Danmaku Unlimited 3 (Switch eShop)
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a brilliantly executed ‘best of’ collection of bullet hell ideas wrapped up in a phenomenal package. It's a stand out game in the whole Switch library and even if you don’t particularity like shmups - or if Japanese bullet hells are not your particular favourite flavour within the genre - exposure to the insane lightshows provided by this game might just turn you into a die-hard fan. We only really found one significant fault with the game: every other shmup on the system will arguably feel a little slow and dull by comparison after you've sampled this one.
Blazing Star (Neo Geo)
Like so many Neo Geo games, there's little doubt that some of Blazing Star's appeal lies in the fact that, at one point in time, it was almost totally unobtainable unless you were comfortably rich. Even so, Yumekobo's esteemed shooter has enough quality to entertain even when stripped of its lofty status as a collector's item; the action is fast and challenging, while the controls are tight and responsive. The three shot types add tactical depth to the gameplay and some of the boss encounters will have you sat on the edge of your seat. Our biggest complaints are the rather inconsistent pre-rendered graphics and the way in which the difficulty level smashes through the roof in the latter stages of the game, but these are minor issues when you consider how downright enjoyable Blazing Star is. One of the most famous Neo Geo shooters is an essential purchase on your Switch, especially at this price.
Darius Cozmic Collection (Switch)
Another M2 joint, this time the port wizards take on Taito's classic side-scrolling shmup series and collect all the 2D games on one Switch cartridge. And unfortunately, it is available exclusively on cartridge in Japan at the moment. We're not sure why exactly it's physical-only, but if you're too impatient to wait for a western release, it's easy enough to import and pop in your Switch right now. Regardless of the peculiarities surrounding its release, Darius Cozmic Collection is a glorious compilation of some stone-cold classics presented in various configurations and modes, with all the attention to detail we've come to expect from M2. Enthusiasts will probably want to import the costly Special Edition which includes an extra five home console games (including the super rare PC Engine Darius Alpha), but newcomers to the genre are probably better off waiting for a western release.
Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
Rolling Gunner (Switch eShop)
Directed by ex-Cave dev Daisuke Koizumi, who worked on Deathsmiles 2 and Dondonpachi, amongst other great entries in the genre, Rolling Gunner has pedigree, and it shows; this is one of the most addictive, accessible and downright fun shmups currently available on Nintendo’s system. It plays beautifully, looks amazing and is overall one of the most engaging side-scrolling shmups released in recent memory. Kudos to developer Mebius for creating an entry in the genre that does so much to welcome newcomers into the fold whilst at the same time offering a blisteringly difficult challenge with plenty of hidden depth for hardened warriors looking for their next shooter addiction.
Pawarumi (Switch eShop)
Pawarumi is a tough-as-nails shmup with a unique central mechanic that takes time to master. Stick with it though and you’ll be rewarded with a slick, fast-paced shooter that looks and sounds amazing and will test your skills to the max. There’s really nothing else like it out there right now and, even with slight reservations over the difficulty, a lacklustre story and paucity of game modes, this is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre looking for a proper challenge.
Hyperlight Ultimate (Switch eShop)
Hyperlight Ultimate is a great little arcade shooter that was good on 3DS and now arrives on Switch in a much more complete and satisfying form, bringing it up to date with a nice lick of paint and handful of new multiplayer modes. The subtle gameplay tweaks here help make things a little less hardcore than in the original game, but this is still pretty tough stuff that comes highly recommended to fans of the genre who like a stiff challenge, so long as they stay away from the ill-advised Panic mode. It nails that hypnotic, one-more-go vibe that makes the best of this genre - games like Resogun and Geometry Wars - so endlessly addicting to play.
Super Hydorah (Switch eShop)
This is an old-school 2D shooter that serves as an effective tribute to the classics while successfully managing to inject some fresh ideas of its own. Super Hydorah doesn't reinvent the side-scrolling shmup, but it does kit it out with some cool new gadgets.
Arcade Archives In The Hunt (Switch eShop)
In the Hunt is an excellent shoot-'em-up and a great fit for the Switch. It offers something comfortingly familiar in the genre but shockingly, joyously different in execution. It stands out as a high-quality deep cut in the Arcade Archives catalogue of retro classics.
Earth Atlantis (Switch eShop)
Even if you're not a 2D 'shmup' veteran, or are looking for something a little off the beaten, side-scrolling track, there is plenty to enjoy here - tight controls, plenty of unique monstrous bosses to defeat and exploration of a broken but beautiful submerged world. While it lacks a few options, has occasional boss fight difficulty spikes and is not the relentless action that some genre fans prefer, Earth Atlantis has enough old school shoot 'em up substance to back up its glorious and organic style.
