Classic NES Games Still Missing From Nintendo Switch Online

Classic NES Games Still Missing From Nintendo Switch Online

The Nintendo Switch has its own set of dedicated exclusives but has proven to be a great “all in one” console for gamers new and old to tap into the company’s rich history. The inclusion of Nintendo Switch Online has had an added perk which includes legacy content from prior Nintendo consoles. While games from the N64, SNES, and even Sega Genesis are all available to play, the first catalogue available was for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

First becoming available in late 2018, the NES lineup had a varied offering of many of the most iconic classics from Nintendo’s first foray into console gaming. From major franchises such as The Legend of Zelda to more underrated gems like Blaster Master, there is no shortage of offerings available on the platform. That being said, with three years having passed since Nintendo first started adding NES games to Nintendo Switch Online, there are still a handful of puzzling omissions that cannot be played on the service.

Contra

Contra

The NES is often recognized for having a library consisting of brutally difficult games (many more of which will be discussed below). One such title was Contra, first released to arcades in 1986, and then ported to the NES the following year. Contra is known for its punishing level of challenge, and tributes to the bombastic feel of 80’s action movies. Bullets fly, explosions paint the screen and every moment is a fight to the finish line. Contra is also known for being one of the earliest Konami titles to feature the fabled Konami Code, which equipped players with 30 extra lives, something key to survival in this game.

Mega Man Series

Mega Man Series

Mega Man landed on the NES in 1987 as well and was an immediate smash success for Capcom. The tight mix of shooting and platforming ended up spawning five subsequent sequels on the NES alone and went on to grow into a massive franchise. These original titles are loved and lauded for playing a major part in refining how action platformers are designed, something to which modern franchises such as Ratchet and Clank owe a lot of credit to. If including all six games is too tall an order, then at least the first three for the sake of posterity would be a worthy addition to Switch Online.

Batman

Batman

Licensed video games are often something gamers actively avoid, due to them usually being lazy, rushed products to coincide with the release of a movie or show. This was no different in the NES era, with countless bad movie tie-in games landing on the console during its lifetime. Batman was an exception to this rule, capturing the moody atmosphere of the Michael Keaton film and adapting it into pure 8-bit glory. The action-based platformer had a good level of challenge and level variety, making good use of Batman’s gadgets to thwart Joker and his evil plans.

Castlevania Series

Castlevania Series

Aside from first-party Nintendo titles, Konami arguably had the second most impactful lineup on the NES. With Contra above, the company was already becoming a popular name in the industry, but Castlevania cemented its legacy even further. The three whip-cracking adventures were extremely hard like many other games on this list but were satisfying to play all the same. Everything from the gameplay mechanics, level design, and music have all become iconic in gaming culture. Considering the importance these games had on the NES, it feels like there is a gaping hole in Switch Online without them there.

Battletoads

Battletoads

Along with platformers, beat ’em ups were probably the most popular genre on the NES. Multiple titles such as Double Dragon and River City Ransom proved to be hits, but Battletoads brought something particularly special to the table. Its vulgar sense of humor and cartoonishly over-the-top moves were a spectacle to behold. Of course, it was also brutally difficult, almost unforgiving in that regard, with the Turbo Tunnel level living in infamy among gamers. It not being on Switch could possibly be a rights issue, since the game is now under Microsoft’s ownership. However, both companies have shown a friendly relationship before, so many a deal could be struck to add the title to the evergrowing Nintendo Switch Online lineup of games.

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