We all know that the Nintendo Switch is home to titles like Pokémon, the Legend of Zelda and Mario Kart, but it's also become something of an industry leader when it comes to indie games. There are plenty of hidden gems featuring characters that aren't as instantly recognisable as Mario or Pikachu, but we can assure you that you'll still have plenty of fun.
Luckily, even the top indie games are also considerably cheaper than first-party titles, so you won't have to break the bank to try them. Whether you're a fan of action-packed platformers, immersive exploration or a relaxing farming experience, we've found the best indie games on the Nintendo Switch available online on Amazon, eBay and Argos for you to check out from the comfort of your sofa.
A recommendation service that carefully researches each product and consults with experts across many disciplines. We are constantly creating new content to provide the best shopping experience from choosing ‘cosmetics’ to ‘food and drink’, ‘home appliances’ to ‘kids and baby’ products, reaching users all across the United Kingdom.
Table of Contents
Independent, or indie, games are those which have been developed by a small group without the support of a larger game publisher – sometimes by as little as only one or two people and without any guarantees of a wide release. If you’re familiar with independent music or cinema, the concept of independent games is no different.
As indie games are often made on a small budget without any pressure from publishers or investors, they tend to have a much higher level of creative freedom which can result in some truly unique and innovative experiences that wouldn’t exist otherwise. They are also usually available at a much lower price point.
The Switch is a haven for independent games, with hundreds having been released on the console and the regular Indie World Showcases shining a light on the best upcoming independent releases. If you’re not familiar with the plethora of indie games out there, there’s an exciting new world for you to discover.
As you may not be familiar with the different indie games available, our buying guide is here to help. We'll take a look at genres, both in terms of gameplay and atmosphere, as well as the age ranges they're suitable for. We'll also let you know which games you can play with your friends either locally or online and whether they're co-op or competitive.
It can be hard to tell a game's genre from the box art and static screenshots. It may look like, say, a platformer, but could also be an exploration-based Metroidvania. It's not uncommon for indie games to mix multiple genres, so we'll take you through the most common indie styles to give you a good idea of what you're getting into.
If you've ever played a game like Sonic or Super Mario Bros., then you should be familiar with the run-and-jump gameplay of a platformer. Named after the often floating platforms your character is required to jump between, the goal of these games is usually to go from one end of a level to another while avoiding enemies and obstacles.
Unlike platformers, which usually have a number of different levels for you to progress through, Metroidvanias are all about exploration, often placing you in the middle of an unfamiliar location and leaving you to find your own way.
You may go in one direction and find a gap that's too big to jump, only to return after exploring more of the map with a way to bridge it. Metroidvanias also tend to have a bigger focus on combat than platformers, so if that's your thing, look out for these.
These games are the perfect choice if you want complete freedom in what you do. They let you play in your own metaphorical sandbox and allow you to create your own fun by exploring the world at your own pace, setting your own challenges and offering more avenues for creative expression than other, more tailored experiences.
Simulation games are really popular at the moment and are comparable in many ways to sandbox games. They offer a lot of ways to make your own choices but with a bit more emphasis on the systems and settings.
For example, Minecraft has farming mechanics within it but you can play the game without doing any farming at all if you so choose, while games like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon give the player a lot of freedom but you cannot avoid the farming mechanics if you want to proceed.
If you're looking for some great couch multiplayer action, then fighting games and beat 'em ups are some of the best experiences you can have with friends on the same console. The only thing you have to decide is whether you want to be facing off against each other or teaming up against the computer.
Fighting games are great competitive multiplayer experiences, and there are few better experiences than beating your friends or family in a close 1v1 match. We'd be lying if we said it doesn't cause some players issues, so if you want to avoid any unnecessary friction with your friends, you should team up in a beat 'em up and work together to fight off wave after wave of enemies.
In a roguelike, if you die, it's game over and you go right back to the beginning of the game. Most of the time all of your progress isn't lost, however, as each run you do will often unlock permanent upgrades to your characters and better equip them for the next attempt.
While the original Rogue, from where the genre gets its name, was a slow-paced, turn-based affair, modern roguelikes lean into the tension and fear of dying and losing your progress, making for fast-paced, high-adrenaline gameplay that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
While there are some incredible single-player options out there, sometimes you want to hang out with your friends or family and play games together. You can do this in one of two ways, by grabbing an extra controller and playing on the same system, known as local multiplayer, or by playing online against people from all over the world.
Depending on the type of game, you'll nearly always be playing either cooperatively or competitively, or sometimes both if you're playing a competitive team game. With co-op titles, you'll work together to overcome challenges or complete a campaign. Competitive games, on the other hand, will pit you against one another to see who comes out on top.
PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information and is a video game content rating system that works in a similar way to film certification in the UK. If a game contains violence, drugs or explicitly sexual imagery, you can expect it to be a PEGI 18, whereas those with only mild violence or possibly frightening scenes for younger children would be a PEGI 7.
It's worth noting that a PEGI rating is purely for content rather than a guideline for difficulty. There are plenty of PEGI 7 games that will give you a serious challenge, while some more mature games can be relatively easy. If you're buying for a child, you'll want to check the rating, but if it's just for yourself, don't let the fact that a game is suitable for a three-year-old put you off.
We'll also mention that you may also see ESRB ratings on certain games when viewing online – this is simply the North American version of PEGI and is also a good way of checking what ages a game is suitable for.
