Blasphemous (Switch eShop)

Blasphemous (Switch eShop)Blasphemous (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Team17 / Developer: The Game Kitchen
Release Date: 10th Sep 2019 (USA) / 10th Sep 2019 (UK/EU)

Blasphemous is a beautifully crafted Soulslike/Metroidvania action game set in an unhinged, deliriously gory world filled with well-designed enemies, satisfyingly meaty combat and some truly memorable and grotesque boss battles. If that sounds appealing but you're not ready to commit, why not download the demo and sample around an hour of the game, eh? It's a good 'un.

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Ape Out (Switch eShop)

Ape Out (Switch eShop)Ape Out (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Gabe Cuzzillo
Release Date: 28th Feb 2019 (USA) / 28th Feb 2019 (UK/EU)

A violent, top-down beat 'em up with a procedurally-improvised jazz soundtrack might not like your cup of tea on paper, but Ape Out is one of the most unique, original and wonderful indie games on the console and we urge you to give it a try. If you're not willing to shell out for the full game, the demo is there to give you a taster. Go on, go ape!

Fitness Boxing (Switch)

Fitness Boxing (Switch)Fitness Boxing (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Imagineer
Release Date: 4th Jan 2019 (USA) / 21st Dec 2018 (UK/EU)

Fitness Boxing is a breezy, energetic game that delivers some light CV and takes pointers from the Just Dance series and various rhythm games to provide a convenient and engaging workout. If you've been tempted in the past but can't justify buying another fitness-focused game that will go unplayed in the long run, give the demo a try to see if it's something you'd stick with.

Blaster Master Zero (Switch eShop)

Blaster Master Zero (Switch eShop)Blaster Master Zero (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Inti Creates / Developer: Inti Creates
Release Date: 9th Mar 2017 (USA) / 9th Mar 2017 (UK/EU)

Blaster Master Zero is a wonderful reimagining of the NES game that polishes the 8-bit edges of the game into something that shines on Switch. With its vehicular platforming and on-foot sections, there's not much that's quite like Blaster Master. Personally, we'd go for the sequel if you're only going to play one Blaster Master, but they're both great games and so the opportunity to sample the first via a demo is very welcome.

Hob: The Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)

Hob: The Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)Hob: The Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment / Developer: Perfect World Entertainment
Release Date: 3rd Apr 2019 (USA) / 4th Apr 2019 (UK/EU)

A great Switch port courtesy of Panic Button, Hob: The Definitive Edition is a great 3D platformer that arguably got buried in the Switch library. Fortunately, the eShop has a demo to download if it passed you by, and we recommend getting acquainted with this cel-shaded adventure.

Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch)

Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch)Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch)
Publisher: NIS America / Developer: Nippon Ichi
Release Date: 23rd May 2017 (USA) / 26th May 2017 (UK/EU)

Disgaea 5 Complete offers a wealth of content for strategy RPG fans, but it's a challenging series and worth downloading the demo to see if it's up your alley. If you like it, you'll probably really like it and will enjoy endless hours of strategising with its zany cast of characters. If you simply can't get enough of free Disgaea, Disgaea 4 Complete+ also has a demo available. Dood!

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 5th Nov 2019 (USA) / 8th Nov 2019 (UK/EU)

The real event might not have taken place in 2020, but Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 demo will give you a little flavour of the event until they patch the game's title to read '2021'. The demo features the 110m Hurdles, Badminton, Karate, Surfing and Archery events, and also gives you access to the Long Jump and 10m Platform in the retro-styled Tokyo 1964 events.

Yoku's Island Express (Switch eShop)

Yoku's Island Express (Switch eShop)Yoku's Island Express (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Team 17 / Developer: Villa Gorilla
Release Date: 29th May 2018 (USA) / 29th May 2018 (UK/EU)

Yoku's Island Express is a genuine breath of fresh air, combining pinball and Metroidvania mechanics in a way that feels truly inspired. Add in a calming soundtrack and one of the most appealing fantasy worlds you'll find on the eShop, and you have yourself an instant left-field classic. If the combination of pinball and Metroidvania sounds a bit suspicious, we heartily recommend downloading the demo to allay your fears. It really is a treasure.

ARMS (Switch)

ARMS (Switch)ARMS (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 16th Jun 2017 (USA) / 16th Jun 2017 (UK/EU)

We've got a soft spot for ARMS, and we're not ashamed to take any opportunity to highlight it as an underappreciated gem in the Switch's considerable catalogue. The demo gives you a good idea of the main gameplay and you can play it without limit, although it does spit you out of the Grand Prix at a certain point. Go on, there's no 'arm in it!


Obviously, that's just a handful of over 300 demos currently available on the Switch eShop. The beauty of them is that you've got absolutely nothing to lose by giving them a test run (apart from some memory space), so if you're at a loose end and not sure what to play, why not head to the eShop and go crazy? You can filter games with demos in the Search area of the store.

Let us know below the best demos you've played and if they convinced you to buy the full game.

This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games , the Best Free Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Visual Novels, Fighting Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Run and Gun Games, Sports Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-builders, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch., and the Best Switch Collections And Compilations.

If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, as well as Every Nintendo Switch Online NES Game and Every Nintendo Switch Online SNES Game.