The best Switch indie games you should play right now

The Nintendo Switch has very quickly become one of the best consoles to play indie games on, so it was pretty easy to pick the best Switch indie games. We've been absolutely spoiled for choice over the last few years with all kinds of genres, everything from engaging RPGs to interesting story-driven experiences, moving puzzlers, and sims - not forgetting all the best farming games that are available for the platform now. 

Thanks to showcases like Nintendo's Indie World directs, it's easier than ever to find something new to sink all your time into. The Switch is especially good for playing indies as it has both docked and handheld abilities, allowing you to take bite-sized adventures on the go or share them with others on the TV. 

We've selected a number of exciting games that can be played on the Nintendo system across a variety of genres and playstyles, so you're sure to find something here to pick up or add to your wishlist. With such a vast selection, join us as we take you through our selection of the best Switch indie games you can play right now.

Recent updates

This list was updated on November 1, 2023 to add some recent releases including Dave the Diver and The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood. 

20. Stardew Valley

Best Switch indie games - Stardew Valley

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

It may seem an obvious choice, but you can't have a list of the best Switch indie games without it. Stardew Valley turned us all into farmers and is still working its magic even four years after its Nintendo Switch release. Cook, flirt, explore mines and battle monsters in the most charming depiction of rural life since Old Macdonald. 

19. Cozy Grove

Best Switch indie games - Cozy Grove

(Image credit: Spry Fox)

Cozy Grove is a lot like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and will scratch the same adorable itch. Stranded on an island populated by ghost bears, you can help them with various tasks, plant trees and flowers, collect resources and decorate your campsite with themed items. The aim is to repair your boat and returns home, but very quickly you'll forget all about that as you become obsessed with completing your fish collection or tracking down the latest fashionable outfits. The only catch? The game will only give you a few quests to complete each day, forcing you to slow down and not burn through it all like a maniac. It gets regular updates and the seasons change, so there's always something new discover. Plus, is the cutest things since people started putting clothes on puppies. 

18. Untitled Goose Game

Best Switch indie games - Untitled Goose Game

(Image credit: House House)

Everybody wants to wreak a little havoc in a game world, and Untitled Goose Game lets you do that as one of nature's most dastardly villains - the goose. This playful and addicting puzzle game recently added a co-op option, so you and your friends can team up to give the poor old farmer a headache, or drag someone's lovely picnic into the lake just because you crave chaos. Despite the fact that its gameplay is all about mayhem and mischief, Untitled Goose Game is incredibly soothing, with a great soundtrack that somehow makes chaos calming. We could all use that right about now, eh?

17. Hollow Knight

Best Switch indie games - Hollow Knight

(Image credit: Team Cherry)

This award-winning 2018 title is still worth your time, especially since it's one of the best Metroidvanias ever made. The dark and challenging game takes you through an absolutely gorgeous world of insects and knights and quirky NPCs. Hallownest is a world you'll want to get lost in, even when the jump puzzles and combat have you sweating in your seat. Help a silent insect knight connect the dots of destiny and submerse yourself in a story and world that are equally beautiful. And after you beat the main story, there's other campaigns to dive into.

16. Hades

Best Switch indie games - Hades

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

It's super-stylish, devilishly fun, and wicked difficult - if those things interest you, then Hades is the next Switch indie game for you. Hades is an isometric action-RPG  that tasks you with breaking out of the Greek underworld and you'll get very used to dying very quickly when playing it. Death is a natural part of Hades, along with it's thumping music, and engaging characters that are fully fleshed-out and brilliantly voice acted. Seriously, you won't be able to forget these characters, who you can only further connect with by dying over and over again. Hades will grab you and drag you to the underworld, and even though the goal is to leave, you won't want to.

15. Cloudpunk

Best Switch indie games - Cloudpunk

(Image credit: Ion Lands)

It's a cyberpunk universe and you're just the messenger trying to get by without too much drama. Cloudpunk is a delivery service game in a wide open world. Sure, you're a courier for a semi-illegal delivery company, and sure, it's your first night on the job, but what in the world could go wrong? Cloudpunk's narrative-driven gameplay takes place over the course of one night, and you decide what you want to deliver and when - these choices will have consequences throughout the game and will change how other characters treat you. Cloudpunk is as engrossing as it is beautiful, and a wonderful Switch indie to get into.

