Hack and slash games are known for their frantic, button-mashy combat. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy, as many games in this genre have some of the most complicated combat in gaming history.
Hack and slash games emphasize spectacular combat, typically using melee weapons. It has a particularly adrenaline-pumping reputation as your goal is to defeat numerous foes with as much style as possible.
While it is fun to unleash long and fluid combo strings, it won’t mean much if the enemies can’t fight back. Thus, a good hack and slash game allows you to defend yourself without breaking the pace of your aggression.
This list contains the 20 best hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch.
There’s a wide selection of games that combine different genres and drastically different combat systems. Some are more methodical, while others play like traditional hack and slash games, but all of them are quality titles that you should check out.
Hades is one of the modern classics that you can play on the Nintendo Switch. It is one of the best indie games in the market, even winning the best indie game of all time back in 2020.
You play as Zagreus, son of the eponymous god of the underworld. Take control of the protagonist to climb to the surface, fighting all manners of mythical creatures and characters on the way.
This title has rogue-like mechanics that mixes well with its fast-paced action that puts your skills up to the test. Also, you can wield a variety of legendary weapons from stories of old.
You can also acquire boons and power-ups from your favorite Greek gods. These offer various buffs and new skills that will make or break your run.
Furthermore, the game also allows you to build relationships with non-playing characters (NPC) by giving them nectar. In doing so, you’ll progress their personal story and receive permanent rewards.
The game is one of a hell ride with stunning visuals and a compelling narrative that reveals more of its rich story during each run. Hades executes many of its ideas flawlessly, cementing it as one of the best hack and slash games on the Nintendo Switch.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a spin-off game from the No More Heroes franchise. Although it is one of Suda51’s underappreciated games, you can still experience great hack and slash elements in this title.
The game takes place years after the events of previous ones. the story revolves around Travis being sucked inside a game console on his trailer but with a very dark history on it.
Combat is straightforward but fun—typically mixing light and heavy attacks. The game also lets you collect coins to unlock new special attacks as well.
Surprisingly, the story doesn’t shy away from breaking the fourth wall. It’s a fitting narrative device as it sort of reflects the developer’s struggles.
The game’s visuals are inspired by old classics that you can recognize in the course of the game. In addition, each stage gives you a different environment and fresh art design to experience.
The game’s atmosphere suits the Nintendo Switch’s format of blissful fun. Travis Strikes Again is an excellent game to introduce to players who are not familiar with the Hack and Slash genre.
Furi is a jaw-dropping game that immerses players with its stunning visuals, mesmerizing soundtrack, and tight gameplay. However, this hack and slash game won’t have you mowing down hordes of enemies, but rather engage in an intense boss rush.
As the main highlight of the game, the bosses really carry their weight. Each character is well designed and varies from the other in aesthetics, theme, and, most importantly, game mechanics.
These bosses put you on edge on your seat, as a mistake sets you back to the beginning of their phase. Each boss has several phases that you’ll have to get through by seamlessly switching between melee and ranged combat.
After depleting their health bar, you’ll move to their next phase. Each boss has a pattern that you’ll have to learn and quickly find the solution while trying to survive in the meantime.
Parrying and dodging help you stay alive while you identify their weaknesses. A successful parry is incredibly satisfying to pull off. Perform multiple parries in a row, and you’ll be able to carry out a strong finisher with a special cutscene.
After completing the base game, try another playthrough on Furier mode. It’s fundamentally a brand new game with amped-up versions of the bosses, including remixed attack patterns.
While Furi is a shorter experience, it will keep you coming back to play more of this difficult hack and slash game on Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch’s portable nature lets you take on each boss whenever you wish, and with frequent breaks in between.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition will let you experience the chaotic hack and slash gameplay of Dynasty Warriors set in the fantasy world of Hyrule. It has an addicting gameplay loop with many unlockables to collect, including the iconic characters of the Legend of Zelda franchise.
Originally one of the best-selling Wii U titles, the game was ported to the Nintendo Switch as the definite edition. That means this is the complete package of the game, taking every single piece of content from both the Wii U and 3DS.
The definitive edition added new characters, weapons, items, and even scenarios in story mode from other versions. In addition, they also included every adventure mode in Hyrule Warriors: Legends and the Fairy system from the 3DS.
As a welcome quality of life change, the Definitive Edition added an item card shop so players won’t waste time grinding the same stage repeatedly for an item. Now you can just buy items and enjoy the game.
