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What is the best PSP emulator on PC?

Our top pick for the best PSP emulator.

Updated: Apr 7, 2022 3:23 pm
What is the best PSP emulator on PC?

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It’s been a good while since you might have used your PSP, but if you still want to play PSP games on your PC, it’ll be a bit of a process, but we’ve got you the best PSP emulator on PC so you won’t need to hunt around with what you might need to look for. Emulators are excellent ways to keep systems that would be otherwise dead alive through the power of modern hardware, so you won’t have to worry about digging out your old PSP to experience those games again.

The best PSP emulator on PC

Without a doubt, the best PSP emulator on PC is PPSSPP, an open-source emulator whose name stands for ‘Playstation Portable Simulator Suitable for Playing Portably’. It also allows you to play backups that you have recovered from your PSP at various different resolutions, with the added benefit of offering things such as savestates, all without requiring the BIOS file from your PSP. The reason why we think that PPSPP is the best is due to its large feature set, and open-source nature meaning that development is passed over to the FOSS community, who have continued development and become a part of the project.

Some of the features that you can enjoy on PPSSPP are as follows:

  • Play games in HD resolutions
  • Ability to customize controls
  • Save and restore states
  • Additional texture filtering and scaling
  • Ability to play games at high frame rates
  • Ability to use cheats in games

This means that PPSSPP is not only available on PC, but also on Android, iOS, Mac and many more.

What other PSP emulators are there?

As of right now, there are no better alternatives than PPSSPP as it has been adopted by the majority of the community. Historically, there may have been other PSP emulator projects, but as of 2022, PPSSPP has come much further ahead, owing to the excellent FOSS community helping to keep games on PSP alive, if your console no longer works, or if you don’t want to rummage through the cupboard for it again and have all of the games on your hard drive already.

There are other branches of PPSSPP, but these are mostly focused on beta-testing functionality and features rather than offering any significantly different experience that you would really expect.

Additionally, you are able to integrate PPSSPP into various front-ends like Retroarch to fill out your ideal retro-gaming setups. PPSSPP is one of the friendliest emulators to use, so hopefully, you’ll be able to integrate it into a lovely front-end on your PC, and is yet another reason why PPSSPP is the best PSP emulator on PC.

What games can you play on PPSSPP?

You can play a number of games on PPSPP, meaning that you’re able to run things such as retail games, PSP minis and more, should you have backups of those files. You can do this by installing custom firmware on your PSP and connecting it up to an FTP server on your PC. This means that you’re still able to keep PSP hits alive such as God of War: Chains of Olympus, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and more esoteric hits like LocoRoco alive, since many of the titles released on PSP have not yet made it over to modern consoles.

There are an enormous amount of fantastic PSP games available, and many of them never even got their own western releases, now, you’ll be able to import them and give them a whirl. Classics like Metal Fear Solid: Peace Walker or Valkyria Chronicles 2 get a new lease of life thanks to PPSSPP, which means that you’ll now be able to play them scaled so high that every texture looks crisp, and you can even add your own quality-of-life improvements to these titles thanks to the numerous features built-in to the best PSP emulator on PC.

What is PPSSPP Gold?

In order to support the development, PPSSPP Gold is a paid version of PPSSP that doesn’t notably enhance the core experience that PPSSPP offers. Giving it very little functional value. However, it’s a way to support the developer, Henrik in working on PPSSPP and allowing for more tweaks, and esoteric issues with the emulator to get ironed out. It’s a phenomenal piece of software and not a cynical grab for cash. It’s always worth supporting the developers who have made herculean efforts to make the PSP’s library not only accessible to all but also offer unique features which seek to enhance the experience, instead of letting it languish on the PSP’s relatively low-powered chipsets.

Where else can I use PPSSPP?

Due to being an open-source project, PPSSPP has been ported over to numerous platforms, including Mac, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, Linux, Pandora, Nintendo Switch, and Meego / Harmattan. However, the most notable port is actually the Android release, which runs well on most modern Android devices, gives you access to a huge library of PSP games, and can occasionally run them better than the real thing.

Do you need a PSP to run PPSSPP?

No, you do not strictly need a PSP to run PSP games on PPSSPP, but you will need a source of game backups, where we recommend that you own the game before backing it up, which you might need a PSP to do. PPPSSPP can run both .iso, .cso and digital games that were originally released on the PSP’s store, which has since shut down. So having a console that is already loaded up with everything that you’re going to want to play will come in handy if you do not want to source other people’s backups, which is in fairly murky moral territory, and is even illegal in many countries with strict copyright laws.

So, if you’re looking for where to download PSP games, on the best PSP emulator for PC, you might want to think twice before you start to google before you potentially break the law. Sony may even clamp down on this after announcing that PSP games may be coming to PS5 using Playstation 5.

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