It’s taken a while but the Nintendo Switch eShop is starting to rival the likes of the Xbox One and PS4 game stores – well, not quite but there’s definitely some brilliant titles that absolutely shine on Ninty’s latest console.
Here are our recommendations for the top Nintendo Switch eShop games to download and buy right now:
Although you can also get Snipperclips as part of a Joy-Con bundle, it’s also one of the few Nintendo Switch launch games available on the eShop. It’s a creative puzzle game that’s focused on two-player co-op gameplay, where you use your imagination to snip paper characters into different shapes in order to solve various puzzles.
It can also be played solo or with up to three other friends too, so it’s a great way to get everyone involved with the Switch from day one.
2. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
If you’ve already played Shovel Knight then you deserve to treat yourself to this prequel, Specter of Torment. You take control of Specter Knight, who’s the servant to the Enchantress, in a brand new quest to recruit knights to create the Order of No Quarter.
3. I Am Setsuna
Following its incredibly successful release on Ps4 and PC in early 2016, I Am Setsuna is now coming to Switch, much to our delight. Inspired by Chrono Trigger, this is classic JRPG greatness and an homage to the classics of yesteryear.
4. Enter The Gungeon
Don’t let its cutesy little pixel art aesthetic deceive you – this is one of the most deviously difficult games on Switch. Brought to you by indie darlings Devolver Digital, this action-packed rogue-like sees players blasting and rolling their way through randomly generated halls of enemies. Here, your goal seems fairly simple – make it through the maze like map and beat each level’s final boss without dying. As you’d expect from the notoriously tricky genre though, the developers definitely haven’t made it an easy ride. Playing like a mix of Binding of Issac and Dark Souls, Enter The Gungeon is not only brilliantly challenging but quite simply, its one of the best indie games of recent years.
It’s also one that’s made even better when you dare to tackle the Gungeon with a friend. With some brilliantly tongue in cheek writing, wonderfully varied enemy design and more lightning-fast bullet dodging than you can shake an oversized gun at, this is one of the best blasters on Switch. You know what to do, it’s time to enter that gungeon.
5. Stardew Valley
Price: $14.99/ £10.99
Stardew Valley launched for PC back in 2016, and has since gained status as a cult classic. It’s hard not to love it, with its surprisingly deep farming and social mechanics. It plays into the genre of farming simulator games defined by Harvest Moon, where how you interact with your neighbors, as well as with your farm, affects the outcome.
In the game, you the player inherit your grandfather’s farm, You are then tasks with rebuilding the land and making it fertile and happy with the bare minimum tools you start with. You collect more tools, build more structures, cultivate more crops — and maybe find some romance along the way as you restore Stardew Valley to its former agricultural greatness.
Rogue-likes are fairly common nowadays, but none are quite like Tumbleseed. This gloriously colourful little romp sees you taking control of a branch of sort, which you control the pitch of with the two analogue sticks. Along this branch will roll various seeds aiming to get to the top of a mountain, along a path of increasingly perilous traps and foes. It’s brilliantly executed on Switch and perfect for brilliant portable rogueing.
7. Snake Pass
Snake Pass is an action-puzzler where you control a snake called Noodle as you explore a world called Harmony Foothills along with your feathered friend called Doodle. As is the case with videogames, someone is trying to end the world and it’s up to you to get everything back on track again. This is a puzzler that’s definitely worth picking up, particularly on the Switch, not just because it’s affordable, but because weaving your way around the colourful worlds successfully is as rewarding as it gets.
This game offers a genre that the developer is calling “rhythm violence”. You’re a little metallic beetle travelling at high speeds and you’ll need to avoid obstacles in time with some rather intense techno music. It’s colourful, brilliant and utterly addictive and definitely occasionally a mind warp.
[Andrew Hawkins, FANDOM Contributor]
9. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
This isn’t just another Minecraft port. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch edition comes with all the blocky world-building, skeleton bashing action you love in a beautifully portable package, but it also comes packaged with Super Mario Mash Up pack with tonnes of Mario inspired surprises that make this a really special Nintendo package.
10. Overcooked: Special Edition
If you want something that really takes advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s couch co-op power, you can’t do much better than treat yourself to the Overcooked: Special Edition.
