Nintendo - NES Emulators

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Popular Emulators

Name Description
Mesen Mesen is a high-accuracy NES emulator for Windows and Linux. It offers numerous features, such as save states, video filters, netplay, rewinding, overclocking, cheat codes and HD packs.

It also includes an extensive set of debugging tools for homebrew development or romhacking.
Nestopia UE Nestopia is a portable NES/Famicom emulator written in C++.

Nestopia UE (Undead Edition) is a fork of the original source code, with enhancements from members of the emulation community. This includes support for new platforms, and bug fixes in the emulator core.
puNES puNES is an emulator under development that works on Linux32/64 and Windows32/64. The emulator supports compressed archives.

Other Emulators

Name Description
80five 80five is a NES emulator by Gary Boyes. Originally titled MarioNES, the project has been rewritten from scratch.

Its an average emulator, with features including DirectX support, gamepad support, full screen mode, multiple resolutions, and standardized save state support. It also includes a memory & palette viewer.
amphetamines amphetamines is a NES emulater by holodnak. The program strives for accuracy and completeness of the main emulation core.

Currently, it is a below average emulator. While it has perfect CPU emulation, near perfect PPU emulation, and supports a decent amount of mappers, there is no sound. It also has a memory viewer and debugger.
Aphrodite This is a NES emulator written by BudFrEaK. Its very archaic, playing very few roms with minimal sound support.
BioNES This NES emulator was coded by Shu Kondo and Fan Wen Yang.

It's a good emulator, although it is outdated. It features high compatibility, full sound, correct sprite priorities , and most of the mappers fwNES supports.
DarcNes This is a Windows port of the Linux emulator with the same name. There is a constant horrible noise that is generated by the emulator the entire time that it runs. Also, there is no Joystick Support, the Emulator cannot run Full-Screen, and it is slow.
DragoNes DragoNes is a NES emulator created by Jonathan Phénix. It was originally intended to emulate all of Dragon Quest games. This is a rather primitive emulator. It has no sound and can run few games.
DreamNES DreamNES is a NES emulator by Kervin Lee. It's main characteristic is that it includes a ROM Encyclopedia built into its GUI, which displays information & screenshots about NES ROMs.

Unfortunately, its rather outdated and very buggy. All of the features it supports, including the enyclopedia are found in current emulators such as UberNES.
DRR-NES DRR-NES is a NES emulator made in QBasic, by DRR. Overall, its fair at best and rather slow. It has a good debugger and seems to have slightly better support for different features than other emulators written in Basic.
EmilNES This is an NES emulator by Emilio Garcia Montaño that uses SDL.

The emulator is rather primitive. It is command line driven, but includes a pseudo-GUI program. It supports few mappers and doesn't have sound.
FakeNES FakeNES is an open source NES emulator by stainless. The project aims to be a superior quality, highly portable, feature-rich multi-system emulator. Currently, FakeNES is being integrated into Kadence64, but the NES portion will continue to be distributed separately as FakeNES 0.7.x for those who only want a NES emulator.

FakeNES has extremely high compatibility and emulates many mappers, plus has an awesome GUI! It supports the NES four player adapter "Four Score", the Zapper, among other standard features including video blitters/filters, palette selection, audio options, save states, speed options, and everything you'd expect to find. This is definitely one of the best NES emulators.
Famtasia Famtasia, previously called Famicom, is written by taka2 and nori. It supports the .nes, .fds, and a less common .fam ROM format.

It runs several games and has fair sound support. It also includes configurable support for non standard controllers, such as the light gun. Overall its pretty good, but newer emulators are better.
FCE FCE (Family Computer Emulator) is a NES emulator written by Bero that runs on DOS and PC98.

