It was not that long ago that the thought of a PS3 emulator that worked properly was out of reach, yet here we are now about to check out our recommendation for the best PS3 emulator.
Let’s not kid ourselves too much though, PS3 emulation is still in its infancy, so the choice out there is limited. But on the other hand, it makes it far easier to give you a clear recommendation on what the best PS3 emulator is.
What Is The Best PS3 Emulator For PC, macOS & Linux?
RPCS3 is the best PS3 emulator across all systems currently. Having been in development since 2011, RPCS3 has been a labour of love for all the contributors to the open source project, ultimately enabling you to be able to now play all the best PS3 games on your PC, Mac & Linux systems.
The first version of RPCS3 was released in 2012 and obviously caught the attention of emulation fans, since then a large number of contributors continue to chip in and add their expertise to the project, making it, without doubt, the best PS3 emulator.
The PlayStation 3 is a complex beast, which is why RPCS3 requires a little more configuration and setup than most other emulators. It involves downloading the latest PS3 firmware from the official PlayStation site and installing it using RPCS3’s firmware installer.
Fortunately, we have a quick start guide on how to set up RPCS3 to help you along the way.
Wait, there’s a PS3 Mac Emulator?
Yes! Unbelievable isn’t it! The Mac often gets overlooked when it comes to emulation, especially when it comes to more recent systems like the PlayStation 3, but RPCS3 is not only available for macOS, but is actually very respectable for the performance it gives.
Mac users are advised that they will need more recent performance-based Mac systems with dedicated graphics on macOS 11.6 or later.
Is RPCS3 Available For Android?
Unfortunately not. An Android version of RPCS3 would be an absolute dream, but would likely turn your phone into molten lava given the demands on hardware currently!
There are no PlayStation 3 Emulators For Android on the horizon either, so don’t hold your hopes for anything soon either.
RPCS3 Games Compatibility
At the time of writing, RPCS3 boasts a fully playable compatibility level of 68%, with another 28% working in the game, but has issues that need to be fixed. Not bad going considering the notoriously difficult nature of the PS3 to emulate.
The RPCS3 site has a full up-to-date list of compatibility.
- CPU – AMD/Intel 6 cores & 12 threads, 8 cores or more
- GPU – Vulkan compatible GPU with active driver support
- RAM – At least 8GB of Dual Channel RAM
- Storage – SSD is recommended for emulator files (Around 6GB is needed for emulator data and virtual console data)
- OS – Windows 10/11 21H2 or newer / Linux 5.17 or newer / macOS Monterey 12.0 or newer / FreeBSD 13.0 or newer
- CPU – AMD/Intel – Any x64 CPU
- GPU – OpenGL 4.3 compatible or newer
- RAM – At least 4GB of RAM
- Storage – SSD/HDD (Around 6GB needed for emulator data and virtual console data)
- OS – Windows 7 SP1 or newer / Linux 5.4, Ubuntu 18.04 or newer / macOS Big Sur 11.6 or newer / FreeBSD 12.3 or newer
Where To Download RPCS3?
RPCS3 has its own comprehensive website from which all versions can be downloaded from. It includes lots of helpful resources and a good amount of background on the emulator should you wish to find out more about the history of RPCS3.
Are There Any PS3 Emulators For Android?
No, PS3 emulation is still young and is only performing well on systems with strong CPUs and dedicated GPUs. Mobile devices are just not powerful enough to handle the demands of PS3 emulation.
There are numerous fake PlayStation 3 emulator apps advertised for Android but don’t be fooled, if it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is!
It’s a pretty clear outcome that the current best PS3 emulator is RPCS3, there is no other option. Fortunately, RPCS3 is turning out to be a real gem of an emulator and will likely remain the choice of PlayStation 3 fans when looking to emulator the system.
If you are a PlayStation fan through and through, you might be interested in one of the best emulators for PC, PCSX2, this is, without doubt, the best PS2 emulator for PC. On Android, AetherSX2 is an excellent PS2 emulator app and the best PS2 emulator for Android.
The main competitor of the PS3 was of course the Xbox 360, we also have some recommendations in our guide for the best Xbox 360 emulator.
Finally, if you’re looking for an emulator for another system, check out our comprehensive emulator guide, where you’ll find links to many other classic retro system emulators.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of experience in the field, so producing retro orientated content for How To Retro comes is second nature to him. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).