Gunbird (Switch eShop)
Gunbird is a lot of fun, both in its gameplay and the use of a wacky cast of characters. A single-credit mode similar to the Hi Score (with online leaderboard) one that features in Hamster's ACA Neo Geo/Arcade Archives series would have been a good inclusion, but the game is still very replayable. The co-operative/competitive two-player mode works particularly well, whether on the big screen or playing undocked in TATE mode. There's a good challenge with the default settings, and tweaking the options can make things easier if you'd like to see all the ways the story can play out. Gunbird is another great option for shmup-loving Switch owners.
Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron (Switch eShop)
Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron provides plenty of action as you do the standard thing of shooting anything onscreen while avoiding getting hit yourself, and variety is provided by squadron's various troubles and the optional side missions. It's fairly easy to begin with, but the challenge steadily increases as you progress without being too difficult - as long as you keep upgrading your skills, that is. Two additional difficulty settings provide a tougher challenge, and fun boss battles add to the enjoyment. With support for up to four players, Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron is a good pick for those seeking multiplayer shmup action.
What about Sky Force Reloaded? I love all the shoot em ups on your list, but Sky Force is the one I've actually played the most on my Switch. It's so addictive and fun, and has such beautiful graphics!
currently playing through Danmaku n yep it's hypnotic n phenomenal. I found Steredenn to be a bore n had this frequent game breaking bug. Psyvariar is incoming along with R type & Darius not too far behind. shmup it up!
I bought R-Type Dimensions Ex both physically and digitally. And also Steredenn: Binary Star physically. But i haven't gotten around to playing them yet. As their still in my 40+ game backlog.
Ikaruga is really good. I also play some R-type, but that's mainly nostalgia, I think.
Ikaruga is one of the finest shmups ever made by Treasure. Although I feel Radiant Silvergun is the better game, it isn't available on Switch...yet.
Some crackers on there (any of them got demos?) but I'd say that Gunbird is a nice shooter that's certainly worth a look at too
@BacklogBlues I’ve got over 200 physical switch games and similar digital...
I think you stole my name
Zed Blade, Pulstar, Devil Engine, Overdriven Reloaded (as far as I can tell this is the only 4 player shmup that runs at 60 fps on Switch), Gunbird 1 & 2, Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection (Salamander and Gradius are great!), Neko Navy (I love this game, and it is filling in for Parodius until Konami releases it on Switch!), Hyper Sentinel (awesome game!), Aero Fighters 3, Space Dave, Super Destronaut DX, Rival Megagun, Zerogunner 2, Xenoraid, Alpha Mission 2, Star Ghost, Neon Caves, Dimension Drive, Astro Duel Deluxe, Sine Mora EX (probably the most beautiful shmup on Switch), Debris Infinity (amazing game!), Samurai Aces, and Last Resort. Um, that's a list of shoot em ups on Switch that I've enjoyed. Jeez this system is shooter heaven!!!
@Magician Yeah, it seems like at the rate Switch is going it will have pretty much the history of good shmups in it's catalog by the time the system dies. Which is awesome.
@AndrewJ Oh yeah! That's a great game! I have it on Vita and am waiting for a sale to get it on Switch.
I'd like to play some more of these, but I usually end up playing a shoot em up for a little while and then forgetting about it. The only big exception is Steredenn Binary Stars. I love that game!
@AndrewJ Yeah I have both on Switch too. I hear you about the grinding. What amazes me about those games is that once I haven't played them for awhile it is always fun to play 2 or 3 levels again. Collecting the cards and ship parts in Reloaded is a fun long term project.
Steredenn binary stars MVP
If I had to pick my favorites from the list covered in the article, right now I would pick Angerforce and Tengai. They both have that compelling loop where I just want to keep playing. I do wish Angerforce wasn't such a huge file size though.
Just because I wish I was warned... There are some shmups that I think should be avoided (they run at 30 fps!): Aces of the Luftwaffe Squadron (I've played this at 60 fps on some other system, maybe PS4, so it sucks that it's not smooth on Switch), Iro Hero, Mars Chaos Menace, Preventive Strike, and Quad Fighter K (this one has to be able to run at 60 fps, yet it doesn't ).
I agreed with most on the list, but not all (I have 67 shmups on Switch currently). I would easily put Devil Engine, Rolling Gunner there as well as Neko Navy, which is just pure fun (maybe not the deepest, but tons of fun!).
I found AngerForce and Graceful Explosion Machine quite average myself.
