In this forever changing era of video games, it’s quite hard to play the SNES classics. As we are continuously moving forward with the new technology, it’s very natural to leave the classic old gadgetry back. But we do understand your love and desire regarding the SNES classics, and the reasons you want them. This is why, as we said, it’s hard but not impossible. You can still play the SNES classics without much headache and that too using good emulators. So, here at DigitBin, we are providing you with the list of best SNES emulators for both Android and PC.
But first, you must be familiar with what’s an emulator, more specifically SNES emulator, its benefits, and how it works?
What is the SNES emulator?
Similar to other emulators, SNES emulator is just like a normal emulator. You can easily play the SNES classics using the SNES emulators without worrying much about buying the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Emulators are the specific hardware or software, which allows the one computer system to behave like another computer system. It helps us to play games, and enjoy the exact gaming experience, without the required device. Thus, making it a very helpful tool that helps users to expand their device’s limits.
How does it work?
In theory, an emulator is a piece of software that acts exactly like a piece of hardware. In reality, it’s a very difficult task to simulate the software capabilities to match the hardware’s raw power and capabilities. But, due to advancements in technology and an impeccable group of programmers, creating an emulator is not a tough task anymore. On the contrary, now there’re a massive number of emulators that are being developed and used widely all across the globe. But, according to programmers, the hardest part of work is to program the CPU (Central Processing Unit) into working code without bugs, as it’s the core component.
Benefits of using the SNES emulators
- Saves you a lot of money – To play SNES classics, you can either go for the traditional approach and buy the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System (which of course, not the best way out) or just opt for SNES emulator to have a replica of gaming experience in your device.
- Many available for free – There’re plenty of free SNES emulators available online. So, you can choose that fits best for your needs.
- Provides No harm to your device – It has been proved that emulators, especially, in this case, SNES emulators provide no harm to your device, regardless of its age.
Best SNES emulators
Here are the Best Free SNES Emulators for Windows & Mac PC and Android.
The first emulator app on our list is Higan. It’s one of the great emulators that support multiple consoles, including SNES. Higan is the product from byuu (a big name in the field of emulation). Maybe, this is the reason why this emulator is so popular. Also, currently, it supports more than 12 different systems, including SNES.
However, Higan won’t be able to run on low-end devices. This means you won’t be able to play your favourite SNES classics if you have an older device. The reason behind this is very straightforward, it’s a very demanding emulator and hence requires a huge amount of resource engagement. Although, Higan is capable of running every Commercial SNES title that has ever made or ever released. So, in our opinion, Higan is worth giving a shot, unless you own an older device.
As the name suggests, the next amazing emulator app on our list is SNES 9x. It’s one of the easy to use, freeware, and portable SNES emulator apps, that allow users to launch and play games right after it’s installation. Also, it’s very lightweight, which means it consumes a very small amount of memory for its execution. So, according to us, this is a very nice feature or quality to have, which is rarely available in any of the SNES emulators mentioned in this list. Besides this, due to its simplified UI and ease of use, it is loved by millions of people across the globe.
It is quite surprising to see a free app without any ads but indeed is a welcome move. On top of that, you also get a pre-loaded game, to begin with. Well, what else could one have asked for? It also supports extensions such as .smc and .sfc formats apart from the ZIP, RAR, and 7Z compressions.
Apart from this, additionally, it also provides a ton of extra features like Output image processing for better graphics quality, fast-forwarding feature to deliberately speed up the games, and save states feature to save games in the exact scenario as the user wanted it to be saved. At last, the emulator itself is capable of running every SNES title without any technical hindrance or issue.
The next amazing emulator app on our list is Retro Arch. The widely popular Retro Arch emulator app provides the user with a cross-platform support facility, that as a result, allows them to extensively enjoy the SNES classics on a variety of different platforms.
Despite the fact, that it’s a SNES emulator, Retro Arch is indeed capable of running other games that were initially supported and released on other platforms like GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Wii, and much more. Additionally, it also allows the user to simultaneously record and stream the gameplay on various streaming platforms like YouTube or Twitch.tv.
Talking about its interface, then it follows a very easy to use approach. At last, Retro Arch is one the greatest emulators out there, as it not only limits the user to stick with it particularly for SNES classics, but also for games released for other specific gaming consoles.
The next fantastic SNES emulator is ZSNES. Born in 1997 with the least accuracy offered at that time, ZSNES continued to be among the best SNES emulators till now, regardless of its stopped development controversy and scenario back in 2007. However, despite its inaccuracy and controversy, this emulator is quite capable of delivering satisfactory performance to its users worldwide.
Also, it’s fairly easy to use. It also offers an extensive set of features such as numerous filters to improve the video output quality, a recently played games list feature to keep a track of the 10 most recently played games, save states support feature, similar to SNES9X as we mentioned above.
Although, we advise you to beware of the fact that this emulator has always been known for its security exploitation, and it has also been observed that ROM while using this emulator, redirects the users to some malware-oriented webpage letting the unwanted apps disrupt and spam their systems completely. So, it’s advised to download ROMs separately from trusted sources only.
Here comes the emulator for fans of speed run – BizHawk. Yes, if you’re one of those who love completing games in the fastest possible way, then BizHawk is the emulator you should lookup for. The emulator is specially designed for fast gamers. However, casual gamers can also use this tool as it has no problem with casual gaming stuff.
Talking about its design and support, then it’s a very neatly designed emulator attracting an immense amount of users globally. The support is also universal as it supports games from multiple platforms such as Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, SNES, NES, and much more. So, in our opinion, it’s an all-in-one package. You must give it a try.