Hyrule Warriors is one of the most fun hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch. It’s a massive game with loads of content that fits the convenience of the handheld console.
Hyrule Warriors is a love letter to fans of the Legend of Zelda players. Even if you aren’t, it’s a solid hack and slash game worthy of your library.
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition is one of Capcom’s powerhouse titles and revolutionized the hack and slash genre. DMC 3 is an action-packed game featuring a deep combat system mixed with puzzles to solve.
You play as the cool and suave Dante, the son of the legendary demon swordsman. After a gigantic tower appears in the middle of the city, bringing dangerous demons along, Dante must ascend it to defeat his power-hungry twin brother Vergil.
The original DMC 3 added styles; these are specialized movesets that affect your playstyle. For example, choosing the Gunslinger style expands and upgrades your potency using firearms.
DMC 3: Special Edition adds freestyle mode, which allows players to fluidly switch styles in the middle of combat. It completely changes the game towards a much more fun direction.
The true core of DMC 3’s combat loop is defeating your foes in stylish, flashy, and over-the-top combos. You steadily build up your score as you fight, diminishing when you make a mistake or start repeating the same moves.
Dante starts out with a lengthy command list that you expand throughout the course of the game, and you’ll eventually learn to use his whole kit. Aside from that, you’ll also unlock weapons with their own unique attacks.
The most accessible part of DMC 3 is that these complex combos are there for you to master but not to finish the game. You can reach the credits by playing casually and without much active thought.
In addition, you can also play as Vergil after you finish Dante’s run. Aside from a parallel storyline, he also has a different playstyle and weapons.
Devil May Cry 3 is easily one of the great hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch. It is a timeless classic that never gets stale.
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition
Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition combines action-adventure and hack and slash combat in an open world setting. Defeat grotesque beasts and abominations, scavenge ruins, and collect a massive amount of fun armaments to try.
Imagine Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess went all the way with its dark and mature theme. The story follows Death, one of four horsemen of the apocalypse, as he attempts to prove his brother’s innocence in his alleged crime. The sequel’s story takes place during the same events as the first game.
As Darksiders II is an open world game, you’re free to explore the game and tackle the main campaign and side content in any order. Although Death mainly uses his reliable scythes, you can loot secondary weapons like hammers and claws to use in combat.
Darksiders II also has some light RPG elements. For example, loot is randomized, with each one having different stats and higher tiers. There’s also a skill tree system where you can purchase new talents with levels.
The highlight of the game is its carefully crafted dungeons. There are a lot of well-thought-out and tricky puzzles that ask you to really observe your environment.
The Deathinitive Edition is a remastered version of the original, including all downloaded content. It’s a fun experience and deserves a spot on the list of best hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch.
Icey looks like a run-of-the-mill hack and slash game on the surface, but there is more than meets the eye. What separates Icey from the crowd is its creative and postmodern take on its short story.
It quickly sets up the main goal of Icey, the synthetic and amnesiac protagonist. After waking up from her slumber, she’s overtaken by this intense desire to take down someone named Judas.
A meta narrator tells Icey’s story as you play through the game’s scenarios. But, it is up to you to decide whether to follow or ignore the narrator’s command in the course of your run, like in The Stanley’s Parable.
The game deserves praise for its fascinating storytelling direction and clever uses of breaking the fourth wall. Icey also offers multiple endings depending on the path you have decided to go—fitting for its three-hour play time. There’s also a true ending that unlocks only after getting every other ending.
Gameplay-wise, Icey is a side-scrolling game that uses light and heavy attack mechanics while mixing in swift dashes. Combos are flashy and fast-paced, where you rely more on your intuition while reacting to the enemy’s attacks. You can also buy new attacks from currency earned through playing the game.
Icey is a beautiful, entertaining, and replayable short experience. It’s one of the most narratively rich hack and slash games for the Nintendo Switch that you can experience today.
It wouldn’t be a proper list for hack and slash games without an entry from PlatinumGames. One of the most action-packed franchises ever created, Bayonetta 2 is a must-play for anyone who loves a good spectacle fighter with a deep combat system.
The first game is also on Nintendo Switch and holds up very well. However, the sequel amps up the combat with its fluid action and unmatched style.
Another improvement over the previous installment is the far fewer infuriating quick time events. Of course, quick time events are still present in the sequel, but most are bombastic finishers to cap off a fight.
