Looking for the best and most recommended PS3 emulator for PC? In this article, we’ll give you the best options currently available to start playing PS3 games on your PC (Windows and Mac).
What is a PS3 emulator?
A PS3 emulator is a piece of software that allows a device that is not a Play Station 3 to play games that were designed for and only compatible with a Play Station 3. In general, most emulators are not very technical, meaning that most of them just require an installation but not much in the way of configuration.
The emulator works by translating all everything the PS3 game needs (code and hardware and all instructions) into software code that the desktop computer can understand. It is for this reason that emulators can slow systems down a bit while they are active, because the emulator has the big job of being both the software AND the hardware for the PS3 game.
It is for this reason that you need to pay very close attention to the system requirements of the emulator, to make sure that your system can handle the heavy performance load required to play the game.
What is the best PS3 emulator?
There are a few options out there, but the RPCS3 Sony Playstation 3 Emulator is one that users often suggest as a good place to start. Experts like PRCS3 because it is free, it is open source, it is easy to install and very easy to use, and it can be used with both Windows and Linux.
Others like the ESX Emulator, which is also a high quality emulator, but is still in development.
What about a PS3 emulator that works for Mac?
PS3Mobi is a fairly well known emulator that works with Mac (as well as with Windows, Android and iOS). It was built for iOS and Android originally, but then expanded to include Mac and Windows operating systems.
Other gamers suggest PlayStation Now (which is not actually an emulator, it is a cloud-based gaming subscription service), which allows you to play some of the titles from PS2, PS3, and PS4. If you have a good internet connection, this could be a good alternative to the heavy system requirements of an emulator.
Sony PS3 Emulator is an Android Emulator that emulates Sony Playstation games to an Android phone. This is a neat idea, and it is easy to get set up, but many games have been found to not work well or at all with this emulator.
I don’t have any experience with these, but others recommend CILs, PSeMu3, ANX, SNES9x.
The New PS3 Emulator and PPSSPP are also some other options to emulate Playstation games to Android, but I don’t have any experience with these options so I can’t say one way or another whether they will work well.
What system requirements are there to be able to use a PS3 emulator?
RPCS3 states that it requires the following minimums:
- CPU: any x64 capable processor
- GPU: OpenGL 4.3 compatible or better
- RAM: 2GM at least
- OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit/Linux 64-bit/BSD 64-bit
The ESX website does not set forth its minimum system requirements but given our knowledge and experience with emulators we suspect that the system minimums are similar.
Will the emulator I choose be able to play every PS3 game?
NO, I cannot guarantee that every emulator will be able to play every PS3 game, or play them completely and well without bugs. It is best if you check out the website associated with your emulator and see if there is a list posted referencing which games are working and which are not.
Why aren’t there many PS3 emulators (like iOS and Android)?
The PS3 launched more than ten years ago. While it was very popular and a commercial success, the PS3 is very unique and complex, as far as machines go. It has been very difficult for emulator developers to produce a high quality emulator that can consistently and reliably provide a good gaming experience of a PS3 game on PC.
Do PS3 emulators work well?
Honestly, most people do not have a good experience even with the best PS3 emulators. While emulators can get the job done, most players struggle with the lag due to the significant system performance requirements.
Others complain about the lack of available games, as only a small percentage of games can be played with an emulator.
Most people who have experience with PS3 emulators like that it is possible but in general recommend that if you really want to play PS3 games, that you just go and get a PS3 game console, or to emulate PS2 games instead, which are not as burdensome on your systems.
Are emulators legal (or illegal)?
To my knowledge, I do not know of any law that makes the use of an emulator illegal. An emulator is a piece of software. A tool. In many cases, whether or not the involvement of an emulator is legal or illegal depends upon what you do with it. If you utilize the emulator to access content you haven’t paid for (and should have paid for), or use the emulated software in a way that breaks the law, then you have committed a crime. But the emulator itself hasn’t yet been found to be problematic.
Some people argue that emulators promote software piracy. This is because many people use emulators to play copies of games that they haven’t paid for, which has been transferred against the wishes of the developers. While this is undoubtedly happening all around the world right now, it doesn’t make an emulator bad or illegal. It just means that the people who are using emulators are using the tool for the wrong reasons.
Think of it like this. A hammer is a fantastic tool to build a home. We use it to pound in nails. A totally ideal and legal purpose. That same tool can also be used to break a window, giving someone access to the valuables in someone’s house. Should that hammer be illegal because it can be used to commit crimes? In general, the answer is no, the hammer will not be deemed illegal, despite the fact that it can be used to do bad things. Emulators are the same.
Have you tried any of the PS3 emulators listed here? If so, let us know what you think about them in the comments.