Arcade games have almost become extinct in recent years, but that is beginning to change thanks to modern software emulators. With these programs, you can play arcade games that would have been impossible to experience back in the day, like Space Invaders and Galaga . These emulators make it easier than ever to relive your favorite arcade games, as well as some you may have missed entirely.

If you want to play classic games on your Mac, but don’t want to have to rely on emulators, look no further. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the best emulators for playing classic games on your Mac, with a focus on which are the best choices for emulation on MacOS and whether these emulators are legal to use.

If you’re an avid retro gamer, you’ve probably played so many classic arcade games that you’re sick of seeing them on your favorite emulators. What if I told you there were five different emulators that were just for Mac, and you could play all of the classics you missed out on? I had to include this since I know that some of you feel that the arcade emulator is the most important one on this list.

Arcade games were once the center of entertainment for teens between 1980 and 1990. Companies like Nintendo, SEGA, SNK and Sony were tasked with developing home gaming consoles to bring the joy of video games into the home. Nowadays the market is booming with big representatives like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. However, viewers do not forget the video games of yesteryear. That’s why emulators have been developed, special software that allows you to use your computer as a retro console. With the emulator, you can relive the classic games that marked your childhood. They are easy to download and install, making them compatible with any computer. We present the best arcade console emulators for Mac!

What features must my computer have to run an arcade emulator?

word-image-16778 MacOS computers They are very powerful and have a great advantage in terms of editing tools, video playback and other features. Therefore, the requirements to run the emulator for Apple computers are minimal. On the other hand, it’s an older game that doesn’t need major graphical improvements. The basic requirements for running emulators on MacOS computers to run emulators like MAME or OpenEmu are:

  • Operating system macOS 10.14 Mojave or higher.
  • 64-Bit Processor (x86-64)
  • 2 GB RAM or more.

In the case of Windows, the requirements for running arcade emulators are as follows:

  • Windows XP or higher operating system.
  • Pentium 4 processor or higher. (Equivalent to 2800 MHz.)
  • 2 GB RAM or more.
  • A graphics card with DirectX installed.

List of the best arcade console emulators to play on macOS

word-image-16779 An emulator is a program that allows you to run arcade console games on your computer. Of course, there are different types of emulators, and even specific emulators for the Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, Playstation, etc. Here are the best console emulators for macOS :

It is an open source emulator that is very popular among macOS users. The interface of the program is intuitive, practical and simple. The catalogue of games is one of the most impressive, as you can find Atari, SEGA, NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1, Neo, Geo and many more. It is a free program that is mainly recommended for OS X and macOS.


Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, or MAME for short, is an emulator that allows old-fashioned arcade games to run on a computer. The interface is a bit more complicated, but the quality is equivalent to that of other emulators. The catalog contains over 4,000 titles, making it one of the most complete emulators on the market. Although it is available for macOS (OS X), it can also be downloaded for Windows and Linux.

Download the MAME emulator for macOS


Dolphin is an emulator that allows you to play Wii and GameCube video games on MacOS and OS X computers. Although the catalog is smaller than that of other emulators, it gives you access to two types of consoles that are not normally supported by traditional emulators. Games must be downloaded in ISO format. The main features are as follows: Ability to save or resume games and synchronize remote control. The best part is that you don’t have to use a Wii Remote. This offers more freedom of play. It is also available for Windows.

Download Dolphin emulator for macOS

Kega Fusion

It is an emulator designed to play the games of the vast majority of SEGA consoles. This includes: Genesis and Dreamcast. The program is characterized by a high degree of graphic detail, speed of execution and optimization. Moreover, the application supports multiplayer games over the Internet. The project has not been updated since 2010, but the latest version is still online.

Download Kega Fusion Emulator for macOS


Finally, there’s the PCSX2 emulator, a program that lets you play exclusive PlayStation 1 and 2 games. The open source application is available for free for Windows, Linux and MacOS. The level of compatibility is high, so features rarely cause problems. You can also set screen resolutions and textures to match your computer’s performance. It’s a great option to enjoy Sony games.

Download the PCSX2 emulator for MacOS

What features should the best arcade emulator for macOS have?

word-image-16780 There are many emulator options on the internet for playing arcade games on the computer. But what distinguishes the best? Before downloading the emulator, pay attention to the following features:

Simple installation

Playing from a computer doesn’t have to be difficult. Most emulators just need to be downloaded. Installation is generally not necessary, although some do. When choosing the best emulator, make sure that the process is not too complicated.

Wide range of catalogues

With emulators like OpenEmu Y MAME you can play thousands of games. Others, like PCSX2 or Dolphin, focus on specific consoles and therefore have little variation in their catalogs. Choosing the best emulator for macOS depends on what you want to play.


If you’re looking for an emulator, you want the game to work like it did on the consoles of old. Some emulators are almost perfectly optimized, with no bugs or FPS drops. While others are often stopped, which ruins the gameplay.


There are many emulators. So you need to choose the right version that works with Mac, Windows or Linux. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. We will answer you as soon as possible, and this will also be useful for other members of the community. Thank you. word-image-16781

Author : Patricia Jimenez

Social communications graduate, with extensive experience as a content writer and author, passionate about Apple products, macOS, iPhone….

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