20 Best Game Emulator for Android and iOS

Older consoles are an unforgettable part of our childhood memories. Now, we have a unique opportunity to bring those memories back without spending a dime on the gaming systems. With tablets and smartphones you can use these emulators to play some of the ancient games for systems that you don’t currently own.

We are featuring best game emulator for both Android and iOS. The performance may vary depending on device configuration, operating system you are using and which games you plan on playing. Enjoy!

iOS Emulators

20. SiOS

SiOS

SiOS isn’t perfect but entirely capable of offering a great SNES (Super Nintendo) gaming experience. It has auto save mode, frameskip support and a few other nice features. You have to use iTunes to add ROMs to the application. The negative point is it doesn’t support MFi controllers.

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19. MD.emu – Free

MD-emu for iOS

MD.emu is a full-featured Sega Genesis / Mega Drive emulator. You can’t simply download the game ROMs directly in the application. Instead, the app lets you browse your iOS file system, which you’ll have to download and put in the app’s Documents folder via iTunes and then sync your device. The emulator does not support MFi controllers and there’s a persistent bug with how the gamepad overlay appears on screen.

18. iDos – $0.99

iDos

iDos brings those nostalgic moments from the 80’s and 90’s back to life. It allows you to play original DOS games on your iPhone or iPad. It has a customizable floating gamepad for fullscreen mode, PC compatible soft keyboard, and joystick/virtual gamepad. Also, it is packed with SuperNova, Major Striker, Duke I/II, Kingdom of Kroz II and Wolf3d, which are owned by 3d Realms.

17. Nds4ios – Free

Nds4ios

Nds4ios emulator lets you play Nintendo DS ROMs on iPhone and iPad (running iOS 5.1.1 and above). You can run it one non-jailbroken devices using a sneaky workaround. The emulator includes some great features like Dropbox integration, iOS 7 controller support, options for control pad style & position, and built-in web browser to download Nintendo DS games as ROMs and more.

16. GBA4iOS – Free

GBA4iOS

GBA4iOS is a Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance emulator. It comes with controller vibration, sustain button and built-in AirPlay functionality which puts the game on the big screen while you use your iPad or iPhone as the game controller. It also gives you the option to customize the screen and allows you to play your own music while playing games. Game downloads can be handled within the application, without any file management system.

Android Emulator

15. ClassicBoy – $3.99

ClassicBoy

ClassicBoy is a powerful all-in-one emulator that lets you play classic games by sensor and gestures. It is best recommended for fighting games. However, the app doesn’t come with ROMS.
There are 8 swipe direction (or gesture) can be detected on each side of screen and accelerometer sensor supports control movements of a character. The calibration console is also provided for precise adjustment of tilt parameters.

14. MD.emu – Free

MD-emu

MD.emu is an open-source Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Master System, Sega CD, Mark III emulator that covers almost all of the early Sega years. It features 6-button controller, configurable on-screen multi-touch support, backup memory and SVP chip support for Virtua Racing. There is a free and paid version; both works in a same way except the paid version is updated more frequently.

13. John GBC emulator – $3.49

GBC emulator

If you were more of a handheld console guy, you should probably try out John GBC emulator. It’s a Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator that includes fast forward control and turbo buttons. It is quick and has the best ROM compatibility and has virtually no outstanding errors.

12. RetroArch – Free

RetroArch

RetroArch comes with its own built-in collection of apps to provide you with a one-stop-shop for entertainment. Developers are working to have it play movies and have augmented reality stuff. RetroArch uses a powerful development interface, Libretro. However, the all-in-one emulator does have a compatibility problem that a single-system emulator probably wouldn’t have. Moreover, it is free with no push ads, no restrictions on usage.

11. SuperLegacy16

SuperLegacy16

SuperLegacy16 is a SNES emulator, developed from the ground up to deliver the fastest play possible. This is highly recommended for people who were too much into the games like Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 3, Chrono Trigger or Legend of Zelda. The emulator is packed with thousands of cheat codes, turbo mode to fast-forward games, visual effect shaders, and tons of customization options.

