21 Best Metroidvania Games On The Switch (Ranked)

Get your fix of exploration, boss battles, and leveling up with the top-notch Metroidvania games on the Nintendo Switch.

Best Metroidvania Games on the Switch

Image by Gamepur

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In 2001, the term Metroidvania was coined, making it the original, slightly less feminist version of 2023’s Barbienheimer. It just really goes to show that the video game industry is always ahead of the game. For the most part, at least.

2024 seems to be the year of Metroidvanias, with Silksong and Mandragora right around the corner. And I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like huffing and puffing after failing boss fight after boss fights with the comfort of the Nintendo Switch. Though this version of the Switch might be reaching the end of its lifespan, we have been treated to a feast of Metroidvania games since it was first released in 2017. Some were ports from previous consoles, and others brand new games altogether, but they still delivered some of the most memorable side-scrolling experiences. In this list, I’ll go over the best 21 Metroidvania games that you can currently play on the Nintendo Switch.

21. 9 Years of Shadows

Metroidvania Game 9 Years of Shadows
Image via Halberd Studios

9 Years of Shadows is an awesome Metroidvania game with excellent art, music style, and a cool vibe.

The combat system is a bit barebones for a Metroidvania, but I appreciate the simplicity. After all, thanks to this limit in equipment, you can fully assess your own growth. 

20. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Metroidvania game  WayForward Technologies
Image via WayForward Technologies

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is as funny as you’d imagine a game about a girl who fights with her hair. 

It’s a game filled with exploration elements and battles featuring the character Shantae using her magical hair and pirate tools.

19. Rabi-Ribi

Metroidvania game Rabi Ribi
Image via Crespirit

It’s the cute anime girl Metroidvania you didn’t know you needed. Rabi-Ribi combines Metroidvania and bullet hell gameplay with an arcade art style.

It’s one of the few Metroidvania games that include a fast-travel system. Plus, you’ll also treat yourself to a bunch of hidden secrets and items throughout the map.

18. Afterimage

Metroidvania game Afterimage
Image via Netera

Afterimage is another nime-inspired Metroidvania with sprawling levels, enemies to defeat, and abilities to acquire.

While the combat is an absolute delight, offering fluid and responsive controls, it’s lacking a bit in the story department. 

17. Guacamelee 2

Metroidvania game Guacamelee 2
Image via DrinkBox Studios

Guacamelee is a Metroidvania that relies heavily on its puzzles and humor. It’s a simple yet addictive game with smooth, challenging combat and platforming.

If you’re into exploring different moves and abilities, Guacamelee 2 is for you, as it lets you go crazy with its punches, kicks, throws, grapples, and special attacks.

16. Aeterna Noctis

Metroidvania Switch Game Aeterna Noctis
Image via Aeternum Game Studio

Aeterna Noctis is lucky it looks that pretty otherwise, its brutal difficulty would have forced me to drop it way earlier than it did.

It’s a fast and challenging Metroidvania experience with precise platforming and intense boss battles.

15. F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch

Metroidvania Switch Game FIST
Image via TiGames

F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a remarkable Metroidvania with A.A.A. production values.

The visuals, cutscenes, and voice are top quality.

Despite the sensory overload, the standout feature is the delightful vibe emanating from each character in the game.

14. Infernax

Metroidvania games on the switch Infernax
Image via Berzerk Studio

If you want to relive your classic Metroidvania era, then Infernax is as close as possible. This game captures the essence of retro Metroidvania with well-designed RPG elements.

Its combat mechanics are reminiscent of classic Castlevania games, with precise aiming and real-time effects. Plus, its boss design is top-tier.

13. Grime

Metroidvania Switch
Image via Clover Bite

Grime is a dark and gritty Metroidvania heavily influenced by souls-like themes. It simultaneously wants to spook you and immerse you into its stunning world.

It’s this focus on world exploration that sets it apart from a sea of games that put most of their effort into level progression.

12. Death’s Gambit Afterlife

Best Metroidvania Games on Switch (White Rabbit)
Image via White Rabbit

I hate to be this person, but Death’s Gambit Afterlife is the Dark Souls of Metroidvanias.

