Skip to main content

Relive the good ol' days with a Super Nintendo emulator for Windows Phone 8

Ah, Super Nintendo. 1991 was a good time because video games were really just starting to get big and the SNES system was leading the pack for 16-bit gaming. The console is still revered by many to this day.

Now combine it with the power of Windows Phone 8’s dual core CPUs, extra RAM and high resolution display and you have an ideal gaming platform—assuming the developer gets it right. Luckily for us, developer m.k. nails with his free Snes8x app for Windows Phone.

The app comes with one free demo ROM but the real fun is loading up your collection via SkyDrive. There’s no URL direct import and it doesn’t uncompress ZIP files, so you will need to upload them in full to a SkyDrive folder but that’s a trivial thing.

So far, Snes8x has played every ROM we’ve thrown at it with no errors. Quite remarkable, really. Sound is tight, frame-rate is high and the ability for Save-states to restore later is fantastic. Did we mention it’s completely free with no ads?

There’s nothing to not like about this emulator. It’s a little plain but once again, that’s nitpicking. It plays SNES ROMs just perfectly and is just pure awesome on Windows Phone 8.

Pick up Snes8x here in the Store. Windows Phone 8 only.

Like emulators? Check out these other excellent apps for Windows Phone:

  • vNESLight (NES emulator)
  • Purple Cherry (Gameboy)
  • Blue Tomato (Sega Game Gear and Master System)

