There’s something magical about indie games. They are often made by people with low budgets that have to rely on creativity and originality in order to overcome a lack of financial backing.
The spell system of Magicka, the time rewind in Braid, and Fez‘s world are all products of a type of creativity, passion, and dedication that is relatively abundant in indie titles.
As someone who loves the Switch and indie games, I decided to round up a massive list of my 50 favorite Switch indie games. Although this is just my opinion, you’ll be certain to find something new to enjoy.
50. Goat Simulator
I know the title might not make you very excited, but this game is not meant to be taken seriously. And we did warn you that the best Switch indie games rely heavily on creative thinking from the developers.
The game is defined as the “latest in goat simulation technology, bringing next-gen goat simulation.”
You don’t need to wonder what being a goat in a simulator with questionable physics is like. Just play this game, and you will know. As a simulated goat, your objective is to cause mayhem and destruction.
If you just want to turn off your brain and have fun with a genuinely funny game, give it a shot. You might be surprised with how fun this silly game can be once you play it as it is meant to be played, for the sake of finding the weirdest thing you can do to break all around you.
Whilst this certainly has novelty value, it’s genuinely a great game to play, too.
If you are looking for a Nintendo Switch indie game that is easy to understand, fun, and lets you turn your brain off for a while, I can easily recommend Tower Fall. This game defines itself as “the classic archery party game.”
On the Nintendo Switch, TowerFall has an exclusive 6 players mode. Not only that, but this version of the game also has widescreen levels, new gameplay variants, guest archers, and so much more.
This game is even more entertaining when you play against people next to you on the couch, but if you don’t like competition, its co-op mode lets you team up with your friends to fight monsters, archers, and bosses.
Undertale is an odd RPG that pays homage to old SNES games, especially Earthbound. This game’s most notable characteristic is the fact that, although it is a turn-based RPG, you don’t have to fight the enemies to progress.
There is an alternative to violence and this part of Undertale’s beauty. That uniqueness in the combat system — that allows you to do something other than fighting — combined with a very nostalgic art style and a marvelously composed soundtrack that uses old game’s sounds make an unmissable indie RPG.
If that sounds like something, you’d enjoy, fall into the Underworld and experience this adventure. It’s heartwarming, funny, and quite entertaining.
47. Hotline Miami
Seeing hyper-violence combined with the art style that is mainly known for things from our childhood is something that you will probably only see in indie games, so if you are looking for a top-down game with raw violence displayed in pixel art, look for it no more.
At first, this is a game that might feel weird to you. The art style is not to everyone’s taste, and the controls are a bit unusual if you have never played a game that controls similarly.
However, it doesn’t take long for you to get used to the game’s rhythm and start understanding the adrenaline thrill you get from a run. Since you die from one hit, going throw the levels shooting at everything is really satisfying when you pull it off.
And if you are one of those who play games mostly for the plot, there’s a decently written story that is revealed as you progress through the stages, so you have no excuse to skip this game.
46. Salt and Sanctuary
If there is something that I love about indie games is how they can mix and match genres. Salt and Sanctuary is a souls-like 2D platformer, which means that it is somewhat of a Metroidvania with punitive but fair combat and a stamina bar.
In Salt and Sanctuary, you will find over 600 different weapons, spells, items, and armor pieces in order to see what works best or at least what fits your playstyle better.
This is a combination of genres that work surprisingly well. Salt and Sanctuary is actually quite fun for those who are into games with a more methodical approach and brutal combat.
Puzzle fans will absolutely love Hoa. This puzzle-platforming game has a lot of character due to its hand-painted art style and emotionally charged music.
The world of Hoa is vast, well crafted, and breathtaking. The game is simple, and the mechanics are not complicated, but there is so much beauty and charm in this game that I can’t ignore it when considering the best indie Switch games.
This is a perfect game for when you want to spend some time relaxing instead of getting frustrated by playing a complex video game.
Not many people talk about Biped, but they should. This is an action-adventure puzzle game with a lot of heart, but its gameplay is what makes it special.
In Biped, you move each leg of the main character independently. So if you want to walk forward, you have to move one leg first, then the other.
This might seem odd, but it is enough to completely change how you navigate a 3D space, and it provides many engaging puzzles to solve.
43. Exit the Gungeon
Although it lacks many roguelike and bullet-hell elements that made the Enter the Gungeon great, Exit the Gungeon is a pretty good game.
