10 Best NES Emulators for Windows PC in 2022

 April 30, 2022

By  Gregory

Best NES Emulator for PC: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the ever-so-popular gaming platform, will never be old, especially if you are a 90s kid. Indeed, you would be over the moon to get a chance to play those fascinating games and experience nostalgia all over again.

The ardent Nintendo fans surely know; that 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 at these NES emulators. Fasten your seatbelts; you are ready to play once you know about the best NES emulator for Windows.

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 grabbing hold of the best NES emulator for Windows 7, 8, or 10 and relive those good old days. But, wait a second.

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. So, what are we waiting for? Let us get underway.

1. RetroArch

RetroArch Emulator

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 a 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 allows you to load and save 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 to adjust the vivid video settings deserves accolades. You can also record a video of your entire gaming action. However, be prepared for a rough time installing and setting up RetroArch. It is devoid of any documentation.

Thus, you must perform many 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 Emulator

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 speed runs.

It also supports a joystick, and you can play the game on 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 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, making the gameplay experience a bit weird. However, there is a provision for fixing this issue.

3. Nestopia UE

Nestopia UE
Nestopia UE Emulator

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, in-app recording, multiplayer support, and has an 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 gamers will find helpful.

Those trying out this emulator have to deal with an option Vsync. When you turn this option off, you will experience screen tearing, and when it is on, you have to bear a slow input lag.

4. Nintendulator

Nintendulator Emulator

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 a USB gamepad.

You surely remember that the soft and hard reset features were integral to the original Nintendo console. The emulator includes these features, which will surely bring a smile to the ardent fans of NES.

5. VirtualNES

VirtualNES Emulator

VirtuaNES is a preferable choice for all the right reasons. Despite the developers withdrawing support to it for many years, it works smoothly on the PC. The best thing is that it does not require additional support for playing the NES-based games.

VirtuaNES can be customized, including an external joystick and gamepad support. Furthermore, it 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.

6. jNES

jNES Emulator

The jNES emulator is ideal for those who do not want to be involved in the intricacies of installation. You need to open a ROM and get going with the game of your choice. Yes, it lacks many features, but it is one of the easiest emulators.

It does offer you the support of a gamepad and the ability to control sound and adjust the screen size. It works hassle-free with both NES and NSF ROMs.

Those not bothered about using the advanced features and want to focus on playing their favorite games only go for jNES.

7. Mesen

Mesen Emulator

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, an equalizer, a cheat finder, video and sound recorders, and much more.

You may forget to save the game’s progress when you are amidst a new situation. This emulator creates autosave points, which is undoubtedly a bonus.

One of the unique things about this emulator, it tends to remember the last ROM file you used when you left the game. The emulator will reveal a screenshot when you return to play the game. It will help you remember the last playtime and can do this for several files.

8. Nesbox Universal Emulator

Nesbox Universal Emulator
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 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 NES, Sega, Super Nintendo, and GameBoy formats. As for the UWP app, it not only works perfectly on Windows 10 but also on mobile platforms of the same OS.

9. RockNES

RockNES Emulator

Are you looking for a stable and straightforward emulator with many cool features? RockNES is the emulator for you. It lacks the fast pace like some other emulators on this list, but it will not disappoint you either.

That RockNEs supports all the games for the NES platform is undoubtedly something to cheer. This emulator’s Eagle Mode feature helps you control 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 elaborates on the procedure of using the feature.

10. Dolphin

Dolphin Emulator

Dolphin is a free and open-source game emulator for the Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo’s Wii (video game consoles). 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 continuously develop 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)

What is NES Emulator?

NES emulators can let you play those all-time favorite Nintendo games by emulating video gaming consoles on your PC and other devices.

What is the best NES emulator?

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.



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