ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Emulate A NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) On A PC

Updated on April 11, 2015

NES Emulator Windows 7

Super Mario Brothers 3 running in Nestopia  on a Windows 7 PC
Super Mario Brothers 3 running in Nestopia on a Windows 7 PC | Source

Emulate A NES On A Windows 7 PC

Anybody who grew up in the 1980s can probably recall playing the original Super Mario, Zelda and Final Fantasy games on the Nintendo Entertainment System console. Brings back memories huh? I have fond memories of playing Duck Hunt with my dad and playing Mario Bros. taking turns and having fun seeing who could get the furthest before dying. Of course, wouldn’t it be great to play all those old games again? Oh, your NES console bit the dust? Well, there’s another option for you rather than shelling out cash for a used console from eBay.

You could buy a combo system that plays NES, SNES and Sega Genesis games as an all-in-one unit, but computers can do anything these days right? Right! You could just download an emulator for your desktop or laptop computer, a cheap USB controller, keep your cartridges and not have to fuss with the blowing in the cartridge or slot and pray the games still work. So long as you have a physical copy of a game, you're legally free to download ROM images of your games and play them on a PC or Mac.

Final Fantasy In A NES Emulator

Final Fantasy playing in Nestopia on Windows
Final Fantasy playing in Nestopia on Windows | Source

Play NES Games On Windows

These days, there are emulators for just about any game console ever produced. They are available for free from many sources online. All one needs to do is simply download an emulator and some ROM files, of course, legally you can and should download only the ROM files of games that you actually own.

Most cases, all you have to do is extract the .zip file that the emulator is contained in to some folder on your desktop or other folder of your choice. Then, extract any downloaded ROMs into the same folder. Open your NES emulator of choice and then open your desired ROM file for the game you want to play.

When first playing a NES emulator, or any game console emulator for that matter, it would be beneficial to open the Input settings to discover what keyboard keys are mapped to represent the buttons on a game controller. You might even wish to change them so that you can find a more comfortable arrangement of the keys, rather than having the majority of them cramped into one area on the keyboard.

Reader Poll

Have you ever used an NES emulator?

See results

Do you use an emulator for other game consoles?

See results

Legend of Zelda In A NES Emulator

The Legend Of Zelda playing in Nestopia on Windows 7
The Legend Of Zelda playing in Nestopia on Windows 7 | Source
The Legend of Zelda II playing in Nestopia on Windows 7
The Legend of Zelda II playing in Nestopia on Windows 7 | Source

Why Use A NES Emulator?

Why is it better to use a NES emulator than a real console? Because NES emulators work! Who knows if the NES console sitting in your grandmother’s basement is even in working condition? Besides, with an emulator and some ROMs of your favorite games, you aren’t tied to a tv; you can take your games (and emulator) with you on a pocket sized thumb drive and play NES console games anytime on any PC.

Besides the aforementioned benefits, you can finally get closer to actually beating some of those old games you fondly remember. The majority of emulators support save states, which are basically snapshots of your progress in any game. These can be used to restart exactly where you left off last time, in the middle of a level or just before entering a boss battle (assuming you saved the game state before you died!).

In addition, most emulators also support the use of cheat codes. So, theres no need for items like Game Genies as the support for cheat codes is built into the emulator software.

Of course, playing old video games like those for the NES on a PC is always good for getting a few kicks, giggles and funny stares from people who missed out on this wonderful generation of video games. You could also introduce your kids to retro games like these to show them what video games were like "back in your days."

Now if you'll excuse me, I must get back to Zelda II. That's next on my list of my old games that I have to beat and cross off my bucket list.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)