Video game console emulators are programs that allow a computer to imitate a different computer’s behavior. These programs are often used to play older video games that are out of print on modern computers or other video game consoles. Emulators are also often used to play modified or translated versions of games. For example, the SNES game Earthbound was a relatively obscure game until it began to gain a wider audience through emulation. MOTHER 3, the sequel to Earthbound, wasn’t even officially translated into English but the emulation community and Earthbound fans has developed fan translations that anyone can download. Emulators have also been used to develop new applications for older systems.

I have collected a sizable library of said emulators over the last couple of years and today I’m going to share my opinion on which video game emulators I think are the best.



VisualBoyAdvance is free emulation software developed by a programmer going by the nickname of Forgotten who later gave development of the emulator to the VBA Team.

The program is capable of emulating Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and all of the Game Boy Advance series of consoles. In the last eight years, numerous forked versions of VisualBoyAdvance have been created for various purposes from recording footage to the development. One of the most noticeable things about VisualBoyAdvance is how simple it is to use. Within about 5 minuets or so, it can be downloaded, installed, and enjoyed with little hassle.



ZSNES is a freeware SNES emulator developed by two programmers nicknamed zsKnight and _Demo_. The emulator was released on April 2, 2001 for windows and was later ported to Linux, DOS, and Mac OS. ZSNES is also one of the first SNES emulators to simulate the console’s enhancement chips. Of all the video game emulators that I’ll mention in this article, ZSNES has the best multiplayer net play functionality. The program features a robust array of emulation options for graphics and sound and runs most ROMs flawlessly.



Dolphin an open-source emulator of Nintendo GameCube, and Wii consoles and has recently been ported to Mac OS and Android. The program is the first emulator to ever run Nintendo GameCube and Wii software, and it’s the only one capable of running Wii games. This program is one of the most powerful emulators that are available being the first to successfully emulate seventh generation consoles and It works surprisingly well even with slower computers due to it’s in depth graphics customization.