It's extremely primitive, running only a few games and rather buggy. While this emulator isn't worth getting, note FCE Ultra evolved from the source code.
FCE Ultra FCE Ultra is an open-source, portable NES/Famicom emulator based on Bero's FCE source code. It has excellent sound emulation and support for a wide variety of in-cart expansion hardware("mappers"). PPU/CPU timing is good(in comparison to *most* other NES emulators, which are rated poor in this area). Several VS Unisystem games are supported well. Interesting features include emulation of the Zapper and VS Unisystem light gun via the mouse, and "authentic" Game Genie emulation.

The Famicom Disk System is also emulated. An NSF player is built in. Currently supported file formats include: iNES NES/Famicom ROM images, fwNES and headerless FDS disk images, and NSF files.

Extra features include save states and screenshot saving. TCP/IP network play is supported, with a few caveats. FCE Ultra is not the fastest NES emulator available, but it is reasonably fast and it should be fast enough for most people. A CPU equal to or faster than the speed of a Pentium 200 Mhz CPU is sufficient. Oh, and it can handle Castlevania III perfectly.

The 0.98.13-pre builds and source are incomplete, and might therefore be unstable. Use them at your own risk.

FCEUXD by BBitmaster and Parasyte has a Trace Logger, a built-in Hex Editor, a Name Table Viewer, Code/Data Logger, Inline Assembler, and Game Genie Decoder/Encoder in addition to the Debugger and PPU Viewer from FCEUD.

FCEUXD SP adds conditional breakpoints and symbolic debugging.

FCEU and its code branches have all been succeeded by FCEUX.
FCE Ultra MM
FCEUX FCEUX is a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Famicom, Famicom Disk System (FDS), and Dendy emulator. It supports NTSC (USA/JPN), PAL (European), and NTSC-PAL Hybrid modes. It supports both Windows and SDL versions for cross compatibility.

The FCEUX concept is that of an "all in one" emulator that offers accurate emulation and the best options for both casual play and a variety of more advanced emulator functions. For pro users, FCEUX offers tools for debugging, rom-hacking, map making, Tool-assisted movies, and Lua scripting

FCEUX is an evolution of the original FCE Ultra emulator. Over time FCE Ultra had separated into many distinct branches.

The concept behind FCEUX is to merge elements from FCEU Ultra, FCEU rerecording, FCEUXD, FCEUXDSP, FCEUXDSP CE, and FCEU-mm into a single branch of FCEU.