There are already so many good shmups on Switch that this list should be top 20 easily.
I love me some shooters for 42 years now! Always messing with:
Sky Force Anniversary
Star Ghost (although I wish the controls were customizable)
Aero Fighters 3
Strikers 1945 series
Prehistoric isle 2
Zero Gunner 2
& The King: the original Asteroids/Deluxe
And a few others I may have forgotten!
GEM is another amazing shooter on switch.
Enjoyed Black Bird.
Been wanting Steredenn for awhile. Its $5 this week. Will have it today.
@GFoyle I had not heard of Rolling Gunner until you mentioned it. After watching a couple videos I think it looks like a winner.
Yeah, Neko Navy is way more fun than I expected it to be!
@joey302 Nice list! Yeah, Tempest is one of the best shooters ever. I think TxK on Vita is the best game on that system and one of the best games ever. I wish they wouldn't have gotten that copyright threat so it could've been released on other systems. I wish it was on Switch! And maybe with a multiplayer mode, four player split screen. Could be interesting...
@VegasKeith Oh, I forgot about Blackbird. What a weird opera shooter! Those noodly vocals...
@HAL9000 what is that? When I Google it I can't find a shooter for Switch.
I love games like Akai Katana and Deathsmiles- I wish the companies that made those series would publish some titles on the Switch.
@GFoyle and yeah, I've been having fun playing Devil Engine recently too. It's definitely one that people should check out.
No Sky Force? No Stardust Galaxy Warriors? No Overdriven? No Rival Megagun?
These, Anger Force, Ikaruga and Steredenn, but the rest is not worth it imo
Devil Engine, Black Paradox and Super Hydorah are good too, but too expensive for what's in them.
And there are a lot more good retro shmups, but you don't need them so much like the one mentioned.
I assume RIVE: Ultimate Edition is not on this list because it combines platforming elements with shooting but...where the hell is Sine Mora EX?!
The list is full of budget shooters but Sine Mora EX is some high quality super polished stuff...yet, no mention. Why?
This list should contain some honorable mentions (including Sky Force Reloaded).
As it is, the article feels a tad incomplete.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a blast, highly recommend.
I feel that Dimension Drive deserves a place on the best-of list. It's a very gratifying shooter with intense challenge, banging music, and a steep-but-rewarding learning curve.
All the Psikyo shooters need to be on the list. Not just 1945, which IMO is one of the weaker games though still excellent.
I would have thrown in Blazing Star and Tengai in here.
Pretty spectacular lineup the system has already!
@Grauz Great game - terrible soundtrack
@shonenjump86 So, you didn't even scan page 2 then lol
Like some of these. Ikaruga must require some higher level functioning because I can’t do it on normal difficulty. When those 2nd level columns and colors fly towards me I get anxious and can never switch the colors in time. I know, git gud.
-Didn't jump on Ikaruga because of the missing features from the GC version (chapter select and tutorial videos, I think).
-I have the free version of Galak-Z, but haven't played.
-Bought R-Type Dimensions on PS3 (it's great).
-Didn't know Anger Force was a thing and I'm usually good about browsing the eShop weekly!
-Thunder Force IV is on my "to buy" list.
-Just bought Steredenn yesterday, $5 (normally $13).
-Psyvariar Delta is Japan only, but I know people want it over here.
-Tengai, 1945 II and Dragon Blaze are also on my "to buy" list.
-Graceful Explosion Machine is fun, but I haven't beaten it.
-Danmaku Unlimited 3 (free version) is on my phone, but it's a matter of me wanting to punish myself with a bullet hell.
-Bought Blazing Star ages ago on the phone and never regretted it.
-Darius is way too expensive for just three games (let alone the special edition), especially when Darius Burst CS on PC easily fills that void.
@GrailUK ah, no I did not. Yikes.
I'm glad you include Psyvariar Delta and Darius Cozmic Collection, because those are really the best shmups on the Switch in my opinion.
The only inclusions i disagree with are Galak-Z, Graceful Explosion Machine and Steredenn (however, i realize Steredenn is very popular).
I'd have chosen Black Bird, Sisters Royale, Omega Force or Rolling Gunner instead.
I'm waiting for Hamster to bring Sonic Wings Limited
@EmirParkreiner Wow, another one I hadn't heard of yet. Sisters Royale looks interesting
@shonenjump86 hehe. easily done
It'd be nice to have a poll at the bottom of these articles, just to see which of the games from the list are most popular with the community.
Absolutely amazing selection of shmups. Still loads more that would be welcome. Hope we see a Midway Arcade Treasures compilation with Defender.
