Best Retroarch Cores

Best Retroarch Cores – Game boy, Nintendo PlayStation, Sega, SNES, Atari, Neo Geo, PSP, PS2, Dreamcast, Game Cube, N64


RetroArch is an emulator that runs on multiple systems and supports nearly every video game console. Atari Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket Color, WonderSwan, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, NES, SNES, Virtual Boy, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-CD, PC-FX, Game Gear, Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD/Mega CD, Sega Master System, PlayStation 1, Saturn, PSP, and much more! It’s an open source emulator available on every operating system, and is completely free.


Best Retroarch Cores for the Money – Full List

These are the most powerful cores for every console.

  • Game Boy Advance – mGBA
  • Game Boy/Game Boy Color – Gambatte
  • Nintendo (NES) – Nestopia
  • Nintendo 64 – Mupen64Plus
  • PlayStation – PCSX-ReARMed
  • Sega Genesis/Game Gear – Genesis Plus GX (PicoDrive from Sega 32X games)
  • Sega Saturn – Yabause (very strenuous performance-wise)
  • Super Nintendo (SNES) – Snes9X

Additional Great Cores List

  • Atari
    • 2600 – Stella
    • 5200 – Standalone Kat 5200 (don’t make use of RA)
    • 7800 Prosystem
    • Jaguar – VirtualJaguar
    • Lynx – Handy
  • Sega
    • SG 1000 Gens
    • MS Gens
    • MD Gens
    • Gens CD
    • GG Gens
    • 32 – Pico
    • Saturn Saturn Mednafen (standalone still highly recommended)
  • Dreamcast The Dreamcast Demul Standalone
  • NES is Nestopia/FCEUmme.
  • SNES-BSNES accuracy/balanced Snes9X
  • Virtual Boy – Mednafen VB
  • N64 (N64) : Mupen64, Dolphin standalone for certain games. PJ64 independent for other games (its an unofficial patchwork)
  • Game Cube – Dolphin standalone
  • PC Engine/Turbo 16/turbo CD – Mednafen PCE Fast
  • Gameboy/Gameboy Color – Gambette
  • Gameboy Advanced , mgba
  • Nintendo DS – Desume/Desume standalone
  • Playstation – Beetle PSX hardware, including rendering software (default Vulkan, still in the process of being tested)
  • PS2 PCSX2 standalone PCSX2 standalone
  • PSP – PPSSPP standalone
  • 3DO 4DO 4DO core is great, 4DO standalone is supposedly more effective (your option)
  • Wonderswan/Color – Mednafen wonderswan
  • GCE Vectrex – Vectrex
  • NeoGeo
    • Pocket – Mednafen NGP
    • AES MAME
    • CD MESS (Haven’t tried it by myself)

Best Retroarch Cores – Is There a Core that is the Best?

There isn’t one optimal core. Each comes with a unique use-case (accuracy and speed). …). Therefore, you should try to choose the one that is best suited to your requirements. We have a forum here and look up the preferences of other users. The libretro website for documentation will also have details that can be helpful when selecting the appropriate core to meet your needs. When choosing cores, the ones with no date after their name are the most recent and those with years (such such as Snes9x2010) can be snapshots of an earlier stage of the development of the core, that was more efficient, but not as accurate. Therefore, as an overall rule that you should begin with the most recent version. And should your device not keep up with the speed, you can try the older core, and continue until you are able to maintain a stable full-speed framerate.