As the X implies, it is an all-encompassing version of the FCEU emulator that provides the best of all worlds for the general player, the ROM-hacking community, and the Tool-Assisted Speedrun Community.
FCFAN Plus This emulator is part of a series of japanese *FAN Plus emulators. It's for Windows, and it is pretty fast (it should be able to acheive full speed on a P133). It has sound support, and it supports an average number of mappers. However, it's shareware, so the directional controls are disabled. It costs 2000 yen to register.
FE FE is short for Family Emulator. The author calls this a "60 pin 8 bit NTSC console emulator for DOS" other words, it's an NES emulator. It supports NES (iNES), FDS (fwNES), FAM (Famicom) and PRM (Pasofami split) file formats and has a slew of mappers.
fwNES fwNES, written by Fan Wen Yang, supports a good number of mappers and has a very interesting user interface. It also emulates the Japanese Famicom Disk System addon (which requires the FDS bios ROM). It's sound support is very good. It supports all 5 channels and the extra FDS sound channels for Adlib, SB, and other soundcards. Pentium class CPUs should be able to acheive full speed.
G-NES This is an NES emulator for Windows that supports a good number of mappers, 8/16/24/32 bit windows color depth, all 5 sound channels, VRC6 and VRC7 custom sound channels, Joysticks/Joypads and also supports the mapper plugins that TNES uses.
HyNES This is an NES emulator for Win9x/00. It was coded using Microsoft Visual Basic which means you'll require the runtime file of Msvbvm60.dll. Its got a Zelda-like GUI, and is very impressive. It has a palette editor support, savestate support, .WAV output support, screenshot support, and it supports 5 screen resolutions. Its worth a look at, if only for the crispy GUI. It now supports mapper 0 games with limited sound.
iNes This is an NES emulator from Marat Fayzullin, author of several other emulators. Compatibility is pretty good, though this emulator requires purchase. The *nix binaries are free, however.
InfoNES This is a Japanese NES emulator that is written in Visual C++. It has sound, and supports a fair amount of mappers. English translations have been brought to us by Soulfang and emu_kidd
JaneNES This is a newer NES emu, but it is in such early stages even a binary isn't available. Keep an eye on this though, as it may turn out to be more
Jnes Jnes is an emulator for the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with an enjoyable and intuitive user interface which has been translated into 20 languages. Whether you are looking to instantly save your game progress or record a movie for friends you'll find it here. Compatibility tends to focus on North American and European games, although there is support for many popular Japanese games.
LazyNES A new NES emulator with scanline based rendering, uses DirectX for graphics, supports mappers 0, 2, and 3, and partially supports mapper 1, Sprite rendering, Vertical, Horizontal, and Four Screen Mirroring. It also Supports NetPlay.
LissNES This emulator was programmed in VB and requires DirectX to run. So far it supports 4 sound channels and has some video features such as scrolling. Hopefully it will be developed further, and more mappers will be added.
Little John New Generation Little John is an NES emulator for Windows. It supports a few mappers, 2 sound channels and has basic controls. It now also supports SNES emulation, through the use of the SNES9x core. It ran really good on this Amd K6/2 333, but I haven't tested it on any lower end machines yet.
loopynes loopynes supports an good number of mappers, some VS games like Mario, Castlevania and Ice Climber, and FDS games. It also has sound support, and it's quite fast. It has joystick, zapper, and GameGenie support and a GUI too. It's one of the most accurate emulators out there, and has great compatability and great speed. Definitely worth a try.This beta has the debugger enabled.
madNES madNES supports a decent number of mappers, but has primitive sound support. It also has preliminary lightgun support and joystick support. It's about average.
marijuanes marijuanes appears to be a fairly new emulator from the author of Squeem with minimal mapper support and partially working sound. It may get better.
mIRCNES A rather unique NES emulator that outputs to a mIRC window. :)
MoarNES MoarNES is an open-source (GPL v2) emulator for the classic Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It is relatively new, and currently still in alpha. It is being continuously worked on an improved with the goal of being one of the best NES emulators available. Is it there yet? Not quite, but it's a very useable and compatible emulator already. It is written from scratch in C, with no code taken from existing NES emulators.
MuNES MuNES is a NES emulator programmed in for the RetroEmu Coding Competition Summer 2008 by mudlord. It is written in pure Win32 C/C++ and focuses on pure size and speed. It uses OpenGL as a 3D renderer. Due to its size, several features were omitted but it does have several custom shader filters. Its pretty good, considering the entire program is less than 64kb!
My Nes My Nes is a portable open source NES/FAMICOM emulator written in C#. My Nes covers thousands of nes games and getting close and close to the real nes.