10. Reicast – Free

Reicast

Reicast is the only Dreamcast emulator for Android. It’s not perfect yet, but can run many games. It runs smooth and you can even checkout the device and game history to see if anything is wrong. It includes Dreamcast microphone emulation and saves your game process anywhere on the device, making it easy to locate them.

9. Nostalgia.NES Pro – $1.99

Nostalgia-NES Pro

Nostalgia.NES is a high quality NES/Famicom emulator based on FCEUX. With NES emulator, you will be able to play some of the most popular video games of 90’s era, including Mario Bros. It is packed with Wi-Fi controller mode, turbo buttons, hardware accelerated graphics and cheat codes to make NES games even more fun.
It’s better to try out the lite/free version (with ads) before buying.

8. My OldBoy! – $3.99

My OldBoy

My OldBoy is GBC emulator that emulates accurately almost every aspect of the real hardware. There is a powerful screen layout editor which allows you to define the size and position of every single on-screen control. Moreover, the emulator supports link cable, rumble, tilt sensor and saves your battery as much as possible

7. PPSSPP Gold – $5.99

PPSSPP Gold

PPSSPP Gold lets you play PSP games on your Android devices, at high definition. It runs a lot of games and performance may vary, based on the power of your device. No games are included within the app; you need to dump PSP games and turn them into ISO or CSO file. The emulator allows you to customize the touchscreen panel or use an external controller.

6. ePSXe for Android – $3.75

ePSXe for Android

It’s a PlayStation emulator (PSX and PSOne) that provides good speed, high compatibility and accurate sound. ePSXe comes with a fun 2 player option with split screen mode. It supports hardware button mapping, virtual touchscreen pad, external gamepads Bluetooth, analog sticks, auto save states and OpenGL HD enhanced graphics.

5. My Boy! – $ 4.99

My Boy

My Boy is yet another GBC emulator to run GameBoy Advance games on a wide range of Android devices, from low-end phones to modern tablets. It is highly stable with great compatibility and tons of options. This includes fast emulation, auto-save with screenshot, a powerful screen layout editor, OpenGL rendering backend, clean and well-designed interface, and external controllers support.

4. MegaN64 N64 Emulator – Free

MegaN64

MegaN64 is super-fast emulator that lets you play your favorite N64 games on Android devices. It’s a modified version of Mupen64+, with small UI improvements and enhanced performance for specific smartphones like Galaxy S4 and Nexus 4/succeeding models. However, there are some minor graphical glitches, but it is the most complete and stable N64 emulator you can get right now.

3. FPse for Android – $3.63

FPse for android

FPse is fastest and most compatible PSone emulator for handheld devices. If you want all the options, full control and amazing experience, try FPse for Android. It features real-time save states, high quality sound output, analog stick simulation, HD software renderer, wide screen rendering, native dithering support and much more. The application is definitely not simple; it requires a slight learning curve.

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2. C64.emu – $3.99

C64-emu

The Commodore (C64) emulator is based on VICE 2.4.5. It supports various formats and seems to work better with multi-disc environment. It has FastSID and ReSID sound modes, configurable on-screen multi-touch controls, automatic save states feature, and works in any orientation.
If you are looking for a free option, there is slightly less stable emulator, named Frodo C64 that is worth a shot.

1. DraStic DS Emulator – $7.99

DraStic DS Emulator

DraStic DS Emulator allows you to play Nintendo DS games smoothly on many Android devices. You can customize the placement and size of the DS screens, for landscape and portrait mode. You can also tweak your gaming experience with a database of thousands of cheat codes, and boost emulation speed with fast-forward. The emulator fully supports physical controls, add-on controllers and auto save states. The only negative point is it doesn’t support WiFi/multiplayer emulation.

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Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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