Whether it’s because you don’t particularly like playing online or you don’t have an internet connection, sometimes you’ll want to play some single-player games on Switch.
The good news is, there are plenty of them available. From epic action adventures to first-person shooters, with the odd quirky title in between, there’s are single-player games to please every taste on Switch. But with a library that’s now bursting at the seams, it may be hard to discover them.
We’ve assembled a list of the best single-player games available on Switch. Games that we’ve played and absolutely adored. Take a look through them, and maybe you’ll find something you can get stuck into.
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This list was originally published in September 2019 and has been periodically updated since.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Of course, the latest entry into the Legend of Zelda series deserves a place on our list of the best single-player games on Switch. A sequel to Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom takes Link on a brand new adventure – this time heading to the skies.
There are lots of new things to enjoy here, not least the extreme verticality as you explore floating islands high above the world. There’s also a whole new crafting mechanic that allows players to unleash their creativity on making various contraptions, vehicles and pretty much anything you can dream up.
2. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Are you ready for a Pokémon game quite unlike any that have come before it? Taking players back in time, Pokémon Legends: Arceus tasks them with putting together the first Pokédex for the Hisui region. You’ll not find yourself going town-to-town, taking on Pokémon trainers and battling Gym Leaders though. Instead, you’ll be traversing a wide open world, and completing a large number of requests.
You will, of course, still be catching Pokémon. And while the gameplay is much more action-focused, throwing an occupied Pokéball at an enemy will initiate a good old-fashioned turn-based battle. But sometimes you’ll need to take matters into your own hands, throwing items such as bombs at out-of-control Pokémon in order to weaken them before throwing one or more of your Pokémon at them. So, if you’re after a Pokémon game that’s a little bit different to sink lots of time into, make sure you check Pokémon Legends: Arceus out. It’s definitely one of the best single-player games on Switch.
3. Shin Megami Tensei V
Imagine waking up to find yourself in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Even worse, imagine then being transformed into something that’s no longer human. That’s the basic premise of Shin Megami Tensei V, an RPG where violence isn’t the only option. And don’t worry if you’ve never played a Shin Megami Tensei game before; this may be the fifth mainline entry in the series, but you don’t need any prior knowledge to enjoy it.
It’s thanks to becoming a Nahobino that you can face the demons inhabiting this horrifying future-Tokyo head-on. You can develop your character in any way you see fit, and even absorb the abilities of the foes you’ve encountered. If you really want to progress in Shin Megami Tensei V and get to the bottom of what’s going on, however, you’ll need to assemble a formidable party. That means negotiating with demons to bring them over to your side, and then perhaps fusing them with others to create even more powerful allies.
Undoubtedly one of the best single-player games on Switch, Shin Megami Tensei V is even more of a must-have for RPG fans.
4. New Pokémon Snap
If a more relaxing game is more your thing, you’ll get a huge kick out of New Pokémon Snap, the newest single-player game to arrive on Switch. A remake of the Gamecube classic, New Pokémon Snap doesn’t task you with capturing and training Pokémon. Instead, it tasks you with simply photographing them in the wild.
Under the guidance of a professor, you’ll head out to various locations in the Lental region and, from the safety of your vehicle, you’ll snap Pokémon as you spot them in their natural habitat. Capture them in unusual poses or displaying strange behaviour and you’ll score highly. But no matter how you perform, simply exploring this world and seeing these well-known creatures in their natural world is a lot of fun. We can’t help but recommend New Pokémon Snap as one of the best single-player games on Switch. Especially if you’re after something a little more laid-back.
5. Paper Mario: The Origami King
Mario games are always great, but made out of paper they’re simply adorable. Paper Mario: The Origami King is a charming adventure that sees Mario and friends team up with their enemies to overcome a common threat: the titular Origami king. It’s cute, humorous, and a lot of fun.
If you’re a fan of Mario games, then you’ll get a big kick out of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Sure, seeing Mario join forces with previous enemies might be a little bit of a shock, but it’s for the greater good! As far as the best single-player games on Switch go, this one is well worth sinking your time into. With a meaty campaign, a cute story and oh-so-wonderful papercraft graphics, there’s a lot to love.
6. Pokémon Sword/Shield
While Pokémon Sword/Shield does have a sprinkling of multiplayer features, the meat of the game is one that’s tackled purely single-player. And if you enjoy RPGs, it doesn’t get much better than this on Nintendo Switch.
The latest mainline Pokémon game looks absolutely fantastic. Set in a new region that’s loosely based on England, you’ll encounter regal towns, lots of open spaces and, best of all, brand new types of Pokémon. As always, the game is about collecting those pesky pocket monsters, and training with them – all with the hope of taking down a series of Gym leaders. After all, there’s only ever one true Pokémon champion. And it just has to be you. If you’re a fan of the series, Pokémon Sword/Shield is one of the best single-player games on Switch. Heck, even if you’re not a Pokémon fan, maybe it’s time to give it a go?
If you’re up for a challenge, Hades is without a doubt one of the best single-player games on Switch. This roguelike has everything: engaging gameplay, sumptuous visuals and a very enjoyable soundtrack.
