The Nintendo Switch has been a massive hit for Nintendo with amazing first-hand games like this The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Plus, there are fantastic Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation video game ports that have a new life inspired by being portable.
Skyrim, for example, feels like a whole new title now that we can take it on the go. However, not only these (relatively) modern games have found an unlikely home on the Nintendo Switch. If you know where to look, you’ll also find some amazing retro titles from the 8-16 and 32-bit console generations.
There are even some retro PC ports released as well. If you’re feeling a little nostalgic for what the games were like, the following are the best retro Nintendo Switch games in our opinion.
All major Doom tickets are available on Nintendo Switch. This includes Doom 1,2,3, 64, Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal. Only Dooms 1,2 and 64 count as retro, but we thought you should know the scope of the games available. Yes, this entry has three titles. Just pretend we used Konami code to trick more entries into the list.
Doom 1 and 2 not only include great ports from the original games, but Bethesda and ID have also added several of the best modifications and conversions to Doom and keep adding them over time. Which makes the first two games very good value for money. Doom 64 was only officially available on the Nintendo 64. In 2020 it received PC and console ports, which included the switch. It’s also a classically good Doom classic experience.
These three games are amazing retro shooters where you fill the boots soaked in blood with a lone sailor fighting demons on Mars, the moons of Mars, Hell and Earth. Best of all, you can shoot your friends over LAN or split screen playback. It’s a blast “hell”!
Another classic 32-bit shooter of the era, this release of Duke Nukem 3D is perhaps our favorite. It is certainly the best handheld version, which supplants the excellent and ignored Sony Vita port of the game.
Duke Nukem 3D was the cheeky, cheeky shooter that wasn’t taken seriously, but that offered a perfect shooting experience. Duke has to deal with an alien invasion and the mass kidnapping of girls from Earth.
This version of the game offers the classic Duke experience, but also a new real 3D rendering mode, as well as a completely new original episode. It’s a great way to play Duke Nukem on the big screen or on the go.
Instead of reselling its classic retro games to Switch, Nintendo has decided to offer a library of NES and SNES games to anyone who subscribes to the Nintendo Online service. The service is fairly inexpensive, especially if you use the family plan to cover multiple consoles, but you can also try a 7-day trial if you’ve never subscribed.
It’s worth it just for the cloud-saving backup feature, but locked into these two apps are some of the best 8-bit and 16-bit games ever made. These include great players like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid, but also quirky titles like Zelda 2 and StarTropics. It’s great value for money and all Switch owners should try these retro Nintendo Switch games at least once. There is a very good chance of discovering (or rediscovering) an unforgettable title.
Not to be overlooked by Nintendo’s former rival, Sega has released its own mega collection of classic titles for the hugely popular Sega Genesis console (or Mega Drive, depending on where you are from).
Instead of charging you a monthly fee, you can buy the entire collection directly and keep it forever. This is more than just a collection of ROMs, as you access the games through a precise virtual bedroom with the period, with a shelf filled with some of the best games of that generation. This includes major pillars of Sega like Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Ax, but it’s worth having almost every title.
The emulation is fantastic, but not perfect. However, not all the less demanding purists would like this excellent collection. It’s worth waiting for it to go on sale, with 50% discounts once or twice a year. You simply want the game to receive an alert when the price drops.
This is the last collection on the list, but it is certainly not the important one. Castlevania is half responsible for the birth of the genre “metroidvania” and this birthday collection includes no more and no less than eight classic Castlevania games, starting with the first title.
It also includes Kid Dracula, a game released in Japanese only for GameBoy, but now available in English. The collection includes a book, History of Castlevania, and quick save features. Therefore, you will not have to return to the beginning of a level if a boss kills you. They will!
While this successful arcade received a dull port for Sega Genesis and Sega 32X, this is the first time a perfect port for home systems has been released. Not only is it perfect, but it’s a significant improvement over the original arcade, with much sharper graphics and flawless frame rates.
Virtual races can be short, but it’s addictive and a lot of fun to play with friends. It’s also a historically important retro Nintendo Switch game, announcing the appearance of true 3D graphics in arcades. Definitely pick this one up.
Phantasy Star is a significant title in the history of Japanese role-playing games, but that first title was strangely hard to find. The three sequels are part of the aforementioned Genesis collection, but Sega finally did things right and released a perfectly emulated version of the game as part of the Sega Ages series.
This is an old, pure dungeon crawler, which originally paved the way for this branch of the JRPG family tree. It’s still a fascinating game to play today and the graphics retain the best of what the 8-bit Sega Master System could bring out.
Classic Final Fantasy games
All three have received improvements in quality of life (such as cheating and fast forwarding) with Final Fantasy 8 getting a full remaster. All of these games represent the best of the series in different ways, though the 8 and 9 don’t have as much love as they deserve. Three epic adventures for very little money, who could say no?
The latest game on our list isn’t the best in its series, but we think it should be here because it’s actually a reissue of a classic MS-DOS platform programmer. While consoles often draw attention to this genre of games, ID Software (of Doom fame) really created a number of fantastic platform games with the genius of the boy Commander Keen.
For our money the sequel Goodbye Galaxy it’s the best game, but Keen Dreams is still fun and maybe if enough people buy it, Goodbye Galaxy will get the same treatment. Just notice, there is also a “Final edition”From this game to Switch eShop. This version of the Nintendo Switch retro game is more modernized and makes big changes to the title. It’s a good game in itself, but if you want the original experience, go for this one.
What are your favorite Nintendo Switch retro games? Let us know in the comments and share the love of retro games.