You and your pals (or just you, if you’re going solo) take control of little cute chefs as you work to get dishes out the door for hungry customers. Doing so requires teamwork, a little bit of disaster control and a whole lot of laughs as the tubby characters navigate various perils – not including your soup catching fire.
It’s the best kind of couch co-op because it works so well, is full of personality and the level design is smart and silly in equal measures.
11. Sonic Mania
Price: $19.99/ £15.99
The best thing that fans of classic gaming could have ever hoped for came out this year in Sonic Mania. Sega kids from the 16-bit era rejoiced when word of a new Sonic was announced for the Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Steam. What makes this game so special on the Switch is how it is a perfect throwback to the Sega Genesis days while also bridging the gap to the long gone glory years of the Game Gear. This is the best Sonic has ever been on a handheld console.
If you grew up playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog games you will love the new game. It’s a brilliant follow-up to Sonic CD and a great game by itself. You speed through each level as the blue blur Sonic while fighting off the evil Dr. Eggman and his robot minions. It’s filled with tons of nods to the original games and is just as fun as any of its predecessors. It’s a Switch essential.
[Andrew Hawkins, FANDOM Contributor]
12. Battle Chef Brigade
Price: $19.99/ £17.99
This unique little game about a young woman fighting through the ranks of the Battle Chefs is one of a kind. Part Iron Chef, part role-playing game, Battle Chef Brigade boasts a colorful anime style that’s attention grabbing for even the least anime-inclined. Better yet: there’s plenty of cuties to check out in this title.
Published under the Adult Swim Games label, Battle Chef Brigade tasks players with hunting down fantastic beasts and besting them in battle — and then cooking them into elaborate, fancy meals with help of some match-three puzzles. These meals are scrutinized by judges who will determine your fate in the Battle Chef tournament. It sounds simple, but it’s an excellent challenge and a welcome addition to the Switch. Good luck, chefs!
13. Romancing Saga 2
Price: $24.99/ £19.99
Players itching for new Japanese RPG will be happy to see this gem on the Nintendo eShop. Romancing Saga 2 was published for the Super Famicom in Japan in 1993 — and was never released in the west until 2016. Back then it was ported to mobile, but now the game is available on the console everyone wants their games to be on — Switch.
Romancing Saga 2 allows players to control several generations of an imperial family as they wage war across their continent. Players will control and manage their resources as they move through battle, moving from parent to child in a unique system that allows you to continue multiple characters across the royal family’s bloodline. It’s this element that made the Saga series so popular in Japan, and with 2 now on Switch, a whole new audience of players can discover and experience the landmark franchise for themselves.
14. Worms W.M.D
Price: $29.99/ £19.99
When it comes to classic local multiplayer experiences, there are few games that can rival Worms. Any gamer that grew up in the 90s is bound to have fond memories of chucking exploding sheep at their unsuspecting friends, and thankfully, Worms on Switch delivers all the ridiculous fun that you remember in spades.
The latest entry in the franchise focuses on multiplayer mayhem once again, letting you take chunks out of up to five other players either locally or online. As anyone who’s played Worms before can attest, this is a surprisingly tactical little strategy game. With a jaw-dropping amount of weapons, items and even vehicles to take into account, Worms WMD is a game that’s just as deep as it is ridiculous. When it comes to silly competitive multiplayer fun on the go, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better game than this.
When it comes to video games, there are few experiences that rival the rush of a good boss fight. With these end of level behemoths demanding that players use everything the game has taught them up until that point, when done right, they can be a masterclass in tension and a brilliant test of skill. It seems like Furi developer The Game Bakers agrees with us there, because its latest is a game that strips away everything except those wonderfully brutal boss battles.
Tasked with escaping eternal torture and damnation, this anime-styled action game throws our poor unnamed protagonist into a series of increasingly tense one on one showdowns. Playing like a blend of hack and slash and bullet hell shooter, Furi is a game that demands that you learn on the fly… And by that we mean, learn by dying repeatedly.
In Furi, each boss fight is essentially a puzzle waiting to be solved. With bosses requiring surprisingly different strategies to beat, this certainly isn’t a game for the faint-hearted. It may not be a game for everyone, but Furi is a stylish and challenging experience that’s unlike anything else on the eShop.