The GameCube, Nintendo’s iconic gaming console, may be outdated, but its games continue to be popular. If you want to relive the GameCube experience, emulators are the way to go. This article reviews the 10 best GameCube emulators available, providing information about each emulator’s compatibility, features, and user-friendliness. Dolphin emulator tops the list due to its remarkable performance, versatility, and active development. Other notable emulators include GCEmu, Dolwin, and WhineCube, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Whether you’re a retro gaming enthusiast or just want to revisit childhood memories, these emulators will allow you to enjoy GameCube games on your modern devices..
What are the best GameCube emulators?
Released back in 2001, the Nintendo GameCube was one of the most popular gaming consoles of its time, selling over 30 million units.
Because of its popularity, the Nintendo GameCube was able to survive from Nintendo’s fourth generation to its sixth, ultimately dwindling as the PS2 and Xbox grew in popularity.
As such a popular gaming console, numerous emulators were created for it, and today we will be looking at only the best Nintendo GameCube emulators to be released.
The Best GameCube Emulators
Not all GameCube emulators are created equal, and some work better than others.
We’ve scoured the web researching the best emulators that enable you to relive your favorite GameCube games on other platforms.
Here’s our list of the 10 best GameCube emulators:
The Nds4droid emulator is relatively new, but it provides many key features that gamers are looking for.
A completely free, open-source GameCube emulator based on the DeSmuME emulator, Nds4droid can be easily downloaded onto any Android smartphone.
However, it is good to keep in mind that this emulator is an ongoing work in progress, but the developers are incredibly upfront about the process.
For example, Nds4droid is somewhat slow, even on new Android phones with better processing power.
This is something they are working on and improving all the time, which is important to consider if you decide to download this emulator.
That said, while it isn’t the fastest or most fleshed out on this list, it is worthy of considering and keeping an eye on.
With all of the time and effort that the developers are putting into it, it is definitely only going to get better in the future and can be one of the best ways to play the best GameCube games on the go.
If you are looking for a GameCube emulator that works on the PC, the GCEMU emulator is one that you’ll definitely want to look into.
Compatible with every computer operating system, this emulator can provide all of the basic functionality needed to run GameCube games.
Unlike the Nds4droid, the GCEMU emulator is fast, which makes it appealing for many gamers. However, it does feature some downsides that are worth mentioning.
Having been developed in 2005, this emulator is basic but largely incomplete and doesn’t have a lot — if any — developer support anymore.
Because of this, users can experience more bugs, crashes, and instability compared to other, more maintained, and complete GameCube emulators.
Despite these drawbacks, the GCEMU emulator shouldn’t be written off, and its speed and ability to run without BIOS images make it something to try for yourself.
Plus, it is completely free on Emulator Zone, so you really have nothing to lose by giving it a chance.
You may even discover that this emulator, despite its faults, can provide the gaming experience that you’re looking for.
CubeSX is a solid emulator that allows users to play either GameCube games or Wii games in both ISO or DVD formats.
Based on PCSX codebases, CubeSX uses a dynamic compiler and interpreter mode to provide a smooth gaming experience.
It also supports save states and has additional features that allow for controller support and vibration.
While this GameCube emulator does provide a good gaming experience as a whole, it doesn’t support commercial games and instead is designed to run Homebrew games that have been created by hobbyist developers for emulator use.
While this may seem like a letdown for gamers looking to play their favorite games on this emulator (because it can provide such a solid gaming experience), it is worth looking into, especially if you’re interested in exploring some of the great homebrew games that have been created for these platforms.
The Dolwin emulator is one of the most user-friendly, and it provides a great, easy-to-use interface.
Like a few other emulators on this list, Dolwin is available for Windows PC only, and it is based on the Power PC derivative processor.
While the Dolwin emulator is impressive for its high emulation, it requires a fast PC to take advantage of its speed fully.
Along with being delightfully user-friendly, this GameCube emulator also has customizable controls and supports full-screen play.
However, like the CubeSX emulator, it doesn’t support commercial games and instead is designed to run only Homebrew games. So you’re not going to be running the best Zelda games on Dolwin.
When choosing between Dolwin and CubeSX emulators, those with faster PCs may benefit more from this emulator, while those with lower-end and older PCs may want to try out the Cube SX first to see which runs the best for them.
This emulator is one of the most popular, and it works exceptionally well on Android devices.
Free to download and easy to use, even for beginners, this emulator allows gamers to customize the controls to suit their needs.
As the name may suggest, the MegaN64 was initially designed with the Nintendo 64 in mind, but it is also capable of playing some GameCube games.
While this emulator is for an Android device, you won’t find it on the app store and instead have to download it to your SD card via one of its host sites, such as UptoDown.
Once it is downloaded and installed, there is no additional setup needed for playing games, which is why this emulator is so reliable for beginners.
While it supports a limited number of Nintendo GameCube games, its ability to run N64 games gives this emulator a lot of use.
Just imagine taking on the Water Temple level in the Legend of Zelda — one of the hardest video game levels of all time — on your phone!
ClassicBoy is an emulator that definitely deserves attention, and the number of games it can provide is enormous.
As an all-in-one emulator, ClassicBoy can emulate over ten handheld gaming consoles, along with Sega, GameCube, and PlayStation.
This means that fans of the best fighting games can play all of their favorites, regardless of the console it debuted on.
Additionally, because it can play commercial games, gamers aren’t limited in the titles they can play on the go.
Along with being a muti-console emulator, the ClassicBoy also features controller support and the ability to use the sensor on your smartphone; however, these features are available only in the Pro version.
