Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch eShop)

Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch eShop)Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Inti Creates / Developer: Inti Creates
Release Date: 15th Jun 2017 (USA) / 15th Jun 2017 (UK/EU)

Mighty Gunvolt Burst is the game everyone wishes Mighty No. 9 was (can you tell that we're bitter about never receiving our 3DS code?) and comes courtesy of Inti Creates. It improves on the original Mighty Gunvolt and looks to the classic 8-bit Mega Man games for inspiration, delivering a very enjoyable retro-flavoured nostalgia trip while also throwing in some fresh ideas of its own.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 (Switch eShop)

Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 (Switch eShop)Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Crazy Monkey Studios / Developer: Crazy Monkey Studios
Release Date: 2nd Aug 2018 (USA) / 2nd Aug 2018 (UK/EU)

Where the first game dropped the ball, Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 delivers improvements across the board and the result is a comic run and gun adventure that sees Vinnie Cannoli gunning down Nazis with a whole bunch of weaponry in fabulous comic book fashion. Cannoli's world looks great on Switch, and the addition of online co-op only sweetens the deal.

20XX (Switch eShop)

20XX (Switch eShop)20XX (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Batterystaple Games / Developer: Batterystaple Games
Release Date: 10th Jul 2018 (USA) / 10th Jul 2018 (UK/EU)

A game which can often be found on sale on the Switch eShop, 20XX scratches that 'just one more' itch very nicely in a procedurally-generated run 'n' gunner that's sure to keep you on your toes. A sense of repetition will eventually creep in--a fault of many games in this genre--but the variety of upgrades and customisation on offer will keep you occupied for a long time.

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (Switch)

Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (Switch)Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (Switch)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 25th Feb 2020 (USA) / 25th Feb 2020 (UK/EU)

More Mega Man? Well, when the series offers so much quality, what can you do? Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection lives up to the standards of the best Switch retro collections with six fantastic Mega Men presented alongside extra content and features and the little quality of life tweaks you've come to expect. These are challenging, rewarding games that deserve a place on your shelf, digital or otherwise.

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Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch eShop)

Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch eShop)Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Inti Creates / Developer: Inti Creates
Release Date: 20th Mar 2019 (USA) / 20th Mar 2019 (UK/EU)

Melding side-scrolling and top-down shooting sections into an excellent whole, Inti Creates returns once again with Blaster Master Zero 2, a game that improves on the original in nearly every way. With tight controls, varied gameplay and gorgeous retro visuals it's another easy recommendation from a developer that proves time and again it's at the top of its run 'n' gun game.

Metal Slug (Neo Geo)

Metal Slug (Neo Geo)Metal Slug (Neo Geo)
Publisher: SNK / Developer: Nazca
Release Date: 1996 (USA) / 9th May 2008 (UK/EU)

If you're new to the Metal Slug series, it's probably best to start at the beginning, no? Hamster's Switch port of the arcade original showcases the chunky fun of this classic very well indeed, and while it's not going to last you very long, this is still one of the most satisfying run and gunners ever made. Go on, you know you want to.

Mechstermination Force (Switch eShop)

Mechstermination Force (Switch eShop)Mechstermination Force (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Horberg Productions / Developer: Horberg Productions
Release Date: 3rd Apr 2019 (USA) / 4th Apr 2019 (UK/EU)

While certainly less of a head-turner than something like Cuphead (which released in close proximity to this), Mechstermination Force is a more approachable take on boss rush run 'n' gun platforming, with less of an emphasis on twitch-based, pixel-perfect precision. The game is peppered with ingenious design and amusing writing and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with it. We'd recommend it as a more accessible alternative to (or appetiser for) Studio MDHR’s game. If you enjoyed Gunman Clive--another game worthy of investigation if you never played it on 3DS--this is a great expansion on the concept.

Gunlord X (Switch eShop)

Gunlord X (Switch eShop)Gunlord X (Switch eShop)
Publisher: NG:DEV TEAM / Developer: NG:DEV TEAM
Release Date: 22nd May 2019 (USA) / 22nd May 2019 (UK/EU)

Gunlord X is yet another great retro-inspired run and gunner for Switch - are you bored of these yet? Of course not! This is a fantastic game that makes up for a lack of longevity (and, arguably, originality) by delivering first-rate action with audio and visuals to match. Developer NG:DEV.TEAM outdid itself with this one, and it comes highly recommended.

Hardcore Mecha (Switch)

Hardcore Mecha (Switch)Hardcore Mecha (Switch)
Publisher: Lightning Games / Developer: RocketPunch Games
Release Date: 15th Oct 2020 (USA) / 15th Oct 2020 (UK/EU)

Hardcore Mecha is a superb 2D side-scrolling adventure that marries some spectacularly OTT anime storytelling with explosively satisfying robot combat. There's a surprisingly meaty story here set across eighteen wonderfully varied levels with plenty of depth to RPG elements allowing you to customise your mech's attack and defence capabilities. An unlockable survival mode, online PvP, local multiplayer and mission rankings also add plenty of replayability to proceedings. The Switch port has some framerate issues that can see intense battles stutter, but if you're after a run and gun with some hardcore mech action, look no further.

Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)

Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)Arcade Archives Sunset Riders (Switch eShop)
Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Konami
Release Date: 11th Jun 2020 (USA) / 11th Jun 2020 (UK/EU)

Sunset Riders is nothing but pure side-scrolling boss-blasting fun, the likes of which are often imitated but never quite captured. There's a reason so many people remember this game so fondly; it's got personality to spare. One of the greatest games that Hamster has deigned to release and as far as we're concerned one of the crown jewels of Arcade Archives.

Cuphead (Switch eShop)

Cuphead (Switch eShop)Cuphead (Switch eShop)
Publisher: StudioMDHR / Developer: StudioMDHR
Release Date: 18th Apr 2019 (USA) / 18th Apr 2019 (UK/EU)

One of Switches most surprising ports, this game was previously a Microsoft console exclusive but having it on Switch made too much sense for Nintendo's rival platform holder to ignore - and very glad we are to have it, too. The Switch port of Studio MDHR's incredible-looking game is everything you'd want it to be, and it's the kind of game that tempts players with absolutely no interest in the genre to try out. Cuphead is a remarkable achievement wherever you play it, and given the portability of Nintendo's console, we'd say Switch gamers are the luckiest of the bunch. They say don't deal with the devil, but this is impossible to resist.


Which are your favourites from this list? Think we've missed something vital? Feel free to let us know down below and we may update it along with new run 'n' gun Switch releases in the future.

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, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ 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, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.

Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, 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, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!

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, 2020, and 2021. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.