Since launching back in 2017, Switch's success has arguably been down to its chameleon-like ability to suit any gamer's preferred style of play. You can play it where you want and how you want. The ability to crack off the Joy-Con for impromptu multiplayer sessions on the TV (or on-the-go) makes it the go-to console for gaming sessions with friends. Everyone loves a bit of couch co-op, right?
However, while it's easy to focus on the console's local multiplayer potential, its portability also lends itself perfectly to engrossing single-player experiences, and in the list below we've collected together the very best single player games on Switch.
In order to qualify for this list, the games have to single-player only, which means no co-op or competitive modes, online or otherwise. Check out our reader-ranked Best Switch Games article for the top 50 Switch games ever if you just want the best Switch games, period; here, we're focusing on games you can only play on your lonesome. Or with a pal watching over your shoulder, perhaps.
So here they are: the best single player games on Nintendo Switch, in no particular order...
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
Let's get the most obvious one out of the way first, shall we?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a landmark release for its franchise and Nintendo. It's the first time that Nintendo truly took on the open-world genre, and by arriving late to the party it embraces the strengths from top-of-the-class games while also forging its own unique identity. This game was a revolution for the series, but the Legend of Zelda essence is still there — its soul remains. After years of following the same old template, Nintendo bravely took the Zelda series in a new direction, and delivered an absolute triumph which still has us regularly revisiting its iteration of Hyrule.
No wonder we're so excited about the prospect of a direct sequel; Breath of the Wild forged a new and exciting path in a franchise that had been treading old ground for a while on home consoles and we cannot wait to see where it goes next. Engrossing single-player exploration doesn't get much better than this.
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SteamWorld Dig 2 (Switch eShop)
SteamWorld Dig 2 is another confident effort from Image & Form, and a worthy successor to the original. Stylish and good-looking, it also has the series' trademark humour and a great soundtrack. It refines and expands upon the qualities of SteamWorld Dig and hits some delicious high points. Whether you played the first game or not, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a must-have — its charming aesthetic and cast set the scene for a tightly designed and clever exploration game.
Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
Shin Megami Tensei V is a modern masterpiece. It successfully delivers on all the aspects that have made the series thus far so popular with fans — namely through its high difficulty, heavy narrative themes, and expansive team-building options — while polishing up and tightening the weaker aspects. Things like a more easily navigable map and more difficulty options to cater to players of all skill levels comfortably make this the most approachable entry in the series, and it feels like there are more things to do in the world than ever before. If you are at all a fan of RPGs or have been looking for a good entry point into this oft-overlooked series, we would strongly encourage you to pick this up as soon as you can.
Death's Door (Switch eShop)
Another modern classic, Death's Door utilises old gameplay ideas in a new setting to make for a short and sweet experience you won’t want to miss. The snappy combat, rewarding exploration, and relaxing music will stick with you once you've finished, and while it may not have anything 'new' to offer, Death’s Door is so high quality that you’ll hardly have time to think about it's lack of innovation. We’d give this one a very high recommendation, especially to any fans of Zelda or Soulslike games — Acid Nerve has crafted an experience that’s absolutely worth your time and money.
Celeste (Switch eShop)
Celeste is an exemplary amalgamation of style, mechanics and character. A devilishly brilliant action platformer with enough skill required to excite genre purists and the speedrunning community, while at the same time featuring a breakdown of gameplay elements to customize and cater for all audiences. While the game mechanically is great, if familiar, the art style and narrative are truly special, showing both a visual and emotional range and depth that will resonate and inspire. Celeste is the absolute peak of personal exploration and discovery on Nintendo Switch.
Hades (Switch eShop)
Hades is a sublime mix of satisfyingly gritty and flexible combat, a wonderfully vibrant art style and genuinely fun and engaging narrative. Supergiant Games has an excellent track record with games like Bastion and Transistor, but this really does feel its finest hour, a rip-roaring rampage through the underworld that's arrived here on Switch in a port that's nigh-on perfect. Even if you're yet to be swayed by the admittedly repetitive ebb and flow of roguelikes, we passionately urge you to at least give this roguelite a try; for fans of the genre or anyone even remotely interested, this is one heavenly vision of hell that we highly recommend you sacrifice yourself to.
