Whether it was intentional or not, it would seem to me that the Nintendo Switch was perfectly designed to play old school games on. Yes, it’s a powerful piece of machinery, but there is something magical about playing games from your childhood in the palm of your hand. It’s one thing to dream about a device that plays every old school game you could ever want, but the reality is far more complicated than my dreams would indicate The only issue with making things like this a reality is when you get to the inevitable licensing issues. Fortunately, there seems to be one old-school console where licensing code has been cracked.
It is time to rejoice because it seems as if we are going to be seeing a pretty consistent stream of NeoGeo titles marching onto the Nintendo Switch. Released at the beginning of the 90’s the NeoGeo was lauded for its seemingly endless parade of great fighting titles. When I was a kid the NeoGeo was far outside of our price range. However, I am now an adult and a great multitude of the great NeoGeo titles can be had on my Switch for less than ten dollars each.
If you are thinking about dipping your toe into the ever-growing pool of NeoGeo games on the Switch, here are some of the best available.
If you are in the market for a shooter with super tight controls, blazing fast challenging gameplay, and bizarre translations, then Blazing Star is the name of the game for you. For many years it has been considered a top-tier shooter and now you can try it for yourself for only $8
Neo Turf Masters
Perhaps you are wanting to try a NeoGeo title that isn’t a fighter or a shooter. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of options available to you. However, Neo Turf Masters is a great way to spend some time if you are a fan of golf games. This classic NeoGeo title is challenging and has some gameplay that has actually held up quite well over the years. $8 at Nintendo.
King of Fighters ’98
If you’re looking for a classic fighting game that is well loved and also happens to have a stunningly massive list of playable characters, then King of Fighters ’98 is definitely a title to check out. $8 at Nintendo.
If you have never spent time with this run and gun classic then now is your chance. It could be argued that Metal Slug is the proto-bullet hell arcade game. It’s crazy, fast, fun, and well worth the price of admission. $8 at Nintendo.
I must confess that I love shooters or shmups as they are colloquially known. One of my favorite shmups of all time is R-Type. Something my great-grandmother used to say is, “If you can’t play R-Type, play Pulstar”. She was really on to something because the similarities seem to border on outright theft. Either way, it’s a great shoot ’em up and a great way to spend a few bucks. $8 at Nintendo.
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
If you’re familiar with the army of fighting games that came out for the NeoGeo, then you are undoubtedly well aware of Garou: Mark of The Wolves. The ninth title in the long line of Fatal Fight games, Garou is a well designed and incredibly fun fighting game. If you’re trying to brush up on the history of influential fighters, then give this one a try. $8 at Nintendo.
There is already another run and gun in this list, but I absolutely had to include Shock Troopers as well. Shock Troopers is one of my favorite offerings in this style from the old school era. There was a perfect port to PlayStation 3 a few years ago so I am stoked that I now get to play this on my Switch. $8 at Nintendo.
Which NeoGeo titles do you love on your Switch?
With so many fantastic NeoGeo titles available on the Nintendo Switch for such a reasonable price, there is little reason to become bored. I have found that these titles are great to pick up for short play periods or as a break from larger titles like Mario or Zelda. I know that I will be picking up plenty of other NeoGeo titles in the coming year and if you enjoy old-school arcade games, I suggest you do the same.
Updated June 2018: Added new titles for lovers of classic NeoGeo games!