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The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit, fifth-generation console released by Sega in Japan on November 22, 1994, and in the US on May 11, 1995. It was discontinued in 2000. It had 2 Hitachi SH-2 CPUs at 28.6 MHz and it had the VDP1 GPU & VDP2 GPU.
The Sega Saturn has historically been one of the harder consoles to emulate, resulting in a lack of good options. However, things are looking up for open-source emulators like Mednafen, and to a lesser extent, Yabause.
Here is a list of some of the Best Sega Saturn Emulators:
Table Of Content
Best Sega Saturn Emulator
An acronym for My Emulator Doesn’t Need A Frickin’ Excellent Name, formerly Nintencer is an open-source, multi-system emulator, driven from the command line. Many of its cores are ports of other emulators, but many of them are also original.
Its Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo Virtual Boy, and NEC PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) original cores are notable for their high quality, compatibility, and accuracy. It only supports the BIOS console revision per region. This emulator is very demanding.
The NEC PC Engine core is one of the best emulators for that system, with a Fast and Accurate version. The PlayStation core is native resolution only and features a high degree of accuracy and compatibility. The Nintendo Virtual Boy core is one of the best for the system.
Other cores improve upon emulators that have been long abandoned and rarely updated. These include the SNK Neo Geo Pocket/Color, Bandai WonderSwan/Color, and Atari Lynx cores. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System core is based on an old outdated version of bsnes.
It used to be the emulator of choice for compatible Saturn emulation. However, it is closed-source and only for Windows and Android. Pretty good performance in mid-end (and maybe low-end) computers.
The best Saturn emulator right now. SSF is superior to Yabause and Mednafen for compatibility, but is Windows only, closed source and requires mounting ISO files in a virtual drive to run them.
A recent major update to 0.12 improved compatibility for certain games and broke others. It added support for some of the games such as Astal. Keep both versions, pre- and post-0.12 just in case. To raise compatibility, you can try with “No Bios” enabled or disabled, and you’ll want to start with the MaxCompatibility option which is considered slow, then try with the faster options that do not always work.
SSF requires either an external virtual drive or a specific loader to read disc images. Close and restart the emulator (as it says in the Japanese dialogue popup appearing) whenever you modify the options for them to take effect.
Even though it has a “No Bios” option, you’ll sometimes need the BIOS files, of course specifying the correct region in the options.
Yabause which stands for Yet Another Broken And Unfinished Saturn Emulator is a multi-platform, open-source Sega Saturn emulator.
This emulator is also popular for its performance. It was used to be the first choice of many users and it is a very compatible Saturn emulation. It is far less than SSF in terms of development.
It was generated in 1989 and competed with Nintendo. It is quite a favorite of many users as it provides a good experience of work. It has many issues with compatibility. It did not just help the company to achieve a goal but it served many features to the game.
Yabause has a very decent rate of compatibility, around 70% of the games run well or perfectly.
Yabause has a very decent rate of compatibility, around 70% of the games run well or perfectly.
Yabause has many advantages over Mednafen. If you use the OpenGL video driver, games can be rendered in higher resolutions, unlike Mednafen which can only render in the game’s native resolution.
The UI, despite not being perfect, is also better than Mednafen for very non-experienced users. However, Mednafen is far ahead in terms of compatibility. Use Mednafen for any games that have issues on Yabause, or SSF if you’re using a low-end system.
MAME was originally an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator is a multi-platform, open-source, multi-system emulator written in C++. The philosophy behind the project is to recreate the workings of machines through emulation, and thus the ability to actually play the games is “a nice side effect”.
MAME is incredibly large, supporting thousands of machines and ROM sets, though what is supported is not what’s playable; your mileage may vary. In the event you don’t like MAME’s own interface, there are many alternative front ends available.
Performance quality of this emulator may vary but this is one of the best sega saturn emulators. This is compatible with windows.
Much like the name says, MAME was supposed to be for arcade machines like Pac-Man back when it was released in 1997. Over time, MAME has incorporated similar projects out of a necessity to keep development active and prevent duplication of work as some arcade machines often shared hardware with consoles to ease development of games.
MAME is the prime example of a jack of all trades; it can technically emulate consoles like the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, but for those consoles you’re better off going with our recommended emulators as they may be more performant or more compatible than MAME’s own drivers.
The project and its team focus on accuracy and preservation, which often puts usability at a much lower priority for end-users, so don’t expect support for more recent boards like Atomiswave. For some systems, the developers may not have everything implemented. The native interface will tell you about the emulation status of the chosen driver, and what components are considered lacking.
