Indie games are the best as they feature unique graphics and gameplay mechanics. From RPGs to roguelikes - here are 20 of the best indie games to play on the Nintendo Switch.
These are 20 of the best indie games on Switch.
Indie games are all about supporting small creators who put effort into their games. That’s why we went ahead and listed the top 20 best indie games on Switch to show our love and support for some of the best titles.
Table of Contents
The best indie games include Undertale, Divinity: Original Sin II, and Hades. Other titles you should try include Hollow Knight, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Celeste.
So without any further ado, here are the top 20 best games for the Switch ranked from incredible to best.
Independentally-developed (indie) games are games made by small development teams that often lack the funding and support that bigger developers have.
Undertale is one of the best indie games on Switch for the story and the unique gameplay.
Avid readers of Greek mythology will love Hades, a roguelike RPG.
If you like cute characters and graphics, then you should try Hollow Knight and Cult of the Lamb.
For poeple who love a challenge paired with nostalgia, give Cuphead a shot.
Fans of horror will absolutely adore Little Nightmares on Switch.
Untitled Goose Game is the best indie game for its chaotic nature.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC
Released: October 28, 2021
Heaven’s Vault is a chill, laid-back discovery game for those who love ancient city exploration and linguistics. The game lets you play as Aliya Elasra, a determined archaeologist who travels the Nebula to find a missing roboticist.
Throughout your journey, you must decrypt ancient hieroglyphs. You must also collect artifacts from a civilization lost to time. Heaven’s Fault is a highly intriguing game that features its own legitimate language.
But what makes this game even better is the non-linear storyline. Players get to choose their story path, opening more opportunities for exploration and discovery.
Non-linear story path. You get to decide which plot you want to explore.
Lots of new places and civilizations to explore.
A whole legitimate language that you must decipher.
One of the best indie games on Switch for people who aren’t into traditional fast-paced gaming.
Playthrough is slow. You might get bored quickly.
It’s not the best if you’re a fan of faster-paced games.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X/S
Released: August 9, 2021
Set on a deserted island, I am Dead sees the merger of wholesome narratives with complicated puzzles. The game follows the story of the lonely ghost of a former museum curator on an island. As a ghost, he gets reunited with the spirit of his dog. And together, they must save the island from a volcanic eruption.
The game features humor, suspense, and thrill in the form of several puzzles and exploration. The protagonist can peer into objects as well as take a look at people’s memories.
I Am Dead is for you if you love games with stunning graphics and gorgeous displays.
It features excellent storytelling with a linear narrative.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Released: June 30, 2022
A game for horror fans, Little Nightmares packs puzzle and mystery into horror and dark fantasy. It follows the story of a young girl named Six trapped inside the Maw, a giant iron ship. The ship is filled with all sorts of horrors and fantastical creatures. And Six must find her way through the obstacles.
The game is unique both in its artwork and its rendition. It’s set in a 2.5D world and functions as your standard platformer. However, you’ll need to solve puzzles every so often. If you’re into horror and the supernatural, then this is one of the best indie games on Switch for you.
What makes the game so much more interesting than other platformers is that Six has no weapons. The game forces you to use stealth and any strength a nine-year-old girl can muster.
It has cute aesthetics with an element of horror.
Best for people who like challenges.
It has a short playthrough that’s thrilling and fast-paced.
This is a platformer with unique game mechanics.
The game is short and will last you only a short time.
Many puzzles require you to perform a hit-and-trial.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux
Released: January 15, 2016
Love supernatural mysteries and thrillers? Then you’re the kind of person to like Oxenfree. This is an adventure game that mixes elements of horror and mystery with teen and coming-of-age stories. It’s about a teenage girl who spends her vacation on an island.
But when unforeseen supernatural occurrences take hold of the island, she must discover what secrets lie there. This game has no cutscenes, meaning you have all the freedom you need to explore
If you’re the kind of person who loves exploring and figuring things out on your own, then you’ll love Oxenfree.
Combines two genres: teen films and horror, to give you a unique experience.
Excellent storytelling, even without cutscenes.
The game has more exploration capability than any other game.
Your choices in the game have a significant impact on the plot line.
It does not have a rewind feature, which would be helpful to undo the choices you made. If you want to go back and change a choice, you’ll need to replay the whole game.
It only features a few complicated mechanisms or puzzles.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS
Released: December 17, 2019
The Untitled Goose Game, released in 2019, is just as chaotic as its name. The most exciting part about this game is that there is no hero, only a villain: you. More specifically, you play as an unholy goose set on wreaking havoc on a bunch of innocent village folk.
