The Best 13 SNES Emulators for Windows, Mac, and Android

Despite the fact that gaming has advanced by leaps and bounds over the previous three decades, nothing beats the incredible rush of nostalgia that comes from playing classic SNES games from the 1990s. However, because SNES-style consoles are out of favour these days and obtaining a working model may prove to be an arduous endeavour, playing games like Super Mario or Donkey Kong may prove difficult. To play classic SNES games, you must now use emulators, and while there are numerous options available, not all of them can provide the same experience as playing the game on an old-school machine. So, if you’ve been seeking ways to play your favourite classic SNES game, here are the 13 most excellent SNES emulators for PC, Mac, and Android that you should check out.

1. NES.emu

If the design of SNES9x EX+ bothers you, you can also try NES.emu, another excellent N.E.S. emulator for Android that works well on almost all Android smartphones with at least a 1GHz processor. The emulator has a slew of unique features, such as backup and saves state support, cheat support, on-screen multi-touch controllers, and much more.

Furthermore, NES.emu offers Bluetooth/USB gamepad and keyboard support, allowing you to attach a retro-style controller to your Android device and enjoy a genuine N.E.S. experience on the move. The emulator also allows you to play N.E.S. games in landscape mode, distinguishing it from SNES9x EX+, which only supports portrait mode.

  • Platforms supported: Android
  • The cost is $3.99

2. No$SNS

The No$ (read: NoCash) family of classic console emulators, as the name implies, are free (but proprietary) software that helps replicate the joy of classic console games on outdated P.C. hardware. Martin Korth created the emulators, which are available for various retro consoles such as the original PlayStation, GBA, N.D.S., Atari 2600, Commodore 64, SNES, and others.

They are not suitable for general-purpose emulation because they are based on speedhacks, have lesser precision, and are prone to glitches. Having said that, they provide superb debugging facilities such as memory readers and disassemblers. This makes them extremely valuable for developers who want to create R.O.M. hacks or transitions but have compatibility and DRM concerns.

The No$SNS, which is available for Windows systems, is entirely assembler code with relatively great accuracy compared to other No$ emulators. It accepts various older controllers, such as 1-2 joypads, Multi lap, Lightguns (through mouse), N.T.T. Data Pad, X-Band Keyboard, Twin Taps, Barcode Battler, Pachinko Dial, Exertainment Bike, and so on.

Would you please keep in mind that the software was last updated in 2016? Thus it may not be compatible with all current devices.

  • Windows and D.O.S. have supported platforms.
  • Free of charge

3. RetroArch

The list begins with RetroArch, a fantastic SNES emulator that includes cross-platform support, allowing players to experience SNES games on various platforms. RetroArch is sometimes described as a front-end for emulators that runs programs turned into dynamic libraries known as Liberto cores. Essentially, the software provides a refined interface through which the user may play various traditional games, making it quite simple to use. The emulator supports a variety of controllers and includes advanced features like shaders, netplay, and rewinding.

In addition, RetroArch can natively record and stream your games to popular streaming services like Twitch. Tv and YouTube. Because the emulator runs games on separate Liberto cores, it supports vintage SNES titles. It enables players to play a wide range of other games released on systems such as the Nintendo Wii, GameCube, Game Boy 3DS, Sega Dreamcast, and others.RetroArch is the most acceptable emulator available because it does not limit users to games released for a specific console.

  • Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and Web are all supported platforms.
  • Free of charge

4. ZSNES

ZSNES is yet another fantastic Super Nintendo emulator running the most popular SNES titles with relative ease. Even though development on the emulator ceased in 2007, it remains competent and straightforward to use, which is why it remains popular among emulation fans.

SNES has a good set of features, such as filters to improve video output, save states support, and a nice recently played games list that keeps track of the last ten games you’ve played on the emulator.

It’s worth noting that Z.S.N.E.S. has a known security exploit, and a R.O.M. might redirect you to a webpage and install unwanted software on your device; however, the exploit is easily avoided by obtaining R.O.M.s from trusted sources.

  • Windows and Linux have supported platforms.
  • Free of charge

5. John NESS

John NESS is replacing the popular SNES emulator, John SNES, which was removed from the Play Store due to copyright difficulties. However, the developer has published a new emulator that includes support for all older games and the latest additions. At present, John Ness is one of the best SNES emulators on Android, perhaps second only to SNES9x EX+.

The emulator’s user interface is quite fantastic, and it makes the gameplay very comfortable. According to the developer, the software uses the original SNES engine, which means you’ll have a terrific time playing classic games with an emphasis on authenticity over performance. Cheats, high-quality rendering, compressed file support, customized keys, and more features are available. Not to mention that the emulator supports Bluetooth/M.O.G.A. controllers, which is fantastic. Overall, John NESS is a competent SNES emulator for Android that you should try.

  • Platforms supported: Android
  • Free of charge

6. SNES9x

Following SNES 9x, an easy-to-use emulator that does not require any significant adjustments and allows users to launch games directly after the first extraction. The emulator can run almost all SNES titles without any visible difficulties, and it runs reasonably well on pretty old hardware.

SNES9x is one of the greatest SNES emulators for low-end hardware available. It includes a plethora of features such as Output Image Processing for improved graphics, saves states to save games in the exact location you want them to save, fast forward to speed up games, and a recording feature that allows you to capture.avi movies of your gameplay.

  • Platforms supported include Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Free of charge

7. The Mega S.N.E.S. Rock Retro

The Mega S.N.E.S. Rock Retro emulator is relatively new, yet it has swiftly acquired traction within the Android community. The best thing about this emulator is that it is speedy and offers a wide range of game compatibility. Furthermore, you can play SNES games in Full HD Graphics mode, which is fantastic.

