If you are a retro game lover and tired of hopping on websites looking for the Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs for your retro gaming hunger then hold tight, we got your back.
We have compiled a list of the 25 best ROM sites that might be your ultimate destination for a safe and exact ROM download.
Before we go further about best ROM sites let’s first understand what is ROM emulation-
- 1 What is ROM emulation?
- 2 Are ROMs legal?
- 3 Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs
- 3.1 1. My Abandonware
- 3.2 2. Retrostic
- 3.3 3. Vimm’s Lair
- 3.4 4. Archive.org
- 3.5 5. Gamulator
- 3.6 6. EdgeEmulation
- 3.7 7. Romsmania
- 3.8 8. ROMNation
- 3.9 9. The Eye
- 3.10 10. RomHustler
- 3.11 11. Romsdownload
- 3.12 12. Romsmode
- 3.13 13. EMUparadise
- 3.14 14. CoolROM
- 3.15 15. ROMulation
- 3.16 16. CDRomance
- 3.17 17. EmulatorGames
- 3.18 18. FreeROMs
- 3.19 19. Emulator Zone
- 3.20 20. Wowroms
- 3.21 21. Classic Game ROMs
- 3.22 22. The NES Files
- 3.23 23. Roms World
- 3.24 24. Emananium
- 3.25 25. RoyalRoms
- 4 FAQs about downloading and using ROMs
- 5 Final Thoughts
What is ROM emulation?
ROM emulation is the process of copying data from the ROM (Read Only Memory) source to a hard disk, Pen drive, etc.
Tech-savvy like you must be already familiar with the term ROM emulation. But, since we are discussing the best ROM sites it would be incomplete without a little bit of discussion about ROM emulation.
With the help of a ROM emulator, an old game can be made to run on a new computer which would not have been possible on a new computer.
In addition to that, ROM emulation is also used to modify the game to alter difficulty levels, add more language support, etc.
However, the main purpose of ROM emulation is to make free copies of the game that supports your new computer.
Are ROMs legal?
ROM emulation is not something that is considered legal until unless end product is being re-distributed. There is no trial on record of any company going to court over the use of emulators or ROMs.
However, Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against Emuparadise because of copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement. So you should also use Best ROM sites only for safe ROM download.
Without further ado, let’s begin with the list of 25 Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs.
Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs
1. My Abandonware
My Abandonware is one of the best ROM sites to download ROM safely.
The reason for picking this on the top of the list is that website owners have maintained ROMs in a very organized manner.
Among the Best ROM sites, My Abandonware provides famous games from 1978 to 2010. If you are the 80s or 90s kid, then you will find your favorite game over here.
This website offers a search feature to find your favorite ROM based on name, genre, theme, publisher, etc. You can even search for games based on the years they were released. I think that is pretty dope.
You can play games online, rate them, and download them. We believe you should definitely check this once.
Being one of the best ROM sites with neat UI and good categorization, Retrostic has earned its place in retro gamers’ hearts.
As per their about section, Retrostic aims to deliver every possible archived retro game in a form of ROM or ISO.
In the emulator section of the website, you can find loads of emulators you can use to run these ROM and ISO files and enjoy your gaming experience.
Retrostic has an extensive game database that counts over 70 000 titles for 40+ consoles.
You should definitely try this one of the best ROM sites to download your next ROM safely.
3. Vimm’s Lair
We have picked Vimm’s Lair on 3rd spot in the list of Best ROM sites. The reason for keeping this site on 3rd spot is a few drawbacks like limited download connection, no multiple downloads, a little bit of low speed.
But hold on until we discuss the best qualities of this site which will definitely lure you to try it at least once.
If you are one of the tech-savvy who are aware of the intricacies and prefer safety on the internet then Vimm’s Lair is one of the safest ROM sites for you to download ROMs.
The best quality about Vimm’s Lair is that it offers a neat UI without many clumsy popup ads. It is very easy to get the direct download link on Vimm’s Lair.
Vimm’s layer is considered one of the best ROM sites because it contains the CRC, MD5, and Hash Code of the ROMs you are downloading, and you can verify these ROMs on No-Intro.org.
It is one of the best sites to download safe ROMs. As per Archive.org’s About information, it is a library of free books, songs, software, movies, etc., and in our case library of ROMs.
The comprehensive search option of Archive.org is very helpful in finding your best retro game ROM. It is recommended to search along with the console name for better results.
