Best Metroidvania Games for Nintendo Switch iMore 2021
The Nintendo Switch has plenty of Metroidvania games. Metroidvania is a term used for games that combine the gameplay elements made famous by Metroid and Castlevania games. You'll spend hours getting caught up in dozens of interconnected rooms, solving puzzles, backtracking once you obtain a new item or power to get somewhere you couldn't before, but seeing your progress unfold makes it all worth it. Here are the best Metroidvania games for the Nintendo Switch.
- ★ Featured favorite: Hollow Knight - Nintendo Switch
- Ori has returned: Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Nintendo Switch
- Just like Metroid: Axiom Verge
- Time to defy gravity: Dandara
- Dig it up: SteamWorld Dig 2
- Get your Castlevania fix: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
- Challenging "Roguevania": Dead Cells
- Time to chill: Forma.8
- Time traveling ninja: The Messenger
- Get your luchadore on: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
- The chosen Juan returns: Guacamelee 2
- Mashup Metroidvania and Zelda-like: Blaster Master Zero
★ Featured favorite: Hollow Knight - Nintendo Switch
Hollow Knight is a 2D side-scrolling platformer that's a labyrinth of connected rooms that require a ton of exploring. You'll need to dodge, dash, and slash your way through if you want to survive here. Plus, there's a ton of items to collect, hidden areas to discover, characters to unlock, and tough bosses to overcome. You'll also need to solve some puzzles and do some backtracking to do, so you'll stay entertained for a while with this one. Plus, the art is beautiful.
Ori has returned: Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Nintendo SwitchStaff Pick
Like its predecessor, Ori and the Will of the Wisps arrives on the Nintendo Switch and is just as gorgeous as its Xbox cousin. Discover Ori's true destiny as you explore an all-new exotic world. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best Xbox games available, so it's fantastic to see it on the Nintendo Switch.
Just like Metroid: Axiom Verge
You're a scientist who wakes up from a lab accident and ends up in a weird and mysterious alien world. Explore all of the connected rooms for weapons, items, and abilities to protect yourself from biomechanoid creatures and your own inner demons. Oh, and there are some puzzles you'll need to work through, so get that thinking cap on.
Time to defy gravity: Dandara
In the world of Salt, the oppressed are facing oblivion. You'll rise as Dandara, who defies all gravity and jumps across floors, ceilings, and walls to get around. You'll need to be fast, have good reflexes to avoid dangerous traps, and be quick on the draw when shooting down enemies.
Dig it up: SteamWorld Dig 2
Mysterious earthquakes are shaking up a steampunk town, so it's up to you to find out what's causing it! Dig deep into the earth and find treasure, secrets, and even dangerous traps. You'll have to constantly upgrade your gear to dig deeper and reach new areas that are full of danger, but what could be behind it all?
Get your Castlevania fix: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Take on the role of Zangetsu, a demon-slayer with a grudge. Explore a dark castle, release other heroes from their captivity, and they'll join your party as you venture forth into the heart of the castle. Each character has their own unique ability that you'll need to progress. This is a great little game to hold us off until Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
Challenging "Roguevania": Dead Cells
You're a failed alchemic experiment who has the desire to discover what's going on in the world. You only get one shot to complete a run, and if you die, you'll start over from the beginning. Every run you do is randomly generated, so it's never the same thing twice. You'll need to explore all of the rooms, find items and abilities to progress, and overcome tough foes who put your skills to the test. This is a truly challenging roguelike Metroidvania.
Time to chill: Forma.8
Forma.8 is a relaxing Metroidvania where you are a small exploration probe stranded on an alien planet with dystopian civilizations. You'll need to solve puzzles and overcome hostile enemies to find a lost, powerful energy source on the planet before it's too late.
Time traveling ninja: The Messenger
This game is a throwback to the 8-bit and 16-bit days of gaming glory. You'll play as a ninja who must deliver a scroll that's crucial to his clan's survival. When you reach the time-traveling part of the game, the Metroidvania elements of the title are revealed. There's a lot of backtracking, character upgrades and abilities to acquire, and incredibly satisfying hack-n-slash combat.
Get your luchadore on: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
Guacamelee allows you to release your inner luchador in non-stop fighting fun. You'll do your usual exploration and platforming, but there's an extensive move list to learn and utilize against your foes. Some of these moves would even double as movement so that you can get around faster. The art style is also unique, and it goes into both the World of the Living and the World of the Dead.