Playing as Zagreus, son of Hades, Hades challenges you to escape the underworld. Though as you can imagine, it’s not easy. You’re going to die, die and then die again, but each time you’ll acquire the knowledge and resources that make your next run that bit more manageable. There’s everything from weapons to new abilities. And on each run Zagreus will also receive the help of the various gods, boosting his capabilities in numerous ways. Needless to say, each and every run doesn’t quite play out the same, keeping Hades interesting. And for those that do struggle, there’s even a God mode that takes a lot of stress out of making progress.
8. Dying Light: Platinum Edition
Okay, so Dying Light: Platinum Edition has a wealth of online multiplayer options. But the truth is, they’re additional to the experience, not crucial to it. So, if you’re after the best single-player games on Switch, it’s very much worth checking out.
Bundling up the base game along with a trio of expansions as well as updates and other pieces of DLC, Dying Light: Platinum Edition is overflowing with content. Its main campaign, challenging players to explore an open world full of zombies using their parkour skills, is just as entertaining now as it was upon its release in 2015. And once that’s completed, The Following is an expansion that offers a welcome change of scenery. Plenty of fun can be had playing Hellraid, too, essentially another game within Dying Light. All in all, you should really give this a go if you’re not fed up of zombies yet.
9. Metroid Dread
Samus Aran is back, and her first game on Switch is 20 years in the making. Metroid Dread returns the series to its 2D side-scrolling roots, but also adds some new elements to keep the gameplay feeling fresh.
The plot of Metroid Dread finds Samus Aran being sent to the planet ZDR by the Galactic Federation to investigate a mysterious signal. Once there, of course things turn bad, and Samus is left fighting her survival once more. To survive, Samus must explore the planet, overcoming her enemies while acquiring upgrades that allow her to access new areas. Needless to say, fans of the old 2D Metroid games will find a hell of a lot to love here, while more modern additions such as free aim, melee attacks and the stealth-focused Phantom Cloak add some much-needed depth. If you’re after the best single-player games on Switch, consider this a must-have.
10. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
If wonderfully animated 2D side-scrolling adventures float your boat, you simply must play Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It might even make you cry a little. Not that we want to make you sad, of course, but there’s something special about this Metroidvania. Its sad but utterly beautiful narrative is merely the icing on the cake.
In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, you play as the titular Ori, a small woodland creature out on a grand adventure to save his friend. In true Metroidvania style, you have a huge world to explore, with new skills to unlock that allow you to access new areas. A sequel to the also-excellent Ori and the Blind Forest, it’s been improved in just about every way. It’s bigger, better and more enjoyable to play, and its combat has been greatly improved. You don’t need to have played the first to enjoy this, either, but it helps. Either way, there’s no doubt that Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best single-player games on Switch.
Forget that DOOM has online multiplayer, because it really is an afterthought. DOOM‘s single-player campaign is absolutely brilliant, and it’s amazing that it actually runs on Switch. Who’d have thought that you’d ever be able to kill such detailed demons while sat on the loo? Well, you can, and even on the small screen, this fast-paced shooter is a heck of a lot of fun.
If you prefer something a little more visceral, DOOM is without a doubt one of the best single-player games on Switch. It’s not one for younger players though; its ’18’ rating is deserved, thanks to the gore that’ll be flying around your screen. But with a range of high-powered weapons in hand, shooting through hordes of demons has never been more fun. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s not to be taken too seriously – we love it. Its sequel, DOOM Eternal, is available on switch now, too.
12. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Of course, we couldn’t have a list of the best single-player games on Switch without including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Despite being a launch title for the console some four years ago, there’s very little that’s come close to being as impressive as Breath of the Wild is. Well, except maybe its new sequel, which you’ll find higher up this list.
Taking the Zelda series in a bold new direction, this open world adventure will show you Hyrule like never before. You can tackle the game’s 100+ shrines in whatever order you fancy, before tackling the all-powerful Ganon deep in Hyrule castle. There’s well over 100 hours of gameplay here if you want to see everything that Breath of the Wild has to offer. And you will, because once this game gets its claws in you, there’s no letting go.
13. Super Mario Odyssey
Okay, so Super Mario Odyssey does have a co-op mode, making it not strictly entirely single-player. But to us, this is a single-player game through and through. And one of the best on Nintendo Switch.
If you’re a fan of the red-hatted plumber, then Super Mario Odyssey is a no-brainer. One of Mario’s finest 3D adventures, it packs in tonnes of adventuring and puzzling, and introduces one of Mario’s most iconic companions yet: Cappy. Yep, his iconic cap becomes a character in its own right, and gives Mario access to a new range of abilities. Perhaps the best thing about Super Mario Odyssey, though, are the fantastic worlds to explore. This is a gorgeous looking game; from the streets of New Donk City to the Mexican-inspired desert, you’ll want to see every nook and cranny. For Mario fans, this is one of the best single-player games on Switch, no questions asked.
14. Katamari Damacy REROLL
If you’ve never played a Katamari game before, you need to add Katamari Damacy REROLL to your library. And if you have a played a Katamari game before, you still need to add Katamari Damacy REROLL to your library. It’s as simple as that. Technically a remaster of the PS2 classic Katamari Damacy, REROLL has you visiting familiar locations and rolling up a bunch of familiar objects.
