With so many fans dreaming of reuniting with their favorite characters from Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, and lots of other games, the PlayStation cannot just sink into oblivion. You may think that good old PlayStation cannot compete with sophisticated modern shooters, MMORPGs, and strategies featuring mind-blowing graphics, realistic characters, and original storylines. Still, why do so many gamers turn their gaze to old-school games, those released for PlayStation, in particular?
As true connoisseurs of retro games, we’re confident that craving to immerse into the atmosphere of old-school gaming isn’t only a momentary whim that fades away as soon as you start a modern RPG on your computer. Our possession with retro games stems from our desire to quench the nostalgic thirst for amusement and fun the PlayStation provides in great abundance. If you want to play old PS games on a PC, but don’t know where to start, this article is exactly what you need. You’re going to find out what programs will help you run retro titles on your modern machine.
A Few Words about Emulators
We have mentioned magical “programs” that come in handy when someone resolves to take a trip down the memory lane. Now it’s high time you learned more about them.
We seriously doubt that you have that vintage PS console you used to play on back in the day. Consequently, if you want to start playing PS games again you need to avail yourself of something capable of or imitating its operation. Emulators are those programs that enable your computer behave as another computer system (in our case, it’s the PS console). So, the first thing you should do is to find a reliable emulator to run your favorite titles on. And don’t forget to download PlayStation ISOs (images of PS original games) from RomsMode, RomsMania, EmuParadise or any other reputable abandonware website. Thus, you’ll get a full set prerequisite for playing classic PS games on your computer.
Currently, you can find emulators for the PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3 on the Internet. There are even experimental emulators for the PS4 and PS Vita at your disposal. Some websites also offer emulators that are allegedly perfectly compatible with Android devices. Still, we’d recommend that you refrain from installing emulation software on Smartphones or tablet PCs. You’ll be much better off running an emulator on a high-end gaming computer.
Below you can find our top picks of the best PlayStation emulators currently available on the market.
Please, meet an all-in-one, time-tested emulator – RetroArch – notable for its ability to run thousands of classic games for numerous consoles on your PC. In fact, RetroArch is more of a collection of various emulators rather than a standalone emulator. It’s very powerful and, at the same, time not so much demanding in terms of hardware requirements, which makes it an almost unsurpassable competitor in its category. This multi-platform emulator features a user-friendly interface and a handy rewind feature. Still, if you have no previous experience with emulators, configuring it may seem too tedious and time-consuming.
If you’re more into standalone emulators, try PCSX Reloaded. In contrast to RetroArch, configuring PCSX Reloaded won’t take much time. As for its performance and functionality, they are not inferior to those of RetroArch. The emulator supports hundreds of commercial PS games and allows you to run them without lags and freezes. With PCSX Reloaded, you can either customize your experience with manual settings or opt for automatic setting and start playing right away. The emulator is also perfectly compatible with any PC gamepad. So, if you’re longing for authentic experiences, attach DualShock controller and dive into retro gaming.
Mednafen and BizHawk
Technically, we offer two programs, Mednafen and BizHawk, and for good reason. Mednafen is a modern portable multi-system emulator designed to run retro PS1 games on desktop computers. Just like its PCSX counterpart, Mednafen is easily configurable. It allows using both a joystick and a keyboard to control your games. By the way, you can use both of them simultaneously, if you feel more comfortable alternating video game control methods. Moreover, we suggest that you take advantage of the handy BizHawk plug-in, which lets you save states and record your in-game progress. This option will be definite appreciated by PS speedrunners.
On the downside, BizHawk cannot operate without the PS1 BIOS, which means you’ll need to download it from the Internet to start playing. Moreover, prior to installing BizHawk, you’ll need to download its installer, the file that should come with an emulation tool. Still, some players don’t think it’s a big deal.
Now that you know what emulators can help you re-experience happy moments, you can proceed to install the one you consider most suitable and efficient.