5 Retro Games That Need Online Play


Nintendo announced a few months ago that their paid online service is going to come with 1 NES or SNES game a month. As an added bonus, those games will include newly added online play.   To a retro gamer and Nintendo fan like myself, this is more exciting than the free games offered through PS+ and XBox Gold.

Now as we wait for Nintendo to roll out the details, I have begun imagining what games I want to play online the most.  I am currently more interested in competitive multiplayer than co-op or leaderboards.  I feel with competitive multiplayer you can get more replay value and varied results than online 2player co-op.

Before we get into the 5 I want to see the most, let me quickly go over a few that I disqualified.   The main reasons for disqualifying some titles was because of licensing issues or that there is already an updated equivalent around that won’t want old school competition.   So here we go:

Disqualified Contenders:

  • Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES) – Capcom recently released this in the “Disney Afternoon Collection”, it’s doubtful they’d release this again with online play)
  • Tetris (NES) – Puyo Puyo Tetris is already out on the Switch and it does a great job of filling the need for online Tetris
  • Kirby’s Avalanche (SNES) – This is a Puyo Puyo clone that I used to play on Super Nintendo, it also is not necessary for online additions since the release of Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • TMNT 2: The Arcade Game (NES) – I love this game, but I don’t see it coming ever to the Switch as an online NES port.  Maybe as a complete remake or an actual arcade port though.  
  • Street Fighter II (SNES) – With Ultra Street Fighter II on the Switch I don’t see any need for a Street Fighter II online port.  
  • Killer Instinct (SNES) – I don’t think Nintendo owns the IP anymore as they haven’t released it on Virtual Console before and Microsoft released a newer version on XB1
  • NBA Jam (SNES) – I know EA owns the rights to NBA Jam, but I don’t know if they can re-release the originals. Anyhow, this would be better served as an all new release like the XBLA/PS3 “On Fire Edition”

Ok, now onto the 5 (sorry I know Top 5 lists can be a pain in the ass)


Believe it or not, this game used to actually be online for the Super Nintendo through the XBand service.  This was my favorite baseball game of the era and possibly my favorite baseball game of all-time.  I don’t think most people have as much of a desire to play this online as I do, but I really want to relive the online XBand matches from my childhood.

Ken Griffey is currently on the cover of MLB The Show ’17, so there might be some issues with him being the face of another game at the same time (this might have to wait until 2018).  But Nintendo shouldn’t have an issue acquiring the MLB rights since they are not exclusive to Sony, however if Nintendo wants to avoid the licensing they should be able to edit out the MLB and MLBPA properties fairly easily.  


I know the original F-Zero didn’t have a multiplayer mode, but if Nintendo managed to program online multiplayer with 8 – 12 racers I could really see this being a huge hit.

This adds an extra task upon the devs besides just opening up online, but I wonder how hard this would be to add in?  Maybe an online multiplayer mode would rejuvenate the series for a future sequel…or at least I hope so.


I recently played this and was glad to see how well the gameplay holds up 30 years later.  That’s pretty big accomplishment in comparison to other sports titles, even those only a few years old.   The River City Ransom character style always stands out to me and crushing the goalie with a special kick is one of my favorite parts of the game.

I know the computer AI is a bit stupid and easy to exploit, especially with the special kicks.  But playing against another human is the exact kind of competitive showdown we should desire out of some new online play.  This is the NES game I want online for the most. 


Most people will think it’s crazy talk, but I think Tecmo Super Bowl III is the best Tecmo Bowl game they ever made.  The graphics were better, the sound was better, the options were better and the gameplay was better.   This is the Tecmo Bowl I want to see get online added to it.

The original Tecmo Bowl has been released on Virtual Console in the past with the NFL licenses stripped out of it, I am sure they could do the same here, although it might require a little more work.  Tecmo Super Bowl III allowed gamers to edit players names, create players and customize or upgrade stats.  This was a much more evolved game of Tecmo Bowl without them screwing up the gameplay. Would love to see this more than a new Madden.

Super Mario Kart is another game I used to play online through the XBand service.  It was the pinnacle of online gaming on the Super Nintendo (really holds its spot very high all-time with me too).  I would love to bring back my old Super Mario Kart racing and battle mode skills online.

This might be my most played game of all-time, I spent endless hours playing local multiplayer with a couple of my friends and even more hours online through XBand.  This HAS to come back, Nintendo will nail it out of the park if they debut their online service with it!

Honorable Mentions

  • Dr.Mario (NES/SNES) – Nintendo released a version on SNES as Dr.Mario & Tetris.   I actually expect Dr.Mario to be one of the first games they release, as it is one of the easier ones
  • Tetris Attack (SNES) – Love this puzzle game, even for just the single player.  This is #6 on my list. 
  • NHL 96 (SNES) – EA Sports NHL games on SNES and Genesis were some of the last hockey games I ever played, certainly the last non-arcade ones
  • Kirbys Dream Course (SNES) – A fun Kirby game that was similar to putt-putt.  Would be cool to play online, but there are other games I’d prefer first.

Posted on May 31, 2017, in Featured Opinion, Special Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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