Aside from that, the emulator provides an extensive list of features such as controller customization, support for popular cheat codes, Bluetooth controller compatibility, and more. There is also mouse support. However, it is confined to a few select titles. Simply, if you’re looking for a new SNES emulator for Android, The Mega S.N.E.S. Rock Retro is an excellent choice.

  • Platforms supported: Android
  • Free of charge

8. Higan

higan, another excellent emulator that supports numerous platforms, including the SNES, comes in second place. higan (previously known as bsnes) emulates the actual hardware as closely as possible, providing a gameplay experience unrivalled by any other emulator. 

On the plus side, the emulator can run every commercial SNES title ever released, making it an excellent pick if SNES games are all you care about. Nintendo Famicom, Nintendo Super Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega Drive, N.E.C. P.C. Engine, N.E.C. SuperGrafx, Bandai WonderSwan, and Bandai WonderSwan Color are currently supported by higan.

  • Platforms supported include Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Free of charge

9. Nestopia UE

Nestopia is a high-accuracy N.E.S. emulator that can play most N.E.S. games flawlessly and adds texture scaling and network play features. However, it is more or less defunct in its original form, as its developers discontinued development in 2008, where Nestopia UE comes in.

Nestopia UE (Undead Edition) is a RetroArch core emulator that you can use if you don’t want to deal with the hassle that is RetroArch configuration.

The emulator includes various unique features such as game-specific custom palettes, cheat support, and Famicom mic support, making it an excellent alternative for emulation lovers. Nestopia UE, as expected, is easy to set up and features a user-friendly interface that allows you to install and run games in no time. The emulator also has VSync functionality, although expect significant input lag if you intend to use it.

  • Platforms supported include Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Free of charge

10. BizHawk

If you enjoy speed runs and want to complete a game in the shortest amount of time possible, you should undoubtedly check out BizHawk. The emulator was specially built to create Tool-Assisted Speedruns (T.A.S.), but it also works well for leisure gaming.

The emulator supports games from numerous systems, such as the N.E.S., SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Atari 2600, and so on, which means you’ll be able to play a lot more games than with any other emulator.

  • Platforms that are supported: Windows 
  • It is for free.

11. OpenEmu

If you have a Mac and are looking for a multi-system emulator that works well on your machine, you should look into OpenEMU. OpenEMU development began in 2007, first as a port for the NEX/Famicom emulator Nestopia. The emulator is similar to RetroArch in that it acts as a front-end for a variety of different emulators, needing you to download extra cores to play games.

It’s relatively simple to use and has a spotless user interface that complements the general macOS style. The emulator includes a few additional filters to improve visual output and supports several input methods, allowing you to easily combine a retro controller with your system for a more authentic experience.

Another advantage of OpenEmu is that it does not require many resources to run on older macOS devices with low-end capabilities.

  • Platforms that are supported: macOS
  • Free of charge

12. SNES9x EX+

If you’re looking for an excellent SNES emulator for your Android smartphone, SNES9x EX+ – the Android port for SNES9x – is a must-have. The emulator offers all of the standard features you’d expect from a SNES emulator, such as save/load states, on-screen controls, file format compatibility, and gamepad support.

Granted, the emulator’s interface is a little dated, but because it works so well, there’s no point in moaning about it. What’s truly remarkable about SNES9x EX+ is that, unlike some other SNES emulators for Android, it’s entirely free and ad-free, with no in-app purchases. Keep in mind that the emulator will only run properly on devices with processors clocked at 1GHz or higher.

  • Platforms that are supported: Android 
  • It costs nothing.

13. ClassicBoy Gold

ClassicBoy, a once-popular SNES emulator, went dormant in 2014 until resurfacing last year. Its most recent modification, in January 2021, brings it completely in line with Google’s Developer Program Policies. ClassicBoy is an extremely powerful all-in-one emulator that allows you to play classic games with a controller, gestures, and sensors. It is compatible with a wide range of classic and vintage consoles, including:

  • PlayStation 1 (PS1)
  • Nintendo 64 ( N64 )
  • GBA/GBC/SGB/GB
  • Nintendo N.E.S./Famicom
  • Nintendo Pokemon Mini
  • Sega Genesis/M.D., Sega CD, Game Gear and Master System
  • Sega Saturn
  • Arcade games, such as Neo-Geo and Capcom DPS-1/2/3
  • Neo-Geo CD
  • Atari 2600 VCS

Gesture mapping into game controllers is led by ClassicBoy, which is helpful for gaming on smartphones or tablets. The software enables eight swipe directions on each side of the screen for gesture control, each of which can be assigned to a game button. The accelerometer can also be used to replicate the D-pad in the emulator. A calibration console is also included for fine-tuning tilt parameters.

Please keep in mind that gestures/sensor controller and state-loaded functions are only available in the premium version; however traditional inputs such as on-screen buttons and gamepad mapping are available in the ‘Lite’ edition. There is a layout editor for on-screen buttons that allows you to customize the position and size of each control. 

Other features include PS3, XBOX360, and M.O.G.A. controller profiles and custom settings for game video, game state auto-save and slot-save, and a game cheats function.

  • Platforms that are supported: Android 
  • Cost: Free with in-app purchases.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our list of the top SNES emulators for PC, Mac, and Android. If you’re wondering why we didn’t include any iOS emulators, it’s because there aren’t any official ones available on the App Store. Apple is well-known for being very conservative regarding the type of apps that appear on the App Store, which has hampered emulator development for the platform. So, iOS users, which of the emulators mentioned above do you intend to try first?

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