- Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
- Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
- Pikmin 3 Deluxe
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Spyro Reignited Trilogy
- Crysis Remastered
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
- Trials of Mana
- Katamari Damacy Reroll
- Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
- Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
- Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee!
Some games are just so good that they deserve to be remade or remastered onto the latest consoles. While the Nintendo Switch isn't the most powerful console out there right now, it has become a port and remaster king for older games. Whether you missed out on these titles when they first released or you're simply looking for something fun to play, here are the best remade and remastered Switch games.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Shulk and his friends live in a world where land is only available on the backs of titanic creatures. War and unrest have plagued the land for years making it hard to leave the safety of one's village. However, Shulk finds himself in possession of a powerful and mysterious weapon known as the Monado after his home is invaded by mechanical creatures. Now he's on a quest to avenge his fallen loved ones.
Xenoblade Chronicles released on Wii U and quickly became a cult classic before re-releasing on 3DS. It was even successful enough to warrant a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that follows different characters. The Definitive Edition on Switch brings additional storylines and upgraded visuals from the original. Get ready for beautiful music, powerful combo attacks, and an emotional story that takes place in a fantasy world like no other.
Shulk is a young man who finds himself in possession of the Monado, a powerful weapon. He and his friends set about to get vengeance on mechanical creatures called the Mechon after their village is attacked.
Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind is yet another remake that only released in Japan on the Family Computer Disk System back in 1988. But it has since been remade with brand new visuals for Switch. This is a visual novel that centers around a supernatural murder mystery. A young man works in a detective agency and is called to investigate a local school after finding a dead student.
Players need to investigate scenes, interview various characters, and piece together information to figure out who the killer is. There's also reports that a specter in the form of a female student is haunting the school's halls. Can you figure out what is going on here? If you want even more fun, you can also play the prequel, Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir.
Investigate the high school of a murdered student and try to uncover the secret behind the ghost that reportedly haunts the halls. You'll need to investigate and ask the right questions to progress.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
This is yet another title that originally released on the doomed Wii U console. It's one of the most fun multiplayers you can get your hands on. Four people can play at the same time as you run through courses collecting Coins, Stamps, and Stars together. The beauty of this game is that you can choose to work co-operatively along the way or can fight and compete to get the best scores. Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad all have different skills. Some may run faster or jump higher, so you get a slightly different experience depending on who you choose.
The best part about Super Mario 3D World being remade for Switch is that it introduced a new separate section called Bowser's Fury. Here, you and a friend run around a set of islands while trying to avoid a massive Godzilla-sized Bowser that shoots fire and attempts to hurt you. The second player takes command of Bowser Jr. as he and Mario work together to turn Bowser back to normal.
Run through several different lands and courses in this 1-to-4 player game. You can take control of Mario, Luigi, Peach, or a Blue Toad. They all have different weaknesses and strengths to help them get far.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
This was yet another Wii U game that didn't do super well since it released on the failed console. But luckily, it was remastered for Switch with Pikmin 3 Deluxe. The idea is that three astronauts have landed on a foreign planet looking for food to bring back home. However, they get separated and need to use the strange little Pikmin creatures they discover to help them solve puzzles, avoid enemies, and bring food back to their ship.
The Deluxe version on Switch features a new local co-op option and includes a multiplayer DLC that released for the original game. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should.
In search for food, three brave astronauts blast off to an alien planet only to find it filled with crazy creatures and lovable Pikmin. With the Pikmin's help, you'll need to avoid dangerous enemies and gather enough food to take home.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has been remade three times since it originally released on Game Boy in 1993. While it features the titular Link, this adventure differs drastically from the others. For one thing, there's no Princess Zelda, no Ganon, and no Hyrule, but there are Goombas. The Switch version pays homage to the originals with its top-down view and chibi art style, but also adds some new mechanics. But what's the story anyway?
Link washes up on the shores of Koholint Island after being tossed around in a storm. He's quickly put to the task of acquiring his sword and shield before diving into various dungeons around the map. He gains new tools and abilities along the way as he works toward making his way to the Wind Fish egg that sits prominently on a mountain peak. This has some of the most memorable side quests and characters in the whole Zelda series.
Link's boat is destroyed in a storm and he washes up on Koholint island far away from Hyrule, Princess Zelda, or Ganon. Here he must dive into several dungeons and uncover the mystery of the Wind Fish egg.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Decades ago, Crash Bandicoot was a popular series exclusive to the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2. But he's since crashed onto the Nintendo Switch. This marsupial platforms his way around fighting bad guys and collecting items. The N. Sane Trilogy remaster gives you three adventures to play through with souped-up visuals and even includes previously unreleased levels for both new and returning fans to enjoy.
