3 NES Emulators to Play Old NES Games on Linux

2 min

A quick look at 3 NES Emulators to play old NES games in Linux. Also, we provide an Installation guide and features.

If you want to play the old retro games such as Super Mario, Pokemon, etc in the latest Ubuntu, Linux Mint versions, there are plenty of emulators available. Here are three emulators that you can try if you want to play old retro games.

NES emulators play old NES games


ZSNES is a Super Nintendo Emulator that can run on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and DOS. It runs as a GUI interface where you can load ROM of NES games.

Here is how to install ZSNES in Ubuntu, Debian and Linux Mint. Run below command from terminal:

sudo apt install zsnes

For Fedora, run the following command to install after setting up RPM fusion using this guide. Because it requires some modules which is not provided by official Fedora distro.

sudo dnf install zsnes

After installation, search for ZSNES from Dash or type zsnes in terminal.

ZSNES Running in Ubuntu
Play old NES games using ZSNES in Ubuntu

2. Higan

higan is an emulator for Nintendos SNES, NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance. It was formerly called bsnes and the SNES emulation is especially complete and polished.

higan strives to provide the most faithful hardware emulation possible. It focuses on accuracy and clean code, rather than speed and special features. It is meant as a reference emulator to document how the underlying hardware works.

Here is how to install higan from command line.

sudo apt install higan
Higan Running in Ubuntu


GNOME FCE Ultra (gfceu) is a graphical front-end for the FCE Ultra Nintendo Entertainment System intended for the GNOME desktop. Gfceu eases the gaming experience for the user and provides a clean, simple, and intuitive interface.

Run below commands from terminal to install gfceu for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and related distros.

sudo apt install gfceu

For Fedora, run the following command to install. Please make sure to set up RPM fusion using this guide before running this command. Because it requires certain packages which is not provided by official Fedora distro.

sudo dnf install gfceu
gfceu running in Ubuntu

Download Game ROMs

There are hundreds of websites which provides NES ROMs. Here are few of them where you can download NES ROM. Once downloaded, unzip them and open from the emulator menu.

Enjoy and play old NES games using these emulators. Do let me know which one is your favourite.


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