Ever since Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch Online service, which in turn added NES games to Switch, we’ve checked with anticipation at the list of games Nintendo added with each new update. For the first year, Nintendo would add new NES games each month. This would lead to some awesome months (like February 2019, which gave us Super Mario Bros. 2 and Kirby’s Adventure) to less exciting months (like July 2019, which gave us Donkey Kong 3 and Wrecking Crew).
Eventually, Nintendo changed it to a “whenever we feel like” game drop. Yet despite Nintendo giving us a fairly good sized library of 54 games, there are many more NES titles we would love to see added to the service. Below, in no specific order, are 10 games that deserve to make it to Nintendo Switch Online:
Duck Hunt is a classic NES game that many people immediately think about when you bring up the NES. When the NES launched here in the US in 1985, Duck Hunt was one of the included games. This meant you got Duck Hunt with every NES. Is Duck Hunt an awesome game? It shows its age, yet there’s fun to be had. Trying to get every duck on-screen can be a fun challenge with multiple people. It might be a game you only play a few times, but it’s a classic deserving its place in the NES Online app, especially when you consider how the Duck Hunt dog and duck are Super Smash Bros. fighters, so it could be good for a younger generation to see where they came from.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Possible. Nintendo did re-work the game for Wii U Virtual Console in 2014, allowing you to use a Wii remote in place of the Zapper. Perhaps you could use the IR sensor on the Joy-Con?
I know, I know. When people think of Tetris, they think of the Game Boy. Everyone, it seemed, played Tetris on Game Boy, yet the NES got a version of Tetris too. In fact, the NES version was very popular, selling over 8 million copies. Bringing Tetris over to Switch Online service can be a lot of fun for those of use who remember playing this version of the game. It’s a fun version of Tetris that allows 2 players to play against each other, which fits well with the Switch Online’s…well, online. Plus, many people have enjoyed their time with Tetris 99, Nintendo’s unique spin on the battle royale genre. It could be a great reason to bring NES Tetris over: let Tetris 99 players go back to the original game.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Possible. There’s really no reason why the game CAN’T make it to Switch Online, but perhaps The Tetris Company doesn’t want to go that far back.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/T.M.N.T. 2: The Arcade Game
This one isn’t so much a cheat (by adding 2 games in one slot) but rather a difficult decision to pick between the two for very different reasons. The better game is T.M.N.T. 2: The Arcade Game, but the original T.M.N.T. on NES is the one that has received a Virtual Console release. In short, T.M.N.T. was big in the late 1980s, and the NES games are fondly remembered (even though the better game is on SNES). I still have my NES cartridge of T.M.N.T. 2: The Arcade Game, and it’s still a lot of fun to this day. Considering the game has recently been re-released on Arcade 1Up machines, there’s obviously interest out there, and bringing the game to Switch Online could be a great nostalgia trip for many.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Hard to say. If it was any other publisher besides Konami, I’d say it would be likely. Yet Konami has been all over the place in terms of software releases. Perhaps the Arcade 1Up machines convinced them there’s interest, but it’s hard to say, especially with licensed properties.
Like the above title, DuckTales brings the challenge of being a licensed re-release. Yet DuckTales on NES is SOOO good, it’s actually confusing why we haven’t seen the title appear on Switch. It’s widely regarded as one of the 10 best NES games ever released, and it’s even been THE game that inspired a number of developers to get into the video game industry. From its amazing 8-bit soundtrack to its wonderfully designed platforming levels, DuckTales is one of the few licensed games your mind automatically goes to when someone mentions the NES. The popularity of the rebooted TV series, which even included music from the video game, makes a release a no-brainer.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Hard to say (but make it happen, Nintendo!). This one is simply an issue with being a licensed game. Does Disney want to renew their license with Capcom and Nintendo for a re-release? Hard to say, especially seeing as Capcom had licensing issues last year with Disney over DuckTales Remastered (it’s since been returned to digital storefronts).
R.C. Pro-Am II
Before there was Super Mario Kart, there was R.C. Pro-Am. Its wonderful gameplay and well designed tracks made for an awesome racing experience on NES. It’s also widely considered to be one of the best games on NES. Yet its sequel was the better game (well, technically, R.C. Pro-Am II was the 3rd game in the series after Super R.C. Pro-Am….look, I didn’t name the games. The confusion is Rare’s fault). R.C. Pro-Am II added multiplayer, which was a reason on its own to buy the sequel. A re-release on Switch Online would be perfect as the NES library is lacking in its 2-player games (and especially racing titles). The obvious elephant in the room is that R.C. Pro Am is a series made by Rare, which is owned by Microsoft, the creators of the competing platform known as Xbox.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Unlikely. Despite Microsoft and Nintendo having a good relationship over the last couple of years, leading to Microsoft games (and Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros.) coming to Nintendo Switch, there’s not really a reason why Microsoft would let this happen on its own. Maybe in a Rare Replay collection (which NEEDS to happen, Microsoft), but it’s hard to see a one-off release of R.C. Pro Am.
