Looking for the best N64 Emulators for PC? We got you covered.
They have grown, they have advanced, and they have assumed a global scale and popularity, and they have definitely evolved into a language of their own, but they have been in existence for such a long time now that it is impossible to imagine a life without them.
Video games are what I am hinting at, and they have been here since the 1980s. It is as serious an industry as one can be, considering the countless and unimaginable possibilities it provides to anyone who can dream and imagine and think of breaking barriers.
What is Nintendo 64, or N64?
Nintendo 64, or N64, is a fifth generation and Nintendo’s third home video game console. A home video game console, or home console, is the video game hardware which is used by gamers to play at home. A home console, as the name suggests, is meant for its use at home and is non-portable. The Sony counterpart of N64 is the PlayStation.
What is an N64 Emulator?
An emulator, in the gaming context, refers to a computer program which, enables a PC (Host) to emulate or imitate or reproduce the environment of the required console (Guest) on the PC entirely. An N64 Emulator allows the PC to emulate N64, allowing gamers to play games, originally meant to be played on N64, on the PC.
So, let’s get right to it and talk about the 5 best N64 emulators available to us in the internet market.
Easily one of the most popular ones, Project64 is an open source, plug-in-based N64 emulator, written in C programming language. The newer versions of Project64 are improved and are capable of integrating peripheral devices without plug-ins. It is a highly compatible emulator, relatively easy to set up, supports multiplayer.
Project 64 allows you to “save” and “load” states and adjust graphics settings to get the best picture on your monitor. It also allows you to add high-res textures to your game, although it does require a plug-in for that. From the looks of it, it all sounds more than just good.
So what’s wrong with Project64? What Project64 falls short is in its audio. Its audio emulation can even have some crackling sounds or other issues. The only solution for this is to install an audio plug-in for that game. So, if you’re on Windows and looking for an emulator that plays a large percentage of N64 games, Project64 is, undoubtedly, a good way to go.
Mupen64Plus is an open-source, multi-platform, plugin-based N64 emulator, written in languages C and C++, which is capable of accurately playing many games. It scores an advantage over Project64 in that it delivers a better sound experience.
But it has quite a few demerits to its name. It lacks a GUI, so it isn’t easy to use. It uses its own plug-in spec, so any other plug-in would not work with Mupen64Plus.
However, a lot of N64 games can be played on this emulator. So, if Project64 doesn’t work for any game, it’s recommended to try using the Mupen64Plus N64 emulator.
1964 is yet another open-source N64 emulator, written for MS Windows in C and C++. Released in 1999, it is one of the oldest N64 emulators available.
It may be obsolete compared to other new emulators, but it is still a reliable one and is still somewhat popularly used as many N64 games can be played on it. 1964 supports multiple inputs, including an Xbox 360 Controller. Video plug-ins allow 1964 to load high-res textures of N64 games.
Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) is an open source, multi-system emulator written for multiple platforms in the language C++. The intent behind MAME was to emulate the hardware of arcade game systems on modern PCs and other platforms, so that classic arcade games could continue to live on.
Released first in 1997, it now supports over seven thousand unique games because MAME can emulate much-associated hardware, supports arbitrary screen resolutions, refresh rates and display configurations.
An N64 emulator for MacOS, Sixtyforce is shareware. There are both, free and paid, versions of the emulator. It doesn’t support as wide a range of N64 games as is done by Mupen64Plus. However, by using a lot of plug-ins, it allows for a wider range of game support. The free version lacks the feature of saving and loading states.
In addition to above, there are a couple of N64 Emulators, which deserve mention because they are works in progress and have the potential to change the rules of the game entirely.
We could, at least, be informed of them in advance. CEN64 is one such emulator and aims to become a cycle-accurate open-source N64 emulator across platforms.
No doubt that CEN64, when finally completed, it has the potential to take emulation to a whole new level. Another open-source multi-platform N64 emulator worth a mention is Ryu6. So it is still in the very early stages of development and is written in C# language. Its features are also a huge unknown, but it is something that we need to look out for.
Up to You
In conclusion, it is reiterated that there is no “perfect” N64 emulator. Hence, it would be wise to keep ourselves equipped with at least a couple of N64 emulators for PC, both of which together make it possible for us to have a wide range of Nintendo 64 games at our disposal.