Top 10 Classic NES Games You Can Play with a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

August 17, 2020

If you own a Nintendo Switch, there’s a subscription service just for you. Nintendo Switch Online allows players to take their game sessions online with friends. For games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this service is a must.

However, there is another big perk that comes along with a subscription. Switch owners have access to over 70 NES and Super NES games through Nintendo Switch Online. As such, we will be shining a spotlight on the top 10 classic NES games you can play with a Nintendo Online subscription.

10. Ninja Gaiden

Originally released in 1988, this classic found a home on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Fortunately, it is now playable on the go with Nintendo Switch. Players will notice that this action-packed game helped inspire many of the platformers that we enjoy today.

The cool thing is that it still holds up super well today. It’s a great game to drop into when you have a little spare time to kill.

Editor’s Update Feb. 22, 2021:

The February 2021 Nintendo Direct has announced Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection releasing on June 10 for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. It will include Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.

9. River City Ransom

There’s no doubt that Beat ‘Em Ups are fun. River City Ransom was unique in this genre, as it’s both insanely fun to play and very funny at the same time. With the option to add in a second player, this NES classic from 1992 can still eat up hours of your time even today.

Plus, the cute sprites and the nicely-detailed backgrounds still look fantastic. All-in-all, if you would like a good game to play with a friend, then beating on some retro punks is a fine option.

8. Super Punch-Out!!!

This charming boxing game came out in 1994 for the Super Nintendo. While the game does revolve around boxers in a boxing ring, it is more of a puzzle game. Each of the colorful cast has a weakness. When you go up against these powerful foes, you’ll have to think fast and find their downfalls.

Once their weak points are identified, it is up to the player to exploit them until victory. It’s a deceptively simple game that’s both challenging and tons of fun.

7. Star Fox

This 1993 rail shooter sparked a franchise on the Super Nintendo. This was also a game that made good use of 3D graphics when it was incredibly difficult to do so. The gameplay, framerate, and graphics aren’t as nice as they once were. However, it is important to remember how impressive this game was in the early ’90s.

It’s still really fun for a quick play on occasion. Plus, the once-lost sequel, Star Fox 2, is also available to play if the original strikes an interest!


6. Kirby Super Star

A universal truth is that Kirby is cute, colorful, and fun. 1996’s Kirby Super Star is all of these things and more. This collection of eight mini-games show just how versatile Kirby is as a game character. While there is plenty of traditional Kirby gameplay to be found, there are also a few surprises in store.

For instance, players may see Kirby take on a race while eating as much food as possible. Another possibility would have the player punching a planet in order to see if they can make a bigger crack than than their opponent. In any case, it’s very fun to try!

5. Super Mario Kart

Every legend starts somewhere. In the case of Mario Kart, the beginning came in 1992 on the Super Nintendo. This game kickstarted an entire genre that it is still king of today. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that this is the original Mario Kart game.

This game isn’t the polished racing machine that Mario Kart 8 is on Switch. However, it is still a fun little game that is definitely worth a play for Nintendo fans.

4. Super Mario Bros. 3

This 1990 NES game may be one of Mario’s best outings. Featuring an iconic art style, this terrific game introduced lots of Mario’s best moments. Of course, the style of the stages and sprites still look wonderful today. Plus, the gameplay is still the classic 2D Mario that people have always enjoyed. For a 30-year-old game, Super Mario Bros. 3 still holds up remarkably well, whether you grew up with the series or are trying it for the first time today.

3. Super Metroid

Metroid is a game series that can has seen some pretty high praise among Nintendo fans. That started with the original game on the NES. However, Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo is arguably the series’ proudest moment. If you’re a longtime fan of Samus’ adventures, this is a perfect time to revisit the bounty hunter. However, if you’ve never had a chance to give this series a shot, then this is absolutely worth playing!

2. Donkey Kong Country

This game is just as good now as it was in 1994. Originally released on the Super Nintendo, Donkey Kong Country introduced players to some stunning graphics back in the day. In fact, the visuals are still pretty solid today, believe it or not.

This game is really challenging, but in a fun way. So if you plan on taking a jog through Donkey Kong Country, then you better brush up on your platforming skills before you go.

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Legend of Zelda series has regularly delivered for fans in both the 2D and 3D worlds. A Link to the Past, however, may just be one of the best games yet.

Yet another classic Nintendo powerhouse, this is a game that set the formula for the Zelda series for over a decade, even carrying the formula over into the 3D world. If any fans of Zelda have yet to join Link on this adventure, then they truly owe it to themselves to do so on Switch.

What is your favorite classic Nintendo game? Sound off in the comments below!

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