If you’ve never played Katamari, its premise may sound a little weird. Roll up objects to make the biggest ball possible? But trust us – it’s a lot of fun. Especially when you get to create a katamari so big that it essentially encompasses the whole world. There’s well over 10 hours of gameplay here, and we promise you’ll have fun for every second of it. For its sheer whimsy and entertainment value, Katamari Damacy Reroll is one of the best single-player games on Switch.
15. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade doesn’t have any multiplayer features because it really doesn’t need them. This is strictly a single-player affair, and it’s all the better for it. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice puts you in the shoes of the titular Senua. Set in the age of Vikings, Senua is troubled by mental illness, and dark visions lead her on a journey into the depths of hell.
Yes, it’s a dark story, but beautiful visuals, a gripping narrative and engaging gameplay will keep you playing. There are puzzles to solve and otherworldly monsters to defeat, and the range of gameplay packed into this 10-12 hour adventure will keep you gripped from start to finish. If you’re looking for something a little different, and aren’t afraid of delving into a dark world, Hellblade is one of the best single player games on Switch.
16. What Remains of Edith Finch
Taking on the role of the titular Edith, What Remains of Edith Finch is an emotional tale about family bonds, revisiting the past, and coming to terms with your family demons. Edith returns to her childhood home – a strange and mystical place that’s almost a character all of its own – for the first time in a decade. She’s the only member of her family left, with every previous Finch dying in a tragic way.
Through minigames and cutscenes, Edith will revisit each member of her family, recalling their history and how they died. As she does, she’ll explore deeper into the house, seeing inside rooms that have long since been locked off to the outside world. At around 4 hours long, What Remains of Edith Finch is a short game, but it’s one that will keep you hooked. We love its unique storytelling and its utterly fascinating narrative. It also helps that the Finch family home is such an enchanting place to be, as haunting as it can seem at times. Without a doubt, this is one of the best single-player games on Switch.
17. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you’re a single-player gamer looking for value for money, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim just can’t be beaten. And you can play it anywhere thanks to Switch. It may have been around for almost a decade, releasing on a multitude of different formats in that time, but if you like epic RPGs, there’s nothing quite like Skyrim.
Here, you take on the role of the Dragonborn, a character that you can shape yourself depending on the actions you choose. But whether you decide you want to steal from your neighbours or be an upstanding citizen of Tamriel, you’ve got a long and exciting adventure to go on. Both inside the gripping story and outside of it, there are more missions to complete than you can shake a stick at, tons of colourful characters to meet and plenty of enemies to lay waste to. The Switch version might not look quite as good as it does on other formats, but don’t let that put you off. This is one of the best single-player games on Switch, or anywhere, and being able to play it handheld is simply a joy.
18. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 is probably one of the best single-player action-RPGs of all time. Although it’s had to take a bit of a graphical downgrade to release on Switch, it’s still one of the best single-player games on the platform. Grand in scope and epic in size, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt casts you as Geralt of Rivia. He’s a monster slayer on the hunt for his missing adoptive daughter, Ciri, and on the way he’ll encounter all sorts of other quests and adventures.
You could simply stay in the inn and play Gwent all day, a card game so popular it’s had its own spin-off, but gettig out in the world is much more fun. There are monsters to slay – what Geralt does best – but also characters to meet, villages to explore and townspeople to help. If you enjoy a huge adventure game to really sink your teeth into, The Witcher 3 is without a doubt one of the best single-player games on Switch. With over 100 hours of gameplay, you won’t be getting bored any time soon.
19. Outlast 2
If you’ve got the stomach for horror games, Red Barrel’s Outlast 2 is up there with the best. This super-scary title isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of being scared, then Outlast 2 is without a doubt one of the best single-player games on Switch. It follows the story of journalist Blake Langermann and his wife Lynn. They set out to the Arizona desert in order to investigate the murder of a pregnant Jane Doe, but a helicopter crash means the pair get separated. Your time is then spent as Blake, trying to find Lynn.
It’s not a straightforward search though, as Blake finds himself in a terrifying village inhabited by a cult who believe the end of the world is on its way. With excellent production values and more scares than the first game, you’ll find yourself ducking and diving through the village, avoiding the cult members who are all out to kill you. It’s one of the best horror games of recent years, and one of the best single-player games, too.
20. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
If you’re a fan of classic Castlevania games, then you’re in for a treat with Bloodstained. The spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night, this side-scrolling adventure is easily one of the best single-player games available on Switch. Okay, so we’ve got a fair few Metroidvania games on this list, but they make excellent solo adventures, and Bloodstained is undoubtedly one of the best.
Dracula doesn’t make an appearance here, unfortunately, but Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night carries itself excellently thanks to its own cast of characters. The main character, Miriam, develops some truly useful skills and abilities as you progress, allowing you to access new areas and explore further into the game. With a range of enemies to face off against and some truly engaging boss fights, those skills will come in handy often, and you’ll struggle to put down this adventure until you’ve seen the credits roll.