Sadness
Image: Nintendo Life

Not too long ago, we published a list of the Best Funny Games On Switch, which showcased all the finest comedy and capers that the Nintendo Switch has to offer. But much like the iconic Greek masks of comedy and tragedy, it's pointless to have happiness without its counterpart, sadness.

Lightness needs darkness to exist, and so too does laughter need sorrow — and, you know, sometimes it's just really cathartic to have a nice big sob session. Whether your tears are triggered by starcrossed lovers, familial grief, or the existential pain of mortality itself, there are plenty of games in here to get you sobbing.

Grab the tissues and a pint of ice cream for these tear-jerkers...

What Remains of Edith Finch (Switch eShop)

What Remains of Edith Finch (Switch eShop)What Remains of Edith Finch (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Giant Sparrow
Release Date: 4th Jul 2019 (USA) / 4th Jul 2019 (UK/EU)

What Remains of Edith Finch is a 'Walking Simulator' that doesn’t just tell an unforgettable story – it's genuinely unforgettable. As tragic as its tale is, it always manages to entertain. As one section ends and as you fight back tears, you’ll always carry on, because the next story is as engrossing as the last. If you want a strong feature-length story that doesn’t waste a minute, Edith Finch is the one you need.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Switch eShop)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Switch eShop)Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Switch eShop)
Publisher: 505 Games / Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Release Date: 28th May 2019 (USA) / 28th May 2019 (UK/EU)

As poignant, heartbreaking and memorable as it was back in 2013, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons hasn’t lost any of its emotional impact in those intervening years. With a captivating soundtrack, an aesthetic design evocative of Fable and a genuinely clever take on co-op, you can really see why it’s held in such high regard.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Switch eShop)

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Switch eShop)The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Telltale Games / Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: 28th Aug 2018 (USA) / 28th Aug 2018 (UK/EU)

What makes this season so unmissable is Lee’s paternal relationship with young Clementine, an eight-year-old girl left alone to face the end of the world. Its a setup that could have been cheapened in the hands of another developer, but here Lee’s growing coldness is gradually thawed through his newly adopted role as guardian, while Clementine becomes far more than another stock NPC in need of protection. The seeds of the woman we see in The Final Season are sowed in these first five episodes and you soon come to appreciate that you’re seeing this world as much through her eyes as you are through Lee’s. This first instalment bodes well for the tragedy and horror to come.

To The Moon (Switch eShop)

To The Moon (Switch eShop)To The Moon (Switch eShop)
Publisher: X.D. Network / Developer: Freebird Games
Release Date: 16th Jan 2020 (USA) / 16th Jan 2020 (UK/EU)

This is a short game – it's all over in a matter of four or five hours – but in that small amount of time it manages to make its players directly confront uncomfortable situations and emotions with which we'll all struggle at some point in our lives. It's written with a degree of sincerity and honesty that gives these moments real impact – we were left with tears in our eyes a few times.

Before I Forget (Switch eShop)

Before I Forget (Switch eShop)Before I Forget (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Plug In Digital / Developer: Plug In Digital
Release Date: 29th Apr 2021 (USA) / 29th Apr 2021 (UK/EU)

Before I Forget is a short, beautiful experience that nevertheless approaches a challenging and rather sombre subject. It takes creative bravery to share a game that represents the impact of dementia, and to do so sensitively and as accurately as possible; it achieves this goal. We not only suffer the disease with Sunita, but engage with the successes and joys of her life. Before I Forget finds a careful balance that is to be commended.

Ori And The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)

Ori And The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)Ori And The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Microsoft / Developer: Moon Studios
Release Date: 27th Sep 2019 (USA) / 27th Sep 2019 (UK/EU)

Ori is known for its mega-challenging Metroidvania platformer elements, but it's also worth calling out its heartwrenching intro, which is reminiscent of Up, AKA that movie that makes everyone cry in the first ten minutes. The mesmerising art style and musical score are the icing on the cake that makes the player actually care about the protagonist and want to keep playing to the game’s conclusion.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: 26th Oct 2000 (USA) / 17th Nov 2000 (UK/EU)

You can play this one through the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack service — and you definitely should, because it's stunning. It's weird. And it's so, so sad. It's a tale of the loss of innocence, loneliness, grief, and learning how to move on, all of which are impressively deep topics for a Zelda game that was made in under two years. Play it already!

This War of Mine Complete Edition (Switch)

This War of Mine Complete Edition (Switch)This War of Mine Complete Edition (Switch)
Publisher: Deep Silver / Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Release Date: 27th Nov 2018 (USA) / 27th Nov 2018 (UK/EU)

Particularly poignant right now, This War of Mine is a civil war survival sim set in a fictional country called Graznavia, which sees desperate civilians holing up as best they can in a city under siege. Tough decisions come thick and fast, exacerbated by inclement weather and dwindling supplies. Robbing vital provisions from defenceless people won’t sit well with everyone in your camp and morale isn’t simply an emoji here. At its heart, This War of Mine is a game about broken people. It forces you to make brutal, demoralising decisions to get by – stealing, killing, turning ‘useless’ people away. It makes you appreciate the escapism you have at your fingertips while giving you pause for the terrible reality it depicts.

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Firewatch (Switch eShop)

Firewatch (Switch eShop)Firewatch (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Campo Santo / Developer: Campo Santo
Release Date: 17th Dec 2018 (USA) / 17th Dec 2018 (UK/EU)

Another candidate for the "Made Me Cry In 5 Minutes" award, Firewatch starts out heavy with a short story about how you became a fire lookout guy in the first place. You never quite meet anyone in this game, but with the company of Delilah, your fellow fire lookout, on the walkie-talkie, you manage to have heavy conversations nonetheless. Firewatch has that sorrowful end-of-summer vibe, with the sense that everything is about to change forever hanging over you the whole time.

Gone Home (Switch eShop)

Gone Home (Switch eShop)Gone Home (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Annapurna Interactive
Release Date: 6th Sep 2018 (USA) / 6th Sep 2018 (UK/EU)

Gone Home's story is told in snippets through diaries, letters, and notes, as Katie, the 21-year-old prodigal daughter, returns home to find her family gone. As you explore, you find things out about your family that you never knew before — your father’s younger years as he struggled to find a publisher for his books. or stories written by your sister, Sam, in elementary school that show the seeds of a troubled soul. You discover a side of your sister that you hadn't seen, as she makes the transition from child to adult, and finds herself in the process.

Little Inferno (Switch eShop)

Little Inferno (Switch eShop)Little Inferno (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Tomorrow Corporation / Developer: Tomorrow Corporation
Release Date: 16th Mar 2017 (USA) / 23rd Mar 2017 (UK/EU)

An unusual pick for weepy games, given that it's largely a game about setting fire to stuff for fun, but Little Inferno hides a deeper, darker side amongst all the flames. It's cute, and it's creepy, and it's ultimately rather sad, if you pay attention to all the clues hidden within the walls of your safe, warm fireplace.