6. Nestopia UE
The next SNES emulator comes up with a fancy name called Nestopia UE. Its predecessor Nestopia was a very high-accuracy Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator, which was capable of handling most of the NES powered games. But, somehow, in 2008, the developers halted the development of Nestopia, and this is where Nestopia UE comes into the picture. The term UE here stands for Undead Edition.
However, talking about its predecessor’s features, then it offered many unique features such as netplay and texture scaling. Whereas, the successor also throws up some cool ones like cheat support, custom palettes, and much more. At last, it is fairly easy to set up, which can be counted as its big advantage considering other emulator’s setup processes.
7. SNES9x EX+
SNES9x EX+ is the ultimate emulator for your Android smartphone. It has all the basic features from the SNES emulator’s perspective, such as save & load states, support for different variety of file types, on-screen controls, and much more.
Apart from this, the emulator is very much popular in Android emulation fans. Now, talking about its design, then it looks a bit outdated, but, impeccably well-conducted for many out there. There have been no complaints regarding its UI so far. Now, there’s one more thing that we would like to share, and that’s, it’s completely ad-free with no app purchases at all. So, in our view, you can download this emulator, and it won’t disappoint you in any form.
The next amazing SNES emulator on our list is particularly for MAC users, and that’s OpenEmu. With superior design and performance, OpenEmu steals the heart of every emulation lover out there. According to many, OpenEmu is more like RetroArch, and the reason behind this is it also requires you to download additional cores to enjoy games.
Apart from this, as we said, the UI is simple and easy to use. It also consumes very little memory for its execution. So, people who have low-end Macs need not worry. This emulator will work like a charm for you. At last, we encourage you to download and use this emulator and also let us know in the comment section below about your experience with this emulator.
The next great emulator is NES.emu. It’s an emulator for Android emulation lovers. In case, you didn’t like the design of the SNES9x EX+ emulator, as we mentioned above, then you can surely look upon this one. The NES.emu works pretty well on every android device unless the device’s CPU power is less than 1GHz (Processing power).
It offers tons of useful features as well such as, cheat support, save state support as it is common in many here, multi-touch control, and much more. So, according to us, for this one, you won’t be having any complaints. On top of all this, it also provides the support for Bluetooth/USB gamepad, which enables the users to play SNES Classics, in the old superior way, enhancing its gaming experience.
11. John NESS
John NESS is a very popular emulator from John Emulators. It works very well and serves the users as both NES and SNES emulators. Apart from this, it offers a wide range of features such as save states, great rendering quality, cheats, fully customizable layout, turbo buttons, hardware controller support, and much more. So, in light of our opinion for this one, if you’re looking for a faultless and feature-loaded emulator for your Android device, then you must go for this one. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
12. Super Retro 16
Super Retro 16 is a fun SNES emulator that aims to deliver the ‘full console’ experience to players on their Android smartphone or PC. Fast emulation, straightforward user interface, and support for cheat codes are some of the features of Super Retro 16. With more than 5 million downloads on the Google Play store, it is a popular SNES emulator. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
Its advanced features like cloud sync support, support for taking screenshots, support for mouse and Bluetooth controllers, CRT simulator, visual effect shaders, layout editor for controls, are quite loved by gamers. The turbo mode that fast forwards the game is useful too. And there’s an in-game walkthrough available too. Players can play the game in horizontal and vertical mode/orientation.
Super Retro 16 is a great emulator that can be used completely free of cost. It works smoothly and crashes rarely.
13. PPSSPP – PSP Emulator
After months of futile searching, I laid my hands on the PPSSPP emulator and could definitely claim that it is probably the best PSP Emulator available for Android. Apart from supporting a plethora of Play Station games, it manages to provide a more than a decent user interface. Considering the interface that other emulators have to offer, you wouldn’t be left disappointed a bit. Moreover, if you are short on pocket money, then you could even try out some of the demo games from the Homebrew Store, free of cost! The option to do so is incorporated within the app itself.
In the demo run, I tried out the Battleground 3 game on my device and it ran without any stutter. The FPS was also quite impressive. But what managed to impress me the most was the keys and joystick placement. Even if you are a newbie to it, you get easily get your hands on this emulator within a few minutes or so. Definitely worth a try for the PSP lovers. Afterall a 50M+ downloads and 4.3 Ratings (with over a million reviews) on the Play Store won’t lie!
14. The Mega S.N.E.S Rock Retro
The Mega S.N.E.S Rock Retro emulator is here to help you relive your childhood. It allows users to play their favorite classic games in HD graphics. Gameplay becomes very easy because of customizable controls, a clean user interface, mouse support, and support for cheat codes.
A user has to download the ROMS of the games he wants to play, and this emulator will do the rest! It supports many compressed file formats and ROMS. The resume and save game features come in quite handy. Just like the Super Retro 16 emulator, this emulator has a turbo mode too. It has a layout editor for on-screen controls and visual effect shaders too.
The Mega S.N.E.S Rock Retro emulator is extremely similar to the Super Retro 16 emulator, but both of them are excellent emulators. And the best part is that both these emulators are free to use. So if you want to go down memory lane, download the Mega S.N.E.S Retro Rock emulator and get started!
Conclusion: Emulators are great when it comes to their benefit offering packages, but like everything comes with a cost behind it. We should remember that excess usage of any emulator might warm up your device as it pretends to be the hardware in terms of software. So, it’s up to you to decide its usage hours. Rest have fun and do let us know in the comment section below about your experiences. We would love to read that.