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The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online 

Kyle Townsend
Updated July 13, 2020 287 votes 36 voters 1k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite NES games on the Switch.

There's something to be said about retro consoles, and the NES is easily the most beloved. The original Nintendo brought us some of the biggest characters in gaming, including Mario, Kirby, Link, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Now, thanks to Nintendo’s new virtual console (of sorts), new gamers can relive those old classics by playing the best NES games on the Switch Online.

From the original Super Mario Bros., which was released all the way back in 1985, to classic side scrollers like Ghosts ’n Goblins and more, this list ranks the best retro NES you can play for free on the Switch. (Note that you'll need to sign up for Switch Online in order to access the NES library - but we bet you already knew that.)

Vote up your favorite NES games on Switch and downvote any you played but didn't enjoy. Is your favorite NES game missing? Add it below.

list ordered by
1
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1985 (Systems Research & Development Co.)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game, Adventure

More Super Mario Bros. 

20 Things You Never Knew About Super Mario Bros. #62 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fanslisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

2
Punch-Out!! is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1987 (Nintendo Integrated Research & Development)

Genres (Video game): Sports game, Fighting game

More Punch-Out!! 

#115 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #92 of 178 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Time #66 of 466 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

3
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1986 (Intelligent Systems)

Genres (Video game): Shooter game, Action-adventure game, Platform game, Action game

More Metroid 

#120 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #10 of 178 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Timelisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

4
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online

Genres (Video game): Action-adventure game, Action role-playing game, Action game

More The Legend of Zelda 

#25 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #1 of 178 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Timelisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

5
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
6
Ninja Gaiden is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1988 (Tecmo)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Beat 'em up

More Ninja Gaiden 

#199 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #80 of 178 The Best Video Game Franchises of All Time #214 of 466 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time

7
Super Mario Bros. 2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
8
Excitebike is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1984 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Sports game, Racing video game

9
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1987 (Technōs Japan)

Genres (Video game): Beat 'em up, Side-scrolling

More Double Dragon 

#153 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #15 of 118 The Best Classic Arcade Gameslisted on Sega Genesis Games: The Complete List of Games on Genesis

10
Kirby's Adventure is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1993 (HAL Laboratory)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game

More Kirby's Adventure 

#227 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans #122 of 466 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Timelisted on List of Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Games

11
Donkey Kong Jr. is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1982 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game

More Donkey Kong Jr. 

#29 of 118 The Best Classic Arcade Games #941 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fanslisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

12
Donkey Kong 3 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1983 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Shoot 'em up, Platform game, Action game

More Donkey Kong 3 

#78 of 118 The Best Classic Arcade Gameslisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games List of Nintendo Wii Virtual Console Games

13
Ghosts'n Goblins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1985 (Capcom)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game

14
Kid Icarus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1986 (Tose Co.)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game, Adventure

More Kid Icarus 

#111 of 118 The Best Classic Arcade Games #798 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fanslisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

15
Ice Climber is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1985 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game

16
Wrecking Crew is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1985 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Platform game, Action game

17
City Connection is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1985 (Jaleco)

Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game, Racing video game

18
Dr. Mario is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1990 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Strategy video game

19
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1983 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Platform game

More Mario Bros. 

#9 of 118 The Best Classic Arcade Games #324 of 1,336 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fanslisted on Nintendo Game Boy Advance Games

20
StarTropics is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
StarTropics Released: 1990 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Action-adventure game, Action game, Adventure

21
Solomon's Key is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1986 (Tecmo)

Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Platform game, Action game, Strategy video game

22
Yoshi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1991 (Game Freak)

Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Action game

23
Clu Clu Land is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1984 (Nintendo)

Genres (Video game): Puzzle game, Strategy video game

24
River City Ransom is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online
Released: 1989 (KID)

Genres (Video game): Action-adventure game, Action role-playing game, Action game, Beat 'em up, Fighting game, + more

25
Star Soldier is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Free NES Games To Play On The Nintendo Switch Online

Genres (Video game): Shoot 'em up, Action game