Retro Gaming: A Beginner’s Guide To Android Game Emulators

Many people don’t realize just how powerful the device you hold in your hand right now is. Android in particular is such an open-source platform that you can find apps anywhere (legal or otherwise) for just about anything.

Today I’m here to tell you about a category of apps called emulators, specifically game emulators.

Emulators allow you to transform your Android device (be it phone or tablet) into a multi-generational video game system.

Right now, whether you know it or not, you have the ability to play and experience games from the NES, SNES, Genesis, and more.

family playing retro video game

Before we continue, allow me to say that AndroGeek and myself do not, under any circumstance, support piracy and/or any illegal means of acquiring roms (more on what these are in a bit), but simply the acquisition of entirely legal emulators.

For someone that was young at the time of those great consoles, I was very naïve on what games to play and therefore, missed out on some classics. Thankfully, if you are like me or if you just want to rediscover the beloved games from generations gone, you can do that without having to dust off your console hiding away in a box or hitting up eBay for outrageously priced systems with no real guarantee of them working.

Now for the fun part! I will tell you just how to get these emulators and tips on what to do/not do. I’ll be dividing up the sections into specific consoles, because of the specific notes I need to give for certain ones. Here we go!


The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super NES were released in 1984 and 1990, respectively. I definitely wouldn’t expect you to still own a 30 year old console, so that’s what this is for. Quick note, these emulators are not illegal but they are sometimes removed from the Google Play store regardless. The emulators that I have and was originally going to suggest to you have been removed. Good thing is, once you download an emulator, as long as you don’t delete it, you won’t lose it, even if Google removes it from the store.


Now, for the NES, we have the recently released emulator called NES-FC Lite. This emulator features save/load states (saving at any moment), fast forward, and if you purchase the full version, cheats.

For the SNES, we have SNESDroid, an emulator that is compatible with Android OS 2-4, custom key-bindings, and even an auto save so that phone calls won’t cause you to lose your game.

Sega Genesis

The Sega Genesis was the direct competitor to Nintendo’s SNES and therefore features some games you won’t find on that system and vice versa. For classics such as, Sonic and Shadowrun (Sega edition), you should download the game emulator, AndroGens, which features support for the Genesis and the Sega Megadrive as the Genesis was known as in Europe.


Nintendo 64

Ready to upgrade to Nintendo’s third home console and make your way to the 3D world of gaming? I recommend getting the Nintendo 64 emulator called, aN64 Free. This emulator features Xperia Play support, save states, and cheats for most games.


Gameboy Color

Would you like a handheld on your handheld (inception!)? Nintendo’s original handheld, the Gameboy, and its follow-up, the Gameboy Color, are available through the game emulator, Gameboy Color A.D. Play all the Pokemon you want with these emulators, featuring save states, fast forward, and even downloadable achievements.


One final tip…

Always have space on your SD card for these emulators. Most games that you would play on these systems (with the exception of the Nintendo 64) won’t take up too much space, but it’s always nice to keep some room open for any other games you’d like to play in the future.

That’s all the emulators I have to suggest to you for now. There may be a follow-up feature detailing more video game systems you can play on your phone or tablet. Keep it locked right here!