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10 Best Games on Nintendo Switch Online (July 2024)

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Donkey Kong Best Games on Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online hosts over 100 retro games that take you back to the origin days of Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, and many more. If you’re a newcomer to the classics, the subscription offers more seamless gaming experiences with often updated graphics. Meanwhile, veterans will appreciate the heavy doses of nostalgia. Check out the best games on Nintendo Switch Online you won’t want to miss out on below.

10. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Nintendo eShop - Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic, like many popular game mascots, has humble beginnings rooted in Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s 2D side scrolling gameplay. The blue hedgehog rose to fame in the ‘90s, alongside his sidekick Miles ‘Tails' Prower. The duo face off against the evil villain Dr. Ivo Robotik who plans to use the chaos emeralds to power his death egg spaceship. But before the final showdown, they must navigate obstacle-ridden platforms, each stage on a 10-minute timer. Beating the timer shouldn’t be a problem with Sonic’s running high-speed and Miles’ flying helicopter propeller tail.

9. Pokemon Snap

New Pokémon Snap - Overview Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Get ready to build your very own Pokemon collection in Pokemon Snap, taking pictures of the charming creatures out in the wild. Before the series grew to incorporate turn-based battles, it started on a humble scale, allowing fans to take snaps of their favorite Pokemon out in the wild. You’ll explore the Lental region, with diverse biomes from deserts to jungles. Each environment has unique creatures, big and small, to add to your collection.

8. Streets of Rage 2

Nintendo eShop - 3D Streets of Rage 2 Trailer

In 1992, we were graced with Streets of Rage 2, a beat ‘em up that’s all about throwing fists and devastating punches at opponents. You’re free to choose from a charming cast of characters. Each one has distinct abilities that you can further finesse to fit your play style. While the game has a decent story, it’s the frantic and fast-paced fighting gameplay that shines through.

7. The Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Nintendo 3DS - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Remake Trailer

Venture back into the kingdom of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with a tint of retro. It’s the fifth entry in the series, which was released in 1998. The age of the game, however, fades into the background as intuitive storytelling and solid time-traveling mechanics take center stage. Also commendably, Ocarina of Time introduced 3D graphics, and the series has been better for it ever since.

6. Splatoon 3

Splatoon 3 - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 3 is, first and foremost, a burst of vibrant color above all else. It capitalizes on splurging paint on your enemies as you traverse across the universe. Like a water gun but spraying paint instead, Splatoon 3 pleased many critics and gamers alike. It crafts a distinct Splatlands world with Inklings and Octolings. As the two races go up against each other, you’ll ink, dive, swim, and splat your way to victory. 

5. Donkey Kong


The Donkey Kong franchise is a must-play for fans of platforming and the classics. It remains a heavy inspiration for platformers today, with its wealth of creative ideas and obstacle-ridden courses. Playing Donkey Kong is always enjoyable, as its eclectic tunes blast in the background. In particular, you may want to kick off with Donkey Kong Country, arguably the best in the franchise in terms of swashbuckling themes and challenging levels. Otherwise, there are many alternatives out there, spanning over decades and multi-generational consoles.

4. Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Trailer (Wii U & Nintendo 3DS)

While on the trip down memory lane, be sure to make a stopover at Super Mario Bros. 3. Princess Toadstool has been kidnapped by Bowser, and once again, Mario and Luigi set off to rescue her. On the way, you’ll battle Bowser’s minions, the Koopalings. You’ll also scoop up power-ups that give you magical powers. Impressively, Nintendo Switch Online has retained the core gameplay that launched on the NES. So, as much as you enjoy revamped graphics and smooth controls, the nostalgic retro gaming experience remains the same. Plus, Super Mario Bros. 3 is arguably the best in the Super Mario Bros. series, spectacularly executed on all fronts.

3. Star Fox 64

Nintendo 3DS - Star Fox 64 3D E3 Trailer

Alternatively, check out the space adventure, Star Fox 64. It portrays the leaps in technology that games have made since their release in 1997. Yet even at the time of release, Star Fox 64 proved way ahead of its time. You still enjoy compelling storytelling with decent dialogue. The action sequences are packed with frantic, space battles. But the planets are the star of the show, with deep exploration mechanics. Each planet you visit boasts distinct creatures and stories, pushing you to dive deeper into all the game has to offer.

2. GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007 - Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online

Among the trailblazers of FPS is GoldenEye 007. It introduced mission-structured gameplay. Each mission peeled back the layers of the overarching espionage story. Having been adapted from the 1995 James Bond film, the game achieved the same high calibre of storytelling. Meanwhile, you could walk in the shoes of the fan-favorite MI7 spy. Some sections demand stealth like when you infiltrate military bases that outnumber you. But once spotted, you’ll have no choice but to shoot your way out of trouble. Either way, GoldenEye 007 thrives on placing you on the frontlines of war, giving you the freedom to complete missions however you like.

1. Super Mario World

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

When it comes to the larger Super Mario franchise, then Super Mario World takes the cake as the best platformer. It crafts a breathtaking world with diverse biomes and deep, explorable sections. Mario and Luigi set off to rescue the princess, with the freedom to shift between them. You can avoid Bowser’s minions or charge at them, provided you make it to the goal. Through running, jumping, and dodging enemies, you’ll move from point A to B, gearing closer to Bowser. Do watch out for traps, too, like bottomless pits, along with a ticking timer.

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? What do you think are the best games on Nintendo Switch Online? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.