10 Best SNES Emulators for PC, Mac and Android 2021

Best SNES Emulators for PC, Mac and Android

Even though gaming has improved a lot over the past 3 decades, there’s nothing better than fixing the nostalgia you get from playing classic SNES games from the ’90s. However, because SNES-style consoles are far out of fashion these days and getting a working model can prove to be a huge task, enjoying a game like Super Mario or Donkey Kong can prove a hassle.

To play classic SNES games, you must now use an emulator and while there are several options to choose from, not all of them are capable of providing the same experience you get from playing games on an old console So if you’ve been looking for a way to enjoy classic SNES games your favourites, here are the 10 best SNES emulators for android and PC,

Note: While the emulator itself is legal, downloading ROMs or ISO images of games you want to play on the emulator falls under the category of piracy. So, to prevent legal trouble, it is recommended that you only play games that you already own or that you have ripped from the CD or cartridge yourself.

The Best SNES Emulator for PC, Mac, and Android

1. RetroArch

Commencing with RetroArch, a good SNES emulator that comes with cross-platform support, which allows users to enjoy SNES games on a variety of different platforms. RetroArch is often defined as a front end for emulators working programs converted into dynamic libraries called Liberto cores.

Basically, the software provides a polished interface for the user to play a wide variety of classic games, so it’s quite easy to use. The emulator includes support for several different controllers and it offers some advanced features like shaders, netplay, and rewinding.

RetroArch

Apart from that, RetroArch is also capable of recording and streaming your gameplay to popular streaming platforms like Twitch. tv, and YouTube. Since the emulator utilizes another Liberto cores to run games, it not only involves support for classic SNES games but also allows users to play a ton of other games published on platforms such as Nintendo Wii, GameCube, Game Boy, 3DS, Sega Dreamcast, etc.

This makes RetroArch an excellent emulator out there, as it doesn’t restrict users to games released for a particular console.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Web

Price: Free

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2. higan

Taking second place is higan, another good emulator that sustains multiple consoles, including SNES. higan (formerly known as bsnes) emulates the original hardware as accurately as possible, offering a gameplay experience you won’t find with other emulators. However, due to the way emulation works, higan is a pretty demanding emulator and won’t perform well on low-end devices or older.

On the bright side, the emulator is capable of running every commercial SNES title ever released, making it the perfect choice if SNES games are all you care about. Currently, higan gives support for 12 systems, including Nintendo Famicom, Nintendo Super Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega Drive, NEC PC Engine, NEC SuperGrafx, Bandai WonderSwan, and Bandai WonderSwan Color.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Price: Free

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3. SNES9x

Next up is SNES 9x, an easy-to-use emulator that doesn’t need any vital customization and enables the user to launch the game immediately after the first extraction. The emulator is capable of running almost any SNES title without noticeable issues and works quite well on relatively old hardware.

SNES9x is one of the great SNES emulators out there for low-end hardware and it gives a large selection of features, including Image Processing Output for better graphics, save status to save games where you want them, fast forward to speed up games, along with a recording feature that allows you to capture .avi movies from your gameplay.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Price: Free

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4. BizHawk

If you are a fan of speedruns and want to finish the game in as fast a time as possible then you should take a look at BizHawk. The emulator has been specially designed around the production of Tool-Assisted Speedruns (TAS) and works equally well for casual gaming.

The emulator adds support for games published on various platforms, including NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Atari 2600, etc., which means you’ll be able to enjoy more games with this emulator, than others.

Supported platforms: Windows

Price: Free

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5. ZSNES

ZSNES is another prominent Super Nintendo emulator that you can use to run the most popular SNES games with relative comfort. Even though the emulator development ended in 2007, it’s still quite capable and easy to use, which is why it’s still quite popular among emulation enthusiasts.

ZSNES

ZSNES delivers a decent variety of features, including filters to enhance video output, save country support, and a recently played games list that keeps track of the 10 most recent games you’ve played on the emulator. It should be noted that ZSNES has known security exploits and allows ROMs to redirect you to web pages and install unwanted applications on your system, however, these exploits can easily be avoided by downloading ROMs from trusted sources.