Strikers 3...where are you??
May I ask for a "The best Local WiFi multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch"? I love to play games that way and the thought of being able to do so without the need of an online connection.
Think of Diablo 3, Minecraft, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and more
Was expecting cuphead to be on the list. Lol.
So many games I haven't even heard of in the comments but I've got plenty of games to keep me busy for the time being.
@Abes3 Probably more of a run 'n gun?
I would love an arcade perfect version of Gorf. Only one I know of is then homebrew for Jag CD and it’s no longer available.
Some really great shoot 'em ups in the article and in the comments!
But although not entirely surprising, it's a shame that no one has mentioned Prehistoric Isle yet. Right now, it's only available in the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, but it's a real hidden gem and one of the best shoot 'em ups available on Switch, in my opinion. Specially great when playing with a friend.
The sequel is also avaliable on Switch as a standalone purchase in the ACA NeoGeo series, but it's a much lesser game, exchanging the original game's beautiful sprite art and fun mechanics for ugly pre-rendered graphics and much more generic gameplay.
I'm not really a shoot 'em up kinda person, they've never really interested me. However, Graceful Explosion Machine looks really interesting, maybe I'll check that out.
Shame on you guys for leaving out Sine Mora
@AndrewJ Yeah seriously. Another s*** list on Nintendo Life. Missing by far the best Shmup on Switch. They need some writers older then 30.
I have Thunder Force IV on my Switch. One of the best shmups I've played and the soundtrack is rockin'
@Baart these games need an exhilarating soundtrack to go with the excitement on screen and thats something sine mora was lacking. and do we really need an epic war story trying to be told in between of stages?
@60frames-please jeez almost forgot about TxK on the Vita. haven’t touched my Vita or 3DS since the Switch came out but TxK along with many other games would do nicely on Switch! Here’s hoping!
Strikers 1945 and Strikers II are my favorites. We need Strikers 1999 on Switch
Flying person is my favorite sub genre. Flying animals too. Which reminds me, Monkey King will break your back and humble you, just like the Iron Sheik.
So THAT’S what “shmup” means... 😂
"Nintendo Switch download version "Strikers 1999" will be released August 29, 2019."
It comes in the vol 3 psikyo collection (Korean) earlier than that, but that 29 of August date for digital was mentioned here: https://psikyo-portal.com/shootinglibrary.html#info (which is about the Japanese collections)
My favorite Switch shmups:
Konami Arcade Classics (Gradius series)
More flipgrip promotion!? You'd be crazy to use a third party accessory with your switch with all the reports of swiitches getting bricked!!!!
@GFoyle great info, you’ve made my day
Thanks for all the recommendations, even the ones that run at 30fps. Each to their own, but I could never skip out on an otherwise good game just because it at 30fps. 😂
@60frames-please Yeah, I'm playing through it now it's a great mix of reward after playing and a good working upgrade system that does make it addicting to return to the game.
In my mind i know it's not the best game (shooter even) but I also keep coming back to it for some strange reason.
Waiting for them to bring Back Shoot Em Up Construction Kit from the C64 era with upgraded functions. Remember wasting so much time on that game back in the early 90s
Oh man, I should have followed my head and not even opened this page. I don't even like shmups, yet here I am about to trot off to the eshop to take a second look at some of these.
@Kochambra Thanks for the nod to Prehistoric Isle - I have the SNK collection but don't think I've tried that one yet.
Had Steredenn on Xbox so bought it on release on switch. But just doesn't seem as tight control wise. Do love Skyforce though.
@Bunkerneath the construction kit was superb.
No love for Aqua Kitty?
Where the hell is Cave? Did they go out of business or something? Switch has been out for years, what are they waiting for? All of their shooters should be on Switch.
@xanderten50 Ha ha, I played that game, it was hilarious.
Devil Engine is such a great game which can appeal to both harecore and casual fans. If you like shoot them ups, you must check it out
Ikaruga and Thunderforce 4 are both masterpieces and must plays for everyone.
I keep trying these new indie STGs but none have worked for me yet. They all feel like tribute acts, trying desperately to capture the magic of the greats but always failing through bad art, bad music, and sloppy design. Maybe someone will nail it someday.
There a bunch of Psikyo shooters on the Switch too, with the Gunbird games standing out as being solid examples of the genre. They're worth a look.
I'd love to see a port of Treasure's other STG masterpiece to the Switch - Radiant Silvergun. It received an X360 port years back but has been forgotten ever since. I still play it often on my Saturn.
Where is Danmaku 3?
EDIT: Doh! Just noticed page 2...
