With the arrival of SNES Classic Mini, “the brain of the beast” has set tongues wagging again. The game catalogue for Nintendo’s 16-bit console is timeless, which is why the remake of the console in miniature is a proper event. Now’s as good a time as ever to recall that your smartphone is also a fantastic emulator, with a good handful of Android apps that let you enjoy the undying classics of your youth.

Snes9x EX+

The backend for this emulator, like most of the existing ones for Android, draws on the work done by the iconic emulator Snes9x, which being open source has been getting upgraded and adapted for years now. In particular Snes9x EX+ is based on version 1.53, although the developer’s official site has one based on an older build, which increases the speed but provides less accurate emulation.

Best of all is that this version includes a ton of features and has no ads or restrictions of any kind. Game-saves in multiple slots, insertion of tricks, screenshot manager, compatibility keyboards and external gamepads, visual and audio configuration of the emulation, fully customizable virtual controls… in short, if you’ve got to pick just one Super Nintendo emulator, make it this one. [Download]

John SNES

Programs under the label of “John Emulators” floating around the web are the mysterious fruit of the work of a Japanese developer who promotes his apps with their own engines. In the case of John SNES, what we’ve got is a highly efficient Super Nintendo emulator with little to envy the ones based on Snes9x, on top of offering some unique features like the use of Dropbox to sync games, saving games and setup options, or creating autosave points and screenshots that can later be used as thumbnails in the game selection menu.

The free version of John SNES is fully functional, though it does include integrated advertising in the app in both the transition between the game and the menus and during the emulation itself in a small horizontal bar at the top part of the screen. That said, if you want to get rid of the ads you can always fork out for the paid version. [Download]

SuperRetro16

One of the biggest names in Super Nintendo emulation on Android was withdrawn from both Google Play and Uptodown for legal reasons, but a few months ago the embargo was lifted and it’s again free to download even with new added features. Its virtues go far beyond just being another from-scratch emulator, including a brilliant interface with options as interesting as automatic search for the covers of the games in your collection, or the option to send the image to external screens via Chromecast.

The main drawback of SuperRetro16 is that it’s got a few (annoying) restrictions in the free version, including only allowing you to save your game a certain number of times, plus barricading some of the customization options behind a virtual coin system that makes you break out in hives. Luckily you can always pay for the full version that removes all these restrictions. [Download]

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