There’s something special about reliving old video games. It triggers your nostalgia and brings back all the good memories you created when you were a kid. The Nintendo 64, or N64, is one of the oldest consoles that have since been discontinued. Luckily for you, with the right N64 emulator, you can replay all your favorite N64 games right on your PC or even your phone.
15 Best N64 Emulator Programs for PC, Mac, and Android
There are a variety of emulators to choose from, and we narrow them down to the top 15 below:
If you favor the PC and Android spheres, you might like 1964. That’s because, apart from supporting those two operating systems, it is brimming with many interesting features. These include full ROM support, ROM customization tools, and others. More creative players can even enjoy making their own games and cheat customizations.
Furthermore, this emulator is very user-friendly, making it great for non-tech-savvy individuals. Add to that a wonderful UI and full joystick and gamepad support, and you have yourself a full-featured N64 emulator.
However, 1964 isn’t perfect because it does have a few weaknesses here and there. We’re talking about a bit of lag and unexpected crashes during gameplay. Nonetheless, it’s still a decent N64 emulator for what it offers.
If you’re a seasoned or novice speedrunner, you might want to check out BizHawk. That’s because it’s built specifically for tool-assisted speedruns (TAS). Hence, it has all the tools you would need to finish N64 games as quickly as possible.
Of course, this doesn’t mean BizHawk litters your gameplay with cheats. Instead, it adds emulation tools like save states, frame-by-frame advance, and slow-motion to help speed up your game.
Even if aren’t a speedrunner, BizHawk is still a solid choice, emulating games accurately and with few to no problems. Furthermore, the emulator also supports other older consoles like Atari, Gameboy, Sega, PlayStation, and more. That makes it a great all-around emulator for Windows users.
The Cen64 is one of the newest emulators on this list. Despite its young age, it’s a good choice, as it focuses on high accuracy and aims for quality gameplay.
The best part is that Cen64 doesn’t demand better hardware to make games playable. All you need is an Intel Core i5 4670K at the minimum to enjoy decent frame rates.
Unfortunately, since Cen64 is relatively new, it doesn’t have a UI yet. That might make it only accessible to tech-savvy users or extremely dedicated fans. Nonetheless, it has great potential, especially because it aims to run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you’re up for the challenge, you can try it out for yourself.
4. ClassicBoy Gold
The mobile gaming market is growing larger, and with it, the mobile emulation community. ClassicBoy Gold is one such Android emulator with a developed set of features and system support. It not only emulates the N64, but also the NES, Game Boy systems, SNK NeoGeo, and more.
In terms of features, ClassicBoy Gold supports a variety of useful emulation features. For example, it boasts save and load states, sensor support, gesture controls, and others. Moreover, each system it emulates has its own set of features apart from the general settings.
As an N64 emulator, ClassicBoy Gold checks out and performs pretty well. Moreover, since its developers are actively updating the app, you won’t need to worry about discontinued support. Check it out for free on Android with a $5.99 in-app purchase for additional perks.
5. Mega N64
The Mega N64 emulator is one of the most solid choices if you’re playing on Android. That’s because it’s a trustworthy app with hassle-free installation and gameplay. It’s fairly simple to use as long as you have N64 games installed on a microSD card. Once you have the SD card and the app, you can play the games almost immediately.
However, the Mega N64 emulator isn’t ideal if you’re looking for something feature-rich. That’s because it only provides very simple tools for folks who just want to play. It’s also littered with ads that can get very annoying over time, especially when you’re engrossed in a game.
In addition, the developers seem to have stopped supporting the app, so don’t expect any updates. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a simple free N64 emulator on Android, Mega N64 is a good choice.
One of the best free, open-source N64 emulators might be Mupen64. It has all of the features you need on a basic emulator. It is also compatible with a good number of Android phones, making it accessible to more people.
Unfortunately, Mupen64 is no longer updated, meaning there’s little to no support for the app. Furthermore, as it’s open-source, many other N64 emulators use it as a base to code other emulators. Hence, it might not be the most rigorous and feature-rich N64 emulator out there.
Nonetheless, Mupen64 is still a decent option as it’s completely free. However, you can opt for the $0.99 version to donate the payment to support development.
One of the best multi-platform N64 emulator programs is probably Mupen64Plus. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, making it a very versatile option. Moreover, it has better audio than emulators like Project64 and it works well overall.
Unfortunately, Mupen64Plus isn’t as user-friendly as other emulators. That’s because it doesn’t include a UI and instead loads ROMs through the command prompt. However, you can bypass that inconvenience by downloading a plug-in like M64Py to add a UI.
Overall, Mupen64Plus runs well on any system you use, whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit system. You can try it out if some ROMs don’t work on the other emulators on this list.
8. Mupen64Plus FZ
As you might have guessed, Mupen64Plus FZ is an emulator based on Mupen64Plus. However, the FZ version of the N64 emulator works only on Android and comes with some changes.