@KryptoniteKrunch If you're going to get a 30 fps shooter I'd recommend Aces of the Luftwaffe. It's got 4 player, and is pretty good. Also, I think it was on my phone that I played a 60 fps version of Luftwaffe, which just makes the 30 fps Switch version look more pathetic (of course there's no 4 player mode on cell phone). I mean, at least make the single player mode run at 60!
Well I guess This is the first time I ever seen all games with guns..
SkyForce Reloaded is #1 in my book. And RXN Raixin deserves mention; both are NEW games and use THE FULL SCREEN. And both far superior to AngerForce.
Einhander please... yeah I know it’ll never happen
Rival Megagun is really good. It is kinda like Twinkle Star Sprites, but more understandable and it seems like more fun overall. It also has some nice music tracks. For reference I like the music in Sine Mora and love the music in Battle Garegga.
Also, Stardust Galaxy Warriors has 4 player 60 fps gameplay (it appears to drop some frames, but not too bad). It's also really fun!
It would be awesome to get Battle Garegga and Armed Police Batrider on Switch. And Parodius. And Bangai-O, Radiant Silvergun, Silpheed, Gradius V, some Cotton games, Soukyugurentai/Terra Diver(with an easy mode!), DoDonPachi, Game Paradise 1 & 2, Cho Aniki, Thunderforce 5 and others too, Tempest 2000 or similar game, Galactic Attack, a Mushihime game, a Deathsmiles game, and Harmful Park! Just a couple requests!
@bluedogrulez Yeah Skyforce Reloaded is so good. It has so much longevity, so much stuff to unlock, such perfect graphics, and really fun two player coop. I haven't tried RXN yet, but it's on my list.
@ForminaSage Yes, I forgot Einhander. That would be an incredible addition to the Switch library. I'd love to play that game on Switch!
I wish we have more of these coming to the Switch as I am currently collecting classic shmups. They are so good for killing time. Love it on the go.
Sky Force Reloaded
The best shmup ever and it's on the Switch.
I bought Steredenn from this list. I don't like it. Weapons feel weak, or so terrible they're unusable. Game feels unfair.
I don't like shmups, but Steredenn is really really fun.
Still leaving out Sine Mora, shame!
I reeeeally want a Flip Grip... but I have so many non-Tate games on my backlog that I can't justify it. However, if they decide to finally release Radiant Silvergun for Switch, I will finally buy a Flip Grip and every game on this list. Especially just the horizontal-scrolling games that it doesn't work with.
@60frames-please They skipped it on this list and they skipped it on the last one. GREAT GAME . . . aerial rescues have never been so much fun : )
Meanwhile, AngerForce really failed to impress me....
Glad to see this list was updated to include the new king of shmups on the Switch, Rolling Gunner.
However, NintendoLife should really also give some attention to Quad Fighter K and the 2 excellent japanese eShop exclusives Sisters Royale and Radirgy Swag.
Feels like someone was paid to make that list.
A screenshot would help. I remember a similar list here.
I somewhat like shmups, but I hate bullet hell. It holds zero interest to me.
Could someone be so kind and advise me a list of good shmups where not too much s*** is going on at once?
Shoot-em-up shoot-em-up shoot-em-up shoot-em-up
No Sky Force and no Super Hydorah and no Rival Megagun and no Stardust Galaxy? Ikaruga, Darius Cozmic Collection, Steredenn are great, but the rest on the list are nothing compared to the one I mentioned.
The best genre EVER!!!
Sky Force: Reloaded should be on this list. It is the best schmup I have ever played on the Switch. I love this game so much.
@EmirParkreiner thanks for mentioning those lesser-discussed titles. I’m curious about Sisters Royale, given how little coverage it has received.
By the way, a few weeks ago I read that Radirgy Swag is getting a Western release — IIRC, later this year.
Devil Engine, Rolling Gunner and Danmaku Unlimited 3 are my favorite.
I have all of these games, I guess you can call me a classic arcade gaming enthusiast lol.
Steereden is terrible. Just look good. The best shrump is not even in the list. It's Black Paradox. This one, Ikaruga and another one not in the list (I am not rememberi the name right now) are the good ones.
I bought X-Multiply the other day and I'm loving it. Plays, looks and sounds superb. Highly recommended.
@Aneira 6 months later...... I can't recommend Tengai enough, fantastic shoot em up.
You guys suck, can't even put screenshots for each game.
@60frames-please I agree. Sky Force Reloaded is the shmup I play the most. Love it.
Ther best shoot-em-up on switch is Radiant Silvergun and that's not even out yet.
