Nintendo Direct: Final Fantasy and NES classics coming to Switch, kupo!

Contributed by
Sep 13, 2018, 8:40 PM EDT

Vaan, meet Mario: of all the highlights and reveals from Nintendo’s much-anticipated, earthquake-delayed Nintendo Direct event Thursday, none had more of a mic-drop feel than the surprising news that almost all the mainline Final Fantasy games from the PlayStation’s golden era will soon be making their home on the Nintendo Switch.

Beginning with news that last year’s remastered, rebooted Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will arrive on the hybrid console sometime in 2019, Nintendo then proceeded to unveil one Final Fantasy classic after another. PS1 landmarks Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX, as well as PS2-era classics Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 — both in their revamped form thanks to a 2013 HD remaster — all will land on the Switch sometime next year.

Aside from Nintendo’s notable omission of Final Fantasy VIII from that robust lineup, the reveal pretty much brings Nintendo up to date on all the mainline Final Fantasy games up through Final Fantasy XIII, which released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 and hasn’t been ported (so far) to any current-gen console.

Nintendo on YouTube

For longtime FF fans, bringing the PlayStation games back into the fold might feel like a long-postponed homecoming. After all, the original NES is the place where Final Fantasy began, and Nintendo’s subsequent consoles remained the home base for publisher SquareSoft (now Square Enix) until the franchise jumped ship in favor of the PS1 with the release of FFVII — widely regarded, still, as one of the most influential RPGs of all time.

Nintendo also charged through a short list of other Final Fantasy tidbits we’d previously heard about, but the headliner was news that Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition — a mobile game we already knew was bound for the Switch — has just been made available for immediate download on the Nintendo eShop. 

As for the rest of the event, Nintendo covered plenty more ground, most of which touched on previous announcements. But we did get a bit more insight into the company’s upcoming launch of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, which will launch Sept. 18 alongside no fewer than 20 classic games from the NES era, including these 10 titles announced today: Ghosts ’n Goblins, Excitebike, Tecmo Bowl, Yoshi, Double Dragon, Gradius, Ice Hockey, River City Ransom, Pro Wrestling, and Baseball.

In addition to all the throwback gaming goodness, Nintendo also unveiled some throwback hardware: an updated, wireless version of the iconic old-school NES controllers. The 2018 versions are designed specifically to go with all those NES games you’ll be able to play when Switch Online debuts, and they’ll even slot into the Switch’s existing Joy-Con sockets when not in use.

Sadly, though, they’re only capable of playing NES titles — so don’t expect to go sword-slashing with them in current-gen releases like Breath of the Wild