The game has several areas to explore and ultimately wreck with your unforsaken goose will. You must use your wings, beak, and webbed feet to perform lighthearted pranks on the villagers.
This game is a much-needed break from other indie games on Switch that encourage order and discipline. You get to be mischievous and play around as much as you can. The plot is linear, though, but you can still do some exploration.
A unique game that lets you spread mischief and mayhem.
Highly addictive due to its chaotic nature.
Includes puzzles that feature multiple solutions.
It has a co-op version so you can destroy villages with your evil little partner.
The gameplay is straightforward and short.
Some people might not like messing with people, even in-game.
A testimonial of how complicated and breakneck your average platformer can get, Katana Zero is a must-try. It follows the story of Subject Zero, an assassin with a katana with powerful temporal abilities. Wandering through the dystopian city, Subject Zero must use his powers to slow time and foresee events to take down criminals.
Although initially presented as the hero, the plot thickens the more you play. This game takes your standard platformer and adds a narrative that takes dark twists and turns. It’s a revival of the old film noir genre and draws inspiration from John Wick and Sin City.
If you’re the type that loves crime investigation games packed with action and adventure, then you’ll love Katana Zero.
Fast-paced action adventure game.
It involves brilliant storylettiling with stunning pixel artwork.
Unique game mechanics involving attacking and meddling with time.
Great for short playthroughs.
This is a short game that has little to no replay value.
Gameplay may seem repetitive the longer you play it.
The storyline is linear, with little to no free choices and exploration.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS, iOS, Android, Stadia
Released: August 18, 2020
If you’re a fan of Minecraft and building simulators, then you’ll love Spiritfarer. You must play as Stella in the game, named the new Spiritfarer of the Charon, a massive mythological sea vessel.
Your task is to scale the oceans, find lost spirits, and give them new homes. The game is a sandbox-style game. It lets you explore your creativity and doesn’t restrict you, aside from collecting building materials.
Spiritfarer merges classic building simulators with modern-day adventure games. And to top it all off, the artwork is unparalleled and remarkably soothing. Consider this one of the best indie games on Switch for its artwork and chill environment.
It lets you explore your creative side.
The game follows two objectives: to explore and to build gorgeous homes.
Perfect for people who want a slow-paced game.
For those who love exploring and making their own choices in a game.
It may need to be faster for some players.
The game gets repetitive if you prefer more adventure than building.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS, iOS, Android
Released: June 2, 2021
Overboard! is an intriguing murder mystery game with one major twist: you’re the one whodunnit. Now, it’s your job to avoid suspicion and get away with murder. You must do so by blackmailing spies, cheating at cards, and even murdering rivals who get too suspicious.
The game follows a simulated story world where every decision significantly impacts the plot line. Each character remembers what you said and did, making avoiding getting caught even harder.
What makes the game even more interesting is just how fast-paced it is. You must escape prison within just 8 hours. This pushes you to make quick decisions that ultimately affect the outcome.
Highly replayable. It has many secrets to unlock and explore.
The game lets you make your choices, and each option has a different impact.
It keeps you on your edge with fast-paced timed puzzles and mysteries.
A compelling narrative with impressive artwork.
Since it only lasts 8 hours, some players might find it too fast-paced.
It has some replay value, but there’s only so much to discover.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, macOS, iOS, Android
Released: October 5, 2017
Stardew Valley is a farming simulator game, and it’s highly likely that you have already played this game before. This is because it was released over five years ago. However, it’s still going strong for a game that has a simple premise: look after a farm.
Stardew Valley starts with your character getting frustrated with the mundane nature of a 9-5 job. As such, your character decides to live as a farmer in Stardew Valley. They tend to a farm they inherited from their grandfather.
But this is not like other indie games on Switch. You must first build your farm and then breed animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, and cows. The game also features exploration around the valley, which veteran Harvest Moon players will love.
Stardew Valley features various land formations to discover.
The game features a day-night cycle that’s relatively fast-paced.
It’ll retain its value and charisma when you replay the game after some time.
The graphics and general aesthetic are calming and pleasing.
The game is could be more interesting when the winter season arrives.
Tending to a farm and growing crops can get mundane at times.
Ori and the Blind Forest follows the story of a guardian spirit, Ori, that fell from a Spirit Tree and got adopted by Naru. As Ori grows up, he gets orphaned and has to journey through the forest to defeat a dark entity.
This game is a basic platformer. But it’s not like other indie games on Switch: the story is non-linear, and there’s ample potential for exploration. You can go back to previous levels and unlock new, inaccessible areas.
