Re-experience retro style gaming as it was more than 20 years ago with your favorite NES games and ROMs emulated on your very own PC at ease with the help of these powerful applications at your fingertips. Here are our top four picks of best NES Emulators to choose from.
Top 7 Best NES Emulators to Get Right Now
Emulator #1: FCEUX
Author: FCEUX Team
Video games and consoles have always been continuously evolving, from pixelated mind puzzle games to amazing near photo-realistic games that emulate on powerful machines and attempt to tell you a story. Many of these games aim to give you the feeling of being in a movie.
For those hardcore gamers that want to experience gaming as it was several years ago, software like FCEUX NES emulator is a little gem in the sense that they allow you to emulate NES games on your CPU.
One of the best features about the application is that virtually no setup is required, which means that you can store it on a removable disk drive, along with your game collection (which are also quite small) to enjoy these classics anywhere you go.
What’s more, is that this NES emulator uses incredibly low system resources, making it highly compatible with a large variety of configurations – yes, you don’t have to worry about accuracy or any major bugs. (at least with their latest update)
Before launching any game in the FCEUX emulator, you might want to pay a visit to the Input Configuration screen to set up the controls. If you happen to own a joystick controller, even NES-style ones, provided the proper equipment you can hook it up with your PC for a smooth gaming experience like no other. Customized controls can be saved as presets which you can then quickly load, depending on one’s preferences.
An obvious advantage over the real gaming console is the save state feature in your FCEUX Emulator. It gives you the ability to save any game at any specific point in time in case you consider the following stage is somewhat difficult for you to clear with limited lives. Additionally, you can also use integrated functions to record gameplay, and yes, that includes audio as well.
All in all, the FCEUX NES Emulator is one of the applications every gamer should have in their arsenal of other games and consoles being emulated. It comes equipped with various tools for debugging, memory watches, and lots of other configurations (leave these settings alone if you don’t know what they mean), as well as native support for controllers. You can look for other nes emulator download below.
Emulator #2: Nintendulator
Nintendulator is a free, and accurate one of the NES Emulators written in C that was designed with quality over speed in mind. Nintendulator provides you with a lightweight yet sturdy NES emulator.
There are a myriad number of NES Emulators available for use, and some of them are paid, but a lot of them are not. Moreover, Nintendulator is one of that lot and a pretty good one to start with. Its development began back in 2002, and since then, the emulator has been under constant development until recently.
Also, its user interface features all those useful tools needed when dealing with the NES Emulator which supports NES, UNIF, FDS, and NSF. You can save and load states of the loaded NES game, perform soft and hard resets just like you would on an actual gaming console.
The menu helps you access features like frameskip, size modifiers or slow down, whereas the Input menu brings the controller configuration panel on your screen.
Everything about Nintendulator NES Emulator is right. It is well-built, and the effort that has been put in developing the emulator really pays off.
The vast set of available tools also includes AVI capture as well as debugging capabilities similar to the FCEUX Emulator. Furthermore, the bottom-line here is that Nintendulator is a complete NES Emulator.
Emulator #3: BizHawk
Author: BizHawk Team
Similarly, BizHawk is a multi-system emulator that was designed predominantly around the production of Tool Assisted Speedruns or “TAS” for short. Also, it is written in C# and requires .NET Framework 4.0 (in 1.X releases) or .NET Framework 4.6.1 (in 2.X releases) to run.
The BizHawk Emulator focuses on core accuracy and power user tools while still being an easy-to-use emulator for casual gaming. Moreover, here is a list of all the compatible cores that you can use with this Emulator including NES.
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Nintendo 64
- (Super) Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Master System
- Game Boy Advance
- Game Gear
- PlayStation Portable
- PC Engine
- Atari 2600
- Atari 7800
- Atari Lynx
- Apple II
- Commodore 64
- Nintendo Virtual Boy
- Neo-Geo Pocket/Color
Since the features supported in the Bizhawk NES Emulator are a bit extensive than your average nintendo emulator pc, we have compiled a full list of options you will be able to exploit below.
- Full Screen Support
- Controller and hotkey mapping options
- Joypad support (for both controller and hotkeys)
- Auto/rapid fire controls menu
- Basic re-recording and rerecording option
- “Bullet-proof” rerecording option
- Frame/lag/re-recording counters
- Input display
- Auto-hold option
- Alpha version of “TAStudio”
- RAM watching/poking tools
- RAM searching tool
- Lua scripting tool
- Rewind function
- Libretro support (version 1.11.4 onwards)
Emulator #4: Mesen
Mesen is a small, but powerful utility tool designed to function as a virtual gaming console that allows you to play NES ROM files compatible with NES and Famicom video game devices.
