Nintendo Switch Online to surpass 100 classic titles, and still no Earthbound

Nintendo Joy-Con wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Nintendo Joy-Con wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images) /

On May 26, five more SNES and NES titles will be added to the Nintendo Switch Online collection bringing the total to over 100 classics. It’s an excellent five games, especially with the inclusion of Joe & Mac. However, there’s one game that Nintendo enthusiasts continue to pine for on the service: Earthbound.

The classic SNES role-playing game was developed by Ape Inc. and HAL Laboratory and released in Japan in August 1994. It came to North America about a year later where it received a mixed reception from critics. Earthbound had simplistic, childish graphics and immature humor that contrasted with the game’s deep RPG mechanics. Perhaps more importantly for Nintendo, the game sold poorly in America, mostly due to the odd marketing campaign and America’s little interest in RPGs at the time.

But over time Earthbound has grown to become a cult classic. Retrospective reviews of the game now praise its range of emotions and oddball humor. Some even regard it as one of the greatest video games of all time.

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Earthbound was eventually rereleased to the world in 2013 through the Wii U Virtual Console, introducing the game to an entirely new generation of gamers.

But that was 8 years ago. On a console that not a whole lot of people actually owned.

It’s so much different with the Nintendo Switch, which has already sold over 78 million consoles worldwide as of March 17, 2021. There’s an entirely new audience of Nintendo fans that have probably never played Earthbound.

Sure, it’s the die-hards who are clamoring for it to be released on Nintendo Switch Online, but that’s only because the rest of the Switch community probably isn’t familiar with the game.

So we’ll wait a bit longer, and in the meantime, we’ve got four Super NES and one NES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online: Caveman Ninja (also known as Joe & Mac), Magical Drop2, Super Baseball Simulation 1.000, Spanky’s Quest and NInja JaJaMaru-kun.