10 best Nintendo Switch Online games you need to play in 2022

Nintendo Switch Online’s ever-growing catalog of classic games is becoming overwhelming. The paid service now offers a huge range of legendary titles, so we’ve picked out the 10 best games that you need to play in 2022.

The sensational graphics of modern-day games make lots of the titles of yesteryear look like day one college projects. But stunning visuals aren’t everything, and that’s why gaming purists and nostalgic fans yearn for many of these classics.

Nintendo’s legacy goes back many years and spans several generations of consoles. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is the mouth-watering project on everyone’s lips right now, but it was older, simpler-looking Zelda titles that paved the way for such games.

Thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online service, players have the chance to revisit childhood memories, experience much-heralded titles for the first time, or enjoy exclusive games that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else. We’ve hand-selected a few of the best to help point you in the right direction.

10. Tetris 99 (2019)

tetris 99 gameplay
nintendo

Tetris never gets old.

A bit of a cheeky one to start things off here as Tetris 99’s concept is very new, but Tetris certainly isn’t it, and as we said, it’s one of a few games that can only be played using Nintendo Switch’s Online membership!

By now, everyone knows Tetris, the addictive, strategic block-building game that raises the blood pressure as the game goes on. However, just when you thought you had the classic game sussed, Nintendo decided to drop Tetris 99 in 2019 – effectively, Tetris meets battle royale.

It cast a whole new spin on a winning formula and managed to somehow up the intensity and reinvent the franchise for a new generation.

9. Super Mario Bros. (1985)

mario triggering a mushroom in super mario bros.
nintendo

The first of many Mario games on this list, quite fitting really.

Often cited as the savior of the video games industry, Super Mario Bros. was a revolutionary platformer that the world simply had not seen before.

Now, does it look as flashy or handle as smoothly as Super Mario Odyssey? Nope. Does it matter? Hell no! Super Mario Bros. is a work of art that gets surprisingly difficult towards the end of the game, then again, this was the 80s.

It may not be as refined as later games or have as many features or as flashy a color palette, but it still remains a Mario game that everyone should play.

8. Super Mario Kart (1992)

a race in super mario kart
nintendo

Think you’re tough because you can beat your friends in modern-day Mario Kart? Try Super Mario Kart on for size.

The perspective and suddenness of objects could potentially be a shock to newcomers of Super Mario Kart, but these were technical limitations that were more than passable in 1992. Not only that, but it also creates a different kind of Mario Kart game than what we’ re used to in the 21st century.

Super Mario Kart’s content may be a bit more limited – the item animations and flat environment may feel antiquated to some – but, like many other games on this list, it was a necessity that has helped cultivate a franchise to create bigger and better Mario Kart games.

The experience and blockier nature of the game does offer a unique way of playing Mario Kart, and who doesn’t love repeatedly pinballing off of a wall?

7. Star Fox 64 (1997)

flying a ship in star fox 64
nintendo

Legit, do a barrel roll.

Barrel rolls and banter are two of the key fundamentals that make Star Fox 64 such a compelling game.

Despite being an on-rails, spaceship shooter, Star Fox 64 complemented its great cutscenes and story with smooth gameplay. While it is a tad on the shorter side, it’s now highly digestible in an era full of open-world games that take 100+ hours to see.

Meaning you can have a real blast smashing through this in one day.

6. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (1992)

Sonic jumping over Dr Robotnik
SEGA

All these years later and Dr Robotnik is still devising schemes in games and movies.

’92 really was a good year, wasn’t it? Typically, when you think of iconic gaming mascots, you think of Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Master Chief, Link, Pikachu, and most definitely, Sonic The Hedgehog.

Sonic dashed onto the scene in 1991 on the SEGA Genesis and returned even quicker a year later with the sequel. Sonic 1 was brilliant and its innovative fast-paced gameplay was in stark contrast to the methodical and plodding nature of traditional slower, crawling platformers.

After learning from its faults, Sonic 2 hit TVs with 10 new levels, a yellow-tailed companion for Sonic, and more fun Robotnik rumbles.

5. Streets of Rage 2 (1992)

Axel uppercutting enemies in streets of rage 2
SEGA

Axel was the hardcore hunk back in the day.

Another entry from 1992, this 2D sidescrolling beat ’em up has aged like a very fine (and violent) wine.

Considering the recent revival of the franchise marked 30 years since Streets of Rage 2, you’d have to say that gameplay-wise, the original had everything pretty much spot on. Playable in co-op, it tasked gamers to take to the Streets of Rage and use special abilities and carefully considered attributes to efficiently take down thugs and criminals.

Whilst it did encourage muscular hunks to obliterate phone boxes and trashcans to scower and eat questionable chicken and apples, it also spawned a lifetime of imitators of a classic genre.

4. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

mario jumping on obstacles in super mario bros 3
nintendo

It’s basically the 2.5D Mario games you know, just a tiny bit older.

Still by regarded by many to be the quintessential 2D Mario game, Super Mario Bros. 3 took everything it learned from its predecessors and just went even deeper.

With lots of plants and pipes, the game’s levels really became greater than just the sum of its parts, and opened players up to a whole new level of depth not seen before in previous efforts.

New costumes, power-ups, and other intricate gameplay mechanics subtly and succinctly tweaked the already successful formula to make Super Mario Bros. 3 a fluid and revered success.

3. Zelda: A Link To The Past (1991)

link collecting rupees in a link to the past
nintendo

It’s not quite an expansive 3D open-world, but it’s classic Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda is a bit like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, only, instead of regressing as you go back, you appreciate it’s been at a high level for so long. The platforming, the combat, the exploration, and pacing – it always feels spot on.

Way before Nintendo was churning out one Zelda game of the year contender on the N64, Wii, etc, they were doing it in the early 90s with A Link To The Past on the SNES. It absolutely holds up and gives players a taste of Link’s adventures and what was to come for the next several decades.

It’s been worn several times and is a must for anyone that likes a Zelda game.

2. Super Mario 64 (1996)

Mario standing in hub area in mario 64
nintendo

The father of many 3D platformers you know and love today.

Whilst Super Mario Bros. was busy saving the games industry, Super Mario 64 was busy reinvigorating it and kicking the door open for the next generation.

The decision to make Mario a fully 3D platformer is probably one of Nintendo’s biggest ever gambles, and to say it paid off was an understatement. It showed the world what could be achieved in 3D, and in doing so, made gaming’s greatest mascot the undisputed king.

The worlds were incredibly fun and varied and the music is just an endless treat of ear ecstasy. Not only one of the best video games of all time, but one of the most significant ones too.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

link pulling master sword
nintendo

Ocarina of Time guarantees a masterful time.

Hey, listen! Just pipping Super Mario 64 to the post is the unmistakable, undeniable The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

If you don’t know by now, the game has a 99 out of 100 score on Metacritic — the industry-standard aggregator for game reviews. It has captivated the lives of millions of gamers for years as you always have to go back to it, and, like Super Mario 64, it exceeded its predecessors by offering tantalizing and innovative new gameplay methods.

Locking-on, puzzles, lateral problem-solving, contextual prompts, and a whole sea of ​​other ideas made Ocarina of Time a video game years ahead of the curve – so much so we’re naming it our number one Nintendo Switch Online game you need to play in 2022!

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