Instead of the top-down style of the original title, this game is a 2D side scroller, but the spirit of the game is the same.
You have to advance through the dungeon, kill everything that moves, and collect new weapons and items that help you beat the stages.
If you like side scrollers and shooters, you will have fun with Exist the Gungeon.
42. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights
Ender lilies: Quietus of the Knights is a gothic, watercolor Metroidvania game where you control a little girl in a dark fantasy world.
This game has serious, original fairy tale vibes, with everything seeming mysterious and dangerous at the same time.
The main character doesn’t really do the fighting herself. Your action buttons summon the Umbral knight to attack for her. As you defeat bosses, you have more allies to help you through your quest.
The game also has a magnificent soundtrack. So if you like platformers and gothic ambiances, chances are you will love Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights.
41. Trine: Ultimate Collection
Medieval Fantasy and lots of Puzzles make Trine more than just a charming game. It is clever, fun, and has a lot of depth to it.
This title’s adventure takes place in a Forsaken and Ruined kingdom where you will have to solve physics-based puzzles through the first three titles of the franchise while you try to find the Trine to understand and control its powers.
Trine is a puzzle platformer that lets players control. Join Amadeus the Wizard, Pontius the Knight, and Zoya. In order to advance in their quests, the player must learn how to use the exclusive abilities of each character — many times combining them somehow.
Games like Celeste are perfect if you are looking for something that can be both a relaxing experience and a platforming challenge. The game has infinite lives and slowly introduces new mechanics while unraveling the storyline.
The game can be challenging, but most of its difficulty is reserved for the optional collectibles in the game.
Chances are, you will die many times in Celeste, but do not feel unmotivated to continue playing. Due to the limitless lives and well-designed pacing of the game, chances are you will slowly but surely get used to the mechanics of the game.
Gris is one of those games that would not exist if it wasn’t an indie game. Gris has a very identifiable art style like many indie games, but it has so much more than that.
In Gris, the main character doesn’t even have to fight. Not in the literal sense of the word. There’s no risk of physical harm. The puzzle platforming is so beautifully crafted that even the boss battles demand nothing but clever thinking.
Explore the themes of loss and grief in a moving watercolor piece of art and its orchestral soundtrack. If you like stories open to interpretation that are told by symbolism, you have one more reason to play this game.
38. Risk of Rain
Risk of Rain is a weird action-platformer. It has permanent death and roguelike elements that go along with its chaotic gameplay. In this game, up to 4 players fight on a mysterious planet with randomized enemies and bosses.
What is impressive about this game is that it’s always fun, no matter how far you get. On top of all that, there are many different classes and items that will provide many fun runs and several stories to tell.
Your goal is simple, kill everything that moves and find a way to teleport back home. If you can look past the simplistic art style, you will find a surprisingly fun and deep action game.
37. Skullgirls 2nd Encore
Besides being one of the best indie titles on Nintendo Switch, Skullgirls 2nd Encore is also one of the best fighters on the console.
The game has a cartoonish aesthetic that feels like someone mixed cartoons from the 60s and manga — but one can also say that’s kinda how Anime looked like in that decade.
The game has a visual identity and also a musical identity, since jazz is clearly exalted in Skullgirls.
On top of all that, this is a great fighting game with complex mechanics, great battle flow, fast combat, and all that you need in a modern fighter.
It can be intimidating for newcomers, but it is indeed a good representative of the genre and it is a good title to have on the switch if you like fighting games.
36. Super Meat Boy
This frenetic platformer with over-the-top vector art incentivizes you to clear the stages quickly. It doesn’t give you a time limit to complete the levels, but it does have a timer that shows how long you took to finish them. Add that to the fact that stages instantly restart once you die, and you feel like running and jumping immediately after the stage resets.
On top of all that, Super Meant Boy doesn’t have limited lives, so you can try over and over again to finish each level.
The really amazing things about this game are its tight controllers and well-thought game design. The game knows what it is, and it doesn’t try to be more than it. The stages are tailored for you to use Super Meat Boy’s agility and speed to their limit in a very satisfying way.
It can be funny failing many times at first, and then it might become frustrating, but it will always feel like a fantastic achievement once you reach the end of each level.