14. I Am Dead

Best Switch indie games - I Am Dead

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

I Am Dead is absolutely beautiful - but then again, we'd expect that from an Annapurna game. You are recently deceased museum curator Morris Lupton, and you've just discovered that your home island is in danger of being covered by a now-active volcano. You and the spirit of your best doggo, Sparky, decide to use your ghost skills to find someone to protect the island of Shelmerston. A game about being dead and trying to stop others from dying alongside your dead dog has to be full of quirky humor, and I Am Dead provides. There are fun game mechanics that will keep you hooked, and the attention to detail is stunning. Jump into I Am Dead, you won't regret it.

13. Raji: An Ancient Epic

Best Switch indie games - Raji

(Image credit:

Raji: An Ancient Epic launched on Nintendo Switch last year, and Indian Developer Nodding Head provides an absolutely breathtaking action-adventure game set in ancient Indian. You play Raji, a young woman who has been chosen by the gods to protect the world from being invaded by demons. The artwork is inspired by Indian myths like Ramayana and medieval Indian architecture and truly provides a gaming experience like no other. With combat that requires you to be tactful and choose between weapons like a Trishul or a bow for each combat situation, Raji will keep you engaged at every turn.

12. Cuphead

Best Switch indie games - Cuphead

(Image credit: Studio MDHR)

StudioMDHR’s Cuphead was one of the most dazzling games of 2017, and now it’s made the jump to Switch. The port runs brilliantly both in docked and handheld mode, preserving the full splendor of the Fleishman-esque 1930s animations and easily making it one of the best Switch indie games to play right now. Cuphead is a constant stream of boss battles with a first rate soundtrack and brought to life by truly unique art. It’s a masterclass in game design, balancing intense difficulty with fair mechanics that reward mastery - but only buy it if you like a challenge. This run and gun action game’s steep difficulty curve can prove caustic for those who prefer gentle inclines.

11. Beacon Pines

Beacon Pines

(Image credit: Hiding Spot)

Beacon Pines is a delightful, picturesque adventure with creepy cute vibes that sees you try to rewrite the story and alter the fate of fawn-like protagonist, Luka. Set within the pages of a book, you'll collect golden charms with words etched on them that can used to change the direction of the story. As as you set out to investigate the strange goings on in Beacon Pines, you'll uncover mysteries, make friends, and explore different locations brought to life in the style of dioramas. With adorable characters, a beautiful art style, and a story you directly impact, Beacon Pines is a real indie gem. 

10. Dave the Diver

Dave the Diver

(Image credit: Mintrocket)

Dave the Diver is a mix between an RPG and a management sim. Following the journey of the game's namesake, Dave, you'll be managing a sushi restaurant at night, and diving by day. For the latter, you'll dive into the Blue Hole, which constantly changes each time, and make use of your trusty harpoon to catch fish. But, of course, there's so much more to it than that. Packed full of memorable characters and humor, it's all too easy to get reeled in as it introduces new features, offers up mini-games, upgrades, and more. If you're looking for something that will surprise you and hook you in with a satisfying gameplay loop, Dave the Diver is well worth taking the plunge for.  

9. Undertale

Best Switch indie games - Undertale

(Image credit: Toby Fox)

Undertale is the reason Toby Fox is a household name in the video game business, as it's Fox's wonderful score, subversive writing, and wicked sense of humor catapulted Undertale to the unofficial indie hall-of-fame. Officially, Undertale has won three high-profile gaming awards and been nominated for a laundry list of others.

It's never been hailed as a beautiful game, but Undertale is written and designed to surprise the most seasoned gamers with fourth-wall-breaking jokes and commentary, beautiful music, and engaging combat. It'd be a disservice to reveal anything more about Undertale, as it's one game that's best to experience blind, so I'll leave you to download and play it yourself. Like, now. Go.

8. Dead Cells

Best Switch indie games - Dead Cells

(Image credit: Motion Twin)

Dead Cells is a punishing Roguevania more than worth your pain, sweat, and tears. Its large, interconnected world is gorgeous, platforming and combat are fluid, and there's enough to explore and collect to keep you fighting for more. 

