In October of 2018, we’ve celebrated the 60th birthday of video games. Games have evolved a lot, to say the very least, since then and it is impossible to find any at all similarities between the 2018 games and Tennis for Two, the first video game assembled at the Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

It’s highly doubtful that Table for Two still has some fans, yet, there are some iconic retro games that have proven to be timeless classics.  Nowadays people still go crazy for any old Nintendo favorite. For some of us, it’s pure nostalgia and a chance to take a walk down the memory lane. We get too excited with a mere mention of the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong or Street Fighter. Some want to share their childhood experiences and great Nintendo related memories with their kids. And others are all about experiencing the glorious simplicity of the retro games for themselves.

Whatever it is, Nintendo, undoubtedly, is one of the greatest and for sure famous video game developers. The popularity of Nintendo games hasn’t stopped growing and we are lucky enough to be able to play them whenever we feel like it. Ultimately, if you want to remake your computer into a retro console, stick with us, we’re just about to explain the sorcery of computer emulators and ROMs.

What is ROM Emulation?

Emulator and ROM are two things you’ll need to play retro console games on your PC. In short, software that is designed to mimic the console hardware is called an emulator. The emulator will enable your PC to open and run classic Nintendo games. Then, of course, there’s ROM (read-only memory) which is a copy of a disc or video cartridge, it is a type of PC memory that can never be modified. Generally speaking, ROM is a file that you open with the help of the emulator. And when you manage to do so your favorite game will magically pop-up on your screen, making it possible to play Nintendo games without a console they are made for. Genius, right?


ROM emulation is most popular within the gaming scene; they are either build by fans or an open source community and are always available online. If you are new at this start by researching good developers, those that value accuracy, there are a few good emulators that can give you the full experience of feeling like you’re playing the original game. Another very important thing is hackability of ROM files, make sure to download ROMs on RomsMode.com to avoid the risks for your PC. One of the go-to sites for Nintendo ROMs is the romsmode.com , a user-friendly secure platform with a lot of love for Nintendo games where you can to download retro games. If you’re a Mac cult user reading this article, then you’re saving grace for the Nintendo oldies OpenEmu.

Apart from playing old console games, ROMs are also used when people are looking to add some modifications to existing games, changing the graphics, altering the difficulty of game levels and even making the games multilingual so that they can be enjoyed by gamers in other countries.

Is ROM Emulation Legal?

We’ve done our research and here’s what lawyers say about this issue. If you download a Rom for Nintendo game that you haven’t purchased them, of course, there is only the black and white – it is illegal, just like with downloading movies or music online without paying for them. Now, the grey area is that if you own the game you are downloading ROM for that is, to put it in legal terms – «hypothetically defensible». Though usually, the sites that offer ROM emulator for download are held responsible and such sites are frequently taken down.

How to Use ROM Emulation to Play Nintendo?

As we’ve mentioned, emulators are all developed by dedicated fans thus there are no general guidelines and they are all different. However, they all do serve one basic purpose: they enable your PC to load ROMs. Now, let’s see how they ROM emulation work, using one of the popular developers as an example.

Step 1. Installation process. Now, the first thing you should note is that emulators, as a rule, aren’t equipped with installers like any other Windows software. PC emulator programs are movable and you download them in the form of the archived folder that holds all that you would need to run it. The folder should be loaded and saved where it would be accessible and comfortable for you to access it. The file downloads in a zip archive and here is how it looks when you download and unzip it:

Step 2. To run the emulator you need to double-click the setup file. After double clicking the exe file you will see a black window will appear on your screen:

Step 3. At this point, you can start running your ROM file. Just click the file and then click open. From this point on you can easily browse for the ROM file you need. Run the file with just one click: open it up and ROM will start running instantly.

Step 4. Start playing your favorite Nintendo oldie! Generally, most of the emulators use the combination of Alt+Enter to open-up the full-screen mode in Windows. And at this point you can also proceed with customization: you can customize the keys for game control. Again, with most emulators, you can customize your buttons in the menu by selecting «Input».

Another great tip for those pining over Nintendo games is to plug in a gamepad, this will bring the whole experience to a completely new level. So, if you own a gamepad, configure it and you are good to go. And, if you don’t have one,  we do recommend that you invest in one, the gaming experience is immensely better and it isn’t that big of an investment, there are a lot of inexpensive options available today.

Now, at this point, the general options of emulators usually end. Finding an emulator that works for you  can be a struggle when you get to the stage of learning about the settings. Here you can see the difference between the developers and the amount of respect and love they have for the game. Different emulators give you the power to change a line of things within any given game: you can play with color design, and a wide range of available filters, you can even control the quality of the sound. Additionally, you can modify the settings to improve the visuals, boost the level of complication and even add twists to classic games. There is a set of choices you can make depending on the emulator you choose, though all of them are made to bring new gaming experience for players.