Nintendo Emulator – Get ready to take a nostalgic trip and play classic Nintendo games with Emulators.
Sega’s closest competitor Nintendo’s 8-bit console, was a popular development among gamers of that time. This made Nintendo Emulator even more popular among players. We totally agree that the original Nintendo Entertainment System is a much loved retro console in the gaming world.
Since it is difficult to find old units with the games you want to play, emulation became a savior. Before we walk you through the best Nintendo Emulators available for PC and Android devices, we recommend you to take a look at the required specifications.
Nintendo Emulator Specifications:
- Processor: 6508 8-bit (using a custom Motorola 6502 class)
- Resolution: 256×224 (ntsc) or 256×239 (pal)
- RAM: 16 Kbit (2kb)
- Processor speed: 1.79 Mhz
- Colors available: 52
- Max Colors on screen: 16, 24, or 25.
- 2 square wave
- 1 triangle wave
- 1 noise
- 1 PCM
- Max sprites: 64
- Max sprites per line: 8
- Sprite size: 8×8 or 8×16
- Picture Scroll: 2 h.v
- Video RAM: 16 Kbit (2kb)
- Sound: PSG sound, 5 channels
- Min/Max cart size: 192 Kbit – 4 Mbit
Popular 11 Nintendo Emulators for Desktop PCs
For enthusiastic gamers, here are 2 most important things you need to have to start –
App for emulating a particular games console’s hardware.
Original game media or game ROMs/images:
You can either useRetrode as an adapter for playing SNES games, or make ROMs for backup use.
Jnes, is a reliable emulator suitable for windows systems having tons of useful features. Interestingly Jnes has been translated into 20 languages.
- Pentium 133 (MMX preferred)
- Branded video card with 2D acceleration
- Latest drivers (video, sound, DirectX)
- It has the ability to slip between full screen and windowed modes.
- Record video and screenshots, and netplay client.
Our Take on Jnes
It is pretty stable, having a good set of features. This makes Jnes our go-to emulators for regular use.
Nestopia is another popular emulator with commendable accuracy. It is a well-balanced and friendly NES emulator.
- Save State
- Texture scaling
- Video and screenshot recording
- Built-in Game Genie style cheat system
Our Take on Nestopia
It is difficult to choose between Jnes and Nestopia. We are quite happy with both of them with the way they perform.
For gamers looking for advanced tools like a debugging mode, map making, tool-assisted movies, a hex editor, Lua scripting, video recording, etc. FCEUX is an apt choice. For a cross-compatibility, it supports both Windows and SDL versions.
Merges elements from FCEU Ultra, FCEUXD, FCEU-mm, and FCEUXDSP into a single branch of FCEU.
Our Take on FCEUX
This one for those who want to experience ROM hacking, speed run videos, and more.
SNES9Xis another great emulator available on a variety of platforms. We were quite happy with its compatibility and could not find any issues as such.
- Video Recording
- Cheat code support
Our Take on SNES9X
We think SNES is easy to use the emulator. Because of its great features, this emulator can be a good start for gammers who have not done much retrogaming.
ZSNES was originally coded in low-level x86 assembly language, which worked in favor of ZSNES emulator. Though the low-level code is fast runs smoothly, it’s not great with its emulation.
Our Take on ZSNES
It’s pretty much a mixed feeling with ZSNES. While it runs smoothly, it does have portability issues. If you’re not too concerned about fidelity and would be satisfied with the smooth run, then ZSNES is okay to try.
To our knowledge, Higan has taken the term ’emulator’ quite seriously. The developers have worked towards maximizing fidelity as much as possible. While it gives a better emulation performance, it sometimes makes the program finicky to set up. It supports all flavors of Gameboy, DS emulation, NES, and SNES.
Our Take on Higan
We felt Higancan be a backup emulator if nothing works.
RetroArch is a frontend GUI for emulators. It has an interface for interacting with multiple emulators as it doesn’t emulate anything itself. Gamers can enjoy custom shaders&netplayand experience what these old games looked like on a CRT monitor. The netplay allows you to enjoy NES multiplayer games by creates a local network.
Our Take on RetroArch
RetroArch can be a great emulator for the ones who are new to emulation. It is so easy that once you set it up, you would not face any issues in adding emulators and ROMs to RetroArch.
Nintendulator is another great open-source emulator.
AVI capturing and a debugger
Supports battery-backed RAM saves
Complete support for Game Genie codes
Doesn’t need Administrator permissions to run
Our Take on Nintendulator
You would need a high configuration computer system to run the emulator at full speed as it can emulate certain behaviors that other emulators don’t.
Mesen NES emulator
Mesen NES emulator is one of the most accurate emulators we have today. It supports NES, Dendy, VS System, NSF, Famicom, Famicom Disk System, and NSFe emulation.
- High compatibility
- Gives an entirely modern experience
- Save states
- AVI recording
- Support for Game Genie cheat codes
- To save space, game files can also be left in .zip format
Our Take on Mesen
Advanced emulation gamers can start with Mesenas. It is a complete package for most of the NES/Famicom variant systems.
Important things to use
Microsoft Account, ROM files, and an OneDrive account
- Save state system
- Ability to map controller buttons
- Local multiplayer
- It doesn’t require you to download a .exe file.
Our Take on NESBox
If you do not want to download an emulator, give NESBox a try.
Bizhawk is best for speedrunners and gamers who need tool-assisted runs. To use this emulator, you would need a firmware dump for each system to use it properly. It can then not only handle NES/SNES but Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 as well.
Our Take on Bizhawk
If you don’t mind setting up a few additional features, this one works as an all-purpose emulator.