Many indie games are platformers. It’s most likely because this genre is relatively easy to understand and start playing. However, most indie platformers come with a twist, and chances are no twist is more creative than Fez’s.
In this game, a 2D world is changed by the arrival of a 3D artifact. Because of that, the world becomes sort of 3D.
You can spin around the world, but you can only move in two dimensions, just like any classic platformer. However, since there’s no real depth, things that would be far behind the character often become platforms you can use to advance through the levels.
Fez is as unique as an indie game can be, and it is a perfect example of how creativity can make a game shine in a market filled with Triple-A titles.
34. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Shantae is a marvelous Action Platformer. Its hand-drawn art and the colorful world are charming and welcoming. The animation feels high energy and adorable even when characters are just standing there.
Shantae Half-Gene Hero is much more than cute visuals, though. The game is a well-designed platformer with a protagonist that transforms into many different forms and stages tailored to help you make the most out of each transformation.
Although this is supposed to be a Metroidvania, it feels more like a short platformer, but it does have enough replayability and optional backtracking to make it worth your money.
33. Shovel Knight
If you are feeling a little nostalgic, Shovel Knight is precisely what you are looking for. This is not a game that was in the old NES console, but it sure feels like it.
This is not a game that looks exactly like the ones from the NES era. It’s more like it’s meant to look like what we remember than like what they really were like.
Shovel Knight borrows a lot from many different titles, from the Zelda-like towns, the Mario-like world maps, and the platforming that we are so familiar with from many other games but with enough technical depth to make the game super fun.
32. Blue Fire
Blue Fire is a pretty good game for those who miss the old days of the 64 bits. However, this is not really an homage to the old games as much as it is its own thing.
Blue Fire is unapologetic about being a video game. Many design choices in this game’s platform challenges are more about being fun than making sense, and there really isn’t anything wrong with that. After all, they did succeed in making this game fun.
On top of 3D platforming, the combat is also fun, and there is a progression system that allows you to customize how your character feels by equipping upgrades.
31. Among Us
Among Us is one of those indie names that needs no introduction. The game has been a success for a while, and is well known as one of the most fun games to play with friends.
For the few of you who don’t know what this is about, Among Us is a multiplayer game that can be played both locally and online, of teamwork and betrayal for 4-15 players.
In this game, you and our crew members will be working together to complete the tasks provided by the game before you all die. However, one or more of the players is an impostor.
The objective of the impostor is to kill everybody else while the rest of the players fight to stay alive and find out who is betraying them.
The objective for everyone else is to complete all of the tasks or figure out who the impostor is – whichever comes first.
30. Skul: The Hero Slayer
This game will be a perfect fit for those looking for a fast-paced action platformer with roguelike elements. In Skul: The Hero Slayer, you can play with over 100 different characters, each with their own gameplay style and abilities.
On top of that, you also have several different items that can significantly change your gameplay. There are endless combinations of characters and items, making this game continuously refreshing with its overwhelmingly abundant content.
There really isn’t much more than using your skill and items to get to the boss and win the battle when it comes to Skul: The Hero Slayer’s gameplay. Still, the platform challenges and the enemy variety, combined with the fact you’re always playing as something different, are the things that make this game so much fun.
29. The Messenger
It’s clear by now that many indie game developers try to recreate the feeling they had when playing games in their childhood. In this case, The Messenger is Sabotage’s take on the classic Ninja Gaiden series.
You play as a young ninja who has to fight an army of demons in order to deliver a scroll that will save his clan. The Messenger has this gimmick that makes the game switch from 8-bit to 16-bit and back, which sometimes is pretty cool to see.
The boss battles are memorable, the gameplay is fun and acrobatic, and you unlock abilities and upgrades that make the game more fun and dynamic as you progress through the stages.
28. Fantasy Strike
Fighting games are intimidating due to having complex mechanics and motion inputs that can raise the entry barrier. Those problems were most likely what made the developers of Fantasy Strike come up with the game’s design.
Fantasy Strike is a traditional fighting game, but only to an extend. It features 1v1 combat between characters that have special abilities but it does things in its own way.
The game has no motion inputs, no attacks of different heights, and no crouching. Although it is a somewhat simplified fighting game, players can find depth in its ranked system and match ups.
Even though it isn’t complex at all, it’s a highly addictive game due to its simplicity.
