Best NES Nintendo Switch Online Games
Image: Nintendo Life

Remember, this list evolves as users rate the games within, so head to the game profiles and rate them out of 10 if you'd like to see the rankings below change. Enjoy!

The collection of NES games available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers continues to grow over time, albeit slowly, and there are now over 70 retro releases from the original Nintendo Entertainment System to enjoy via the subscription service.

We asked you to rate the available NES games on Switch using our User Rating system. The following list is compiled using those ratings (out of 10) given to each game in our database. Nintendo Life readers did the same for the other available retro games on NSO, too:

It should be noted, however, that this list is not set in stone and will automatically change over time to reflect the ratings. If you look below and see a game you think deserves to be higher up, click on the 'Profile' button and score it yourself — your personal rating could boost its placement in the overall ranking.

So, settle down and prepare to scroll through the best NES games available on Nintendo Switch Online in the West (see our full list of every Nintendo Switch Online retro game for Japanese exclusives). We begin, naturally, at the bottom...

71. Volleyball (NES)

Certain entries in Nintendo's 'Black Box' series have aged better than others and, unfortunately, Volleyball went off long ago. In fact, we'd go as far as to say it's the worst of Nintendo's early sports titles, providing only the very basics of the game in a rather unattractive package. We much prefer a round of Tennis when it comes to ball-based net sports, but we suppose you've got nothing to lose in firing up Volleyball for a match or two.

70. Baseball (NES)

Another rather primitive take on a national sport, the 'Black Box' title Baseball is a slow-and-steady game that takes time to master, but persevere and you'll find it to be a fun, if simple, experience - especially with a second player in tow. It's more of a historical document at this point, but there's fun to be had if you give it a chance.

69. Soccer (NES)

The beautiful game has seen more than its fair share of digital iterations over the years. This quaint early effort won't keep you occupied for long, but Soccer is an intriguing look into early sports titles on the system and worth firing up at least once.

68. The Immortal (NES)

An isometic fantasy action-RPG published by EA, The Immortal might not be the NES classic that springs to mind, but it was generally well received when it released back in 1990. It dumps you in the Labyrinth of Eternity and charges you with searching the dungeon for your character's tutor, Mordamir. On the way, you'll inevitably have to battle beasties, cast spells and perform general wizard-y deeds.

67. City Connection (NES)

City Connection didn't look or feel particularly good back in the day, and time has not been kind to Jaleco's city-hopping arcade port. With so many other options available in the NES library, getting behind the wheel of this one again isn't recommended unless you're determined to take every last NES title available for a quick test drive.

66. Ninja JaJaMaru-kun (NES)

Jaleco's Ninja JaJaMaru-kun wasn't released outside Japan until the arrival of the Virtual Console on Wii. The game takes place on a horizontal playing field with four storeys, between which are solid concrete floors and weak brick floors that you can break to jump through. It can get pretty dang hard later in the game, so if you're one of those people who can't even beat the first stage of (Super) Ghouls 'n Ghosts, this one probably isn't for you.

65. Kung-Fu Heroes (NES)

You'll need to bring a second player along to get the most out of Kung-Fu Heroes. It's a simple martial arts game but the combination of decent moves, power-ups and the tactical options that come from having two players controlling Jacky and Lee makes this one worth a go, especially if you're a fan of kung-fu fighting.

64. Downtown Nekketsu March: Super-Awesome Field Day! (NES)

A sequel to River City Ransom (as it was named in the West), Downtown Nekketsu March: Super-Awesome Field Day! is also available on Switch as part of the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle. It's an athletic meet compilation with some extreme and hilarious events, much like its sequel (which was released in the West as Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge). Both games were extremely popular, primarily due to their excellent four-player mechanics and mechanical depth.

63. Clu Clu Land (NES)

If you can stomach the odd controls and steep difficulty, you may well be able to mine some fun from Clu Clu Land, and as a 'Black Box' title it's certainly got curio kudos. That said, this arcade puzzle-style maze game is unlikely to keep your attention unless you're a real Nintendo enthusiast or scholar. We'd be tempted to leave our Rupee collecting to Link.

62. Tennis (NES)

Rudimentary is perhaps too kind an adjective to describe Tennis, although we've always had a soft spot for it (and its Game Boy brethren, in particular). It's an extremely simple take on the sport, and not one that'll keep you occupied for any length of time, but at the very least it's fun to see how far we've come.

Game? Why not. Set? Hmm, perhaps. Match? Nah, you're alright. Let's play Mario Bros. 3.

61. Daiva Story 6: Imperial of Nirsartia (NES)

Daiva Story 6: Imperial of Nirsartia is, as the title suggests, the sixth entry in a seven-part series. As the only game released on the Famicom, it was apparently simplified considerably when compared to the previous games to account for Nintendo's younger audience. Nevertheless, the game displayed a pretty sophisticated visual design and certainly posed a challenge despite the apparent nerfing. Heck, weren't all NES games challenging to some degree...?

60. Mighty Bomb Jack (NES)

A relatively unique offering from Tecmo, Mighty Bomb Jack won't click with everyone and couldn't be described as 'essential'. However, if you've played through all the obvious NES platformers and are looking for something a bit different, this hybrid platformer offers a good challenge that's fun to control. Worth a look for arcade-style platforming fans.

59. Eliminator Boat Duel (NES)

One of the lesser-known entries in the NES lineup, Eliminator Boat Duel is worth firing up if you've never taken its powerboats for a spin. A bird's-eye view racer from the early '90s, it isn't likely to rock your world, but it's a solid addition to the console's library and there are many worse ways to spend an hour or two than at the wheel of a ruddy great 8-bit powerboat. The odd '90s mix of 12-year-old boy's fantasy and technicolor on the cover alone makes it worth investigating at least once.

58. Pinball (NES)

There just isn’t that much to say about Pinball. It’s a small piece of history, teaching us what home console video games were (essentially not-as-good versions of their arcade brethren) before they knew what they could be — a lesson that can be fully learned by most in one sitting. Nothing here is bad; in fact, the game functions quite well. It's just repetitious, lacking variety, and overshadowed by better options we've enjoyed in the decades since. Those who were around when the NES launched and have fond memories of Pinball will surely find value in revisiting it, but anyone else would probably fare much better going with a modern alternative instead. Easily accessible for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, there is fun to be had here, but it's simple and limited.

57. Nightshade (NES)

An action-adventure title with point-and-click gameplay elements, Beam Software's Nightshade offered an odd mixture of gangland action on the mean streets of Metro City with an intriguing system which monitored the main character's popularity of the eponymous vigilante crimefighter. Intriguing, but ultimately unsuccessful, this late NES title (it released in 1992) is perhaps best remembered as the precursor to the much better Shadowrun on SNES.