MAME is a popular gaming console emulator which is available for all the popular desktop platforms like Windows, macOS and Linux. When MAME project was started in 1997, it was designed to support the game arcade machines with coin slots. But after 2015, it was integrated with another similar project called MESS and now it supports both the old coin-slot arcade machines and the game consoles. It supports many thousands of games from various machines and consoles.
However, the main problem with MAME is that it offers command line binaries only. If you want to run it through a GUI, then you have to use a GUI front-end or a GUI wrapper like ExtraMAME. If you want to enjoy playing the very old games using ExtraMAME then you can use the following steps to setup MAME and ExtraMAME on your Windows PC:
- Download ExtraMAME from https://www.wintools.net/extramame/. Launch the installer and choose to install in a folder C:\ExtraMAME. It is best not to use a folder with spaces in its full path.
- Download MAME binaries for Windows (EXE) from https://www.mamedev.org/release.html. Run it and extract them into the same folder as in step 1, namely C:\ExtraMAME.
- Launch ExtraMAME from its desktop shortcut and it will display you some of the freely available (already installed from the MAME binary package). You can select any of these games and then click on the Play button to start enjoying the games on your large screen Windows PC.
Most of these games that can be played through MAME are console or arcade games. They sometimes do not respond to the keyboard and can only be played through a good game controller. You can use any kind of game controller that can be installed on your Windows PC, but it should be attached or connected to your Windows PC before launching ExtraMAME.