Best short Nintendo Switch games 2023

Pro Controller
Pro Controller (Image credit: iMore)

The Nintendo Switch has some really amazing titles, many of which can give players many hours of gaming delight before they reach the end. But sometimes you just want to curl up with a quick game to beat while you wait for the next big thing to come out. Instead of a 100-hour RPG, why not check out our picks for the best short games.

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game (Image credit: Panic)

Not only is Untitled Goose Games one of the best short games, but it's one of the best games on Nintendo Switch in general. Play as a goose who, in a few short hours, wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting town. While your main purpose is chaos (and a lot of honking), each area has an objective guide to follow to beat the game. Some of the objectives are more direct, while others involve a little puzzle solving to uncover.

A Short Hike

A Short Hike Nintendo Switch

A Short Hike Nintendo Switch (Image credit: Whippoorwill)

This small island is yours to discover — no guide, no timelines, no rush. A Short Hike is a Nintendo Switch game that can be as long or as short as you'd like in true leisure style. You can hike, fish, swim, and talk with others at your own pace. There's no order in which you need to complete tasks, and even if you want to complete the whole game, it only takes about four and a half hours on average.


Gris Nintendo Switch

Gris Nintendo Switch (Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Known for its ability to tell a story with very few words, GRIS is an indie title that can be completed in about 5 hours. It's a very relaxed game focused on puzzles, platform gameplay, and new challenges that arise as Gris begins to see more of her world and gains new abilities. You follow Gris as she goes through an emotional time, learning how to overcome challenges along the way.

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda

Cadence of Hyrule

Cadence of Hyrule (Image credit: Nintendo)

Cadence of Hyrule is where music meets gameplay and creates something magical. The iconic music of Legend of Zelda brought into the Crypt of the NecroDancer world makes for an incredibly fun pairing that you could replay time and time again. While it is possible to beat this game in a few hours, you also can replay it since the dungeons and world are randomly generated, making it a new experience each time.

WarioWare: Get It Together!

Warioware Git Volleyball

Warioware Git Volleyball (Image credit: iMore)

Wanting to play a short game doesn't necessarily mean you want to play alone. WarioWare is typically a party game for 1-4 players, but there is a short story mode you can play solo or with a friend. Playing the story mode unlocks new characters and other game modes to play. Simply help Wario and his friends escape and you will be rewarded!


Toem Snowman

Toem Snowman (Image credit: Nintendo (screenshot))

Toem is an indie game that takes you on an adventure to see beautiful sights and document them. You play as an adorable, llama-like character, meeting residents of the different areas you're exploring and helping them find happiness with your photography skills. The catchy music and cute towns are sure to capture your heart as you capture their events.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sayonara Wild Hearts Switch

Sayonara Wild Hearts Switch (Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Get a little bit of everything with this arcade adventure. Fight through a universe in shambles as you struggle with a broken heart. Along the way you have dance battles, fight with lazers, right motorcycles and skateboards, and so much more. Plus the soundtrack is so fun to rock out to while you let your heart run free.

Umurangi Generation

Umurangi Generation Special Edition Switch

Umurangi Generation Special Edition Switch (Image credit: ORIGAME DIGITAL)

Get into your photos in a game that lets you upgrade along the way. In Umurangi Generation, you are placed in many settings with brilliant colors. As you take more photos, you unlock more equipment which will imporove your color, composition, and other features that determine your pay. Keep your eyes open for the perfect shot and have fun exploring!


Abzu Nintendo Switch

Source: 505 Games (Image credit: Source: 505 Games)

Satisfy your draw to the ocean without leaving your home with the amazing world created in ABZÛ. Interact with the life under the sea, have fun floating in the water, and find forgotten treasures. But it's not all light, be on the watch for danger as well.

Short games can leave a long impression

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

So many of these games have beautiful worlds, concepts, and music. These are great examples of how video games can have deeper meanings and pull unexpected emotions out of you. Although these games can be finished in a matter of a few hours, they can hold onto your heart for a long time and connect to you in ways you may not have thought they could.

The beauty found in so little words in GRIS shows a journey through pain that an art lover would appreciate. A Short Hike is a great getaway when you don't want to be restricted to a specific purpose. But if all the touchy-feely vibes aren't for you, there's always the chaos that ensues when you're a goose in Untitled Goose Game.

Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.