Here’s our list of the best indie games on Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch was made for indies, I swear

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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

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.

Cult of the Lamb is the default name

Hades

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.

Cuphead

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.

Celeste

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.

Oxenfree

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.

Choice-based preview text in Oxenfree

Minecraft/Terraria

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

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.

Olga is one of the giant turtle sisters in Spiritfarer

Eastward

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.

Hollow Knight

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

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.

Stardew Valley

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.

Infernax

Wish Konami would make a new classic Castlevania game? Well, you’re in luck with Infernax. Many difficult bosses and enemies await you in this platformer, just like the NES series of games. The graphics are heavily inspired by the beloved franchise, and the controls also feel just as precise. The twist is that you can make decisions in your adventure that will impact the ending of the title, adding replayability to the already solid indie game. Take a listen to the soundtrack, and you’ll know that Berzerk Studio absolutely nails the vibe the retro Castlevania games have.

Dordogne

Dordogne is a delightful trip to France as you play a character re-experiencing their youth. The watercolor art style truly pops on your screen, and Dordogne tells a pleasant story of a child experiencing summer with their grandma and making a new friend. There aren’t that many puzzle elements, and the game is solely story-focused 95% of the time, but you should try Dordogne on the Switch if you’re down for a more narratively charged experience. 

Jackbox Party Pack

You play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe so much with your friends and family, so it’s time for a change. It’s time for the Jackbox Party Pack games. You can bring in players who don’t play video games often and have them control the game with their mobile phones. You could be answering out-of-the-box trivia with You Don’t Know Jack, making funny retorts in Quiplash, or telling believable lies in Fibbage. There’s also a fun spin on Pictionary in Drawful. A majority of the games are easy to understand, well-designed, and can bring a lot of entertainment to family and friends.

Lunistice

Lunistice is an absolute delight on the Nintendo Switch. Retailing at just $5, you can get a retro throwback 3D platformer with plenty of gorgeous visuals and delightful platforming challenges. While the enemies are a little repetitive, the level design is anything but, as you’re moving quickly, bouncing on objects, and riding rails at breakneck speed. Sonic The Hedgehog should take some notes. 

Boyfriend Dungeon

Boyfriend Dungeon is a delightful indie game that takes an enjoyable combat system and blends it with memorable visual novel/dating sim elements. As a bisexual man myself, I related to the story and the main character on their quest to find love. I found the cast well-rounded and likable overall. They also turn into weapons for you, which is a rather strange, yet charming element of the game. While the combat is a little basic, I still enjoyed my time going through each dungeon (dunj as the game puts it), learning new moves, and getting to know each character more.

The music’s also stellar with bangers like “Diamonds” and “Let Them Leave.”


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Author
Noelle Warner
After a few years of working in game development, Noelle joined the Destructoid team in 2021. She particularly loves interactive storytelling and cuddling with her cats!