If you are looking for the best PSP emulators so that you can play some of your favorite PSP games and revisit the nostalgia, you are exactly like me. This article features all the emulators to help you play PSP games without issues!
Sony PlayStation Portable was quite revolutionary and ahead of its time. If you ask us, it’s still one of the best handheld consoles. Launched way back in 2005, Sony PSP transformed the landscape of the entire gaming industry.
While PSP is still quite useful as a retro gaming console, getting your hands on one is the biggest issue. The good thing is some emulators can help you relive those good old days without spending a single penny out of your pocket.
Don’t know much about it? Worry not! Here is our comprehensive listicle on some of the best PSP emulators available now!
What Are PSP Emulators? Should You Even Care To Use One?
An emulator is simple software that allows you to run programs or games that you would generally be unable to. It emulates the behavior of other computers or devices, so to say.
For instance, an Android emulator helps you run Android apps on your Windows computer. That is something you wouldn’t be able to do without an emulator.
Another way to look at an emulator is to consider it a translator. An emulator would interpret the game’s instructions into instructions your computer could understand.
As you might have guessed, a PSP emulator would allow you to run PSP-supported games on your computer or mobile device easily. An emulator is relatively safe to use for those who are doubtful as long as you download the trusted ones from their official websites.
Best PSP Emulators in 2022
RetroArch is our all-time favorite game emulator. We are using the word “game” here because it supports all the major gaming consoles out there, including Sony’s PlayStation Portable or PSP.
RetroArch is a massive and ambitious project that aims to act as a shopping mall for retro gaming. This emulator follows the concept of modularity in the form of “Cores.” We have multiple cores for various consoles such as Wii, GameCube, 3DS, GameBoy, and PSP.
Apart from cores, RetroArch also offers various gameplay-related features. We’re looking at next-frame response time, low latency, and shaders to improve rendering and netplay for multiplayer gaming. It also has direct support for recording and streaming to Twitch and YouTube.
There are a host of other tweaks that you can do to improve your gaming experience. The developer keeps introducing new additions to the emulator, the latest being the collaboration with Samsung Galaxy Store.
Some of the key features of RetroArch include the following:
- Cross-platform support for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS
- A polished interface that resembles any popular software
- Automatic controller detection and configuration
- Supports original game discs or CDs
- Open source and completely free to use an emulator
Download RetroArch from its official website!
Ignoring the weird name that reminds you of the PPAP song, PPSSPP is undoubtedly one of the best PSP emulators of all time!
It is a free and open-source emulator that has been active since its initial release. The developers and the community keep bringing new features and additions to the existing package. The emulator allows you to play all the PSP-exclusive games in full HD resolutions with support for upscaling textures.
What’s more interesting is that you can play games at the double the original resolution on mobile devices and tablets. This improvement, no doubt, increases the overall experience by tenfold. Like most emulators, we’re also looking at the support of gaming controllers and save states. A unique feature is the ability to transfer save game files from the actual PSP to this emulator. Unlike RetroArch, PPSSPP is a perfect emulator for someone new to the whole territory.
PPSSPP has trade-off the multiple console support for the easy user experience, and that is a fair one, to be honest. A worth noting thing is that this emulator is freemium software, and to enjoy all the features and have an ad-free experience, you would need to shell out some bucks.
Some of the key features of PPSSPP include the following:
- Available for Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, and even Switch
- Perfect for newcomers into the world of emulators
- Supports big-screen mobile gaming on tablets
- Open source and freemium model
- Some extra options to improve the graphics and experience
Download PPSSPP from its official website!
So far, we’ve looked at PSP emulators available for all possible devices, including smartphones. Now, it’s time to look at the one designed especially for Android devices.
Lemuroid is an open-source emulator that is based on the popular Libretro. The whole idea behind this project is to deliver a solid handheld experience similar to that of the PSP. That makes sense considering the core part of PSP was the whole handheld experience.
Lemuroid not only supports PSP but many other popular gaming consoles ranging from Atari to Nintendo 3DS. You will find all the popular features you would generally expect from a top-notch emulator. Some notable additions include optimized touch controls, gamepad support, and local multiplayer. Local multiplayer allows you to connect multiple gamepads to the same device.
Lemuroid is a free Android emulator; the insane part is that it contains no ads. This feature is insane because there are rarely any good emulators exclusively for Android with no ads.
Some of the key features of Lemuroid include the following:
- Autosave and restore game states
- Optimized touch controls
- Quick save load with multiple slots
- Support for tilt to stick, display simulation, and zipped ROMs
DownloadLemuroid from its official website!
4. Rocket PSP Emulator
Unlike Lemuroid, Rocket PSP Emulator is pretty new to the internet for PSP Emulation, but it still impresses us.