Click to purchase
The Most Popular Indie Game of All Time
Incredible Hand-Drawn, Tim Burton Inspired Artwork
Enter the Gungeon
Fast and Frantic Gameplay for You and a Friend
Get Cosy and Create the Farm of Your Dreams
Yacht Club Games
A Retro Renaissance
Untitled Goose Game
Cause Havok as a Horrible Honking Goose
Unbelievable Art Direction and Voice Acting in a Fast-Paced Roguelike
Ori and the Blind Forest
A Critically Acclaimed Masterpiece With a Focus on Storytelling
Streets of Rage 4
Some of the Best Throwback Co-Op Action Around
Limited Run Games
Rivals of Aether
Familiar With Smash Bros.? You’ll Be Right at Home
If you’re still not familiar with Minecraft, the simplest way to describe it is that it's like a video game LEGO set. The entire world is made up of blocks that you can destroy and move around, allowing you to build fantastic structures – or simply go on adventures with your friends, exploring mines and much much more.
It may not be common knowledge, but the most popular game of all time is, in fact, an indie game. Before being bought out by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, the team that developed Minecraft was made up of only a handful of people. It may not technically qualify as an indie game now by the strictest of definitions, but it is certainly one at heart.
Hollow Knight is one of the most visually stunning indie games on the market today, and if the screenshots remind you of a cross between the films of Tim Burton and Studio Ghibli, just wait until you see it in motion.
You play as an adorable nail-wielding bug exploring the once-thriving kingdom of Hallownest, uncovering its secrets as you progress. The locations are varied and beautiful while the combat is some of the most satisfyingly challenging we've found. A true gem.
Everything in Enter the Gungeon revolves around guns and puns, where guns fire bullets and bullets fire guns. Don't let the cute pixel art style fool you, this is a devilishly difficult roguelike reminiscent of old bullet-hell games, where the screen is literally filled with projectiles at times.
The tongue-in-cheek fun prevents the game from ever becoming too frustrating though, and it's some of the best fun you can have locally with a family member or friend. You'll die a lot, but you'll also find yourself dodging and weaving through the levels like a pro quicker than you think.
The titular Stardew Valley is easily one of the most relaxing locations in any game, indie or otherwise, so if you're looking for something to play while wrapped up with a nice hot chocolate on a cold evening, then we can think of none better.
You inherit your grandfather's old tools and farm plot and are tasked with turning the overgrown fields and run-down buildings into a thriving home. In the town itself, there are over 30 characters for you to interact with, and you can even date, settle down and start a family with one of them if you wish.
A lot of the time, if you went back and played the now-retro games from your childhood, you'll find they're not quite how you remember. The controls are a little more clunky and the sprites aren't quite as good as you imagined. Shovel Knight perfectly captures the feeling of playing an old 90s platformer without the headaches.
While there is a local multiplayer mode, we would say this is much more of a single-player experience than something you should go into planning on playing with a friend. It's a nice extra, but very much not the main event.
One of the biggest indie darlings of recent years is Untitled Goose Game, where you and a friend play as a goose, wandering around a picturesque British town causing all sorts of mayhem.
Untitled Goose Game is pure unadulterated fun, and you'll be rolling around on the floor laughing after you've stolen the farmer's hat for the tenth time in a row. It's not the longest game in the world, but if you're looking for something silly and entertaining, this is well worth your time.
From the exquisite art design to the incredible voice acting, Hades is an incredible game that has a level of polish some larger game studios would kill for. You play as Zagreus, the immortal prince of the underworld, who's trying to escape the clutches of his father, the titular Hades.
All the Greek greats are here – you'll battle with the Furies, talk with the Gods and pet Cerberus on the head. Repeatedly. It's an undoubtedly incredible piece of art, but this title could prove a tad too difficult for some gamers and may cause some frustration.
If you're looking for a visually stunning, hand-drawn and immaculately animated adventure, then Ori and the Blind Forest is well worth your time. The story is told fantastically and is a deeply emotional tale revolving around love and sacrifice
The gameplay isn't bad by any stretch, but some players will find the controls a little loose and combined with Ori's small size on the screen, this can cause some frustrating deaths. If you're a fan of storytelling, though, then you should play this one for sure.
If you grew up in the 90s, Streets of Rage should be a name that you're familiar with. You and up to three friends battle your way through a gorgeous comic-book-styled city backed by over-the-top artwork and with plenty of special moves.
While incredibly fun if you're a fan of the genre, or remember the games from your youth, we're not sure there's too much here for newer players. It's a must-buy if you're a fan of the franchise, but others may be left wanting more.
Rivals of Aether takes some of the best mechanics from Super Smash Bros. Melee, originally released on the GameCube, and brings them into the modern age with beautiful pixel art sprites. It's a fighting game where your goal is to knock your opponent off stage using a variety of special moves.
It's a quality game, but the physical copy is only available in a limited run, so while it's worth it if you're an avid collector, the price is undoubtedly high for an indie game. If you're a little late and the physical copies are sold out, you can pick up a Nintendo eShop Card and find it online.
You've got a few games lined up on your wishlist, but if you're new to the Switch (or even if you're not), have you got the best accessories? Some of these can really make your gaming experience, not to mention protect your console so you can keep playing it for longer!
We hope you've found our recommendations helpful in finding something that's caught your interest and that you may not have heard of or played before. From intense yet enjoyable story-driven experiences to light-hearted titles to play with your friends and family, it's well worth trying out these hidden gems.
Author: David Sexton
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
PC and cameras
Home appliances and electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones