How to Play Practically Any Old Game on Almost Any Platform with the RetroArch Emulator
Just about anyone who's been gaming for a long time occasionally feels nostalgic for the simpler consoles of yesteryear. I don't play much anymore, but my grandmother (yes, grandmother) got me started on NES when I was about three years old, and most days I'd still take that over the 360 or PS3.
Sure, those old systems are still around, but it's a huge pain to connect them to modern TVs, and that's assuming they're still functional. If you want the best of both worlds, there's an emulator to play games for just about any console on any device, but what if you want them all?
Of course, you could always just install a bunch of different emulators on your smartphone, or convert an old Game Boy into a multi-platform emulator. But for the lazy folks out there, there's...
RetroArch is a multi-system emulator that can run games for almost any retro console on almost any platform. In the developer's words, "RetroArch is unique in that it runs the same emulator cores on multiple systems."
Here's the list of platforms it supports:
- Linux (x86 and x86_64)
- Windows (32bit/64bit)
- Mac OS X (PPC/Intel)
- PlayStation 3 (PS3 SDK/PSL1GHT (WIP))
- Xbox 1 (XDK)
- Xbox 360 (XeXDK/Libxenon)
- Raspberry Pi
Want to play Doom on your Android, then hop over to your PS3 for a few rounds of Streetfighter? No problem.
RetroArch has some pretty cool features as well, like real-time rewinding, automatic saving, and the ability to play in both portrait and landscape modes. You can use your device to play, or pair a controller with it if you prefer. On the Android app, you also have the option to choose from a list of controllers, or configure your own layout.
The massive list of games also includes classics like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., Castlevania, and Mega Man, and some newer ones like Ninja Gaiden, Crash Bandicoot, Pokemon, and tons more. Actually, there's not much it doesn't have. Check out the video for a long demo.
If you want to use RetroArch on your Android, all you have to do is download the app. For instructions on installing it on Mac, Linux, and PC, check out the RetroArch Wiki. You can find guides for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii here. If you're an iOS user, you're out of luck, though. Maybe one day...
For more details and screenshots on the Android app, check out this writeup over on Addictive Tips.