We are living in a world of multiplayer action. Never before has it been easy to log on to a video game and play with people all over the world. However, single player, campaign-focused games still deserve some love!
There are plenty of amazing lengthy single-player games on Switch and, in this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best options you have.
Whether you enjoy sprawling open worlds, deep JRPGs or high-octane action platformers, there is guaranteed to be game for you here.
Skyrim is a game that will continue to be rereleased – seemingly until the end of time. The game has been ported to almost every device under the sun at this point.
However, there is clearly still a demand for this game to become cross-platform, and the Switch handles it surprisingly well.
Skyrim is the pinnacle of explorative fantasy RPG greatness. People have been playing this game since its initial release way back in 2011, and are still uncovering new areas, new side missions, and new dungeons they have yet to see before.
Even if you somehow manage to complete everything this game has to offer, it is entirely possible to replay the entire game from the start as a different class and it will feel like a new game. Experiencing the world of Skyrim as a mage is a completely different adventure from experiencing it as a swordsman or an archer.
There can be no doubt that Skyrim is one of the best single player Switch games.
16. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is often considered to be one of the best Metroidvanias to ever be released.
The game has received worldwide critical acclaim with critics praising its worldbuilding and music in particular.
This isn’t to say that the gameplay of Hollow Knight is lacking by any means. Traveling through levels and taking down enemies feels smooth and satisfying. Furthermore, the combat is both easily accessible for newcomers, but with a level of depth for those willing to put in the time to master it.
Hollow Knight has a dedicated speedrunning community with lots of tips and tricks on how to navigate the game world, and it’s incredible to see how quickly they can zip from start to finish.
Hollow Knight is an incredibly immersive and atmospheric experience that is well worth your time as a single player Switch game.
15. Okami HD
Okami is a game that prides itself on its visuals. By utilizing traditional Japanese calligraphy for its combat in the form of brush strokes, every battle in Okami feels like a painting.
The game looked incredible when it was first released, but thanks to the hardware limitations of the time, it was clear that the game’s full potential had yet to be reached.
Now, with Okami HD, we can see the true majesty of the game’s world and art design. From start to finish, Okami HD is a wonderful adventure that is more a piece of art than a video game.
This isn’t to say that the gameplay is lackluster. Okami’s story and action are just as enjoyable as they were when it first came out.
If you love exploring a beautifully designed world during your single-player games, Okami HD is the game for you.
14. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
The original Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has always been a fan favorite for being such a big departure from other Zelda games.
Sure, the core Zelda mechanics of dungeons, swordplay, and items are all still here. But, the inclusion of a stranger story and several Mario-themed enemies always makes this particular title that much more memorable.
The Nintendo Switch remake of Link’s Awakening reimagines the game we all know and love and gives it a fresh coat of modern-day paint.
Not much is changed with regards to the story or the gameplay of this new game (aside from a few extra quality of life additions).
However, the original was already so polished that no extra tweaks are needed. The new art style is both a breath of fresh air but still pays homage to the Game Boy game it’s remastering. Definitely check out Link’s Awakening if you have not done so already.
13. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Country has always been the go-to video game franchise for tight 2D sidescrolling action and Tropical Freeze is no exception.
Unique and varied levels, tough but fair platforming challenges, and a bunch of collectibles to keep you occupied are just some of the many reasons to start playing Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze.
As far back as the SNES, Donkey Kong Country has always been a beloved franchise. With all the years of innovation that have occurred since then, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze is the culmination of years of hard work.
The resurgence of popularity in the Donkey Kong Country franchise has even spurred other developers to throw their hats into the mix.
Team Playtonic, creators of the Yooka-Laylee franchise and former Rare employees, scrapped the open-world exploration of their first game and opted to create a sequel similar to Donkey Kong Country with Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair.
12. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of the most iconic JRPGs from recent memory and builds on the strong foundation found in the original Xenoblade Chronicles.
If you enjoy single-player campaigns with seemingly endless content, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the game for you.
Like most JRPGs, there is so much to do in this game from completing the main story, finishing up every sidequest, or simply exploring the world.
