Dolphin

Tool for playing WII and GameCube games on a PC

6.3

158 Votes

  • Category Emulators
  • Program license Free
  • Version 4.0.2
  • Size 10.15 MB
  • Works under: Windows 8.1 / Windows 2003 / Windows XP / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista
  • Program available in English
  • Program by Dolphin Team

Dolphin-64bit is an emulator for Nintendo’s Wii and Gamecube consoles.

You really do not have to cast your mind back a terrifically great distance to remember a time where high-quality console emulation was a mere dream, envisioned by an idealistic few hiding on enthusiast message boards in disparate corners of the internet. This needn’t be the final word, however; the years between then and now have seen enough consistent and rapid developments in the technology that there are now a number of freely-available programs capable of reproducing older console games at a quality that accurately resembles -- and at times even exceeds -- their original forms. Chief among these is Dolphin, an emulator for Nintendo’s Gamecube and Wii consoles that has been tweaked and improved to the point of having an incredibly deep library of titles, many of which are playable in high definition and at 60 frames per second if you have a computer capable of handling it.

Dolphin is widely lauded as the gold standard of console emulation software, and rightly so. The sheer dedication of the community who work on the program is largely -- if not entirely -- responsible for the introduction of a truly impressive suite of features. Some of these even extend to hardware emulation; 2014 saw the introduction of Mayflash’s DolhpinBar, a peripheral similar to the one Nintendo shipped with Wii consoles that allows the user to easily connect a Wiimote controller to their computer for the best possible emulation. It’s an all-too-common criticism of console emulators that replaying beloved games with a mouse and keyboard can be a jarring experience, but Dolphin assuages this issue by offering support for a veritable suite of input devices, whether you want to accurately recreate the original experience or using an alternative controller that feels more comfortable to you.

All told -- and we really can’t stress this enough -- Dolphin is the standard that all other emulators should strive to attain. The library of supported games (many of which, we hasten to remind you, are playable in high definition and at 60 frames per second -- they'll actually look better than they did the first time around!) and rich suite of features is bolstered so regularly by the community (just check out this list of last year’s highlights) that it’s only going to keep getting better.

Pros

  • Huge number of supported titles
  • Tons of features

Cons

  • System intensive
  • Must already own games to play them legally
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