These are the top retro emulator apps for iPhone and iPad, which allow you to play classic N64 and PS1 games.
While modern mobile games can be fine, they don’t compare to classics like Super Mario 64, Pokemon, Crash Bandicoot and The Legend of Zelda. It’s possible to play classic video games on your iPhone or iPad with the emulators listed below.
An emulator is software that imitates a video game console. Emulators can be installed on an iPhone or iPad without jailbreaking. This allows you to play the most popular video game ever made. These are the top emulators for your iPhone and iPad.
About Emulators & ROMs
Apple does not allow video game emulators in the App Store. However, it is possible to download them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without jailbreaking. Although the emulators can sometimes be a bit unstable, it’s still a reasonable price for having access to some of the most popular classic games on your iPhone.
Many of the emulators on this list can be downloaded for free at websites such as iEmulators and the appMarket. You can however get greater reliability by purchasing a BuildStore membership. You may have to use a computer to compile apps for your iPhone.
The AltStore is the best way to install emulators onto your iPhone. It is easy to setup and free, but it takes more time.
You can find more information in our guide installing emulators for your iPhone.
You will need some ROMs after you have installed a videogame emulator on your iPhone. A ROM is the software equivalent of a disk or video game cartridge. You will need a different ROM for every game, but the same ROM will work with any emulator that supports it. The same N64 ROM will work on any of these N64 emulators.
Although emulators are legal, downloading ROMs of games you don’t have is considered piracy. While some companies will allow you to create a backup copy of the games you already own, this is not always permitted. Although ROMs can be downloaded online for free, we do not condone the practice.
1. Delta (Game Boy, N64, SNES)
Delta, the best iPhone emulator available for Nintendo fans. You can get a stable and reliable version of Delta from the AltStore.
Delta supports a wide range of Nintendo consoles.
- Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Color
- NES and SNES
- Nintendo DS (with a Patreon Subscription).
You can save your games to any state with Delta. If you have an external controller you can take advantage of Quick Saves and sync your data to Google Drive. To add flair and security, you can add cheat codes to your games. You can also lock your saves to ensure they don’t get lost.
This emulator is perfect if you want to play Pokemon with your iPhone.
You can connect to Delta wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired keyboards. You can modify the button mapping to your liking, and even save presets per-controller or per-system.
You can customize the emulator skins on your iPhone screen without an external controller. You can also choose buttons for Delta to hold down so that you don’t have to press certain buttons while you play.
This is just a small part of Delta. It is constantly being improved by the developer, and there are many more updates.
2. Provenance (Nintendo, Sony, Sega, Atari)
It is necessary to install Provenance from a computer. However, it is well worth it. Provenance is an iPhone emulator that supports multiple platforms. It’s one of the most well-known and oldest. This emulator is especially useful if you want to play original PlayStation games with your iPhone.
Provenance emulates 30 systems including major consoles like:
You can save your games and record video of you playing, then sync that data to iCloud. To get started as fast as possible, you can choose to automatically load a specific save each time Provenance is opened.
For better comfort on a small screen, connect a wireless MFi or iCade controller.
Provenance’s developers have removed the program from some of the most popular emulator websites. However, you can still install it with an Apple developer account by following the instructions in the Provenance Wikipedia.
3. iNDS (Nintendo DS)
Delta was previously mentioned as the best Nintendo emulator on iPhone. To unlock Nintendo DS emulator on Delta, you will need to subscribe to Patreon. iNDS is an emulator that allows you to play Nintendo DS games directly on your iPhone.
iNDS, which is a derivative of the popular NDS4iOS emulator can be downloaded through iEmulators or the BuildStore for devices that are not jailbroken. Apple can sometimes revoke the license for this application, as with all iOS emulators. This means that you might need to wait for developers to renew it before installing it on your iPhone.
Once it works, iNDS allows you to play Nintendo DS games at almost full speed on iPhone 5 or newer. It can also be used with iPhone 6 and later, up to 60FPS.
You can use save states and autosave to sync your games over Dropbox. This will ensure that you don’t lose your progress even if your emulator is removed. iNDS includes 100,000 game cheats to add a new dimension of fun to your favourite DS games.
The Nintendo DS has two screens. You can use iNDS landscape or portrait mode, with both screens showing in the middle of your iPhone display. To avoid accidental taps, you can adjust the size and style of the controller.
4. PPSSPP (Sony PSP)
PPSSPP allows you to emulate PlayStation Portable (PSP), games on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It should be able run any PSP games on your device. However, older iPhones may not run them at their full speed.
You can also create save states to save your games. This means you don’t have to worry about saving the game before exiting the emulator. For extra fun, you can add cheats to your games.
One of the greatest features of PPSSPP, is the ability to transfer saves from your real PSP. You can also pick up in GTA Vice City right from where you left off.
It doesn’t appear to have an integrated way to sync games to the cloud. This might work best, considering that most PSP ROMs can be quite large.
PPSSPP displays the largest screen on your device because the PSP controls are transparently displayed over the game screen.
5. RetroArch (Atari, DOS, Genesis, PC Engine)
RetroArch combines emulators for many different consoles and offers a single interface that allows you to play classic games on any device. RetroArch can be installed on Windows, macOS Linux, Android, iOS and Android. It is one of the most versatile emulators.
RetroArch supports older platforms such as the Game Boy, SNES and PlayStation emulators.
- Neo Geo Pocket
- PC Engine
- Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)
RetroArch uses one gamepad for all emulators. RetroArch’s extensive support makes it simple to become familiar with the touchscreen layout regardless of what game you are playing.
You can also create save states that you customize and have your favorite apps automatically load when you start the app. To avoid overwriting saves, you can lock them.
RetroArch’s Netplay function allows you to connect with other players for multi-player sessions. This feature works on multiple platforms so you can play with Android and PC users.
Eclipse, a new emulator, has been very popular because of its easy and quick installation process that is not subject to being revoked. To share Eclipse to your iPhone/iPad, simply visit the Eclipse website using your iPhone or iPad. Follow the prompts (be careful of ads) and save the file to your Home Screen. To launch the emulator, simply tap on the app icon.
It’s really that simple.
You can then import ROMs from either the Files app, or your Google Drive account. Eclipse supports the following consoles.
- Game Boy Color and Game Boy Color
- Sega Master System
- Sega Game Gear
You can also use the Game Hub to download ROMs through Eclipse. This will give you instant access to a selection of games. Libraries that are focused on mods can be found to provide a completely different experience than the standard games.
Eclipse, like all other emulators, allows you to save game state and skip boring parts. Eclipse allows you to customize your skins so that you can enjoy playing your favourite consoles with new designs.
Other iPhone Gaming Options
Although they can be a little tedious to set up, emulators allow you to enjoy many classic gaming experiences on your iPhone and iPad. These options allow you to play tons of different games on all platforms.
You don’t have to install the emulators, but you might find them too complicated.