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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
It's tough to say whether Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is a clear improvement over its predecessors, but this entry is every bit as action-packed and razor-sharp as them. Kirin offers up a refreshing new take on the tried and tested gameplay, while the tight level designs and focus on the ranking system make this one a highly replayable experience. The only real downsides here are that the gacha system feels awkwardly implemented and the story can be a slog, but both these things are easily ignored when the thrilling gameplay really gets its hooks in you. If you at all enjoyed the previous entries, it goes without saying that you owe it to yourself to pick up Azure Striker Gunvolt 3, but we’d encourage newcomers to give it a shot, too. Action platformers like this don’t come along too often, and Inti Creates hasn’t lost its mojo.
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.
30XX is ultimately an enjoyable take on action platforming with a roguelite twist. The high difficulty, extreme replayability, and gorgeous visuals all come together to make for an action platformer you won’t want to miss out on. Beyond this, Mega Mode makes this one a solid recommendation even for those who don’t usually like roguelites, as it strips out most of the randomness and presents a more old-school challenge. For any fans of Mega Man, retro action platformers, or roguelikes, 30XX covers all those bases and then some, and deserves a spot in your Switch library. If you like the first one, this one makes improvements in all the right places, and the more-pure Mega Mode helps too.
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.