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N64 and Genesis Games On the Nintendo Switch

A Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership comes with N64 and SEGA Genesis games, but it's not the only way to get your retro gaming fix.
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When Nintendo announced the chance to play Nintendo 64 games on the Switch with the rollout of the Expansion Pack, I’m sure that many fans were excited about it.

via GIPHY

Fast forward to now, though, and I’m not sure they’re as excited. That’s because the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack didn’t exactly deliver the content that gamers were hoping for – at least, not for the price tag. Although the collection of N64 games has expanded since the Expansion Pack first launched, I’m not sure many feel like it’s worth it.

It does come with a few other perks, namely a collection of SEGA Genesis games and the Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC. But at the same time, I’m not entirely convinced this makes it worth the cost.

But more about that later. Let’s talk about what the Expansion Pack does include.

What Do You Get With the Expansion Pack?

NSO Expansion Pack
Nintendo

First, let’s talk about what’s included in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. There are currently 14 N64 games available to subscribers, which doesn’t seem like a lot for the price.

The membership is $50 annually for the individual, which is $30 more than the regular Nintendo Switch Online membership. It comes out to just over $4 per month. If you have seven other people to share a family membership with, the Expansion Pack is $80 for the year. That’s compared to the regular Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership price of $35 per year.

It’s worth noting that with both individual and family membership plans, you can get a prorated discount for upgrading to the Expansion Pack. How much less you’ll pay will depend on how much time you have left on your current Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Okay, a collection of 14 games doesn’t seem like a lot for the cost. But 14 games is actually a few more than when we first talked about Nintendo rolling out the Expansion Pack. Just half a year ago, there were only nine N64 games included. In fact, Mario Golf is the newest to join the pack. It arrived on April 15.

Is this an indication that the library will continue to expand? I’d like to think so. We’re seeing new titles being added gradually to other retro collections, too.

These Are the N64 Games Currently Included in the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack

Again, as of right now, we’re only looking at 14 N64 games. These are the titles you can expect if you pay for the expansion pack:

  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Tennis
  • Paper Mario
  • Sin & Punishment
  • Star Fox 64
  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • WIN BACK: COVERT OPERATIONS
  • Yoshi’s Story

Aside from those games, the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack also grants you access to two other perks: the Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC and the SEGA Genesis library of games. Let’s take a look at those.

Other Games Included With the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC is available at no additional cost to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers. In it, players can travel to a group of resort islands and join the Paradise Planning team. Here, they will choose islands to build clients’ dream vacation homes. Everything that is unlocked here, such as partition walls, soundscapes, and ambient lighting, can be utilized back on the player’s main island, too.

The Happy Home Paradise DLC was released in November of 2021. And while the free update dropped loads of new content, HHP is pretty cool. You can see more about Happy Home Paradise here, in the event you haven’t downloaded it yet.

However, Animal Crossing superfans may want to think twice about signing up for the Expansion Pack versus purchasing the DLC through the eShop. As it turns out, canceling your membership or dropping back down to the cheaper Nintendo Switch Online membership also removes your access to Happy Home Paradise. Players will get to keep certain things they have unlocked, like partition walls and ambient lighting, from their main island. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to visit the HHP resort islands and take requests anymore.

“Players can still continue to access certain things they have unlocked in Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise on their main island, including adding counters, partition walls, as well as adding ambient lighting and soundscapes, even if their access to Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise is suspended,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Eurogamer. “However, it will not be possible to visit the archipelago if players lose access to the DLC. To be able to visit the archipelago and take on requests of designing vacation homes again, you will need to purchase the DLC separately or renew the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.”

SEGA Genesis – Nintendo Switch Online

Much like the available N64, NES, and Super NES games available on the Switch, the SEGA Genesis games come packaged together in one library. Their availability on the Switch introduces new features that we didn’t have in the original SEGA versions, such as rewind, creating a save state, or playing with friends online. However, this is another perk that you will lose if you cancel your Expansion Pack membership and jump back down to the regular Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Games Included in the SEGA Genesis Nintendo Switch Online Library

  • STRIDER
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shining Force
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Castlevania: BLOODLINES
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Thunder Force II
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Altered Beast

Those are all great Genesis titles, but are they enough to boost the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack? Personally, I’d like to see a lot more games included before I shell out more than double what I’m already paying for my regular Online membership. I love N64 and Genesis games; I’m just not sure I want to spend that much to play games that I don’t even own. Again, if you cancel that membership, you lose access to all of it.

If you’re a fan of SEGA, I can point you in the right direction. The Nintendo eShop actually has another collection of Genesis games, the SEGA Genesis Classics collection. It’s way more robust, including 51 games on the Switch. (That number varies on other platforms)

SEGA via GIPHY

Of course, it doesn’t have all of the same games as the Expansion Pack. STRIDER, M.U.S.H.A., Castlevania: BLOODLINES, Contra: Hard Corps, Ecco the Dolphin, and Thunder Force II are included in the Expansion Pack collection but not in SEGA Genesis Classics. However, by purchasing this one through Nintendo’s eShop, you actually own the games.

It’s also worth noting that I see the bundle on sale a lot. While it’s regularly listed at $29.99, I’ve seen it as low as $11.99. That’s a lot more bang for your buck! Let’s take a look at what’s included in the collection.

Games Included in the SEGA Genesis Classics Collection

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millenium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2

And while we’re talking about it, there are a few N64 games that you can play on the Switch without the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. These are games that you can purchase in the eShop (with a couple of exceptions), and they’re not terribly expensive to own.

N64 Games You Can Buy in the eShop

  • Star Wars Episode I Racer
  • Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour
  • Doom 64
  • Turok and Turok 2
  • Quake 64
  • Super Mario 64

On the Switch, Quake is a remaster of the first game. 64 is included as a DLC mod. In the game’s main menu, there is an “Add Ons” section. Here you will find Quake 64. You can play Super Mario 64 as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which included high-def ports of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. This game is no longer available in the eShop, though, so you’ll have to find a physical cartridge somewhere. If you can track it down, you at least get three games for the cost!