None of us can deny that modern gaming has evolved exponentially over the last few decades, and technological advancements have made game titles more immersive and interactive than ever. However, nothing beats the rush of nostalgia one experiences when they get to replay the SNES classics from the 80s and 90s.
Games like Super Mario, Kirby’s Adventure and Donkey Kong have an everlasting appeal, and they never seem to get old. If you ever feel the urge to relive those memories, look no further. Here is a list of the seven best SNES emulators for Windows, macOS and Android.
RetroArch is one of the best SNES emulators available right now, that comes with cross-platform support. The software has an extensive range of features like shaders, netplay, rewinding and also the ability to natively record and stream gameplay.
RetroArch can emulate standard SNES games, but also includes support for Game Boy, 3DS, Sega Dreamcast and other prominent consoles. The interface is highly polished and clutter-free, allowing easy navigation and ensuring newbies aren’t overwhelmed.
RetroArch SNES emulator is completely free to download and is available on Windows, macOS and Android. You can find download links here.
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SNES9x is a light and easy to use emulator, that needs no heavy user configurations. It has a simple user interface and also allows cheat code inputs for those hard to crack levels. It also comes with a game recording feature, allowing users to record gameplay in the AVI format.
Snes9x SNES emulator is free to use and is available to download on Windows, macOS and Android platforms. You can find the download links here.
While most emulators focus on compatibility and accessibility, higan tries to emulate the original hardware as accurately as possible. This means higan won’t work that well on lower-end PCs. However, it is capable of emulating every commercially released SNES title.
Besides SNES titles, higan supports 12 other systems, including Nintendo Super Famicom, Game Boy Advance, Sega Mega Drive, NEC SuperGrafx, Bandai WonderSwan Color and many others.
Higan SNES emulator is supported on both Windows and macOS platforms and is available to download for free. You can find the download links here.
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BizHawk SNES emulator is known for its speed and capability for speed-runs. The whole application has been designed with Tool Assisted Speed-runs (TAS), but also offers the necessary features to make this a viable emulator for the casual gamers as well.
The emulator also supports high accuracy emulation across platforms like Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Coleco Vision, Atari 2600 and many others.
Bizhawk SNES emulator is available to download on Windows for free. You can find the download link here.
ZSNES is a super clean and straightforward emulator, with a snazzy and cool retro UI. It comes with all the essential features required to emulate SNES games, and a lot more to enhance the user experience. A recently played games list organises a list of the top 10 most commonly played games, allowing easier access to your favourite titles.
Plugins and downloads to improve video output only sweeten the deal for consumers. Developers killed support for the application back in 2007, but an ever-active community actively uploads fan-made hacks and other downloadable goodies. The light package and minimal resource use ensure silky smooth play, even on low-end devices.
ZSNES SNES emulator is available to download on Windows for free. You can find the download link here.
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OpenEmu is the go-to option for anyone looking for a multi-system emulator for macOS. Emulating SNES games requires the download of a few additional cores, but the interface is clean and blends in with the sleek, macOS aesthetic. It’s also quite easy to connect to an external controller, to provide that authentic experience.
The developers of OpenEmu coded the application package in such a way that it doesn’t extensively take a toll on internal resources. This means OpenEmu runs quite well, even on low-end devices.
OpenEmu is available to download on macOS for free. You can find the download link here.
For all those classic SNES lovers who want to play on Android, there’s the perfect option available for you. JohnSNES is the ideal option for newbies and those with moderate technical expertise.
The interface is easy to navigate, and the quality of rendering exceeds expectations. Cheat support and fully customisable keys make this one of the best emulators available to download right now.
JohnSNES is available to download on Android for free. You can find the download link here
I’m a tech enthusiast, amateur motorcyclist and also an Android purist. You can find me spending most of my time gaming on my PC, or binge watching on Netflix.