Tunche is another cute indie game with hand-drawn art in a genre that doesn’t usually go for that style. This is a cooperative beat’em up game that you can play with up to three friends.
In Tunche, your characters gain experience and evolve as you advance, learning new moves and becoming stronger. The setting is something special too. This game takes place in a magical Amazonian jungle, and its characters are natives that fight to save the forest.
This is a charming, fun game that is especially enjoyable to play with family and friends.
26. Slay The Spire
Slay the Spire is one of the most creative indie games out there. This is a game that merges card game mechanics, turn-based battles, and roguelike mechanics.
In this game, you will create a deck and use it to deal with the creatures you will face while exploring and discovering relics of great power. Because the game is a roguelike, the Spire will have an entirely new layout in every journey.
The combination of genres makes this game feel fresh through each playthrough, and there’s a great sense of accomplishment when you advance through the game.
Additionally, it is really entertaining to think tactically about your decks, which makes the game’s turn-based combat much more fun than “just pressing Attack.”
25. Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 is basically Risk of Rain but in 3D. The game is actually a completely evolved version of the same concept.
Just like the previous game, you have to escape an alien planet by defeating countless enemies in a chaotic environment. Risk of Rain 2 has over a hundred items, several different classes, and you can play with up to three friends.
The idea behind the first game worked surprisingly well in 3D, although it did have some changes to classes in order to make the game feel right with an extra axis.
On top of all that, this is a game that has a lot of support from modders.
There are over a dozen handcrafted locations for you to fight through, and you can continue playing even after you defeat the final boss so you can see how long you can survive.
24. Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter has a mysterious setting with lost technology, a history of violence, and a weirdly post-apocalyptic feel.
The special edition runs at 60 frames per second and contains new content along with all the previous DLC for the game. Hyper Light Drifter is immersive, trippy, and also fun.
The best part about playing this game on the Switch — besides the fact that games like this feel like they’re made for the console — is that if you play on this platform, you get exclusive content such as new outfits, the Tower Climb Challenge, the Blade Caster, and more.
23. Azure Striker Gunvolt
Considered by many a spiritual successor of the Megaman Zero series, Azure Striker Gunvolt brings a fast-paced action platformer that is polished, fun and makes you feel awesome.
Gunvolt is an adept — a person with powers — who can discharge a powerful electric field around himself. With the help of his gun, he can fire needles that guide the lightning from his body to the enemies.
On top of that, Gunvolt can also use special attacks, grab new guns, unlock equipment, and more.
Although a lot feels very much inspired by Megaman X, especially by Megaman Zero, Azure Strike Gulvolt is its own thing. Gunvolt is powerful, and his powers bring new systems and features to the known and loved jump-and-shoot gameplay style.
22. Dragon Marked for Death
As mentioned before, the good thing about indies is that, from time to time, you get something quite different from what we usually see in video game stores, and this game is one of those cases.
Dragon Marked for Death is a beautiful game with a detailed pixel art style and a 2D action platformer gameplay but is actually an RPG with several quests and objectives.
Players have access to four different classes, and each has an entirely different playstyle, which results in great replayability.
Dragon Marked for Death is not an easy game. The stages and bosses are tough, the classes might get a bit complicated to master, and there are many different things to collect and complete throughout the stages.
Although you can play this game alone, it really shines in multiplayer. The game was designed to be a cooperative platform RPG, and playing it this way is actually even more fun.
21. Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a game with tactical turn battle combat about gigantic creatures which are threatening what is left of human civilization.
This is an unusual combination of genres. Every time you try to save the world, you are given a randomly generated situation. In other words, it has roguelike elements like many indie games.
In Into the Breach, you have to defend civilian buildings from the Vek, since they power your mechs.
The game provides enough information for you to understand how enemies attack and use that knowledge to counter them. It also allows you to find new weapons and pilots that will help you save the planet.
When I first heard about this game, I was confident that there was no way a game about cooking could be fun. I guess I lack the imagination and creativity that the people behind Overcooked have.
This is by far one of the most fun cooperative games I’ve ever played, but if you don’t want to get into fights about who should have cut the tomatoes, you might want to try it out alone.
In Overcooked, players control chefs who must thrive in chaotic situations and differently designed restaurants with different menus.
Things get crazy in the kitchen since you can’t delay the orders, and you also have to deal with limited plates, prepping the ingredients, and actually cooking.
