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The Best SNES Emulators

The SNES had one heck of an act to follow with the NES being its predecessor, but it more than delivered, with not only a continuation of Nintendo classic franchises such as Mario, Zelda & Metroid but also many top third-party games such as Street Fighter 2, which is precisely why I suspect you are here, to find the best SNES emulator so you can play these classics once again!

The SNES has benefited from decades of emulator development which has culminated in some clear standout SNES emulators which we can recommend for you today.

Best SNES emulator For PC, Mac & Linux

Bsnes is the best SNES for PC, Mac and Linux systems.

It’s a close call though between this and Higan, essentially at the core they are the same emulator from the same developer. Bsnes is focused on being more feature-rich and easy to use, whereas Higan is aiming for emulation accuracy, which is the preference for absolute purists and competitive gamers.

The Best SNES Emulator For PC, Mac & Linux
The Best SNES Emulator For PC, Mac & Linux – Bsnes

Bsnes Features Include:-

  • The ‘hd’ version offers HD Mode 7, Widescreen
  • The ‘mt’ version Offers Pixel Perfect Integer Scaling
  • Gamepad, Mouse & Super Scope Emulation
  • Aspect Correction
  • Filters (Scanlines, RF, Composite, etc)
  • Shaders (CRT Glow Effects, etc)
  • Colour Adjustments
  • Audio Adjustments
  • Full Controller Mapping
  • Emulator Hotkey Configuration
  • Frame Skip
  • Rewind Function
  • Run-Ahead Mode Up To 4 Frames
  • CPU Overclocking
  • Video, Audio & Input Driver Options

There are several development forks of Bsnes, we recommend either the ‘hd’ or ‘mt’ forks, both are excellent, but are focusing on different areas. For example, bsnes-hd has added HD video features, whereas the ‘mt fork has implemented pixel-perfect integer scaling. Bsnes-classic aims to take improvements made to the Higan emulator and add them to bsnes.

Check them all out and see which one you prefer.

Best SNES Emulator For Android

Snes9x EX+ is the best SNES emulator for Android currently available.

It has been around for years and is one of the earlier examples of a great SNES emulator on Android, so it has benefitted from loads of development and user feedback since it first launched.

Best SNES Emulator For Android
The Best SNES Emulator For Android – Snes9x EX+

Whilst its interface is basic, Snes9x EX+ absolutely gives you everything you need to enjoy all the SNES classics you can think of. It also works on pretty much any Android device, so pretty much anybody can enjoy the experience.

Snes9x EX+ Features Include:-

  • Save States
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats
  • Fast Forward Emulation
  • Gamepad, Mouse & Super Scope Emulation
  • 5-Player Adapter Emulation
  • NTSC / PAL Video Options
  • SuperFX Overclock Settings
  • Skip Frames
  • Filters & Shaders (Scaling, CRT / Scanline Effects)
  • Audio Settings
  • GUI Settings

Best SNES RetroArch Core

Snes9x is the best SNES RetroArch Core for all-round performance and compatibility.

Whilst it is not the latest SNES RetroArch Core, Snes9x does everything you could ever want and does it all to a very high standard and is considered the fastest core available in terms of performance.

Be sure to download the Snes9x – Current Core to benefit from all the latest additions and improvements.

Best SNES Emulator RetroArch Core
The Best SNES RetroArch Core – Snes9x – Current

Snes9x – Current Core Features Include:-

  • Auto Detect Game Region (NTSC/PAL)
  • Aspect Ratio Settings
  • Hi-Res Blending
  • NTSC Filter – Mimics NTSC TV Signal
  • Light Gun (Super Scope) Emulation
  • Multi-Mouse Emulation
  • SuperFX Overclocking
  • Toggle Graphics Layers & Effects
  • Toggle Sound Channels
  • Save States
  • Rewind/Pause Emulation
  • Netplay
  • RetroAchivements
  • RetroArch Cheats
  • Control Configuration

Other Recommended SNES Emulators

Emulator NameSystemsRating
BsnesWindows PC, Mac, Linux9.5
Bsnes-HDWindows PC, Mac, Linux9.0
HiganWindows PC, Mac, Linux9.0
AresWindows PC, Linux8.0
Snes9xWindows PC, Mac, Linux7.5
Snes9x EX+Android9.5


The SNES is one of the all-time great consoles and has many emulators to choose from, the recommendations above though are certainly the best around at the moment.

But what about the SNES and its competitors? We must not overlook its arch nemesis, the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis! Check out the best Mega Drive / Genesis emulators to see how different ports on both systems fair up against each other.

Another competitor of the era was the Commodore Amiga, although getting a bit old by the time the SNES was released, check out our best Amiga emulator guide to try out some of these for yourself. Or maybe check out the best Neo Geo emulator guide, this was the dream machine back in the 90s but did the SNES hold its own against it?

Once you are done with the war of the 16-Bit consoles, why not check out some of the other best ways to emulate games on your PC.