Anyone who tried getting into NS 64 emulation knows that its much different from working with any other console. Despite its previous popularity, NS 64 isn’t the most common emulation option these days – people tend to prefer GBA, NES, or PS.
This is surely underserved. NS 64 gave us some of the best games of all time – Donkey Kong 64, Star Wars: Shadows of The Empire, WWF Wrestlemania – these titles definitely bring back memories.
In this article, we’ll review where to get ROMs for NS 64 and emulators, and briefly review the setup of the whole process.
Libraries with NS 64 ROMs
Getting ROMs and emulators from third-party websites is always a risk – you never know if the website is bundled with malware or not. One ROM, downloaded from the wrong source, can take your entire system down.
You don’t have to worry, though – we got your back. We reviewed our own favorite sources, analyzed the community’s feedback, looked through Reddit posts, and checked NS 64 ROMs download files with robust antivirus software.
Top ROMs Sources For NS 64
Here are some of the websites that are generally secure – keep in mind that the possibility of encountering a virus remains in any library, but at least, you’ll be getting a more or less safe bet.’
One of the biggest and most reliable emulation platforms out there. The library offers dozens of thousands of ROMs for different retro-consoles, not just NS 64. Speaking precisely of this console, though, the website also offers several hundred options which is a rare thing.
It’s one of the most popular ROMs libraries, with several millions of downloads per title. The website openly shares its statistics and group games in tops by popularity. You can start by downloading the most uploaded ROMs or start from non-mainstream options right away.
This library offers 25(!) pages of ROM files – you’ll be lucky to find time getting at least through half of them. If you often find yourself in doubt about your next game, just go to ROMSmode – the website has rare games as well as mainstream ones (of course, Super Mario 64 has the highest download rates).
This library feels different from all others. For one thing, the main page has ROMs thumbnails – and other websites typically put ROMs in the minimalistic list. On one hand, it makes the navigation simpler, but images take their sweet time to load.
Granted, the website’s interface is a bit messy and heavy, compared to the alternatives What drew us in was a strict policy about accepting patches. The website has clear rules of ROMs approval – it all has to be legal – meaning that a creator made a game from the official copy – and malware-free.
How to emulate NS 64?
You don’t have that much choice here – NS 64 has pretty much one continuously supported emulator – Project 64. You can also download some of the older tools but keep in mind that new versions are no longer being released.
We reviewed our top choices and went briefly through the functionality of each.
1. Project 64
It’s the most popular NS 64 emulator so you’d have no problems finding how-to guides and customized patches. The graphics and functionality settings put the emulator on the same plane with paid professional tools. You can adapt the games to the widescreen mode – and the picture won’t enlarge, you’ll just get custom created new content, and even record the gameplay.
An open-source multi-system emulator that supports NS 64 as well. Unlike Project 64, the software wasn’t created specifically with NS 64 in mind – no wonder the customization options are less detailed. On the other hand, the general functionality is quite rich – you have a built-in screen recorder and a debugging tool.
The tool has an active GitHub community. The updates are not frequent but hey, at least there is a possibility. You can join the Open Source community to help to develop the emulator – just go to its code repository.
One of the oldest emulators, Mupen64Plus was created as an open-source tool, written in C++ and C. The tool can be downloaded from GitHub – you can join it to make your contributions.
When you put an extra effort to research the safety of ROMs and emulators – and you just did that – the chances of getting your computer infected are close to none. Still, taking basic precautions wouldn’t hurt – be sure to always take a look at reviews and pay attention to scores. Any score below 3 or 60% should keep your guard up – and the same rule works with emulators, too.