It’s been said a dozen times over, but the Nintendo Switch is probably a retro gamer’s dream console. Along with access to a library of both NES and SNES titles, the eShop has provided fans of vintage classics a wealth of games all at the press of a button.
There are dozens of titles that fit in dozens of genres from legends of the golden age of gaming to mainstays of the arcade days, but some are simply more classic than others. It’s games like these that truly define the industry’s early days, and that no respectable Switch owner should go without.
Final Fantasy VII
It’s not a perfect game, not by a long shot, but to say that Square’s iconic seventh entry into their landmark series wasn’t revolutionary would be a lie. It might not be the glamorous version seen on PS4, but Final Fantasy might not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the adventures of Cloud Strife and company.
The game introduced 3D character models, larger worlds, and a more complex and emotional narrative into the series. If players can get past the somewhat dated controls and turn-based combat, there is still a truly inspiring title waiting for new fans to experience it.
Unlike the previously mentioned title, the original Doom is a game that ages more gracefully than others. The graphics are indeed a product of their time, but that doesn’t mean the gameplay isn’t as fun now as it was back in the ’90s. It might be a little pixelated, but there’s still plenty of blood left in this title.
Doom was one of the most graphic and shocking games at the time, but it also helped lay the groundwork for the modern FPS genre. Whether slayers are new to shooting games or just want a piece of gaming history, there are few more satisfying experiences than blasting through a horde of demons.
There are plenty of compilation titles with loads of wonderful retro titles, but if a player is looking for a decent starting point, Namco Museum is the way to go. Think of this collection as the starter pack of retro games. It has the basics like Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug, but it also has a few outliers in the mix as well.
Games like Galaga 88, Tank Force, and the infamous Splatterhouse are just a few overlooked gems that deserve more time and attention. It’s never a bad idea to keep it classic, after all.
Secret Of Mana (Collection of Mana)
Things start getting a little complicated when the Mana series is discussed. While the later games have certainly found a niche fan following, the rest of the series is often hit or miss. However, if there’s one title in the compilation that gamers need to check out, it’s the overlooked Secret of Mana.
This game is like a glorious combination of Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda, and while the combat is a little clunky, the multiplayer and the gorgeous designs of this 16-bit dream are absolutely incredible.
Final Fight (Capcom Beat-Em-Up Bundle)
The Switch is a breeding ground for great beat-em-up games, but if players truly want to get their hands on the best of the genre, they need look no further than Capcom’s Beat-Em-Up Bundle. The collection offers several great titles to pick from, but the stand-out for retro fans is Final Fight.
Final Fight was an arcade classic of the ’90s, bringing in crunchier action, bigger and bolder sprite characters, and screens full of enemies for players to punch out. While other entries in the genre would have different flavors to offer, this game set the bar.
Dragon Quest Trilogy
They might be ports of their mobile versions, but true RPG fans won’t miss out on an opportunity to pick these classics up. The Dragon Quest games are pillars of the genre, and they offer both a classic experience and a healthy serving of gaming history.
While many might want to wait for the 2D-HD remake of the third entry before truly diving into the series, the Switch ports are currently the best way to play the original three games on consoles. The first two entries might have a bit of a learning curve, but nothing JRPG junkies can’t handle.
Super Metroid (Nintendo Online)
Nintendo’s online service offers a bounty of retro games from their NES and SNES games, but it wouldn’t be fair to not include at least one honorable mention. There are dozens of classics from Nintendo’s golden age, but the spot has to go to Super Metroid from the SNES collection.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest games out of Nintendo’s catalog, Samus’s trip to the planet Zebes is one of the most impressive feats on the SNES. It’s a dark and gripping platformer that helped shape the Metroidvania genre, as well as showed just how deep video games could be.
Street Fighter II (Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection)
There aren’t many traditional fighting games in the eShop that fall into the retro category, but the core of the genre has to be Capcom’s Street Fighter series. With the Anniversary Collection, players get a time capsule of the best the original series had to offer. However, the true gems of the collection are Street Fighter II and its spinoffs.
Street Fighter II was when the series began to truly take shape, and its spinoffs added new additions, characters, moves, and more that made it the near-ideal tournament fighter experience. Of the five core games and various spinoffs that bear the Street Fighter title, these are the way to go for vintage players.
While this is technically a remaster, it does give the option to play the iconic dungeon crawler the way it was played back in the year 2000. The Diablo games are legendary in the RPG world, and the series and games it inspired probably wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for the second entry.
This game defined the dark fantasy subgenre in the gaming world as players guide their character through the dark corners of Sanctuary, taking out demons, undead, and the Prime Evil himself. The Switch edition not only polishes the game up but gets it into the hands of more players as well.
Sega Genesis Collection
The reason the entire collection is included altogether is mainly due to Nintendo Online’s expansion pack only including a modest handful of Sega titles with the upgrade. With the exception of a few, nearly all the Sega pack’s games and more can be enjoyed in one compilation already.
Since man may not live on Sonic the Hedgehog alone, the collection also throws in juggernaut titles like the Streets of Rage series, Vector Man, and dozens of other ’90s gems all in one package. The collection simply offers more bang for a player’s buck.
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About The Author
Zach Gass (691 Articles Published)
Zach Gass is a writer from East Tennessee with a love for all things Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. When not writing for Screen Rant, Zach is an active member of his community theatre, enjoys a variety of authors including Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein, and is a proud and active retro-gamer.