Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) could arguably be said to be the best thing to ever happen to the arcade gaming industry. The free and open source emulator makes it possible to recreate the software and hardware of arcade games on PC and several other platforms.

As such MAME preserves gaming history by storing the best of games which over time could be forgotten or lost. Even as there are so many MAMEs out there, the best that has stood the test of time is the RetroArch.

retroarch logo

RetroArch is a modular program that runs games and emulators similar to how a website would run plugins or a phone would run apps.

RetroArch cores

Before we get into why RetroArch is the best MAME emulator out there we need to explain how it works. RetroArch is a modular program that runs games and emulators similar to how a website would run plugins or a phone would run apps.

To start playing your arcade game you will need to go to a download website such as romsmode.com and download your MAME ROMS. You will then install the game ROM files and emulators referred to as cores into RetroArch. With compatibility across tens of applications, you can virtually run every new version of an emulator as a core in RetroArch on all types of consoles including the modern ones.

The core library inside RetroArch is constantly being updated and added to. As such, you can always install or update new cores as soon as they are made available on the buildbot. Once you install your core, you can easily load it by heading to the main menu and selecting Load Core. All, your installed cores will be shown in an easy and intuitive list.

The lowdown on RetroArch

The RetroArch MAME is compatible with PC, Mac OS, Linux, and Android Operating systems. Unlike some emulators that are designed to run only specific platforms or operating systems, RetroArch takes the prize as it can run any game from pretty much any console ever built. Anything from PlayStation 1 games or older or Game Boy Advance games or older will play on RetroArch.

Features that Make RetroArch the Best Emulator for PC

Polished interface

RetroArch features an intuitive interface that makes it easy to browse through your games from a set-top box oriented list that sorts the games by system. So it makes it even easier to use as the menu comes in a variety of animated backgrounds and customizable thumbnails.

Next-frame response time

RetroArch provides some of the fastest next frame response time of any emulator out there. As such, it is a MAME that provides nearly perfect latency as compared to the original hardware. Moreover, you can always optimize your settings to get even better results.

Highly customizable

Once you get up to speed on how to use RetroArch you can easily tweak your options to make your games display and run better. With a simple default setting, you can learn how to tweak your settings in no time.

Joypad auto configuration

The emulator automatically configures your joypad on plugging on similar to what you would expect if you were playing with a real gaming console. With automatic configurations, it is easy to have a friend bring in their joypad and engage in a multiplayer game. Additionally, you could customize the settings for the various button and special action combos.

Shaders

RetroArch deals with the poor rendering of old games with graphical filters that replicate the feel and look of CRT monitors. With limitless possibilities, there is virtually no effect that you cannot recreate with shaders.

Achievements and netplay

Just like with your modern web consoles you get to unlock badges and trophies with the classic games. The inbuilt netplay lobby makes it possible to join or host a multiplayer gaming session or just shift to spectator mode to watch a game from the sidelines. The same features of Netplay also allow you to stream your gaming session on YouTube or Twitch or record to a video file.

So, with that said. What’s your take on RetroArch, MAME  and emulators in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

***In cooperation with romsmode.com***

tgg author avatar jonas ek
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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