Nintendo 64 & Playstation Emulators for Mac OS X: OpenEmu

Jan 16, 2016 - 16 Comments

OpenEmu emulates Playstation 1, Nintendo 64, SNES, GBA, and much more, the best emulator for Mac OS X

The Mac has long been a great platform for emulating older gaming consoles, and now the best emulator for OS X has gotten even better, as OpenEmu includes support for two other retro gaming greats; the Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1.

PS1 and N64 support is in addition to the vast console compatibility already included with OpenEmu, so if you’re a fan of emulators and old school games, you won’t want to miss this.

What better to do with a library of old N64 or PSX games gathering dust then enjoy those ROMs and play them on your Mac with great performance? From Playstation classics like Final Fantasy 7 and Chrono Cross to Nintendo 64 greats like Zelda Ocarina of Time and Donkey Kong country, OpenEmu will play them beautifully.

OpenEmu includes access to a wide variety of Homebrew games that can be downloaded within the app. Aside from that, you’ll need to use your own ROMs or get them yourself from elsewhere, which is pretty typical with emulators. Fortunately for those with a bunch of game discs laying around, Playstation 1 games on CD are fairly easy to play or to convert to ROMs, while Nintendo 64 is a bit more complex because the cartridges can’t be ripped by a standard CD/DVD player, but it’s still possible.

Here’s the PSX RPG favorite Chrono Cross for Playstation 1:

Chrono Cross PS1 emulator

The interface is easy to navigate and handles a large library quite well, separating games into their respective consoles:

OpenEMU library interface

The Nintendo 64 emulator works very well and does not have the variety of display and sound quirks that some other alternatives out there do:

OpenEMU Nintendo 64 emulator in Mac OS X

You’ll enjoy using OpenEmu the most with a gamepad or controller, and the app supports nearly any USB gamepad or Bluetooth controller you can think of. You can even use existing gamepads with the Mac and OpenEmu if you happen to have a Playstation 4 controller or PS3 controller, and setup for either is easy in OS X. You can also use an Xbox One controller with the Mac, but the setup requires additional hardware, and given that there are many affordable USB options out there like this Logitech USB gamepad controller you may just want to spring for a dedicated controller. Once you have your controller connected to the Mac, you can customize each emulator console to the controller, here’s the Nintendo 64 controller setup:

OpenEmu N64 emulator game controller customization

And of course, aside from the N64 and PSX emulation of classics, SNES greats play wonderfully:

OpenEMU Emulator for Mac OS X running SNES

With high performance, a variety of graphical filters, wide game ROM compatibility, saved states and sessions, full screen and windowed mode, a great user interface for managing your game library, support for Bluetooth and wired USB controllers, and the inclusion of tons of other console emulation including Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Genesis, Game Gear, Game Boy, Game Boy Advanced, Game Boy DS, Atari, NeoGEO, now Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1, and many more, OpenEMU continues to take the cake for being the single best retro gaming emulator for Mac. Have some fun.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, Games, Mac OS


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  1. Jason says:

    Can you change your control setting for the games anywhere?? like where do you switch your buttons to match the ones you want on your keyboard?

  2. Matthew says:

    can you play PS3 or PS4 games on this?

  3. Teakizon says:

    PS1 BIOS dumps are required sometimes, OpenEmu could be interesting for some using Playstation 1 (PSX) games from iso/bin/cue, but sometimes OpenEmu finds itself requiring specific .bin files like scph5501.bin scph5502.bin etc

    – SCPH-5500 [NTSC-J]

    – SCPH-5501

    – SCPH-5502 [PAL]

    – SCPH-5552 [PAL]



    For developers, of course. But for those with PS1 games not loading, that can be why, sometimes the Playstation doesn’t download or have the BIOS and OpenEmu requires those.

    More info here:

    And here

  4. Judith K. Bogdanove says:

    I downloaded it, but my Mac would not open it, due to a security preferences issue. I was not able to solve it, so I trashed the whole thing. Advice?

  5. macdo says:

    Doesn’t work for Mavericks … too bad for the old hardware !

    • ciao says:

      Yes it’s for OS X 10.11 or later as it says on the OpenEmu website. Versions for older releases are at their GitHub but without N64 or PSX support. Many emulators for other consoles though too.

  6. YOKO says:

    Installed the emulator and the controls aren’t working on every ROM I have tried. Any idea why is happening?

  7. Munchkin says:

    This is the best emulator for Mac by far, great for SNES and GBA games.

    I wish Nintendo would just offer their own emulator console with in-app purchases for games. $5 per retro game, they’d make a fortune.

  8. Linuxpro says:

    I just read that right now it is limited to OS-X. I rather run it on Linux.

  9. wallpapers says:

    omg fantastic games. so people play in playstation

  10. Nilesh says:

    Nice article. Where do you recommend to get the roms from?

    • Munchkin says:

      You can make your own PS1 ROM files out of the disc yourself, rip it as ISO and use the cue file.

      Other ROMs are on the web, but depending on your game ownership, the manufacturer, and where you live it may or may not be allowed in your country.

  11. Linuxpro says:

    Might have to try it. I currently run mame64 on mac, land Linux.

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