Top 5 Linux Gaming Emulators

The history of Linux in gaming is quite poor, but this year so many changes happened in this area that we might be able to review top commercial video games very soon. By commercial I mean those created by most significant gaming companies like Ubisoft or Bethesda, and not indie video games. Even though real gaming in Linux based operating systems got a boost this year, emulators were everywhere to be found, for most known video game consoles.

Strangely enough they were one part of Linux you can compare with other OS s mainly because of their vast quantity. Most emulators started as projects, long time ago, and stopped whether they were incomplete or “ready for action”.

  • Darshak Parikh

    I am surprised to not find VBA mentioned here. I mean, the GameBoy Advance games (read: Pokémon games) are played far more widely than (S)NES. There is a huge community of hackers around it, and they all use VBA.

    That being said, this is a good compilation of emulators, and quite frankly, P64 indeed is the best.

  • Zaxth Ragnos

    Higan is the sucessor of bsnes and it’s better. Snes9x is faster however but it uses hacks to run emulation fast, same way that zsnes does and so when looking for something to replace zsnes you should look at snes9x. But Higan produces more accurate results.
    Did you try pcsx2? it’s 3d performance is atrocious on Linux, not to mention the opengl implementation is nowhere near complete at this stage.

  • Michael DeGuzis

    This is a poor set of emulators, not to mention that a “top 5″ can’t cut it for the breadth of popular retro consoles. Also “I’ve installed many emulators on my system, such as the not-so-user-friendly Mupen64plus of which the installation process was literally a pain in the ass” is highly inaccurate. I use mupen64plus for my retro gaming git project (, and it is very good. If you bothered to research properly, you’d see there is a python GUI front-end “m64py” which is highly “n00b friendly.” Mednafen is very good, as well as many others. All of this is tested on low end VMs and physical machines on a variety of hardware. It highly depends on if you want more of an “all in one” like Mednafen, or a singular emulator, like ZSNES.

  • Dean Howell

    Mednafen is my pick for best Linux game emulator.