Playing games from the past

A full sized arcade games console enclosure showing a sample game

We can all remember playing games in our youth, whether that be in an arcade or in the comfort of our own homes using games consoles. There are emulators available these days for those games and even kits to build your own games consoles with replica designs and buttons for cabinets.


Starting the ball rolling with MAME or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator which is originally was just an emulator for arcade machines, however have more recently absorbed other sister projects like MESS (Multi Emulator Super System) and AGEMAME (Arcade Gambling Extensions for MAME)

MAME claims it’s main purpose is a reference to the inner workings of emulated machines for both educational and preservation purposes to prevent historic software from disappearing after the hardware has stopped working.

MAME is just the emulator, as the ROMs for these machines are copyrighted to the companies that produced the software. However, these ROMs are available elsewhere.

MAME also supports other systems like the Apple II and early 68k Macs.

GameCube and Wii - Dolphin

Dolphin is the GameCube and Wii emulator for a variety of platforms. Since the popularity of the Nintendo Wii console, which used clever sensors in the Wiimote handsets to measure the position of each handset, which could be clipped into a plastic steering wheel for driving games and be used as nunchucks for fighting games.

You pair the Wiimote using Bluetooth but not using your native Bluetooth method on your computer. You don’t need the Wiimote for most games as you can emulate the Wiimote with a keyboard.

The balance board came with Wii Fit Plus and can also be connected using Bluetooth to your computer.

If you want to connect GameCube controllers to Dolphin, you need the GameCube Controller Adapter for the Wii U, as this provides USB connections to the GameCube controllers.

Other games consoles

EmulatorGames has a list of different emulators available for different platforms.


If you want a retro games cabinet built for your favourite game, there are companies that can build this for you like BitCade that do all the hard work for you, so they will build the entire retro games cabinet, you can even use custom designs on the cabinet.

Medium has an article on building your own retro cabinet using a Raspberry Pi.

ArcadeWorld sell buttons, joysticks and trackballs as well as other accessories for retro game cabinets.

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