, NES, and 3 Game Boys.
- Free trial to check compatibility
- Local Multiplayer support
- Customizable layouts for GamepadsSave states and load states
Master Emu is a new SEGA emulator in its early development phase. This also means that it has a few bugs here and there which will be fixed soon with coming updates. There’s a free as well as a pro (priced) version. But the price is quite reasonable. Some cool features are:
Available on Google Play Store
- Supports Master Drive, Game Gear, and SEGA genesis.
- Android TV support
- Huge collection of games to choose from.
- Hardware controller support
- Gampad controller support
MD.emu can possibly be the best Emulator for SEGA consoles. As it is Open-source, its code is accessible to everyone. In fact, many emulators are based on MD.emu. We recommend this versatile emulator the most because:
- Open-source project
- Compatible with SEGA Genesis and SEGA Mega Drive
- Also supports SEGA CD and Mark III games.
- Cheat code support and auto-saving
- Various control setups enabled
- Hardware controller support
Surprised to see RetroArch in both lists? Don’t be. As I mentioned, RetroArch is more than an emulator, it’s a framework for other emulators for all the consoles. So, like RetroArch has a dedicated “core” to emulate NES/SNES, there’s a similar core for SEGA consoles too. Again, we recommend downloading the cores from the official site/GitHub.
- Open source
- Supports so many emulators
- Configurable settings
- Numerous small and big features
- Easy to use once you get the hang of it
- Lemuroid is a similar example of a framework to load emulator cores and games away
Another amazing Sega emulator and high compatibility to work even with basic devices.
- No specific minimum requirement
- Android 2.3 and a 640×480 display are enough
- Can work even on the single-core Cortex A7 processor
- Can work on 512MB RAM
- Might even work on an Android Go Handset
NES/SNES from Nintendo and SEGA’s Genesis and master system comprised the 4th generation of console games and worked on 8bit and 16bit. These games were 2D and not quite “spectacular” in terms of visuals. But they were fun in their own way. at least that’s what our collective Nostalgia has led us to believe. So, with these 10 Best Emulators on Android, we provide you a way to experience and re-live these games from our childhood mostly for free because we think no matter how high-end Android games get, these old vintage 2D games have their own special place in our hearts.
There are many emulators out there apart from the ones we mentioned. You are free to try them out but be cautioned that they may contain a lot of bugs and viruses. Many of them just turn out to be ad bait. So, we recommend using thy ones we mentioned.