Is the Nintendo Switch Family Plan Worth It for You?

Do you dream of the days huddled under a blanket, controller in hand, as you guided Mario across level after colorful level? I sure do. Though decades later, that Nintendo magic still brings warmth and adventure into households today.

And now with the Nintendo Switch Online Family Plan, you can reconnect with nostalgic classics or enjoy multiplayer battles online with family across the country – all for a relatively affordable subscription price.

But with tiered pricing from basic to premium expansion packs, you may wonder – is it actually worth it for your family? This guide will break down exactly what you receive across game catalogs, features, and more to evaluate where the value lies.

I‘m Andy, a lifetime gamer and tech product analyst. Consider me your trusty 1P sidekick guiding you on this quest to see if Nintendo‘s family pricing offers gold or justEmpty question blocks…

Quick Plan Pricing and Comparison

First, an overview of what you‘ll pay:

PlanPriceMembers SupportedKey Perks Offered
Nintendo Switch Online Family Plan$34.99 per yearUp to 8Online play, NES/SNES games, cloud backups
Nintendo Switch + Expansion Pack$79.99 per yearUp to 8Adds N64/Genesis games, DLC perks
Xbox Game Pass Family Plan$24.99 per monthUp to 5Huge modern game library
PlayStation Plus Premium$17.99 per monthAccount onlyOnline play, 700 game catalog
Apple Arcade$4.99 per monthFamily Sharing group100+ exclusive games

Nintendo‘s pricing sits affordably below competitors for ongoing access to retro classics and online multiplayer. However, services like Xbox Game Pass offer substantially larger modern game libraries if variety is your priority. We‘ll analyze areas where Nintendo excels soon.

First, you need full context on the nostalgic game options though…

Inside the Catalogs: Just How Deep is Nintendo‘s Retro Well?

While online play requires the basic plan, access to legacy Nintendo games often steals the spotlight.

Across three decades of consoles, these our childhood backdrops – stores of epic adventures, friendships, and even someController-tossing frustration when that last life was lost!

Let‘s chart out exactly what iconic games you can replay or discover across both Family Plan tiers:

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Games

Super Mario Bros 1-3
The Legend of Zelda
Mike Tyson‘s Punchout
Donkey Kong Classics
Kirby‘s Adventure
And 50+ more classics…

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Games

Super Mario World 1 & 2
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Super Metroid
Star Fox
Streets of Rage 2
And 45+ more hits…

Notice a trend here? The NES and SNES libraries focus exclusively on Nintendo‘s properties and best first party games. Already an incredible value.

But then the Expansion Pack adds the full nostalgia floodgates…

Nintendo 64 Hits

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Super Mario 64
Mario Kart 64
StarFox 64
Paper Mario
And more 3D masterpieces

Sega Genesis Surprises

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Streets of Rage 2
Castlevania Bloodlines
Contra Hard Corps
Dr Robotnik‘s Mean Bean Machine
And more gems…

I don‘t know about you, but I get sentimental just reading those lists! There‘s no question Nintendo provides incredible retro replay value here.

But how does the classics catalog actually stack up against the competition?


Detailed analysis comparing depth/variety of Nintendo‘s retro library against Xbox, PlayStation, others


In the end, while Xbox Game Pass leads squarely for variety of modern titles, no service can match the concentrated nostalgia blast that is Nintendo 64, Genesis, SNES and NES games playable on your Switch! For retro fans, it‘s a goldmine.

But the other half of the equation is online multiplayer. Let‘s see how the Family Plan stacks up there…

Nintendo Family Plan Benefits and Features

While I‘d happily pay to re-experience adventures in Hyrule again, families consider more practical features too – like just playing Mario Kart 8 online!

Let‘s evaluate other key benefits beyond the nostalgia…

Online Multiplayer

By default, this is what makes the Family Plan essential for households with even one major online gamer. Without it, forget racing friends in Mario Kart 8, battling in Super Smash Bros, or visiting villages together in Animal Crossing. As platforms like Xbox and PlayStation charge similar fees for online access, Nintendo follows suit.

