The Top 5 Titles On The Nintendo Switch's NES Library

With 60+ games currently available on the Switch's NES library, which title's from Nintendo's first ever home console are worth playing today?

By LG18, Posted 22 Nov 2020

Nintendo surprised all when they released the NES library for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
Following up with the SNES library a year later, the majority of Nintendo’s classic first party IP’s from the 8 and 16 bit era are now available between these two apps.

The initial NES library now has over 60 titles, but which stand out enough to be worth your time in 2020?

In no particular order, here are the top 5 NES games the service currently on the service!


Super Mario Bros. 3 

When Super Mario Bros. 3 launched in 1988, it set the precedent for the platformer genre.
Despite the graphical and memory limitations the system had, the game managed to provide an incredibly fun and varied platformer that still holds up fantastically 30 years on.

This was the game that introduced Mario’s famous tanuki suit, and there are plenty of other fun power-ups and costumes to use, too; it’s not just about running and jumping!
The controls are tight, the level design manages to stay fresh and interesting throughout and even the 8-bit chiptune soundtrack is iconic in its own right.
It’s a game that fits the switch perfectly, has great replayability, and is truly a landmark NES title. 

   mario luigi title screen

Dr. Mario

Dr. Mario is a game most have probably heard of but never played. It’s a brilliant little puzzle game that’s similar to SEGA’s Puyo Puyo. You’ll rotate coloured pills to defeat germs of the same colour on the board. Each level increases in difficulty and things can get really challenging in the later game. 

There have been hundreds of games that have replicated Tetris and Puyo Puyo style gameplay, but Dr Mario stands out as unique.
It replaces the fast paced, twitch-action gameplay of the aforementioned with a more methodical, meticulous approach, and you’ll need to strategically think several steps ahead while simultaneously being fast enough to place the current piece effectively.

Dr. Mario is a title any puzzle game fan should check out, and a welcome addition to the NES library.

   pills and germs

The Legend of Zelda 

This is the one that started it all, kicking off arguably the biggest and best action-adventure series of all time.

While the game may appear quaint by today's standards, the original Legend of Zelda packs in a ton of charm and great top-down gameplay, making it still a blast even today!
From the start, the world feels very open ended. There’s no shortage of things to explore, and the dungeons, enemies, bosses and items all gel together really well to provide an accessible, challenging and ultimately very enjoyable Zelda experience. 

There are also a lot of secrets to find in this one, and even though the game’s rendition of Hyrule is ultimately small, it feels a lot bigger than it is.
If you’re after a core top-down Zelda experience without the fluff, check out the original.

   zelda dungeon

River City Ransom 

River City Ransom is a co-op brawler that uniquely features RPG style upgrade mechanics, making for what was at the time, a novel take on the genre.
The game essentially revolves around running about and beating up rival gangs. You’ll will start off with only a few basic moves but can upgrade yourself by purchasing books and buying food, and while this is a thoroughly linear experience, that’s where it shines. 

When played with a friend, this is one of the most enjoyable and amusing co-op experiences you can have on the NES, and at its core, is the sort of simplistic fun the NES excelled at delivering.

   turf battle

Kirby’s Adventure

Released late in the consoles lifespan in 1993, Kirby’s adventure really pushed the system’s hardware capabilities, and it’s a great example of what the system could do.
In what is a relatively unique twist on the platformer genre, the gameplay in Kirby’s Adventure revolves around Kirby sucking up enemies and transferring their powers onto himself.

As a result, the game has a varied plethora of different gameplay styles, and Kirby can even suck in air which enables him to fly.
The seven worlds of the game are colourful and diverse, the bosses are unique and well designed and there’s a lot to collect, making the game highly replayable.
The game did a great job of building on what was great about the first game and is a stand-out title both aesthetically and gameplay wise for the system!

     kirby tree battle


Honourable Mentions



While it was Super Metroid that honed the Metroid formula into an undisputed classic, the original game was a feat in its own right.
Creepy, atmospheric and expansive were not adjectives you’d ordinarily associate with games of the 8-bit era, but somehow, Nintendo managed to pull off a blue-print to one of the best series of all time using their first home console. 

Even if overshadowed by its successor, Metroid is worth a shot.

blue cave


Punch Out!!

A revered arcade classic, Punch Out!! Is as fun today as it was in 1987.
Playing as light flyweight boxer Little Mac, the player must fight through six caricaturised opponents to become the undisputed champion. 

Featuring simple yet surprisingly strategic gameplay, the game is easy to understand but difficult to master - great if you’re up for a quick challenge! 

tyson ring


The NES had one of the biggest game libraries at a huge 709 licensed titles.
With plenty of choice for Nintendo to pick from, which games are you hoping to be brought to the Switch's NES library in the future? 
Let us know in the comments!


Linden Garcia
Editor, NoobFeed

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