Best Nintendo Switch Games for Adults iMore 2021
Since its inception, Nintendo has made a concerted effort to maintain a somewhat squeaky clean image. With the occasional rare exception, a Nintendo console has always been a place where parents didn't give a second thought about what their kids might be playing. Those days are long gone. Here are some of the best Nintendo Switch games that kids probably shouldn't be playing, but adults can enjoy right now.
- ★ Featured Favorite: Doom
- Shoot Nazis: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- You will die: Dark Souls: Remastered
- Deceptively creepy: Inside
- Weird boy: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
- Femme fatale: Bayonetta 1 and 2
- Police the streets: This is the Police
- Become dragonborn: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Solve the case: L.A. Noire
- Defeat evil: Diablo III: Eternal Collection
- Who killed Kenny?: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
- Open the safe: Payday 2
★ Featured Favorite: Doom
The Grandaddy of gory first-person shooters has made its move into the world of Switch. Smashing Doom down to fit in the palm of your hand is quite the achievement. Just as big of an achievement is the very idea that you can engage in the splatter-fest on a Nintendo branded system.
Shoot Nazis: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
If you want blood, Wolfenstein's got it. Spend just a little bit of time with this crazy game and you'll quickly see why it was branded with a scarlet M by the ESRB. (Hint: lots of Nazis and swearing is involved, too.)
You will die: Dark Souls: Remastered
Bandai Namco brought Dark Souls onto the Nintendo Switch, filling the platform's library with yet another classic. This game is a bit difficult for children, and if the difficulty won't scare them away then the frightening monsters in the game most certainly will.
Deceptively creepy: Inside
Inside is one of the best games of 2016, but it's also one of the most disturbing. From the creators of Limbo, Inside puts you in control of a young boy as he sneaks through a dark world populated by horrors, moving ever closer to the center of some bizarre, terrifying experiment. This puzzle-platformer seems innocent at first, but things quickly take a turn down Queasy Lane.
Weird boy: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
Don't let the charming pixel-based graphics fool you. The Binding of Issac is plenty mature. There is enough blood spatter and dismemberment to go around. Aside from that, however, the themes present are adult enough to creep some out. While it may not be shown directly, the story deals with a violent and abusive mother and your attempt to escape from her.
Femme fatale: Bayonetta 1 and 2
Bayonetta pretty much does it all when it comes to the sort of things that would get you a Mature rating from the ESRB. There's enough blood, guts, and viscera to make Sam Peckinpah blush. On top of all that, you ought to be prepared for female characters that suggestively gyrate and wear outfits that leave little to the imagination. Buy the second game physically, and get the first game as a free digital download.
Police the streets: This is the Police
Just imagine any gritty film you've watched about dirty cops and that's what you'll find in This Is The Police. Strong language, references to drugs, and violence abounds. You play the role of the police chief as you manage a team of officers in one of the most corrupt cities you'll find.
Become dragonborn: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim doesn't lean into the gore in the same fashion that Doom or Resident Evil might but there is still a measurable amount of dismemberment. Aside from the occasional decapitation, Skyrim does handle some fairly adult themes.
Solve the case: L.A. Noire
Developer Rockstar Games is hardly known for its family-friendly output. The house that Grand Theft Auto built is never one to shy away from adult content and L.A. Noire is no exception. It really ticks all the adult-themed boxes. Gore, nudity, sexual themes, strong language, drug use, and violence all come together to make a hell of a detective game.
Defeat evil: Diablo III: Eternal Collection
In Diablo 3, you're literally fighting through the forces of hell. There are some nasty, scary demons out there trying to wrestle power from the heavens. Your job is to stop them before they destroy the world, with a wide variety of skills and rare items to help you do that. Blood and gore are aplenty — and the dark tones presented throughout this game will surely keep your kid up at night.
Who killed Kenny?: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
If the name of the game or your own personal viewing experience hasn't already tipped you off to its gaucherie, then we'll just tell you: South Park is not a game for children. It certainly looks the part on the surface, but you wouldn't want your tykes becoming friends with these little miscreants.
Open the safe: Payday 2
Everyone's thought about robbing a bank at some point, right? Payday 2 puts you in the shoes of a criminal whose idea of a good day is being able to empty a jewelry store without any witnesses. How you and your comrades go about these hot jobs is up to you, so long as you don't come up short.
Nobody can hear you scream: Alien: Isolation
The Nintendo Switch might not be flush with first-person shooters, but the ones that they do have are heavy hitters. 15 years after her mother left, Amanda Ripley returns to the Sevastopol station to find out what happened to her mother. Of course, there's a greater threat lurking in the shadows.
No hope left: Metro: Redux
Metro: Redux is a double collection that includes the definitive versions of Metro: 2033 and Metro: Last Light and all of the DLC. approach the campaign in different ways with two unique play styles. Try Ranger Mode to remove your HUD and UI for the ultimate immersive experience.
The impossible port: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a massive game, with literally hundreds of hours of gameplay, so you may be shocked to learn that the entire game, as well as all of the DLC, is included in one cartridge.
Things are about to get weird: Saints Row IV: Re-elected
Nintendo Switch owners might not have a Grand Theft Auto game on their system, but they've got the next best thing. Saints Row IV: Re-elected is a game that has it all — aliens, guns, fast cars, superhero powers, and good ol' fashioned American politics.