Cloud Save Backups

Ever have your kid drop their Switch, losing months of gameplay progress? With cloud saves, your Family Plan helps secure important save files online if hardware breaks or goes missing. While holes exist (no PokémonBrightness support), it serves as invaluable insurance for many epic adventure and creative games.

Smartphone App Perks

While it imposes voice chat through your phone instead of the Switch itself (?!), the app does enable handy features like…

  • Voice chat with friends while playing games like Mario Kart 8
  • Inviting friends to your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Special NookLink island effects scanning QR codes

It may be workaround voice chat, but becomes required for communicating online across many games.

Special Controller Support

To complete the vintage recreation, snap up Nintendo‘s wireless N64 or SNES controllers for an enhanced classic gaming experience. Feel Mario 64‘s triple jumps or A Link to Past sword swings with original button layouts. Supply constraints exist, but helps perfect the retro immersion.

Modern DLC Perks

Exclusive to Expansion Pack subscribers, you also get select DLC addons:

  • Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise island vacation designer
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe‘s 48 remastered classic tracks
  • Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion single player adventure

That‘s up to $60+ value in extras alone! While niche, it‘s a nice perk for fans of those franchises.

The Value Equation

When balancing multiplayer essentials with an unparalleled retro library, the Family Plan provides strong bang for your buck – deliveringample gaming variety for households big on Nintendo fandom in particular.

But it has nuances…what REALLY happens when you sign up?

Nintendo Family Membership: Important Account Details

Before you gather the whole crew for a Super Smash tournament though, know key account management need-to-knows:

Creating and Managing the Family Membership

  • Only users over 18 can create a Family membership
  • The creating user manages the account and billing
  • Up to 8 Nintendo accounts can join one family plan
  • Membership auto-renews annually

Using Family Memberships Across Devices

  • Each person plays on their own Nintendo Account on each shared Switch
  • Members can play subscriber perks from any secondary console once signed into their account

What Happens When the Owner Bails

  • If the family manager leaves or does not renew, the plan ends for all members
  • Anyone can purchase gift subscriptions without needing an account

No Dual Membership Stacking

  • Individual subscriptions do NOT merge or stack credit if joining a family plan

Choosing your family manager wisely avoids an abrupt end accidentally cutting off your squad‘s Mario Kart nights!

Overall, it opens great multiplayer access…once you leap the account hurdles.

Should YOU Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Family Plans?

Hopefully this guides gives you confidence whether Nintendo‘s Family Plan warrants that monthly or yearly investment for your household. Let‘s recap key questions to decide if you should join team Mario:

If you LOVE Nintendo nostalgia, it‘s an obvious win to unlock decades of incredible classic games and replay value. Cost aside, the retro library alone justifies it for parents eager to share their childhood favorites.

For online multiplayer focus, even the base $35 plan delivers plenty of value enabling online battled among 8 players across regions. That ability to play the latest Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and Splatoon games online makes it practically mandatory for hardcore fans.

If modern variety is central though, services like Xbox Game Pass provide vastly larger gaming libraries spanning new releases, RPGs, racers, indies, and more. Nintendo leans heavily on its own legendary franchises and classics.

For families on a budget, compare costs to alternatives before committing. While cheaper than most competitors, know it‘s an ongoing yearly expense. Nintendo‘s games hold replay value, but gauge your household‘s multiplayer stickiness.

In the end, I hope mapping out Nintendo Switch Family plan specifics helps determine if the price grants gold or turning ad enough value for your family‘s play preferences. With Couch co-op a fading pastime, having eight players able join games online or dive into 30 years of Nintendo magic seems an incredibly reasonable to keep bonds strong regardless of physical location.

Does the glimpse back at childhood classics or modern multiplayer access unlock enough happiness to warrant the fair price? Only you know what your family prioritizes most when spending time battling, racing, connecting or adventuring together in today‘s distraction-filled world.

Let the memories and virtual friendships continue on – no matter where individual journeys take you! Just like those original controllers still connect decades later, may the Nintendo magic never fade.

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