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The fact that video game platforms come and go so quickly is both a blessing and curse. It means that the medium has evolved rapidly in its short lifetime, but that there are old classics that many of us can no longer play due to an inability to keep every single console ever released. Even PC gamers cannot keep playing the classics due to new operating systems.

We have covered emulation quite extensively here on MakeUseOf, to the point it has its own tag liberally filled with articles. Emulation isn’t just about video games, obviously – it’s the act of emulating one platform on another, whether it be an operating system or whatever else – but video games are the mainstay. And the subject of this week’s ‘We Ask You‘ column.

This Week’s Question…

Do You Use Video Game Emulators?

Justin recently wrote an article detailing four great emulators 4 Great Emulators You Can Run On Your Wii 4 Great Emulators You Can Run On Your Wii Get retro games working on your Wii, regardless of whether they're on sale on Virtual Console. A variety of emulators await everyone with the Homebrew Channel installed on their Wii. In this article, we're going... Read More you can run on your Wii. The Wii is one of those consoles you’ll either love or hate, but even the haters may start to love the Nintendo console when they begin using it to play old NES, SNES, Sega Genesis and Game Boy Advance games. Unless they’re Sony or Microsoft fanboys of course.

Video game emulators aren’t entirely legal and you should only use them to play games you have legally purchased. Bearing that in mind we want to know all about your personal experiences with video game emulation and emulators. Have you ever used emulators? If so which ones? Have you exclusively used your PC to use emulators or have you experimented with other consoles such as the Wii?

Are there any websites you have found particularly interesting or useful on the subject of game emulation and emulators? Sony upset many by removing the ability to play PS2 games on the PS3 after the original 60Gb model – Do you think the big console manufacturers should be offering better emulators for older games?


Whatever your thoughts on any or all of these questions please let us know in the comments section below.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what ‘You Told Us’. One reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

‘We Ask You‘ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf social media obsession with anonymity social media obsession with anonymity Read More readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Blake Patterson

  1. Apeless
    January 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I use emulators. Not on a apple device though I think emulators on the iPhone or iPod suck. I have emulators for my android tablet. Game boy andvance, n64, psp, ds, and soon ps1. I also use a ps2 and GameCube/ Wii emulator for my pc. I love using emulators even though they don't run every game I own.

  2. Daniel Gonzalez
    January 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I use almost all of the emulators in these comments. Since I was born in the 90s, I haven't been around long enough to play the classics, and video game emulators help me do just that! =]

  3. Shane La Horie
    October 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Yes i use emulators for almost every console...

  4. Ralph Patrick Villaluz
    August 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I use emulators like ZNES, Nestopia, Fusion, and Stella.

  5. Sheeran Anwar
    July 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Ya I use emulators like epsxe, mame, etc.

  6. Dieter Verbeken
    July 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

    i use ePSXe for al my playstation 1 gaming needs... It was one of the first (or THE first) emulators and i still use it today...

  7. Aaron McConkey
    July 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I still use PCSX-Reloaded, and because of the recent MUO article, I'm using PCSX2, both on my MacBook Pro 2012

  8. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    July 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I agree with the others in that emulators(especially PC emulators) often don't give that same feeling that older consoles gave.
    I've played games with emulators(usually two, since some games failed to work with some emulators), including emulators for the GBA, Nintendo DS, Ps1, Nintendo 64, SNES, NES and the Genesis. and are two of the most known sites for emulation.
    I like emulator zone because it's so basic, it gives the initial knowledge I want for each emulator.
    I like emuparadise, not only because of all the roms you can find there, but also because you can actually play games on the site, without downloading them :)

    Another site I really like is, it's a site with a great selection of ROMs and emulators. I personally haven't had any trouble with the site.

    As we know, some games where made in Japanese and never saw the daylight in English. This site takes some of those games and makes a file that translates the ROM. Personally I was sad to not be able to play Shin Megami Tensei, since I absolutely loved SMT: Lucifer's Call, but this site gave me the solution to that problem.

    I may have been born in the 90s and grew up with the Playstation 1, but I still love all kinds of games. Emulators give me the chance to play games from consoles I've never had and probably would give me difficulty to find(I do know one store nearby where they sell older games and consoles, though).

    Another plus to emulators, is that the 80s' consoles don't take much of your PC. When I got a PC that had 70GB total space as Local Disk and a huge limitation, the first thing I did was get an GBA emulator, because I knew I wouldn't be able to play most PC games. So there I was, having tons of fun with a very limited PC.

    Piracy is seen as a huge issue, but if I'm not wrong, games were made for entertainment, or am I wrong? :/

  9. Gian Singh
    July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    not pc sorry ps3

  10. Gian Singh
    July 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Does anyone know of any good ones that emulate xbox 360 games and pc games

  11. Ales Mole
    July 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I use few emulators especially for fighting games such as Xmen, King Of fighters, Final Fight...all from arcade machines. The emulators used: KAWAKS and MAME.

    I also play SNES games and GBA. On GBA especially RPG game GOLDEN SUN, which was / is amazing.

  12. Nate
    July 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    On my MacBook, I'm rocking Visual Boy Advance, Nestopia, SNES9X, PCSX, Sixty-Force and DOSBox. On my Jailbroken iPod Touch, I have gb4iPhone and NES AD+. You might say I enjoyed my childhood.

