The main strength of the Nintendo Switch (and Nintendo consoles in general) is its first-party library, with teams across Nintendo's main development group and its other studios working to provide iconic entries in long-running franchises like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and more.
Still, that doesn't mean other publishers just ignored the Nintendo Switch. It's been well supported, and over time, a few of the best Nintendo Switch games have risen as standouts from the rest. Here are the best third-party Nintendo Switch games that you need to play.
Alien Isolation has strange origins, being developed by Creative Assembly, a team primarily known for working on strategy games like the Total War: Warhammer franchise. Even so, Alien: Isolation delivers in spades as a horror game, tasking players with finding a way off of Sevastapol station as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley.
Along the way, players will be stalked by the titular Alien, which uses advanced AI to learn from each encounter. With polished visuals and effects, this is a port that runs well on the Nintendo Switch, so it's absolutely worth grabbing if you like some of the best horror games.
Terror is available on the go with this excellent port. Try to survive as roving bandits, malfunctioning Androids, and a horrifying alien creature stalk the station.
Buy from: Amazon (opens in new tab)
Dark Souls Remastered
Prepare to die. In 2011, Bandai Namco and FromSoftware built a spiritual sequel to Demon's Souls, creating Dark Souls. Now, with cleaner visuals and an improved framerate, you can take this quest for balance (or power) with you on your Nintendo Switch.
Utilize an array of weapons and magic to overcome the evil and the forgotten alike in Lordran, but beware: If you die, you'll be sent back to your last resting point without any of the Souls you'd already gathered.
Many were skeptical (myself included) that id Software's Doom reboot could run well on the Nintendo Switch, but thanks to help from porting studio Panic Button, it succeeded.
While picking up a great Nintendo Switch controller is recommended over using the Joy-Cons, Doom (2016) is an absolute blast to play, and that fun is preserved if you're playing while on the go.
Immortals Fenyx Rising
If you've been yearning for a game similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, look no further than Ubisoft's Immortals Fenyx Rising. This tale is straight out of Greek myth, filled to the brim with gods and monsters.
As a new hero, you'll have to aid the gods and gather strength in order to challenge the monstrous Typhon. Along the way, you'll solve puzzles and face threats, all while the story is narrated with a humorous slant acknowledging the wackier parts of mythology.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
At over 30 million copies sold all the way back in 2016, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most popular games ever made. The Nintendo Switch port enables players to take their fantasy wherever they want as they become whoever they want, as we recounted in our review.
Whether it's to play a new race, challenge Alduin for the fate of the world, or just build a house, there's a reason Skyrim stands the test of time, no matter the hardware it runs on.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever made, and it's a technical marvel that CD Projekt RED was able to bring it to the Nintendo Switch with the aid of Saber Interactive. We were impressed by the quality of the game on the Switch in our review. You can even transfer save files between your Nintendo Switch and PC, so if you're already playing the PC version of the game, you don't have to lose your progress!
Take on contracts to hunt monsters and carefully navigate a world torn by politics and war. As Geralt works to find Ciri, the Wild Hunt is also closing in...
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The White Wolf is feeling his age, but there's work to do. A new contract stipulates that he finds Ciri, his long-lost adopted daughter and the heir of Nilfgaard.
More to come?
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The Nintendo Switch has been available for years now, so it's tough to say just when Nintendo will be unleashing a successor. As time goes on, it's getting harder and harder for new third-party games to run on the Nintendo Switch, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We'll be keeping a lookout for any other stellar additions in the time ahead.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance gaming writer who started working for iMore and its sister sites Windows Central and Android Central in July 2019. He handles news, previews, reviews, and exclusive original reporting, and has also been featured on TechRadar.
With a background studying engineering before he shifted his focus to gaming journalism, he's skilled at identifying technical advantages and disadvantages provided by different hardware. If he’s not writing something, he’s off playing video games, spending time with his pets, exercising, or reading. He's also fond of trying to draw things with his iPad.
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