Final Fantasy is kind of a big deal franchise right now, with Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy 7 Remake doing so well. It would be awesome to remind people where the series came from, and the NES version is still top notch. Widely regarded as one of the most influential RPG games EVER, it’s actually a shame we haven’t gotten some sort of Final Fantasy collection on modern consoles. The only Final Fantasy game we got here in the US was the original game, so allowing a newer generation (or letting the older generation enjoy a classic again) seems like a complete no-brainer.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: ??? That might seem like a joke answer at first, but this one is near impossible to predict. Square Enix has re-released this game on pretty much every possible platform they can put it on (minus modern consoles), including in the NES: Classic Edition, that you’d think a re-release on Switch would be a done deal. Yet, here we are…
While Bomberman is a classic example of a series that got better with time, I have a soft spot for the original NES game. I played Bomberman on the NES for so many hours growing up. It’s such a fun game to jump into, avoiding enemies and clearing the stage to get to the next. With Super Bomberman R a launch title for Nintendo Switch (and apparently a million-seller on the platform), it would be great for newer fans who enjoyed R to get a chance to play the original. It also helps that Switch Online has a rewind feature and save states, in case you need them (not that I would ever blow myself up with a bomb by accident).
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Unlikely. Bomberman was made by Hudson Soft, who in turn were bought out by Konami. With Konami being all over the place recently, it’s hard to tell if a re-release is something they’d even listen to. Add to the fact that even when Hudson Soft was on their own, they never re-released the title on Virtual Console. It’s possible with Switch because of Super Bomberman R, but my hopes aren’t that high, even though I totally think the game deserves its chance on Switch Online.
Bionic Commando on NES is SOO good, like SOOOO good. It was an action-platformer that changed up the game, literally. You couldn’t jump, instead you needed to use a grappling hook attached to your arm and swing to your next platform. It was a unique take on platformers at the time, and it was such a fun time. While it was only a single-player game, part of the fun growing up was watching a friend play, get taken down by enemies, and having a go at it. It is considered one of the best platformers on the NES, which was loaded with those types of games. It’s hard to beat Bionic Commando.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Possible but unlikely. This series has gone completely quiet from Capcom ever since the absolutely horrible “reboot” in 2009 and the lukewarm Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 in 2011. It’s possible that Capcom sees the interest people still have in the original NES title and will decide to try bringing it to newer consoles (as the game was a bonus add-on for a few previous games). That said, maybe the series being completely silent for 9 years isn’t a great sign…
Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II
Nintendo, WHY?!? Why did you make this game exclusive to the NES in 1994?? Seriously though, this is a question that has confused me for years. The original StarTropics was fantastic, a great RPG that felt truly unique on a system loaded with RPGs. Then came the sequel, Zoda’s Revenge, which improved on the original game’s locations and gameplay. Add to it that enemies now reacted to which weapon you were wielding, and Zoda’s Revenge was a challenge. While it wasn’t a leap forward type of sequel (it was more of a “more of the same but ever so slightly better” kind of thing), Zoda’s Revenge simply didn’t get the attention it deserved back in the day. Bringing the game to Switch would be a great way for many people to experience a really special NES RPG.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Very likely. It seems after all these years Nintendo has realized they didn’t quite give this game its fair chance on NES. Zoda’s Revenge has seen Virtual Console releases on the Wii and Wii U, plus the original StarTropics is on the NES Switch Online app right now. It would make perfect sense for players to be able to continue the adventure on Switch.
The game that started it all. No, not the 3D game, the very original title. Metal Gear is a truly unique game in the NES library and marked the debut of legendary game maker Hideo Kojima. Widely considered to be THE title to start the stealth game genre, Metal Gear involves you taking control of Solid Snake heading on a secret mission to destroy the titular Metal Gear (giant walking tank that can launch nuclear missiles). It’s such a unique game and a big standout on the NES. Bringing this game to Switch Online would be a great way for newer Metal Gear Solid fans to see where the franchise started. This was also a time when the franchise timeline was unbelievably simple and easy to understand.
Odds of a Release on Switch Online: Surprisingly, never say never (but not likely). Let’s face it, Konami really screwed things up with their now famous break-up with series creator Hideo Kojima and the godawful Metal Gear Survive. As crazy as it might seem, bringing an older title to newer hardware might be a good way to start moving in the right direction with fans. Allowing people the chance to play Metal Gear games on Switch could remind people how much they love the series and might get Konami to actually take a hard look at a new game (one that actually attempts to be a Metal Gear game).
There you have it, 10 NES games that deserve to be on the Switch Online service. The fact is I could have very easily made this list longer as the NES was home to a lot of really great games. Yet in my opinion, these are games that absolutely must make it to Switch sooner rather than later, even if the chances don’t seem super high at this point.
(Note: Games that are already on Nintendo Switch through compilations or collections weren’t included on this list as you can play them already. So, franchises like Mega Man, Castlevania, or Contra weren’t forgotten about. You can already play them on Switch..which you should absolutely go do!)