The best quality of Archive.org is that It allows bulk downloading.
One of the best ROM sites with a collection of more than 10,000 ROMs, Gamulator is ruling the safe ROM download sites.
Gamulator offers a very neat search feature combined with systematic categorization to get the desirable retro game ROM. Few of the ROMs are also available to play online in the browser.
It also offers ROMs for all famous consoles like Gameboy, PSP, N64, Dreamcast, etc. You can download emulators too from the same site.
With a gigantic list of more than 65000 ROMs in the catalog, this is also one of the best ROM sites for downloading safe ROMs.
The best thing about this site is that it offers CRC codes, which can you can verify for security on the No-Intro website. With neat UI, no popup ads, and providing all direct ROM download links, EdgeEMulation is very popular among retro game lovers.
A few of the games offered by EdgeEMulation are Metal Gear Solid, Superman, Mario Cart Arcade, etc.
Romsmania might resemble a little with Gamulator with little doodles on the home page but there is a little difference.
If you are looking for a collection of ROMs in a single place then Romsmania is one of the best ROM sites to visit.
What makes Romsmania unique is its “Play online” feature which is very convenient to use.
The drawback of Romsmania is that it offers a limited collection of ROMs and there are a lot of ads and annoying popups. This website goes better along with an Adblocker.
ROMNation, one of the best ROM sites, is running for many years now and has recently redesigned its website. The website is now mobile-friendly.
Downloading ROMs is self-explanatory and easy. Registered users will get ad-free service and can also share their ROM catalog with friends.
A few of the most popular ROMs offered are
- Legend of Zelda
- Capcom vs Marvel
- Indiana Jones etc.
9. The Eye
With a cool gothic look and feel, The Eye is one of the best SNES ROM sites. The Eye is an open directory website where you have to visit the directories for your desired info.
At one of the best ROM sites, The Eye, you will get here direct download links without any ads.
The Eye includes ROMs from more than 60 consoles. You can download games in bulk for older systems too. The Eye has a large community of 20,000 members and growing.
RomHustler is an excellent website to download safe ROMs. The website interface is self-explanatory and mobile-friendly too.
The best thing about this website is that it provides user ratings for each ROM by the actual users. So, you can choose better accordingly. You can use a search bar to find your favorite game.
The website serves ads, and you have to wait sometime before you can get to the exact ROM you are looking for and download it.
Romsdownload is one of the best ROM sites and offers the best ROMS for all the consoles along with easy direct download links.
Major game ROMs from the countries like Korea, Japan, the USA, and Europe are available at Romsdownload. They can be filtered using various genres.
You can download emulators from the ROM download page. On the final download page, you have to wait for at least ten seconds to start the download.
This website is a lookalike of Romsdownload and Romsmaniac. You can download games for all popular consoles directly.
You can either search or can navigate through the console’s links to download ROMs. Download speed is also good, and you can download multiple files in one go.
EMUParadise is one of the oldest and most popular gaming websites for retro game lovers. But it is no longer allowing you to download ROMs directly.
But don’t worry we got your back. You need to follow this particular workaround method using the Chrome browser.
In order to download ROMs, you will have to install an extension that will help you run some scripts.
Step 1 – Download the Tampermonkey extension from the Chrome store.
Step 2 – Click on this link to install the script. Extension downloaded in the previous step will help in installing the script.
Step 3 – Click on the Install button.
Step 4 – Refresh the page on Emuparadise and voila there are your direct download links. You will see another option “Download using workaround option”. Click on that link and enjoy safe ROMs.
Since EMUParadise is an old website its collection is vast. Usually, it doesn’t disappoint its visitors. You should definitely try it once.
CoolROM is one of the Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs. In the first impression, CoolROM might look a little bit confusing because of inconvenient navigation. Browse through the header menu, which is much more convenient than the home page.
CoolROM also provides a feature to search your ROM using a search box on top. It offers games for more than 25 consoles.
Some users have complaints about malware on this site so you should be cautious while going through this website. However, we have used this site many times and didn’t find any such issue. It is still recommended to be cautious while visiting and downloading from this site.
ROMulation is one of the best ROM sites which offers a lovely interface as compared to other sites on the list. Direct download links are available for ROMs but with a few restrictions.
In order to download ROMs of more than 1 GB sizes from ROMulation, you will have to create an account.