TRIANGLE STRATEGY (Switch)
Triangle Strategy is an absolute triumph for Artdink and Square Enix, a fantastic mix of satisfyingly strategic battles, an excellent choice-driven campaign narrative and top-notch world-building, all of which come together to form one of the finest tactical RPGs we've played in a very long time. There's an absolute ton of content here, with a huge story featuring multiple paths to take depending on the choices you make and several properly impactful endings to enjoy on return visits. Serenoa Wollfort's epic journey is a joy from start to finish, a grand and ambitious adventure that stands proud as one of the very finest examples of its genre on Switch.
If turn-based tactics aren't you're thing, Octopath Traveler is a great alternative if you love the HD-2D art style.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Switch eShop)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is not just a great sequel; in many ways, it outdoes Ori and the Blind Forest. The addition of more customization options, a greater focus on combat and a better-developed story (all in an incredibly beautiful game that's running at 60 frames per second) means it comprehensively outshines the original. It pushes technical boundaries so far beyond the previous game that performance was shaky even on Xbox One X at launch; that it runs on Switch at all is, well, utterly remarkable. That's not to say it was flawless when it launched on Switch, but following a patch from Moon Studios, the game is in even better shape than ever and we really can't recommend it enough. It's a supremely enjoyable platform adventure which everyone should experience.
I love that there is a Castlevania mention
I am also very tempted to start the Xenoblade Chronicles games
Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles
100% Peaceful game, No violences at all, Beautiful Cartoonish Open World game with relaxing gameplay.
I know Luigi’s Mansion 3 has a coop option but it still feels more like a single player experience overall and would be included in this list for me. I’m biased - it’s in my top 5 Switch games ever.
How random. Who would want to avoid a game that had a co-op mode, even it had an amazing single player mode like Mario Oddessey
@Buizel Odyssey has a 2-player option
@Anti-Matter holy macaroni the eShop's discovery sucks because this is 200% a game I want to play and this is the first time I'm hearing about it.
Actively excluding any game with any form of multiplayer severely limits what games I can try and recommend to add to this!
Loop Hero - for the amazing timesink and mindwarpy story
Sundered - a die-resurrect-die Metroidvania that is what you get if you take Dead Cells, remove the roguelike and fill the blank space with equal parts Lovecraft and Metroidvania that this site's staff keeps excluding from any rec lists for no discernible reason.
I'm please to see Steamworld Dig 2 on this list, it is an excellent game, one of the best on Switch. If you haven't already played it...GET IT NOW!! ha ha!
Where is Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch? 😭 Fantastic game!
I just finished Wolfenstein 2, and that was a fantastic game, and as far as I can tell there aren't any co-op or multiplayer options for it either.
In my opinion, Xenoblade 2 is absolutely the best single player game on the Switch. A masterpiece of a game.
I have finished Yonder the Cloud Catcher Chronicles storyline for two times on Switch and PS4. And I have the games in physical release.
It was very relaxing game without violences at all. 😌
I wouldn't mind seeing a list of 'best portable games on the switch'.
I know thats a misnomer because every game on the console can be played portable but I want to see a list of the games built specifically for the format, with bite-sized chunks of gameplay.
What many gamers and sites will have glossed over is how well BOTW sits in this catagory. It doesn't have any tasks that take more than half an hour (bar maybe Eventide Island and the DLC) and yet you can lose yourself in the game for hours if you want to.
Its a fine balancing act few developers have mastered.
What a fantastic list of games! Adding the ones I haven't played to my wishlist now 😍
I have almost all of the games on this list. I’d add Blasphemous, Slay the Spire, Xcom 2, and Banner Saga off the top of my head.
Xenoblade 2 is the best rpg i played in any platform. Incredible amount of content even for game plus. The most fun i had in any game, grinding for a new blade..
Wow, i never expected to see Fata Morgana in here, Disco Elysium too. I didn't expect this list to be this good
My personal favorite single player games on Switch:
2. Doom 2016(you don't have to install the multiplayer part to enjoy this one)
3. Metroid Dread
4. The Witcher 3
5. Resident Evil 4
Surprised Aegis Rim didn’t make the cut. I know it’s more of a visual novel, but so is Ace Attorney!
