15 Great Console Games That Can Be Emulated on PC

Persona 5
Let's see how you're gonna deal with that challenge!

 Console games are some of the best games ever made but that doesn’t mean PC gamers have to go out and buy a bunch of used consoles just to enjoy these classic titles. Emulation on PC has got you covered!

All you need is to have decent hardware specs, an Internet connection, the most recent drivers installed on your PC, and you’re off and running. Below is a list of the best 15 console games you can play on your PC right now with emulators. Only games that can be emulated well and played from start to finish are included on this list. There are some great games that have been excluded based on the fact they aren’t playable quite yet. But that doesn’t mean that won’t be soon! All games on this list were emulated on a test gaming desktop with the following specs listed below.

When emulating these games, it’s recommended to have hardware close to these specs or better:

  • Intel 4790K I-7 Haswell CPU Overclocked at 4.6GHz
  • Asus Z97 Sabertooth Mark 1 Motherboard
  • 16GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance RAM 1600MHz
  • EVGA GTX 1070ti 8GB FTW GPU (a GTX 1060 6GB or equivalent will work too)
  • SSD with at least 250GB of storage
  • Bluetooth pairing of either a PS4 or Xbox One controller to your PC

15. Bayonetta 2 - Cemu Emulator

Bayonetta 2 Let’s Play by Scribe

Bayonetta 2 is an exclusive hack n slash title for the Nintendo Wii U and Switch developed by Platinum Games. It is the sequel to the smash hit Bayonetta which is available on PC and several console platforms. In this game you play a witch that beats up both angels and demons with magic. What’s not to love? Cemu is the best Nintendo Wii U emulator for PC and plays extremely well. Bayonetta 2 may come to PC someday but for those who can’t wait, you don’t have to. This game plays at 60FPS in 1080p as long as you meet all the hardware requirements and have the latest graphics packs for Cemu installed. This is one of the best modern console exclusives showcasing the possibilities of emulation on PC.

Some of the monsters are the size of cities. Still not scared.

Beating up half of Heaven while taking a selfie.

14. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - Citra Emulator 

A Link Between Worlds Let’s Play by ZackScottGames

Citra is the best Nintendo 3DS emulator around and A Link Between Worlds is the best title for it. Sure, some can argue that Ocarina of Time 3D is the best but it’s not. All nostalgia aside, the top 3DS game that has aged the best over time is A Link Between Worlds. This is the 3DS sequel to the SNES’s A Link to the Past and takes on a whole new adventure. The map is mostly what you remember it being before but the gameplay is completely new and unique all to itself. Bringing in 2D puzzles to a 3D world. You can take on the dungeons in any order in this game and the weapons are all available from early on too. Those 2 elements make for a much more personalized adventure that the player decides from start to finish. There are even side quests and extra areas to explore for hours of gameplay. This game still looks incredible and has some of the best music in the entire Zelda series. A Link Between Worlds is a must play for anyone who loves Zelda and never owned a 3DS.

Giant cyclops blocking your way? Nothing a magic fire rod can’t fix.

When you can’t reach something in 3D just go 2D and problem solved.

13. Radiata Stories - PCSX2 Emulator 

Radiata Stories Let’s Play by Soulkrist

Radiata Stories is an action adventure RPG for the PlayStation 2 that can be emulated on the PCSX2. Developed by Tri-Ace and published by SquareEnix, Radiata Stories is an exceptional game from the story, to the characters, to the art style, to the voice acting. It really has aged well and better than almost all other PS2 titles. You play as Jack, who is unaware of his father’s great legacy. With the help of other people, Jack sets out to accidently become the hero he never knew he was meant to be. The cast of characters are memorable and the party starts off pretty quickly with solid pacing over the 30+ hours of gameplay. The voice acting helps the game feel more recent than it actually is and the battle system might be simplistic but it’s satisfying like Tales of Symphonia. This is one of the best PS2 titles ever made and it plays like a dream on PC.

Teamwork gets the combos to rack up pretty quickly.

Your sword also acts as a great gardening tool.