The chosen Juan returns: Guacamelee 2
If you enjoyed the original Guacamelee, then make sure to pick up the sequel. Luchadore Juan Aguacate returns to explore another world filled with Mexican culture and folklore, which is also packed with sassy new villains and weirdos alike. There are a ton of new wrestling moves to learn and use in combat. Guacamelee 2 also features a 4-player drop-in co-op.
Mashup Metroidvania and Zelda-like: Blaster Master Zero
Blaster Master Zero is a hybrid of a Metroidvania and Zelda-like if that's what you're into. You'll be exploring your surroundings to find dungeons that contain challenging boss fights while gathering up all of the loot that includes new items, sub-weapons, upgrades to tanks and equipment, and even new abilities to reach new areas (time to backtrack). There's even 2-player co-op support.
How it all started: Castlevania Anniversary Collection
The name Metroidvania is a mash-up of Metroid and Castlevania. While we wait for Metroid Prime 4, why not familiarize yourself with the other half of the equation. Castlevania Anniversary Collection includes 8 classic Castlevania adventures for you to experience, as well as tons of concept art and interviews with developers.
An Xbox masterpiece lands on Switch: Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
One of the best Metroidvania's on the Xbox makes its way to the Nintendo Switch. Ori and the Blind Forest is gorgeous on other platforms and looks just as good on the Nintendo Switch. Follow Ori on an adventure to save the forest of Nibel.
The original indie: Cave Story+
Considered the quintessential indie game, Cave Story+ is the perfect way to experience this modern classic. Run, jump, and shoot through this mysterious land as you try to discover your lost past.
A different take on Metroidvania: Yoku's Island Express
When you think of Metroidvania, the first thing you think of probably isn't pinball. But that's about to change in Yoku's Island Express, a Metroidvania that combines open-world exploration with traditional pinball mechanics. Save the island of Mokumana and its inhabitants from an endless sleep.
An adventure years in the making: Owlboy
Owlboy is the result of a ten-year labor of love from its developers. Owlboy is a story-based adventure that blends action with flight in one of the best looking indie games on the Switch.
Curiosity made the cat stronger: Gato Roboto
In Gato Roboto, you are a cat who takes control of a mechanical armor set as you try to find your lost captain. Trust your feline instincts as you traverse through monochrome dungeons reminiscent of old-school Gameboy games.
Like mother, like daughter: La Mulana 2
In La Mulana 2, you play as the daughter of esteemed archaeologist Lemeza Kosugi, and when she goes missing, it's up to you to find her. Explore the upside-down ruins of La Mulana as you jump, dodge, and whip through treacherous obstacles. La Mulana 2 improves on the original, doubling down on its tricky traps and crushing difficulty.
It's alive!: Carrion
Carrion is a unique Metroidvania because you're not a bounty hunter or skilled warrior; you are a runaway science experiment whose goal is to escape the lab in which it is trapped. Kill anything that gets in your way as your power grows.
Time is all kinds of things: Timespinner
Inspired by adventure games of the 90s, Timespinner is a story about a woman named Lunais who is sent to another world by an evil empire after they murder her family. Trapped in an unknown world, Lunais must use her time control powers to get revenge on the Lachiem Empire.
The half-genie hero is back again: Shantae and the Seven Sirens
There are many Shantae games available on the Nintendo Switch, but our favorite is her recent outing. Shantae and the Seven Sirens features new magic, new dances, and all-new TV-style animated cutscenes. Shantae has never looked better.
A good game based on a bad movie: The Mummy Demastered
Now here's a game that has no business being as good as it is. The Mummy Demastered is a movie tie-in for The Mummy (the Tom Cruise one), but this game is pretty good, unlike that movie. Inspired by 16-bit shooters like Contra, The Mummy Demastered is a nonlinear, action-packed adventure that's worth getting caught up in.
The perfect balance of action and adventure
These are the best Metroidvania games for the Nintendo Switch. All of these titles are available on the Nintendo Switch eShop for download, so make sure you have a microSD card with enough space to keep all of your data in one place. All of these games are great, but if you had to choose one, go for Hollow Knight. This Metroidvania features excellent visuals and great gameplay, with so much content you'll wonder how it's only $15.
Another great Metroidvania actually comes courtesy of Microsoft. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a gorgeous Metroidvania with a somber story and visuals that rival big budge CG movies. The game maintains steady performance, and its fantastic art direction makes the jump to Nintendo's hybrid console with ease. It's available digitally, but you can even score a physical edition of the game if you prefer a cartridge.
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