The game has you fighting in a battle against man and machine in real-time action-based combat. The gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles has never been an issue, but like other JRPGs, the story can get pretty confusing and convoluted at times.
That being said, if you enjoy a deep and lengthy story, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 does not disappoint.
11. Octopath Traveler
Octopath Traveler is a great single-player JRPG that takes inspiration from old pixel games like Romancing Saga.
The game features eight unique protagonists each of whom has their own personalities, character arcs, and backstories to explore over the course of the game.
Players will journey through each character’s story and come to see how they are all interconnected.
Octopath Traveler is a great game for lovers of single-player campaigns as it is, essentially, eight games in one!
Fans have complained that some of these narratives are a bit too predictable, but if you can overlook that, Octopath Traveler is a wonderfully unique game with the story and gameplay to back it up.
10. Pokémon Sword and Shield
Pokémon Sword and Shield didn’t receive the warmest welcome when it first hit store shelves. From complaints about the lazy art design and the controversial “Dexit,” needless to say, fans were on the fence when it came to this game.
Now that the initial backlash has passed, we can confidently say that this pair of games is…pretty good?
Pokémon Sword and Shield suffers from a lot of modern-day Pokémon inconveniences. Sure, the removal of HMs is a godsend, but if that comes at the expense of any difficulty then it is not worth it.
That being said, the new Pokémon of this generation are all well-designed (including the new regional variants), the wild area was a step in the right direction, and it is now easier than ever to shiny hunt.
Whilst it won’t be for every Pokémon fan, Sword and Shield still deserves a place on this list of the best campaign games on Switch.
9. Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi’s Mansion is a cult classic video game. After the mixed reception of Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon for the 3DS, Luigi’s Mansion 3 needed to do some damage control.
It’s debatable whether or not Luigi’s Mansion 3 is better than Dark Moon, but regardless the game is still a fun ride from beginning to end.
Making your way through various rooms and sucking up ghosts as the cowardly Luigi just has a unique element of charm about it that isn’t matched when playing as the green plumber in other games (Super Mario Galaxy, for example).
Here, Luigi is on his own adventure and is no longer playing second fiddle to his more popular brother.
The game is fairly linear and has been criticized for not being spooky enough, but critiques aside, the game has a good single-player campaign.
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is arguably best enjoyed with a group of friends or while playing online, but that doesn’t mean the game is unplayable as a single-player experience.
Mario Kart 8 perfects the cart racing formula and has enough content to keep players occupied for years to come.
Racing against the AI is fine for beginners while beating your fastest time on a specific course is a great way to test your skill.
The game has recently received another DLC bundle including even more playable courses, so now is as good a time as any to start playing.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is both a great multiplayer game and a great single-player game and there is nothing wrong with picking it up just for yourself.
Hades is a game that took the world by storm and is a prime example of how much potential indie games have. With other recent indie hits like Cuphead, Shovel Knight, and Celeste, Hades makes a statement that you don’t need a AAA studio backing you to make something magical.
Hades combines great action gameplay with beautiful art direction and wonderful writing.
The game features a wide cast of gods and goddesses from various Greek and other mythologies. Each of these characters is incredibly memorable and their dialogue can be both thoroughly intimidating and comedic as well.
The gameplay of Hades is also amazing. As you journey through various areas, you will gain powerful powerups to assist in the taking down of stronger and stronger enemies.
Named Game of the Year by several acclaimed websites, Hades is a must-play for any fan looking for the best campaign games on Switch.
6. Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread is the first 2D Metroid game we’ve seen in a long time. For the game that birthed the Metroidvania genre, it is surprising this IP doesn’t receive more love.
That being said, Metroid Dread is a great game in spite of its incredible difficulty. The horror elements of this title come out in full force as you are relentlessly chased down by cybernetic enemies while navigating the various game locations.
Exploration is the name of the game here, as with any Metroidvania title. The areas you’ll be journeying through are all varied enough while in keeping with the game’s theme and the bosses are all really fun as well.
The game isn’t that receptive to more casual players, but if you stick with it, there is a great campaign to be had here.
