Linux Game Emulators


The field of 'Game Emulating' is a fascinating one!

Lots of “hardcore” gamers nowadays are forgetting the great classic video games that some of us used to spend hours playing, before the era of Xboxes & 4GB games on DVDs!

My favourite while growing up was a TMNT game on the NES device..
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (1992)

[The NES of course stands for: Nintendo Entertainment System]

Today you can play the same game without any NES.. just using your computer, a piece of software called “an emulator” and a 'pirated' copy of the game itself.
The game file is called a ROM, or a ROM image.. and it usually is very small in comparison to the size of games today.
For example, the TMNT game is only 500KB!!

Emulators is a very serious hobby for some programmers, so you may need a guide to know the best emulators out there, although as a Linux user the options are limited in comparison to those available for MS Windows.

The best emulator for NES games on Linux is Mednafen.
And it's also the best emulator for 'GameBoy Advance' games.
So, if you downloaded a game ROM and found its file name ends with (.nes .smc OR .gba), then MEDNAFEN will probably be the most suitable software to run it smoothly.

You may find mednafen in your Repository, but I recommend adding the repos to your Linux package manager, as it's more updated than the official repos.. and the latest mednafen version is the best.
(I use

The SEGA games have better graphics than the NES games. Here you can see two pictures from:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (1992), and
Jurassic Park (1993)

The device itself was called (Sega Mega Drive / Genesis), and the best emulator for it is called KEGA Fusion..
you can download it from:

The third kind of game devices is the GBA, the GameBoy Advance, produced by Nintendo. And as I mentioned before, you can emulate it using Mednafen.
Here are some good GBA games:

Army Men - Turf Wars
Batman Begins
Batman - Rise of Sin Tzu
Batman - Vengeance
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Wrath of the Darkhul King
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
James Bond 007 - NightFire
Jurassic Park III - The DNA Factor
Kim Possible 3 - Team Possible
Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events
Lion King 1 1\2
Oddworld - Munch's Oddysee
Over the Hedge
Reign of Fire
Sound of Thunder
Van Helsing

The last device I'll mention here is the best of them all!!.. The Nintendo 64, with its cool 3D games, even in the year 1996!

And because it's 3D, the emulation process on a computer is a little bit complicated than the other emulators.
On Windows I hear that the best emulator is Project64, but as I work on a Linux operating system 'i.e. Lubuntu 12.4', so what works for me is Mupen64plus, with its “front-end” which is called CuteMupen.

I recommend that you add a Launchpad PPA to your regular repository, to get a .deb package of Mupen64plus, maintained by Sven Eckelmann:

Then you will need to configure the program to get the best performance out of it.
I found the best compatible configurations are:

[ Video: mupen64plus-video-glide64
Audio: mupen64plus-audio-sdl
RSP: mupen64plus-rsp-hle
Input: mupen64plus-input-sdl
Graphics: 640X480 Fullscreen
Dynamic recompiler
Library file: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/
Plugins: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mupen64plus
Data folder: /usr/share/games/mupen64plus
Config directory: /.config/mupen64plus ]

The N64 had many cool titles, like:

Army Men - Air Combat.z64
Toy Story 2.z64
GoldenEye 007.z64               
Super Mario 64.z64
Army Men - Sarge's Heroes 2.z64
Army Men - Sarge's Heroes.z64
Rugrats in Paris - The Movie.z64
Bug's Life.z64
Super Bowling 64 (U) [!].z64
Power Rangers - Lightspeed Rescue.z64
Hexen (U) [!].z64
Powerpuff Girls - Chemical X-Traction.z64
Xena Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate

There are of course more good 'game devices' that can be emulated on a PC, like NintendoDS & the GameCube, but I find them too slow and too complicated, while playing games should be - in my opinion - simple and straightforward.


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