Added Shmup Collection and a bunch of others to this big chunky list
No Rigid Force Redux? I mean: this list is great, but the best Shmup on Switch is not on it.
Gradius on Nintendo Switch Online, Darius Collection, now playing Raiden on Arcade Archives... would love it if Axelay made it to the Super Nintendo Switch Online.
Thanks for the list, a lot of these I hadn't heard of.
I really want the Darius collection, but haven't bitten yet due to the high price.
Thunderforce AC should be on here. I like it a lot more than TFIV. And the new stereo soundtrack is superb.
1. Will Strikers 1945 III ever be made available in the North American eShop? Any idea why it's not available as a standalone download if you're not in Japan?
2. Why has the original AeroFighters never been uploaded and made available for purchase? I find it odd that 2 & 3 are available and not the original...
The article is so bad, that forget even the best game of the genre in the switch: Black Paradox.
But was a valiant effort. Maybe, bext time, they remember put thw 2 best switch shmups in the list.
Sky Force Reloaded has been a lot of fun. So much replayability. Probably the best value game for me on the switch.
No OG Raiden. How am I supposed to take these recommendations seriously.
R-Type is one of my favourites since playing it on my Seccy back in the day and Thundeforce IV is one of my favs from the Mega Drive. Having them both, and enhanced, on Switch is 😙👌
I know it's not a popular opinion at all - but I really like Sine Mora Ex. I had more fun with it than any of the other highly regarded Shmups on the list. My perfect game would be a Sine Mora Ex style vertical shooter.
You can jump to page 4. The awesome gems of shmups on Switch
What about non shmup games? :/ Why do shmup games get their own page? Is this some kind of virtue signalling agenda? I don't mind shmup people having games but why make an entire article just about this other than to virtue signal to them? Kind of alienating to non shmup players even though we also play games you know.
Only one of these games, that I have on the Nintendo Switch, is Raiden V, which I really enjoyed played. I should definitely, look into checking a couple more of these game out, see if anything else catches my interest.
@Lony85 If you liked Raiden V you should definately try out Raiden IV
@Lony85 if you liked raiden v you should try hamster ACA Raiden
This article and list is incredible to me, it feels like a bunch of games from a different planet!!! I think I have heard of maybe 4 of them?
But the one shmup I've actually played on the console is surprisingly absent? I loved Sine Mora Ex (which was my first foray in the genre) but is it actually not good?
Ikaruga is definitely my #1 on Switch. What a classic.
Geometry Wars is probably series in the genre but not found on the Switch. I thing GW3 Retro evolved is fantastic and would love a handheld version
I'm a little surprised to find I have 11 of the games on this list, and I'm buying Raiden IV Mikado and Cotton Reboot very soon. This is one of the genres I really like to collect.
I can vouch for Steredenn and R-Type Dimensions 100%. Steredenn is in my top five games on the Switch, and R-Type is a game I buy on every platform. It's a stone cold timeless classic. I can do the first stage in my sleep at this point.
I'm currently into R-Type Final 2. I don't know that it's a top shmup, but it's very fun for now.
I don't get into the bullet hell games, so I'm very picky about what shmups I bother to play, I really enjoyed Steredenn (despite being unable to actually beat it) and Sky Force Reloaded.
An honorable mention that I don't hear anyone talking about is Jets 'n Guns 2...an amazing shmup with lots of replay value, tight visuals and incredible music. It's a little short and linear, but the gameplay and customization are excellent for a really fair price. And there's also Black Paradox, a simple but enjoyable shmup with upgrades, great pixel visuals and great music too.
@60frames-please have you found any other game like sky force where you can gradually upgrade your ship etc?
@glympe I've recently enjoyed Shenandoah 1993 which has purchasable upgrades. Not quite like Sky Force, but it's a fun game that just a different kind of shooter. I hope they're working on a third Sky Force game...
I run a weekly Reddit poll on retro games. 20 of the top 50 games voted in from 1984 or earlier were shooters. These are the 8 (in voting order) available on Switch:
As someone who isnt very good at the fast paced shoot em ups, i really enjoyed skyforce reloaded on the switch. I like the progress level of being a 1 ahot kill low powered ship to upgrading armour, guns, bombs, lazers etc to then be able to clear levels without taking damage. Any other games that wont fry my brain with a barrage of bullets? Im open to suggestions.
@60frames-please nice find! I’ll give it a try. For some reason, this reminded me the xenon 2: megablast - which would also be great for switch
Just checked out Raiden IV and it looks way too fast for me. I couldnt even see some of those bullets coming that the guy was dodging. Maybe im just too long in the tooth for these fast paced games😂
Because it's a genre that, at one point, seemed it danger of dying out almost completely, that is currently having a massive resurgence? I'd say that makes it worth an article.
