Best PlayStation 1 Emulators for iOS in 2024

  • In the U.S., sharing emulators is typically legal, but sharing ROMs can infringe on copyright.
  • PlayStation emulators typically require BIOS files to run properly. We cannot link to them.
  • Try to remember to be on Wi-Fi when downloading PS1 roms and emulators.

Need to know the best PlayStation 1 emulators for iOS? Dying to once again play classics like Metal Gear Solid and Pepsiman? Me too, friend. Fortunately, we’re both in luck. Now that Apple is slowly easing its restrictions on the App Store for emulation, plenty of hot new apps are arriving for retro gaming nerds to enjoy. While the list is rather small right now, it’s also ever-expanding. Let’s take a look at what’s available right now.

1. Gamma PS1 Emulator

It was big news when gamers discovered that the Delta was arriving to iOS, and now Gamma appears to be one of the top contenders for emulation on the platform as well. After all, what’s not to love about an emulator you can download directly from the Apple App Store? While you still need to find your own BIOS files thanks to copyright law, the Gamma emulator provides a serious option for those who need a PS1 fix.

Featuring controller skins, third-party controller options, and support for various file formats (including the ever important .ISO), there are a lot of good things to say about the Gamma app. While I’m not entirely a fan of the on-screen controller, this is a great introduction for those looking to get started with PS1 emulation on iOS (you still have to find your own BIOS files, though).

Find the Gamma emulator here. Supports iOS 15 or later.

2. RetroArch

If you know anything about emulation, you’re probably already familiar with RetroArch. This ad-free, open-source emulator has been a mainstay within the emulation community for quite a while now, and with good reason. Even better, it’s finally available through Apple’s official App Store. For those that can sideload, you can also find RetroArch here.

Not only are you gaining access to three different PlayStation cores (meaning you still need a BIOS file), but the list of consoles RetroArch supports is truly staggering. Ever wanted to emulate a Texas Instruments TI-83? This app can do it. On top of that, RetroArch is packed with a wealth of features that many emulator fans have come to expect, including options to fast-forward and rewind, cheats, custom overlays, and more.

The only downside to RetroArch is that new users may find it rather intimidating. If this is the case, I would highly recommend trying out Gamma first to see how that handles for you.

Find RetroArch here. Available for iOS 14.2 or later. Also available on Apple TV and Vision Pro.

3. More Coming Soon!

Since I’m an American, I can’t access sideloading on my iPhone without breaking some rules. I’m usually a good boy, so this list is unfortunately going to be pretty short for the time being. However, between RetroArch and Gamma being available, either one should do a good job of satisfying your PlayStation needs.

However, that doesn’t mean more isn’t on the way. For example, I really like what AfterPlay.io is doing, although though they haven’t officially gotten the PlayStation emulator up and running. It offers cloud-based solutions for emulation—this can be a great idea for those who want to move their gaming between devices. The large selection of emulators available through the platform is also impressive, although there is a monthly subscription if you want emulators beyond the GameBoy lineup.

The team behind the Provenance Emulator also has plans to bring its emulator to the App Store. Additionally, if you are one of the lucky ones who can sideload, Provenance is available to you now. There is a lot on the way in terms of iOS and emulation, but for time, there should be plenty to keep any retro gamer satisfied.

You may also want to know about the best emulators available for iOS.

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