Best Sci-Fi Nintendo Switch Games to Play When You Can't Play Cyberpunk 2077 iMore 2021
There's no question that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the biggest game releases of 2020. Unfortunately, Nintendo Switch owners won't be able to join in on the fun. Sure, there's plenty of great games to play on the Nintendo Switch, but it's hard to ignore the siren's call of Keanu Reeves, if we're being honest. To help ease the pain and scratch your cyberpunk itch, we recommend Astral Chain. It's an extremely fun action game with a rich story that revels in a unique sci-fi aesthetic.
- Best Overall: Astral Chain
- Best RPG: The Outer Worlds
- Best Shooter: Doom Eternal
- Best Strategy: XCOM 2 Collection
- Best Value: Bioshock Collection
- Best Platformer: Katana Zero
Best Overall: Astral Chain
Platinum Games has crafted some of the finest action games we've ever played. Astral Chain proudly continues this trend, delivering over the top action gameplay that oozes style and finesse. If you're interested in Cyberpunk 2077's aesthetic, then you'll find a lot to love here. Against the backdrop of dystopian earth, you play a recruit of a special police task force that protects humanity's remnants from interdimensional monsters. Using your Astral Chain, the player tether creatures from the other dimension to hack, slash, and investigate crimes.
Astral Chain is not just fast-paced action all the time. It pairs its intense combat with investigative sections that slow things down a bit. Players explore The Ark as a rookie detective, examining evidence and questioning characters for clues. Exploring the world is thrilling, and there's a lot of wacky and weird sidequest to get involved in. The juxtaposition between the action-packed sections of the Astral Plane the investigation sections of The Ark might give players some whiplash. Still, both sections are enjoyable, and that's what matters most.
Astral Chain marks Platinum Games' most recent collaboration with Nintendo, and with results like Bayonetta, Astral Chain, and The Wonderful 101, we pray that the collaboration continues. Platinum Games continues their action game winning streak on the Nintendo Switch. Astral Chain is the best action game on the Nintendo Switch, that is, until Bayonetta 3 releases.
- Fast action gameplay
- Stylish manga/anime influence, with art from artist Masakazu Katsura.
- Intriguing paranormal story and setting
- Investigative sections are not for everyone
Best RPG: The Outer Worlds
If you're interested in Cyberpunk 2077's dystopian visuals and RPG mechanics, The Outer Worlds might be the game for you. Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. You are the unplanned variable, and it's up to you to figure out what is really happening on the planet.
The Outer Worlds is a player-driven story, just like the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games. Your choices affect the way the story develops. The freedom of the open-world has been totally captured and fully realized on the Nintendo Switch. Play any way you'd like. Do you like to explore, or do you prefer to stick to the story? Do you lurk in the shadows or maybe entering situations guns blazing? All of these options and more are open to you.
The downside to this package is that it really pushed the Nintendo Switch to its limit. The Outer Worlds is a gorgeous game on the Xbox and the PC, but it is downright ugly at times on the Nintendo Switch. Still, despite its full price tag and less than gorgeous visuals, you're getting the complete package onto your tiny Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite, and that's an impressive feat.
- Deep RPG elements.
- Huge open world to explore.
- Your choices affect the way the story plays out.
- Performance and resolution can get pretty bad.
Best Shooter: Doom Eternal
Doom's reboot (or Doom 2016) reintroduced players to the demon-killing, curb-stomping, shotgun blasting antics of the Doom Slayer. Doom was a huge hit when it launched, but it also has a unique relationship with Nintendo's hybrid console. By all accounts, this game shouldn't run on the Switch. But it does, and fairly well. Doom Eternal has also made its way onto the Nintendo Switch — and the results are just as impressive.
Doom Eternal improves on almost every aspect of its predecessor. It's bigger and badder, with more guns and executions at your disposal, as well as an actual story. Fans of Cyberpunk 2077 will appreciate its sci-fi aesthetic and ultra-violent gameplay, and while it's nothing compared to the customization options in Cyberpunk 2077, upgrading your guns does feel good. You get a feeling a progression as you work your way through the game. The gyro controls are also excellent, giving the Switch its own advantage against other console versions.
Doom Eternal is a lot of things, but mostly: It's a fantastic first-person shooter where you chainsaw demons for ammo, and it's one of the best games of the year. The only downside is that the game is full price and available as a digital download only. Considering it's so much cheaper on other consoles, it's a bit of a bummer that the Switch tax is in full effect here. But if the Switch is your only console and you haven't played Doom Eternal yet, there's no reason not to rip and tear again on your Nintendo Switch.
