Back in the day, when mobile phones were not so popular, handheld gaming devices were the most sought-after gadgets by youngsters. Now, even though smartphones have revolutionized mobile gaming and replaced our old gaming consoles, people are still in love with the old-school classic video games we played in our teenage years. If you are a person who loves those vintage games, this article is for you. Here we present our handpicked collection of the best retro ROMs for Android.
As you read, we will explain how you can download and install the ROMs on your Android smartphone and start retro gaming right away to experience the nostalgia. This can help you recall some of your childhood memories as well. Thanks to many retro ROMs that can bring back the pleasure of Road Rash, Super Mario, Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, etc. So let’s quickly check which are the top Retro ROMs for Android.
Best Retro ROMs for Android
1. Pokemon Retro ROM
Pokemon is a popular video game series published by Nintendo. They come in various versions like Emerald, Fire Red, Black, Jupiter, etc. If you are a fan of Pokemon games and want to play these nostalgic games on your Android phone, this ROM game is for you. In the download link provided below, you can find ROM files of various versions of the game. You also need to download one of your favorite console emulators to add the ROM file and play it right away.
2. Road Rash Retro ROM
Road Rash was undoubtedly one of the best vintage games that we had played in the mid-90s. It’s a racing and vehicular combat game where we have to go through a series of motorcycle races and win to enter higher-difficulty races. Also, we need to engage in both armed and unarmed combats to block other racers from winning on the track.
The game was released first time in September 1991 by Electronics Arts (EA) for Sega Genesis. Since its initial release, it has gained immense popularity in the gaming community. Due to its exceptionally great acceptance, it was subsequently ported to various other platforms and systems.
The Road Rash retro ROM is an excellent piece of software for you to download and play on your smartphone using a SG emulator for Android. You need to download and install the emulator and load ROM into the emulator to play the game.
3. Super Mario Advance ROM
Super Mario is another great retro ROM on the list. It’s a game series created by Nintendo for NES, featuring their mascot – Mario. This is an adventure game where Mario goes through adventure in a fictional mushroom kingdom. Here the player takes the character of Mario, and in the adventure, it runs and jumps across platforms and enemies. As you (Mario) proceed, you will come across a multitude of power-up items that give you special powers and lives.
This is actually a game that both kids and adults can enjoy. If you are interested in retro gaming on your Android smartphone, then you should definitely consider installing the retro ROM. Although we have a plethora of amazing high graphics games today, retro gaming is kind of a different feel and can impart immense pleasure to us.
You must install a Gameboy Advance or GBA emulator with the ROM to work on your Android phone. Download links for both are given below. You can also download retro roms for different versions like Super Mario Bros, Super Mario World, etc.
4. The Legend Of Zelda – A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda is a must-have on the list. It’s kind of a high fantasy action-adventure game created by Nintendo. The game centers on various incarnations of a magical princess named Zelda.
It encompasses a series of puzzles, action, adventures, and battle gameplay. Although they have refined the said features, most elements have remained constant throughout the series.
Every game in the Zelda series has consisted of 3 main areas. An overworld that connects other areas, areas of interaction with other characters, and dungeons, an underground area with a wide variety of brutal enemies.
Anyways, the game has pioneered a handful of features that later turned out to become industry standards.
If you love this game and want to play it on your Android smartphone, you can download retro ROM and emulator from here:
5. Duck Hunt Retro ROM
The Duck Hunt is a light gun shooter video game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was first released in 1984. In this game, we use an NES zapper connected with a CRT television monitor to hunt down the ducks that appear on the screen.
In the gameplay, we’ll be given three shots for shooting the ducks, and at a time, there will be a couple of ducks that we need to hunt down. Once we’ve completed hunting all the ducks, we’ll be promoted to the next round, where the difficulty will be more serious.
The game initially received only a few reviews, but later on, it was given great critical praise in the retrospective reviews. You can install this excellent game on your phone to play with your kids or your addicted retro gaming buddies.
6. Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong is also a series of games that features the adventures of an ape named Donkey Kong. This game was initially released for arcade gaming machines in 1981. Later, in 1994, it was revived as a Donkey Kong Country series featuring the Donkey Kong ape and this clan of other apes as protagonists. Their rivalry with human-like enemies in their native jungle is the main thread of the series.
The hallmark characteristic of the Donkey Kong franchise is the barrels, which are a kind of a cask or hollow cylindrical container the apes use as a weapon to attack their enemies.