N'tendo N'tendo is an old emulator, really only here for completeness' sake. Not worth downloading.
Naughty Well, this NES emulator is not really worth trying out right now. It only has support for mappers 0 and 2, and it's pretty slow. But who knows, maybe it'll get better in time. This file is the source for the tile-based engine rendering engine for this emulator.
NE This NES emulator is written in C++ and ASM. It has a nice GUI as well.
Nes-Lord An emulator based on NESA, this emulator, written by CHECK, has not been updated in a long time. There's no sound, and it supports only a few mappers. Don't waste your time with this one.
NES496 This NES emulator was coded as a result of a college assignment in CSE496, hence, the name NES496. It uses DirectX for drawing the graphics. It has partial sound, is rather slow, and only supports a few mappers. It does, however, have a cool graphical debugger. It's not really worth the download right now unless you want to play with the debugger.
NES4PC NES4PC features a really nice Windows GUI, a debugger, and other stuff. It supports a decent amount of mappers, so it has fair compatibility. Only 2 sound channels are emulated. NES4PC is an emulator that's worth keeping an eye on.
NES9x NES9x is another upstart NES emulator. Currently, it has the Main 6502 CPU, The NES Sound System, PPU, Memory, Almost all Video Modes, and Controler 1 are emulated. It supports mappers #0, #1, #2, #3, #7. The program is also open source, and the source can be freely distributed and changed by other users.
NESEM NESEM is a NES emulator that written in QuickBasic 7.1 with a touch of ASM (for the keyboard routines). It's done by the same author as NES4PC. It's pretty fast for being written in basic, but it has bad compatibility. It's not really worth a download.
NESemu This NES emulator, although rather primitive, is very small and quite fast. It emulates the 6502 cpu, video, and the usual mappers. It uses a 256X240 scanline video mode, and runs full speed on a Pentium 75. It runs too fast on P166's because there is no speed throttling yet. It's also very small in size. It even includes a built in tile editor and a hex editor.
NESEMU 2008 An extremely fast and accurate Nintendo NES emulator. Easily ported to anything that can use SDL; anything else requires very little work.
NESEMU is only a temporary name for the moment.
Last update: 2008-12-05
NESemu8 NESemu8 runs a few games and has sound support, although it's primitive.
Nessie This is a new Nintendo emulator by Martin. So far, it supports many iNES mappers, 4 controllers, good sound, and has some cool extras like Game Genie, savestates with screenshots, and an IPS patcher. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
NESten TNSe has released his masterpiece NES emulator for Windows9x. NESten was coded in Delphi for WIN32. Among some of the features it supports are: 1 player, save states, SRAM support, Movie states, many mappers and 5 sound channels (and VRC6). The default speed controls are set a little too slow. This is one of the rare NES Emulators that can handle Castlevania III perfectly. This set of mappers will probably be the last, as the author has decided to put all his energies into the Nintendulator.
nester nester is a great NES emulator written by Darren Ranalli (aka "bald"). It supports DirectInput, excellent sound, and many other features. nester is compatible with many mappers and is highly configurable.Unofficial Release adds a large number of additional features (including various input devices and support for playing NSFs), yet it has compatibility issues and, with certain games, speed problems. This could be because the unofficial release is built off the public beta 3 of nester as opposed to the current version.
nesterJ Another unofficial version of nester which adds a wide variety of extra features. However, many of the changes that were made to the original program have resulted in incompatibilities with games that are supported by nester.
NEStron NEStron has now been completely recoded and his making its way to one of the better NES emulators emulators. Give it a try!
NExS A newly developed emulator, has rather minimal support for mappers and no sound so far. It could become promising eventually though.
NextFCE NextFCE is an emulator based on bero's FCE v0.01. It emulates the CPU core, PPU and sound, as well as HyperShot (miscellaneous devices).
NEZulator The NEZulator is currently programmed in mostly pascal and very little assembly. It is moderately speeded running at around 1 Mhz on my P100. But, NEZulator has MANY bugs still in it and a lot of features yet to be implemented.
Nintender This is a Nintendo emulator written in C# in November-December 2007. It is very incomplete. Controls work. Sound is not working. Scrolling is not supported right now. Almost all games that don't use a mapper load and show their demo or title screen at least. Several are somewhat playable.
Nintendulator Nintendulator is an open source Win32 NES emulator written in C++. The original goal was to emulate the NES down to its hardware quirks; though it's fallen behind over the years, recent builds have caught up once again and can emulate certain behaviors most other emulators neglect to handle. However, this emulation precision comes at a price - a 1500MHz (estimated) or faster CPU is required to emulate at full speed.