5. New Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Snap has always been a beloved yet unusual oddity in the pantheon of Pokémon spinoff games. There really isn’t anything quite like it, but being able to interact with Pokémon in their natural habitat is very enjoyable.
Fans had been asking for a sequel to this game for years, but it seemed Nintendo had no interest in making one. Even with the release of the Wii U and its signature gamepad (which seemed tailor-made for a game like Pokémon Snap), nothing was announced.
Then, New Pokémon Snap was finally revealed. New Pokémon Snap recaptures the imagination of the original game including new levels, different times of day for these levels, and so many new and returning Pokémon from the original game.
For those yet to play either game, it’s understandable to have some level of skepticism. After all, a game where you take pictures of Pokémon doesn’t sound that exciting on paper.
However, if you give New Pokémon Snap a chance we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
4. Fire Emblem Three Houses
The new age of Fire Emblem has certainly brought in a lot more fans. Ever since Fire Emblem Awakening shifted the focus of the titles to a more anime-like dating simulator adjacent style, the games have continued to do well in the West.
Fire Emblem Three Houses continue this trend, packing in everything fans love about the new age of Fire Emblem into one, or should we say three, adventure.
The strategic tile-based combat of the original Fire Emblem titles is still here in full force. Players will need to navigate the battlefield in order to take down opponents and protect allies. Permadeath has always been a big part of Fire Emblem, so one wrong move could cost you a powerful ally.
In Three Houses, you play as a teacher to one of three groups of students. Players will need to make their choice at the start of the game before proceeding onward. Over the course of a playthrough, you will need to help your students with their problems, doubts, and other worries as any good teacher should. This, in turn, will make them more powerful in the battles to come.
Fire Emblem Three Houses is a great single player campaign game and is essentially three games in one!
3. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game that fans have been wanting for years. Since as far back as the original Red and Blue games, the end goal was always to create a full open-world Pokémon game.
Pokémon GO and the wild area from Pokémon Sword and Shield were steps in the right direction, but Legends: Arceus absolutely nails the feeling of living in a world teeming with Pokémon.
Legends: Arceus switches up the traditional Pokémon formula. Here, there are no gyms and no Elite Four. Instead, players will be gathering information to create the first-ever Pokédex.
Exploring various locations in a bygone era of the Sinnoh Region is a very fun and unique idea. The new battle mechanics of the Strong and Speed style were a welcome addition as well.
All in all, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the most innovative Pokémon game in years and is a great sign for the future of the franchise.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey continues the plumber’s run as the gaming IP who can do no wrong. From Super Mario World, to Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, there is an argument to make for any of these games being the best in the entire franchise.
Super Mario Odyssey pulls no punches and drops players into a brand new adventure with powerups and worlds to explore.
Mario’s movement has never been more fluid and is much more reminiscent of the freedom found in Super Mario 64 or Sunshine’s (as opposed to the more limited options in Galaxy). It’s clear to see why the speedrunning community for this game is so huge.
The only complaint to be made against this game would be that, perhaps, the worlds feel a bit cliché. Sand Kingdom, Snow Kingdom, and Lake Kingdom are all tired level design tropes we’ve seen countless times before.
That being said, Ruined Kingdom, Bowser’s Kingdom, and Metro Kingdom are all uniquely designed and exciting levels to explore.
Super Mario Odyssey is without a doubt one of the best campaign games you can play on the Nintendo Switch.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the definition of a great single-player adventure. Diverging from the traditional Zelda formula, Breath of the Wild drops players into an open world and just tells them to go!
The game is a lot like the original Legend of Zelda in this sense. In Breath of the Wild, it is possible to go straight from the opening cinematic straight to the final boss. And, if you have the skill to beat him with next to no health, the game can be finished in record time.
The music, art design, and gameplay all come together expertly in Breath of the Wild. Whether you choose to focus on the main campaign or pass the time collecting Korok Seeds or completing other side quests, there is never a dull moment.
There is enough content packed into this game to keep players occupied for a very long time. Not many people would deny Breath of the Wild the title of the best single player game on Nintendo Switch.