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Old 08-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
Baryn
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Post De Facto Emulator for Each Console/Handheld (Windows)

UPDATE: In the intervening 6 years, there is now a really good wiki for that goes well beyond what I could do alone. I'll leave the latest content in the OP for posterity.

Emulation Wiki
http://emulation.gametechwiki.com/

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====================

This is meant to be a complete listing of the best emulators for each console/handheld. I will update the OP to reflect feedback from the community. If a console/handheld is not listed, I don't emulate it and don't have a personal reference. Please contribute!

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In the event of any posts disputing "best" emulator, all candidates will be listed until there is a majority consensus, if there is one.

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Just to clarify, "best" emulator should be judged on 3 facets (in order of priority):
+++ Compatibility
++ Speed
+ Features
BONUS Accuracy

A very compatible emulator that runs slowly should be considered over one which runs fewer titles very quickly (but this case applies mostly to emulators for consoles released in the last 10 years). Feature count can be used as a kind of tipping scale between emulators of similar compatibility and speed.

Accuracy is largely unnoticeable in most titles by most people, plus very accurate emulators typically do not improve visuals and sound. If an emulator has best-in-class accuracy, but cannot be played smoothly on modern systems and does not provide, say, save states, it will receive an honorary mention, but will not be listed first for a console.

============================

Nintendo

NES: Nestopia, FCEUX
SNES: ZSNES, SNES9x, higan
N64: Project64, 1964
GameCube: Dolphin
Wii: Dolphin
Game Boy: Visual Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance: Visual Boy Advance
Virtual Boy: vbjin
DS: DeSmuME

Sony

PS1: ePSXe, pSX
PS2: PCSX2
PSP: PPSSPP

Microsoft

Xbox: Cxbx, Dxbx

Sega

Master System: Fusion
Genesis (aka Mega Drive): Fusion, Regen
CD: Fusion
32X: Fusion
Saturn: SSF
Dreamcast: DEmul, nullDC
Game Gear: Fusion

Other

MSX: BlueMSX
TurboGrafx-16 (aka PC Engine): Magic Engine, Turbo Engine

Last edited by Baryn; 06-19-2015 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Evergreen message.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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...
Game Boy: Visual Boy Advance
...
I prefer Gambatte for GameBoy/GameBoy Color emulation.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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I would add SSF for the Sega Saturn, it's really amazing how much progress it has made on that console. Magic Engine would be an obvious choice for the TurboGrafx 16 as well.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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I had seriously considered creating this exact topic myself this morning.

FCEUX needs to be added to the NES category and definitely add SNES9x to the SNES category, I haven't used ZSNES once since switching to SNES9x a few years ago. Might as well go ahead and list Fusion for Sega CD (and probably 32x as well, though I've never used it for that personally.)
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:18 PM   #5
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FCEUX needs to be added to the NES category
No. Never have a seen such shoddy video/sound output. With vsync on it's a skipable mess. Not only that, but the sound suffers horribly as well, and this is on a modern system. Not once have I ever achieved smooth gameplay from that emulator. Its ONLY merit is the debugging tools (and recording capability... sadly. It's the only reason why I have it on my machine)
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
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Well, I use it damn near every day and I've never seen/heard any of these problems you mention. And I occasionally play my real NES as well, so it's not a matter of mistaking emulation bugs for retro-feel.)

Edit: And add BlueMSX as the best MSX emulator. It didn't just add a usable GUI to MSX emulation, something that was sorely lacking, it added possibly the best GUI of any emulator ever released.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:13 AM   #7
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Well, I use it damn near every day and I've never seen/heard any of these problems you mention.
Neither do I. I use Nestopia too, but since it focus is on accuracy, some roms, or hacks fail to run on it. I then use FCEU.

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And add BlueMSX as the best MSX emulator. It didn't just add a usable GUI to MSX emulation, something that was sorely lacking, it added possibly the best GUI of any emulator ever released.
Ditto, I love BlueMSX. I use it the play Metal Gear and Metal Gear: Solid Snake. I agree on the gui too, it's really nice.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:10 AM   #8
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I'd disagree with ePSXe, I think pSX is genuinely better these days (even if the author's inflexibility makes it pretty dire to use on Shizuku). Also, it's pretty close between Kega Fusion and Regen for Genesis/MegaDrive accuracy these days.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:42 AM   #9
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I'd disagree with ePSXe, I think pSX is genuinely better these days (even if the author's inflexibility makes it pretty dire to use on Shizuku). Also, it's pretty close between Kega Fusion and Regen for Genesis/MegaDrive accuracy these days.
Hmm.. no plugins, but you can't improve the visual clarity? Not sure that is preferable.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:03 AM   #10
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Hmm.. no plugins, but you can't improve the visual clarity? Not sure that is preferable.
I gave up on trying to 'improve' the look of games long ago. They were made to operate at one resolution, and trying to go higher inevitable introduces undesirable visual artifacts. I just try for plain accuracy these days. If I wanted a better looking game, I'd play a modern game.
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