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One of the nicest bonuses of subscribing to Nintendo’s Switch Online services is that it comes with a collection of NES and SNES games. That said, if you’ve spent a fair amount of time with games from those consoles, you’re bound to find one game you’d call essential missing from the included games.
For this list, I’m avoiding games that are already available via other collections on the Switch, which is why you won’t find any Castlevania or Contra games, for example. Hopefully at least some of the below games come to the Switch in the near future.
1. Super Mario RPG
Before Paper Mario or the Mario & Luigi RPGs, Nintendo and Square teamed up to create Super Mario RPG. The game was harder to find than many other games with “Mario” in the title, which is why plenty of people have never played it. This game is available on the Super NES Classic Edition and was on the Wii U Virtual Console, so Nintendo and Square Enix have presumably worked out the rights before. Let’s hope they can do it again.
2. Bubble Bobble
While this game’s characters might be better recognized from Puzzle Bobble, it all started with the action-platformer Bubble Bobble. This is another game that has appeared on the Virtual Console before, so its appearance on the Switch Online NES lineup wouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
This is another game that is available on other platforms--in this case the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and Super NES Classic Edition--but not the Switch. This bizarre RPG laid the groundwork for games like Undertale, so it would be great to be able to play it on the Switch.
4. Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country on the Switch might be tough to make happen since Microsoft now owns developer Rare. That said, with the titular characters from Banjo Kazooie making an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it’s clear that Microsoft and Nintendo are talking.
5. Final Fantasy
Yes, I could have put one of the later sequels here, and it would probably make more sense. That said, plenty of people haven’t played the first game in this long-running series, and it’s worth getting a look at the game that started, even if it doesn’t really hold up as well as your memories might have you thinking.
6. Harvest Moon
Stardew Valley has been a hit on every platform it has been released on, but it would be nice to see where many of its ideas came from. Yes, there are more recent entries in the Harvest Moon series available for the Switch, but plenty of Nintendo fans would love the chance to play the original again.
ActRaiser was a weird game when it was first released. Actually, it’s still a weird game now. Combining platforming with city building, this is a rare game that makes you feel like you’re making meaningful progression without relying solely on RPG-style level-up mechanics.
8. Sunset Riders
A western-themed run and gun shooter, nothing about Sunset Riders hasn’t been done in other games. It’s just plain fun, which is enough of a reason to included it for Switch Online subscribers. Plus, the SNES version is the best home version of the game.
9. Super Mario All-Stars
Yes, Super Mario Bros. and its two NES sequels are already available on the Switch. That said, the slight graphical overhauls that the games saw for the SNES collection were nice. This isn’t an essential game, considering you can already play the originals. It’s just curious that Nintendo hasn’t already made this available for Switch Online subscribers.
10. Chrono Trigger
Another Square game, Chrono Trigger came out in the lifespan of the SNES, when many games were already moving on to newer systems. That said, nearly anyone who played it came away from it loving it, and probably still talks fondly about it. This game has had several re-releases already, but it would be great to see on the Switch.
Feel Like Digging Out Your Old Console?
If you want to play these games, you’ve got options, at least in many cases. The best way would be to haul out your old consoles if you’ve still got them, as there are plenty of reasons to play on the original systems instead of emulated versions.