More than four years since the Switch launched, Nintendo has finally made it so N64 games are available to play on the system. The beloved library made up of many people's beloved childhood games has historically only been drip-fed across Nintendo's various consoles.
Today, though, Nintendo has unleashed the first wave of games to hit its new Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, with further N64 titles set to arrive in future. It's a good selection to start the ball rolling and will easily keep you occupied until the likes of Banjo-Kazooie and Majora's Mask get added. I'm still holding out for Diddy Kong Racing and Pokémon Stadium, personally.
Nine games in total will be available to select from day one – including 14 releases from the Sega Genesis era. Nintendo also confirmed that all N64 games will be offered in a 60Hz English language version, as well as the option to enable the European PAL version for a number of games in the region. Good news all around then.
All Nintendo 64 games included with Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack can be played in 60Hz English language versions. Select games will also have the option to play the original European PAL version with language options. pic.twitter.com/gS0ajmtxnYOctober 11, 2021
The Nintendo Switch Online plus Expansion Pack will include the following N64 games at launch:
- Super Mario 64
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario Kart 64
- Lylat Wars
- Sin and Punishment
- Dr. Mario 64
- Mario Tennis 64
- Operation: WinBack
- Yoshi's Story
If you're struggling with what game to begin with (or have never played the majority of them) then it's very easy to recommend Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. Both are looked at as two of the greatest games of all time and stand up (for the most part) admirably well. Super Mario 64, in particular, holds a special place in my heart as the first-ever console game I ever played. It's also available as part of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars bundle along with Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.
Outside of this, Mario Kart 64 offers frantic four-player racing. This was the first Mario Kart that really fine-tuned the gameplay, introducing fan-favourite courses such as Choco Mountain, Moo Moo Farm, Toad's Turnpike, and Yoshi's Valley.
Speaking of the adorable green dinosaur, Yoshi's Story is a delightful platformer bursting with colour that is great for kids and adults alike. It's not the longest of games and can easily be finished in one sitting. It's surprisingly freaky in parts too – specifically, whenever you lose a life as a Yoshi and are carried away to the gothic-like castle while the most sinister of music plays in the backdrop. Absolutely chilling to this day.
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Lylat Wars (better known as StarFox 64), an on-rails space shooter. Again, not that longest to beat, yet reasonably challenging. It's arguably the best in the series to this day. Whatever you choose, it's just nice to be able to play these games on a modern console again. Long may it continue!
A 12-month Nintendo Switch Online subscription and its Expansion Pack tier is available to purchase at $49.99 / £34.99 / AU$59.95 per year. A Family Membership subscription (which can support up to eight Nintendo accounts) can be picked up for $79.99 / £59.99 / AU$109.95.
While a decent start, these five N64 games would make Nintendo Switch Online infinitely better. What games would you like to see added?