Three of our favorite Bandicoot classic games come with this collection. Platform your way through dangerous locations collecting items and avoiding baddies.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Just like Crash, Spyro was once one of PlayStation's mascots but has since found himself on multiple platforms. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings us the first three games in the Spyro series that you can play in any order you wish. Dragons are being turned into stone and it's up to the young fire-breather to save them. The purple dragon is joined by his dragonfly friend, Sparx, and the two run around collecting gems, ramming into bad guys, and breathing fire on their enemies.
Anyone who played the originals might notice a few differences, but the developers worked on creating a faithful remake, only changing things to provide quality of life improvements. As such, the worlds look more developed, side characters have more personality, and Spyro has more skills available to him in the first two games than were initially there.
Replay the first three Spyro games that originally released on the first PlayStation. Now they have far improved graphics and better controls. Spyro can fly, breathe fire, and ram things with his horns in order to collect items, defeat enemies, and save the other dragons.
"Can it run Crysis?" was once the question asked by the PC elite as a test to see if your computer could handle the most demanding game on the market. Now 13 years later, I can play Crysis in the palm of my hand — crazy how technology works, right? Crysis Remastered is a revamped version of the powerhouse shooter that runs surprisingly well on Switch hardware.
This sandbox first-person shooter allows you to vanquish foes on the battlefield, update your armor, drive vehicles, and destroy obstacles. Alien invaders have landed and you'll have to use your special nanosuit to pursue your enemies while cloaked. The environment constantly changes, so you'll need to learn and adapt to survive.
You'll need to master your weapons and adapt to your changing environments in order to get far in this first-person shooter. Do what you want, whether that be shooting, driving vehicles, and more.
Strangely enough, Miitopia originally released on 3DS only a few months before the Nintendo Switch launched. As such, many people missed out on it as fans were anticipating the new console. Fortunately for us, the game was remastered for Switch a few years later and exploded on social media thanks to its impressive customization feature.
In this simplified RPG, players get to customize and name every character in the game. This includes your own avatar, the big bad villain, your party members, and the NPCs you come in contact with. Many players have made detailed characters like Garfield, Mr. Clean, Strong Bad, and more using the character creator. Each party member has a different job that determines their stats, weapon, fighting style, and how they interact with others. You might need to resolve arguments between your characters before they fight effectively in turn-based combat. All-in-all it's a whacky, lighthearted RPG that anyone of any age can enjoy.
Customize and name all of your characters, then see what hijinks you all get up to. An evil wizard is stealing people's faces and it's up to you to free them.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 came to the Wii U in 2014 and was the best-selling game of all time for that console. But that's not saying much considering that the Wii U didn't sell well at all. Nintendo eagerly ported it to Switch almost as soon as the hybrid gaming system launched and it has remained the best-selling Switch game by far for years.
In this entry, more courses and modes were added. Additionally, players get to control more than just Mushroom Kingdom characters since Nintendo characters like Link, Inklings from Splatoon, and Isabelle from Animal Crossing are all available racers. You can even race around Hyrule, an Animal Crossing Village, or other locations previously not seen in the series. As usual, players can use items acquired by driving through Item Blocks on the track to temporarily slow others down and get ahead. It's a silly game that gets everyone hooting and hollering.
It's also a perfect game for all ages since there's a perfect mix of competition and kiddie controls to keep things fun for everyone. For instance, you can adjust it so that your kid cannot go the wrong way and fall off the track while you play. If you have Nintendo Switch Online, you can also race against other players around the world.
Race around whacky courses themed after your favorite Nintendo games. There are fun items you can use on your fellow racers to help you get ahead.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a collection of two Ace Attorney games that previously only released in Japan. Now they've been completely remade with gorgeous visuals and animated characters for modern consoles. You play as Ryunosuke Naruhodo, Pheonix Wright's ancestor, who has stumbled into law and finds his way to Victorian-era England where he serves as an up-and-coming lawyer.
He has a promise he needs to uphold as he defends several different clients in court. To do that, you'll need to investigate crime scenes, interview witnesses, and ask the right questions. You get five strikes in any court case and if you strike out, you'll need to start the scene over. This requires you to do a lot of thinking and piece things together that you've already seen. You'll also meet Herlock Sholmes, a bumbling-yet-somewhat-brilliant detective, who helps you on your journey.
Solve murders and defend people in court while solving a large overarching mystery that's tied to you personally.
Trials of Mana
Fans of the Mana series finally had some hopes and dreams answered when this previously Japanese exclusive SNES game from 1995 finally got a global remake for modern consoles. What makes Trials of Mana so compelling is that there are six playable characters with their own backgrounds and personalities, but you must choose three of them to be in your party. As such, the people you choose determine what kind of adventure and what kind of relationships evolve as you play. The characters you don't choose make appearances during your play through, but you'll have to play the game again with them in your party to get the whole picture for what's going on here.
There's an evil force bent on destruction and it's up to our heroes to save the day with their unique weapons and skills. The remake includes flashy new graphics and a newly recorded soundtrack that pays homage to the original while bringing things into the modern era.
