The gaming community is constantly looking for the next best thing available to them, and for many, that means the greatest PS3 emulators.
Emulators are essentially a piece of software that let you play video game files, for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of emulation. The greatest PS3 emulators, though, are only compatible with Windows PCs. Emulators can be used on PC, Macs, Android smartphones, and more.
Simply said, this is because efficient emulation of these games requires a lot of processing power. The truth is, modern cell phones cannot play PS3 games as at the time of writing this post.
Although it’s legal to download emulators, the shady part is where you get your ROM files (the video game files). You must only play games that you have permission to and/or those you physically own while using ROM files. RetroDodo does not advise downloading ROMs without permission.
Let’s look at three of the top PS3 emulators right now. If you’re wondering why we’re just highlighting three, it’s because these are the only ones that function well and won’t infect your computer with viruses when downloaded. We have your back.
The market’s most reliable PS3 emulator is RPCS3. It’s a brand-new “work in progress” open-source emulator that aims to produce faultless gameplay for most of the top PS3 games.
It effectively accomplishes just that. The fact that this emulator is open source enables the community, testers, and developers to get their hands dirty. Faster bug fixes, updates, and gameplay result from having more hands on deck.
One of the top PS3 emulators ever made is by the RPCS3. They receive ongoing financial assistance from their sizable Patreon following, which supports their attempts to write new programming to maintain the gameplay’s silky smoothness.
They now have two full-time employees working on the project thanks to this sponsorship. However, this degree of support is lacking even in the finest Nintendo Switch emulator!
RPCS3 System Requirements
- Windows 7 or above
- 3GB of RAM
- X86-64 CPU
- GPU – OpenGL 4.3 or greater, Vulkan is recommended.
- Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable
- PlayStation 3 .pup system software file
- Overall it’s a pleasant gaming experience, it does what it’s meant to do very well. Their website looks professional, the team is incredibly supportive and the emulator allows you to do the basics like save, add cheats, load states, and so on.
- This is the best PS3 emulator you can get, and it’s free. All they ask is that you support them on Patreon for a bit in order to keep food on their tables.
2. The Esx Emulator
Even though it’s in beta, ESX is another of the best PS3 emulators. To archive native emulation of PS3 games, ESX is written in C++ and employs a decompiled PS3 XMB kernel.
The ESX PS3 emulator, however, is restricted to just supporting PS3-exclusive titles because it is still in development. It will play PS3-only games at native resolution without any audio stuttering, frame rate decreases, or other bugs. Just be sure to read the specifications below before downloading.
After downloading it, you can start setting it up by mapping your keys in the settings tab, which is really helpful and simple to use. When the controller appears, you click the button you want to map, press the corresponding key on your keyboard, and you’re ready to put the disc in the drive.
System Prerequisites for Esx
- later versions of Windows.
- At least a quad-core Intel/AMD processor with SSE4 running at 3.2 GHz.
- ATI Radeon HD7870 or above, with 2GB of memory, and NVIDIA GTX 660 or higher.
- 64-Bit Windows 7/8/10 requires 4GB of RAM, whereas 32-Bit versions require 2GB.
- Although it isn’t quite as “flashy” as No. 1 on our list, you can run native graphics and use your own disk to make it feel more authentic.
- The majority of quad-core machines can run it, and downloading it is free. The greatest drawback is that it only supports PS3 exclusives, albeit there isn’t much of a difference in gameplay quality compared to RPCS3.
3. PS Now
Very likely, you’re asking yourself, “Brandon, why is Playstation Now on this list?” Listen up, this is one of the greatest methods for playing PS3 games on your PC.
There are more than 800 games available on PS Now, including PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5 titles. You only need to pair your PlayStation Now account with a Bluetooth controller (which can also be a PS controller) and your PC will instantly be able to play PS3 games!
The best part of this is that it is completely legal and provides excellent “emulation,” even though it is not an emulator in the traditional sense. Simply said, this allows you to stream video games to your PC from the cloud; think of it as Netflix, but for Playstation games.
Although there is a monthly price associated with this service, it is totally worthwhile because the games ALWAYS operate without a hitch. There is no possibility of corrupt save files, bugs, or low frame rates because this service is fully operational.
PlayStation Now PC System Requirements
- Windows 7 (SP 1), 8.1, or 10 300 MB or more of accessible storage 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster
- A memory of at least 2 GB
- Audio jack; USB port
- The main drawback is that you can only play the PS3 games that are now available; you don’t get access to every PS3 game that has ever been released. Although it isn’t the finest PS3 emulator available, it is the best official substitute and is still worthwhile to try.
- Some of you might own PS5 consoles, in which case, if you pay monthly for internet access, you already have access to this! Every month, they like to shuffle the games around, so you can always get a new collection of the top PS2 games and beyond.