Before we get into this guide, let me start by saying this: it was very difficult trying to narrow down the best adventure games on Switch.
There are so many great options, but in the end we decided to compile 15 awesome Switch adventure games. The list below covers a variety of sub-genres, but all encompass the feeling of adventure exceptionally well.
As there are a ton of great action-adventure games on Switch, we’ve even compiled a separate list for that – but there are games that fit that genre within this guide too.
If you’re looking to go on a magical journey within games, let’s get stuck into our list of the best adventure games on Nintendo Switch right now.
15. A Short Hike
A Short Hike is very different to your average adventure game. There aren’t any demons for you to fend off or crazy worlds to explore. Instead, you get exactly what it says on the tin; “A Short Hike”.
Players will follow marked trails, making their way up to the summit of a small hill.
There are lots of things to do on the way, such as fishing or swimming, and no time limit for you to keep track of.
There are plenty of treasures to collect and other hikers to interact with, making this one of the most laid-back adventure games on Switch.
14. Pokémon Sword and Shield
Let’s disregard the controversial “Dexit,” in which a handful of beloved Pokémon were made unobtainable in this generation.
Let’s also forget about the sub-par graphics and reused animations from the 3DS titles. We won’t even talk about the bland and, frankly, too easy single-player experience. All of these issues aside, are Pokémon Sword and Shield good games? The answer is a resounding…yeah, kind of.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first mainline games to come to the Nintendo Switch. Despite what people may say, the core campaign of the generation VIII games is still just as fun as it was twenty years ago.
The new Pokémon are all well designed and fit well into the competitive format. The Wild Area was a great inclusion that set the stage for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. And Hop…was also there.
There were lots of things not to like about Pokémon Sword and Shield, but traveling around the world of Galar in the first-ever mainline Pokémon games on home consoles is an adventure many of us waited for for more than two decades.
13. Ring Fit Adventure
Ring Fit Adventure is much more than another exercising clone like Wii Fit.
Ring Fit Adventure has a surprisingly deep gameplay loop and really lives up to its name as an “adventure.”
By exercising with the titular ring, you will take on mobs of enemies and tough boss battles all while simultaneously burning a ton of calories.
The unique ring is very intuitive and never feels like a nuisance while playing or exercising. Overall, Ring Fit Adventure is much more fun than it has any right to be. The developers could have easily created a half-baked story and pushed out a Wii Fit clone.
Instead, the team behind this game went above and beyond to really incentivize gamers to get out of the chair and exercise instead of just waggling a Wii Remote in their chair to hit a tennis ball.
12. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Skyward Sword rubbed a lot of people the wrong way when it was initially released. Some praised the intuitive motion control while others panned its unresponsiveness. Regardless of your stance, the fact that so many people complained means that something went wrong on the development side.
Enter Skyward Sword HD; reimagined for the Nintendo Switch and stated to have had all the annoyances removed.
A lot of grievances were ironed out here. Picking up an item for the fortieth time no longer triggers a time-consuming cutscene. Fi speaks a lot less, allowing players to figure things out on their own.
Motion controls are present, but the game also allows for button controls now as well. The game was designed around motion controls, and the button-mapping is less than ideal, but it’s there if you want it.
A common grip held amongst fans when it comes to Skyward Sword is that the game is too easy, the worlds are unimaginative rehashes, and the bosses are bland and boring. Aside from the Ancient Cistern, almost every boss in this game can be summed up by “hit the glowing eye.”
Issues aside, the game is still a lot of fun for a casual playthrough. The time stone mechanics were a great concept we wish were expanded upon. As mentioned, the water temple here is perhaps the best in the entire franchise.
And we have to talk about how great the characters are here. This is the best incarnation of Zelda aside from Breath of the Wild and Spirit Tracks. Moreover, Groose steals the show going through more of a character arc than our titular hero!
11. Luigi’s Mansion 3
After the mediocre reception of Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, fans of the cult classic were excited for the next installment of the franchise. Thankfully, Luigi’s Mansion 3 fixes a lot of the issues people had with the 3DS sequel.
Everything you know and love about these games is present here. The atmosphere is a lot spookier and more foreboding, and the “boss” ghosts are challenging and often have unique mechanics that require a change of play style to defeat them.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t a typical adventure, but it’s one that suits the cowardly Mario brother just perfectly.
10. Okami HD
Okami is an incredibly stylistic game that draws heavily on traditional Japanese folklore and artwork.
The game looked spectacular back on the PlayStation 2, but having the vivid colors and elegant brushstrokes emphasized on the Nintendo Switch is breathtaking to see.
In this game, you play as the white wolf Amaterasu. The Shinto sun goddess has taken this form in order to save the land from incoming darkness.
On your adventure, you will take on powerful Yokai using brush strokes to activate your attacks. This is such a unique concept that has not been replicated as fluidly ever before.
All in all, Okami HD is a wonderful Switch adventure game that will keep you glues to the screen thanks to its impressive visuals.
9. Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread is a chilling adventure completely unlike the other entries on this list. Even games like Luigi’s Mansion 3 fail to evoke the powerful sense of… dread that this game does.
Making your way through each level, Samus will be hunted down by robotic creatures. Being spotted by one of these things is enough to give even the strongest gamer heart palpitations as you desperately try to run away.
Metroid Dread is not for everyone. The incredibly tense atmosphere gives you little time to breathe, and being caught once by an enemy will often result in a Game Over. The game is also very difficult, so expect to see that death screen a lot.
Still, if you preserver to the very end, there is a lot to love about this game and a great adventure to be had.
8. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a beautifully designed experience and is easily one of the best adventure games on Switch.