Nonetheless, this is an nes emulator windows 10 with intuitive UI allows you to customize your gaming experience. Since it is portable, the software does not require any complicated setup (similar to FCEUX), but instead, you can decompress the archive in any desired location on your computer or local drive.
While the NES Emulator’s UI launches as a relatively small window, you can also double-click on it to enter full-screen mode. The application can detect the compatible files even when they are archived, so there is no need to decompress them beforehand.
It is worth noting that the tool also supports over 200 mappers, the majority of which are well-known, which means that its compatible with the vast majority of games that come as ROM files. We can surely consider it as one of the best nintendo emulator out there.
This one of the NES Emulators comes with a Net-Play function that is quite easy to configure and all in All, it’s a reliable NES and Famicom emulator with high accuracy.
Emulator #5: RetroArch
RetroArch is the most advanced and sophisticated NDS emulators that you can find on the web today. But despite its advanced nature, it is very easy to navigate for an average user. With its material UI and high-resolution fonts, it not only looks pleasing but works surprisingly well.
This one of the NES Emulators is very well optimized for the underlying platform. This means that you can play even old school NES games on it with pretty much no input lag. If you’re playing things like Super Mario Run, input lag is the one thing which you always want to avoid to make sure that your monitor remains in one piece after a gaming session ends.
The gaming rage can overtake us all sometimes, trust me. I’m assuming that you don’t want to be the next viral hit on YouTube for smashing your head into the screen while gaming.
However, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows here as RetroArch is slightly more complex than the average emulator to setup. For first time users who may not be very well familiar with the RetroArch environment, figuring out how to tweak the settings can be kind of a pain in the neck. But of course, that’s why we have search engines like Google to our rescue.
There are plenty of forms and blogs which discuss everything about the issues which you might get during your first time with this emulator. Just take your time reading through take one step at a time. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out.
So then what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download this free Emulator for your system and start cracking! Here is the URL:
Emulator #6: Nestopia UE
Pretty interesting name, right? Nestopia UE, I could never think of such a cool name for my Ventures. This is a good option in case you find retroarch to be a little bit too complicated for your taste, or maybe you don’t have the time or patience to set it up.
The UE in Nestopia UE stands for the undead edition. I suppose the name was given, so that users do not confuse this with the earlier version that is Nestopia, which is no longer in support by the developers. This means that Nestopia UE is obviously an unofficial update or rather continuation of the same legacy. As long as it is getting our work done properly, we don’t have any problems with it. Right mate? I thought so!
Now, I think it is common sense that Nestopia UE does not offer as many features as you get on the retroarch emulator. But having fewer features doesn’t mean that it is a bad emulator at all, especially since we will not be paying for this software either. This one of the NES Emulators is free to download and use just like retroarch, so you can always try it and discard if you don’t like it anyway.
However, there has been one critical issue with this emulator which might be a total turn off for a lot of you. It’s about the visual synchronization or vsync settings. If you fancy to turn it on then, you will experience a pretty noticeable input lag. But if the vsync is off, you will have to deal with pretty awful screen tearing issues.
So, it’s up to you to choose whether you are ok with screen tearing but want fast input, or you want absolute awesome graphics (8 bit though it may be) but are ready to put up with input lag.
If you decide to deal with these issues when the time comes forget, which it will, you can try it for free by downloading it from the following link:
Emulator #7: VirtuaNES
VirtuaNES is one of those magical retro NES Emulators which was left by the developers long ago. But, it still flawlessly works on all the newer versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows 10! This emulator will obviously not be having any further development, but hey, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!
Despite its innocent looks, this emulator is pretty customizable. You can change the screen resolution, go into full-screen mode, and even connect external joysticks to your system. Yes! This emulator has support for external gamepads as well.
For the tricky dogs out there, VirtuaNES has support for active cheat codes. What’s amazing is that, if you know what you are doing, you can go ahead and change the memory hex locations, meaning that you can try out new cheats on your own!
VirtuaNES is a pretty dope emulator for NES games. You definitely need to check it out once.
So, there you have it these are some of the best and most about emulators which you can install on your Windows OS to run NES games. Just get one of these which you feel like and load up an NES game ROM and have fun!
Hope, you liked our list of NES emulators for Windows.