Best Nintendo Switch games for adults in 2024, from Tears of the Kingdom to Hades

Best Nintendo Switch games for adults in 2024, from Tears of the Kingdom to Hades
Images via Nintendo | Supergiant Games

Written by 

Tarran Stockton & Dani Cross

Last updated 

9th May 2024 11:23

The Nintendo Switch is a great console for any age, but there are plenty of games that are perfectly suited for adults including Zelda, Resident Evil, and Elder Scrolls to name a few. These games cover a wide range of genres, from fantasy RPGs to horror and fast-paced action games.

While these titles can appeal to adults, they're not all exclusively for the mature age bracket. We've tried to include a mix of adult-oriented titles and games that almost anyone can enjoy like Zelda. But don't worry, we also have a list of the best Nintendo Switch games for kids so the whole family can game together.

Best Nintendo Switch games for adults

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

promotional image of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, one of the best Nintendo Switch games for adults
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: May 12, 2023
  • Key features:
    • Huge open world to explore 
    • Lots of intricate puzzles to get lost in
    • One of the best games of the year 

Our first pick for the best Nintendo Switch games for adults is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The latest game in the iconic franchise has received critical acclaim, even beyond its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, making for one of the most wondrous open-world games ever made. It even, perhaps unsurprisingly, made our Game of the Year list as well.

If you love being thrust into a large world and given the freedom to explore at will, you'll likely gel with TotK quickly, and the creative potential of the game's abilities and systemic design only adds more depth to its encounters, puzzles, and traversal.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown gameplay
Click to enlarge
Image via Ubisoft

  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Release date: January 18, 2024
  • Key features:
    • Metroidvania progression
    • Acrobatic combat and tight platforming
    • Challenging boss fights

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is one of the strongest comeback games of all time, reviving the PoP franchise with a bang. TLC is a side-scrolling Metroidvania that follows a soldier called Sargon as he explores the cursed Mount Qaf to rescue a prince.

Just moving around the world is a joy thanks to the tight platforming gameplay and high number of challenging jump puzzles that will test the skills you build up. Combat is also great, with tonnes of combo options and omnidirectional moves you can work into your acrobatic movement.

Super Mario RPG

Characters in Super Mario RPG
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: ArtePiazza
  • Release date: November 17, 2023
  • Key features:
    • A fresh take on a classic Nintendo game
    • Overhauled visuals and soundtrack are lovely
    • Trickier than most Mario games but still accessible

Whether you're a hardcore Super Mario RPG fan or you've never experienced the game before, there are plenty of reasons to jump into this excellent remake of the SNES classic on your Switch.

The game sees Mario team up with Peach, Bowser, and some new friends for an adventure that blends turn-based combat, head-scratching puzzles, and the classic platforming gameplay Mario fans know and love. The updated visuals are just adorable and the story is as charming as ever.

Hotline Miami Collection

key art of Hotline Miami
Click to enlarge
Image via Devolver Digital

  • Developer: Dennaton Games
  • Release date: October 12, 2012
  • Key features:
    • High octane, fast combat 
    • Soundtrack full of earworms 
    • Holds up very well despite being over 10 years old 

Hotline Miami was one of the most popular indie games of the 2010s, and even over ten years on from release, it's a fantastic representation of the creativity you can find outside of the very homogeneous AAA space. 

A top-down shooter where you'll play an unnamed protagonist who is instructed to commit violent massacres against the Russian mafia across the city of Miami, the game is soaked in style. Its psychedelic visuals, surreal imagery, and extreme violence are engrossing, with the minimalist plot leaving you to fill in a lot of the blanks.

Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Leon in Resident Evil 4
Click to enlarge
Image via Capcom

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release date: January 11, 2005
  • Key features:
    • Genre-defining game
    • Fleshed out characters 
    • Plenty of action

Sadly, the remake of Resident Evil 4 isn't available on the Nintendo Switch, but the original still holds up very well and is a formative game in the action-horror subgenre. Returning as Leon Kennedy, you'll journey into the Spanish countryside to save the U.S. president's daughter before getting wrapped up in a mysterious cult and their plot to take over the world. 