Supported platforms: Windows, Linux

Price: Free

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6. OpenEmu

If you are on a Mac and are looking for a multi-system emulator that works well on your system then you should take a look at OpenEMU. Development on OpenEMU commenced back in 2007 and was basically just a port for the Nestopia NEX / Famicom emulator. The emulator is very similar to RetroArch, due to the truth that it is more of a front-end for a bunch of various emulators, requiring you to download additional cores to play the game.

It’s fairly easy to use and has a very clean UI that really complements the overall macOS aesthetic. The emulator has several different filters to improve visual output and also supports multiple input methods, so you can easily use retro controllers with your system for a much more authentic experience. Another great thing about OpenEmu is that it’s not very resource-intensive, which means you can easily run it on older macOS devices with low-end specs.

Supported platforms: macOS

Price: Free

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7. Nestopia EU

Nestopia is a high-accuracy NES emulator capable of playing most NES games without a problem and includes features like texture scaling and net gameplay. However, in its original form, it is more or less dead because the developer stopped development in 2008, which is the origin of Nestopia EU. Nestopia UE (Undead Edition) is a core emulator for RetroArch which you can use if you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up RetroArch.

The emulator comes with some cool features like a custom game-specific palette, cheat supportFamicom mic support, which makes it a great choice for emulation enthusiasts out there. As you might expect, the Nestopia UE is quite simple to set up and has a user-friendly interface that allows you to install and run games in no time. The emulator also comes with VSync support, but be prepared for some input if you plan to use this feature.

Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Price: Free

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8. SNES9x EX+

If you are looking for a great SNES emulator for your Android smartphone, then you should definitely check out SNES9x EX+ – the Android port for SNES9x. The emulator includes all the basic features you’d expect from a SNES emulator, including save/load states, on-screen controls, support for multiple file types, and gamepad support.

Granted, the emulator looks a bit old school, but since it works really well there’s no point in complaining about the UI. What’s really great is that unlike some other SNES emulators for Android, SNES9x EX+ is completely free and ad-free with no in-app purchases. Keep in mind, however, that the emulator will only work properly on devices with a processor clocked at 1GHz or more.

Supported platforms: Android

Price: Free

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9. NES.emu

If the SNES9x EX + design bothers you, you can also check out NES.emu, another great NES emulator for Android that runs pretty well on any Android device that has at least a 1GHz processor. The emulator includes a lot of cool features, including backup and save state support, cheat support, on-screen multi-touch controls, and much more.

Apart from that, NES.emu also includes support for gamepads and Bluetooth / USB keyboards which means you’ll be able to connect a retro-style controller to your Android device and enjoy an authentic NES experience on the go. The emulator also lets you play NES games in landscape orientation, which sets it apart from SNES9x EX +, which only supports portrait orientation.

Supported platforms: Android

Price: $ 3.99

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10. John SNES

Ending the list is another great SNES emulator for Android – John SNES. The emulator works on all Android devices running Android 4.1 and above and offers a native SNES engine that is compatible with almost all SNES games. I really like the emulator UI and its ease of use is sure to appeal to beginners who don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a complex emulator.

John NESS

The emulator offers high-quality rendering with cheat support, customizable buttons, save state support, and fully customizable buttons all of which makes for a rather pleasant experience. What’s really great about the emulator, however, is that the developer offers an ad-supported lite version (download) of the emulator which you can try before you go ahead and buy the emulator to remove ads.

Supported platforms: Android

Price: $ 2.99

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Enjoy Your Favorite SNES Games With This SNES Emulator

That completes our list of the best SNES emulators for PC, Mac, and Android. If you’re wondering why we haven’t included an emulator for iOS, it’s because there’s nothing official on the App Store. Apple is known to be a little too controlling when it comes to the types of apps that are riding on the App Store and which hurt emulator development for the platform.

Companies are constantly removing emulators added to the App Store and even those that are carefully hidden within other inconspicuous-looking apps are removed sooner rather than later. However, there is some good news for iOS users, as RetroArch is available for iOS 11 and above, but the installation process is a bit complicated because iOS doesn’t allow users to sideload apps as easily as you do on Android.

So, iOS users aside, which of the aforementioned emulators do you plan to try first? What games would you like to play with this emulator? Let us know in the comments section below.

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