- Looks great handheld
- Bloodsoaked carnage
- Gyro controls feel almost as good as a mouse and keyboard
- Is much cheaper on other consoles
- Digital only
Best Strategy: XCOM 2 Collection
XCOM 2 might be a far stretch for fans of Cyberpunk 2077 but stick with me here. XCOM 2 is a sci-fi strategy game that pits you against extraterrestrial invaders. With a healthy dose of strategy and RPG elements, you will lead a global resistance to reclaim earth in the name of humanity. True to its name, XCOM 2 Collection features the complete XCOM 2 as well the four additional DLC packs and the expansion pack, War of the Chosen.
If you've played a strategy like Fire Emblem, you'll be in familiar territory here. Manage a squad of soldiers as you navigate around an incredibly intelligent enemy. Your moves matter — if you get caught in the enemy crossfire, that's it for your soldier. No revives, no do-overs. Players looking for a challenge will enjoy the permadeath of XCOM 2. There's also a lot of content here. The four DLC packs add a lot to the game, but the expansion pack, War of the Chosen, really tips the scale as far as value is concerned.
This is a value-packed package for sci-fi and strategy game fans looking for a fix on their Nintendo Switch. There are a few downsides, though. While it mostly runs fine, there are some major framerate dips, and it's sometimes hard to follow all of the action on a small screen. It's also a partial digital download. Still, XCOM 2 is one of the best strategy games on the Nintendo Switch, and if you haven't experienced it yet, it's definitely worth the time of a strategy enthusiast.
- Full package with all DLC
- Permadeath adds lots of challenge
- Game looks good on the Switch
- Performance suffers during busy battles
- Text and movement are hard to track on Switch's small screen
- Partial digital download
Best Value: Bioshock Collection
Bioshock changed the game when it was released in 2007. The trip to the underwater utopia-turned-wasteland of Rapture was a storytelling triumph, and the gameplay was excellent as well. Bioshock 2 expanded on the lore on the fundamentals laid down by Bioshock. Still, it wasn't until Bioshock Infinite released in 2013 that the series struck gold again, this time heading to the skies of Columbia, another doomed utopia. Now, you can play all three games on your Nintendo Switch, and it's glorious.
All three Bioshock games are classics in their own right, particularly the first game and the third. The gunplay is fun, and the stories are gripping, and there are light RPG elements that should satisfy Cyberpunk 2077 fans. You can also augment your body and gain new powers that open up new ways to fight. Bioshock may take place in the past, but it has plenty of futuristic elements that should intrigue sci-fi fans.
Fans of story-based games will find a lot to love in the storytelling in all three games. They're clever and deal with very mature themes and issues, though the third game has not aged as gracefully as the first. One major downside to this package is that it is a partial digital download, so those who prefer physical games won't play without clearing some space on their system. It might not be cyberpunk fare, but the collection looks and plays great on the Nintendo Switch, and it's an excellent value for fans of sci-fi adventures.
- Three classic first-person adventures
- Games still look very good, docked and in handheld
- Includes all of the DLC
- Partial digital download
Best Platformer: *Katana Zero
Katana Zero is a very stylish action-platformer that tells a gritty noir story, set to a cyberpunk city's backdrop. You might think that an action-platformer may not carry the same weight as Cyberpunk 2077, but you'd pleasantly surprised by this excellent indie game. The story is packed with many twists and turns that'll keep you on the edge of your seat, while the difficult combat will keep you on your toes.
Each level is uniquely designed for countless methods of completion. Defeat foes creatively and approach situations in multiple ways. The freedom here is unprecedented in a game like this, and very few platformers can do this as well as Katana Zero. The visuals are a neon-soaked dream and looks excellent on the Switch's small screen as well as when docked. And the music is fantastic as well.
Katana Zero is also extremely difficult. Players will have to work hard if they hope not to get dropped by enemies. This is certainly not a game for the faint of heart. If you're looking for a challenging, neo-noir platformer with fast combat and wicked style, you'll do no wrong with Katana Zero.
- Great graphics and music
- Tons of ways to approach combat situations
- A great story
- Difficulty might turn players off
These are the best sci-fi games on the Nintendo Switch. Before you download, make sure to you have enough space on your SD card, as most of these games are available as digital downloads only. If you're looking for the best, it's hard not to recommend Astral Chain. The sci-fi world its set in is incredibly stylish and looks as if it was pulled straight from a manga. The action is fast, and the city feels alive and rich with detail.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.