While the combat can take some getting used to, very few games can match the tension you feel while reloading as a chainsaw enemy hurries toward you for the insta-kill. And if you're interested in seeing the origins of the third-person shooter as we know it today, you owe it to yourself to experience the horror at least once, making it an easy pick for our list of the best Nintendo Switch games for adults. 

Hades 

Hades
Click to enlarge
Image via Supergiant Games

  • Developer: Supergiant Games 
  • Release date: December 6, 2018
  • Key features:
    • Rich cast of characters to chat with 
    • Frenetic and enjoyable gameplay 
    • Interesting story woven into the game 

Hades is a bit of a landmark moment for the Roguelike genre, combining the gameplay we all know and love with a compelling story about Hades' son. The gameplay is enjoyable, with every weapon and combination feeling great - and the world is also stunning to look at. There are few games as enjoyable on the Nintendo Switch as this, despite the challenge it offers.

Another Crab's Treasure

Anotgher Crab's Treasure
Click to enlarge
Image via AGGRO CRAB

  • Developer: Aggro Crab
  • Release date: April 25, 2024
  • Key features:
    • Approachable soulslike
    • Vibrant underwater world to explore
    • Lots of crab-based loot and weapons

April 2024 treated us to Another Crab's Treasure, a Soulslike that follows a hermit crab on an adventure to buy back his shell. It takes on a more light-hearted and approachable vibe than others in the genre, but there's still plenty of difficult encounters and a high-skill ceiling that rewards focus.

Coupled with the game's style of humour and lovingly vibrant world to explore, it's a fantastic entry into the canon of action RPGs.

Dark Souls: Remastered

Dark Souls remastered
Click to enlarge
Imag via FromSoftware

  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Release date: May 24, 2018
  • Key features:
    • A game that inspired a new genre 
    • Challenging, but satisfying combat 
    • World dripping in extremely rich lore 

You'll probably have heard of Soulslike games before, a subgenre of the action role-playing game known for high levels of difficulty, boss encounters, and an emphasis on environmental storytelling in a grimly dark setting where hope is sporadic. If not, we suggest giving Dark Souls a go, as very few games in the last 20 years have had the same impact on gaming. 

While it can be a frustrating experience due to the challenging gameplay, mastering the combat and the world and watching the credits roll is one of the most satisfying feelings you can find in this medium. It's certainly not for everyone, but it's very easy to appreciate the genius of Dark Souls' design.

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire
Click to enlarge
Image via Rockstar Games

  • Developer: Rockstar Games 
  • Release date: November 14, 2017
  • Key features:
    • Detailed detective story 
    • Great cast of characters 
    • 1940s setting 

Another solid choice for our list of the best Nintendo Switch games for adults is L.A. Noire, an open-world detective thriller where you'll solve crimes in a vivid recreation of late-1940s Los Angeles. 

You'll play Cole Phelps, who rises through the ranks of the LAPD, solving a range of cases, from murders to thefts, arson, and much more. The investigation mechanics are perfect for those looking for a bit of mystery, allowing you to build a case by scouring crime scenes, interrogating suspects, and taking part in chases, all before making the final judgment of who you think is guilty. 

Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: MercurySteam
  • Release date: October 8, 2021
  • Key features:
    • Enemy encounters offer lots of challenge 
    • Atmospheric world 
    • Boss fights 

Few genres combine mechanics and narrative as well as metroidvanias, and if you're seeking the best of the best here, look no further than Metroid Dread. You'll play Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter trapped on a deadly planet after losing her abilities.

Over the course of the game, you'll explore a detailed, interconnected world from a sidescrolling perspective, picking up new abilities which recontextualise previous areas, allowing you to explore even further for secrets and the ultimate way out. This entry pushed the series even further, with more challenging boss fights, and elements of horror as you avoid the deadly EMMI robots hunting you down. 

