how can I get an emulator and play a bunch of old nes and genesis games for free?

I've been thinking of purchasing a retron 5 so I can play all of my old games in high def, however I've heard that there are these things called emulators that you can download online, and play games for free on your computer. Is this true, and if so how do I go about doing it? Thanks!

3 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can find emulators & the game ROMs online to play on your computer. While you can find a fair number of emulators, there's only a handful that are relatively active & recommended.

    In terms of NES games, the three recommended emulators for PC are NEStopia ( -- considered dead, but still works with Windows 10); FCE UX ( -- last update was in 2013) & UberNES ( -- Last update was in 2011).

    UberNES is geared for competitive-level gamers with a built-in game recorder for playback.

    For Genesis, the only viable emulator for that system is GENS ( for file downloads)

    If you consider yourself an "Achievement Whore" (thanks to XBox 360's achievement system that spread to PSN & Steam), you can register at Retro Achievements ( ) & use their emulators (which are just modified versions of FCE UX & GENS that includes an overlay layer to manage achievements) with your games.

    In any case, just grab your preferred emulator, grab the game ROM files & enjoy!

    In regards to legal stance On ROMs & Emulators...

    Emulators are 100% Legal... In fact, the Nintendo's Virtual Console service is pretty much an emulator for the games. Emulators are key for game development, so it would be highly hypocritical for the game industry to make them illegal since games are NEVER DEVELOPED (as in programmed) on the hardware that will ultimately play it. Emulators have VCR's & CD/DVD-Burners are a legal precedent... since they cannot break any laws on their own.

    ROMs, however, CAN BE ILLEGAL DUE TO COPYRIGHTS. Games are copyright materials & are subject to copyright laws... where corporate copyrights are around 95 -120 years (personal copyright are generally 75 years or until you die, whatever comes first). Unless the copyright holders release the game to the public domain OR grant usage licenses (generally for personal, non-profit use). This is where things get divisive & confusing... The only way you can legally claim "Fair Use Policy" is that you make your own ROMS from your own physical copy of the games, which pretty much nobody has the tools for. Downloading a copy of a game you own doesn't count because it's a copy of somebody else's game.

    While you'll have to decide where you stand on that issue, Yahoo! Answers policy forbids links to ROMs (for legal reasons)... so you're on your own to find them.

    Hope this helps!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Emulators & Roms are illegal, Nintendo recently went on a copyright strike against them.

    Source(s): I'm a video game critic, it's kinda; my job.
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