The 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games
Even though the Nintendo Switch is a console seemingly designed around co-op play (why else would it include two controllers right out of the box?), it also is perfect for someone to cosy up on the couch and embark on an exciting solo adventure. And there sure is plenty of them out there, so to prove it we thought it’d be useful to rank the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games.
Whether you’re looking for an in-depth RPG that serves as a 16-bit homage feel like travelling the globe in Super Mario’s latest adventure, there’s sure to be an ideal single-player Nintendo Switch game for you. What’s more, we’ll even pull in the best current price for all the games feature below from around the web. Here’s our list of the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games. As you’ll soon see, it’s never been easier to get invested.
10. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Originally a Wii U exclusive released back in 2014, we’re going to also give Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze some credit on Nintendo Switch too seeing as it’s simply one of the best 2D platformers ever made. Featuring several colourful stages that all riff on the game’s icy theme, you’ll need to depend on quick reaction times and smart traversal in order to reach the end of each level. Spikey thorns, dangerous enemies and deadly platforms are all standing in your way, making for some of the most challenging but ultimately satisfying side-scrolling experiences out there.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze might be a port, but it earns a place on this list as one of the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games because it’s the definitive version. Added content is present by way of Funky Kong, who replaces Donkey Kong as your main character should you ever need a helping hand getting through stages. Funky Kong features unlimited hover and can take five hits instead of two. Little additions like this make Tropical Freeze on Switch the ultimate package.
9. Pokémon Sword and Shield
After constant teases and various spin-off titles, Switch players eventually were treated to a mainline Pokémon title back in late 2019 via Pokémon Sword and Shield. Set within a world highly inspired by the idyllic British Isles, the Galar region features a wealth of new creatures to catch and brand-new mechanics like Dynamax and Gigantamax evolutions. It’s one of the best single-player Nintendo Switch games because catching them all has never been made more fun.
As is typically the case, there are very few differences between Pokémon Sword and Shield aside from a few exclusive Pokémon and a different gym leader battle. This means that you’re guaranteed a fully-fledged Pokémon RPG adventure no matter the version you pick up. This generation has been specifically designed by Game Freak to onboard new players as well as to tantalise veteran ones. It easily makes our list of the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games.
8. Octopath Traveller
One of the earliest Nintendo Switch titles revealed shortly before the hybrid console’s launch, Octopath Traveler is a love-letter to the pixel-based RPGs of yesterday – sure to be familiar to fans of early Final Fantasy and ChronoTrigger. The difference here is that you get to play through the stories of all eight party members before bringing them together for an epic conclusion, sure to satiate the needs of anyone hankering for a meaty and narrative-driven RPG.
Octopath Traveler boasts an incredibly unique art style known as “HD-2D”, where the characters and worlds are all sprite-based but have a 3D appearance instead of the traditional flat look. The game further differentiates itself from RPG classics on the gameplay side, too, with all eight characters touting unique player abilities that are useful in battle, as well as a boost system that lets you enhance attacks the more time goes on. When it comes to RPGS, Octopath Traveller is one of the best single-player games on Nintendo Switch.
7. Bayonetta 2
Originally a Wii U exclusive that didn’t take too long to come to Nintendo Switch, Bayonetta 2 has been dubbed one of the best and most stylish third-person action games from recent years. It once again casts you as the titular witch, yet again forced to do battle with all manner of angels and demons while building up as many score multiplayers and grades as possible. Bayonetta 2 is far more vibrant than the 2009 original, looking great on the Switch’s HD screen.
It’s one of the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games because it serves as a homage to a style of game that you don’t too often see these days, and it’s not playable anywhere else other than the Nintendo Switch. The series has proven so popular that a third entry is already in development. So, if you want to get excited for the next chapter in Bayonetta’s story and enjoy tight action, look no further than Bayonetta 2.
6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Great strategy RPGS are few and far between these days, but Nintendo has shown this genre a lot of love by way of the Fire Emblem series. Three Houses marks the first time the franchise has made its way onto the Switch in its truest form, casting players as the teacher of a school who must balance the relationships between the warriors of the titular three houses. All of Fodlan’s nations have been divided, so it falls to you to try and save it.
Part social-sim and part turn-based strategy battler, Fire Emblem: Three Houses features the same overhead tactical gameplay fans will love, where you’re required to move warrior units on the battlefield to best thwart the enemy, but introduces dialogue options and character choices. No player will have exactly the same Fire Emblem: Three Houses experience because of this, making it a more than worthy entry for our list of the 10 best single-player Nintendo Switch games.
5. Astral Chain
One of 2019’s sneakiest Nintendo Switch games – in the sense that no-one saw it coming – was PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain. In it, you play as a future super cop that must protect a city and hold back a menacing alien race using your martial art skills and your tamed legion. The bond between you and your legion proves essential and is core to the game’s action, where different legions are equipped with certain abilities that lets you approach combat scenarios uniquely each time.
The story is fairly melodramatic, but it turns out to be a fun ride filled with sibling rivalries, alternate dimensions and various super-stylish settings to roam. Very few original IPs come over as confident as Astral Chain when first coming out of the gate, but the result here is one of the 1- best single-player Nintendo Switch games. It’s also exclusive, too, so don’t pass up on this must-play title from the creators of Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101.