Super Nintendo emulation has been around for decades and there are many choices out there for playing the classics on a variety of PCs and other devices. Over time, we have seen a great deal of quality improvements and feature innovation. To help you narrow down your search of the best SNES emulator for you, here are the 10 best Super Nintendo emulators for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS that you can try.
Some of these recommendations are based purely on feedback I’ve seen online. I typically have stuck with the ones near the top of this list. I welcome you to leave any feedback or suggestions for improvement in the comments section below. I love to evolve posts like this with user contributions. Thanks, and I hope you find this useful!
These emulators are designed to provide these old games on Windows and Mac. NES stands for Nintendo Entertainment system, and these emulators let you play these games on your computer, laptop and pc. But now you might be thinking there are so many emulators in the market, how would we know which one is best?
[insert SNES game content recommendations]
Higan branched off from bSNES and it offers an exceptional gaming experience. It’s a multi-system emulator that supports Nintendo Super Famicom, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Famicom and more. Higan emulates the original hardware as accurately as possible, offering a gameplay experience that you wouldn’t find with any other software emulator. However, because of the way the emulation works, Higan is a fairly demanding emulator and won’t work well on low-end or older devices.
Compatabilitiy is also key here: Higan emulator is capable of running every commercial SNES title ever released, making it the perfect choice if SNES games are all that you care about.
BSNES has one of the longer legacies among SNES emulators and was abandoned for a bit. Currently, there are many emulators which are based on BSNES and one of them– higan– is also on this list. However, the BSNES emulator is live again as the developer, byuu has taken it upon himself to revive the project.
The main goal of BSNES is to offer a near-perfect emulation accuracy with good performance. And since higan is pretty complex to use for general users, BSNES is intended to make it easier to play classic Nintendo games on its emulator. There have been a total of 3 releases as of now, but the HD build seems to be the best one for high-quality graphics rendering. All in all, if you are looking for an accurate SNES emulator for Windows or Linux then BSNES is the right pick.
BizHawk is the best Super Nintendo emulator for speedruns gamers. Since it doesn’t lag unlike other emulators, you’ll have the chance to finish the game in the fastest time possible. The emulator is free and works well for casual gaming.
Besides, it’s designed around the production of Tools Assisted (TAS). Furthermore, it supports games published on different platforms including Sega Saturn, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Atari 2600 and many more.
If you’re a fan of speedruns and want to complete a game in the fastest time possible, then you should definitely take a look at BizHawk. The emulator has been specifically designed around the production of Tool Assisted Speedruns (TAS) and it works equally well for casual gaming.
A classic that still is a top choice for lower-end/aging hardware. It doesn’t have quite the accuracy of Higan or BSNES, but SNES9X is an exceptional emulator that runs fast. It is also the easiest to get up and running. The emulator is capable of running virtually all SNES titles without any noticeable issues and it works fairly well on relatively dated hardware.
It still offers a wide selection of features, including fast forward to speed up games. It has an Output Image Processing for better graphics. A recording feature that allows you to capture moves of your gameplay. Above all, a save states to save games in the exact place you want them to save too are other features.
Want the legacy of SNES9x but for Android? You should definitely check out SNES9x EX+. The emulator includes all the basic features you’d expect from any SNES emulator, including save/load states, on-screen controls, support for a variety of file types and game pad support.
Granted, the emulator looks a bit old school, but since it works quite well there’s no point 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. Do keep in mind, that the emulator will work well only on devices with a processor clocked at 1GHz or more.
ZSNES is another classic SNES emulator that also has a port for iPhone and other gadgets. It’s also quite approachable for newbies. The development of this emulator stopped in 2007 but it’s still quite capable and easy to use, which is why it’s still quite popular among emulation enthusiasts.
ZSNES features a decent selection of features, including filters to improve video output, save states support, and a great recently played games list which keeps track of 10 of the most recent games that you’ve played on the emulator. It’s worth noting that ZSNES has a known security exploit and it’s possible for a ROM to redirect you to a webpage and install unwanted apps on your system, however, the exploit can easily be avoided by downloading ROMs from trusted sources.
John NESS is the successor of popular SNES emulator, John SNES. It was pulled down from the Play Store due to copyright infringement issues. However, the developer has released a new emulator with support for all the older games and of course, the new additions. At this moment, John Ness is one of the best SNES emulators on Android after perhaps SNES9x EX+. The UI of the emulator is quite good and it makes the gameplay very comfortable.
The developer states that the app is using the original SNES engine which means will have a great time playing the classic games with a focus on accuracy over performance. As for the features, you have cheats, high-quality rendering, zipped file support, customizable keys and more. Not to mention, the emulator also supports Bluetooth/MOGA controllers which is awesome. Overall, John NESS is a capable SNES emulator on Android and you should definitely give it a try.
