Best Retro Games For Switch
The Nintendo Switch is an excellent system for many reasons. You can play at home and on the go. There are tons of indie games available, plus all the latest from Nintendo and other famous game makers. One of the best perks is having access to some of the games that first sparked our love affair with Nintendo in the first place. Who doesn't love a bit of nostalgia, right? Below are some of the best retro games for Switch you can dive back into, best part is…no cartridge to blow in!
Best Retro Games for Switch
Mario Bros. I, II and III
Ok, let's get the obvious answer out of the way here. The pillar of all that is Nintendo is Mario. Each of the Mario Bros. titles on the NES and SNES (more on them in a bit) are obviously retro classics. Of course, beating up on Bowser on any system will always be fun, but going back to where it all started is a great place to start when looking for retro games for Switch.
Super Mario World I and II (Yoshi’s Island)
Again, not blowing any minds with these choices, but still worth noting they are available. Super Mario World I and II for the SNES added to the greatness that had already become Nintendo's poster boy. Mario again takes on all sorts of new powers and bad guys to save the princess, now with 16-bit retro power. Make sure to seek out each of the games when getting a Switch.
Donkey Kong Country I, II, and II
All three Donkey Kong Country games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System were great, and all three are available on the Switch. Going back and fully completing these games (always give more than 100%) is just as tricky and fun as when the DK Country series was first released. Have a blast (literally) collecting bananas, jumping into barrels, and finding all the secrets all over again.
There are other fun racing games, but F-Zero on the SNES is undoubtedly one of the best. Futuristic racers and tracks, plus the retro SNES graphics, make this game a blast to go back and play on the Switch. Fill your need for speed with this challenging retro racer.
Likely one of the lesser-known NES titles but still a lot of fun to play. Playing as the main character Pit, it's your job to save the world using your bow and arrow and your wits. If you didn't play this title as a youngster, I would recommend trying it out now.
Looking for a good trip through space in your retro gaming? Get back into Gradius. With tons of power-ups, nonstop side-scrolling action, and seemingly endless bad guys to destroy, Gradius is lots of retro fun.
Kirby is another classic Nintendo character who started during the age of “retro” gaming on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The first of many titles, the original is still one of the best. Swallow your enemies, chew 'em up and spit 'em out with this retro classic.
The Adventures of Zelda
There are a ton of superlatives you can give to any Zelda game, which they are all worthy of. For our purposes here today, we can certainly label it as retro and easily one of the best games available to go back and play on the Switch. If you're anything like me, you'll remember about 65% of the game's secrets and tactics, but you'll still have a hard time making it all the way through all the challenges in Hyrule. All the fun it was over 25 years ago, you can't go wrong with this classic title.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
If one Zelda game is good, two must be better, right? Absolutely! Granted, many will note that the second installment of the Zelda series was vastly different from the others. However, the developers went for it, and it still worked out great. The replayability and difficulty that come with all Zelda titles still hold true today, and if you can get your hands on a Switch, definitely go back and play this retro classic.
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
I'm going to make this a hat trick with the Zelda series, but this time onto a different system. A Link to the Past was the first Zelda was the first of the series on the SNES and still a great game to this day. I remembered far less about this game than its predecessors, so it was extremely fun and satisfying to rediscovering the story, secrets, and puzzles that come with all Zelda games. The Zelda series is timeless and is some of the best retro gaming available with the Switch.
Excitebike still has all the elements that make a great game, retro or not. Racing a motorcycle, check. Challenging, check. Catching massive air, double-check. Excitebike was even one of the first games to allow you to make your own track, which is still fun to do today. Grab a helmet and start racing on the Switch with this NES classic.
You knew when it first came out Metroid would be big. Groundbreaking with its gameplay, Metroid was an instant classic and still held as one of the best, if not the best, original Nintendo game there ever was. A vast world to explore with no linear gameplay just blew our minds and is still fun to go back and rediscover to this day. Retro gaming doesn't get much better than this classic NES title.
If you like Metroid, you'll love Super Metroid. Actually the third title of the series (there was a Gameboy release as well), Super Metroid again takes everything that made the first game great and made it even better. Still focused on a huge, open-world to explore with non-linear gameplay, Super Metroid was wildly popular upon its release in 1991 and should be on all retro gamers to-do list.
Take to the retro skies with Pilot Wings on the SNES. One of the first 3D open skies games, Pilot Wings had a lot to offer. Take on all the different objectives and missions in your biplane, hang glider, and even a rocket belt. Revisiting this retro classic is a must with the Switch.
One of the earlier attempts at recreating the WWF…er WWE?…style wrestling, Pro Wrestling for the NES, did not disappoint. With classic characters such as Starman, The Amazon, and Giant Panther, you definitely need to go back and play a few matches with this retro wrestling game.
Whether you were up against Mike Tyson or Mr. Dream, Punch-Out was a game that was a ton of fun to play. Working your way up through the ranks of different classes, figuring out each fighter's weaknesses and how to exploit them took tons of practice? Can you still reach the ultimate goal? It's nothing short of a retro classic and should be one of the first games you look for on the Switch.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Super Punch-Out on the SNES took the same “find their pattern and weakness” approach as its predecessors and added to it. Being 16-bit instead of 8-bit doesn't make it any less retro at this point. Add in the time attack modes and some incredibly hard fighters, and you've got another boxing game you should seek out when getting a Switch.
If you like RPGs and retro games, then Star Tropics is right up your alley. Not your traditional turn-based RPG, but tons of fun nonetheless. With a classically weird NES storyline and a yo-yo as your main line of defense against your enemies, you'll have a blast revisiting this classic on the Switch.
Super Mario Kart
Another example of Mario being the face of Nintendo, Mario Kart on the SNES was the original shell shooting, banana slipping, power upping Mario racing game that has spawned countless titles on multiple consoles since then. The gameplay, difficulty, and fun haven't aged a bit (even though we have). Make your way to the finish line as any of the original racers and claim retro victory as yours.
The graphics and gameplay are what made Star Fox and mind-blowing all-time great game for the SNES. By today's standards, it's hardly anything to marvel at, but at the time, it was the great thing out there. Not only that, it has engaging gameplay, a great storyline, and wonderful supporting characters. Star Fox on the SNES still holds up as a great retro gaming play everyone should dive back into on the Switch.
It doesn't matter what the graphics are like, riding around in a giant tank defeating radioactive monsters is always a good time. With the variety of gameplay on foot or in your tank, Blaster Master was as awesome to play then as it is now.
Who doesn't love some good old fashion beat 'em up gameplay? For your retro gaming needs on the Switch, look no further than the classic game that practically invented the genre Double Dragon. Go old school with Billy and Jimmy as you beat up the bad guys to save the girl. This game will still take every bit of your gaming wits to beat and should be on your list of retro games to pick up again for sure.