Choose three characters from a list of six to make up your party. The characters you choose affect what storylines you uncover and what relationships develop. You'll need to fight against a great evil to keep this fantasy world safe.
Katamari Damacy Reroll
This crazy little puzzle game originally released solely on PlayStation 2 back in the day, but has since released on several modern consoles thanks to the remake. The King of All Cosmos, who also happens to be your father, accidentally destroyed all of the stars while he was a bit tipsy. Now he's appointed you to restore them to the heavens. To do this, you'll need to problem solve and meet a number of characters along the way. Whether you've played it before or this is your first time hearing of it, it's a quirky-yet-endearing tale for everyone to enjoy.
The stars have kind of sort of accidentally been destroyed and it's up to this tiny prince to put them back. Run around solving puzzles on your own or with a buddy.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
Back in the early 2000s, Square Enix and Final Fantasy offered some of the most impressive and jaw-dropping visuals of any video game in existence. Final Fantasy X and X-2 were not only gorgeous, but they were some of the most popular games in history. Now, they've been remastered for Nintendo Switch, so you don't have to dust off your PlayStation 2 to play them. The visuals have remained faithful to their original version, while also becoming more conducive to modern controls.
In X, Tidus is an athlete who witnesses his home city, Zanarkand, getting destroyed by a massive monster called "Sin." He finds himself flung 1,000 years into the future and in the company of salvagers. He joins a group of people escorting a woman named Yuna on her pilgrimage. Together these friends need to take down baddies in turn-taking style, uncover the mystery of "Sin," and free the world from this dangerous monster.
X-2 features Yuna and two of her friends but doesn't include Tidus. The characters continue their lives two years after the events of X and get entangled in political intrigue. Yuna gets mistaken for a singer named Lenne and goes undercover to gather information. You'll need to engage in strategic battles, gain new powers, and fight bosses to make it through this adventure.
Two games come in this collection allowing you to follow the story of Tidus in X and then Yuna and her friends in X-2. Get ready for strategic battles, challenging enemies, and a huge fantasy world to discover.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap
Not many people got to enjoy this awesome adventure when it released on the obscure Sega Master System in 1989. But fortunately, it was given a major remake to bring it to modern audiences. In the Switch version, you play as Wonder Boy or Wonder Girl who gets cursed by a dragon into being half-lizard, half-human. Now you're on a quest to return to normal. Along the way, you'll unlock the ability to morph into other animals and use their special skills.
This is one of those games that requires your full attention as there are several narrow platforms and quick reaction times. But it's so very rewarding when you make it through and uncover new abilities, weapons, or locations.
The Meka-Dragon has turned you into a half-man, half-lizard and you're on a quest to return to normal. Along the way, you'll unlock the ability to turn into other animals as well.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee!
Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee & Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu are remakes of Pokémon Yellow, and exploring the Kanto region has never looked better. Taking cues from Pokémon Go, Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee & Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu are casual experiences catered specifically to newcomers to the series. Players use motion controls to throw Poké Balls and wild Pokémon battles are almost entirely removed.
That being said, they are a fun trip for long-time Pokémon veterans as well. You'll encounter Team Rocket's Jessie, James, and Meowth; and fight against gym leaders Brock and Misty from the original Game Boy adventure. You can even play with a friend who controls a secondary character. What's more, shiny hunting is easier in this one since it's the only Pokémon game where shiny Pokémon actually appear shiny in the overworld.
Revisit the Kanto region first brought to us by Pokémon Red and Blue. Only now, the graphics are a lot nicer and some of the mechanics have changed. Run around with either Pikachu or Eevee to defeat Team Rocket and beat all gyms, as well as the Elite Four.
A new spin on old favorites
These are the best remakes and remasters on the Nintendo Switch. Whether you're revisiting a favorite or experiencing one of these games for the first time, any one of these is sure to bring a smile onto your face. Our best overall choice is Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, a beautiful RPG with a deep combat system and a powerful story. It's hard not to fall in love with Shulk and his friends, and there's no reason to stop you from playing the adventure on the Nintendo Switch.
If you prefer something lighter and easier to play, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is an excellent touch. Featuring local and online multiplayer and a brand new mode, Super Mario 3D World is much more than just a straightforward port.
Rebecca Spear is the dedicated gaming editor for iMore who loves playing games on Switch and iOS. She is a Zelda nut through and through and can also talk for hours about her favorite Pokémon games. She’s written hundreds of guides and reviews over the last six years to the point that if you get stuck in a game somewhere, she can help you out. On any given day, you’ll find her following the latest tech, digitally drawing with her iPad Air and Apple Pencil, reading a good book, or - you guessed it - playing video games. Follow her on Twitter @rrspear (opens in new tab) to see her post about her corgi, foster kitties, art, and favorite video game characters.
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.