    • Glytch '96
      July 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      You should try zSNES. I was there when SNES9x came on the scene.. I never much liked it then nor do i prefer it now. Also, it's not all that user friendly last time i checked it out zSNES also features NETWORK PLAY. which is just ober leet! :D chk it out sometime.

  13. Vipul Jain
    July 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Have to!
    XBOX, Nintendo, PS2 & now PS3 are the focused platforms now. Games launched on these platforms never release for PC, if they do its wayy to late.
    eg: Alan Wake was so late for PC.

    Pokemon the epic series never out for pc, always nintendo, so hail GBA there.

    I love smackdown, but the edition for pc was such BS, so hail PCSX2 there.

    Same goes for many epic games that have crappy PC versions but great console editions, for say Mortal Kombat or Tekken.

    Hence, if you are a gamer, you have to have either a pool of money to buy all consoles, or worship the developers who created these emulators.. :D

    • Prashant Mohta
      October 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

      you are so awesomely correct

  14. William Plachcinski
    July 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I use emulators, it means I get to play all the old games I had as a kid

  15. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    July 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Don't even think to use any emulators because I play video games rarely. The last time I play one maybe a month ago, I don't have time to be wasted on them. No need for emulators so never use emulators for gaming.

  16. Merlin
    July 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Aaargghh that picture! Memories! Ti99-4A, CBM-64 (second version),...
    I once had those too. Only I had the original version of the C=64 :) which I sold to buy me a C=128 later on.
    Does that give away how old I am? ;)

    I have been using a C=64 emulator and dosbox.
    It's fun to take a stroll down memory lane every now and then, but eventually you (at least I) go back to the newer/recent games that do not need an emulator...
    I still have my C=128 and my Ti99-4A, but they are in the attick now.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Probably about the same age as me... I still have old computers in my attic too!

    • Glytch '96
      July 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      HEya Merlin! I still use DOSbox alot.. I grew up in DOS era. If you ever wanted to connect for a game; thatd be awesome.. Ever play Master Of Orion? :D
      I'd love to pick ur brain a little on old skool tech.. I love old computers. Never got to work with C-64 much but I Have played MULE on one when I was much younger.
      How's about Intellivision? Gotta love Utopia! lol
      Did you ever get into SNES much? zSNES v1.42 allows for Netplay.. Its a bit buggy but ussally works with Great games such as Knights of the Round or Turtles In Time.. COntra 3 I think worked.

      I would love someone to play old games with, I have a vertiable treasure trove just going to waste... I've alot of time on my hands too.. so anyone who's an old skool gamer, feel free to msg me.. would love to hook up for a game.. maybe even record & youtube it for all the kiddies :) Show them what True fun was about.. the game, not the graphics!

  17. Luke Brannon
    July 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Emulators could never replicate the real feeling but I feel they could be good for those who haven't got cash but yet they want to play the old games, not to mention a lot of old consoles now can't connect to new TV's so it's all the hassle of getting an old TV and console just for maybe a day or two of nostalgic gameplay only to be confined to the attic for the rest of it's life. I'm lucky 'cause I have a few old school games consoles and a TV to support them but just haven't got round to playing most of my childhood games (timesplitters anyone?) but I do love nostalgic technology!

  18. MerVzter Balacuit
    July 26, 2012 at 8:13 am

    i tried emulated game before but that was coin slot machine and i dont know what emulator they'd used but im pretty enjoy it..

  19. KRavemind
    July 26, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I use the gpSPhone emulator for the Gameboy Advance on my iPhone, to play Pokemon. It's pretty awesome having my pocket monsters actually in my pocket. Gotta catch 'em all!

  20. Joel Lee
    July 26, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I wasted a lot of time playing emulated games for SNES, PSX, and all the GameBoy variations. That was a long time ago.

    Nowadays, I don't have much time for gaming, so I'd rather spend the precious few hours that I have on something like Dota 2 or SMITE or Guild Wars 2 (when it comes out). Emulators are off the table, I'm afraid.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Getting older means less time for games... I hate that!

      • Prashant Mohta
        October 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

        true that

  21. Andrei Anikin
    July 26, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Shure thing I use emulators, it's always a good thing to bring old memories back and pay homage to classic games. Being a PS3 owner I was really angry when they removed PS2 compatibility, but I continue to use my computer for emulating and homebrew emulators on my PS3. With diferent game systems come and go it's always a pleasure to go back in time and become a kid again and play, let's say, dendy games:-) It is also a good way for our kids and their kids to know what it was like when we were young. And of course it expands your knowledge as a gamer. Is it bad? Well, I think not, if it wasn't for emulators I myself wouldn't have known a lot of games.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Sony upset a great many people with that dick move. It may have made sense from a business point of view but not for customer satisfaction.

  22. Phúc Ng?c
    July 26, 2012 at 4:06 am

    I used to be a big fan of emulators :x From Virtual GBA, MAME to ePSXe for PS roms. Although the experiences was unmatch with the real emulators, that feeling when I completed the Pokemon collections in Pokemon series or defeated the last boss in FF Tactics remained as awesome as ever :x Those were the best moments ever when I was a kid, and proud to be born in 1990s!

    • Phúc Ng?c
      July 26, 2012 at 4:09 am

      Aaaa :( I don't know that ": x" will be turn into such an angry face!

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      You were born in the 90's? That makes me feel very old indeed :(

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