Bayonetta 2 has the most amazing hectic combat mechanics that will put you in a flow where you’re effortless executing lengthy strings of combos while weaving through enemies. Each attack flawlessly chains into each other and lets you keep the aggression going.
Bayonetta is an agile fighter who can cancel out of her attacks to dodge. Dodging right before an enemy’s attack connects rewards you with her iconic witch time, a state where all foes move in slow-motion. In addition, she can enter a Umbran Climax state or Supercharge to power up all of her attacks and grant powerful effects.
Since witch time is an intended game mechanic, the enemies are also highly aggressive to balance it out. Therefore, expect a challenging experience where you have to put in the effort to reach a big combat score.
Bayonetta 2’s art direction is top-notch, especially her slick and detailed animations. It’s full of breathtaking set pieces and cinematic cutscenes that embrace its excessive, bombastic, and campy nature. As for the Nintendo Switch port, it is a competent port as it is able to consistently output 60 frames per second.
Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are too good to pass up. You won’t regret adding this flashy hack and slash game to your Nintendo Switch.
Onimusha: Warlords was initially released back in 2001 on the PlayStation 2. The game’s HD remastered version made its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2019 with improved graphics, a new soundtrack, along with several quality of life and gameplay changes. One of the best additions is the ability to switch weapons whenever you want.
Onimusha’s gameplay aged well, allowing both fans of the series and curious newcomers to enjoy this essential classic. It is a unique blend of survival horror with hack and slash games mixed with tricky puzzles as the campaign progresses.
The game could be pitched as old school Resident Evil with katanas set in feudal Japan. Because of its fixed-camera position, the developers meticulously chose every frame to maximize the drama. As a result, it is a surprisingly tense experience as enemies are hiding at angles not immediately covered on the screen.
Modern players might need some time to adjust to the fixed camera. Fortunately, there’s an option to use standard 3D controls. For long time fans, the classic tank controls is still available.
Onimusha’s combat is a simpler form of hack and slash gameplay using more straightforward combos and special attacks powered by demon souls and magical effects. You can also collect three magical weapons along the way, with each containing unique stances that can change gameplay.
Onimusha is an underrated but significant entry to gaming history. It was revolutionary during its time and worth a play even today. An easy game to recommend as one of the most influential hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch.
Astral Chain is another instant hit from PlatinumGames. It is a Nintendo Switch exclusive and is frequently cited as one of the best games on the platform.
The game delivers the whole package from the company’s distinct style, known for its weird but somehow entertaining cinematic cutscenes and over-the-top action. Astral Chain perfectly sets the vibe for players that are hardcore fans of the hack and slash genre.
Astral Chain starts by letting you choose between the male or female twin; the one you don’t pick becomes a major character in the narrative. You play as a police officer who has to investigate and push back the sudden appearance of chimeras secretly invading the world.
Eventually, you will acquire and sync with your very own Legion, living weapons created to fight against the threat of chimeras. These helpers are mentally linked and physically tethered to the user.
The combat system is not a typical one, as each button of the controller has its purpose. Instead, the game lets you control your Legion and the protagonist simulatenously—essentially controlling two characters at the same time. It helps to think of them like the Stands in Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure.
Once you get used to the innovative combat, you’ll start pulling stylish and creative combos. Astral Chain executes the idea perfectly, and over time multi-tasking will flow as naturally as controlling a single entity.
Aside from that, there are five unique kinds of Legions that you can team up with. Each Legion has moves and skills that can be used against your enemies. In addition, you can swiftly swap between these Legions mid-combat to extend your combo.
Astral Chain is one of the greatest hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch. The combat is so sublime that you’ll immediately come back to attempt its numerous challenges after completing the game.
Dead Cells mixes hack and slash combat with metroidvania level design and roguelite progression to great effect. It is a prime example of keeping a difficult game fair yet fun.
What shines the most on this game is its stellar and frantic combat. The combat system is entertaining because of its snappy and responsive skirmishes. Your character and regular mobs hit like a truck, and battles tend to end as soon as it began.
As a roguelite, you can pick between a vast amount of weapons during each run. There are also scrolls forcing you to decide between which aspect of your build do you want to empower.
Dead Cells is a masterclass in pushing you to blaze through its procedurally generated levels as fast as possible. Playing fast and efficient rewards you with more currency to permanently unlock upgrades and armaments for your subsequent runs.
It is fulfilling to improve, experiment, and adapt to new builds on the fly. Dead Cells gets a bit easier with each run, but only if you’re willing to learn from your mistakes.