QR: Snes

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Plays Mario RPG like a champ, now there really is no "app gap" for windows phone anymore.
  • +1 for Super Mario RPG!! One of my favorite pure turn-based RPG's of all time.
  • You can hook up a Wiimote or PS3 controller on an Android and play those same emulators plus other emulators that we don't have more effectively than we can. We're not even remotely there yet. This emulator does kick ass though.
  • I do not understand this many people travel with controllers?? Waiting at the doctors let me take my controller out so I can play a game while I wait...idea is nice but seems useless BC in most cases where I have a controller I also have a tv or computer available to use the controller with
  • Playing Zelda here!! Hyrule, here I come!
  • id like to see iphone users play something like this!! hahahahhaha love wp8!
  • They're actually busy playing awesome console ports.
  • Which we also will, eventually. Optimistic.
  • Snes8x is the best for windows so I'm glad to see it ported to WP8, wish they had it for WP7 though.
  • Look out for mock recompiled of the same emulator to be sold by other rouge developers as they did on Android.
  • You probably won't see these for WP7, since it doesn't support running native code. No one wants the headache of trying to port everything to XNA. :(
  • People have tries and failed with these more "advanced" emulators on WP7, it just isn't possible without native code access (which. is present on WP8).
  • Deletes NES Pro. Installs SNES8x. Yes!!!!!!!!!
  • +1 I too was waiting for SNES! WOOT!
  • Does the app record your username and password on skydrive?  That's my only concern. 
  • Record? No. It uses the standard SkyDrive API that all Windows Phone devs can use. It'd done by MS and sanctioned. You're giving Snes8x permission to access your account. It doesn't login each and every time. It's like Facebook Login.
  • Ok cool thanks.
  • This was my concern too. Just to clarify you're saying the developer won't be able to see our SkyDrive username and password? Sorry I'm just paranoid.
  • No password. You're telling SkyDrive this app can connect to your account until you revoke access. It doesn't log you in through the app. It's like a sophisticated 'cookie'.
  • Got it. Thanks Daniel.
  • hmm.. can't log in to skydrive with it... odd. get an access denied error.
  • Reinstall the app and allow it access when it asks.
  • Had this issue. It's an issue with the Port. update by windows. Log out of wi-fi and connect to SkyDrive in the app. Should work from then on during wi-fi usage.
  • How do I get the games for this app??
  • You can try this crazy thing:
  • That is great I didn't know there was one of those for Bing as well.
  • That's hilariously awesome!
  • Ok Thank you Daniel..
  • That is awesome how did you do that?
  • I wish people would stop pussyfooting the copyright issue. I've been Binging the shit out of this since the release of vneslight for WP7, and I still haven't found a good place to get ROMs. My email is my username at hotmail. Somebody PLEASE email me a site I can use!
  • Seriously dude, bing snes roms and almost every link on the first page of results are good ROM sites.
  • Yeah, none of which I can access from my phone, which is my only access to the internet, smartass.
  • LMAO
  • Try here..
  • Ok thank!
  • this is much better than Xbox Live crap !!!
  • Where do I find the roms?
  • I'm gonna blow your mind:  Weird, right? ;)
  • That was awesome!!!
  • I really don't feel comfortable uploading ROMs to my personal SkyDrive account.  Another reason why I prefer full access to a MicroSD card.
  • SD support would be nice for sure.
  • If only WP8 supported bluetooth gamepads... :(
  • Yeah...  Without some sort of controller support, how could this be considered an "ideal gaming platform"?  Most of these games range from unplayable to frustrating with touchscreen controls.
  • The RPG games run incredible though, since controls aren't a necessity.
  • No one has been able to provide me a straight answer on this, but is there anything stopping us from having an app to hook up to a Wiimote or PS3 Controllers like Android phones do, or has it simply not been developed yet?
  • It might be possible but the drivers would need to be within the app, and all of the mapping would need to be in the app too. It would be tough, if not impossible.
  • oh come on, the WP7 hardware is ultra-enough for a snes emulator :(
  • Awesome!
    Virtual buttons looks too big tho, I hate when the controls creeps into the screen too much. Dread vs Zombies has best controllers ever.
  • You can change that in settings...smaller buttons.
  • Yea, but, you can't change the arrow key stays the same size and goes over the display, it needs to be a little smaller./
  • How? Haven't seen that anywhere.
  • Just like you Daniel, I'm a bit older aswell. Love this app!!
  • Me too! (older that is, haven't tried the app yet)
  • Just need a megadrive one and im sorted!
  • Yes!  I would love to revisit LandStalker, Crudaser of Centy, Shining Force 1+2, and Shining in the Darkness.
  • That's all I need
  • all roms Snes
  • Do they have a directory of NES ones as well?
  • Try
  • is useless to me as I only have the internet on my phone. Everyone and their dog has suggested it to me for over a year. It didn't work for me in WP7, and it still doesn't in WP8. Thanks, anyways.
    Found this just by going back to the root...
  • Yeah, Mario is really hard to play.
  • I'm on the same page. Especially trying to run and jump at the same time.
  • The graphic from super mario looks gorgeous on lumia 920!
  • Awsome.. I love it
  • Should keep us all entertained until the next game is released for xbl wp that isn't a Nokia exclusive
  • Can a MAME port be far behind?
  • Could they map the camera button as L bumper and Vol+ or Vol- as R bumper?
  • The bumpers weren't used very often on snes games.
  • The best way to do it. Would be if they could map ANY hardware button. For the Ativ S it would be power button for L bumper and camera button for R bumper. And the bumpers were crucial in Super Mario Kart, my all-time fave SNES game.
  • Where do I get the roms and how do I download the games.
  • I used which is great. Just download to desktop, sync with SkyDrive and download it through the app. It is covered in the article
  • Thanks a bunch. Can't wait to play super Mario world!
  • It runs very smooth
  • The app isn't reading my roms after I placed them in SkyDrive under documents??
  • I just dragged them into SkyDrive mate, not into one of the 3 folders. They are easily accessible from in the app in the SkyDrive folder =) Already got Zelda and Mario Kart running
  • Make sure you unzip them
  • Another vote for " not available in china " ! You bastard MS and %#@* developer !
  • Working on desktop but not lumia
  • Have you tried what I just put in your previous post mate?
  • Ulike several emulators, this plays Final Fantasy 3 (or VI as its originally called) with perfect music.