You’ll encounter complicated yet fun game mechanics. That’s on top of hand-painted artwork and serene music scores.
Non-linear progression – allows for exploration.
Great narrative storytelling with lots of choices to make.
Stunning hand-painted graphics with emotional scores.
Highly intricate levels always give you a challenge.
The game is easy on some levels and unevenly hard on others.
Some glitches and frame rate issues with the Switch.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS
Released: April 18, 2019
Do you fancy nostalgic games that bring back memories of the past? Then you’ll love Cuphead. Although a typical run-and-gun, its unique art style and extreme difficulty make it stand apart from the crowd.
For one thing, it follows the retro Rubber Hose animation design, sure to remind you of Silly Symphonies and other old cartoons. And for another, the game has a level of difficulty that gives you a challenge right from the beginning.
The premise is noteworthy too. Cuphead and Mugman made a deal with the devil to gather as many souls as possible. The game has two gameplay mechanics: a standard run-and-gun and boss fights that last for up to 4 phases. It’s one of the best indie games on Switch for its difficulty.
Give you a challenge right from the start.
It has excellent nostalgic animation and character design.
Features bosses with unique mechanics.
It takes a while to complete.
It may be too difficult for some players. There is a Simple Mode which is easier, but it doesn’t allow you to capture souls.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, macOS, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
Released: August 11, 2022
Fan of the occult and all things demonic? Then Cult of the Lamb is one of the best indie games on Switch for you. Released in 2022, it starts with a lamb about to be sacrificed by The Four Bishops of the Old Faith. But in an unexpected turn of events, the lamb rebels and begins his own cult.
This game has two phases that run simultaneously. The first is the action-packed dungeon-clearing phase, where you take down enemies and fight mighty bosses. The second is where you tend to your cult and look after your members.
Due to the multiple levels and objectives in the game and the endless cult-rearing, this game has excellent replay value. You might even say it has garnered a cult following.
It mashes breakneck run-and-guns with cult-building simulation.
It has incredible replay value with endless objectives.
Eye-catching artwork and animation that’s simultaneously cute and dark.
The game lets you make a ton of choices and impact your combat.
You need to bless your followers one at a time, which can get frustrating.
The story is straightforward and predictable.
Framerate issues on the Switch may make the game unplayable.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Released: August 7, 2018
A blend of Metroidvania and roguelike games, Dead Cells narrates the story of Prisoner, an amorphous being. The objective is simple: fight enemies, journey through the island, and kill the King.
The name Dead Cells comes from the fact that most of the island is plagued with a devastating disease. It’s a 2D side-scrolling game that utilizes a nearly endless world that provides smooth platforming.
What makes the game even more challenging is that you get a permanent death if you die. This means that you’ll need to restart the level and don’t get any second chances.
Extremely challenging and intriguing.
Great for people who like fast-paced indie games on Switch that bring them to the edge.
You get to decide your playstyle via the vast weapon roster.
Great storytelling and narrative.
Although it’s fast-paced, there are times when you can get stuck in the game.
The levels may be too challenging for some people.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Released: June 16, 2022
Enter the pearly white gates of heaven as a demon hunter in this unique FPS game. Released in mid-2022, Neon White is a narrative about a group of sinners raised from hell and given a chance to enter heaven.
There is only one catch: these sinners, known as Neons, must kill demons plaguing heaven. You play as one of these sinners in a game that combines FPS with puzzle platforming.
The game also features a card system that includes weapons you must play during battles with demons. Neon White mainly focuses on speedrunning, requiring you to complete timed levels.
Heavenly artwork with a unique modern twist.
Highly challenging and addictive as the levels are pretty tricky.
It has an excellent narrative that complements the art style well.
Great worldbuilding and exploration.
Very limited when it comes to freedom of choice.
As the game progresses, it may become mundane and boring.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS, Linux
Released: June 12, 2018
You’ve probably seen the titular Hollow Knight with a big-eyed skull for a head. Hollow Knight has emerged as one of the best indie games for Switch. It follows the story of a lonely warrior left to travel through a fallen kingdom.
The gameplay is pretty simple. It’s a 2-dimensional side-scrolling game in the Metroidvania style. The levels are platform-style, but they give you more freedom to explore. Additionally, the story progression is non-linear, meaning you can complete the game in any order you like.
Hollow Knight is a challenging game that has excellent replay value. Gameplay can last up to 40 hours, so you always have something to play in your free time.
Superb art direction with a soothing score.
The gameplay lasts hours, giving you something to pass your time with.
It provides you with more freedom than most other games.
