Paper Mario is the next Nintendo Switch Online N64 game on Dec. 10, but wait, they're going one by one now?


Paper Mario will be playable on December 10 with the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack

As someone who has gotten decent mileage out of the Nintendo 64 launch lineup for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, I’ve been wondering when the next content drop would be and how many games we might get. As it turns out, my expectations were too high — again. Nintendo is bringing Paper Mario to Switch Online on December 10.

That’s all well and good — Paper Mario is one of the better N64 titles to this day and it’ll suit the RPG crowd well on Switch — but I’m once again worried about Nintendo’s glacial rollouts for its Switch Online retro libraries. We’ve gone from infrequent groups of out-of-nowhere oddball picks from the SNES days to now having a solo N64 addition.

Maybe it’ll ramp up, though. We know for sure that Banjo-Kazooie, F-Zero X, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Mario Golf, Pokemon Snap, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask are coming to the Expansion Pack lineup — but there’s also well-founded data-mined evidence suggesting at least 30 more N64 games are in the Switch Online pipeline.

Of the known-about games, Paper Mario would probably be my preferred pick for Nintendo Switch Online — and these visuals look pretty good — but I feel you if you were banking on Majora’s Mask, F-Zero X, or Banjo-Kazooie. As a frequent renter in the N64 age, I never owned my own cartridge, so I’m excited to replay this game. The aesthetic was always so awesome, and I have a soft spot for those timed button presses during battles.

Speaking of which, I haven’t felt too burned by the NSO’s emulation latency, but I hope those timings aren’t too tough. I don’t want to keep lowering my expectations, y’know? Things could be so much better, and while I’m having fun with these old games for the time being, it’s absolutely fair to expect better from Nintendo in this day and age.

All that said, if you’ve only played The Thousand-Year Door or the newer entries (and, big caveat, you’re signed up for the Expansion Pack tier), don’t skip the original Paper Mario.