I don’t know how often I burned the burgers while chopping the onions for a soup. If this doesn’t sound fun to you, all that I can say is that I’ve been there. Just try it out; you will have a blast.
19. Katana Zero
This game became really popular, and there is a reason for it, the innovative gameplay and beautiful art style that make Katana Zero an indie gem.
The game has a noir atmosphere with action-platformer gameplay as its base, but it features fast-paced action in a combat system that is based on an instant-death mechanic. Basically, anything will kill you. Because of that, players have to dash and slash through each stage while being aware of their surroundings.
This is one of those games that make the player feel powerful and stylish while pulling things off, which is a great incentive to keep playing. You just feel fantastic.
If you are looking for a frenetic action experience, grab your Katana. Dodge, parry, and cut your targets in two while you dash through the many different areas of this game.
18. Enter the Gungeon
Enter the Gungeon is one of those games I go to when I want quick action that doesn’t force me to think too much.
Shoot everything that moves, try to stay alive, advance and repeat. Although it might sound super simple, this game is fun, and its visuals are very charming.
The combat is always enjoyable since it keeps adding new enemies that have different attacks and behaviors. The arcade-style game design forces you to learn from your mistakes and adapt. Also, Enter the Gungeon’s roguelike elements keep the game fresh no matter how many times you played the first section.
There are also a few different characters for you to choose from, each with their own distinct skills and several weapons to find that will help you progress through the crazy, weird enemies in each room.
17. Cyber Shadow
Cyber Shadow is a game that is clearly inspired by the old Ninja Gaiden games. However, it adds so much to it that it is impossible to compare it to decades-old games.
Cyber Shadow starts just like games you might be familiar with, but as you progress through the game, you are granted upgrades that slowly make you more powerful while it throws even harder challenges at you.
This is one of those games that make you feel powerful at the same time that it becomes even more difficult.
Although the graphics are meant to mimic the NES, much like Shovel Knight, this is a game looks much better than any game from that era.
The enemies are well designed and detailed, the contrast of colors makes everything clear and easy on the eyes, and many concepts seen in the art and gameplay are from modern games.
16. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2
Gunvolt is back in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, and he shows up with Copen — or Akira in the original version — a scientist who hates adepts and dedicates his life to wipe them from the face of the Earth.
The gameplay is not that different from what it ones in the first game of the franchise. Gunvolt feels very much the same, with his electric powers and gun that helps him guide the lightning to the enemies, but this sequel also lets you play as Copen, and he is very different from Gunvolt.
Copen wears a jacket with a jetpack, a laser gun, and a robot with flying pieces that can discharge guided laser beams and copy abilities from the bad guys.
Although he doesn’t control lightning-like Gunvolt, Copen can mark an enemy by dashing into it. Once he does that, the lasers from his gun will always hit the marked target.
Due to the fact that Copen can nearly fly, the gameplay is significantly different. He is fast and aggressive, but, unlike Gunvolt, he can’t target more than one enemy at once.
Although this is a game that could certainly make use of some quality-of-life upgrades — there are unnecessarily complicated systems hidden behind a lot of visual noise — the game feel is quite polished and intuitive.
Meanwhile, you get to experience both sides of a story while playing with significantly different characters in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.
15. Mark of a Ninja: Remastered
Many games use the ninja theme in different ways. Weirdly, although they were historically known for being stealthy, most ninja games are not about sneaking behind the enemies.
This isn’t the case for Mark of the Ninja, though. This is a game that made stealth so much fun by approaching it in a creative way.
The idea behind rewarding you for sneaking through the stages without killing anyone is something else, and it works very well in this game.
The Switch version includes the Dosan’s Tale DLC, and it also adds a new character and a new level.
Although you can be a badass and kill everybody from behind, this game will not let you just hack and slash through the enemies when you can be seen. It is a refreshing take on the Ninja theme, and it is a fun and well-designed one.
14. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
Although this game sometimes feels a lot like an expansion to Azure Strike Gunvolt 2, there is enough content here to make the game fun on its own.
In Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX, you play as Copen, the young genius who is also one of the few humans in a world dominated by the adepts.
The gameplay is nearly the same, but an improved UI makes everything cleaner and easier to understand and manage in so many levels.
There are many upgrades that you can buy and equip on the same screen, the objectives are much easier to understand, the special weapons are more fun than they were in the previous game, and so much more.