Other than that ROMs for a few of the major consoles are restricted, or you can’t download them. So you might have to manage accordingly.
CDRomance also offers direct download links to the famous ROMs. The best way to navigate is by using the header menu options.
It has a simple interface for downloading ROMs.
Screenshots and user reviews are also available, which decides the top-ranking ROMs.
EmulatorGames is one of the best ROM sites which has an interface similar to Romsmania and does the job it is designed for.
EmulatorGames website prepares the list of top trending games based on real-time user reviews.
The website serves ads, and you might have to wait a few seconds to start your download. It is recommended to use Adblocker before entering this site.
FreeRoms is also one of the best ROM sites that offer to download safe ROM. You can download more than 3000 ROM files.
The website offers ads, and you have to wait ten seconds on the download page to start your download. It is recommended to keep Adblocker in place before visiting this site.
The website offers all the popular consoles and games. Few of the Dreamcast games include
- Marvel vs Capcom
- Crazy Taxi 2
The website offers a rating system based on which it lists out most popular retro games.
19. Emulator Zone
With a very neat and simple UI, Emulator zone is one of the oldest, safest, and best ROM sites that allow you to direct download games.
If you are looking for any free retro games that are not copyrights protected then this website is the place where you should land.
This is an authentic site where you will not find any paid games for free here, and you might get banned from their forum if you ask for one.
You can download games from the Steam store at a meager price.
Wowroms is one of the best ROM sites and also it is one of the unique sites that offer some ROMs for old systems like Acron, Apple I, DOS, etc., and believe me, it is difficult to find anywhere else. No one plays these games anymore, but they are here in case you want to try them.
With a comic book-like UI, you can navigate through the side menu or can download from their “Top Download” or “Top-Rated” lists at WoWROMs.
In addition to that this website supports multiple languages too. Cool, isn’t it.
21. Classic Game ROMs
Classic Game ROMs offers ROMs for consoles like Nintendo, Playstation, Game Boy, and more. Just select your console and download the ROM from the right panel.
Just like other directory listing websites, it shows you a list of games after you select your desired console. It is also one of the safest ROM sites to download games.
22. The NES Files
The NES Files site is one of the best ROM sites for NES fans and mainly offers all the stuff related to the NES console. You can download more than 300 NES ROMs, NES Games, NES manuals in PDF format, etc.
Few of the famous games offered by this website include
- The Legend of Zelda
- Super Mario Bros.
- Castlevania etc.
23. Roms World
ROMs World is one of the best ROM sites that offer direct download links for ROMs. You can read their blog to know more about the top-ranking games and emulators.
Few of the most popular games offered by the website include
- Final Fantasy
- Legend of Zelda etc.
Emananium is not the best site if you are looking to download safe ROMs. But it does the job.
The user interface of this site can be tricky to navigate and at first, you won’t be able to reach the download option. An Adblocker is recommended to go along with Emananium.
However, ROMs offered are pretty good, and that’s why we have included Emananium in this list of Best ROM sites.
Some of the emulators you can get on this site include GameCube, Aracade, GameBoy, etc.
The last item in the List of Best ROM sites is RoyalROMs. This item might be last in our least but by no means it is less than any of the other ROM sites mentioned in this article.
RoyalROMs offer a very pretty and neat UI. It has a wide variety of games to download. You can also check their blog for the latest updates about the ROMs.
You can safely download ROMs using the header menu or can use the quick search option. No waiting time for downloads or account creation is required on RoyalROMs.
You should definitely check this site to download ROMs safely.
FAQs about downloading and using ROMs
How to check if ROM is safe or not?
The best possible way to check if ROM is safe or not is by matching the codes of CRC and MD5 of the ROM with the original dumps. If they are matched then ROM is safe to use.
These codes don’t match for hacked, translated, or similarly altered ROMs.
The catalog of these dumps is present on the No-Intro website. You can refer and validate before using.
Is downloading ROMs illegal?
Technically, yes. Downloading ROMs is a form of piracy, which is illegal. Both the games and the game systems they come from are copyrighted intellectual property, as two ROM websites found out the hard way when Nintendo sued them in 2019. That’s why using safe ROM is necessary.
This article on “25 Best ROM sites to download safe ROMs” might have been a little longer to read but we hope it would have certainly helped you in getting your next safe ROM.
Please let us know which of the best ROM sites have you used to find your retro game ROM.