N64 Classic Coming to Nintendo Switch Online in December

As of this writing, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers can play 26 games that debuted on Nintendo 64, but that number will be growing in the near future. Nintendo has revealed that the next game added to the service will be Jet Force Gemini, which will arrive sometime in December. Originally released for the system in 1999, Jet Force Gemini debuted to fairly strong reviews. While the game has been re-released on Xbox platforms, this marks the first time Jet Force Gemini has been made available on a Nintendo system in more than two decades.

Jet Force Gemini was developed by Rare. The studio was purchased by Microsoft in 2002, along with the rights to Jet Force Gemini, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and several other games. Jet Force Gemini will mark the third Rare-developed game added to Nintendo Switch Online, following Banjo-Kazooie and GoldenEye 007. The addition is somewhat surprising, given that it’s arriving before other Rare classics like Banjo-Tooie or Diddy Kong Racing. Given the major role Rare played in the N64’s lifespan, it’s certainly nice to see, and it should bode well for other Rare-developed games in the future.

Rare in the N64 Era

While Nintendo Switch has gotten a lot of games from third-parties and indie developers, the N64 saw much less support. As a result, the system’s highlights were mostly games developed by Nintendo and Rare. At the time, Rare was a second-party developer for Nintendo, and greatly helped to improve the number of games available. Many of the developer’s games became favorites during that era, and still hold a special place in the hearts of Nintendo fans.

After Microsoft bought Rare, many of these classics were exclusive to Xbox for a time. That has started to change, as Microsoft and Nintendo have developed a close relationship over the last few years. Microsoft published games like Minecraft have come to Nintendo Switch, while Banjo-Kazooie is a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Nintendo Switch Online’s Missing N64 Games

Over the last two years, we’ve seen some of the very best N64 games released on Nintendo Switch Online, including Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Star Fox 64. However, there are still a lot of other great games that could be brought over, including the original Super Smash Bros. or Donkey Kong 64. Of course, given Microsoft’s support of Nintendo Switch Online, it’s possible we could see more games from them, as well. In fact, Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard could potentially lead to the addition of N64 games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater or StarCraft 64. Hopefully we’ll continue to see the N64 app get a lot more games in the near future!

Are you happy to see Jet Force Gemini added to Nintendo Switch Online? What N64 games do you still want to see added to the service? Share your thoughts with me directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp or on Instagram at @Dachampgaming!