Supported file formats include .NES, UNIF, FDS (fwNES format), and NSF. Mappers are handled using external DLLs, complete with extra sound channels for most games which provide them. Other notable features include writing to FDS images (by storing the differences in separate files), Game Genie support (limited to 3 codes), customizeable controllers (including 4 player), input movie recording and playback (with re-recording), AVI capturing, and a debugger with simple breakpoint support. Savestates and battery-backed RAM are saved within the current user's Application Data folder, allowing Nintendulator to function properly when not run as an Administrator.
NinthStar NES A new NES emulator for Win9x/WinNT/Win2k that supports as many mappers as NESten. It has very limited and poor quality sound emulation. It has a great debugger, and its emulation accuracy is unsurpassed. The main drawback is its speed. You'll need a 700mhz or higher processor to play games on it with full speed. It has some neat features like 3d hardware filtering and a great controller interface. Full source code is available for MSVC.
NNNesterJ NNNesterJ is a modified version of nesterj. The program adds some interesting features to the user interface (little icons and a better design for assigning buttons to a controller), includes support for zipped files, autofire, and an abundance of other miscellaneous things (.avi recording :D ). There are very few issues left in the emulation, so this is NES emulator of choice.
no$nes nocash NES/FDS/PC10/VS emulator/debugger for windows
Nofrendo Nofrendo is a good NES emulator that can run at full speed on a slow Pentium system. It has decent sound support, and good compatibility. It can also load NESticle save state files, and it comes with 2 selectable palettes. This emulator is worth a try.
olafnes This is a continuation of the basicnes 2000 project. Often updated, this emulator has surpassed it's predecessor in compatibility, better Save State support, and even Game Genie cheat support. Definitely worth downloading.
Pasofami Not too much is known about Pasofami, because the page is in Japanese. It can be difficult to configure because certain parts are still in Japanese. Download this emulator if you want to play ROMs in the Pasofami split format.
PCNES This emulator is written in assembly. It has slightly below average compatibility and no sound support. This emulator is very old and not really worth the download.
PlasticNES This emulator is NextFCE with some of the bugs worked out. Other than that, nothing much else is known, since it is a port off of a japanese emulator.
Pretendo Pretendo is a NES emulator that uses DirectX. It supports full screen (320x240) and windowed display modes. It has average compatibility, but there is no sound or joystick support yet. It's not worth a download right now, but keep an eye on it. This is the Work In Progress beta. It has a lot of work done over version 0.04, but it's work in progress, so it has a lot of new bugs and stuff.
Project 1986 A new Closed Source NES emulator coded by Snake.
Try it and report bugs to the author!
Project 51 Another NES emulator that has most of the sound emulated, and mappers 0, 1 (partially), 2, 3, 7, 8, and 11.
QuickNES QuickNES appears to no longer be maintained.
RADARnes This emulator, the first fruit from the RADARemu team, features a GUI, somewhat limited mapper support (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (partial), 7), full CPU emulation, and nearly complete PPU emulation. There's also sound and joystick support.
RANes Gives one to ability to earn achievements points for select NES games.
Reminesce This emulator is invaluable to anyone who is interested in making homebrewed games, not only that it has fantastic menu with a lot of viewers never seen in any other emulator. It is in early stages, but it can run games even the best emulators have trouble with (read author's notes inside). There is no sound support yet, however.
RockNES RockNES RockNES RockNES X RockNES FR RockNES features a very good GUI in both the DOS and Windows versions. RockNES supports 85 mappers although it does have some slight sound problems with some games. The emulator has support for Gamepads in both versions (easier to change in the Windows version), and has proper speed controls.
Last update: 2008-11-09
SadNES Although this NES emulator doesn't have a high compatibility rate and lacks sound, it is extremely fast (should run well on a P120). For those with low-end systems, you might want to give this a go.
Sega Li What?! It's not a Sega emulator then? Nope, sorry; SegaLi is a NES emulator, the surname of a certain Mario whom Nintendo accordingly named their happy moustached mascot after. This thing emulates the NES/Famicom, quite accurately I might add. But its not quite there yet: most notable missing features are savestates/movies, cheats, FDS, and zapper support.
