How to Play Retro Nintendo Games on Your Switch

Nintendo has a wide variety of classic and retro games that span multiple platforms. With Nintendo Switch, a large amount of NES, SNES, and N64 titles have been made available through emulation and Nintendo Switch Online.

But what titles are available, and how can you play retro games on your Switch? Let’s find out.

What Backwards Compatible Retro Games Does Nintendo Offer?

Spanning the NES, SNES, and N64 consoles, your Nintendo Switch can emulate some of the best titles from each platform, just as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription and the Expansion Pass in the case of N64 emulation.

In terms of what games Nintendo offers, here are some of the best from each platform.

NES Titles Available on Your Nintendo Switch

The NES marks the beginning of some of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises.

Here are some of the best NES titles you can play on your Switch:

  • The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventures of Link.
  • Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros.2, and Super Mario Bros.3.
  • Metroid.
  • Donkey Kong.
  • Kirby’s Adventure.

With titles like Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, you can experience the beginnings of some of the most notorious games of all time.

For more NES titles available on Switch, visit the Nintendo website’s NES page for the complete list of titles.

SNES Titles Available on Your Nintendo Switch

As well as classic NES titles, the available SNES titles on your Switch continue to emulate some of Nintendo’s most critically acclaimed and classic franchises.

Here are some of the best SNES titles available:

  • Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, and Super Mario Kart.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
  • Donkey Kong Country.
  • Super Metroid.
  • Star Fox.

Visit the Nintendo page for the list of available SNES games you can play on your Switch to find your favorite SNES titles.

N64 Titles Available on Your Nintendo Switch

While emulation of NES and SNES titles on your Switch simply requires a Nintendo Switch Online account, N64 emulation requires a Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack to play.

Much like the NES and SNES titles available on your Switch, the N64 titles are similarly acclaimed and classic.

Here are some of the best N64 titles available on your Switch:

  • Mario Kart 64 and Super Mario 64.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
  • Star Fox 64.
  • Yoshi’s Story.
  • Banjo-Kazooie.

For the rest of the available N64 games on Nintendo Switch, visit the Nintendo store page for the N64.

How to Play NES, SNES, and N64 Games on the Nintendo Switch

Now that you know some retro titles available on your Nintendo Switch, you may want to know how to download and play them on your console.

To play NES, SNES, or N64 games on your Nintendo Switch, follow these steps:

  1. From your Nintendo Switch’s Home screen, navigate to the bottom-left tab, and select Nintendo Switch Online.
  2. You will then be prompted to select the user profile with which you want to access Nintendo Switch Online.​​​​​​​
  3. Once the Home screen for Nintendo Switch Online appears, scroll down and select NES, Super NES & Nintendo 64.
  4. At the top of the options for NES, Super NES & Nintendo 64, you can then choose to install the three available emulation options for your Nintendo Switch.
  5. Select either Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or Nintendo 64 to install and play their respective titles.

Before you can access your chosen platform and play classic titles, your Switch will check whether you have the necessary Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play. If all is well, your chosen platform will install onto your home screen, ready to play.

Make the Most of Your Retro Nintendo Switch Experience

With the numerous retro gaming options available on your Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Online enables you to play some of the most prolific and classic titles in gaming.

But if you want to make the most of your Nintendo Switch console for both regular and retro gaming, you should learn some essential tips and tricks to streamline and improve your overall experience.

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