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Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack launch games revealed

Here’s our first look at the N64 and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games included with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

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Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
Nintendo

Here’s our first look at the N64 and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games included with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

If you ever need reminding not to pay attention to online rumours, for months and months, everyone has been saying that Game Boy/Game Boy Color games would be coming to Nintendo Switch Online.

And this wasn’t just limited to the “my uncle works at Nintendo” brigade on Reddit, Resetera, Twitter, and YouTube. Proper, big, respectable outlets were reporting on this as a sure thing. A nailed-on certainty.

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Then lo, it did come to pass at the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, that in fact the Nintendo Switch Online service would be bolstered by N64 and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games, not Game Boy/Game Boy Color titles. Many faces were covered in much egg that day. (This is why we don’t report on any rumours we can’t independently verify, if you were wondering why Thumbsticks is usually quiet on such matters.)

So now, we have some actual confirmed information for you – the launch games for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. Actually from Nintendo, so it’s legit. (Sorry, uncle.)

Why the “+ Expansion Pack” bit on the end, though? Because it’s not included in the base service. You have to pay extra for these games.

We don’t yet know the extent of the price bump for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. But they are a pretty cool bunch of launch games – including the ability to play Mario Kart 64 online for the first time! – so we’re sure most people will be happy throwing Nintendo a few extra quid for more games. (And for the remainder, there will no doubt be much complaining on the aforementioned social platforms.)

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Here’s that launch line-up in full.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack – N64 launch games

  • 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

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack – Mega Drive/Genesis launch games

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Ristar
  • Shining Force
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Strider

But that’s not all. Nintendo has also teased the next group of games that will come to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack and, again, it includes some absolute corkers.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack – Future N64 games

  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Pokémon Snap
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Mario Golf
  • Paper Mario
  • F-Zero X

Any future Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games are to be confirmed.

The launch date for the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is currently set for “late October” – we’ll report on the final release date (and the confirmed pricing) when we have that information from Nintendo. (Not from your uncle. He can’t be trusted. We’re not even sure he works at Nintendo, come to think of it…)

There will also be good gamepads (the Mega Drive) and bad gamepads (the N64) available to buy exclusively for service subscribers.


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No, not that Tim Horton. That would be weird. I've never even been to Canada. And I'm pretty sure he's dead? This Tim Horton is a freelance writer and lover of indie games. Painfully shy, powerfully awkward, you won't find me on social media.