Sony’s first console, the popular Playstation boasts a great collection of games.
Although the last game for the Playstation came out back in 2004, and the console stopped selling a few years earlier, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun playing PS games even today. Even if your old "PS1" is no longer functional, you can still have fun with one of the many titles thanks to one of the existing emulators for Windows computers.
All you need to be able to play your favorite PlayStation titles on a Windows computer is a good emulator, Playstation 1 BIOS data, and games. In the following article, we will say something more detailed about how to play PS games on a Windows computer, how to choose the best emulator, and how to set it up.
What is the best emulator for Playstation 1?
What exactly is an emulator? An emulator is a type of program that serves to "emulate" or pretend to be another program (or piece of hardware) so that the user can do certain things on it. Thanks to the Playstation 1 emulator, we users can play Playstation 1 games on computers.
Today there is a whole range of emulators for different programs and consoles. If you want, you can easily find emulators for Playstation 2, Playstation Portable, and even for even older consoles, such as Nintendo and Super Nintendo, on the Internet. Also, you can find a lot of Playstation emulators on the internet today.
One of the best (if not the best) though is ePSXe. The reason why this emulator is the best lies in the fact that probably the most effort and time was invested in this emulator (the emulator has been developed for more than ten years). If you want to play any game for PS1 on a Windows computer and don't know which emulator to download and install, ePSXe is the best solution for you.
Download ePSXe emulator
The ePSXe emulator, in addition to being very high quality, reliable, and working very well, is completely free. You can download it for free from this website: https://www.epsxe.com/download.php. After downloading the emulator you will need to install it (or simply unzip the file in which it was packaged).
Installation is very simple: right-click on the RAR file and unzip it where you want the emulator to be. After unpacking, click on the ePSXe emulator icon to launch it. You will then be shown a brief guide that will guide you to properly configuring the emulator.
First of all, you will need BIOS files for ePSXe
Before you can run ePSXe, you will need to set all the necessary options inside the emulator. One of the most important things you will need to set up is the BIOS files.
The BIOS files for the Playstation contain various important information about the Playstation hardware itself, such as the version of the Playstation, the region of the world where the Playstation was manufactured (it can be NTSC or PAL), and the like.
The ePSXe emulator will not work without the appropriate BIOS files. Although there are simulated BIOSes, the thing about them is that they will not work like real BIOSes.
You can find different versions of BIOS files on the internet today and many of them will work and work on the ePSXe emulator without any problems.
BIOS: Download 1
BIOS: Download 2
Once you have downloaded the BIOS, you will need to paste it into the BIOS directory inside the ePSXe emulator. This directory is located inside the emulator installation directory. What is also important to note is that ePSXe will not be able to read BIOSes if they are "zipped", ie if they are packed in ZIP or RAR files. To use them, you will need to unpack them.
Setting emulator options
After placing the BIOS files in their corresponding directory, it is time to set up additional emulator options and capabilities.
The first is the graphic options. Depending on which graphics card your computer has such as plugins (or "plugins") you need to choose. In case you have a newer computer that has an AMD or Nvidia graphics card, select the add-on called Pete’s OpenGL2 GPU core 2.0.0 and click on “Configure”.
Here you will find a full range of additional options and options that you can, but do not have to set up. Depending on how well you understand these things, you are free to adjust these options, depending on your taste (and the capabilities of the computer), or you can leave them to be as they were.
The vast majority of modern computers far exceed the hardware capabilities of the Playstation 1 (which had a 33 MHz processor, 2 MB RAM, and 1 MB VRAM), which means that you should use all the graphics capabilities that the emulator offers without any problems. I recommend that you start a game first and then, if the need arises, further adjust these options. Some games (such as Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VIII, and IX, Silent Hill) are more demanding than others.
If you can't touch the emulator options, you can simply automatically set it to one of two choices: "Quick" or "Nice". If you set it to "Fast", the emulator will use only those features that are necessary for the operation and launch of games, and thus will save maximum computer resources. If you select "Nice", the emulator will make the most of all the resources it needs to maximally polish your games that you will play on it and refine them with any additional effects.
Sound, drive, and controller options
As far as sound accessories are concerned, this is best left as it was, as a predefined sound accessory gives the best sound quality. Regarding the CD-ROM plug-in, it is recommended that if you are using a Windows 10 computer, you select the ePSXe CDR WNT / W2K core 2.0.0 plug-in and click on classes.
The last, but a no less important option, related to setting up the controller. The emulator itself supports several different controllers. Click on the top, right and select the controller to open the offer of all controllers that the emulator supports. If you are using controllers for Xbox 360, Xbox One, or any similar controller that your computer recognizes as either of these two controllers, select "XInput."
How to play games for PS1 on ePSXe?
Today, you can miss a very large number of Playstation games online. There are even specified, websites from which you are free to download PS1 games as desired. What I can tell you is that you can find these pages yourself if you put in a little effort. What I can’t tell you are the names of those sites. Also, downloading games from these sites is considered piracy, so keep that in mind if you choose to download games from such sites.
As for the games themselves, ePSXe can easily read games that are in the following formats: BIN, CUE, ISO, IMG, CD. When you want to create a file from your PS1 game that you could run on an emulator (so you don't have to constantly put CD games into your computer's DVD drive), you'll need to make sure that the file is always in ISO or one of these four formats.
If you did everything right, just click on "File - Run ISO" and the emulator will start your game. Alternatively, you can use the emulator to read your computer's DVD drive as the primary CD-ROM, after which the emulator will automatically disc from your computer's DVD drive.
Tips and tricks for using ePSXe emulators
Here are some tips and tricks that will come in very handy when playing games.
If you want to stop the emulation, simply press the "Escape" key on the keyboard. You will return to the main screen of the emulator, from where you can adjust additional functions of the emulator, such as controller settings, you can change disks, etc. To return to the game, just go under the "Run - Continue" options.
You can use the emulator to quickly record and load game positions. If you go under "Run" and under "Save State" or "Load State", you will be able to load or save the position of the game there. Another great thing about the ePSXe emulator is that it also emulates Playstation 1 memory cards, so you can easily create recorded positions within the game.
In case a game has multiple discs, you can change them. By going to "File - Change Disc" you can select the next disco for which you want the emulator to read.
The emulator also supports local multiplayer gaming. One player, for example, can use the controller, while another can use the keyboard.
You can further enhance the look and functionality of the games with some of the additional accessories for ePSXe. Some of the extras are better than others, which can also affect the gameplay itself and how each game will look.
If you feel nostalgic and want to play some of the classic, great Playstation titles (such as Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, or Pro Evolution Soccer 2), ePSXe will allow you to do so, with a little time spent. But the PS1 isn’t the only console for which there are great emulators.