12. Tenchu: Wrath of Haven - PCSX2 Emulator 

Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven Let’s Play by Cao Cao

The Tenchu series was a huge hit on the original PlayStation in the 1990’s followed by a few sequels on the PS2. Capcom and Activision’s The Wrath of Heaven is the best overall Tenchu game and one of the best and most influential stealth titles of all time. This is the OG Assassins Creed and Splinter Cell game set in 7th century Japan. You play as either a male or female ninja warrior set out for justice and honor while assassinating those who deserve it. You can play the game completely stealth or go all out and engage your enemies head on, sword to sword. Either way you chose to play, it’s a very stratifying game that held up well over time and looks sweet on max visual settings.

Hug the corners to get a better view before taking down your enemies.

Your gun is no match for my blade. Let me show you!

11. Vagrant Story - pSX Emulator 

Vagrant Story Let’s Play by ShuffleFM

Vagrant Story is an original PlayStation tactical RPG developed by SquareEnix and can be played on several different PSX emulators for PC. I personally prefer the now extinct, pSX emulator but there are others that will work just as well. In this game you play the main character Ashley Riot, as he makes his way through the catacombs under the city of Leá Monde battling humans and demons alike in a story filled with memorable characters and comic book dialogue. The storytelling keeps a nice balance between mystery and foreshadowing. The animation has a pop art style that stills looks great today and the battle system is a hybrid of both turn based and real time. Vagrant Story is one of the only PSX console titles that still matters. All other games for the PlayStation are either irrelevant now or have since been remastered. Vagrant Story is the diamond in the rough left behind from the PSX era and can be played on almost any PC manufactured in the last decade. You can run the game at 1080p no problem and beat it in 2 days.

Battle Mode allows you to direct hits to specific parts of your enemies, exploiting their weaknesses.

A simple but effective User Interface during battles makes the combat feel rewarding and easy.

10. Skies of Arcadia - NullDC Emulator 

Skies of Arcadia Let’s Play by marauderex

Skies of Arcadia is an original Sega Dreamcast exclusive that also found its way to the Nintendo GameCube. However, the Dreamcast version is the definitive edition in both graphics and sound. NullDC is a pretty simple but reliable Dreamcast emulator that plays this game really well with enhanced visuals to 1080p. In this game you play as Vyse, an Air Pirate Captain that finds himself caught up in a mysterious woman’s journey who is more than what she seems. They join forces after having common enemies. Trouble ensues along the way and the rest is left for you to discover. Skies of Arcadia is a game that emphasizes exploration and plunder. It’s an old school classic. The battle system is turn based, the dialogue is all text but it doesn’t take away from the experience one bit. This game still feels like a lot of fun for being as old as it is. This one is a must for RPG purists.

Sometimes magic doesn’t work best, use physical attacks instead.

Just flying around in my pirate air ship. You’re jealous, I know. 

9. Tales of the Abyss - PSCX2 Emulator 

Tales of the Abyss Let’s Play by DaFlarez

Bandai Namco’s Tales of the Abyss is an action adventure RPG originally released for the PlayStation 2. This is the Tales game that came out right after the widely successful Tales of Symphonia but it is better in almost every way. The cutscenes are more enjoyable, the characters are too and the storyline seems easier to get into at the start compared to Symphonia. The Tales stories are almost always separate from one another which allows them to be played in any order and this is a great place to start. In Abyss, you play as Luke a sheltered and snooty kid who comes from royalty but craves adventure. Early in the game Luke finds himself deep behind enemy lines with people he barely knows. He quickly discovers his role in all of this as he sets out to prevent a civil war between his people and the opposing armies. The battle system is active time, the graphics are still awesome, and the voice acting makes for a really enjoyable and current JRPG experience. This is considered by most to be the best overall Tales game in the entire series and can now be enjoyed on the PC at high resolutions. 

This is just the guest house. You should see my room, it has its own airport and Starbucks.

I just fought that dragon by myself and all we got was Glowing Moss?! Really? Moss?!