It seems that the developers saw a lot of potential in Copen and his over-the-top, hyper-active gameplay, which is good since they used it to deliver an even more polished game.
The stages are also much more well-designed, forcing you to make good use of Copen’s air dashes and knowing when to land so you can reload.
Cross Code is a retro-inspired 2D RPG that perfectly mixes the nostalgic looks of the 16-Bit era with modern game design.
The fast-paced action RPG looks a lot like a SNES game but provides a dynamic combat system, fun puzzle mechanics, and many other things that a 16-bit console would not be able to provide.
CrossCode also has over 60 amazing songs composed by Deniz Akbulut, also known as that “rice ball.”
This game really is something else. With over 100 different enemies, 90 combat arts, 100 quests, and up to 80 hours of gameplay, CrossCode is worth every penny.
12. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley started as pretty much an homage to the old and beloved Harvest Moon, but it does have enough elements to be its own thing.
In this game, you play as someone who has just inherited your grandfather’s old farm, and you have to begin your farmer’s life with just a few coins. The game has many exciting and different game mechanics.
You can craft stuff, you need to manage your farm, and from time to time — believe it or not — you might even have to dungeon crawl.
The game is considered an Endless RPG, and it can be played with up to 3 people. Players can cooperate to build a farm, share resources, and fight creatures together.
11. Cris Tales
Another game that most likely wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t an indie development, Cris Tales is a love letter to J-RPGs that makes you experience past, present, and future simultaneously and combines that with the combat system and the lore of the game.
This game was made by people who loved Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Valkyrie Profile, and other JRPG games from the 90s. The Turn-Based Combat allows you to use the game’s time mechanics to warp enemies and time attack and defense to optimize your performance in each fight.
The story is beautifully written and crazy like any JRPG would be, and the art feels like a children’s book fairy tale if it happened in the world of a Shonen Anime — it is pretty different from what you are used to seeing in games, but it is fantastic.
10. The Talos Principle
The Talos Principle is a first-person puzzle game with a science fiction setting with a rich, philosophical lore.
Puzzle games are not the most popular games out there, but that doesn’t mean they won’t rise above all else from time to time. As this is included in our top 10, this clearly beats out many good indie games on Switch.
It has over 120 puzzles and original approaches to the genre when it comes to puzzle gameplay elements. You progress in a non-linear way while you learn about the world and yourself.
When it comes to the philosophy part, you assume the role of a sentient artificial intelligence in a simulator of humanity’s most extraordinary ruins, where the game presents questions about intelligence, the meaning of life, and the end of all things.
Cuphead defines itself as a “run and gun game that is heavily focused in boss battles.” This is a crazy game with one of the most unique art styles among recent video games.
Cuphead looks like hand-drawn cartoons from the 1930s. It even has jazz recordings and watercolor backgrounds.
You control Cuphead or Mugman in non-sensical worlds where you learn new moves and acquire new weapons to fight giant enemies so you can pay your debt with the devil.
The art style and the punitive gameplay are a combination that you only see in indie games, making Cuphead a true gem of the modern era.
8. Baba Is You
It is complicated to even explain what is Baba Is You. I know I might have thrown the word “unique” a few times already, but I haven’t ever played anything like Baba Is You.
This charming puzzle game allows you to change the rules by which you play. You can rearrange words and objects in ways that completely change the fundamental laws of the game, causing results that can be surprising and unexpected.
As far as puzzle games go, Baba is many puzzle games in a single title, and you choose how to play and solve the issues you find along the way.
It is hard to explain what Baba is, so just give it a shot. There is no way you won’t be pleasantly surprised by what this game can be.
7. Hollow Knight
This is by far one of the best Metroidvania ever made and one of the best indie games on Nintendo Switch. Hollow Knight is a 2D platformer that rewards exploration and experimentation. After a while, the game stops being linear, and players can find several different ways to progress.
The game is not easy, but it does follow the known “Tough-but-fair” philosophy that Souls games are known for making famous in the modern era of video games.
On top of all that, the main character progresses by acquiring several different skills that help him in combat and also help you traverse the game’s world.
Hollow Knight does an excellent job of constantly remaining challenging while making the player feel powerful at the game time.
If great gameplay, masterfully designed world, and tight controllers are not enough, the art in Hollow Knight is incredible. The game is stylistic. From the art style to the soundtrack, everything fits together to help you feel immersed in this world of sentient insects.