Its roguelite nature feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch. It is a fast-paced hack and slash adventure that continues to release new downloaded content years after its initial launch.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
It is no surprise that Blizzard’s dungeon-crawling, hack and slash, and action role-playing game Diablo 3 made its arrival on the Nintendo Switch. The Eternal Collection is a console exclusive and includes all the available content, including the Necromancer class.
Set twenty years after Diablo II, your character investigates the falling star in New Tristam. Each class also serves as the central character with a different backstory, motivations, and goals to pursue throughout the campaign. Individually, they’re all fully voice acted and offer unique insights into the game’s events.
Of course, Diablo 3 retains the classic gameplay that keeps players hooked. You’ll take on quests and fight through hordes of demons that often fill the screen with their number.
As you progress through the game, you’ll slowly but surely become more powerful. You’ll invest points into your character’s skill tree and shape their skill set according to your preferred playstyle.
Eventually, you’ll go from a lowly hero with a simple move set, to a complete one-man army capable of raining down elements, casting massive spells, and wiping out legions of enemies with one attack. The game is a treat for players to have fun and experience their power fantasy with dungeon-crawling elements.
Most of the time, you’ll grind out randomized loot in order to push your character to their absolute limit. Once you feel like the content is too easy, then you can restart the campaign on a more serious difficulty.
Diablo 3 is fun to play solo or with friends. The core gameplay loop has a casual feel to it where it compels you to run just one dungeon for that specific armor piece you’ve been aiming for. If you’re a fan of action role-playing games, this is the perfect hack and slash game on Nintendo Switch for you.
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time
Relieve the adventures of this classic Cartoon Network series as you get to play the titular character to return to the past to slay the evil Aku. Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is an action-adventure, hack and slash game that revisits Jack’s epic battles while you are in control.
Battle Through Time is a continuation of the serious conclusion of the animated series. The game makes it feel like a lengthy expansion of the show while also a compilation of its best hits. Fight countless robots, monsters, and familiar characters that Jack previously faced on the show.
The game’s art style is a mix of 2D and 3D animation styles that seamlessly blend with other. In addition, it also showcases its stylish signature design to manufacture a visual delight.
Much like any other hack and slash game, Battle Through Time is similar in terms of combat. Attacks are simple, but they can be improved by purchasing skills in the talent tree with a different currency to spend.
You can use different melee and ranged weapons such as clubs, revolvers, and his famous magical sword. Also, you can buy weapons and items from Da’ Samurai to add to your arsenal of weapons.
Rarely does a licensed title get the gameplay right like Battle Through Time. You don’t need to be a fan of the show to appreciate this fun hack and slash game on Nintendo Switch.
Star Wars: Force Unleashed
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a fun hack and slash game for just the lightsaber combat alone. But combining it with Force powers and familiar settings elevates it to a loved title.
You play as Starkiller, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice who has been trained since childhood to hunt down Jedis across the galaxy. The story is exciting for fans of the franchise as you unravel secrets and dig deeper into the lore.
The game’s combat is exhilarating as you hack and slash down enemies using your lightsaber alongside clever utilization of the environment. As the title suggests, the game lets you unleash the force as you push objects and electrify storm troopers with your force abilities.
Starkiller gets pretty overpowered by the end of the game, and that’s shown both in gameplay and in cutscenes. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a science fiction hack and slash on Nintendo Switch, consider picking this game up.
Persona 5 Strikers
Persona 5 Strikers sets a different tone from other Persona game titles. Instead of the usual turn-based system, this JRPG perfectly translated its mechanics into a real-time hack and slash combat.
The game is more like a proper sequel rather than a spin-off project. It takes place shortly after the events of Persona 5 and follows the Phantom Thieves on their month-long road trip across Japan.
Persona 5 Strikers’ combat system is similar to a Dynasty Warriors where you cleave through hordes of foes. But, it keeps true to the Phantom Thieves’ flashy and hyper-stylized moves.
The game lets you switch between the gang in the middle of combat, along with their personas. The developers did an excellent job making them unique while also staying consistent with their established personalities and relationships.
For fans of Persona 5, Persona 5 Strikers is a love letter and fan service wrapped in a high-quality game. For everyone else, it is still a sound anime hack and slash game, even if you’ll be a little lost story-wise.
Akane is a hack and slash game where you have to survive for as long as possible while reaching a high score, arcade style. The visual design of this game is aesthetically gritty, matched with dystopian and cyberpunk themes.