 

8. Asura's Wrath - RPCS3 Emulator

Asura’s Wrath Let’s Play by GaLm

Asura’s Wrath is an exclusive hack n slash brawler originally released for the PlayStation 3. A lot of people last generation either owned an Xbox 360 or nothing at all. Thus, missing out on the chance to play all the awesome PS3 exclusives. The RPCS3 emulator allows you to catch up on all the PS3 titles you might have missed like this one. Asura’s Wrath storyline is about the god Asura, who is out for revenge against the other gods that have betrayed him. You pretty much stomp anything that gets in your path and it feels really satisfying for hours on end. The graphics in this game are very cool with a Dragon Ball aesthetic and intensity. It mixes in real time action with cutscenes that just make you feel like a god on the warpath. Playing the game at 1080p on PC with a PS4 controller feels divine and how it was always meant to be experienced.

Don’t touch me bro! You don’t know me.

Asura is all about reaching out and touching someone, with your fists.

7. Nier Replicant - RPCS3 Emulator 

Nier Replicant Let’s Play by PARADIGM

Replicant is another PS3 exclusive worth playing developed by SquareEnix. This game was only released in Japan for the PS3 but has since found it’s way onto the Internet with English text patches. For any fans of the Nier series this one is definitely worth playing even if the audio is completely in Japanese. The gameplay mechanics are all there, the graphics look solid, and the fun factor is high. You can see all the early groundwork for later titles like Nier: Automata within Replicant. It’s a unique experience playing the older titles after playing the newer ones first. One word of advice for this title and starting a new game, use Google translate to create your name in Japanese, then copy and paste it into the emulator. I had to do a bit of troubleshooting to figure out that workaround. I just saved you an hour of your life. You’re welcome.

The blood splatter gets so thick at times that it even covers the screen. Grab a Squeegee.

I’m glad we are friends now but your flying books are freaking me out. 

6. The Wind Waker HD - Cemu Emulator 

The Wind Waker HD Gameplay

Another Zelda title has made the list and with good reason. The Wind Waker for the longest time was arguably the best Zelda game to date. Few adventure series are better crafted than The Legend of Zelda and this specific title is still one of the best ever made. Some hated this game immediately for its cell shade art style but that ironically is what kept the game looking timeless years later. The Wii U released an HD version of both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess but the overall better game to play now is Waker. This game runs really well on most newer PCs at 1080p and is still a blast to play for anyone who hasn’t in a while or ever before. Wind Waker HD is both linear and nonlinear at different points in the story creating a more personalized quest. There are tons of sailing sections but it actually doesn’t suck and the side quests and collectibles at sea offer hours of extra entertainment. This is a must play game.

You guys might want to hire a cleaning crew of something. This place is a mess!

Nothing like being at sea with no food or companions. Ah, feel the adventure and scurvy.

5. Metal Gear Solid: Twins Snakes – Dolphin Emulator 

Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes Gameplay

Metal Gear Solid was originally released for the PC and PlayStation in the 1990’s. This game comes from the mastermind game developer Hideo Kojima and Konami. It is a long-running stealth espionage adventure series. The first Metal Gear Solid went on to be the best game out of the entire PSX library. Years later, Nintendo would give the game an HD facelift and bring it exclusively to the Game Cube system. It feels basic and cliché to argue that the PlayStation version of this game is the better version because of the voice acting. I’m not on that boat. The Twin Snakes version is the definitive version because it offers 1st Person shooting, much needed visual improvements, and the overall storyline is not changed in any way. The original voice actors are also present so do the right thing and play this version on the Dolphin emulator at 1080p and 60FPS.  Unless you want to be edgy and play the PSX version.

I’ve been looking around for a while now and I don’t see a single bathroom. Great.

Please tell me that’s a laser pointer she has locked on my heart.

4. Mario Kart 8 - Cemu Emulator 

Mario Kart 8 Gameplay

The Mario Kart series has been around since the days of SNES. Its one of the best exclusives that Nintendo has and sells well for them every console generation for a reason. These racing games are super fun and do not get old whether you’re playing alone or couch co-op. It’s hard to call these “kids games” when everyone in your house wants to play it for the next 3 hours. Few things are more satisfying than coming back in the final lap with a Blue Shell or Star Power for the win and then trash talking your friends. In Mario Kart 8, you have all the race tracks of the previous games dating back to the SNES days plus new tracks to keep things fresh. There are a lot of extras that are made available each time you win a Cup in 1st place. Doing this unlocks more vehicles and characters, which adds to the replay value. This is one of Nintendo’s best ever and it’s now on PC.