The Mega S.N.E.S Rock Retro is a relatively new emulator, but it has quickly gained popularity among the Android community. The best part about this emulator is that it’s pretty fast and has wider game compatibility. Further, you can play SNES games on Full HD Graphics setting which is great. Apart from that, the emulator has a long list of features like controller customization, support for popular cheat codes, compatibility with Bluetooth controllers and more. There is also support for mouse, but it’s limited to few selected games only. Simply put, if you are looking for a new SNES emulator on Android then this one is worth exploring.
In reading up on Emulation, you might see lots of mentions about RetroArch. It’s isn’t really an emulator itself, but instead is an interface and structure that manages multiple emulators.
However, it is also valid to mention RetroArch here as a RetroArch installation might be the only or best solution to use emulators on certain devices like the Nintendo Wii U or Playstation Classic.
Kicking off the list is RetroArch, a great SNES emulator which comes with cross platform support, allowing users to enjoy SNES games on a variety of different platforms. RetroArch is often described as a front-end for emulators which runs programs converted into dynamic libraries called liberto cores. Essentially, the software provides a polished interface for the user to play a wide range of classic games, making it quite easy to use. The emulator includes support for a number of different controllers and it offers several advanced features like shaders, netplay, and rewinding.
OpenEmu is a multi-system emulator that started as a port for the NEX/Famicom emulator Nestopia. The emulator is more of a front-end which requires you to download extra cores to enjoy. You could view it as a similar setup to RetroArch that has more of a desktop computer-oriented interface that is quite beautiful and matches the MacOS aesthetic well.
It’s fairly easy to use and has a very clean UI. The emulator features a couple of different filters to improve visual output and it also supports multiple input methods, so you can easily use a retro controller with your system for a much more authentic experience. Another great thing about OpenEmu is that it isn’t too resource extensive, which means that you can easily run it on older macOS devices with low-end specifications.
Enjoy Your Favorite SNES Games With These SNES Emulators — there’s two solid routes to go if emulating on modern devices or PCs — Bluetooth or USB adapters…
8Bitdo SN30 Controllers
It took decades, but we finally got a mass market, solid quality set of wireless controllers that not only use modern 2.4G wireless technology and decent rechargeable batteries. 8bitdo sells both North American SNES grey and purple style controllers, but also a Black Edition. The collaboration with Analogue and the co-release alongside the Super Nt helped bring these into the mainstream of the retro community. We have since seen some knockoffs of these controllers all over eBay and Amazon. If you’d like to see some video and info about 8Bitdo’s SNES controllers, check out this segment My Life in Gaming’s third-party controller video.
8Bitdo SN30 Pro Controllers
8bitdo wasn’t content to make a quality modern wireless replica of the original SNES controller, but they produced a “Pro” version that incorporates even more modern features in addition to a more ergonomic design. These pro versions Add dual analogue sticks, additional triggers, customizable vibration and button mapping and macro programming. Many of the additional buttons on the Pro controller is so that is better suited to be used with the Nintendo Switch, but it’s still a great option for a real SNES with 8bitdo’s receiver.
8Bitdo Wireless Mod Kit
8bitdo also took their manufacturing run to their advantage to offer the wireless guts as stand-alone modification kits to let the DIY crowd turn their older controllers or custom creations (such as arcade-style joysticks) into a modern wireless controller.
These kits also happen to be suited for relative beginners to modding as they are designed to be easy to install without soldering.
In case you want to emulate SNES games on a computer, you can get affordable adapters to turn your standard SNES controllers into gamepads for your PC for a more authentic experience.
That rounds up our list of the best SNES emulators for PC, Mac and Android. If you’re wondering why we haven’t included more emulators for iOS, it’s because there aren’t any official ones on the App Store. Apple is known to be a little too controlling when it comes to the type of apps that go up on the App Store and that has had a negative impact on any emulator development for the platform. So, iOS users set aside, which of these aforementioned emulators do you plan on trying out first? What games are you looking to play with these emulators? Let us know in the comments section below.
Emulator is the software that helps us to run multiple OS on a single hardware. It typically helps one OS to behave as another for as much amount of time as we want and then switch back to our original OS. This in turn helps people to run different apllications exclusively for various OS on a single platform. Like if you have an Windows PC emulator, or the iOS one, you can run Windows or iOS appliactions on your Mac computer, especially good for app developers.
Mac PC is now common around the world, and it’s not surprising that some people would want to play game with it. But there are some games that only built for Windows, Nintendo or other devices, and hence you may need the game emulator for these games to run on Mac OS. So, here in this article, we will show you some of the best Game Console Emulators for macOS.
Tips: If you ever lost important notes or messages on iPhone, you can also use Gihosoft iPhone Data Recovery for Mac to get them back easily even without backup.
Also read: 6 Best iOS Emulator For Windows To Build & Run iOS Apps
This emulator by Microsoft aims to emulate Windows OS on your Mac giveing you the freedom to run those programs specifical for Windows OS that you can not use on your Mac OS.
This game emulator will successfully take out your worry about the fact that you cannot run your Windows games on Mac. This Windows emulator will work as Windows 7 version, which may be a bit outdated but still it can do your job perfectly.
