Best iPhone emulators

A compiled image of the PPSSPP, DolphiniOS, and Delta emulator logos.
Credit: PPSSPP, DolphiniOS, and Delta Emulator.

A compiled image of the PPSSPP, DolphiniOS, and Delta emulator logos.
Credit: PPSSPP, DolphiniOS, and Delta Emulator.

High-resolution graphics and novel games are all the rage nowadays. But nothing beats the classic console games on platforms such as the Game Cube, GameBoy, and NES. While it's challenging to find old consoles, people have innovated emulators for desktops, android, and even iPhones to allow gamers to head back to retro gaming. In line with that, we've compiled this list of some of the best iPhone emulators to date.

Several gaming emulators have popped up over the years. Some are multi-platform while others are solely created to support games from a single console. With this vast range of emulators, you're sure to find one that's perfect for your iPhone.

Best iPhone emulators


An image of the Eclipse interface.
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Credit: Eclipse

One of the popular iPhone emulators out there is Eclipse which can emulate a variety of gaming consoles. These include the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Master System, and Sega Game Gear. Moreover, this emulator is web-based, meaning it can be accessed from one's browser regardless of the device being used.

To use it on your iPhone, you simply have to navigate to Safari or any other browser application you have installed, open Eclipse's website, and then add an icon on your home screen that links to Eclipse. You can then download your favourite games in line with the consoles the emulator supports.


An image of the PPSSPP interface.
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Credit: PPSSPP

Next is PPSSPP which is the top pick for playing Sony PlayStation Portable games. With this emulator having a catalogue of around 800 games supported, quality graphics, and a user-friendly interface, there's no doubt that the emulator is tailored to improve the gaming experience. In addition to that, there's no need to jailbreak your iOS device to install PPSSPP which also makes it quite accessible

Other perks of using PPSSPP as an emulator include its external control support and ability to save your game progress. You can pick up your game from where you left off and don't have to start from the beginning every time. It's quite a convenient feature.


An image of the DolphiniOS logo.
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Credit: DolphiniOS

If you prefer GameCube and Wii games, then DolphiniOS may be for you. Compatible with jailbroken devices, this is one of the more well-known emulators out there. It has some features such as integrated cheat support, online gaming, and texture packs.

Do take note though that the installation process for this emulator is a bit lengthy such as having to download additional applications, move files, and connect your iPhone to your desktop device to boot your device into jailbreak mode.

Retro Arch

An image of the Retro Arch interface.
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Credit: Retro Arch

Supporting a variety of consoles from the older PlayStation devices, Sega consoles, and NES, to more recent ones such as the PSP, PS3, PS4, and Nintendo Switch among others, Retro Arch gives gamers a lot of choices. As it can carry almost every console out there, Retro Arch seems the ideal pick for the diverse gamer.

Besides that full-package deal, the emulator is also compatible with Bluetooth and USB controllers, allowing you to use external devices to play your beloved games. Keep in mind, though that it does take a bit of time to learn how to use the platform. This is because of the numerous steps to do such as downloading the application file, installing an app signing service, and moving around the files to access Retro Arch. But it's certainly worth it in the end.


An image of the Delta logo and interface.
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Credit: Delta

With its sleek interface and many features, Delta has grown to stand out among the many iPhone emulators. With multi-system support for NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, and even the Sega Genesis, the Delta is an all-in-one throwback emulator to retro gaming.

It also doesn't require your iPhone device to be jailbroken which makes its installation much more convenient. You just have to turn on your device's Background App Refresh and turn off the Automatic Downloads option in your Settings, then you can download the Delta emulator and get your gaming on.


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An image of the Citra interface.
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Credit: Citra

Quite a rare find, Citra is an emulator that has been developed to emulate the Nintendo 3DS. It has a growing library of games you can play and its team of developers has been making consistent updates over time since its release. Furthermore, the emulator has been received well with its smooth gameplay experience and interface.

To install Citra, it has a similar process to downloading Delta. You would need to turn on the Background App Refresh, then turn on Low Battery Mode, and then download and install Citra from its official website.


An image of the iNDS logo.
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Credit: iNDS

As an emulator created to support the Nintendo DS, iNDS supports several old Nintendo games to more recent ones. The emulator's system requirements are also very minimal and it won't each up much of your device's memory.

In terms of other features, it doesn't need a jailbroken device to be used. Besides that, iNDS has a built-in browser to search for the games you're looking for.


An image of the Play! interface.
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Credit: Play!

A PlayStation 2 emulator, Play! allows users to access PlayStation 2 games easily. It doesn't require a BIOS to operate and its configuration is simple.

The emulator also has good graphics quality, external controller support, and a save function. The developers even regularly publish updates for this emulator since its release., fixing issues with various game compatibilities and improvements on the application itself.


An image of the Provenance interface.
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Credit: Provenance

Last on this list is Provenance. Also supporting a plethora of consoles, this emulator can run Atari, Bandai, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and other consoles. Having an easy installation method and useful features such as saves and a customisable interface, this emulator is beginner-friendly to those who are getting into game emulators.

You won't need to jailbreak your device for this emulator. Moreover, loading up games is seamless as Provenance comes with a one-click-play feature.

That wraps up this list of some of the best iPhone emulators. These applications have revolutionized mobile gaming and brings back the nostalgia of classic console gaming right to your fingertips. If you liked this guide, consider reading through our other pieces such as some of the best Android emulators and how to edit videos in CapCut.

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