The ClassicBoy runs incredibly well, and it is one of the most trusted emulators you can download.
Able to play any supported ROMs, gamers can get a lot out of this download, and it is definitely worth trying if you want a solid, reliable GameCube emulator.
4. DraStic DS
The DraStic DS is designed to run Nintendo DS games, but it can also play a good number of GameCube games and is one of the fastest and most user-friendly emulators that you can download.
It definitely is a strong contender for the title of best GameCube emulator for Android devices.
This emulator app provides a lot of features, such as save states, controller support, button mapping, and six layout options to choose from.
You can also upscale the resolution of your favorite, which includes some of the most popular Nintendo games of all time, to better suit modern smartphones.
However, it is worth mentioning that this is a GameCube emulator that comes with a price tag, albeit a small one.
Costing $4.99 on the AppStore, you will have to pay to try this app out for yourself.
Although this is a small price to pay for all of the features that this emulator provides, as well as the ability to play some of your favorite games right on your smartphone.
The SuperGCube emulator is based on the old GCube emulator, and it is free to download onto your PC.
It comes highly optimized with an efficient level of emulation that provides a steady amount of speed and a relatively low number of framerate issues.
This GameCube emulator is best adapted to older PCs that can’t run more demanding emulators or those that are running older Windows OS.
While this is a very good emulator for those running on older PCs and operating systems, it isn’t without its drawbacks.
For example, the last update for the SuperGCube emulator came out in 2009, and it is unlikely that it will ever be picked up by developers again.
This means that the bugs it has aren’t going to be fixed, which can be a dealbreaker for some gamers who want more reliability.
That being said, if you do have an older operating system and want to get the most out of the best Super Mario games, this is definitely the best GameCube emulator that you can get.
Taking our number two spot is the WhineCube emulator, and it is definitely one of the best GameCube emulators that you can download for your PC.
Able to play games with better graphics and better sound than the original consoles could, it also features better load times when compared to other GameCube emulators.
Although the WhineCube emulator can run many GameCube games, it is optimized for Homebrew games, but not limited to these titles. With a few modifications to the game, it can easily run some of the best retro titles seamlessly.
While it is a solid GameCube emulator, it isn’t without its drawbacks, and it is well known for its framerate drops. However, these are easy to ignore in older games.
Its user interface is also harder to navigate than other emulators on this list, and it has a bit of an outdated feel, which makes sense, seeing as the last update was in 2008.
Despite being abandoned, the source code was made available on the WhineCube website, and this has benefited the developers of other emulators, helping them achieve greater functionality for their own creations, including our number one pick.
The WhineCube emulator may not be the best GameCube emulator of all time, but it definitely can be worth considering, especially if our top pick doesn’t work for you.
1. Dolphin Emulator
Choosing the Dolphin emulator as the best GameCube emulator for Android and PC wasn’t a hard decision, and it easily earned the title with little room for debate.
When it comes to GameCube emulators, the Dolphin emulator reigns supreme for a number of important reasons.
Available on Android, Windows, and Mac, it is one of the widest-reaching emulators that you can download for free.
It is also continuously being updated, unlike many other emulators on this list, meaning that users can expect fewer bugs and much more reliability.
As with any of the best GameCube emulators, you will need a device that can run GameCube ROMs, which most PCs and Macs will do just fine.
However, when it comes to your Android device, you’ll need a version greater than 5.0 to play without any framerate drops.
This is because the GameBoy files, while older, are large and require a decent amount of processing power in order to render the 3D graphics seamlessly.
For this reason, we would advise emulators like SuperGCube, which would be the best GameCube emulator for an older system.
However, if you have the processing power, the Dolphin emulator is definitely the best GameCube emulator for Android, PC, and Mac devices.
In addition to frequent updates, the Dolphin emulator also comes with a lot more customization, which allows users to map keys, organize ROMs, and tailor framerates to get the most out of your favorite games.
If you have a seriously powerful device, you can even push it towards 4K resolution, though that will require an incredibly powerful PC.
The Dolphin emulator can also support Wii games, many of which remain some of the most popular video games of all time, though these are better played on the PC or Mac, as they require more power to run seamlessly.
Overall, the Dolphin GameCube emulator is the best of the Nintendo GameCube/Wii emulator that you can find today, and it is entirely free to download on the PC and Google Play store.
The Nintendo GameCube console was one of the most popular and prevailing consoles of the early 2000s, and many gamers want to relive the experience of replaying their favorite GameCube games on their newer devices.
The ability to do this makes emulators a popular download, and these 10 are the best GameCube emulators that you can download for yourself today.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best GameCube emulators:
- Dolphin Emulator
- DraStic DS
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other emulator lists:
- The 10 Best Pokémon Emulators for PC
- The 10 Best Sega Saturn Emulators
- The 10 Best PSP Emulators of All Time
- The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Emulators
- The 10 Best Sega Genesis Emulators
- The 10 Best Neo Geo Emulators
- The 10 Best Dreamcast Emulators of All Time
What’s the best GameCube emulator, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
WhineCube, a lightweight and fast GameCube emulator for Windows and Linux. Despite being unfinished and no longer actively developed, WhineCube is known for its compatibility with a wide range of GameCube games and its fast performance. It also supports features like save states and customizable controls. However, because it is incomplete, users may encounter bugs and glitches while using this emulator. Overall, WhineCube is a good option for users with older systems or those looking for a lightweight emulator, but it may not be the most reliable choice for everyone.
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