How to play retro console & home computer games
Over the last decades, several emulators have be created for specific platforms, consoles or home computers. Many have been discontinued or are not maintained anymore by the original authors. Recently, several new meta-emulators have been created, allowing you to play games from a large numbers of old consoles or computers without installing specific softwares for each platform.
The mother of multi emulation softwares, MAME is an multi-purpose emulation framework which supports over 32000 individual systems from the past decades. Available for Windows, Linux, and also for Mac OS thanks to lngn. It's a bit tedious to use though, but you an follow this tutorial.
RetroArch looks like the most advanced multiple emulator front-end, allowing you to play tons of games using the best emulator available. You'll have to learn how to use it properly, but it should be worth your time if you plan to play several games. It's available for many platforms. Get it running with this tutorial.
- Mednafen (Windows) is another great software which supports less systems, but has built in ISO support. Read this tutorial.
- OpenEmu (MacOS only) has nice look and feel and supports many systems. You get to organize your game collection with automatic game covers, etc.
- Higan, started in 2004, allows you to play Nintendo, Sega, Bandai and NEC old systems. Still maintained for Windows.
- BizHawk is a multi-platform emulator designed for TAS (Tool-Assisted Speedruns), but still provide an easy to use interface for casual gamers.