Best NES Emulator for PC: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) the ever so popular gaming platform is never going to be old, especially if you are a 90’s kid. Surely, you would be over the moon, to get a chance to play those fascinating games and experience nostalgic all over again.
The ardent Nintendo fans surely know; the NES emulators for PC can let you play those all-time favorite Nintendo games on your PC. If you are reading this right now, you were probably looking to get a sneak peek about these NES emulators. Fasten your seatbelts; once you know about the best NES emulator for Windows, you are ready to play.
Related: Best Xbox Emulators for Windows PC
Best NES Emulators for Windows
Understandably, as a gaming aficionado, you do not want to waste a second to grab hold of the best NES emulator for Windows 7, 8, 10 and relive those good old days. But, wait a second.
Chances are, you will soon be overwhelmed looking at the vast array of NES emulators. We have made the task easier for you by shortlisting the best NES emulators for you. So, what are we waiting for, let us get underway?
RetroArch is one of the best and also the most popular NES emulators. It scores owing to its wide array of features and customization options.
RetroArch can play games from the NES including the Famicom Disk System in the form of ROMs. You can play with all the variety of USB gamepads and can also customize the button layout.
The emulator is designated to give you a modern feel, and the interface is drastically similar to the PlayStation 3. It gives you the ability of loading and saving your state, regardless of the state of the game. If you want, you can also rewind the game in real-time.
The ability of the emulator for adjusting the vivid video settings deserves accolades. You can also record a video of your entire gaming actions. However, be prepared for a rough time, installing and setting up RetroArch. It is devoid of any documentation.
Thus, you have to perform a lot of searches to get on with this emulator. Still, it is worth a go, as this is the only emulator that can resist the irritating screen and hardly offers any lags.
FCEUX is yet another popular NES emulator. Like RetroArch, it also offers a plethora of features and customization options. The features like debugging, recording a video, ROM-hacking and creating speedruns.
It also provides support for a joystick, and you can play the game in full-screen, which undoubtedly makes the gameplay experience incredible. Unlike RetroArch, setting up and installing it is a breeze.
FCEUX supports a wide array of file formats including the NES files. As a fan of NES, you cannot afford to miss the services of this emulator.
Talking about the downsides, FCEUX has only one. It does not come with a perfect color palette, which can make the gameplay experience a bit weird. However, there is the provision of fixing this issue.
3. Nestopia UE
For those, who want to avoid the installation hassles of RetroArch with almost identical features, go for the Nestopia UE (Undead Edition) emulator. It works very well with Windows 10. For the unaware, this emulator had a predecessor, Nestopia. The developers stopped offering support to it. Hence, Nestopia UE was developed.
Nestopia UE has its fair share of features and customizing options. It supports many external devices, supports in-app recording, offers multiplayer support, and auto-saving feature.
RetroArch offers far too many useful features. Nestopia UE is a close second, as it is not as feature-rich; still, it has many features which the gamers will find helpful.
Those trying out this emulator have to deal with an option vsync. The problem is, when you turn this option off, you will experience screen tearing, and when it is on, you have to bear with a slow input lag.
Nintendulator is another NES emulator that holds the fort for its rock-solid performance. The emulator is written in C++, which can be cited as one of the reasons for its unmatched experience. The gameplay experience is realistic, and it also sports pretty useful features.
The in-built Game Genie support helps players to initiate the auto-play feature. Furthermore, it also offers support for USB gamepad.
You surely remember the soft and hard reset features were an integral part of the original Nintendo console. The emulator includes these features which will surely bring a smile to the ardent fans of NES.
VirtuaNES is a preferable choice for all the right reasons. Despite the developers withdrawing support to it for many years now, it works smoothly on the PC. The best thing, it does not require any additional support for playing the NES based games.
VirtuaNES can be customized, and it includes an external joystick along with gamepad support. Furthermore, it also provides the convenience of Full-screen mode and adjustable screen support.
There is some good news for the lazybones. The emulator also supports active Cheat Codes Support. You can try and edit the memory hex locations, for fitting in newer cheats.
The jNES emulator is ideal who do not want to involve in the intricacies of installation. You need to open a ROM and get going with the game of your choice. Yes, it lacks the vast array of features, but it is one of the easiest emulators to use.
It does offer you the support of a gamepad, the ability to control sound, and adjusting the screen size. It works hassle-free with both NES and NSF ROMs.
Those who are not bothered about using the advanced features and want to focus on playing their favorite games only, go for jNES.
This emulator supports all the games, made so far for the NES and to be precise it is compatible with a whopping 290 titles. Furthermore, Mesen is considered the most accurate NES emulator for Windows and Linux.
You will love the plethora of features it offers in a simple interface. You are always destined for a smoother and faster gameplay experience with it. The key features of the emulator include netplay, equalizer, a cheat finder, video and sound recorders, and much more.
When you are amidst a new situation, it is possible you may forget to save the progress of the game. This emulator creates autosave points, which is undoubtedly a bonus.
One of the unique thing about this emulator, it tends to remember the last ROM file you used when you left the game. When you return for playing the game, the emulator will reveal a screenshot. It will help you remember the last playtime, and it can do this for several files.
8. Nesbox Universal Emulator
Nesbox is the latest NES emulator to date. The emulator offers a couple of options for you. You can play the NES games from your browser directly via the website of Nesbox. The other option is to use a UWP app for Windows 10.
Without a doubt, this comes as a relief for those who want to avoid the hassle of downloading emulators. They can navigate to the Nesbox website, load their ROMs, and kick off the games.
The experience is pretty satisfying. You will hardly experience performance issues or lagging. The online emulator offers support for various formats that include NES, Sega, Super Nintendo, and GameBoy formats. As for the UWP app, it not only works perfectly on Windows 10 but also on the mobile platforms of the same OS.
Looking for a stable and straightforward emulator with lots of cool features? RockNES is the emulator for you. It lacks the fast pace like some of the other emulators in this list, but it will not disappoint you either.
That RockNEs supports all the games for the NES platform is undoubtedly something to cheer. The Eagle Mode feature of this emulator helps you in controlling the graphics and sounds while playing games.
When you run RockNES for the first time, it automatically creates ROCKNES.CFG file. Now, you have the convenience of controlling the sound, video, game controller, and many other options.
Identical to Nintendulator, RockNES includes support for Game Genie. For the ease of users, it comes with a text file that tells you elaborately on the procedure of using the feature.
Dolphin is a free and open-source game emulator for the Nintendo GameCube and the Wii (video game consoles) from Nintendo. It might startle you when you see the emulator working better than the game console. Along with the smooth gameplay experience, Dolphin offers support for quicksave and boasts of a native 1080p resolution.
The emulator is not free from bugs, as the enthusiasts are continuously developing it, but the issues are manageable. It will let you play your favorite Nintendo games on PC with utmost precision. The emulator also allows gamers to access Nintendo’s Shop Channel Servers.
So, that concludes our list of the top 10 best NES emulators for PC, pick your favorite one, and start playing.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
NES emulators can let you play those all-time favorite Nintendo games by emulating video gaming console on your PC and other devices.
RetroArch is one of the best and also the most popular NES emulator. It scores owing to its wide array of features and customization options.