Still waiting patiently for M2's Toaplan conversions. Flying Shark is one of my all-time favourites, can't wait to own that on Switch. Getting my ass kicked by Raiden at the moment, an absolutely brilliant game. Got R-Type Final paid up for my birthday in a few weeks.
A little lesser-known, but Konami fans should give the Thunder Cross titles a spin. Whenever someone brings up Konami shooters, talk inevitably centres around Gradius / Salamander / Parodius, but there two are up there with them.
Yeah the /s was for sarcasm
Ah, sorry man!
No Jamestown+? This is a crime. Great shooter with a ton of personality.
Man... this is like a dream come true. My GameCube/Wii era self would have flipped at all these scrolling shooters on a Nintendo platform. I mean Cotton Reboot!? AND a new Cotton sequel!?!? WHAT!? So spoiled, I love it! (Now give me Guxt and, as long as I’m here dreaming... GUXT 2!!)
God help the Switch if these are the best it has to offer. There's 2 Megadrive SHMUPS on there, and neither would even get in to my own top 10 SHMUPS on that system. It's a right B-grade selection.
And my personal favorite, all time most played, is not on my switch. Geometry wars galaxies for the Wii. I wish we just had retro evolved if we didn’t get a full on game.
Terra Cresta is awesome too. I can't wait for Sol Cresta!!! (Not too proud to say I fell for it's April Fool's joke...but I guess it doesn't count anymore hehe)
You MUST add R-Type Final 2, Project Starship X, Eschatos.
Another reminder that I need to sell some of my Gamecube collection. Got two copies of Ikaruga on it, Cubivore, some others, just lying there, while I could use some money for my camper. Also have Ikaruga on Switch, physical, with a metal model I didn't even put together. My collecting days are over, clearly. But not may days of appreciating a good game or a beautiful release of one. Also, I really kind of expected Sine Mora on this list. It's not old school like those here, but it's at least something slightly different. Admitted that I didn't play most of these games, so my opinion isn't that valid I suppose. It's just... It looks like if I played five random ones on here, I'd have played the same game five times. No offense, it's just a genre I sometimes like, individual games, a couple of levels, but never really got into as a genre. I did play a lot of Tale Spin on the Game Boy though
@Donutman ah yes, Geometry Wars on Wii was an absolute blast. I also enjoyed that one which I can't find the name of right now, where you could create levels, and destroyed ships stuck to yours. On DS there was Big Bang Mini that I really loved. And on Wii U I enjoyed Nano Assault I think it was, with the 3d Mario Galaxy style movement.
(edit: the Wii one is Blast Works. And Sin and Punishment on Wii was also great!)
As an experienced Shmup fan...MY personal top 3 are:
1 Caladrius Blaze
3 Cotton Rock and Roll
The Switch is actually a feast of quality shmups delicacies and the best console to play them on. Ikaruga is my fav but there are so, so many good ones it's a bit dizzying. I think I have most on the list but not sure as a few will be in the backlog
y'all left out XEXEX(orius)SMDH:(
I've always felt Ikaruga is ULTRA overrated. Oh sure it's pretty and has good music, but the actual gameplay? It's a real love or hate type game, almost just as much as a puzzler as a shmup.
Great article. I'd encourage anybody who hasn't played it before to check out the new Gleylancer release on Switch.
This is a very fine list. But it lacks one true gem. I mean the recently released Eschatos. It's absolutely a top notch shmup, up there with the best ones! Great graphics, super dynamic gameplay with some original mechanics and a very solid port including two earlier versions of the game. It's a real treat for all of you, shmup lovers! Go and give it a try, you won't regret it!
Same here! Terra Cresta was one of my favourite shmups on my Speccy in the 80's. Then I played it on mame and now on my Switch. I really want the modern sequel so bad. And these delays are so annoying.
I highly recommend Death Ray Manta SE, particularly if you have a Switch OLED. It pops like crazy. Wonderfully addictive twin stick shooter perfect for short burst play.
It's crazy with just how many incredible shmups there are on the Switch that we still haven't gotten a port of ZeroRanger. That game could've really gotten the exposure and success it deserves if the more casual Switch audience got a chance to hear about it.
I wasn't expecting the list to be so big. I didn't like the look of Graceful Explosion Machine but when I played it I was hooked.
No Razion EX? Not even in the comments section?
Great list. My top 10 are:
Sky Force Reloaded
I haven't got round to buying Eschatos, Ikaruga, Darius or Espgaluda 2 yet but from what I have heard, they may deserve a place on the list.