First, Rocket PSP Emulator is based on the PPSSPP open source project. This means you would get all the good features of the best controller for your Android. Yes! Rocket PSP Emulator is an Android-exclusive PSP emulator.
While the emulator brings forward a slew of features, it is still not the best Android PSP emulator. Since it’s new, it needs to improve on various aspects. During our testing, we found numerous bugs here and there. For instance, the emulator crashed when we tried using the cheats feature. There were a few scenarios of losing the saved game data as well. Ignoring a few bugs, Rocket PSP Emulator does provide a solid gaming experience.
If you’re looking to play PSP games on your Android device with amazing graphics and ease of usage, then Rocket PSP Emulator is what you should try. After some tweaks, this emulator can go head-to-head with the Lemuroid emulator.
Some of the key features of Rocket PSP Emulator include the following:
- Android exclusive PSP emulator
- Free but contains ads
- Based on the PPSSPP source code
- Delivers easy to use experience and impressive graphics
Download Rocket PSP Emulator from its official website!
JPCSP is yet another PSP emulator that has been around for a long time. It’s built on the Java Runtime environment, which means your device would need to have this to run this emulator.
JPCSP is an OG emulator, so it doesn’t support mobile devices. You can run this emulator only on Windows, Linux, and macOS, and it can only emulate PlayStation Portable.
The emulator has its fair share of issues and bugs, unlike the previous emulators. With the prerequisites of Java, many users don’t want to go the extra step to use this particular PSP emulator, which makes sense considering the alternatives.
A few perks of using JPCSP would be a great gameplay experience and, of course, the support. This emulator supports almost all the available PSP games out there.
It also supports plugins for GPU, SPU, and CD-ROM emulation. To top things off, we’re looking at the support for multi-track cue files, which is quite rare, to be honest.
Some of the key features of JPCSP include the following:
- Highly stable experience with bright gameplay
- Save games whenever you want
- Support for ECM files, Libarchive, and a host of plugins
- Extensive library of PSP games
Download the JPSCP emulator from its official website!
6. Rapid PSP Emulator
Here we have another exclusive Android emulator that goes by the name of Rapid PSP Emulator. Unlike other PSP emulators, this one is famous for one specific thing – supporting old-gen devices.
If you don’t have the latest powerful hardware and still want to play PSP games, Rapid PSP Emulator might help you do exactly that. Of course, you would have to compromise on the experience and graphics, but we think that’s a fair trade-off.
You can think of Rapid PSP as the modified version of PPSSPP. You get a lot of features from the popular emulator but not all to make the application lighter and compatible with old devices. If you think this emulator lacks vital features, then you’re wrong. Rapid PSP supports thousands of PSP games with a fast and smooth gameplay experience.
You can also use your controller to play all the games. Furthermore, the sound quality that comes from this emulator is top-notch.
Unlike the other Android emulators, the Rapid PSP emulator is unavailable on Google Play Store. You would need to download it from other third-party app hosting sites.
Some of the key features of Rapid PSP Emulator include the following:
- Supports thousands of PSP games
- Comprehensive settings to improve the gaming experience
- Support for PSP homebrew
- Detects ISO, CSO, and even ROM formats
- Completely free and no ads
Download Rapid PSP Emulator from its official website!
OpenEMU is quite a unique emulator as it acts more like an all-in-one package for all your gaming emulation needs.
OpenEMU brings support for almost all the popular gaming consoles out there. We’re looking at Atari consoles, GameBoys, Nintendos, Sony, and Sega. There are tons of other consoles you might not have ever heard of. This emulator will be heaven for you if you’re into retro gaming.
What makes OpenEMU unique is that it relies on other popular emulators for its offerings. For instance, the PSP console inside OpenEMU uses none other than the popular PPSSPP emulator. Of course, the developers have tweaked a thing or two to make it more compatible with their package. This feature means you get the best of all consoles and their features without installing multiple emulators.
OpenEMU is available for Windows, macOS, and even Android, and it’s open-source software and is completely free.
Some of the key features of OpenEMU include the following:
- Supports multiple consoles
- PSP core is based on the PPSSPP emulator
- Gets the best of every world in one package
- Amazing organizational focussed features
Download the OpenEMU emulator from its official website!
That brings us to the end of this article featuring the most popular and the best PSP emulator of the year! If you didn’t know which emulator you should download to play your favorite PSP games, you do now.
I recommend you go with the RetroArch emulator, but if you plan to play games on your smartphone, then go with PPSSPP, as it is simply the best for handheld retro gaming!
So, don’t waste another moment reading anything and pick one of the emulators mentioned above to start playing your favorite games and relive all those nostalgic times!