It’s got a similar world design, combat pace, and stamina management. Plus, it’s one of the few Metroidvanias out there that will let you choose a class in the early game and switch things up by allowing mixed classes later.

11. ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights

Top Metroidvania Games on the Switch
Image via Adglobe

ENDER LILIES is a captivating game with stunning visuals, a beautiful soundtrack, and challenging gameplay. It’s a game that tests your patience, unleashing one challenging experience after the other.

Related: Every Metroid game, in release order

It excels at progressively expanding and building a world and setting that continues to amaze time and time again.

10. Ori And The Blind Forest

Image via Moon Studios GmbH

Ori And the Blind Forest was the game that opened my eyes to the world of audiovisual poetry that is Metroidvania games. It extracts the essence of timeless classics and weaves it into a vibrant tapestry of emotions, seamless gameplay, and stunning visuals. It’s a must-play.

9. Metroid Dread

Image via MercurySteam

Metroid Dread surpassed everyone’s expectations when it was first released. It was a dream package of exploration, intense action, and a compelling setting. While it falls just short of Metroidvania excellence, it’s a hair’s breadth away.

8. Blasphemous

Best Metroidvania Switch
Image via The Game Kitchen

I can’t recommend Blasphemous enough for action-adventure, platforming, and exploration fans. 

It’s got an alluring setting and a unique blend of familiar elements from the Souls and Metroidvania genre. Its absorbing and challenging game proves surprisingly addictive for those who relish such adventures.

7. Salt & Sanctuary

Image via Ska Studios

Salt and Sanctuary wears its inspiration on its sleeve. Ska Studios, evident fans of From Software, skillfully translate the essence of their admiration into a two-dimensional realm. 

While not groundbreaking, the game is fun, lengthy, and challenging. For enthusiasts of Metroidvania or the Souls series, it offers a gripping experience that captivates from start to finish.

6. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Image via Moon Studio

Ori and the Will of the Wisps polished an already stellar game, so it’s not a surprise it’s a must-play for fans of the Metroidvania genre.

Besides improving upon the first installment, it presents a more extensive and ambitious adventure. While it may lose some surprise factor, it compensates with enhanced overall quality.

5. Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

Image via ArtPlay

This Metroidvania delivers on all fronts: an awe-inspiring level design perfect for exploration, a diverse and engaging progression, an addictive system for customization, numerous formidable final bosses, high replayability, and a wealth of hidden secrets and surprises. It’s everything you could possibly want and more.

4. Laika: Aged Through Blood

Image via Brainwash Gang

The classics are great, but a game needs to break the mold every now and then. This wheel-based Metroidvania executes its unique concept remarkably well, seamlessly blending gameplay, presentation, and storytelling to captivate players for hours. 

It has that PS1 feeling to it that makes the overall experience highly rewarding and worth diving into.

3. Blasphemous 2

Image via The Game Kitchen

Blasphemous 2 outshines its predecessor in every aspect. The controls are improved, your protagonist moves faster, the level design is enhanced, and the combat mechanics are more diverse. 

While the shift to a purer metroidvania is commendable, the game leans towards familiarity rather than introducing inventive elements. Nevertheless, it excels at what it does.

2. The Messenger

Image via Sabotage Studio

The Messenger’s insane attention to detail blows my mind, but it should come as no surprise that the team behind Sea of Stars is capable of such a feat. It’s all about those visual shifts during time jumps, even tweaking enemy designs. Pair that with slick controls for chaining acrobatic moves, and bam, you’ve got an experience that’s thrilling, ridiculously fun, and totally addictive. This game nails the Metroidvania homage, but it’s more than that — it’s got its own vibe. Seriously, this adventure rocks on every level.

1. Hollow Knight

Image via Team Cherry

The Hollow Knight experience is unparalleled. The color scheme, minimalist art, and seamless storytelling orchestrate a narrative symphony where every element harmonizes flawlessly.

This game weaves a beautiful, empathetic story, gradually drawing you into the world of Hollowest without directly telling you everything. Level design can make or break a game, and this one nails it.