Best PS2 emulator for PC

PlayStation is a video-game console series by Sony which has sold over 400 million units combined across 4 versions.

PlayStation 2(PS2) had the longest run with over 13 years before the next installment of PlayStation came out. Its successors tried to imitate the success but failed to touch the 150 million mark by a distance.

The second installment of PlayStation is off the shelves. You can still play PS2 games on your Computer through a PS2 emulator.

PS2 emulator for PC is a program that emulates the PlayStation 2 and lets you run your favorite PS2 games on PC.

You will need a disc or a copy / ROM of PlayStation 2 games to run the game on the emulator.

Best PS2 Emulator for PC

Here are some of the best working PS2 emulators for PCs for Windows 10 and Mac that we tested and found to be working.

  • PCSX2
  • RetroArch
  • Play!
  • nSX2
  • PS2Emu
  • hpsx64

1. PCSX2

PCSX2 is the best PS2 emulator for PC out there right now. It has the compatibility of over 90% for the notable video-game titles. You can head to their compatibility list to check if your video-game is compatible or not.

Update: The emulator has achieved almost 100% compatibility on 2,691 games with only Its Real Gold World remaining, owing to controller limitations. 

pCSX2 ps2 emulator

It supports a custom resolution of 4096×4096 pixels, which would be enough for a crystal bright monitor display. The HD resolution is coupled with anti-aliasing, textures filtering to make PS2 games look better than before.

PCSX2 allows you to save state at any point in time in the game. Load from it again without losing valuable in-game progress. This is similar to the quick-save feature that you find in several games nowadays.

The emulator is compatible with all controllers(PS3, Xbox360, Logitech, etc.), as long as the computer supports them. Plug-in a controller and start playing on the PS2 emulator without waiting for anything.

As as streamer, you can capture and record your gameplay in FULL HD with a hotkey(F12 by default).

Update: PCSX2 recently introduced support for the Vulkan rendering


2. Retroarch

Second in the list is a PS2 emulator for Windows 10 and other installments, that takes it to the next level. Retroarch has a smooth and one of the most interactive user-interface for an emulator.

Retroarch Ps2 emulator

This PlayStation 2 emulator can be customized to the core to a gamer’s liking. In-game performance can also be tweaked from the settings for providing a retro feel with the likes of video shader calibration, CRT monitor, amongst other things. 

Gamers who are looking for a PS2 emulator for low-end PC can try their online PS2 emulator(which has stopped working for some reason, functional again). It requires no installation or downloading of any app. Just head to the online emulator and load your ROM. They feature several dozen console emulators apart from PS2. 

You can also play online with other console players through Netplay servers. Host a Netplay server of your own and enjoy multi-player gaming in your lobby on your console emulator.

Video-game streamers can stream on, YouTube and Facebook Gaming directly from the PS2 emulator, apart from the standard video record and capture feature. 


3. Play!

Play! is a simple and easy to use PS2 emulator for PC. There are no extra features other than simple PS2 games emulation. The emulator for PS2 is available in both 32bit and 64bit versions.

ps2 emulator pc

No BIOS upload is required for running the emulator. Over 1500 games are compatible with more games being made compatible every week.

Additionally, you can insert up to 10 save states at once in the emulator for each ROM, creating a decent game library at hand.

For our smartphone users, you can also download this PS2 emulator on Android and iOS.


4. nSX2

nSX2 is a PS2 emulator for windows PC that has been around for over 18 years. It supports both PSX and PS2 games with backward compatibility, along with 7 interface languages.

NSx2 Ps2 emulator

In terms of file compatibility, nSX2 supports both DVD and .ELF without a sweat. On top of that, we have the option of vertical sync, which needs to be enabled from Settings Emulator > General.

Similar to Play!, this emulator is simple to operate. You open a ROM which is present on your computer storage and start playing without additional settings to deal with.


5. PS2Emu 

The PS2emu emulator is one of the best PS2 emulator, which is in the experimental stage with development done on a weekly basis. The graphical interface is pretty basic and might not be suitable for novice computer users to operate. 

PS2emu playstation2 emulator

The new emulator has a full-screen only mode with a different video output(game) window for playing. The plugins for graphics, audio, and gameplay needs to be added to the plugin folder for the emulator to work correctly.

Note – The PS2 emulator download link has been updated.


6. hpsx64

Last in the list of the best PS2 emulator for PC is hpsx64. An open-source PlayStation emulator that has been in development since 2018. It has all the standard features such as gamepad support, video buffering, V-sync, and more.

hps2x64 ps2 emulator pc

Additionally, the emulator supports two gamepads for videos such as Tekken, FIFA, etc. where two players can battle it out in the game.

The hpsx64 is in its initial development stages, so it is not compatible with a wide variety of games yet. You can still play PS2 games on PC that are easy to emulate.


Also Read- Best PS2 Emulator for Android

Is there a better PS2 emulator than PCSX2?

You can use RetroArch which is pretty good and also try other ps2 emulator for windows from the list provided above.

Why is PS2 emulation so bad?

PS2 Hardware doesn’t map well with the modern-day GPUs thus causing poor emulation on modern-day PCs and Laptops.

Why is PCSX2 so bad?

PCSX2 is capable of running most of the ps2 games on the PC. It is buggy and messy because of its jumbled code base which is hard to read and understand thus making it difficult to make progress in development.

Over to You

These were the best PS2 emulators for PC to play PlayStation 2 games. You can try some of these on smartphones as well.

Let us know if you have any other emulator for PS2 on your mind.