The best PS1 emulator now has better online multiplayer than most modern games

Tekken 3
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

A community developer has dug into the incredible PS1 emulator Duckstation in order to add rollback netcode - which effectively means PS1 games now have better online multiplayer than most modern titles.

The developer, who goes by HeatXD, recently published this fork of Duckstation on GitHub, and while you should "expect rough edges," it's already in a working state. I'm a pretty casual fighting game fan, so I'm going to let the responses from some of the more prolific members of the FGC speak for themselves.

It's already quite easy to play PS1 games - or really any emulated retro games - with online multiplayer thanks to services like Parsec or Steam Remote Play Together. But while those streaming services are adequate for runthroughs of co-op games or casual bouts in player-versus-player titles, they're not really good enough if you want to actually compete in something.

That's where rollback netcode comes in. The technical details of how it works are well beyond the scope of this article - I'd point you to this extensive explainer published by Ars Technica a few years ago if you want to learn something today - but suffice to say that the smooth action that rollback provides has quickly made it an essential feature for fighting game fans.

Current fighting games are finally starting to support rollback netcode at launch - Street Fighter 6 is a notable example - but that was not a given for many years, and it's still a crapshoot as to whether any given fighting game will feature competition-worthy online play. With projects like this, at least, there's a way for the genre's most beloved classics to stand up against - and often surpass - their modern successors.

Get ready to battle in the best fighting games out there.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.