The Best Retro Games on Switch
Nintendo's classic NES games service isn't hitting the Switch until this fall, but you don't have to wait until then to play some of yesteryear's best games on the console. The Switch eShop already features a treasure trove of retro game collections and faithful arcade ports, allowing you to enjoy such essentials as Pac-Man, Punch-Out and Mega Man both at home and on the go. If you're feeling nostalgic, here are the best old games to play on your shiny new Switch.
Namco Museum offers a bundle of essential arcade classics, from staples like Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug, to deeper cuts like Splatterhouse and Rolling Thunder. This lovingly crafted collection features online leaderboard support as well as a ton of customizable display options — you can even position each game vertically on the Switch's display for the most authentic arcade experience possible. Namco Museum also packs in Pac-Man Vs: the modern multiplayer arcade hit you can enjoy with up to three friends over local wireless. ― Mike Andronico
Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2
Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 let you relive every game in Capcom's iconic platformer series, including the pixelated NES action of Mega Man 1-6, the graphically rich Mega Man 7 and 8 and the retro throwbacks of Mega Man 9 and 10. Available as a physical bundle or as two separate digital titles, each Mega Man Legacy Collection is dripping with fan service and extra features, including a variety of screen filters and a robust gallery mode that lets you explore the history of each title. Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 even has a special rewind feature, which lets you undo your slipups during the series' notoriously brutal boss fights. ― Mike Andronico
Chances are you probably played Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on the NES, but what about the arcade original? Released in 1983, the first Punch-Out resembles a supersize Nintendo DS with its vertically arranged dual monitors. In fact, the game came to life precisely because Nintendo had purchased a surplus of displays during the Donkey Kong boom, and needed to figure out a clever way to use them up. Fortunately, this faithful Arcade Archives port of Punch-Out!! allows you to play the game from the same perspective. It's considerably rougher around the edges than the NES or SNES titles that would follow it, but Punch-Out!! remains an inflection point in Nintendo's storied history that, up until very recently, couldn't be revisited anywhere outside of the original machines. — Adam Ismail
Metal Slug is one of the most beloved side-scrolling shooters of all time, and for good reason. This Neo Geo classic's 16-bit graphics still look great today, and its chaotic run-and-gun gameplay is an absolute blast ― especially with a friend. As with many other titles in Hamster's ACA Neo Geo series, this Switch port of Metal Slug features various display and difficulty settings as well as online leaderboards that let you test your old-school skills against the world.― Mike Andronico
Vs. Super Mario Bros.
You can already play the original Super Mario Bros. on your Switch ― with a slight catch. Vs. Super Mario Bros. is a port of the arcade version of Nintendo's seminal platformer, which features enemies, item locations and even entire levels that differ wildly from the NES original (this was meant to munch quarters, after all). If you're a Super Mario Bros. purist, you'll probably want to wait until the proper game hits Switch Online this fall. But if you need your Mario fix now, or want to experience a cool piece of arcade gaming history, Vs. Super Mario Bros. is worth tossing a few bucks at. ― Mike Andronico
Sonic Mania is technically a new game, but it looks and feels just like those classic Sonic the Hedgehog games you grew up with on the Sega Genesis. Except that it's better. Mania brilliantly remixes elements of the original Sonic games into something that's fast, charming and fresh, complete with challenging, creative levels and some of the most memorable boss fights of the entire franchise. Sonic Mania has both cooperative and competitive two-player modes, and will soon get even more characters and modes when its Sonic Mania Plus DLC hits in July. ― Mike Andronico
King of Fighters ‘98
Fans of SNK's fighting franchise have no less than six installments to choose from on the Nintendo Switch, spanning KOF ‘94 to 2000. But if you had to choose one, we vote you spring for Hamster's Arcade Archives port of the ‘98 installment for two reasons. First, it's regarded by many as the most balanced entry in the long-running series, with the early games' mechanics refined to perfection that successive titles deviated from. Second, SNK broke from tradition with KOF '98 by separating it from the series' overarching storyline. That means it's able to get away with having a massive roster of characters, including some that had already been killed off, as well as alternate versions of characters that have never appeared since. It's simply a must-own for the 2D fighting faithful. — Adam Ismail
Neo Turf Masters
If you're looking for a good on-the-go golf game, and also want to explore the more obscure side of SNK's arcade history, Neo Turf Masters is well worth checking out. This arcade classic features easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay, a variety of courses set all over the globe, and local multiplayer support for going putt-for-putt with a friend. As with other ACA classics, you can look forward to online leaderboard support as well as tons of tweakable in-game settings. ― Mike Andronico
Credit: Nazca Corp.