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Few game systems evoke nostalgia quite like the Nintendo 64 (N64). Certainly, this console became a real classic amongst gaming fans thanks to classics like Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart 64, Mario 64, and Goldeneye. Amazingly, you can play N64 games directly on your PC thanks to an N64 emulator. In this article, we will advise you on the best N64 emulator for PC software.
What Is an N64 Emulator?
Emulators are pieces of third-party software that allow you to play content from one platform on another. For example, BlueStacks is a notable emulating tool that allows people to run Android apps from the Google Play Store on Windows PC. You can check here a list of many more emulators for android and PC
An N64 emulator does the same but for Nintendo 64 games, giving you access to classic games from the console on your computer.
Check this post: Best DS Emulator for PC
What Does an N64 Emulator Do?
Unfortunately, the Nintendo 64 has long been discontinued. So, unless you own an old console you can’t play any games. However, the best N64 emulator for PC tools allows you to play titles from the console on your computer. Importantly you won’t need an N64 console to play titles. When looking for an emulator, it should cover these basic things:
- The emulator must use ROM versions of the games to run N64 titles.
- With the best Nintendo 64 emulators, you should be able to connect any USB connected game controller.
- Your emulator should support leading plugins for audio, controllers, and video codecs.
- The gaming experience should be complete, including the ability to save and load games at any point (incidentally, this was not possible on the real N64).
- The emulator needs to be able to function across various screen sizes and aspect ratios for TVs and monitors.
What are the best N64 emulators for PC?
Below are the best emulators for running N64 games on your Windows PC. The good news is the best N64 emulator for PC services function across Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. It is also worth noting that emulators don’t come with games on board. Instead, they are individual ROMs that can be downloaded separately.
There’s a reason why Project 64 is so well-known amongst gamers. It is simply the best N64 emulator for PC and certainly the most complete. It’s strong feature set has made it the go-to choice for many people. Also, Project 64 has a clean and functionaly UI that makes using it comfortable.
Project 64 Features
- Full Joystick and Gamepad support.
- Extremely efficient UI.
- One-click installer.
- Available portable version.
- Support for a lot of cheat codes
Verdict: There’s a reasong why Project 64 is regarded as the best N64 emulator available. It checks all the right boxes from design, to performance and usability.
Nemu 64 is the best alternative to Project 64 and is notable because it has a small file size on Windows. Essentially, this means it will take less of a performance load of your PC. We also like that Nemu 64 does not require an installation on your machine.
Nemu 64 Features
- Provides offline support for multi-player gaming.
- Online multiplayer.
- Gamepad and Joystick support.
- No installation needed.
Verdict: Nemu provides an interesting alternative to Project 64 thanks to its strong feature set and ability to run without consuming too many system resources.
If you are familiar with using emulators for other services, Supra HLE is perfect for you. Pro users will enjoy HLE (High-Level Emulators) because it provides more advanced options. For example, you can control audio and video plugins. However, there is a caveat here because performance on Windows 10 can be poor. Because of this, we advise Supra HLE for Windows 7 users.
Supra HLE Features
- Pro-level tools.
- Control audio and video plugins.
- Advanced options and settings.
- Joystick and gamepad support.
Verdict: If you want an N64 emulator that delivers pro-level tools, you should check out Supra HLE, provided your PC can handle it.
1964 has become an increasingly popular emulator for Nintendo 64 games on PC. Interestingly, it also works on Android, allowing your play N64 classic on your mobile device. Users also value the usability of 1964 as this has one of the most appealing UI’s of any Nintendo emulator. It also has a full feature set including full ROM support.
- Support for the Android platform.
- Additional ROM customization tools.
- Create your own cheats and game customizations.
- Joystick and Gamepad support.
Verdict: If you can get past the occasional performance lags, 1964 is an emulator that you can take with you thanks to cross-platform support.
Retro Arch is something of a curveball on this list because it is not technically an N64 emulator. That said, it does need emulator cores to access services across platforms. It works on mobile, consoles, and yes, Windows PCs. Because it is not an emulator, it offers interesting tools like added customization and overclocking.
- Ability to access numerous services across multiple platforms.
- Customization options.
- High-resolution visuals
- Support for Joysticks and gamepads.
Verdict: The best thing about RetroArch is that it allows you to emulate games from a range of classic consoles. If you want an N64 emulator that also works for other consoles, this is where it’s at.
In terms of features and general capabilities, Mupen64 is very similar to Project64. It is easy to navigate and use this emulator and it will handle any N64 game you can throw at it. It also has strong support for a cheat system thanks to GameShark code support.
- Dynamic recompilers for 32-bit x86 and AMD64-bit systems.
- Wide plugin support
- Audio plugins
- Video plugins, Graphical rendering (RDP).
Verdict: An excellent emulator for the user who wants granular control, Mupen64 has support for a massive catalog of plugins and recompilers.
In terms of the best N64 emulator for PC tools, UltraHLE is a genuine classic. It was available just three years after the N64 launched in the late 1990s and was a trailblazer in game emulation technology. Despite its age, UltraHLE remains one of your best bets for a top N64 emulation experience.
- Can run N64 games at full speed.
- Easy to use interface.
- Support for gamepads and joysticks.
Verdict: The trailblazer of the N64 emulation market, UltraHLE remains an excellent emulation software that delivers on performance and tools.
Choose Your Favorite Emulator
And there it is, the list of best N64 emulators for PC in 2020. Check out which emulator you think is best for you and let us know in the comments if you need any more advice regarding N64 emulators.
What is an N64 Emulator?
An N64 emulator is a software that lets you run and play Nintendo 64 games on PC.
Are N64 Emulators Good?
It depends. Some N64 emulators are excellent but there are options out there that simply don’t work.
Can I download N64 Emulators on Windows?
Most Nintendo 64 emulator tools are available natively on the Windows platform.
What is the Best N64 Emulator for PC?
Several emulators allow you to play N64 games on PC, such as Nemu 64 and Project 64.