History isn’t always kind to the games we love, and older consoles have become hard to find and prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, emulator software allows Android devices to run classic games with interfaces designed for the best Android phones, so you can revisit some of your favorite games and consoles from years past.
Sure, you can play some classic titles on your Android, but sometimes nothing beats the original.
Unfortunately, since game emulators can turn out to be poorly optimized, riddled messes, a certain amount of good insider knowledge is helpful.
If you’re up for a nostalgic trip, the Android store is happy to serve you.
That shows how far we’ve come. AetherSX2 is designed to mimic Playstation 2 games on Android devices, with a touchscreen interface that mimics a PS2 controller. The emulator offers plenty of options for controller mapping and quality of life settings to customize your experience. The default controller layout omits the “R3” and “L3” buttons, but they can easily be reinserted in the controller settings. Games will slow down or stutter if graphics demands get too high, but this varies from game to game and largely depends on the power of your device.
AetherSX2 also includes on-screen shortcuts for quick save and load functions, and a game speed toggle. While the customization settings are less extensive than some PC emulators, the application is still in version alpha; so there are probably a lot of improvements planned for the future. So go ahead and enjoy the PS2’s famous library of games. AetherSX2 offers an excellent experience.
2. Snes9x EX+
Get used to these kinds of titles. One of the most popular consoles for emulation, due to its library of beloved games, Snes9x EX + runs SNES games on Android. The software offers a fairly well-built replica of the SNES controller, with additional buttons and controls.
Since the SNES is much less graphically demanding than other consoles, games have minimal lag or skipping. The default screen controls feel a bit loose, but you can fix this in Options by increasing the button sensitivity. Snes9x EX+ recreates the SNES experience throughout, easily comparable to the original console in frame rate and stability, all from the comfort of your Android device.
There’s a name that’s fun to say. Another classic console made accessible on your Android device, GENPLUSdroid can run a plethora of Sega Genesis titles with ease. The emulator suffers from the customization of the Genesis controller, thanks to its many buttons. You can easily fix the problem using interface customization options, negating a potential deal breaker. Performance is smooth and the experience of playing Genesis titles translates perfectly to a smaller touchscreen platform. Give it a try if that eBay price just isn’t worth it.
4. My Old Boy!
My old boy! is an emulator that offers both a free and a premium version — some settings are behind a paywall. However, both versions offer an exemplary GameBoy Advance emulation service. The settings are extensive and perfect for customization. The standard touch controls are perfect for GBA gameplay. Games run smoothly, with zero or no bugs or crashes – even an upgrade from the original handheld. Given the simplicity of the technology, MyBoy! is actually an improvement over the original GBA experience. It’s well worth the reasonable price to enjoy some stability on your nostalgic journey.
5. Duck station
Speaking of nostalgia, DuckStation is an emulator of the original Playstation. Unlike other emulators on Android and PC, DuckStation’s quality doesn’t surpass the console it emulates. The sensitivity of the controls cannot be adjusted, resulting in a loose, almost unresponsive feel. Apart from that, the DuckStation settings are very impressive. You can select the classic PS controller with just the D-pad or an interface with one or two analog sticks. The software runs the games very well considering the low technical requirements of the PS. If you don’t feel like spending a fortune on a PS, try Duckstation.
Ephemeral as it may be, the Playstation Portable (PSP) offers nostalgic exclusives, accessible only through the portable console. PPSSPP almost perfectly recreates the experience of using a PSP, as the games were originally designed for a handheld. This holds back the emulator in certain ways. Much of the game’s design relies on easy access to the shoulder buttons via the player’s index fingers.
The touch interface makes it difficult to use the shoulder buttons and analog stick at the same time. Despite this, the input sensitivity is good, the graphics power is surprisingly impressive and the settings are more than adequate for a seventh generation console. If you remember this handheld, PPSSPP gives you a sufficiently authentic experience.
Dolphin is the best choice for mobile emulation of Gamecube and Wii games. The Gamecube interface is fantastic, accurately translating the iconic controller design into a touchscreen interface. Graphically, some games suffer from a smaller screen that looks blurry or jerky, but this issue is inconsistent. In addition to running games exceptionally well, Dolphin does not require an external bios, meaning less preparation time is required before playing.
The touch interface for the Wii game emulation is as authentic as the original. However, the game selection is limited to titles that are not built around motion controls, as Dolphin has no motion control features. Games that require little or no motion controls can be played normally. Dolphin is definitely a great option for fans of Nintendo’s sixth and seventh generation consoles.
The story of the game is in your hands
Video game archiving is not always respected by the industry and some consoles may lose their libraries over time. It’s never been easier to relive the best of previous console generations on a platform that can be tweaked and customized as you see fit. These excellent emulators adapt console controllers to touchscreen interfaces, perfect for use on top Android phones and tablets. When you’re ready to play with Android game emulation, countless experiences are literally at your fingertips.