Unending streams of enemies waiting to perma-kill you make Dead Cells rudely challenging in a way that makes you blame yourself each time you fail. And you'll fail again and again, and each time whisper "one more try" before learning enough lessons to prevail. Combining and mastering the best elements of its parent genres, rouge-lites and Metroidvanias, Dead Cells permadeaths  

7. Spiritfarer

Best Switch indie games - Spiritfarer

(Image credit: Thunder Lotus)

Be prepared for a pummeling right to the feels, because Spiritfarer is so much more than just a gorgeous adventure game. Aboard your boat - accompanied by your cat Daffodil - you take a collection of characters to the Everdoor, a gateway to the afterlife. Each character has specific needs, so as well as navigating the oceans, you'll build them homes, farm crops for the resources to feed them their favorite meals, and help them complete any unfinished business so they can pass on in peace. It may sound depressing but it's anything but, with every moment of sadness balanced with the joy of a real emotional connection to the characters and the story. 

6. Risk of Rain 2

Best Switch indie games - Risk of Rain 2

(Image credit: Hopoo Games)

There's a theme to indie rouge-lites being exceptionally hard, and Risk of Rain 2 tests the limits of that tradition. Bringing the young series into a beautifully-realized 3D world, you're challenged to endure a vicious onslaught of wonderfully-diverse foes often well-equipped to take you down in one hit.

As you progress, you'll unlock items that fundamentally alter your playing style. Gasoline can be used to ignite a field of enemies that would normally take time, skill, and a bit of good fortune to defeat. The rare Frost Relic surrounds you in a blizzard that attacks with 600% damage per second, passively clearing your path for a short while. It's this type of progression, mixed with fluid, responsive combat that keeps you coming back to Risk of Rain 2, beat-down after beat-down.

5. Neon White

Neon White

(Image credit: Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)

Take on the role of an assassin from Hell in developer Angel Matrix's fast-paced first-person shooter, Neon White. As the titular White, you'll be trying to earn yourself redemption by taking out other demons in platforming levels you try to speed-run. Utilizing parkour and deckbuilding to zip your way through heaven, Neon White sees you draw out Soul Cards to take out demons and improve your level completion time. Stylish and downright fun, with a satisfying level of challenge, this is one indie well worth checking out.  

4. Shovel Knight

Best Switch indie games - Shovel Knight

(Image credit: Yacht Club Games)

A side-scrolling platform in 8-bit style, Shovel Knight is an indie game and undisputed multi-platform classic. Shovel Knight's titular protagonist is a household name, still spawning merchandise from amiibo collections and cards to clothing and keychains.

Shovel Knight respectfully takes elements from foremost staples of the NES platforming pool, including Mario 3, Mega Man, and Castlevania, and formulates a finger-blistering challenge all its own with a distinct soul and sense of style. Its combat is plenty-accessible, but its smart network of upgrades, gameplay options, and steady drip of new weapons and learned strategies makes Shovel Knight a treat for fresh-faced platformers and NES veterans alike.

3. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood screenshot

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

If you're looking for a fantastic story-driven experience to tuck into on your Switch, then look no further. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is a narrative experience that sees you take on the role of Fortuna, a fortune-teller witch who, after getting exiled on her asteroid home, forms a pact with a "forbidden creature" in a bid to regain her freedom. Featuring a diverse cast of characters, and a branching story with plenty of possibilities to uncover, the experience is home to some fantastic writing. In our The Cosmic Sisterhood review, we said that it's a "masterwork of narrative and character", and one that's well worth your time. 

2. OlliOlli World

Screenshots from the colourful skateboarding game OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Roll7)

Calling all skateboarding fans! You won't want to miss out on OlliOlli World. Developer Roll7 invites you to flip, trick, and grind your way across Radlandia in what is one of the most enjoyable skateboarding adventures in recent memory. Set in a colorful world full of even more colorful character where you can fully customize your skater, you'll try to best challenges, try to retain your place on the league board, and try to glide your way through the eye-catching locations in style. Complete with a  killer soundtrack, you'll find yourself falling into the flow in no time. 

1. Gris

Best Switch indie games - Gris

(Image credit: Nomada Studio)

Gris is a masterclass in understated storytelling and evocative art direction, with a sturdy foundation of inventive platforming and clever puzzle-solving as a bonus. This is the indie game to play if you're looking for something to remind you how beautiful video games can be.

Its world to be conquered a stand-in for the complexities of grief, Gris is a mood that needs to be seen to appreciate. While its clever platforming and light puzzling elements are enjoyable enough alone, it's the atmosphere, music, and very personal nature of Gris that makes this work of art worth exploring for indie fans in search of a quieter, more reflective experience.

Check out our list of the best multiplayer Switch games

Freelance Writer
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