Virtual Console vs. Switch Online

Virtual Console vs. Switch Online

Retro gaming with Nintendo

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Versus on

Nintendo made downloading retro games a treat with their Virtual Console and now, Switch Online is here with a wide selection of titles in its subscription service. The question is: were retro gamers better off in the Wii era? Let's find out!

Virtual Console on Wii screenshot
Looking at my Virtual Console TurboGrafx collection for Wii makes me drool

Virtual Console

Nintendo's Virtual Console debuted back in 2006 for Wii and since then, it has also been introduced for 3DS and Wii U. Over the years, hundreds upon hundreds of retro games were made available to purchase from consoles such as NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, and DS as well as TurboGrafx, Master System, Genesis, Game Gear, Neo Geo, and Commodore 64. Heck, even a bunch of Virtual Console arcade games came out for Wii. Of course, each game had to be purchased so buying them quickly added up to be quite a pricy endeavour. However, with so many top-notch games and oodles of hidden gems, how could you not amass a vast library of Virtual Console games? Some of my favourite titles include Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Ys Book I & II, R-Type III, Bomberman '94, Recca, Earthbound Beginnings, and Ufouria: The Saga. What an amazing line-up of games! Anyway, let's see how Switch Online fares.

Switch Online

Currently, the collection of Switch Online games is limited to NES and SNES titles with dozens of games to play. With that in mind, you acquire access to the entire library with a Switch Online subscription which is surprisingly inexpensive so you definitely get a lot more bang for your buck. Also, you'd assume that the line-up would only consist of must-have titles but there are an impressive amount of hidden gems to choose from such as Kung-Fu Heroes, City Connection, and Journey to Silius. Obviously, I can't wait for Nintendo to expand the collection of available games and offer additional consoles but as of right now, it's hard to imagine that the selection of games will ever come close to what's available for Virtual Console. Perhaps they'll release premium games that you can pay for and I'd totally be all for that as I'd love to get my hands on a bunch of games that I missed out on when Wii's Virtual Console became discontinued.

Switch Online SNES game selection screenshot
Getting all of these SNES classics with an inexpensive Switch Online membership is awesome

As a lover of retro games, it was a lot of fun discussing these Nintendo services but I must pick a winner which is...

Winner Virtual Console

Although I love Switch Online and find it to be an economical way to instantly gain access to a load of great games, there's no denying just how amazing the library of Virtual Console games is. Perhaps we'll see a similar service on Switch one of these days and until then, I'll gladly enjoy playing hundreds of fantastic retro games on both Virtual Console and Switch Online.

That's just my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Vote now!

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Gameplay video playlist for Virtual Console vs. Switch Online 13:41
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