N64's Mario Golf Makes A Comeback Next Week

Fans of Nintendo 64 classic "Mario Golf" are in for a treat when the beloved Nintendo golfing video game finally sees its debut on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service at the end of next week. Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is the highest-tier premium service offered for the Nintendo Switch console, and it's set to expand once more with its newest major update that includes "Mario Golf" on the Nintendo 64 app on April 15, or more specifically, on April 14 at 9 PM eastern time. The official announcement was made via Twitter by @NintendoAmerica.

"Mario Golf" was first released over 23 years ago, in June 1999. It was so popular that it remained in circulation over the next two decades after its Nintendo 64 release in 1999, culminating in re-releases on the Wii and Wii U in 2008 and 2015, and it even enjoyed a few sequels, the latest being "Mario Golf: Super Rush," which was released on Nintendo Switch in June 2021. However, it's never been possible to carry any of the originals over to the modern (and far more portable) Nintendo Switch, meaning that old-school "Mario Golf" owners have needed to continue booting up older hardware if they wanted to take Mario out to the green for a few rounds of golf. By April 15, this will no longer be the case for active Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack arguably increases its value

The official Nintendo Switch Online service has been a staple for all Nintendo Switch owners for over five years. Subscribing to it for a mere $19.99 per year as an individual account (or $34.99 per year for a family plan) allows Switch owners to play online games with one another across the Internet, and it even offers subscribers access to a curated albeit limited back-catalog of retro gaming classics previously released on the NES and SNES consoles. Upgrading to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service, which adds Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis apps in addition to DLC for a few of Nintendo's newer games, costs $49.99 per year for individuals or $79.99 for families – but the $30+ gap in price continues to inspire debate among critics and gamers alike.

One side of the debate has positioned Nintendo as an adversary for going after gaming archivists and emulators with severe legal consequences — meanwhile holding its classics behind paywalls or, seemingly, refusing to re-release many of its lesser-known gems on modern hardware at all. Users across social media platforms such as Reddit have pointed out that Nintendo's process seems arbitrary and even draconian at times. That said, it's clear that the gaming company intends to enrich the value of its Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service over the course of time, and the upcoming "Mario Golf" release certainly doesn't hurt its bottom line. More information about the latest update is available on the Nintendo Switch Online console app, accessible from any Nintendo Switch dashboard.