@Kumite Thanks for reminding me about this game. They screwed up by having sick a limited physical release. They fixed that by releasing it digitally but it would have sold so much more of they released thos all on day one.
No Progear? For shame!
@Tisteg80 if only thje switch had a download pack mode like the DS....
@120frames-please still playing this one today. It mixes shmup and roguelike genres in a fantastic way, and it's so hard to collect all medals that makes me keeping coming back. The Anniversary Edition is also very good IMHO.
@Kumite Meant to reply sooner. Great shout. I'll heed the call and second, third and fourth, Razion X.
Easy recommend to anyone after clean, chunky old school Neo Geo arcade style visuals, a pounding soundtrack and interesting game mechanic. Now its on e-shop, it deserves more recognition and eye balls.
Admittedly its a chunky price to match those glorious chunky visuals - but you can always wish list it ready for a sale.
The BEST shmup game on nitnendo switch is:
Runner up: Raiden IV Mikado Remix: this game is wonderful. Raiden is my favorite shmup franshise ever and this version is this great.
Does velocity (&2x) count? Not a schmup fan, but I enjoyed those two games.
No Raging Blasters? You scored it 9/10 even on import - though it should make it to the west this year. Missile Dancer and Gemini Arms (same developer) are also worth checking out.
Project Starship X, Space Moth DX, Grand Brix Shooter and Blackbird all deserve some consideration.
I've played everything in this list and ESP Ra.De rules them all.
Only shmup I've played on the switch is Black Paradox. I really liked to play it. Yet, I have not tried other shmups.
What are you guys recommendations for a shmup closer to the aesthetics and sound of Black Paradox?
Andro Dunos 2 should/could be on this list.
Hyper sentinel is excellent also managed to pick up G Darius hd for £15 physical it’s tough as nails but been really enjoying it
"All of em".
Doesn't include Velocity 2x...
While not a pure shmup, it's hybrid take between blazing fast shmup gameplay and 2d platform puzzle blasting makes it by far one of the more unique experiences and a ton of fun.
@Aneira I'm in the same boat as you, I don't care for endless amounts of colored blobs, it just isn't fun. See above though.
@mrjingles75 yep ESP Ra.De is No.1.
A great list but with some notable omissions. Raging Blasters, Ultimate Tiger Heli and Andro Dunos 2 being the most obvious ones. Some recent Arcade Archives releases have been really good too, Gunnail, Dangerous Seed, Thunder Dragon 2,XEXEX. Capcom Arcade Stadium has several that are worthy too. 19XX, Progear, Giga Wing.
With so much quality shmups now on Switch, some of the early additions to this list like Earth Atlantis and Aces of the Luftwaffe don't really deserve their place among the best the console has to offer.
@OorWullie did you try that game boy pixel one? Can’t remember the name..
@Pupuplatter ikaruga isnt for me either.
I wish ZeroRanger would come to Switch. My favourite shoot 'em up by far.
@NinChocolate I know the game you're meaning can't remember the name either. I don't have it.
@KoopaTheGamer I'd love to play that. Hopefully it'll make its way to Switch.
@Pupuplatter Yeah, I could never get into Ikaraga. That game should come with a disclaimer: "Either you love it or hate it."
@Falksi I agree that the selection on the Mega Drive is a lot better. But to be fair, the Mega Drive probably has the best shoot 'em up selection of any console, the only ones that can compare are the Saturn, the PlayStation and the PC Engine.
But for a modern console this is actually quite impressive.
In my opinion the old classic 16 and 8-bit shoot 'em ups from the consoles and arcades are much superior to modern shooters in the Cave style.
Bullet-hell shoot 'em ups can be fun to play once in a while, but their gimmicks gets old fast, and the atmosphere in the classic shooters are just so much better than the overtly busy soundscape and playing fields in Cave-style games, with tons of annoying pickups and flying anime-girls.
I'm not saying those games are not well designed, or that it was bad that some invention happened in the stagnant genre, but bullet-hell shooters just doesn't stand up to classics like Gradius, Gradius 2, Axelay, Bio-Hazard Battle, Thunderforce 4, Eliminate Down, Gaiares, Truxton or 1943 for me.
@Perpetual_Change Top post mate, and totally agree. Did you see the SHMUP Junkie's Megadrive special earlier? Fantastic!...
Haven't seen it, but going to have a look at it later. Rankings are fun.
Are no a Shmup similar to it. I no tried all Cotton series that is sided shrump like it. Wainting for the price get lower.
Tap here to load 182 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...