Download: Virtual PC for Mac
As the name suggests this is an XBOX oriented emulator completely made for Mac OS. For playing XBOX games, XeMu360 emulator is the most widely used emulator. This is comparatively a new software and it does support almost all XBOX games.
This is a very powerful emulator so that Mac OS users can enjoy playing XBOX games on it flawlessly.
Download: XBOX 360 Emulator for Mac
PCSX-Reloaded is one of the the best emulator that can be installed on your Mac OS ideal for playing Playstation games. As an open source software, this emulator gives you the freedom to install it on all versions of Mac OS. Things become much simpler and easier after its installation process has been modified recently.
It would be better to keep all your playstation games inside one folder on Mac. Then after installing PCSX-Reloaded all you have to do is to drop the game you want to play in it. The emulator also has a built-in BIOS and the ability to edit memory cards as well.
Download: Playstation Emulators for Mac
Mupen64 is one of the well-known emulator for Nintendo 64 to use on Mac OS. This emulator is very stable and compatible with all types of Mac OS.
However, you will require to install the GTK+ for this Nitendo 64 emulator to work smoothly. GTK+ is a graphical toolkit that needs to be installed on the Mac to process graphics. GTK+ will remains in the background and rightly handles the graphics of the N64 ROMS on Mac.
Download: Nintendo 64 Emulator for Mac
Dolphin is one of the best game emulator for macOS to run GameCube, Wii and Triforce games. This emulator is very much compatible with multiple platforms including the macOS. It is also free to use as an open source project. The emulator works well with macOS 10.6 to 10.8 and is very user friendly as well.
The only thing the user needs to do is to specifiy the BIOS file which comes always with the ROM. When you start playing the game, Dolphin emulator automatically senses the game file and starts playing it on Mac.
Download: GameCube and Wii Games Emulator for Mac
OpenEmu emulator is one of the most reliable emulators in the market, compatible with Mac OS 10.7 and higher. Being very user friendly, it also has an iTunes type menu. This is the ultimate gaming emulator that detects the game Roms according to their requirement.
OpenEmu supports a great number of consoles like:
RetroArch seems to be an all-in-one emulator for macOS that helps the users to play any kind of retro games. The emulator even can be used to play PlayStation 1 games and older ones as well. In the handheld game console RetroArch even supports Game Boy Advance games. It is totally based on the number of cores with each of the core emulating a console.
The name PPSSPP stands for Playstation Portable Simulator Suitable for Playing Portably, which is an emulator for playing PSP games. The emulator was originally created by Dolphin developers and is widely used across the globe. PPSSPP is very easy to install and to use on Mac, and also it supports a wide number of PSP games.
This emulator is speifically designed for those people who like to play point-and-click games. SucmmVM is supported by macOS and uses the Scumm scripting language shown as its name. The emulator also supports many of the adventure games like the Monkey Island 1-3, Sam & Max and much more.
DeSmuMe is another emulator for macOS that helps users to play with the dual screens of Nintendo, i.e. by simulating dual screens on the monitor itself. The emulator also supports games that we want play on the devices sideways.
The best part of this emulator is that its constantly being modified by developers and new features are getting added to it on a regular basis. And now over the years this has become one of the best game emulators for Mac in the market.
As the name suggests this emulator is purposefuly made for DOS based programs. Many DOS based games are still played by users; so to make those games available even on macOS this emulator has been created.
This is an Android emulator that can be run on macOS so that you can play the millions of Android games onto your Mac. Xamarain Android player also supports OpenGL and actually virtualizes the device instead of simply emulating it.
This also helps to enhance the performance of your Mac. The emulator has a great integration with both the Visual Studio and the Xamarin Studio, and this one has a native user interface.
Download: Xamarian Android Player for Mac
PS3 emulator typically supports macOS and allows users to play PlayStation 3 games on Mac. It is completely free and only need you to have any PS3 supported game. This gives complete freedom for users to choose whatever PS3 game they want to play on their Mac.
Download: PS3 Emulator for Mac
As its name suggests, this is an emulator that helps you run iOS applications on your Mac. By downloading this simulator, users can use iPad applications on a Mac as well. The best iOS emulator currently available is the iPadian.
This emulator is based on Adobe AIR and readily creates an interface similar to iPad on your Mac. iPadian is a very good emulator if you are just looking to run iOS appliactios and games on your Mac flawlessly.
Download: iOS Emulator iPadian for Mac
The Visual Boy Advance, also known to be the Mac Boy advance, can play almost all games of the Nintendo consoles on Mac. This GBA is written and developed specifically for the OS X and is compatibile with almost all kinds of macOS.
Download: Visual Boy Advance
So, here are our top 15 picks of game consloe emulators that you can readily download onto your Mac and seamlessly enjoy Android, DOS, Windows, iOS and much more experiences. By this way, you do not have to buy other kinds of OS, but just an emulator that will help you to run other applications on the single macOS.
Each of these emulators for Mac has its own advantage, and gaming on them is another treat to be honest. With such wide variety of support for games, you can download each of them and find out your favorite one and play all along. If you have any other good suggestion or question, welcome to comment down.