The game is a bit tough and punishing because of its one-hit mechanics, as enemies and bosses can end your life in one hit. It also goes the other way, as all you’ll need is one hit to defeat every enemy, including bosses.
Armed with a katana and a gun of your choice, you’re locked in a fairly spacious arena while a limitless sea of enemies converge on you. Aside from the regular goons, there are more dangerous like those wielding guns.
Resource management is a must, as you need to utilize your stamina for slashing and bullets to fire. In addition, for every 100 enemies, a tough boss spawns to take you down.
The game’s upgrade system relies on your score. As you reach higher scores and fulfill particular challenges, you can get new weapons and items for your next runs.
Akane takes a much more methodical approach to hack and slash games on Switch as you have to think of your every move. It takes focus to play the game, as one wrong move will boot you back to the start.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered Version
Another entry from Platinum Games, The Wonderful 101: Remastered Version is a charming hack and slash on Nintendo Switch right now. The game’s visual approach is similar to Japanese media depiction of superheroes, commonly known as Sentai.
Its interactive gameplay captivates players of all ages. The game’s combat system is silly and quirky, with a unique sense of freedom and strategy.
You can also manage the crowd of civilians to form weapons with each specific shape that you can draw. For example, when you form a circle, it will become a fist, and when drawing a straight line, it will become a sword, and so on.
Wonderful 101 also includes a rock paper scissors system where each projectile and shape has a counter. For instance, a sword can deflect beams, a gun can suck bombs, and whips can destroy spiked objects.
The boss fights are cinematic spectacles with quick time events that tend to overload the senses. However, for all its charm, it has a fair amount of challenges.
The Wonderful 101 might be the PlatinumGames craziest entry. Fun all throughout and surprisingly complex, this game is worth another look.
Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition
Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition is one of the most important indie games in recent years. The lead developers called it a combination of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Diablo.
Hyper Light Drifter’s retro 16-bit design blends its vibrant atmosphere with the game’s grim and mature themes. Hyper Light Drifter uses grand visuals and cryptic symbols to convey its narrative without the use of dialogue.
The game has deliberate hack and slash combat as enemies hit hard. You have to use your trusty sword and firearm along with quick dashes and wit to master the combat.
Exploration is also another highlight of the game, as there are many secrets to find. Hyper Light Drifter is undoubtedly one of the best 2D hack and slash on Nintendo Switch.
If you’re craving more dungeon-crawling action, then Torchlight 2 will scratch that itch for adventure and loot. Likewise, fans of action role-playing games like Diablo will instantly fall in love with this game.
The game is a top-down hack and slash ARPG with responsive combat and loot-craving sensibilities. Torchlight 2 also has a wide variety of pets that perform helpful tasks, like selling your unwanted loot back in town.
Torchlight 2 features four classes to select. However, you can build these characters in multiple ways, encouraging multiple and diverse playthroughs. Additionally, skill trees are less restrictive as the only pre-requisite is your character’s level and nothing else.
Overall, Torchlight 2 is a casual ARPG that fits right at home with the Nintendo Switch. It doesn’t have a dark theme like most ARPGs, and its satisfying but straightforward hack and slash combat is a perfect way to de-stress and relax.
The traditional aesthetic of Bladed Fury always captivates interested players at first glance. The game is inspired by Chinese Mythology, and that influence is seen in its story, characters, and even combat. The developers also admired Muramasa: The Demon Blade, a similar title that uses Japanese folklore instead.
Bladed Fury is a side-scrolling, simple hack and slash adventure. You play as Princess Xi, who is on a quest to take revenge against your father’s killer and restore your family’s honor.
The game’s combat straightforward combat is offset by its beautiful hand-drawn animation. But, there’s great verticality when fighting, and you’ll often jump and use acrobatic attacks. It also uses creative art direction to further engage players.
You can also summon spirits known as Soul Sliver to change the tide of combat. These summons help break the monotony and keep gameplay fresh.
What truly shines the most are the boss fights of the game. It steadily ramps up in challenge and difficulty, where you have to learn their patterns and dodge accordingly.
You can also upgrade your weapons to unlock new moves by using souls you gathered from vanquishing enemies. Also, you can find other upgrades around the environment for health and extra souls. It is accustomed to the genre, but it supplements the action that the game provides.
In conclusion, Bladed Fury is a must-played game when you feel that you are running out of hack and slash games on Nintendo Switch to play. Although the combat can get a bit stale, the narrative and art style more than make up for it.