Best Open Source Platforms For Raspberry Pi Retro Game Addicts

From saving the Mushroom Princess from the evil Koopa to being the last man standing in the battle royale, video games have evolved exponentially. It’s not only the games that have evolved, but also the hardware and consoles. It would be hilarious if you actually compare today’s graphics and processors with the ones from the ’80s or ’90s. But for those who want to take a walk down the memory lane, the tiny but powerful Raspberry Pi is the perfect platform.

If you’ve got a Raspberry Pi, then you are almost there to relive retro gaming because with this tiny computer and a retro gaming suite, you can play old-school games with flair.


Sign up for your weekly dose of what's up in emerging technology.

Here Are Some Of The Best Open Source Platforms For Raspberry Pi To Play Old-School Games:


Originally programmed for Raspberry Pi, Recalbox OS is a free, open source software distribution for retro gaming. The OS is based on the GNU/Linux Operating System and is loaded with thousands of open source software. Also, this amazing OS offers a wide range of game systems — from the very first arcade systems to the NES, the MEGADRIVE, 32-bit platforms and even Nintendo 64.  

Unlike some of the other platforms, Recalbox has fewer emulators, fewer customisation options, and doesn’t have a huge user community. However, it has a very simple setup, one doesn’t have to dig deep on the technical stuff such as getting a new SD. So, if you want to have easy-peasy retro gaming experience, then Recalbox is definitely for you.

Download our Mobile App


There are many retro-gaming platforms available on the web but when it comes to Raspberry Pi, RetroPie is probably one of the most popular retro-gaming platforms. This amazing platform turns your Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, or PC into a retro-gaming machine. When it comes to emulating classic desktop and console gaming systems, RetroPie is definitely a solid and great option.

Apart from all the mainstream retro-gaming, this platform also provides a large variety of configuration tools for power users to customize the system as per the users’ wants and needs. That’s is not all, one can install RetroPie on top of a full OS, on an existing Raspbian, or even can go for RetroPie image — the user has got all the power.

Unlike Recalbox, RetroPie needs a micro SD of minimum 8gb of space. However, just like Recalbox, it is pretty simple to set up — burn RetroPie image to an SD card, configure controllers, copy your games, and and you are good to go.


Built on RetroArch and Libretro ecosystem, Lakka is an open source, lightweight Linux distribution that transforms a small computer into a retro-gaming console. Lakka is easy to set up and use — install on an SD card or USB flash drive, copy your ROMs on the device, power up the rig and plug your joypad to play.

When it comes to gaming, hardware plays a vital role and most of the times hardware costs are high. However, Lakka keeps the hardware requirement as cheap as possible; the software is developed in such a way that it can run fast even on low-end PCs.


Released in 1987, RISC OS is an open source computer operating system originally created by Acorn Computers Ltd in Cambridge, England.  RISC OS used to be the heart and soul of Acorn Computers, but with time, both the OS and Acorn disappeared. However, as retro gaming is again coming into the play, this amazing OS is gaining a bit of popularity again. RISC OS is a beast when we talk about open source platforms and this can still be installed.

Compared to other platforms, RISC OS is not a great all-rounder — it has its own limitations. Also, installing RISC OS and getting started with retro games is not that easy. There are many hidden things that need to be taken care before playing.

Witnessing the popularity that Raspberry Pi is gaining with time, a new version has also hit the market called the RISC OS Pi, which is supplied on a specially-branded 2GB micro SD card. It has been created and tested by RISC OS Open specifically to avoid the hassle of creating your own bootable card for the Raspberry Pi.

More Great AIM Stories

Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

AIM Upcoming Events

Regular Passes expire on 3rd Mar

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Rising 2023 | Women in Tech Conference
16-17th Mar, 2023

Early Bird Passes expire on 17th Feb

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Data Engineering Summit (DES) 2023
27-28th Apr, 2023

Conference, Virtual
Deep Learning DevCon 2023
27 May, 2023

3 Ways to Join our Community

Telegram group

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Discord Server

Stay Connected with a larger ecosystem of data science and ML Professionals

Subscribe to our Daily newsletter

Get our daily awesome stories & videos in your inbox