The Nintendo Switch was made for indies, I swear
The Nintendo Switch’s convenience is definitely unmatched, and if you’re looking for a way to play some great indie games on the go, you’ll be pressed to find a better experience out there. From platformers to simulators to action-packed roguelikes, the Switch has enough great indies for whatever might strike your fancy. Let’s dive into our definitive list of the best indie games on the Switch right now.
Undertale earned an explosive cult following in the mid-2010s, especially on Tumblr. It’s legacy has now transcended to mainstream status, but if you’re looking for a quick, well-written adventure game for your Switch, this one is for you.
Cult of the Lamb
Speaking of cults, Cult of the Lamb is a recent hybrid of the action roguelike and community sim genres, which made for a surprisingly delightful experience that’s a real Game of the Year contender. An adorable art style meets a sick, twisted concept, all wrapped up in an addictive gameplay loop.
Hades is my most-played game on this list by sheer number of hours, and I genuinely believe it’s one of the greatest action games of all time. This bright narrative-filled adventure sets Hades’ son Zagreus on a journey through the underworld — but not without the help of his legendary aunts and uncles who make up the Greek pantheon.
Not for the faint of heart, Cuphead is a run-and-gun game with an art style inspired by the rubber hose animation of the early twentieth century. With some of the best game feel, music, and visuals in recent memory, Cuphead will be cemented in the indie game hall of fame for years to come.
If you like your challenge by way of platforming, Celeste is just the thing for you. Another gorgeous-looking game with a great soundtrack and a moving narrative, Celeste is an award-winning adventure you won’t want to miss.
If you’re looking to scratch that Stranger Things-esque teen supernatural adventure itch, Oxenfree is a choice-based narrative game you might want to check out. The writing and voice performances are spot-on, and this is one of those games you’ll be thinking about for a while after finishing it.
In premise, Minecraft and Terraria are pretty similar — mine the wilderness for resources and build whatever you want, all the while fighting off any monsters that come your way. These are two of the most well-loved indie games of all time, so you can’t go wrong with either. It’s just a matter of whether you want that experience in 2D or 3D.
Spiritfarer is a wholesome, relaxing game perfect for anyone who’s looking to slow down, do some farming on the open seas, and give hugs to some adorable animal friends. Don’t let its cutesy exterior fool you though — Spiritfarer is an incredibly thoughtful and moving story about death, and moving on after losing the people you love.
Following a man and his surrogate daughter as they escape an evil force that is bringing about the end of the world, Eastward is the perfect combination of story and action/adventure gameplay. Complete with gorgeous pixel art and a simple control scheme, the game feels like the next evolution of classic Game Boy Advanced games.
This beloved platforming/hack-and-slash hybrid has some of the slickest gameplay on this list, on top of a hauntingly simple art style. Despite its cutesy characters, Hollow Knight has a hearty helping of difficulty, so venture into the dungeons at your own risk.
Untitled Goose Game
As the shortest game on this list, Untitled Goose Game is the perfect choice if you’re looking to wreak some havoc on some innocent townspeople in a reasonable amount of time. The premise alone of playing as a goose who’s going around and causing mischief is enough to make a playthrough worthwhile, but its flawless execution secures the game’s place as one of the all-time greats.
Slay the Spire
The deckbuilding roguelike that kicked off a whole subgenre, Slay the Spire has to have one of the most well-balanced, enjoyable gameplay loops I’ve ever seen. Don’t let the art style put you off — I’ve played hundreds of hours of this game and I’m still not done with it.
Kentucky Route Zero
Considered to be one of the greatest narrative games ever made, Kentucky Route Zero is a surreal adventure through a supernatural highway called, you guessed it, Route Zero. Only clocking in at about ten hours long, this game is a must-play for anyone interested in interactive narratives.
Shovel Knight is another action platformer on this list with an unmatched art style and concept, and even better-feeling gameplay. Made by a small team of friends, Shovel Knight‘s sparkling reputation shot its studio to the top of their field, and has inspired multiple spin-offs.
Last but certainly not least, we have Stardew Valley, which in my opinion, is the best indie game to play on a Switch. It’s a relaxing farming sim that you can take at your own pace, but fair warning — once you start, you’re not gonna want to put it down.