Over a dozen games will be added to the service in the coming months.
Nintendo Switch Online will offer subscribers access to NES games for free on a monthly basis, analogous to Games with Gold for Xbox Live, or the Instant Games Collection on PS Plus. These games will be updated with online play, as well as HD support, so they won’t be just ROM dumps.
However, it looks like Nintendo also understands that an NES game isn’t equivalent to a newer one, because unlike PS Plus and Xbox Live, which offer a couple of new games every month, Nintendo has promised to offer multiple on a monthly basis as rolling additions to the catalog. They have also shared the full catalog of games they will be adding in the coming three months, which includes some vaunted NES games such as the original Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
This still isn’t great, of course, but in the absence of a Virtual Console on the Switch, for now, this may be the best option that people wanting to play retro games on the hybrid console yet. You can see the full list of games coming to the service in the next few months below, as well as a video (courtesy of Nintendo Everything) demonstrating how NES games will work on the platform.