You’ve probably heard of game emulators if you're a Linux user. These programs allow you to play classic video games on your Linux PC. Whether you’re looking to relive your childhood or want to try something new, game emulators can be a great way to do it. But with so many options, how do you know which is the best for you? We’ve rounded up the top 10 game emulators for Linux, so you can find the one that fits your needs. From retro console games to arcade classics, here are the best game emulators for Linux.

What are Game Emulators?

A video game emulator is a hardware or software program that enables a computer or other video game console to emulate (imitate) the hardware and software of another video game console. This enables games for one console to be played on another via emulation.

The most common use for emulators is to play old games on newer consoles. But game emulators can also run other software designed for a previous hardware platform, such as arcade games or computer applications. One example of modern games run using emulators is browser-based computer games run in a web browser.

Top 10 Game Emulators for Linux

Most emulators listed below can be found in the default repositories of most major Linux distributions. Many of the emulators listed below also have Android versions. Download pre-compiled binaries and get the source code from the links below. Some of them have Android versions as well. The official website of these emulators provides Android builds for you to download.

  • Mesen
  • RetroArch
  • DOSBox
  • MAME
  • PCSX2
  • Dolphin
  • RPCS3
  • ScummVM
  • ePSXe


Mesen is an open-source game emulator that lets you play classic console games on your computer. It supports many consoles, including NES, SNES, Game Boy, and more, so you can play almost any classic game. The emulator provides many features, such as high-level emulation accuracy, support for saving states and cheat codes, an easy-to-use graphical user interface, and more. If you're a fan of classic games, then the Mesen emulator is a great way to experience some of your favourite titles.


As a multi-system emulator, RetroArch enables you to play games from several past gaming platforms. The emulator is cross-platform and is available for various systems, including Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Raspberry Pi. The Libretro cores are the heart of the RetroArch emulator. These provide the core assets for a large number of games. You can browse the available cores to select your favourite game. Alternatively, you can use one of the menu programs—such as Nestopia—that provides access to the Libretro cores.

The RetroArch GUI provides a neat interface for game controls and system configuration. It supports joysticks as well as gamepads. You can configure video, audio and control settings separately for each game platform from the Settings menu. The core settings let you enable/disable specific cores and fine-tune performance aspects related to graphics and sound.


DOSBox is an emulator that enables you to play old DOS games. It can also emulate other platforms like Atari or Commodore 64 software. You can use this emulator on your PC, Mac, Linux machine or Android device. DOSBox also lets you host graphical interface-based old PC games and programs that don’t have remakes. The versatility of the DOSBox emulator is why it’s so popular among gamers and computer users.

Although DOSBox is widely available and used, it isn’t available on the Nintendo Switch or Xbox consoles. If you still want to play classic DOS games on your console, you’ll need an emulator app for iOS or Android.


The Multi-Arcade Machine emulator (MAME) is an open-source software application enabling you to recreate arcade games in your home. The project is a cross-platform emulator that supports many arcades and video games.

Since it originated in 1997, MAME has grown to support many other platforms beyond the arcade, including homebrew circuit boards, console systems, computer applications, and video websites. This versatile emulator has also expanded support for game systems dating back to the 1950s. If you\'re a fan of old-school video and arcade games, MAME is a must-have app.


PCSX2 is an emulator software that allows you to play games originally made for the PlayStation 2 on your computer. It’s also highly compatible with games made for the original PlayStation, as that was the first console on which the PlayStation 2 was built.

Also, PCSX2 is highly compatible with a large variety of games made for other consoles, such as the PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PSP, and even PS4! While this may seem odd on your PC, it’s a great way to test out old games you used to play or even try out titles you might not have had a chance to play before. It’s also a great way to test the graphics and gameplay of your favourite PS2 titles.

Using the PCSX2 emulator is also a great way to reminisce about your childhood or even introduce your kids to gaming classics your parents enjoyed when you were young. This is also a great way to re-experience games you may have once enjoyed if you no longer own the gaming console. With so many classic games, deciding which emulator is best for your needs can be hard.


The Dolphin Emulator, also known as the Dolphin Wii U emulator, is a computer program which allows users to play Wii U games on their computer. It is an unofficial emulator, meaning Nintendo did not make it. Though the Wii U disappointed Nintendo, the Dolphin emulator is still popular with gamers looking to play titles from this console on their PCs. The Dolphin Emulator for Linux is also available.

The official Nintendo Wii and Wii U consoles have some great games; if you own any of them, you may want to re-play them on your computer. An emulator is the easiest way to do this. With an emulator, you can play Wii and Wii U games on your PC if you have the Dolphin Emulator installed. Remember that using the Dolphin Emulator is considered illegal if you are playing Wii or Wii U games you did not purchase.


PPSSPP is an open-source emulator for PlayStation Portable (PSP) games. It's also known as a pod, PSP, or PlayStation Portable. The PPSSPP can play PSP games on smartphones and computers. Programmers developed the PPSSPP emulator from Poland. The development of the PPSSPP started in late 2011. Currently, it has over 1 million active users monthly and 2 million downloads per week.

This emulator is also popular among game developers and enthusiasts because it allows them to test their game concepts on actual PSP hardware via the so-called bubble system. Additionally, gamers can use the PPSSPP to record video clips from their gameplay and share them with others via YouTube and other online services.

The list of features provided by the PPSSPP emulator includes:

  • High-end 2D/3D GPU rendering
  • HDMI or television display options
  • Spaokstation Studio Pro controls
  • A wide range of games is playable on the PPSSPP emulator, including:
  • Digimon Championship
  • Gran Turismo
  • Metal Gear Solid 3
  • Resident Evil 4


The PS3 Emulator, called “RPCS3”, is the only known working PlayStation 3 emulator. It has good compatibility with games and can run on modern computers. The developers are very active and regularly post updates. Some games are reported to perform better on RPCS3 than on the original console. The emulator needs firmware and ROM files to function. The firmware can be downloaded on the official PlayStation website.


ScummVM is an emulator for multiple classic adventure games. The app allows you to play old and modern graphical point-and-click games using LucasArts' SCUMM engine. Notable titles include the following:

  • Alter Ego
  • Beast
  • Beneath a Steel Sky
  • Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse
  • Crystalline Frustration


ePSXe (short for emulator PlayStation) is a PlayStation video game emulator. An emulator is a piece of software that replicates the behaviour of a hardware device. In this case, the ePSXe emulator replicates the behaviour of a PlayStation console. This lets you play PlayStation games on your PC using the ePSXe emulator.

The ePSXe emulator was last updated in March 2019, and it remains one of the popular emulators for playing PlayStation games on PCs.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the best Linux game emulator will come down to personal preference. Some prefer more modern emulators, while others may be more comfortable with older ones. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to research the pros and cons of each emulator before deciding which one to use. Ultimately, this list of the top 10 game emulators for Linux should help you choose the perfect one for you and your Linux system. We offer that you buy linux server and you practice.

  • Game emulators are software programs that allow users to emulate classic gaming consoles on their computers.
  • They are popular because they make it easy for users to play their favourite retro games without buying the original systems or cartridges.
  • Some popular game emulators include RetroArch, Mesen, and Dolphin.

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