For example, it’s more optimized for Android so all N64 games can run smoothly on FZ. It also has all the basic features you’d want on a mobile N64 emulator. However, like Mupen64Plus, Mupen64Plus FZ is a little tricky to install. While it doesn’t make use of a command prompt, you do need to do some tinkering.
Thankfully, the developers have linked detailed instructions under the Google Play description to guide new users. Moreover, it has full developer support so you can expect regular updates to the app. Lastly, it’s free but has in-app purchases that can cost up to $9.99, depending on your preferences.
9. Nemu 64
One of the best N64 emulator programs is undoubtedly Nemu 64. That’s because it’s very lightweight, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space on your PC. Hence, you don’t have to clear up a lot of files just to make room for it.
Furthermore, Nemu 64 is easy to set up because it doesn’t need any installation. Just download the app and you’re good to go. However, it does have a slight learning curve, so be ready for a challenge if you want to use it.
In addition, Nemu 64 has tons of useful features like online and offline multiplayer support. Hence, you can play with family members at home or remotely with friends. Lastly, it has a full joystick and gamepad support in case you want a more flexible playing experience. Unfortunately, it’s only available on Windows — tough luck for Mac and Linux users.
10. Project 64
By far, one of the most popular N64 emulator programs is Project 64. Here’s why: Project 64 is an easy-to-use, open-source software with an active user base that both uses and develops the program. Hence, you can expect lots of updates and bug fixes done entirely by its fans.
In addition, Project 64 has multiple features that any N64 player might want. For example, it supports USB controllers for better gameplay. Moreover, it includes the ever-popular save states and even allows for high-res textures. Lastly, it runs most N64 games smoothly, so it’s great for playing a wide variety of games.
Unfortunately, Project 64 isn’t perfect because it does have slightly inconsistent audio. Moreover, it’s not available on other platforms apart from Windows. Nonetheless, if you fit its requirements, it’s one of the best choices for an N64 emulator.
One of the biggest multi-platform, multi-system emulators is RetroArch. If you’ve been around the emulation community, chances are you’ve heard of it before. That’s because it can run games on PC, Mac, Linux, mobile, consoles, and a bunch more.
RetroArch not only emulates the N64, but also other consoles as well. For example, it can emulate Atari, Game Boy, GameCube, NES, Nintendo DS/3DS, PlayStation, and more. Apart from this, RetroArch is also a beast at providing lots of customization options. These include overclocking, adjustments for high-resolution, joystick/gamepad support, etc.
Unfortunately, RetroArch isn’t as easy to set up as some of the others on this list. However, it’s still a great choice if you want an all-around emulator for multiple systems and platforms.
Also read: 10 Best PSX Emulators
If you want a decent N64 emulator on Android, Super64Plus is a solid choice. That’s because it does all of the basics well, including emulating games, providing on-screen controllers, and saving games. Super64Plus also supports external controllers for easier gameplay.
In addition, Super64Plus also provides video plugins and features to help users who have problems loading ROMs. The developer also actively responds to issues posted on Google Play, so it has a fair bit of support.
Lastly, Super64Plus is a free app, although it does come with ads. Nonetheless, it’s a decent choice if you want something decent and easy on an Android device.
Pro-level players need pro-level tools, and that’s where SupraHLE comes in. It not only has all the basics down but also provides more advanced tools. For example, SupraHLE allows users to modify audio and video plugins to their heart’s content.
However, despite SupraHLE’s pro-level features, it does lack a bit on the performance end. That’s because it’s more optimized for Windows 7 users, so performance on Windows 10 is a little disappointing. Nonetheless, if you fit the bill, SupraHLE is a potentially ideal pro-level N64 emulator.
Some folks are already on the latest Android operating systems, which is good for them. However, for the rest of us older Android users, finding compatible emulators can be tough. If that sounds like you, look no further than Tendo64.
It not only supports higher versions of Android but also Android versions as low as 5.0. Moreover, across all its compatible versions, it runs reliably well as an N64 emulator. It has lots of cool features like customizing buttons, using cheat codes, pairing physical controllers, and offline multiplayer.
Unfortunately, it’s not perfect because it’s not compatible with all N64 games across the board. However, most of them do run well on Tendo64, so it’s worth a shot. Plus, it’s a free app so there’s not much to lose.
The oldest N64 emulator is unquestionably the UltraHLE. It was released only three years after the N64 launched and could run its games at full speed. Nowadays, it still performs equally well on Windows, but it is a little dated.
Nonetheless, it’s a decent full-speed N64 emulator with a user-friendly interface and support for joysticks and gamepads. However, don’t expect it to have a lot of updates because it’s sort of ancient.
Final Word on the Best N64 Emulator for You
The best N64 emulator for you depends entirely on your needs. Are you a Mac, PC, or Linux user? Do you only use mobile devices and want something that can run on your phone? Perhaps you want something that can run not only N64 games but games from other systems, too. Thankfully, there’s a decent option for all kinds of people, even for speedrunners and pro-gamers.