Also, there’s something about playing Metroidvanias on the Switch that makes them even more enjoyable.
6. Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rage, also known as Bare Knuckle in Japan, is a timeless beat’em up franchise that was heavily inspired by games like Final Fight. However, many would argue that Streets of Rage improved the formula and delivered a much better game.
Revisit the streets and make justice with your own hands. Have fun with returning characters such as Axel, Adam, Blaze, Skate, Max, and Shiva. Find combo routes, figure out how to take advantage of enemy patterns, use special attacks, weapons, and feel the rush of punching your way through dangerous streets.
On top of having gameplay that improves upon everything the series has delivered so far, Streets of Rage 4 also has hand-drawn animations, 12 stages, the classic and a new Soundtrack, and 4 people coop.
5. Ori and the Blind Forest
Few games are both a fun experience and an astonishing piece of art at the same time. However, this is precisely what Ori and the Blind Forest is.
The game has breathtaking visuals and a beautiful, creative design overall. It is also an incredibly fun and well-designed videogame, meaning it more than deserves its place in the top 5 of the top indie games on Switch.
Players who are fond of Metroidvanias will have a blast with this game, but it can please more than just fans of the genre. In fact, anyone who is looking for a cute story or a fun platformer might have a great time with Ori and the Blind Forest.
The game also brings up new traversal mechanics that make it ridiculously fun after reaching a certain point. Ori keeps introducing different ways to interact with creatures and the scenario, including new ways to traverse it, making the game increasingly enjoyable until its very end.
Bastion is something else. This is one of the indie games that brought these games to a whole new level. The art style is impressive, and the battle system is solid and fun, but Bastion became really known for its scenarios and the reactive narrator.
With over 40 hand-painted environments, over 10 completely different weapons, a critically-acclaimed soundtrack, and hours of reactive narration that delivers, Bastion makes you feel like you’re actually living an action-packed tale in an artsy world.
Thanks to the combination of great music and a voice that describes your advancement, you feel like you have good company while exploring a shattered world.
Transistor takes everything that makes Bastion a good game and builds upon it. The developers really managed to deliver something that is familiar while being a completely different thing at the same time.
The combat has more depth, the character design is expressive, the world feels alive, and its cyberpunk atmosphere is both familiar and new, just like the game itself.
Nothing here underestimates the player’s intelligence. The story is not in your face; you have to piece things together and figure it out. The combats work similarly, feeling like both technical battles and puzzles that you have to deal with.
If you are looking for a work of art that is fun and engaging in multiple ways, give Transistor a shot.
If there is an indie studio that deserves to have three games on this list, it is Supergiant Games. After the success of Bastion and Transistor, they have improved even more and outdone themselves with Hades, a roguelike action RPG.
This game connects the roguelike elements to the game’s story, making your journey through the Underworld and each attempt to climb out of it much more meaningful.
You can unlock god-like powers that you can combine in fascinating ways to play the game the way you want and keep your experience fresh and exciting.
The main character can use six different weapons with 4 different variants each, making for a lot of complexity and variety from the get-go. The main character’s mobility feels awesome, and there is a sense of momentum that is built when you hack through the colorful undead of the Underworld.
What makes this game truly special is how it combines elements of different genres so well.
You have to build good relationships with NPCs to unlock items and powers. You go back to the start when you are defeated while trying to climb out of the Underworld, but the NPCs remember you and your attempts. Also, the combat feels like it is out of a game that is only about it.
Hades is a masterfully crafted game, and you will have a blast trying it out on your Nintendo Switch.
Hot Line Miami proves that indie, pixelated videogames are not just for kids, but Blasphemous elevates things to a whole new level.
This fast-paced action-platformer can be tough and punitive, but it does reward skilled players. It might take a while for you to get used to the game, but there is a sense of accomplishment when you clear or move past a complicated area.
In this game, you play as the sole survivor of Silent Sorrow’s massacre, The Penitent One. You have to explore a twisted world while trapped in an Endless Cycle of death and rebirth to save the world from the upcoming doom.
This is a game with brutal combat, customizable builds, epic bosses, and non-linear exploration. All elements that old-school gamers tend to love. Add that to the immersive soundtrack, well written world, polished gameplay, and you have one of the best indie games on Switch.