8 Classic Nintendo and PlayStation Games You Can Now Play Online

Subscription gaming services offer a great opportunity to both grip veteran gamers with nostalgia and introduce newer gamers to the classics that made video games what they are today. Both Nintendo and PlayStation have built formidable catalogs over the years, and more recently, the companies have used those archives to make their subscription gaming services more enticing. Typically, players download these games to their consoles, and an active subscription is required to play them—plus internet access for multiplayer.

Classic Nintendo games you can play with an online subscription

Nintendo has built an empire on family-friendly fare. The company was founded in 1889, and while gaming might not be that old, the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service entitles subscribers access to classic video game titles dating back to 1983. Here are four great classic games to play on your Nintendo Switch using an online subscription. Note that these legacy games require you to connect to the web at least once a week to verify your subscription.

“Mario Kart 64”

For some, “Mario Kart 64” is the definitive entry in the series. The game is ranked #5 on WhatNerd’s top 10 Expansion Pack games. Today’s “Mario Kart 64” supports online multiplayer, meaning that with a good internet connection you can revel in the nostalgia of this 26-year-old game with friends around the world.

“Metroid”

This game follows bounty hunter Samus Aran on her escape from a mysterious alien planet. “Metroid” was so groundbreaking, it provided the foundation for an entire beloved genre of video games. Critics still love this first installment, while acknowledging the flaws that would get ironed out in sequels like “Super Metroid.” The labyrinthine levels of “Metroid” often ask players to backtrack, and with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can go all the way to the beginning of this celebrated series.

Other multiplayer games

If “Mario Kart 64” has you itching to play more classic Nintendo games online, purchasing a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription gives you access to all sorts of other classic games. Check out iMore’s roundup of online multiplayer N64 games, including “Dr. Mario 64,” “Mario Tennis” and “Star Fox 64.”

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Classic Sega games on Nintendo Switch Online

Sega hasn’t made hardware in over 20 years, but its venerable back catalog is also now available via Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion pack. Here are a couple titles to dig into:

“Sonic the Hedgehog 2”

The definitive Sonic game at its 1992 release, the Sega Genesis exclusive “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is available, 30 years later, to beam from your Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Life ranks this the #1 Sega Genesis game on Switch. Even better? It supports online multiplayer.

“Streets of Rage 2”

“Streets of Rage 4,” the first update to this street fighting series in decades, made our list of must-play multiplayer games on Switch. If you’re looking for something rawer or more nostalgic, though, you can’t go wrong with “Streets of Rage 2,” what Inverse calls “Sega’s best retro beat-’em-up.” The game also supports online multiplayer for two players.

Classic PlayStation games you can play with an online subscription

PlayStation owners can subscribe to the monthly subscription service PlayStation Plus in one of three tiers—Essential, Premium or Extra—and access most games’ online multiplayer features. Besides multiplayer, though, subscribing to PlayStation Plus gives gamers access to many of the Sony console’s treasures. Note that you must have PlayStation Plus Premium to get access to the oldest (PS1, PS2 and PSP) games, but there are games at every subscription level to enjoy. Here, too, you have to validate your PlayStation Plus subscription via the internet on a weekly basis.

“God of War”

It’s hard to overstate the rapturous reception “God of War” received upon its 2005 release. Featuring an innovative combat system and a story of Olympian proportions, this first installment in what would become an acclaimed franchise changed the game. On PlayStation Plus, you can replay it or experience its gory glory for the first time.

“Final Fantasy VII Remake”

Released in 1997, the original “Final Fantasy VII” was hailed as a groundbreaking story-driven RPG of epic proportions. The 2020 “Final Fantasy VII Remake” brings welcome updates, such as graphical and interface enhancements, and is the first of a three-part trilogy designed to bring the grandeur of the original to modern consoles. If you never played the first one, or you can’t bear to look at 32-bit polygons, give this PlayStation Plus (Premium and Extra tiers) exclusive a shot.

“Ape Escape 2”

“Ape Escape 2” ranks high on multiple roundups of the best classic PlayStation games to play using PlayStation Plus. Per GameSpot, the first entry in this monkey-capturing island simulator had the distinction of being the first game to necessitate a DualShock controller, as requiring analog sticks was novel at the time. The game remains a family-friendly platforming delight.

“Tekken 2”

Marshall Law. Michelle Chang. Yoshimitsu. If any of these mean something to you, you’re probably a “Tekken” aficionado and know why “Tekken 2” is on this list. Otherwise, you’re in for a treat. For the uninitiated, the “Tekken” series is a straightforward arcade fighting franchise, and this sequel was released in 1996 for the original PlayStation. “Tekken 2” builds on—and improves on—the plot of the original game, but you don’t need the backstory to understand your objective: K.O. your opponent.

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