Fight foes with flair: Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch edition
Bulletstorm is an exhilarating first-person shooter that rewards your kill count as well as your style. Defeat your foes with flair, and double down on the bravado with the Duke Nukem DLC. Play the entire campaign as Duke Nukem, with new voice work from the original voice of Duke Nukem himself.
Evil is back on the menu: Resident Evil Triple Pack
There are so many great Resident Evil games on the Nintendo Switch that it is hard to recommend just one, so we'll recommend three. This Resident Evil Triple Pack includes Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6, the most action-packed entries in the series.
For those who prefer it old-school: Resident Evil Origins Collection
If you prefer the old-school Resident Evil games that are much more brooding and slower-paced than the later games then check out the Resident Evil Origins Collection, which includes Resident Evil 0 and The original Resident Evil.
A bonafide cult classic: Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise
Deadly Premonition is one of the most polarizing games ever created. You either love it for its quirky characters and story or hate it for its shoddy technical performance and clunky gameplay. Deadly Premonition 2 is the same way. Join FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan and unravel a mystery that takes place before and after the events of the first game.
Straight from the cloud: Control Ultimate Edition - Cloud Version
Experience one of the best games of 2019 and all of the DLC on your Nintendo Switch, courtesy of the cloud. Stream Control directly to your Nintendo Switch and uncover a paranormal mystery unlike any other. You'll need a stable internet connection to fully enjoy this game, so ensure that you do before purchasing.
Somewhere, beyond the sea ...: Bioshock Collection
This collection includes Bioshock Remastered, Bioshock 2 Remastered, and Bioshock Infinite, and all of the DLC. Experience three great first-person shooters in one package.
Survive or die trying: Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight gathers some of the greatest horror icons from movies, television, and videogames, and drops them in an asymmetrical multiplayer arena. Play as one of four survivors and try to make it out alive, or play as a killer and hunt them all down.
The Switch can run Crysis: Crysis Remastered
Crysis was once the benchmark for PC gaming, and now it has returned on the Nintendo Switch. Experience the rich open-world detail of the original game on your TV or in portable mode.
Moe! Very moe!: Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes
No More Heroes 3 might not arrive until 2021, but there's plenty of No More Heroes to keep you satisfied while you wait. Travis Strikes Again is a simple hack and slash game that bleeds cool. With tons of references to other Suda51 games, this is an easter egg bonanza for fans of Suda51's work or indie games in general.
Moe! moe! moe!: No More Heroes
Not to be outdone, both No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle are available on the Nintendo Eshop. If you have to choose one though, we recommend the original.
The fire rises: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Including all of the DLC and the Dark Arisen expansion pack, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is the best way to play this massive adventure.
Wipe out the grays: X-Com 2 Collection
X-Com 2 lands on the Nintendo Switch and includes all of the DLC. This tough real-time strategy game is high stakes, as every character's death is permanent.
Get over here!: Mortal Kombat 11
If you grew up in the '90s, chances are you're well aware of Mortal Kombat's controversial gore. And while the game has evolved into a very competent 2D fighting game, the very bloody fatalities have stayed the same. The Switch version is downgraded visually but maintains rock-solid performance.
Love is never simple: Catherine: Full Body
Commitment is scary, isn't it? Play as Vincent as he navigates deadly dreams while maintaining a relationship with Katherine, Catherine, Qatherine? Love is a dangerous game.
A mystery aboard an abandoned ship: Return of the Obra Dinn
Return of the Obra Dinn is a first-person mystery adventure based on exploration and logical deduction, with an old-school style that's reminiscent of the monochromatic visuals of the Gameboy. A mature mystery best suited for a dark and stormy night.
Back to hell: Doom Eternal
The sequel to 2016's Doom makes it to the Nintendo Switch in all of its gory glory. The game runs greats and looks great on Nintendo's handheld. Keep ripping and shredding no matter where you are.
Answer the call: Hotline Miami Collection
Brutally violent and drenching in neon lights, experience both Hotline Miami games in one collection, for the Nintendo Switch.
A vacation in minutes: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Adult life can be hard, so why stress out over a videogame? Take a load off, start a DIY project, make friends, and customize your house and island to whatever you see fit. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a much-needed vacation from these stressful times
Flawlessly executed: Hitman 3 - Cloud Version
The second Cloud exclusive game to arrive on the Switch. Take control of Agent 47 and travel to exotic locales as you eliminate some of the most notorious people in the world.
Change the future: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity might not be the next entry in the Zelda series, but its satisfying, action-packed gameplay is cathartic, especially after a long day of work.
Unchained from reality: Astral Chain
Part action game, part cyberpunk detective game, Astral Chain takes place in a near-future cyberpunk metropolis. As you save the world from extradimensional invaders called chimeras, you'll also interact with citizens, question suspects, and team up with members of your task force to solve cases.
No kids in the pool
Some of the best Nintendo Switch games might not be right for everyone. Don't forget to grab a new SD card, as most of these games are only available digitally. If you're worried about the content that your child is consuming on their Nintendo Switch, research is your best friend. M-rated games are intended for audiences that are 17 or older, so look for the ESRB letter on the box or the eShop store page.
There are plenty of outlets available to parents which can help you decide which games are right for your kids. Nintendo offers pretty extensive options when it comes to parental controls on the Switch and even gives you the option of controlling those settings from your phone. And once you've shored things up for your kids, consider coming back to check some of these awesome titles out for yourself!
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