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A character from Elder Scrolls V Skyrim.
Click to enlarge
Image via Bethesda

  • Developer: Bethesda 
  • Release date: November 11, 2011
  • Key features:
    • Massive open world to explore 
    • Plenty of interesting characters 
    • Complete freedom with how you play the game

Skyrim has been re-released more times than we can count, and that includes a Switch version. This fantasy RPG from Bethesda is the fifth main Elder Scrolls game, and it's a timeless classic that'll be well worth your time on the Switch.

This game takes place in a huge fantasy world and allows players to create a character to embark on epic quests. If you still haven't played it, it's never too late to get started.

Cuphead

Cuphead & Mugman
Click to enlarge
Image via Studio MDHR

  • Developer: Studio MDHR
  • Release date: September 29, 2017
  • Key features:
    • Intense, challenging gameplay 
    • Intelligent boss fights 
    • Amazing art style 

Cuphead follows two brothers as they strike a deal with the devil and try to escape the ensuing pickle. Through their journey, they experience a mix of boss levels and platforming levels - both offer great challenges despite the cutesy art style.

The game is one of the most satisfying and challenging games of recent years, that will test your patience constantly as you try to beat the devil.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.
Click to enlarge
Image via CD Projekt RED

  • Developer: CD Projekt RED 
  • Release date: May 18, 2015
  • Key features:
    • Some of the best side quests in games
    • DLC is good enough to be it's own game
    • Rich fantasy world and characters 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a critically acclaimed fantasy RPG, and it's available on Switch with the Complete Edition that includes all DLC from the game. There's a lot of content to get stuck into, so it's worth the price if the game appeals to you.

In this game, you play as the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. There's a huge number of quests to delve into, a rich fantasy world full of characters, and even an entire optional card game within the game itself. If you want a game you can get lost in, this one is up there.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Super Mario Bros. Wonder gameplay
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 20, 2023
  • Key features:
    • Return of side-scrolling Mario
    • Lots of wild new power-ups
    • Badge system lets you upgrade Maro

No matter how old you get, there's always room for some Mario in your day-to-day. Even if you weren't much of a fan as a kid, Super Mario Wonder is just such a gem of a game that it's worth picking up for any Switch owners.

It's a traditional side-scrolling platformer, but it's one of the most creative and varied Mario games in years, with tonnes of new environments, unique power-ups, new mechanics like badges and Wonder Flowers, local multiplayer, and much more.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta from Bayonetta 3.
Click to enlarge
Image via Platinum Games

  • Developer: Platinum Games
  • Release date: October 28, 2022
  • Key features:
    • Plenty of action 
    • Enjoyable combat 
    • Variety of enemy variety 

Bayonetta is one of the most ridiculously over-the-top action games on Switch, and Bayonetta 3 is the latest game in the franchise. 

Nintendo doesn't have a huge number of "adult" titles themselves, so Bayonetta 3 is a bit of a unique case. It might be a bit much for some people, but others will appreciate the crazy combat and unexpected moments this game provides.

Mortal Kombat 11

Scorpion in MK11
Click to enlarge
Image via NetherRealm

  • Developer: NetherRealm Studios 
  • Release date: April, 2019
  • Key features:
    • Engrossing story mode - one of the best in fighting games
    • Plenty of different characters to use with a huge cast 
    • Fatalities are as gruesome and detailed as ever

If you delight in virtual violence, Mortal Kombat 11 is almost certainly for you, but don't assume shock value is all MK has going for it. With some of the most tactical and impactful fighting game gameplay in the genre, Mortal Kombat is easy to learn and hard to master, making it perfect for all skill levels. 

And of course, there are the fatalities, which MK made its name off. These are extremely violent, over-the-top moves you can perform after winning a fight, allowing you to reduce your enemies to gore and viscera. Ripping spines from bodies, tearing people in two, and crushing opponents into a pulp never felt so good.

For more lists about the best games and hardware, check out our ranking of the best Star Wars games, our roundup of the top cosy games, or for something a little trickier, the best games like Dark Souls

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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