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Best Emulators as of 2020 + Game Console Timeline

Arnox

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This list will only take into account the more notable consoles of each generation. It includes handhelds. The most optimal emulators listed below for each console have all been chosen from this amazing list. Most of the emulators listed are also available as a core for RetroArch, which means they can function on a very large amount of devices and operating systems.

Original ManufacturerSystem NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
AtariAtari 26001977Stella
AtariAtari 52001982Atari800
NintendoNES1985Mesen
SegaGenesis1989Genesis Plus GX
NintendoGame Boy1989SameBoy
NintendoSNES1991bsnes
SNKNeo Geo/Arcade1991MAME
MicrosoftWindows 95/DOS1995DOSBox
SegaSaturn1995Kronos
SonyPlayStation1995Mednafen
NintendoNintendo 641996Mupen64Plus-Next
NintendoGame Boy Color1998SameBoy
SegaDreamcast1999flycast_gles2
SonyPlayStation 22000PCSX2
NintendoGame Boy Advance2001mGBA
NintendoGamecube2001Dolphin
MicrosoftXbox2001(unstable emulation)
NintendoNintendo DS2004DeSmuME
SonyPlayStation Portable2005PPSSPP
MicrosoftXbox 3602005(unstable emulation)
SonyPlayStation 32006RPCS3
NintendoWii2006Dolphin
NintendoNintendo 3DS2011Citra
SonyPlayStation Vita2012(unstable emulation)
NintendoWii U2012QEMU
SonyPlayStation 42013(no emulation)
MicrosoftXbox One2013(no emulation)
NintendoNintendo Switch2017(unstable emulation)
MicrosoftWindows NT-Windows 102000-PresentWINE/unstable emulation

Atari
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
Atari 26001977Stella
Atari 52001982Atari800

Microsoft
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
Windows 95/DOS1995DOSBox
Xbox2001(unstable emulation)
Xbox 3602005(unstable emulation)
Xbox One2013(no emulation)
Windows NT-Windows 102000-PresentWINE/unstable emulation

Nintendo
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
NES1985Mesen
Game Boy1989SameBoy
SNES1991bsnes
Nintendo 641996Mupen64Plus-Next
Game Boy Color1998SameBoy
Game Boy Advance2001mGBA
Gamecube2001Dolphin
Nintendo DS2004DeSmuME
Wii2006Dolphin
Nintendo 3DS2011Citra
Wii U2012QEMU
Nintendo Switch2017(unstable emulation)

Sega
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
Genesis1989Genesis Plus GX
Saturn1995Kronos
Dreamcast1999flycast_gles2

SNK
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
Neo Geo/Arcade1991MAME

Sony
System NameYear ReleasedOptimal Emulator
PlayStation1995Mednafen
PlayStation 22000PCSX2
PlayStation Portable2005PPSSPP
PlayStation 32006RPCS3
PlayStation Vita2012(unstable emulation)
PlayStation 42013(no emulation)

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Wasn't sure if I really needed to include the Windows line of "systems", but I decided to anyway for completeness' sake. Also, INB4 "WINE is not an emulator!"
 
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