Challenging levels become addicting.
The game might be too slow for some people.
You lose all your money when you die and have to start again.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS, Linux, Google Stadia
Released: January 25, 2018
Take a hike through Mount Celeste and battle evil supernatural creatures as you reach the summit. Celeste is a 2018 platformer that always keeps you on the edge of your seat.
It narrates the story of a young girl named Madeline who decides to climb to the top to regain her meaning in life. The gameplay features challenging levels with unique elements. These elements include teleportation blocks and special platforms.
When you start playing the game, it isn’t easy to put it down. The levels are addictive, and the entire story is spread across eight chapters.
Exquisite storytelling through the narrative.
It will last you for quite some time as it has eight chapters.
Includes fun and exciting puzzles that are also challenging.
The levels are diverse, with new bosses and obstacles.
Relatively straightforward with no potential for exploration.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, macOS
Released: September 17, 2020
A relatively new roguelike game, Hades was released in 2020 for the Switch and several other platforms. It follows the story of the son of Hades, Zagreus, who must reach Mount Olympus and get out of the Underworld. It’s one of the best indie games on Switch for those who are interested in Greek mythology.
The game has a relatively simple play style. You must traverse through various isometric “rooms” that are procedurally generated. This means that all levels are different, ensuring you never get bored of this game.
You must use your weapons, special skills, and dashing abilities to slay monsters. Additionally, you must defeat bosses while avoiding getting hit yourself.
Highly addictive with unique game mechanics.
Procedurally-generated levels, so you never get bored.
Highly immersive narrative to always keep you interested in the story.
You have freedom of choice when it comes to builds and playstyles.
It might not be suitable for older hardware as some graphics are too advanced.
Since the levels change each time you play them, you won’t be able to recognize patterns.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC
Released: September 17, 2020
This is a sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest. The only difference is that it’s way better and more exciting than its prequel. Following the style of the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is also a 2D Metroidvania. It lets you explore levels more than any other platformer.
What sets this apart from its prequel, aside from the story, is that it autosave. Additionally, a new upgrade system and a new mode called Spirit Trials have been implemented.
As for the story, there’s a new member in Niwen, a baby owl named Ku. Eventually, Ku gets lost, and Ori and his friends must find the owl.
Autosaves instead of relying on Soul Links.
Better upgrade system that relies on shards.
You can find multiple healing orbs throughout the levels.
New times mode called Spirit Trials.
The difficulty is too seamless across levels.
If you have yet to play the prequel, you’ll have trouble with the controls, as there is no tutorial.
Publisher: Larian Studios (for PC), Bandai Namco Entertainment (for consoles)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, macOS, iPad
Released: September 4, 2019
You’ll love this sequel if you’ve played Divinity: Original Sin. But even if you haven’t, you’ll still find this RPG set in a fictional fantasy world quite intriguing. The game narrates the story of a Sourcerer who can cast spells and special skills.
The game can either be soloed or played with three other players. You get to create custom characters with unique outfits and can change the race, gender, and stats of the characters.
Moreover, you can play online with other players. It features excellent world-building and an utterly immersive narrative.
Features awe-inspiring artwork.
You have the freedom of choice when creating characters and load-outs.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, OS X, Linux
Released: September 15, 2015
How could this list be complete without Undertale? This 2-dimensional RPG has become one of the most successful role-playing games in recent years. You control a small child who has found themselves in the Underground. Now, armed with only a few weapons, the child must gain Love by killing monsters.
The game has a top-down perspective and includes monster battles and puzzle-solving levels. However, killing a monster is not always necessary. You can also choose to befriend them or flee from them. These choices affect the game and the outcome of your actions.
And all of that is beside the overwhelmingly aesthetic art style of the game. Although released in 2015, it follows the 8-bit art style, giving newer players a bit of nostalgia with modern game mechanics.
You get to choose whether to be violent or non-violent.
One of the best indie games on Switch for the story.
An incredible 8-bit art style that brings back memories of old arcade games.
It has a unique combat style that relies on your choices and decisions.
The game may be too slow, especially in the middle of the story.
The Genocide section is straightforward if you have a basic understanding of the game.
Nintendo Switch has a diverse roster of independently developed games. We love supporting small-scale game developers who put their heart and soul into what they produce.
That’s why we listed down the top 20 best indie games on Switch. Of these, Undertale, Divinity: Original Sin II, and Hades are some of the best. Other popular titles include Hollow Knight, Celeste, and Cuphead.
But ultimately, there is no such thing as a “best indie game for Switch.” It all boils down to the type of genre and playstyle you prefer.