7. Mortal Kombat
Mortal combat will be another great choice for retro gamers, and that’s why we included it on our list. It’s an arcade fighting game first developed and published by Midway Games for SNES systems in 1992 and later released by other companies.
The game features the journey of a monk named Liu Kang to save the Earth from an evil wizard Shang Tsung, and it ends with the confrontation in the tournament known as Mortal Kombat.
In this fighting game, the players battle the opponents in one-on-one games. The player that destroys the opponent’s health first will pass the first round and the first player to win two rounds wins the game.
The characteristic feature of this game is its unique 5-button control scheme and gory finishing moves. Also, it’s the first game to introduce some special moves that can be performed exclusively by a joystick.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Sonic the Hedgehog is a Japanese video game series developed and owned by Sega. The first Sonic game was released in 1991 with a mascot character to compete with Nintendo’s mascot – Mario.
Sonic games are characterized by speed-based platforming gameplay where controlling the character follows a series of levels at high speeds while jumping between platforms, flighting, skipping obstacles, etc.
One characteristic gaming mechanics of Sonic games is the collectible golden rings spread over various game levels.
This is one of the best classic games I was addicted to in my childhood. Suffice it to say that these kinds of games were the sole thing that made our childhood awesome.
You can get the Android retro ROM of this game from the below-given links.
Outrun is kind of an addictive racing game that was developed back in 1986 by Sega. It is renowned for its pioneering graphics and hardware, selectable soundtrack, etc. The game aims to reach one of the five destinations by avoiding and bypassing the blocks and traffic on the road.
In this game, the player controls a car from a third-person perspective. The player has to race with the competitors and arrive at the destination by driving through roads with curves, crests, and dips. The objective is to reach the finish line against a timer.
10. Final Fantasy – Tactics Advance
This is kind of a tactical role-playing game released by Square Enix (then Square) for the Nintendo Gameboy Advance gaming console in 2003. The game follows a tactical move of the player who needs to assemble a clan of characters and control their actions on a battlefield. The player can decide the various features of his characters and deploy them during battle.
It’s somewhat like today’s clash of clans where we train troops, build our own clans, upgrade and give features to our characters, etc.
If you are enthusiastic about tactical games, this is meant for you. Use the following download links to play it on your Android smartphone.
11. Super Metroid
Super Metroid is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo for the SNES in 1994 as a third installment in the Metroid series.
The game takes place on a fictional planet, Zebes, a large open-ended world with different kinds of areas connected by doors and elevators. The player has to control a character to search and find out from the planet the Metroid that the leader of the Space Pirates stole.
To experience a fictional plot in gaming, you won’t go wrong with the Super Metroid, as it wins the task of inducing a different kind of feel while gaming.
Best Console Emulators with Retro ROMs for Android
1. Retro Game Center
Retro Game Center is an app with a vast database of retro game ROMs that lets you download your favorite one and play it on your device. The database consists of games from various gaming consoles like GBA, NES, SNES, etc. t o name a few. It also provides an in-built console emulator, so you don’t need to download and install any emulator apps to run the games.
Moreover, it lets you discover, download, and play over 15,000 classic retro/ console video games on 15+ gaming consoles on your Android phone. You can even search and download ROM files from other sources on the internet and link them with the in-built emulation system to play without needing additional apps. So if you are a retro gamer, this app is your best bet.
2. Super Emulator – Retro Classic
Here comes another lightweight retro games app with three different in-built emulators. The Super Emulator lets you enjoy your favorite console video games of GBA, NES, and SNES.
While you launch the app, you will be prompted to choose one of the three available consoles. Under each console, there will be a collection of well-known and most played retro games. Once you choose a game, it will download the ROM and setup for you to play. It’s as simple as that. One exciting thing about the emulation app is its auto-save feature. When you stop playing, your progress will be stored and automatically resumes when you come back to play.
Furthermore, it also comes with an option to search and download ROM sets from any other sources on the internet and link them to the emulator. Everything becomes much easier if you already have a ROM file; you only need to link the file with the emulator and start playing.
3. Classic Games – Arcade Emulator
Classic Games is an arcade game emulator that lets you play old arcade games that we all loved in childhood. With this application, you get access to a massive library of retro ROMs that include but are not limited to Final Fight, Dino, Cadillac, etc. Though it has a massive number of ROM games available, finding your favorite one is a walk in the park.
The games are properly categorized by platform, genre, etc., for easy access and play. After you download a ROM of your choice, everything is ready, and you can play it immediately. You don’t need an internet connection to play the next time as it can be downloaded to your device’s emulator offline.
