Top 10 Game System Emulators for PSP

It's not too late to play cool retro games on the PSP

How cool would it be to play old Nintendo or Sega games on your Sony PlayStation Portable? Well, if you can find the right emulator, you can play them, thanks to the PSP homebrew community. The best and most popular emulators for 10 systems are listed here. 

To retro-game on your PSP, you need to install custom firmware on your PSP console. Just run a search on PSP custom firmware and enter your PSP model to find the correct download. The process is safe and takes less than five minutes. Then, download a reliable emulator and install it on your PSP. Do a search and download public-domain read-only memory files (ROMs) for your favorite retro games. There are thousands of titles online.

Follow the installation instructions that come with the emulator. In some cases, you download the emulator to your computer, plug in your PSP, locate the PSP folder, and drag and drop the emulator to the recommended folder on the PSP. A BIOS may be required. In other cases, you copy the emulator to a memory stick and access it on the memory stick from the PSP. 

In most cases, emulators aren't perfect. They may run some, but not all, of a platform's games. They may run them at a slowed-down rate. The screen may flicker, or the sound may not be as clear as on the original game. Whether they work for you on your PSP depends on the games you play.

These emulators are not sanctioned by Sony, so you risk voiding your PSP warranty if you install one.

01
of 10

NesterJ: Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Excellent sound emulation.

  • Supports the majority of NES roms including hacks.

What We Don't Like
  • Documentation is lacking, so you'll have to figure out how to use it on your own.

NesterJ is the most-used and most-liked NES emulator for PSP. It runs well, with most games playing at their full intended speed. This homebrew is frequently updated, and there are few reported problems from users. It seems to have the most features of all the available NES emulators.

02
of 10

SNES9x-Euphoria R5: Super Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Extensive options for customizing video output.

  • Very stable and easy to set up.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't emulate SNES sound and graphics perfectly.

  • Limited options for adjusting audio.

SNES9x is a SNES emulator developed for the PC. SNES9x-Euphoria R5 for PSP is an unofficial port of the emulator for PSP. Of the available SNES emulators, this one has the least amount of frame-skip when running games at full speed. It is the most frequently updated and has the most options.

03
of 10

DaedalusX64 R747: Nintendo 64 Emulator for PSP

Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia CC 3.0
What We Like
  • Compatible with PS Vita.

  • Impressive user interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited game compatibility.

  • Button mapping is challenging due to limited buttons.

DaedalusX64 R747 is a Nintendo 64 emulator. Considering that much of the homebrew community didn't think there'd ever be a working N64 emulator for PSP, this one is interesting. It is a signed version that works with official and CFW PSP without any problems. Read the developer notes regarding installation.

Development of this emulator stalled in 2009, and it has had only minor updates since then, but it is the only game in town for Nintendo 64 emulators.

04
of 10

Masterboy: Game Boy & Game Boy Color Emulator for PSP

Game Boy (left) and Game Boy Color (right)
What We Like
  • Emulator for Sega Game Gear and Master System games.

  • Easy to capture and save screenshots.

What We Don't Like
  • User interface is a little difficult to navigate.

  • Occasionally buggy.

This emulator is for both Game Boy and Game Boy color, which makes sense since the GBC could also play older Game Boy games. It seems to handle just about every GB and GBC game without problems, and it has some nice features.

This signed emulator runs on unmodded PSPs.

05
of 10

GBA4PSP: Game Boy Advance Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Near perfect emulation of Nintendo's classic portable system.

  • Several user created mods are available that improve stability.

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to remap buttons.

  • Some popular titles are unsupported.

GBA4PSP is a Game Boy Advance emulator that is available in several languages. It can be adjusted to boost the speed for some games that may run slowly on the PSP.

06
of 10

PSPGenesis: Sega Genesis Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Easy to customize controls.

  • Nice selection of UI skins.

  • Supports 90 percent of the Genesis library.

What We Don't Like
  • Sound quality is good but not quite authentic.

  • Saves states from older versions of the program won't open in the newer version.

PSPGenesis is a fast Sega Genesis emulator, able to run most games at full speed. It also has lots of features and can play most Sega Genesis games on a PSP without problems.

07
of 10

StellaPSP: Atari 2600 Emulator for PSP

Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Takes up very little space on your PSP.

  • Optional "TV jitter" effect emulates what Atari games look like on old CRT televisions.

What We Don't Like
  • Like the original system, there's no ability to save your game.

  • No screen capture feature.

StellaPSP is a port of the Stella Atari 2600 emulator. A big advantage of Atari emulation is that there are quite a few public-domain game ROMs that can be downloaded legally for free.

StellaPSP doesn't run all Atari games and runs some with a little flickering, but the ones that work properly with this emulator run at full speed.

08
of 10

PSPVice: Commodore 64 Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Runs other programs besides video games.

  • Unlike the original system, it saves your games.

What We Don't Like
  • The virtual keyboard is difficult to use on a tiny screen.

  • Some games run slow when the sound is on.

PSPVice is a stable PSP emulator that runs most games at full speed without problems. It has some great features. Although PSPVice was initially released in 2009, it has been updated since then.

09
of 10

NGPSP: NeoGeo Pocket Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Fast with impressive frame rates.

  • Debugger is fun to experiment with.

What We Don't Like
  • Most games have no sound or poor sound.

  • Some games will play but freeze up periodically.

It's not perfect, but NGPSP runs some NeoGeo Pocket games without too many problems. It's the only PSP NeoGeo Pocket emulator out there, so if you want to play NGP games on your PlayStation Portable, this is what you need. This emulator was last updated in 2005.

10
of 10

NeocdPSP: NeoGeo CD Emulator for PSP

Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0
What We Like
  • Supports some ultra rare titles.

  • Graphics look better than they did on the original system.

What We Don't Like
  • Feels like an incomplete project.

  • Limited number of games supported.

The NeocdPSP emulator has lots of options, and while it has a few bugs, many NeoGeo system games are quite playable. There are occasional issues with sound and music.