    Only thing is a small screen with lots of unused screen, and that we cant resize and move the buttons freely, but its nitpicking :) .
    A problem is the w drain and the extreme heating of the phone during play.
    Is that fixable?
    Thank you so much for this app, though, its been used about 40% of my nonsleeping time the last few days :)
  • Is this by the same developer as the SNES app for Windows RT? I run it on my Surface and use an Xbox controller, pretty awesome.
  • I should try that. I bought a Bluetooth controller for my RT.
  • Thanks for the tip. I just tried it. Works perfectly.
  • I already mentioned this in my review in the store, but there needs to be an option for more transparency (and no colors) in the touch controls.  And select and start are backwards.  But those are just nitpicks.  It's a really good app as it is.
  • Place roms under SkyDrive documents and it will no issue finding them, make u sign into correct SkyDrive acct and have sim in your device, works ;D
  • This makes me want a WP8 more then other apps out there.
  • Now just need a N64 emulator and the trifecta will be complete.
  • I strongly suggest you guys to use a separate SkyDrive account to upload ROMs to your phone, and/or delete them immediately from SkyDrive after uploading. Microsoft can ban your account if they believe you are hosting materials that may infringe copyright. And Microsoft has been pretty active banning accounts that violate their T&C, including one well-publicized case in which a photographer uploaded some nude images which were marked as private.
    Yes many ROMs are at public domain, and you can even legally make copies of ROMs that you still have the cartridges for. But even so, if Microsoft bans your account by mistake, it will be a huge pain, if not virtually impossible, to fight their bureaucratic system to get it back. And if your SkyDrive is banned, you'll lose all your digital purchases and subscriptions (Xbox games and DLCs, Zune/Xbox music passes, Xbox Gold memberships, Windows games, phone games, music, movies, ...), achievements, etc. associated with your Microsoft account as well. Your Xbox life will cease to exist.
  • Purple cherry is still king at emulators though. But this one rocks!
  • For people having issue. I think you have to extract those zip files to .smc then upload to skydrive.
  • All games are running flawlessly on my L920 as well as Surface.
  • Thanks for the tip, installed it immediately.
  • If they could add pinning individual rom tiles with letting us choose the picture from our library, my home screen would extend by 2 or 3 times...
  • Anyone else struggling with the phone overheating and battery draining insanely fast using snes8x?
  • Can we get a Sega mega drive emulator too? I wanna play Sonic 3 & Knuckles!
  • Anyone noticing the extreme heat coming out from the battery during play. I was playing Dk and you could fry an egg on the Lumia back surface :(
  • Yes, and battery drains insanely fast.
  • Not sure of the details but a recent update just came out.
  • 1.01: improved touch.
  • I would love to get this but I'm afraid of uploading ROMs to my SkyDrive account. I don't want my account to get banned or worse. :/
  • Itsalwayswinter: make a new account and use exclusively for roms.
  • These controls are absolutely awful. :( Fingers crossed for bluetooth controller support in a forseeable future. 
  • Earthbound on the go! Finally!
  • Translations that require you to patch the rom work like a champ. Loving my Tactics Ogre from Aeon Genesis.
  • Legend of Zelda Link to the Past like a champ. Sob this is awesome
  • There was SNES emulator for WP7 at least a year ago, but it wasn't improved in the store, because of the roms. Now here is one for WP8! Why?! Why only for WP8?
  • WP8 supports native code.  WP7 does not. 
  • Am I the only one whose battery drain insanely fast when using this emulator? Like 10 min = 10%, without sound!
  • Muahaha I can finally start playing Dragonball Z Hyper Dimension again. Does anyone know how to connect either a ps3 or xbox360 controller to my wp8?
  • The only bummer for this app and the types that import/read data files is that you'd need to upload the data files to Skydrive or some cloud service. It'd be awesome if one could simply copy the data files to the phone's memory card or RAM directly from the PC.
  • how do you make the games to download on .smc format. so far when i am in a website to download a rom, the rom when unzipped comes out in a .NDS format. that kind of format does nnot work on the snes8x so far. how do i download games for the snes8x nokia 920???
  • You know a NDS console is not a SFC console right?
  • i know that. but on what website can i download roms that come out to be saved as a .smc format for my nokia 920 windows 8? so far saves the roms as .nds format when i try to download. there is only one option. is not like the website gives different options of formats to be saved.
  • you must have downloaded a NDS rom instead of SFC rom. you need to get "Super Nintendo Snes" roms instead. SFC roms are never saved into .NDS. "Nintendo Ds" is for the Nintendo DS system and it is a modern handheld console. this emulator is for Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a console released in the 90s with a lot of classic games.
  • Pretty cool re-living some of those old games.... playing Contra... kind of... just a little too tough to play with my fat thumbs covering half of the screen up to get to the controls...
  • I've found that moving the controls to the top of the screen do wonders.  At least my thumb is no longer trying to smash Mario. 
  • does this work for nintendo ds games too? if so,!
  • My hand was burning from the heat.  Maybe I'm asking for too much but they need to find a way. I'm VERY excited about this (i'm coming Dragon Quest VI) but even if I play with a charger plugged the heat makes it feel like it's going to explode.  +1 for the app though. 
  • Anyone know if/how you can import SRM or save states from snes9x?
  • I found that the "mini joystick it" that I got for my son's ipod works extremely well for games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat .  
    I got mine on Dealextreme:
  • I downloaded and upload contra.nes into my skydrive but when I open up Snes8x it still can't find the rom file. What's going on?
  • NM I got it work I was out of it and downloading NES roms instead of SNES.. duhh I'll take idiot claim of the day.
  • It run awesomely for me, but I too have a horrible time using touch controls.  A portrait mode to make it more 'gameboy like' so the controls can be at the bottom and out of the way would be a big help.
    For the first time in a long time, I'm now wishing I had a physical keyboard to use as a controller.  lol.
    Like other have said, I'll mostly use this for slow paced games like Chronotrigger or Breath of Fire... trying to play a game like Killer Instict is totally futile.  But still... it looks cool and is a good 'show-off' app.  :)
  • Flipping heck, it's not available for my Lumia 625!