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5 Best Retro Games on Nintendo Switch

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Retro games are simply fantastic. Allowing players to either take a walk down memory lane or discover older games they might not have played, these games are great. There are few feelings as rewarding as discovering a new favorite or revisiting a classic title. On Nintendo Switch, players have these retro titles available at their fingertips. That said, some are more beloved than others, to shed light on some of the best, here are our picks for the 5 Best Retro Games on Switch (2023).

5. Kirby's Adventure

Today, we begin our list of the best retro games on Nintendo Switch with a classic. Kirby's Adventure is a game that takes the lovable character and sees them on a whole new adventure. This lovable 2D platformer establishes the Kirby formula quite a bit. This can be seen in the reduction of the player's powers, which gives the game a unique identity in the franchise. Much like the game before it, Kirby's Dream Land, this game sees players participating in fantastic side-scrolling gameplay.

As far as the story goes, the game sees Kirby taking on King Dedede after the King captures the Star Rod. This rod gives the king great power and allows him to completely change the world around him. However, utilizing an assortment of powers Kirby will attempt to thwart the villain. Featured in the game is the Copy ability, which allows Kirby to take on the powers of enemies that he absorbs. This creates incredibly charming gameplay moments and varies the gameplay greatly. To close, Kirby's Adventure is one of the best retro games on Nintendo Switch.

4. Paper Mario

Following our last entry is one of the most beloved retro games of all time. Paper Mario is for many players, a game that is a shining example of stellar RPG design, as week as the importance of phenomenal writing in game design. Additionally, the boss design in this game stands as some of the best in gaming history. However, there are a plethora of reasons to absolutely adore this game. The writing of the game's characters and story beats are simply phenomenal.

This is something that remains true even to this day, as the game stands at what many consider the pinnacle of what RPGs can be. An aspect of the game that stands out is its puzzle lore. Simply put, it has some of the most memorable characters and lore reveals of any N64-era title. This is no small feat, either as in many respects, the lore within these older games was rather intricate and connected. This has led players to form close connections with the world, which is great. All in all, Paper Mario stands as one of the best retro games you can play on the Nintendo Switch.

3. Super Metroid

Switching things up quite a bit, for our next entry, we have Super Metroid. For fans of the Metroid series, this title, in particular, stands out to this day. The game sees the side-scrolling platformer formula being applied to more explorative situations. This is great, as it allowed players to not only learn more about the world around them. Speaking of the game's world, the interconnectivity found between the game's levels and intricate moving parts is impressive. This more open approach to game design allowed this title to stick out even among its amazing predecessors.

One of the best inclusions in the game is the game's automap, which automatically mapped the player's location as they went through the game. This was a feature that really made the game stand out at the time, and remains convenient now. Story-wise the game was quite dense as well, featuring three different endings for players to unlock. This allowed for a sense of replayability to be applied to the game, which is nice. In conclusion, Super Metroid is not only one of the best retro games on Nintendo Switch but a title more players should play.

2. Banjo Kazooie

If you want something a bit more silly, then you can check out Banjo-Kazooie. The game is a combination of a platformer and collect-a-thon that provides hours of entertainment. This formula gives players a lot to work towards as the game has just the right balance of difficulty. You can also choose to run straight through it if you find the Jiggy collecting a tedious endeavor. The game itself is divided into several worlds, each with its own ecosystem and characters. One of the more interesting NPCs is named Mumbo and he gives players the ability to transform into new animals or plants to better traverse these worlds.

The game also gives Banjo and Kazooie different abilities as they adventure. This opens up various challenges and puzzles that players previously might have gotten stumped on. The only real downside, if you can call it one, is the lack of story, as the game puts gameplay in the front seat, with a paper-thin narrative to guide it. Even without a complex story though, the game does have a healthy heaping of lore to keep things interesting.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is considered to be one of the best games ever made. This is an adventure RPG that stars the famous hero Link. Throughout the game, you explore dungeons and obtain items that open up the world even more. The puzzles in the game range from simple to infuriating offering a wide range of challenges for players. This was the first 3D Zelda title ever made, and the designers really pushed what the Nintendo 64 could do.  Not only is the main story vibrant, but there's a bit of side content like collecting spider tokens to sink your teeth into.

The game is so popular that it has been ported several times, and was one of the first N64 titles placed on the virtual console. It shows the core of the Zelda serious, dungeon exploration perfectly. If you want more of the same, then you also have The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask on the virtual console to play right after. If you want to play one of the most influential titles in gaming history, then Ocarina of Time is a must. There has been no game quite like it, even after two decades of innovation in the gaming world.

So, what's your take on our picks for the 5 Best Retro Games on Switch (2023)? What are some of your favorites? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Judson Holley is a writer that began his career as a ghostwriter. Returning to the mortal coil  to work among the living. With some of his favorite games being tactical FPS games such as Squad and the Arma series. Although this could not be further from the truth as he enjoys games with deep stories such as the Kingdom Hearts series as well as Jade Empire and The Knights of the Old Republic series. When not attending to his wife, Judson often tends to his cats. He also has a knack for music mainly composing for and playing piano.