It’s a little hard to believe, but it’s been well over three years since I made my first list of the best Metroidvania games to play on the Nintendo Switch. It was all the way back in September of 2020, which was about halfway through the platform’s current lifespan. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but there have been at least a few great games in the genre released since then. That means it’s time to add to that list with another one, and here we are. I’m not going to use any games that were in the original article, so do go ahead and give that one a read too. This list appends to it rather than replace it. In no particular order, here are ten more of the best games in the Metroidvania genre on Switch.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown ($49.99)
The newest game in the Prince of Persia series at the time of this writing brings the series back around to the 2D action-adventure format where it began. But rather than aiming for the slow, methodical approach of the original game, The Lost Crown seeks to carve its initials in the Metroidvania genre. Amazingly, it pulls it off very well. Sargon is a nimble, powerful character to control, and the Citadel he explores is massive and full of interesting places to see. The battles are lively, and bosses will test your skills nicely. Truly a special game, and one that demonstrates just how flexible the Prince of Persia brand is.
This is definitely one for the Soulslike fans out there. It has that heavy, oppressive atmosphere, and the difficulty can be very punishing. The combat system offers a lot of options, and you’ll need to make use of all of them if you want to avoid dying again and again. At the same time, it’s also a capable Metroidvania experience, with the fun exploration and cool upgrades you want to see in a game like this. There’s a pretty decent story here, and there are even a bunch of fun free DLCs to play through. Not the most relaxing of affairs, but for a certain type of player this game (and its sequel) are like sweet candy.
Metroid Dread ($59.99)
Metroid fans had to wait a long time for the next fully original 2D Metroid game after Metroid Fusion released on the Game Boy Advance. While I’m not sure that Metroid Dread pleased all of those fans, it at the very least can hang with the rest of the games in the series in terms of quality. Investigating a distress signal, Samus finds herself exploring a facility filled with deadly creatures and crazed robotic killers called E.M.M.I.s. As with the other Metroid game developed by MercurySteam, Metroid Dread has a bit more of an emphasis on combat than the other 2D games in the franchise. As long as you’re okay with that, you’ll have a great time here.
Castlevania Advance Collection ($19.99)
Here’s the value pick of the list, provided you haven’t played these games before. Heck, even if you have, it’s still a great pick-up. This collection gives you all three Game Boy Advance Castlevania games, each one a pretty good Metroidvania in its own right. It also gives you the Super NES Dracula X, which is neither an Advance game nor a Metroidvania. Well, whatever. Aria of Sorrow in particular is as close as the Castlevania series ever got to matching the dizzying heights of Symphony of the Night as this specific flavor goes, and it’s well-worth having in your Switch collection.
Alwa’s Legacy ($17.99)
I’m a pretty big fan of both of the games in the Alwa series, and ideally I think you should pick up the pair. In playing Alwa’s Legacy, you can feel the lessons learned from developing the first game. Its world flows a lot better than the one in the first game, and the presentation is even more beautiful than that of the already pleasing original. I really enjoy the puzzles in the Alwa’s games, even if they can be rather tricky by the standards of the genre. The dungeons bring out a Zelda-ish feel, which isn’t always easy to pull off in a side-scrolling affair. There’s a real classic vibe to the design in Alwa’s Legacy, and that might just be what you’re after.
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights ($24.99)
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights has an amazing presentation, outstanding combat, and well-crafted areas that give me pretty much everything I want from a game in this genre. Just be warned that it leans into the more challenging end of the pool, with some nasty difficulty spikes on certain bosses and generally strenuous combat with regular enemies. While it doesn’t have much new to say as this sort of thing goes, it doesn’t drop the ball in any important ways either. Not a bad way to indulge your Metroidvania urges by any means.
Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth ($24.99)
While Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth doesn’t do a whole lot to shake up the Metroidvania formula and its story is going to be largely nonsensical to those unfamiliar with the somewhat vintage Record of Lodoss War property, the controls are tight, the pacing is brisk, and the map designs are strong. It’s a very pleasant experience for those looking for something a bit less demanding, and the six or so hours it takes to finish go by in a flash. Those who love Symphony of the Night in particular will find this game wonderfully familiar in all the best ways.
9 Years of Shadows ($19.99)
9 Years of Shadows is a well-made Metroidvania that gets most things right. The presentation is excellent, the map design is solid, the boss battles are exciting, and the setting and story are intriguing. It doesn’t have any particularly new ideas, but it executes on the familiar ones well. Some technical issues and bugs drag down the overall experience on Switch, but those who can forgive a few rough edges here and there will find the mix of solid gameplay and the fascinating premise to make for a strong experience.
Axiom Verge 2 ($19.99)
How do you follow up a game like Axiom Verge that relies so heavily on surprising the players with subversive twists? Well, you keep on twisting. Axiom Verge 2‘s parallel world gimmick echoes some of the better classics in the genre, and its emphasis on exploring over combat certainly gives it a distinctive feel when compared to many of the more battle-wild Metroidvania games that populate the modern landscape. It’s hard to say if it’s better than the first game, and it’s probably less unexpected as a whole, but it manages to carve its own identity with style.
From the people behind Rabi-Ribi comes a game that very much follows in its footsteps. That means a strong anime-style aesthetic and story, an interesting world to explore, and some bonkers bullet-hell boss battles. TEVI is a big, big game that starts slow and needs some time to warm up, but if you let it do its thing you’ll find one of the better games in the Metroidvania genre in recent history.
And that’ll about do it for this list, friends. Do you have any Nintendo Switch Metroidvania games you would recommend that aren’t on either this list or the previous one? Drop your suggestions in the comments below so we can all find more cool games to play. As always, thanks for reading!