How to Play Retro Nintendo Games on Your Switch

Nintendo has a wide range of classic and retro games that span multiple platforms. With Nintendo Switch, a large number of NES, SNES and N64 titles were 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 backward compatible retro games does Nintendo offer?

Your Nintendo Switch includes the NES, SNES and N64 consoles and can emulate some of the best titles on each platform as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and the Expansion Pass in the case of the N64 emulation.

In terms of the games that 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 popular franchises.

Here are some of the best NES titles to 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 Adventures.

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

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

SNES titles available on your Nintendo Switch

In addition to classic NES titles, the SNES titles available 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 to play on your Switch to find your favorite SNES titles.

N64 titles available on your Nintendo Switch

While NES and SNES title emulation 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 N64 games available on Nintendo Switch, visit the Nintendo Store page for the N64.

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

Now that you know some retro titles available on your Nintendo Switch, you might 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 home screen, navigate to the bottom left tab and select Nintendo Switch Online.
  2. You will then be prompted to select the user profile you want to use to access Nintendo Switch Online.​​​​​​​
  3. Once the Nintendo Switch Online home screen appears, scroll down and select NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64.
  4. At the top of the NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 options, you can then choose to install the three available emulation options for your Nintendo Switch.
  5. Choose either Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment Systemor Nintendo 64 to install and play their respective titles.

Before you can access your chosen platform and play classic titles, your Switch will verify that you have the Nintendo Switch Online subscription required to play. If everything is ok, your chosen platform will be installed on your home screen and 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 allows you to play some of the most productive and classic game titles.

But if you want to get the most out of your Nintendo Switch console for both regular and retro gaming, there are a few important tips and tricks you should learn to streamline and enhance your overall experience.

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