5. NOVA: Best Sega Saturn Emulators
This emulator is a high and fast work emulator for windows and this is good for its quality. It is suitable and easy to use.
It can now emulate the sega titan video arcade hardware. An up-and-coming emulator focused on being fast, compatible and user-friendly. Like SSF, it is closed-source and Windows only.
The goals for Nova are to make it fast, compatible, accurate, to run smoothly, to be user friendly and to support rich functions like cheat, states save/load, debugging, recording, texture upscaling etc.
BizHawk is an open-source multi-system emulator, as well as a libretro frontend designed predominantly around the production of Tool Assisted Speedruns. It is written in C# and requires .NET Framework 4.0 (in 1.X releases) or .NET Framework 4.6.1 (in 2.X releases) to run. BizHawk focuses on core accuracy and power user tools while still being an easy-to-use emulator for casual gaming.
This is a source of open projects because several land-based Genesis SEGA emulators work properly. Also, it works effectively with Mega Drive, Sega Saturn emulators, SEGA genesis, Mark III games, and SEGA CD. With all this, MD.emu emerges as a versatile group emulator among all of them. Furthermore, this emulator comes loaded with numerous additional features, such as automatic saving, cheat code support, support hardware driver, among many others. So it is appropriate that you always go for this Sega Saturn emulator if you need it, and you will enjoy the best experience that comes with it.
Advanced open-source Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Sega CD, and Master System/Mark III emulator based on portions of Genesis Plus/Gens/Picodrive/Mednafen, supporting a wide variety of devices from the original Xperia Play to modern devices like the Nvidia Shield and Pixel phones. Sega CD support is currently considered beta, please do not report game-specific issues with it yet.
8. RetroArch: Best Sega Saturn Emulators
RetroArch is a frontend for emulators, game engines and media players.
It enables you to run classic games on a wide range of computers and consoles through its slick graphical interface. Settings are also unified so configuration is done once and for all.
In addition to this, you are able to run original game discs (CDs) from RetroArch.
This is an application that is a multiple emulator and augments many systems, including SEGA. On the other hand, it supports 32X in total, game equipment, Sega CD, Genesis as well as the master unit.
This means that it should be able to meet all your demands. Plus, it comes with configurable controls and emulator matrix features like cheat codes, load and save states, among many more features.
It also has perfect compatibility which makes it an ideal choice for further exploration compared to a single emulator at a time. Retroarch is free as well as open-source. It has a learning curve that makes it the drawback. This emulator is easy to use since it takes a minimum of time to know how to activate its function.
MasterEmu is a current emulator available on Google play. In addition, it is a Sega emulator with the support of the game equipment and the master unit. This emulator comes with decent features, including great game support, hardware controller, and Android TV. MasterEmu is an early emulator that exists from a new developer.
It has the potential to grow as time goes by to emerge one of the best Sega emulators, as it is a professional and free version. However, the pro version comes with a much more reasonable price with less troublesome issues. Therefore, thanks to these features for making this emulator exceptional. In case you are looking for the best Sega Saturn emulator for Android / iPhone, then go for this emulator and experience the wonder that comes with it.
10. Genesis Plus GX
The Genesis Plus GX is a multi-system emulator that is powerful for a classic sega. 8 / / 16 bit consoles at home. Producers developed it for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube consoles; It is compatible with popular promoted Sega consoles.
This emulator works 100%, delivering an emulation that is very accurate on SG-1000, game equipment, master system, Mega-CD and Sega Mega Drive. Allows you to use your USB gaming mice on the Linux system. Also, it has built-in support for a display mode that has an extension, USB drive, and SD card. Note that Genesis plus GX guarantees you the best emulation between Sega that is traditional. Therefore, thanks to these excellent features to make this emulator powerful.
Sega Saturn emulators are very helpful in gaming and it is famous for its work. It is one of the fast central processors. It is not for all people to program but it can be used by a professional one.
The Sega Saturn had technically impressive hardware at the time of release but its complex design makes it difficult to use. It can be used for conventional programming. It has 4kb of cache memory in each CPU which was critical to maintaining the performance.
Many developers found it a very difficult emulator because of its complex graphics hardware. It requires development tools to write in assembly language to achieve good performance.
So after it was discontinued, many tried to replicate the work that was done.
Therefore, this post shows the best Sega Saturn emulators which you can use for nostalgia’s sake.