The story will take you across several different levels, each with its own perils to face. Playing as the small spirit, Ori feels incredibly satisfying as you drift and glide through each stage.
The game itself has been nominated for several Baftas, including those related to art design, musical score, and character animation. Ori games aren’t as difficult as other titles on this list, and may not scratch the itch of those looking to test their gaming prowess.
However, Ori and its subsequent sequel tap into the atmosphere of an adventure thanks to the unique and inspiring design choices made by the developers.
7. Bayonetta 2
Bayonetta is one of the most fun action-adventure titles in recent memory. Standing alongside mainstays like God of War and Devil May Cry, Bayonetta is all about taking out enemies in as stylish a manner as possible!
Mastering the game’s combat system should come first for any new players. Stringing combos together to maximize damage is very intuitive, with layers of depth for those wishing to dedicate the time to master this system.
6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a JRPG-style adventure game. After the huge success of the first title, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was announced.
Xenoblade 2 expands on the original game, including more mechanics, gameplay tweaks, new areas, and a grander story.
If you enjoy a lengthy, narrative-driven adventure game that really dives deep into the lore of the world, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the game for you!
5. Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Kirby games are often criticized for being too easy. While it is true that most of the entries in this franchise don’t take a lot of skill to complete, it’s unfair to claim the games aren’t fun.
Sometimes, gamers don’t want to hit thirty-eight buttons in the span of microseconds to execute a perfect combo. Sometimes, they just want to sit back and relax with a nice, easy-going time sink.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes Kirby and places (him? her? it?) in a world just like ours.
A concept as simple as this has so much potential for interesting gameplay. Having Kirby transform into a car, a jukebox, and a fridge is both hilarious to see and surprisingly fun to interact with.
Kirby games aren’t that hard, but the adventure they take you on is one we recommend everyone experience at least once. Kirby and the Forgotten World is one of the best Kirby games out there and certainly one of the best adventure games on Switch.
4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon has always walked the line between “adventure game” and “RPG.” Legends: Arceus, on the other hand, is the most “adventure” this series has seen in years.
Legends: Arceus does away with the old-school formula of Pokémon. No longer are you exploring a new region to collect badges, challenge gyms, and defeat the Elite Four. Now, it’s all about completing the Pokédex.
Pokémon have begun to appear in the overworld a lot more in games like the aforementioned Sword and Shield, or Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. However, there is always a transition from open-world exploration to turn-based combat in those games.
Here, the combat is expertly woven into the exploration. Players must sneak up on Pokémon while hiding in bushes to avoid detection. Making Pokémon mad will have them charge at you and potentially leave you injured. Yes, turn-based battles remain, but even these have been updated with the Strong and Speed styles.
Legends: Arceus was a much-needed breath of fresh air for the Pokémon franchise. Hopefully, this ingenuity can continue into Scarlet and Violet as well.
3. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is often considered to be the pinnacle of “Metroidvania” games. Even above titular titles like Metroid Dread or Symphony of the Night, people will praise Hollow Knight even more than the games that birthed the genre!
Hollow Knight’s amazing visuals, charming music, and fluid gameplay make it a must-play for fans of Metroidvanias and adventure games alike.
There is tons of content packed into this title, and every room you explore will have some kind of challenge for you to face. Hollow Knight is arguably the best Metroidvania on Switch, and we’re excited to see what comes next in Silksong!
2. Super Mario Odyssey
After Mario ventured into literal outer space, many questioned what on Earth Nintendo had up their sleeve for the next game.
Our worries were soon squashed when Super Mario Odyssey was released. Super Mario Odyssey doesn’t change things up much in the way of gameplay. You still have a backflip, a medley of jumps, and a side hop.
However, new additions like the barrel roll make movement a lot more free-flowing.
Speaking of which, we couldn’t talk about movement options without mentioning Super Mario Odyssey’s main gimmick. Super Mario Sunshine had FLUDD, Super Mario Galaxy had the friendly Luma, and Super Mario Odyssey has Cappy.
Cappy allows players to possess various enemies throughout the world, including a T.Rex, a frog, and even a bullet bill. Moreover, Cappy makes bouncing off walls and skipping over cutscenes a breeze, thanks to the intricate skill required in mastering Mario’s movement.
Super Mario Odyssey’s worlds do fall a little flat. We have the standard desert, water, and snow levels. However, the more unique worlds like the Ruined Kingdom, Moon Kingdom, Metro Kingdom, and Bowser’s Kingdom are beautifully designed.
The Ruined Kingdom’s boss, in particular, is a stark departure from traditional Mario enemies and was great to fight.
Super Mario Odyssey continues the long and seemingly unstoppable lineage of 3D Mario games. The only question left is, where can Mario go next?!
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
“Zelda” and “adventure” are two words that have become synonymous over the years. Every new journey Link must go on is filled with intrigue, peril, and triumph. If that doesn’t define an adventure, we don’t know what does.
Zelda has become so popular as a franchise it has become a genre in and of itself. The best Zelda-like games on Switch all incorporate the same feeling of adventure as their inspiratory titles.
Breath of the Wild’s vast open world and freedom of exploration is a refreshing departure from the linearity of more modern Zelda titles.
The original Legend of Zelda through players into a new world with nothing more than a sword and some encouraging words. Breath of the Wild modernizes this idea expertly.
This isn’t to say that spectacle is the only thing going for Breath of the Wild. Puzzles are fun and dynamic, the new stasis mechanics are a joy to mess around with, and there’s more to collect than ever before.
The boss battles are the only thing that falls a little flat here as most of them are pretty easy and uninspired (even the final boss).
All in all, not many people would disagree with us putting Breath of the Wild as number one in this list of the best adventure games on Nintendo Switch.