The software also has multi-player support to let you play with friends with a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also save the game and return later to continue. If you have a few retro gaming friends who love local play, this application is a must for you guys.
4. GBA SNES NES ROMs and Emulator Database
This is another great emulator app on our list with a ROM archive of over 2400 console video games. The app lets you play all of your favorite classic titles that come with Gameboy Advance, Nintendo, and Super Nintendo consoles. All you need to do is to create an account and start playing.
Unlike other applications, this one comes with a powerful search engine with filters for platforms, release year, tags, etc. With this feature, you can find what exactly you are looking for in a matter of seconds.
You can download as many ROM sets as you need and save them in your list. Every time you open the app, your list will be displayed, and you can load your favorite ROM instantly to start playing.
5. GBA Game: Emulator and ROMs
This one is all dedicated to GBA fans. With this program, you can find and play all your favorite GBA games in one place. It comes with a simple-to-use UI that makes everything in the app easy to learn.
From the game database, all you need is to load your desired ROM. Once the process completes, the game will load immediately. Once a ROM is downloaded, it will be saved to your list, and you can access it without internet connectivity.
The app has hundreds of ROM sets available for download in every genre the app covers. It’s effortless to find and load your favorite titles as they can be filtered out with genre, platform, etc. You can download GBA game ROMs in the apps, including One Piece, Harvest Moon, Mario Kart, Legends of Zelda, Pokemon red version, GTA, Naruto, and many more.
Unlike the others we mentioned on our list, RomsMania is a website where you can download free ROMs and emulators. They have an extensive collection of ROMs and emulators in various genres for popular gaming consoles like Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Gameboy Advance, PlayStation, Sega, GameCube, PSP, PS2, Xbox, etc.
One of the remarkable things about their site is that everything is properly organized and categorized for easy access. You can directly filter out the required ROMs and emulators right from their menu. Also, a big search field above the fold makes it even easier to find what you are looking for.
Now, if you don’t want to download and install these emulators and ROMS, they also provide you with an option to play online your favorite games in the browser.
Gamulator is another top ROM website where you can find ROMs, emulators, articles, and blog posts related to retro gaming. You’ll find this a great resource if you are a retro gamer.
Though it seems to bit uneasy to find a particular game on their website, there is a high chance of finding them there. On the home page, they have listed some of the most downloaded ROMs and gaming consoles, making it easier for some people to find the required games.
You need to download a ROM file and an emulator to play the games. Once an emulator is installed, link the downloaded ROM file and start playing. So visit the site and check their collection to know more.
8. Retro Games 90s
90s games is a full-fledged game center with the most fantastic games of the 1990s. This app lets you play over 100 retro games on your android phone for free. Also, it comes with a feature that allows you to download demo files or upload ROM files from your device and enjoy your favorite console video games.
The supported gaming machines include Sega Genesis, Mega Drive, Master System, SG-1000, Game Gear, Mark III, etc. If you are a 90s kid, we highly recommend you try this. It’s readily available on the Play Store – so it’s safe to use on your phone.
9. 80s Arcade Games
If you grew up in the 1980s, this app is for you. Here you will find the most popular 8-bit games of 80s arcade games. The classic titles include puzzle games, matching games, block games, Pinball, Pocket Packs, etc.
Though they are extremely simple and old-fashioned, playing these games in our free time is really fun. These oldie games can take us to the nostalgic memories of our childhood and have the power to impart extreme joy in this hectic lifestyle we are living.
10. Brick Game
The brick game was undeniably one of the most popular and cheapest handheld game consoles in the early 1990s. If you badly miss the console and its epic games, this is the one for you.
The app is a compilation of the most wanted and popular games from the console, and you can play over 19 games in this app. Like in the console, you can set various speeds and levels of games in 11 different classic themes. It provides the same gaming experience along with those satisfying 8-bit sounds.
The popular titles include Brick Puzzle Classic, Tank Classic, Snake Classic, Racing Classic, Match Three Classic (like Tetris), etc., to name a few.
How to Play Retro Games on Android
The above listed and explained are 10 of the best and our favorite android retro ROMs. For playing these oldie games on your smartphone, you must install an emulator of the required game and download the game ROM to load in the emulator. Note that if you are using a Bluetooth controller, make sure to turn on the Bluetooth controller option in the emulation app.
Hopefully, by now, you know the best Android retro ROMs you can install and run on your smartphone. So try all those ROMs to hark back and enjoy the golden days of games we always cherished. Also, consider leaving your feedback in the comment section below. If you feel like any other classic ROMs should be added to the list, mention that too.