I would add these games to the list
3D all stars ( yes I know it isn’t for sale any more. But that doesn’t diminish how good of a value it is. Also Walmart has a constant supply of the game.)
Ahh Ori the adorable little Ori. Ever since Ori and the Blind Forest first came out on Xbox One I've purchased quite a number of Ori Plushies. I just fell in love with the adorable little character immediately. As for Metroid Dread I did enjoy it for the most part but to me the Emmi almost killed it for me. When I play a Metroid game I like to explore at my own pace and IMHO the Emmi just kill that and I was always relieved when I destroyed one of them. Along came another one and I just sighed. As good as Dread was it will go down as my least favourite Metroid game in the entire series.
Thanks for the great collection. Will follow-up on some of these. But I feel Kirby: Forgotten Land, Mario Odyssey, and Bowser’s Fury got left out because of bonus multiplayer ( or maybe they’re too obvious? Because each is an absolute masterpiece! )
Great list! It’s too bad the Anniversary Edition of Skyrim didn’t come to the Switch.
Bayonetta deserves to be here too
@moodycat I dunno, honestly after playing both, XBC2 vastly outshines the first one in a lot of core areas such as combat, pacing and exploration (I mean, all those Titans!)
I know my argument that Skyward Sword is a better Zelda game than Breath of the Wild will fall on deaf ears, but anyone who thinks Xenoblade 2 is better than the original is just nuts. Also, I'd still include Astral Chain because its only "multiplayer" is literally handing one joy-con to someone else without changing any modes or settings in-game. Some other favorites are Bayonetta, Dragon's Dogma, Foregone, Giga Wrecker, Goblin Sword, I am Setsuna, Iconoclasts, Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, Little Nightmares, Octopath Traveler, PAN-PAN, Pokemon Rescue Team DX, SteamWorld Dig 1, and Mario Sunshine via 3D All-Stars. A couple of those got a mention somewhere, but I'd say they deserve their own spot on the list.
@ItsATM I can understand liking the world design and combat better in 2, even though I'd disagree, but pacing? There is literally no good stopping point in 2's story from Tantal onwards. The writing in general is a big step down from the original, and that's not even getting into the voice acting and fanservice issues.
I 100% agree on skyward sword being better than botw. Both are great games but botw is just a notch below the other 3D zeldas to me.
Is bowsers fury really considered it’s own thing. It honestly just feels like a side adventure to me.
@blindsquarel Yeah, the whole game kind of felt like it started at the end of the story. The lack of narrative weight, plus the lack of enemy variety, proper dungeons, and unique equipment/upgrades kind of killed the fun for me.
The Switch is basically the ultimate portable single player experience. There's so much that's made it over from the PC and legacy ports. I think with NSO and the major titles I have enough gameplay to last a lifetime now.
Very underrated but I had been enjoying this pure single player action game as of late. Wish there was a physical edition cause I will definitely double dip if that is so.
“ If turn-based tactics aren't you're thing”
Your not you’re!
Fair few best recently Legends got my team of 6 Alpha shiny did all requests got bored BotW and Skyrim standard
ATM filling gaps in WiiU/3DS library
@moodycat like I said on the other post, I prefer the second XC over the first like 1000 times.. everything is better IMO.. perhaps not the sound track.. maybe same lvl.. eager to try the thrid game!
@moodycat I couldn't agree more about not including XC1. 1 is my favorite of the numbered games right now, mainly due to the combat (which I may be a minority in preferring) and the voice acting. The second game is also glitchy (walk around with whomever as your lead character and press the jump button, for example. In XC1, the character always makes the jump sound; in XC2, it happens about half the time, just as an example). And not being able to continue auto-attacking while repositioning your character to take advantage of position-specific attack bonuses (think "back slash" or "slit edge") was a huge turnoff for me with 2's combat that did tremendous damage to my ability to enjoy the game. I can't wait for 3, but I hope they've fixed this so it's back to being like 1 and X. Can't tell yet from the trailers shown so far.
OMG! Where’s Hollow Knight????? 😵
@moodycat I came to say the same thing. Xenoblade Definitive Edition is much better than Xenoblade 2.
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