Hit them with the high beams just to be a jerk.

Is anyone even working the control tower right now?! I don’t think this is how it works.

3. Catherine - RPCS3 Emulator 

Catherine Let’s Play by TetraNinja

Catherine is an adventure puzzle platformer developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 3. It is the most unique game on the list and one of the most original games for any console. In this game you play as Vincent Brooks, who lives a pretty safe life on auto pilot. Vincent has his job, his drinking buddies, and a steady girlfriend. As he starts to feel the pressures of marriage and the expectations of being an adult, he meets the woman of his dreams named Catherine. After they hook up, Vincent gets caught between two different women and two different directions for his future. Every night when Vincent goes to sleep, he has to overcome nightmarish puzzles and platform stages to awaken from the dream. Learning more about himself and what he really wants out of life each time. There are multiple endings to this game letting the player decide what Vincent does with his life, adding to the replay value. This is a game with mature themes and may not be for everyone but it offers something you won’t find anywhere else.

Got to move the blocks and climb up quick before you fall into Hell.

Chilling with your bros to take the edge off always helps. The beer does too.

2. Persona 5 - RPCS3 Emulator 

Person 5 Let’s Play by The Musical Gamer

Persona 5 is a Sony PlayStation exclusive developed by Atlus for the PS3 and PS4. It is a turn-based JRPG series that emphasizes character relationships, day to day living, and slow burner adventures. The series has been on a hot streak for the past 3 games with this one being the best overall. Persona 3 & 4 are excellent games and really worth playing but 5 does it all better. Its visuals are easy on the eyes, its gameplay quick to pick up and yet hard to master. There is a lot of grinding here and you won’t finish this one anytime soon. It boasts 100+ hours of gameplay easy, not including the DLC. The first 20 hours just lay the groundwork to the story and for hardcore JRPG fans, that’s the way they like it. Persona 5 is a very recent console game that can be graphically tuned to equal the PS4 version on your PC. There are people who buy consoles just to play games like Persona 5. Which makes it one of the best games to emulate on PC right now.

Sneaking out of the house was never this dangerous before.

So, does that mean you won’t let me copy your homework? How about just some of it?

1. Breath of the Wild - Cemu Emulator 

The Breath of the Wild Let’s Play by ZeldaMaster

What is there to say about Breath of the Wild that hasn’t been said already? It is easily one of the greatest games ever made, for any platform. The hype IS real for this game. Anyone who hates on this game is either lying or trolling. It’s a modern masterpiece. There aren’t any tutorials on how to survive the dangers you will encounter or how to get to that place you can only see but not reach. You start the game out half-naked, with just three hearts and a stick! Good luck. The world is so epic in scale, so dangerous in the early hours, that you can expect to die a lot. It’s like Nintendo’s answer to Dark Souls only the map is ten times in scale. The elements will kill you, so will the enemy hordes, and to top it all off, your weapons degrade the more you use them, eventually breaking completely. This is the most vulnerable I can ever remember being in a video game. There is zero hand holding and what you do next is completely up to you. If you have no idea where you are or how to get back to that one area again, join the club! Everything is earned in Breath of the Wild and nothing is given. That is exactly why it is a milestone in gaming. This is a choose-your-own-adventure game at its finest. You can beat the game in an hour flat or have 120 hours in and still not have defeated Ganon. The Cemu support for this specific game is top notch and you can play this on PC in 1080p at 60FPS. That far exceeds what the Wii U can offer. If you want portability like the Nintendo Switch, just install this on your gaming laptop and you’re good to go, on the go. The definitive edition of this game is not on a Nintendo console, it’s on PC. Breath of the Wild was out for less than a year when it could be emulated fully. That is was a giant leap for PC emulation and why Breath of the Wild is Number 1 on this list, no contest. If you have the hardware for it, start here and say goodbye to the next 3 months of your life.

Nothing like blowing up Bokoblins with bomb arrows. It never gets old.

The vistas are breathtaking and endless. This is only a fraction of the entire world map. Like a speck.

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Eve has been a gamer ever since she got her first PC back in the year of 2000 and loves a good strategy game on a rainy day.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Xcom 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Prison Architect, Tropico 5, Sid Meier's Civilization V
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