Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.


Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack offers some of the best games ever created at a cheap cost of entry. It’s just a shame there’s little else propping up this subscription service for those of us who have played these classics before.


  • Some of the best games from Nintendo’s early history
  • Cheap entry compared to competitors
  • Exclusive online games like Tetris 99 and F-Zero 99
  • Free access to several major DLC


  • No GameCube, Wii or DS games
  • A lot of classic games missing from each era
  • Sluggish UI and online feels outdated
  • Little incentive for die-hard fans

Key Features

  • Nintendo classic libraryAccess to lots of different Nintendo games from NES to N64 plus Sega Mega Drive collection
  • ExpansionsUnlock additional expansion packs across Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 3 and Animal Crossing
  • Online playPlay competitive online games across a range of titles with mobile app compatibility


The Nintendo Switch made its debut in March 2017, however, it wasn’t until September 2018 that its first paid online subscription service launched in the form of Nintendo Switch Online with a variety of classic games and cloud save support. 

Three years on and in October 2021, the Japanese games maker released the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, the top tier available for Nintendo Switch owners. This increased the number of classic games available along with expansions for some of its latest titles, like Animal Crossing and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

While cheaper than its competitors in Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, the overall package is still somewhat lacking aside for those who really consider themselves die-hard Nintendo fans. 


A subscription to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is priced at £34.99/$49.99 for 12 months (365 days).

There are no shorter subscription lengths available for this tier, however, a Family Membership that allows access for up to eight accounts is available at £59.99/$79.99.  


  • Treasure trove of retro Nintendo and Sega games
  • Lots of games missing from each platform
  • No games from GameCube, DS and Wii era

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is made up of a variety of classic games from across Nintendo’s history, starting from the NES and going through the SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and ending with the Nintendo 64.

It also features a number of Sega Mega Drive titles. See below for some highlights from every era:

  • NES: Super Mario Bros. Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, Kirby’s Adventure
  • Game Boy: Tetris, Super Mario Land 2, Link’s Awakening, Alone in the Dark, Pokémon Trading Card Game 
  • SNES: Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid, Yoshi’s Island
  • Nintendo 64: Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, Pokémon Stadium, Goldeneye
  • Game Boy Advance: Mario & Luigi, Fire Emblem, Metroid Fusion, Minish Cap, Wario Ware
  • Sega Mega Drive: Sonic 2, Castlevania, Earthworm Jim, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage 2
Screenshot of Metroid when playing Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There are plenty of quality games here to play for hours on end, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2, yet there’s a good chunk missing to really make it premium in my view.

Most notably, there’s nothing from the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii era. 


  • Online performance is subpar compared to rivals
  • Flawless performance when playing retro games

I’ve been using Nintendo’s online functionality since the days of the Nintendo Wii, so let me tell you it’s come a long way.

It’s still not amazing by any stretch of the imagination, doing what it needs to do to deliver a somewhat stable connection from my 5.39 Mbps upload speed (that’s about the average for the UK), making sure Mario Kart races and Splatoon battles are uninterrupted… for the most part.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion PackNintendo Switch Online game selection screen with F-ZERO 99.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It does occasionally result in the odd dropout over long play sessions but it has certainly improved from the start of the Switch’s lifecycle to where we are at now. 

Honestly, though, it’s easily outshined by its competitors Sony and Microsoft whose online services have been five steps ahead since the PS3 and Xbox 360, respectively.

Pokemon Stadium via Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Third-party games like FIFA, Fortnite and Rocket League are best experienced on other platforms if you’re serious about competing. Sure, Nintendo Switch Online is capable of getting the job done but in this day and age, I expect more. 


  • Only accessible via Nintendo Switch console
  • Lots of security features for children
  • Save data on the cloud is very useful

A Nintendo Switch console is needed to access Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack with sign-up done via the Nintendo eShop, either from the app within your Switch or the website. It’s relatively simple to set up, but can be tedious having to install every single Nintendo console or handheld from the classics library as its own app. This requires going back into the eShop for every download and having to reconfirm your decision multiple times.

While parents will be thankful for these extra security features, others like myself will find it unnecessary. Once everything is downloaded, the software can be found on your Switch homepage. The UI itself is also quite sluggish, everything just takes a little bit longer than it should to load. 

UI screenshot of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion PackNintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack interface with game promotion.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Aside from the main appeal of games, those who subscribe can also obtain exclusive offers like the ability to purchase an N64 controller for the console or two vouchers (£84) that can be redeemed for one of Nintendo’s first-party titles each, such as Tears of the Kingdom or Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Additionally, a handful of Missions & Rewards (think Nintendo’s answer to PlayStation’s Trophies but worse) tailored to certain games are included. These are small incentives and frankly, a little strange to be locked behind a membership. 

One of the final redeeming qualities is the ability to back up your save data via cloud support. The process is easy to follow even for any technophobes, allowing saves to be automatically backed up via settings in the menu as well as the option to automatically download save data that is more recent to data that’s already on the console. You can also individually tailor each save file, making the whole process pretty seamless.

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

You want a cheap way to access old Nintendo games

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is a cost-effective method of playing some of the greatest games from Nintendo’s history, throwing in some additional goodies for some newer titles.

You already have played the majority of what’s on offer

Long-term Nintendo fans or those not particularly interested in classic Nintendo games will want to look elsewhere to get more out of their money.

Final Thoughts

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass is still a work-in-progress. There’s a treasure trove of fantastic games from the Japanese developer’s extensive library, however, there’s a good chance that die-hard fans will have played a large selection of them.

Apart from the ability to play online along with specific expansions for some of the Switch’s biggest games, there’s little else that makes this package worthwhile. It’s cheap, yes, but that doesn’t stop it from being underwhelming.

Trusted Score
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Sign up for the Trusted Reviews Newsletter

How we test

We test every video game streaming service we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Played multiple games on the service.

Tested all available settings.


What does the expansion pack include for Nintendo Switch Online?

The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack offers access to N64 and Sega Mega Drive classic games along with DLC for Mario Kart, Splatoon and Animal Crossing.

Is the Switch Online expansion pack worth it?

Yes, if you love classic Nintendo games and want to play games online. If you don’t fall into one of those categories, there’s nothing here that makes Switch Online worth subscribing for.

Full specs

Release Date

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words