Shatbox This emulator focuses on efficiency. While it runs cleanly, it supports few mappers. It is very developer friendly however with its source code, so check it out.
SleepNES This NES emulator is written by SkulleateR. So far it only a few mappers, and it doesn't have sound. It's not really worth a download right now, but it may get better in the future.
SMYNES This shareware NES emulator for Windows is coded in 100% ASM and supports 86 mappers, has 4 player joystick support, and sound support. It costs $10 US to register.
Squeem While in very early stages (it runs SMB, but with graphical garbage), this emulator (which currently supports mappers 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 11, 32, 34, 71, and 78) holds a lot of potential, due to its reintroduction of a concept not seen since the days of PSEmu Pro: plug-ins. You can pick up the plug-ins for the emulator (which are needed) at the emulator's download page.
SwNES SwNES is now based on VirtuaNES v0.66 and as such very feature-rich and compatible. You'll need a seperate set of DLLs to make it work (also up for download) and a language plug-in (the English or Japanese plug-ins are included with VirtuaNES, the rest can be found at the VirtuaNES homepage.
TextNES This is a fun little emulator. Get this: It displays the NES's graphics as ASCII text! It's a novelty, but a neat one. Sound is emulated, but is not yet outputted.
TI-NESulator TI-NESulator is an NES emulator, originally targeted at first to work only on TI-68k calculators. For testing and comparison purposes, a Windows build was also produced.
TNES This emulator is by Paul Robson of GB97, NESA and A26 fame. It has much better mapper support than NESA did. It also has Game Genie support, joystick support and on-the-fly saving. The sound is emulated through Adlib. It hasn't been updated since its first release, so the future looks grim for TNES.
UberNES This is a brand new and very promising emulator with accurate emulation and neat special features. It has full CPU, PPU, and APU emulation, 2 gamepads emulated, and mappers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 21, 22, 23, 25, and 66 which covers most games. You can also create an NES Database that has all your games, and you can view the producers of the game, the developer, box art, descriptions. UberNES also keeps track of statistics and enables you to download stats from the Worldwide NES database to see which games are most popular with other UberNES users. An NSF player is also embedded within the emulator.
Ultee This NES emulator is coded in Delphi. It supports most of the average mappers. It also uses DirectX for rendering. It might be worth a try.
Ultimate NES UNES runs a few NES games. It has not been updated for a long time, and it has probably been discontinued. This isn't worth a download. (Guess it can't be all that "ultimate" unfortunately.)
uNESsential uNESsential is the first NES emulator to be written in Quick Basic. The current release is fast, if you consider the fact that it's written in QB only, with no ASM used. It can also run a lot of commercial mapper 0 ROMs, such as Ice Cl imber and even Super Mario Bros, with scrolling!
Virtua NES This NES/Famicom emulator supports many mappers, has excellent sound, a superb TV mode and many other features. Certainly one of the better NES emulators and updated frequently.
VirtuaNES VirtuaNES is a NES emulators for the Windows platform available in english and japanese.

Source code is also available.
Vortendo This is an NES emulator written in VB 6.0. Even though it's written in VB, it's quite fast, and can achieve full speed on a P100 with a frameskip of three. However, it's still new, and could not play most roms. Additionally, Vortendo is not freeware. To become a "registered user", you must send the author an actual NES return, you'll get beta versions and the full source code.
WiNES WiNES has low compatibility and no sound support. It does, however, have one interesting feature; it uses plugins for the mapper support. Unless it's recontinued, it's not worth a download unless you want to check out the plugin system.
WinNES WinNES File Repository This NES emulator is coded in Delphi. Right now, it only has support for sound effects (no music) through midi. It also has below average mapper support.
Yanese Yet Another NES Emulator

Yanese is a free Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator running in Windows XP,Vista, 7 and 8 under x86 and x64 processors.

Nintendo - NES Emulators on Other Platforms

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