So you have some time to kill and all you have to entertain yourself is your Android phone. Did you know that you can install a wide variety of old-fashioned game ROMs for free on your Android?

If you played Super Nintendo or a similar console when you were young, now you can play the same games on your Android phone, mostly for free. You can even play PS1 games. It’s time to bring back some nostalgic games!

Keep in mind that everyone has their version of what is considered a retro game. When you think about it, the Playstation 2 console, released in 2000, is now over 21 years old. Does it count as retro?

Needless to say, I have compiled a list of free ROM games that you can play on your Android phone with an emulator. Most of them are very old-school games, released in the early 1990s, but others are a bit newer.

These retro ROMs for Android will provide you with plenty of entertainment to kill time. At the end of this list you will find links to emulators and more information.

Top 10 retro ROMs for Android:

1 – Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a turn-based action role-playing video game developed by Square. It featured revolutionary graphics for the time, including pre-rendered 3D cutscenes and playable backgrounds.

Final Fantasy VII is arguably the best Final Fantasy game to date, with many video game reviews claiming it to be the best video game yet.

Emulator required: Playstation ePSxe

2 – New Super Mario Bros

New Super Mario Bros is a game released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS, a classic platform game remade with new graphics and quality of life improvements.

New Super Mario Bros was one of the most popular games in the Super Mario Bros. series. When it launched in Japan, it was the best-selling Nintendo game at the time. Chances are, you played this one.

Additionally, the game received mostly positive reviews from game critics. The good news is that you can easily play it again without owning an old-fashioned console.

Launch the emulator on your Android phone, install the ROM and soon you will be defeating Bowser again. Good time.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

3 – Super mario world

Super Mario World is a much older title, released in 1990 for Super Nintendo (SNES) but it still remains one of the best retro roms for Android. The gameplay is what you would expect from a Mario game, a side-scrolling platformer.

What makes this game memorable is Yoshi, a dinosaur companion who helps Mario defeat his enemies. Super Mario World is a very fun classic retro game.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

4 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past is one of the original Legend of Zelda games. Released in 1991 on Super Nintendo, it is the third title in the Legend of Zelda series, a series that now has more than 26 games.

It was also one of the most popular at the time, receiving mostly positive reviews from video game critics around the world.

Speaking of retro Legend of Zelda games, now would be a good time to check out the originals, The Legend of Zelda 1986 and Link Adventure 1987, the first two titles in the series. Did you know that the first Legend of Zelda game was released 35 years ago? Time is running out!

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

5 – Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat is one of the most popular head-to-head combat series in the gaming industry. Currently, there are over 11 Mortal Kombat games, with more in development.

But do you remember the original Mortal Kombat? It was released in 1992 for Most Entertainment Systems. Mortal Kombat 1 was also popular in arcades, and there are still Mortal Kombat 1 arcade tournaments today.

The SNES version was censored to be more “homey” and the blood was replaced with particles of sweat.

Another popular old school Mortal Kombat is the Mortal Kombat Trilogy, released in 1996.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

6 – Mega man x

Mega Man X was a classic futuristic action platformer created for the Super Nintendo by CAPCOM. Despite being a spin-off of the original games, Mega Man X is a favorite for most old school gamers.

The Mega Man series is another massive franchise, with over 130 titles. The original Mega Man was released in 1987, the same year that the second Legend of Zelda was released. The most recent Mega Man is called Mega Man 11 and was released in 2018 for Windows, Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

7 – the trigger of a stopwatch (Super Nintendo)

Chrono Trigger was one of the most revolutionary action role-playing games of its time. It featured multiple endings, a detailed combat system that let you combine skills, an immersive story, memorable characters, and more.

Even today, modern role-playing games don’t have as many features as Chrono Trigger. It was also the second best-selling game in Japan when it was released in 1995.

If you have a soft spot for retro turn-based RPG games, Chrono Trigger is definitely a game worth checking out.

Everyone should play Chrono Trigger at least once in their life.

Recently a port of Chrono Trigger hit Steam, bringing classic gaming to PCs.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

8 – Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot is an action-adventure platformer, similar to Donkey Kong. If you had a Playstation, chances are you have played this game because it was one of the best selling games for this console.

The original Crash Bandicoot was released on Playstation 1 and developed by the Naughty Dog studio.

It featured 3D graphics, which were very impressive at the time. The original has been remade for Playstation 4 with updated graphics and features.

Emulator required: Playstation ePSxe

9 – Tekken 3

Who hasn’t heard of Tekken? It’s a fighting game almost as old as Mortal Kombat.

The original Tekken was released in 1995 for arcades and home entertainment systems, and it quickly became a commercial success.

A few years later Tekken 3 was released, and while it wasn’t a major hit in Japan, it was a huge hit worldwide. Tekken 3 has improved many features of previous titles and introduced many more playable characters.

In fact, Tekken 3 was the third best-selling video game in the world in 1998. If you like 2D fighting games, Tekken 3 is for you.

Emulator required: Playstation ePSxe

ten – Super Metroid

Super Metroid, the third game in the Metroid series. is another classic retro game which you can play on your phone. It is a side scrolling action adventure game similar to Megaman. A cool mechanic in Super Metroid is the energy grapple you use to get around traps.

Emulator required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

How to install retro game ROMs on your Android phone:

Fortunately, installing retro games on Android is very easy, just download an emulator and then the right ROM file.

  1. Download an emulator for Android from the Google Play Store
  2. Visit a website such as Rom games on your phone and download a free ROM file
  3. Unzip the file
  4. Launch the emulator for Android
  5. Select open ROM
  6. Locate the ROM you downloaded
  7. The retro game will launch on your phone.

Note: There are many different Android game emulators that you can use. I personally use Snes9x EX +.

Android emulators:

Here is a list of the most popular emulators for Android:

  1. Snes9x (Super Nintendo) – Free
  2. ePSxe (PS1) – Paying
  3. PPSSPP (Playstation Portable) – Free
  4. DraStic DS emulator (Nintendo DS) – Paid

You can also pair a bluetooth controller to your phone, connect the phone to a bigger screen, and play those classic retro games just like you did when you were a kid.


So now you can download these fun retro games for android and play them whenever you have time to kill. I recommend using a bluetooth controller as the touch controls can be a bit unreliable.

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