Best PlayStation 3 Emulators for the PC Gamer

Retro games are getting really big. Also, a lot of console gamers prefer to play their favorite titles on the PC. For these and other reasons, there’s been a rise in the number of PlayStation 3 emulators currently available on the Internet.  

While a lot of these are decent, only a few stand out. In fact, there are only about ten that are worth downloading. I know that is quite a claim, but given the amount of hacked or Trojan horse emulators out there, it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time so you don’t become a victim to any kind of system attack. 

Besides the obvious security issues present in emulator gaming, you have to keep in mind that the PlayStation 3 environment is very particular. Just because quite a number of software out there that claim to be PlayStation 3 emulators doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use them all.  

In many cases, even if you don’t download and install a software package that has security issues, you may still end up wasting a tremendous amount of time and be sorely disappointed because at the end of the day these PlayStation 3 emulators simply are not up to the job. It can get so frustrating that you can download one PlayStation 3 emulator after another only to have very little to show for all the time you wasted.  

With all that said, here are the top 10 recommendations for PlayStation 3 emulators.  

PS3 Emulators for the PC Windows Operating System 

1. RPCS3 Emulator  

This software package has consistently been viewed by the emulator community as one of the top contenders for the very best PS3 emulator.  

This software draws a lot of attention compared to others because it is open source. It means that it has a distributed network of developers and participants that can guard the code and fix things as the bug reports come in.  

You can also use the software to control games with your mouse and keyboard. It is completely free and offers a very user-friendly interface.  

In terms of the amount of PlayStation 3 games you can play on it, it enables you to play more than 1,337 games and counting. It is very easy to use and has a user guide that is written in plain English. 

In terms of environment, it can work in Windows as well as the Linux operating system.  

There is one downside to this package though. It is quite heavy on your resources. Its RAM requirements range from 4 GB to 8 GB.  

2. ESX PS3 

This PlayStation 3 emulator is one of the more famous pieces of software out there. It’s easy to see why. Not only is it simple to use, but it’s also compatible with most PS3 game titles.   

It needs about 1 GB of RAM to download, and it provides enhanced graphics for your PC. It supports 4K high-resolution games and does an amazing job rendering most PS3 titles.  

The downside to this software is that you need a very beefy computer. We’re talking at least a 2.5 GHz Intel processor, and you have to have enough storage space. 

In fact, the installer software alone is quite big. It clocks in at 90 MB. 

3. PS Now 

Boasting of the 800 games in its library, it includes games for the PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5.  

It is very easy to use. You just connect the Bluetooth controller to your PC as well as SYNC U,<sp?> and you’re good to go.   

What turns a lot of heads about this software is that it’s 100% legal. You don’t have to worry about PS3 emulators that are on the shady side because they claim to enable you to run all sorts of PS3 games. If you use those emulators, you’re really rolling the dice as far as the law is concerned. 

Not so with this software! 

Also, when it comes to reliability, almost all of its users say they don’t experience any glitches or low frame rates. You can also stream video games via the cloud using this software.  

The downside to this tile is that it requires a monthly subscription fee, and you can’t access all PS3 games. You can access a wide range of them but not all of them.  

It also requires 2 GB or more of RAM. When it comes to storage, it has a big footprint because it eats up around 300 MB of space.  

4. PSeMu3   

This PS3 emulator has a frame rate of 30 fps — quite impressive if you ask anybody who is into emulation gaming. It also does not require a high-end processor system.  

It runs on all versions of Windows, which is a nice plus because a lot of people prefer Windows XP.  

On top of that, it’s fairly secure and stable because it is frequently updated, and it comes with needed local settings for a much better gaming experience. 

To top it all off, it is free to download.  

The downside to this emulator is that it does take up quite a bit of your hard disk space.  

5. Mednafen 

This is free software with an SDL multisystem access and openGL license. It can use keyboard as well as joystick controls.  

It can emulate not just PS3 but also Sega System and Nintendo Entertainment System games.  

It features high-performance audio and video, and it fully supports multiplayer games with even DualShock features. 

With all that said, the main disadvantage with using this PS3 emulator is that it requires powerful hardware.  

6. RetroArch 

This software is also known as SSNES. It uses an advanced software system and is great for media functions like playing videos and audio as well as gaming.  

RetroArch is free because it is open source.  

Interestingly enough, for free open source software, it features a very user-friendly interface. Everything is simply laid out.  

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to use this. But, if you do have issues with following instructions, the guide is very easy to follow and is very straightforward.  

This software also supports advanced levels of GPU shader technology. 

It also features autoconfiguration on a Gamepad. And you’re able to improve audio quality.  

The downside is that it doesn’t work with the N64 system. Some users also complain that there’s a crackling audio effect. It has a history of bugs and resulting fixes.  

Still, it is updated, but you’re running a risk that it just might not work as smoothly for you.  

7. Snes9x 

The main advantage of this PS3 emulator is that it does not require a subscription. You can access all features of Nintendo games using this software.  

It also works in both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows environments. It processes the CU system with a Linux i386 and Windows port. It is compatible with both DOS and Linux.  

On top of all of that, it’s very easy and simple to use.  

The downside? You need a very beefy computer to run this because not only does it eat up 512 MB of RAM, but you also need at least a 1 GHz processor to run it.  


Also known as PlayStation Portable Simulator Suitable for Playing Portably, PPSSPP boasts of the fact that it can work with 2 GB of RAM only. So, if you have a very weak computer, you might wanna try this package.  

It can run on both the Linux and Windows operating systems.  

It features a very easy-to-use interface. It also has a lot of well-written documentation that you can easily download. It is also open source.   

You can use it to run PSP games in full HD.  

It even features an interesting library of existing games. Not only does it support high-screen resolutions, but it also ranks quite well when it comes to hardware compatibility and image scaling.  

You can save your game stats, and you’re given a wide range of configuration options.  

With all that said, its many features and robust software infrastructure is a little bit overwhelming for newbie users. Also, it can lag from time to time.  

9. Premium ANX 

This is a dual-based framework compatible with both Windows and Mac OS. It has a very user-friendly user interface and works on all versions of the Windows and Mac OS.  

The downside to this software is that it needs around 1 GB of RAM, and even with that, it occasionally lags.  

10. Pro Playstation 

This is probably the best emulator for Android phones. It is produced by PPLAY  

Many people claim that it has the best user experience when it comes to video gaming. This is probably at the top when it comes to quality as far as mobile emulators go.  

If you are looking for the most potent and robust PS3 emulator for both the PC and Android environments, try this package. 

The downside to this is that there are many different versions out there — at least 3. And not all of them might work with your phone.  

Also, you need to have the right phone hardware —at least 4 GB of storage —, and there has to be a decent GPU. For these reasons, it is not compatible with all smartphones.