Classic games have their own unique flavor which is why it’s no surprise you’re on the lookout for the best safe ROM sites to download those nostalgia-inducing games from.
But you’ve got to be careful while grabbing these retro games since this can often lead to malware or adware making its way into your computer.
That’s why we have compiled this ultimate list of 12 secure ROM sites featuring classic games meant for emulators of consoles like the NES, Dreamcast, Wii, Game Boy Color, Sega Saturn, PSP, and more.
Let’s take a look at them.
Tips for downloading ROMs safely from ROM site
You can find a ton of ROM websites on the Internet and while we’ll be showing you what the best ones among them are, here are a few tips you must follow while downloading ROMs for emulators of classic consoles.
- Be wary of sites that ask you to download any software before they give you the ROM. Such sites are most likely peddling viruses or other malware.
- Most ROMs will come in the form of compressed .zip files. So be suspicious of files that aren’t delivered in such a manner.
- Never open a ROM has a .exe extension at the end of it. These are executable files that will try to install unwanted software onto your computers.
Now that you know the safety rules, let’s move onto the best ROM sites for your emulators to take advantage of.
Best Safe ROM Sites to download classic games in 2021
1 – Romsmania
Super Mario Bros. nostalgia hits you as soon as you enter Romsmania since its background itself features a shot of the old game.
It takes the search bar approach when it comes to letting you find the emulators and ROMs you are looking for. Scroll down a little and you will find a trending section featuring ROMs that are popular among enthusiasts.
Romsmania benefits from a simple and straightforward download process and it even lets you grab emulators for popular consoles, just like most of the other sites on this list.
One of the best parts of this site is its Play Online section that lets you play certain games’ ROMs on the website itself, without the need to download the ROMs.
2 – ROMS World
ROMS World is well known in the retro gamer community as the provider of numerous gaming ROMs for various emulators that you can enjoy your childhood games on.
Not only does this site offer for download Game Boy Color ROMs or Game Boy Advance ROMs, but also those for Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo DS (NDS), Game Boy Color (GBC), Game Boy (GB), Nintendo 64 (N64), Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator(MAME), SEGA, Atari 2600 (ATARI), and Neo-Geo systems.
It also allows you to pick from several emulators. It’s got a simple interface that highlights popular emulators and ROMs, while the search section lets you download ROMs easily.
3 – Romspedia
Romspedia is the ideal safe ROM site for indulging in games you used to play when you were a kid.
It supports ROM files for various classic platforms and presents them on a pleasant interface. It even offers a user ratings facility that allows those who have downloaded a particular file to leave user reviews for other people to gauge its quality.
Sections for emulators and BIOS form part of the repertoire of this site as well. Romspedia is among the top choices when it comes to safe ROM sites as it’s completely devoid of any misleading clicks.
4 – Doperoms
This safe ROM site has really earned its name. No prizes for guessing what you can expect from it.
The portal has been equipped with thousands of safe ROMs and emulators for classic consoles that are available for download free of cost and without any hassles.
Gaming ROMs meant for computer devices are available on this excellent site that is also supported by a well-moderated forum.
It includes three tiers for enthusiasts to choose from. The Guest mode will allow you to download ROMs, but registering for an account with your email address will also give you access to more areas on the site.
And if you donate to the developers, you gain access to the Unlimited tier that includes the best ROM packs, adult ROMs, MAME ROMs, and more.
5 – Retrostic
It would be appropriate to call this candidate on our roster one of finest safe ROM download sites available on the Internet simply for supporting so many retro consoles and having an active development team that even takes requests for rare retro games and tries to deliver them for you.
As mentioned, if you’re looking for popular retro games, this website has got them all.
It’s home to over 80,000 safe ROMs and more than 400 emulator options for classic consoles.
Plus, a dedicated ROM Hacks section resides on the website, offering altered and improved versions of certain games.
It’s a truly extensive safe ROM site that any retro gaming fan should try out if they want to download ROMs.
6 – RomUlation
This next safe ROM site makes use of a simple user interface and pairs it with a search tool.
The site has been running since way back in 2004 and has grown enough to include ROMs of games that have been released long after its launch.
Yes, you’ll find ROMs of games meant for the PSP and the PS3, apart from all the usual retro consoles.
All the options on this safe ROM site are completely secure and free of viruses and malware. So you can use it to download content without worrying one bit.
It really is one of the best ROM sites available out there.
7 – Free ROMs
The folks behind this ROM site put a lot of effort into developing its interface and breaking down the comprehensive collection of content it hosts in a user-friendly manner.
