Since its initial unveiling, the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid nature has made it a one of a kind prospect for gamers. Nintendo’s own offerings on the system have ranged from fun new titles like Yoshi’s Crafted World to enhanced ports like New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, while plenty of other developers and publishers have jumped at the chance to showcase games on this multifaceted new platform.
Because of this, the Switch has become a real haven for ports of classic games. Companies are delving into their back catalogs to put some of their biggest hitters from the past onto the Switch and into players’ hands once more. This gives new players a chance to discover classic games, while more experienced gamers can jump back into their old favorites. Everyone’s a winner, and as an added bonus, many of these games weren’t handheld before their Switch releases and can now be taken on the go.
Below, we’ve listed nine games that have been ported to the Switch that are well worth playing, or even playing again if you’ve already tackled them…
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
While it seems strange to recommend Skyrim almost eight years since its initial launch, there’s a reason Bethesda has ported it to everything but the kitchen fridge at this point.
An open-ended fantasy playground, Skyrim’s story isn’t particularly important, but it does have its moments. What sticks in the memory longer is the sense of exploration – stumbling through caves to find treasure, learning the ways of the Dark Brotherhood, or enrolling in the College of Winterhold, Skyrim’s equivalent of Hogwarts.
Switch-specific features include the ability to unlock Zelda equipment and the option to use motion-controls to fight off the various monsters you’ll find. It also features all the original game’s DLC.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
A title that recovered from a launch that could only be described as catastrophic on PC, Diablo 3 has rebounded impressively to become arguably the best action-RPG available today.
The Switch’s portability makes it an ideal way to grind through a Challenge Rift on the morning commute or work your way through the game’s impressive story that includes the Reaper of Souls expansion.
Diablo 3 rewards a player’s investment regardless of character class, but the addition of the Necromancer DLC means that raising the dead to fight on your side is a great reason to replay, even if you’ve seen everything else the game has to offer.
Love it or hate it, Epic’s Battle Royale has become a global phenomenon – and the Switch version might just be one of the best. Not only does Fortnite run excellently in both handheld and console modes, cross-play means you can party up with buddies elsewhere – even if you’re on your local coffee shop’s WiFi (although don’t expect to win without a fairly strong connection!).
All of your weekly battle pass challenges can be completed on the go, and purchases transfer over from any other version of Fortnite, so you’ll never be without your precious skins and emotes.
Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate
While Monster Hunter: World catapulted the storied franchise into the mainstream consciousness in January 2018, there are plenty more beasts to slay on the go.
Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate features ninety-three monsters to defeat, carve, and turn into gear. That’s plenty to do, and while some quality of life features that Monster Hunter: World fans would like are missing, there’s so much going on here that it’s easy to be overwhelmed.
This enhanced version of the 3DS title is well worth a look for action-RPG fans or those looking for a new Monster Hunter challenge. Big beastie battles to take on the go… what more could you want?
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Landing on the Switch just a few months after it arrived on other platforms, Dragon Ball FighterZ doesn’t offer many new tweaks to what was already available, but that doesn’t matter too much.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best 2D fighters in history, with plenty of fan-service for those well-versed in Super Saiyans and Kamehamehas. Its story mode is as silly as they come, but the way it captures the intensity of the original anime in such accurate fashion makes it a joy to watch and play. Certainly, it’s a lot better than this year’s Jump Force game.
If 2D fighters aren’t your thing, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 offers a 3D martial arts RPG which is well worth a look, too.
One of the Switch’s most well-regarded indies, Hollow Knight is a testament to the allure of the Metroidvania sub-genre of platformers. Originally launched on PC and Mac in 2017, it has felt perfectly at home on Switch since it arrived there in 2018.
Team Cherry’s 2D adventure takes place in Hallownest, a subterranean world of bugs. Its soundtrack is exceptional, and while a difficult game, it always feels rewarding to scrape past each encounter to explore more of the world’s deepest secrets. A true great.
Dark Souls: Remastered
On the subject of difficult games, the numerous delays to Dark Souls’ eventual Switch release didn’t inspire confidence, but there was no reason to worry. FromSoftware’s superlative title hasn’t lost any of its charm in its move to the Switch.
Technical concessions aside, Dark Souls on Switch is the same weighty and challenging experience that gamers fell in love with back in 2011. Of course, if you’re the type to throw a controller in frustration, it might be best to avoid playing in handheld mode – new Switch consoles don’t come cheap.
DOOM/Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
A cheeky double entry here, and another pair of Bethesda ports, both 2016’s Doom and 2017’s Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus can be filed under the category “How on Earth did they get these to run on the Switch?”
Both games are as excellent as their initial releases, but playing either on the bus feels like achieving the impossible – fully-fledged console shooters on a handheld device. Truly, it feels like a work of magic to cram so much game into such a tiny console.
Whether you’re slaying demons throughout hell or battling Nazis through an alternate history, there’s plenty of bang for your portable buck in each of these adventures.
If you’re looking for a new obsession, look no further. Chucklefish’s farming title is one of the Switch’s most charming ports – its pixelated art style and relaxing soundtrack combine to make it feel like time is standing still.
It isn’t just a looker, though – Stardew Valley has a wealth of character in all of its underlying systems. Your farm grows from hard graft and making the right friends, but also from journeying through treacherous caves and mines. It’s addictive too, so be sure to take regular breaks or your farm can quickly become all-consuming.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below…