Top 10 Retro Roms for Android

So you have some time to kill and all you have for entertainment is your android phone. Did you know that you can install a wide variety of old-school game ROMS on your android for free?

If you played Super Nintendo or a similar console in your youth, 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!

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

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

These retro ROMS for android will provide you with plenty of entertainment to kill time. At the end of this list, you’ll 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-roleplaying 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 critics claiming it’s the best video game to date.

Emulator Required: Playstation ePSxe

2 – New Super Mario Bros

New Super Mario Bros was a 2006 game released for Nintendo DS, a classic platformer 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. There’s a good chance you played this one.

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

Fire up the emulator on your android phone, install the ROM, and soon you’ll defeat Bowser once again. Good times.

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 top retro Roms for Android. The gameplay is what you would expect from a Mario game, a side-scrolling platform game.

What makes this game memorable is Yoshi, a dinosaur companion that helps Mario defeat enemies. Super Mario World is a classic retro game that is a lot of fun.

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 for Super Nintendo, it’s 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 game critics worldwide.

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

Emulator Required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

5 – Mortal Kombat 1

Mortal Kombat is one of the gaming industry’s most popular one-on-one fighting series. 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 still are Mortal Kombat 1 arcade tournaments today.

The SNES version was censored to be more “family-friendly” and the blood was replaced with sweat particles.

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 platform created for the Super Nintendo by CAPCOM. While 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 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 – Chrono Trigger (Super Nintendo)

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

Even today, modern role-playing games do not have as many features as Chrono Trigger. It was also the second best-selling game in Japan during its release in 1995.

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

Everyone needs to play Chrono Trigger at least once in their life.

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

Emulator Required: Super Nintendo Snes9x

8 – Crash Bandicoot

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

The original Crash Bandicoot was released on the Playstation 1 and developed by 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 couple of years later Tekken 3 was released, and while it wasn’t a major hit in Japan, it was a massive success worldwide. Tekken 3 improved on many of the features of previous titles and introduced many more playable characters.

In fact, Tekken 3 was the third most sold video game internationally in 1998. If you like 2D fighting games, Tekken 3 is for you.

Emulator Needed: Playstation ePSxe

10 – Super Metroid

Super Metroid, the third game in the Metroid series. is another classic retro game you can play on your phone. It’s a side-scrolling adventure action game similar to Megaman. One cool mechanic in Super Metroid is the energy grappling hook that you use to bypass traps.

Emulator Needed: Super Nintendo Snes9x

How to Install Retro Game ROMS on Your Android Phone:

Luckily installing retro games on android is very easy, it’s only a matter of downloading 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 Roms 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 lots of different android game emulators that you can use. I personally use Snes9x EX+.

Android Emulators:

Here’s a list of the most popular emulators for android:

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

You can also pair a Bluetooth controller to your phone, hook up the phone to a bigger screen, and play those classic retro games like how you did when you were a kid.


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

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About Gavin

Editor @ Gavin is a mechanical engineer by trade, but he's also a tech enthusiast. He spends his time working on Android-Fix and enjoys blogging about the latest trends in the mobile industry. His hobbies include cooking, traveling, and playing soccer with friends.