The 5 Best SNES Emulators for Android of 2019

Use a Super Nintendo emulator to play your favorite classic games

A young man plays a game on his Android phone.

Sai Aung Main / Getty Images

SNES games are not easy to come by due to a variety of reasons, but if you're looking for a dose of SNES nostalgia on the go, check out any one of these SNES emulators for Android.

01
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Best All-Around & Cross-Platform Emulator: RetroArch

RetroArch is the best option for SNES emulation on the Android.

RetroArch

What We Like

  • Cross-platform support.

  • Open-source.

  • Built-in streaming capabilities.

What We Don't Like

  • The emulator can be tough to learn due to its many options.

RetroArch is one of the biggest names in emulation, and for good reason. The platform is open source, which means dozens of enthusiasts and coders have worked to make its emulation as accurate as possible. It also has cross-platform support, so you can start playing a game at one place, stop and save, then pick up elsewhere.

There's built-in controller support, plus RetroArch has the ability to record and stream gameplay to services like Twitch and YouTube.

02
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Best for NES and SNES: John NESS

John NESS is one of the most popular Android SNES emulators on the market.

APK Pure 

What We Like

  • Two-for-one emulation.

  • There is a free version of the emulator.

What We Don't Like

  • You can only get rid of ads by paying a fee.

John NESS is a combination NES and SNES emulator from the well-known emulation company John Emulators. If you've ever tried emulation before, you might be familiar with some of their previous software options: John NES and John SNES. If so, you'll be pleased to know the same level of quality is present even with this two-for-one app.

John NESS includes advanced features like cloud saves, custom digital buttons, cheat codes, and even fast forward and slow down buttons. Alongside RetroArch, John NESS is one of the most acclaimed emulation options on Android.

03
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Best Emulator With a Classic Feel: Snes9X EX+

SNES9x EX+ brings old-school gaming to Android devices on the go.

SNES9x EX+

What We Like

  • No in-app purchases.

  • Supports most emulation file types.

What We Don't Like

  • The on-screen game pad leaves something to be desired.

Snes9x EX+ has been around since the early days of emulation. Like RetroArch, it's open source and free to use. There are also no in-app purchases, so you don't have to worry about limited play time or any weird microtransactions. It supports game pads, most major emulation file types, and has decent on-screen controls.

That said, if you can connect a game pad to it, do so—the on-screen pad can take some getting used to. Snes9x EX+ also has a somewhat old school look, so if you want something with a classic feel, this emulator is a great option.

04
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Best Feature-Packed SNES Emulator: SuperRetro16

SuperRetro16 has been around nearly as long as emulation has.

What We Like

  • More features than there are coins in Mario.

  • Cloud saves to backup data.

What We Don't Like

  • The emulator has been unreliable in the past and has been removed from the Play Store.

SuperRetro16 is free to download, but has in-app purchases (including the ability to pay for an ad-free version.) As far as features go, it's one of the most packed options on the Google Play Store, with graphical enhancements that make games run more smoothly, and cloud saves providing a reliable way to back up your data.

05
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Best Emulator With Growth Potential: The Retro Box

TheRetroBox is a newer emulator, but still a decent option.

What We Like

  • Free, reliable emulator despite ads.

  • Has a lot of potential for growth.

What We Don't Like

  • Only supports .sfc format.

  • Too new to know well.

The Retro Box is another ad-sponsored emulator, but it's another popular option for retro enthusiasts. It only uses the .sfc format, but still supports save states and load states among the other features you'd expect to find in an emulator. The Retro Box isn't as well-known as the others on this list, so think of it as a last resort if nothing else works. There are better options, but The Retro Box shows a lot of promise as an emulator despite its age.