Gameboy/GBC, NES, master system, PCE and I.think. Genesis. Older arcade games are good via MAME2000, IIRC, as well. SNES is okay but certainly not 'perfect'. New 3/2DS XL is probably my favorite platform to play retro titles on. Not even because it's portable, but because of it's resolution. Lot's of people over the years have shit on it's grossly low pixel density, but playing games 'pixel perfect' is absolutely wonderful. Sadly, my camera doesn't do the colors much justice (colors look great in person as well) but it really makes the games look the best I've seen anywhere, including in retroarch after I've played with dozens of filters, borders.
Because of the homebrewing scene the 3DS has had, you can install a variety of emulators. Currently, the New 3DS is capable of running much faster than the older models, making it a much more ideal platform for emulation, but despite this there are still some emulators that have issues regardless. For more information on how to homebrew your 3DS, visit 3ds.hacks.guide.
There are preliminary 3DS ports
|FinalBurn Alpha 2012||Arcade||✓|
|FinalBurn Neo NeoGeo||✓||A few games are unable to be loaded due to memory constraints|
|FinalBurn Alpha CPS1||✓|
|FinalBurn Alpha CPS2||✓|
|FinalBurn Alpha CPS3||~||most games are too slow to run even on New 3DS, though JoJo runs almost full speed|
|Gambatte||Game Boy/GameBoy Color||✓|
|mGBA||GameBoy Advance||✓||acceptable with Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, but some games are slow to use, even on New 3DS, at present|
|gpSP||✓||~50-60 FPS with dynarec|
|Mednafen VB||Virtual Boy||~||~25-30 FPS|
|Mednafen PCE fast||PCE/PCECD/SuperGrafx||✓|
|Mednafen NGP||NeoGeo Pocket/Pocket Color||✓|
|Mednafen WS||WonderSwan/WonderSwan Color||✓|
|Nestopia||✓||~55-60 FPS, use FCEUmm instead|
|PCSX-ReARMed||PlayStation 1||✓||~50-60 FPS at standard resolution|
|PicoDrive||MegaDrive/Genesis/MasterSystem/GameGear/CD/32X||✓||2D games run full speed, 3D games run about 30 FPS or less|
|Genesis Plus GX||MegaDrive/Genesis/MasterSystem/GameGear/CD/32X/SG-1000||✓||Redbook audio hangs when suspending or pausing RetroArch|
|Snes9x 2002 (PocketSNES)||SNES||✓||less compatible than CATSFC, but can actually run many special chip games at full speed|
|Snes9x 2005 (CATSFC)||✓||~55-60 FPS on standard games, ~50 FPS on Super FX games|
|Snes9x 2005+ (CATSFC Plus)||✓||Same as Snes9x 2005 but with better sound, at the cost of a few FPS, has more accurate audio, slower|
|Snes9x 2010 (Snes9x Next)||✓||Most accurate but slowest SNES core (~40 FPS),too slow to use even on New 3DS at present|
Using current exploits, the New 3DS is capable of running most of these cores at or nearly at full speed on most games. The only cores the older 3DS can reliably run at full speed are 2048, Gambatte, QuickNES, NXEngine, and some older Sega games using PicoDrive.Opposed to normal use of RetroArch, these are all self-contained emulators, albeit sharing the same automatic configuration.Screenshot-taking is broken. Upon exiting RetroArch 3DS, press the Start button.
|TGB Dual||GameBoy/GameBoy Color||✓||~60fps|
|GW||Game & Watch||✓||~58fps|
|FinalBurn Alpha CPS3||Arcade||~||~35fps/~50fps|
|FinalBurn Neo NeoGeo||~||~40fps/~50fps|
|Virtul Jaguar||Atari Jaguar||✗||~10fps (Technically works but is unplayably slow)|
|Yabause||Sega Saturn||✗||~5fps (Technically works but is unplayably slow)|
|4DO||3DO||✗||~8fps (Technically works but is unplayably slow)|
|VirtuaNES for 3DS||git||Mid||~||✓|
|SNES9x for 3DS||git||Mid||~||✓|
|SNES9x for 3DS|
DaedalusX64 - N64 has always been known to be a hard system to emulate, which is why many were skeptical about how feasible it would be to have an emulator for the system on the 3DS. While still in its beta stage, it has shown a lot of improvements thanks to using a dynamic recompiler, with some games running at a playable state. It also supports using stereoscopic 3D (at the cost of slower performance), which isn't a feature a lot of emulators have.
The 3DS does include native firmware for a GBA mode which was mainly used to run ambassador releases instead of having to develop an emulator for them. Because it's technically running a 'virtual' GBA, it can't provide features that are normally available on other emulators, such as savestates, screen filtering, or sleep mode, however it does have high compatibility with the exception of cartridges with special hardware. If you're using an old 3DS/2DS, this is the best option to play GBA games. There are two ways to take advantage of this firmware:
|New Super Ultimate Injector (NSUI)||Beta 27||Mid||✓||✓|
|Open agb firm|
|CitrAGB (based on gpSP)||1.0||Low||✗||~|
Because the firmware that the 3DS uses for backwards-compatibility is actually the same as the DSi, it's possible to inject DSiWare as an installable
.cia file. There's two ways to do this:
|DSiWare Conversion Script||Script||Mid||✗||~|
|DSiWare Conversion Script|
These scripts will ONLY work for DSiWare, NOT NDS GAMES.
TWiLight Menu++ has support for two DSiWare as of v15.1.1 with a special preview of nds-bootstrap, Pop Island and Pop Island: Paperfield. These can also run on the DS.
|PicoDrive for 3DS||git||Mid||✗||✓|
|PicoDrive for 3DS|
'bios_CD_U.bin', 'bios_CD_J.bin', and 'bios_CD_E.bin' based on the respective regions. BIOS need to be in the
|TemperPCE for 3DS||git||Mid||✗||✓|
|Vex3DS (based on vecx)||0.4||Mid||✗||~|
|Mini vMac 3DS||git||Mid||✗||~|
|Name||Latest Version||Active||Recommended||Supported game(s)|
|OpenLara||git||✓||~||Tomb Raider 1-4|
|LÖVE Potion 3DS||git||Mid||✗||~|
|Lua Player Plus 3DS||git||Mid||✗||~|
|SM64 3DS port|
Some have tried injecting alternate ROMs in the available Virtual Console releases (MD, GG, NES, GBA Ambassador, GBC, Japanese emulated SFC compilations) with varying degrees of success. The emulators used for Virtual Console are not as accurate as other emulators so compatibility isn't perfect (the only exception is GBA since it runs it natively, not emulation), Sega systems in particular have high compatibility however.
There's an easy tool that will convert and inject any supported ROM file as its associated VC application called New Super Ultimate Injector. It's an all in one tool and can even remotely install the injection provided your 3DS is connected to the same network. It's currently in beta, but it's still really useful.