Nintendo’s major first-party titles rightfully get a lot of attention when talking about what the Nintendo Switch has to offer, but the best Switch eShop games deserve to be talked about as well. These digital titles are usually much cheaper in price, but can offer just as compelling experiences as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or Super Mario Maker 2. Whether you just bought a Switch Lite or have had one since launch, there ought to be something on this list of the best Switch eShop games for you to play.
Best Switch eShop Games | BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!
Best known for their work on the Kirby series, HAL Laboratory has been churning out great downloadable puzzle games in the BoxBoy series ever since the original released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2015. BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! is the fourth release in the series and the first for Nintendo Switch. It features over 250 levels and even has a two-player campaign that is perfect for cooperative play with a friend. The core concept of generating chains of boxes is simple to understand but all of the three campaigns are varied and stay fun from start to finish.
Best Switch eShop Games | Cadence of Hyrule
Who knew that we needed a Zelda spin-off that was part rhythm game and part roguelike dungeon crawler? As the official title of Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda suggests, this takes the core gameplay of the indie hit Crypt of the Necrodancer (which is also available on Switch) and blends it with a Link to the Past motif. Filled with dungeons, enjoyable puzzle games and fun boss battles, it’s a great celebration of what makes both games great. There is even an option to turn off the rhythm elements and make it a turn-based title if you’re struggling to stay on-beat. Regardless, it’s a brilliant game and shows that Nintendo should do weird stuff with its IP more often.
Best Switch eShop Games | Celeste
Masocore platformers are not typically known for their storytelling as the titles that defined the genre like Super Meat Boy and I Wanna Be the Guy lacked any sort of narrative depth. However, Celeste proves that the two can coexist as it features tough as nails platforming and a wonderful story tackling mental illness. The short, yet difficult, levels are a perfect fit for handheld play as you can master a few of them during your commute each day and chip away at the adventure. There’s also free DLC that just came out in case you wanted even harder levels.
Best Switch eShop Games | Cuphead
Speaking of challenging platformers, Cuphead is a deviously difficult platform shooter that blends the core challenge of Mega Man with a gorgeous retro cartoon aesthetic. Nintendo and Microsoft’s great relationship has allowed the game to see a Switch release and it’s a great version of the two-player title. It’s not only a treat to play on the go, but it also looks stellar on a high definition television thanks to its top-notch animation.
Best Switch eShop Games | Dead Cells
Some games are difficult to pin into one genre and Dead Cells certainly fits that bill due to how it takes inspiration from so many different games. It’s structured like a Metroidvania title, but has combat akin to the Dark Souls titles, albeit much faster. Throw in a roguelite hook and you’ve got one of the best platformers released in the past decade. It will test your mettle, and most people that pick it up won’t wind up ever beating it, but it does provide a great experience no matter how far into it you get.
Best Switch eShop Games | Inside
Danish studio Playdead established itself as one of the premiere indie developers when it released Limbo back in 2010. It took six years for the team to follow up on it, but the wait was worth it as Inside builds upon all of its predecessors themes and stylish puzzle-platforming in nearly every way possible. With an unforgettable twist ending and one of the coolest secret finales in all of gaming, this isn’t the case of a game prioritizing style over substance. This is a must-play for any gamer.
Best Switch eShop Games | Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
While this party game is best played in virtual reality, the Nintendo Switch version is still a lot of fun. One player uses the Switch to try to disarm a timed bomb while their teammates read through a manual (either printed out or on their phones) and give them instructions on how to do it. It’s an interesting exercise in communication and it creates some really tense moments as the clock continues to tick down.
Best Switch eShop Games | Retro City Rampage DX
Sadly Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars isn’t on Switch, so if you want to get a taste of open-world crime then you have to play Retro City Rampage DX. This homage to the original GTA titles is filled with hilarious jokes and some great lampooning of NES classics. If you’ve been playing games for a while then you’ll want to take this nostalgia-filled trip as it’s a great game that stands on its own on top of being a love letter to when games were simpler.
Best Switch eShop Games | Undertale
Most role-playing games are about dicing down hundreds if not thousands of enemies and saving the day as an overpowered hero. That isn’t the case in Undertale, which is one of the few non-violent RPGs ever made. However, that is just one way to play as players will have to make a choice to either be a pacifist or take the easy way out and strike down some troublesome foes. With a fantastic cast of characters and some unique gameplay that blends bullet hell shooter mechanics with turn-based attacks, this is one of the most innovative titles to release in the past decade.
Best Switch eShop Games | What Remains of Edith Finch
Those looking for an interesting story that can be experienced in a few sittings will want to check out What Remains of Edith Finch. It’s the excellent second project from Giant Sparrow (who previously did the surrealist PS3 title The Unfinished Swan) that has the last remaining member of the Finch family learning about their curse that causes them to die in unusual ways. This title is an excellent anthology of different stories that all tie together with unique mechanics that brilliantly fuse into the narrative. By achieving this symbiotic relationship between gameplay and story, What Remains of Edith Finch is one of the most cohesive video games to ever grace the medium.