The pane on the left-hand side of its UI is populated by the names of all the platforms for which ROMs are available to download.
Clicking on any of them will take you to a page that not only lets you search for those safe ROMs alphabetically, but also provides links to the respective emulator options needed to play those games.
Check it out and you’ll see that the extensive collection of free ROMs listed by this site deserves a lot of praise indeed.
8 – Gamulator
Gamulator is one more brilliant entry to our best ROM websites list.
Gamulator is updated regularly with newer ROMs and emulators for classic consoles and has always been one of the safest options available out there.
As soon as you open the homepage of this website in your browser, you will see that it allows you to search for safe ROMs by category and tags.
Like all the other websites on this list, Gamulator too features a really simple download process that will have you finding and playing your retro console games in no time.
9 – Edge Emulation
With over 70,000 ROMs available on it for various platforms, it’s no surprise that Edge Emulation has notched up more than 68 million downloads to date.
Its homepage lists the various console platforms for which you can download safe ROMs and even has a Random Downloads section if you’re feeling lucky, alongside a Top Downloads section.
Its makers keep things simple and follow the same theme through the rest of the website. And, of course, you also get a filter-equipped search bar for finding the offering you’re looking for.
If your search for the finest safe ROM sites for grabbing retro games still isn’t over, we have a few more options for you.
10 – Vimm’s Lair
Keeping with the theme of offering retro video games, Vimm’s Lair has also gone for a retro layout with its interface.
This tenth entry to our compilation of best ROM sites caters to 16 classic systems, including more recent ones like the Wii, the PS3, and more.
One of the most interesting projects undertaken by the makers of Vimm’s Lair involves scanning and archiving as many US video game manuals as possible.
Once scanned, they are posted on the website so that everyone can read them.
Over 400 manuals of NES and SNES video games have been collected so far and work is underway for scanning plenty of other manuals.
11 – Classic Game ROMs
Classic Game ROMs is among the most barebones offerings in this list of best safe ROM sites.
Apart from a graphic featuring its name and a few retro video game characters, the homepage of Classic Game ROMs only features a lineup of all the much-demanded ROMs and emulators you can download onto your computers.
All the gaming ROM files from this portal are hosted on Google Drive, so that you can scan them before downloading.
Not that you need to scan them though since this place is tested to be a safe and secure site.
12 – Emuparadise
Emuparadise really is a haven for emulator enthusiasts and will provide you with the best ROM gaming experience.
Not only does it offer emulators, ROMs, and ISOs, but also delivers music from classic titles, making it one of the most versatile sites to download ROMs from.
Want to trip on the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, or dabble in some Diablo II music? Emuparadise is the only place you need to visit.
The variety on this ROM site doesn’t stop there. It also includes a section dedicated solely to classic video game comics, magazines, and guides.
Emuparadise is also known for its servers that allow all retro gaming enthusiasts to meet up online and play those games together, while there’s a section dedicated to enjoying retro games in the browser itself.
Emuparadise’s list of features is so extensive, it’d be too long of a read. So see it for yourself by clicking on the link down below.
FAQs about secure ROM download sites
Q. What ROM websites are safe?
All the sites in our list of safe ROM sites are completely secure and won’t bother you one bit with malware or viruses. These ROM websites are run by fans in their free time and they don’t charge a penny from you when you download one of their games onto your computer.
Q. Can you go to jail for downloading ROMs from safe ROM websites?
It is illegal to download ROMs for old console games even if they’re out of circulation since the original publishers might argue that they intend to relaunch these titles. There is a standing debate about whether possessing a ROM of a game you already own is within the law or not. Some even argue that ROM websites preserve a part of gaming history that would otherwise be lost forever. The point is, it’s a gray area and those who distribute or share these ROMs are more likely to get into trouble than individual users who are not doing it for profit.
Q. How do I know if a ROM is safe?
As we said, you need to consider three important factors while downloading emulators and ROMs from a website to make sure they are safe. The first is to ignore download manager software, the second is to make sure they are in .zip format, and the third is to not open any ROM with a .exe extension.
Q. What is the best website for ROMs?
Well, we have already mentioned all the best website options for ROM enthusiasts to take advantage of. But a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list include ROM Hustler and The Eye. ROM Hustler and The Eye have a dense set of emulators and ROMs listed on them. If you’re not satisfied with the 12 sites we’ve listed above, do give ROM Hustler and The Eye a try. Console Classix is also another worthy option.
Disclaimer: We cannot verify or guarantee the legality of downloading any content appearing on this list since it is for informational purposes only. We do not support or promote piracy in any way, and discourage unlawful downloading of copyright-protected content.