I’ve got a really complicated relationship with emulation– on one hand, it’s let me play a bunch of games that are either practically impossible to play otherwise (I’m thinking mostly of older arcade games… but I guess all arcade games are old now? Some arcade games are available widely, like most but not all NeoGeo games, and a handful of the same set of Namco games that constantly get reissued for new consoles) or prohibitively expensive stuff– which is to say Saturn and Dreamcast stuff that I never managed to buy when it was new. In a perfect world, all of the original publishers would exist and there would be some path to play all of their old works, but we’ve approached a point where unless there’s a tremendous outcry for a game’s reissue or release on a new platform, or unless it’s a Nintendo game, there’s basically no way to play a lot of games outside buying an expensive setup of old hardware and software… or emulation.
At the same time, I’ve found emulation to be a tremendous pain, primarily due to issues around finding roms from one or more extremely sketchy sites, getting them installed, having them not work because there’s a newer, slightly superior dump that is now the one that’s supported by the emulator, digging around on even sketchier sites for the newer dump, and downloading it to find that one or more files that it needs aren’t included in the download, finding those files, only to find that the emulator has a new version available that breaks support for one or more other roms… anyway, I’ve made my point. And I should clarify, I’m not asking for advice on any of this, just explaining why I mostly don’t bother with emulation anymore.
So I guess I’m saying that I like emulation in concept– I mean, it’s one of the only ways a bunch of games still exist anymore, especially for games for whom the rights holders aren’t even clear anymore. It just often ends up being way more trouble than it’s worth.