The Nintendo 64 (a.k.a N64) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. It was part of the childhood for many of us. So if you want to revisit classic games today, you are going to need a N64 Emulator. Emulators give you access to the entire library of Nintendo 64 games, letting you play all the best games the old system had to offer. Most of them will run on either Windows or Android, but a handful also work on Mac and Linux.
Project64 is a free and open-source Nintendo64 emulator. Project64 is a Nintendo 64 emulator which at first seemed to have popped up out of nowhere, offering excellent game support with little bugs. It then rises up to be the most popular N64 emulator of all.
Project64 was written in C and available exclusively on Windows. Linux users can still install Project64 via Wine and it seems to run fine, but you won’t be supported if there’s any issues.
There was Project64 for Android in the past, but it was later removed from Google Play because the developer has to focus on other issues in his life and has no time to update the app.
You should download the latest version in Project64 homepage, or at least a version newer than 2.x. There have been reports that the old installer was bundled with malware. The latest version however is supposedly safe. Use at your own risk.
Homepage : https://github.com/project64/project64
BizHawk is a multi-system emulator written in C# which runs on Windows and Linux. It supports emulating Nintendo 64 (N64) as well as a handful of other systems. In addition to that, Libretro emulation API can be used internally to extend support for more game system.
Despite being a tool designed specifically for TAS (tool assisted superplay), which does not serve actual human being uses, the developers claim it can be used for casual gaming without any issues. A regular "speedrun" is where a player tries to complete a game in the shortest amount of time possible, without using cheats. Tool-assisted speedruns use features only possible in emulation like slow-motion, frame-by-frame advance and save-states to create a series of controller key-presses, which makes the player look like they are insanely good at the game. Regular speedrunners often collaborate with TAS speedrunners to find the quickest ways of beating a game.
In terms of features, BizHawk supports multiple quality-of-life features for casual players, recording/playback and debugging tools. But like many other multi-system emulators, BizHawk doesn’t excel at any particular system. So if you want the best N64 emulator, it might not be the choice, unless you need TAS support.
Homepage : http://tasvideos.org/BizHawk.html
RetroArch is a multi-system emulator, basically served as a front-end of Libretro. It runs effortlessly on all major platforms : Windows, Mac, Linux, Android; you name it, and it will have a port for it.
The Libretro API allows developers to turn emulators into "libretro cores," which any compatible Libretro frontend can use. Libretro cores can be multi-system emulator themselves, for example the ones based on Mednafen (as "Beetle") and MAME. For a list of supported system, please refer to RetroArch wiki page.
RetroArch has so many options that it could be overwhelming for new users to fully configure it. You may want some help from Wiki’s Dummies Guide for RetroArch page
Homepage : https://www.retroarch.com/
Daedalus (or DaedalusX64) is a N64 emulator written specifically for Linux and PSP, and will be ported to Windows, Mac, PS Vita in the near future. Its PSP version is highly regarded as the fastest N64 emulator on the platform, which can reach near native rendering speed at 480p while playing a few titles.
Another plus score for Daedalus is it’s actively developed at the time of this writing, which means the emulator could get better and bugs be fixed from time to time.
Homepage : https://github.com/DaedalusX64/daedalus
Mupen64Plus is another N64 emulator which is capable of running on many platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, FreeBSD. The emulator is command-line only, but if you want a graphical interface, you can check out M64Py.
Mupen64plus works by adding plugins to the core application. There is 1 included OpenGL video plugin, called RiceVideo. There are 3 other excellent video plugins called Arachnoid, Glide64, and Z64. The full feature list is read as follows :
- Dynamic recompilers for Intel (x86 and amd64) and ARM CPUs
- Two OpenGL video plugins, with Hi-resolution texture support
- LIRC Infrared remote control support
- Rumble Pak support
- Cheat system with gameshark code support
- Speed adjustment with smooth sound output
- Shared library interface for integration into other systems (front-ends)
- Command-line Front-end application
Homepage : https://mupen64plus.org/
Mupen64 is just another Nintendo 64 emulator which has the ability to run on multiple platforms. As of this writing, development has been stopped since version 0.5, which was released back in 2005.
The only thing it’s included in this port is because it has made a good progress in compatibility and because it has been ported to other operating systems like FreeBSD and AROS as well.
Homepage : http://mupen64.emulation64.com/
1964 or Nineteen64, as the name said for itself, is a high compatibility Nintendo64 emulator. With the right plugins, you can play almost any Nintendo64 game on your PC.
In the past, it was one of the most popular emulators around, but has been replaced by modern, more robust emulators.
Homepage : http://1964emu.emulation64.com/
UltraHLE is the first Nintendo 64 emulator to be released to the public. What many thought of as impossible at the time was achieved by UltraHLE as the first (and only) release was able to properly play many popular titles, including Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Unfortunately it has not been updated anymore since it’s release, and the original website is now defuct, too. However, you can still download the legendary N64 emulator at http://alpha.emulation64.com/
SupraHLE is the result of an attempt to improve the legendary emulator by fans. At its heart is UltraHLE core, but tweaked instructions has been added to provide more functionality. At the time of this writing, its development has been ceased too. If you want to have a taste of the past (like 2003), feel free to download and try it at https://www.zophar.net/n64/suprahle.html