The 10 best handheld Nintendo Switch games – games to play undocked

So many great games. Here are the ones to play on the go.

Image via Nintendo

The hybrid nature of the Nintendo Switch is the biggest selling point for the very popular console. While you can dock up your system and enjoy your favorite Nintendo titles on your television, you can also take the tablet with you wherever you go and get a few hours of enjoyment out of them. Here are the ten best games to play portably with your Nintendo Switch in undocked handheld mode, sorted alphabetically.

Best Nintendo Switch games for handheld play

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Screenshot by Gamepur

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was one of the most important video game releases in 2020 when the world was in the beginning stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, it no longer receives content updates, but it is still arguably the most relaxing game you can find on the Switch. You take control of setting up your village on a tropical island by doing all the basic Animal Crossing items: collecting fruit, bugs, and fish, interacting with your villagers, and terraforming and decorating your island to your specifications. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to do a lot of nothing while slowly progressing their island.

Diablo III: Eternal Collection

Image via Blizzard

Diablo III has been a popular game for a long time, but its Switch port with the Eternal Collection may be the best way to play it. This is the number one dungeon crawler that people tend to think about in the genre, and being able to play it anywhere you go on your Switch feels great. It runs well, too. That latter point is not always a given with AAA quality games on the Switch, but Diablo III exceeds greatly as a mobile handheld game.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Screenshot of Skyrim
Image via Bethesda

Skyrim is well known for releasing a new version for every current video game console that releases these days, but that is more of a testament to how good the game is even more than a decade after its original release. You create your Dragonborn character and deal with every issue you come across in the land. Being able to play this on the go with certain Legend of Zelda item unlocks, including the Master Sword and Hylian Shield, is one of the better ways to spend dozens of hours in a game.

Related: The 5 best open world games on Switch

Hades

Hades
Image via Supergiant Games

Hades is one of the better rogue-like games you can come across. You play as the son of the underworld king, Zagreus, as you fight to escape the land of the dead. Each room you encounter has a new combat challenge, which will end in you repeatedly dying, only to come back at the beginning and start over. Each run will be through different rooms with various upgrades that last for that life. Incrementally getting good enough to get through all the rings of hell will constantly test you.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Screenshot by Gamepur

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first mainline 3D title for the pink puffball and ranks up there with one of the best Kirby games overall. Overall, outside of the change in dimensional gameplay, this is a pretty standard Kirby experience, but the shift is enough to feel like a step in a new direction. Playing this game on the go is an enjoyable experience. There are plenty of challenges to undertake, even with the stigma of Kirby games being easy.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Image via Nintendo

Since the Switch released, Breath of the Wild has been one of the biggest reasons to get the hybrid console. Having access to its huge open world on a handheld console is truly a baffling situation for anyone who grew up playing games on one of the Game Boy consoles. It really shows how far Nintendo has come with its portable market. Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games ever made and will keep you engrossed for hundreds of hours as you see everything this version of Hyrule has to offer.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the best racing games out there. There’s a pretty wide roster of playable characters and all tracks included from the original Wii U version plus new DLC tracks being added via the Booster Course Pass. You can also play with other people on their Switch regardless of if you have an internet connection and put it into tabletop mode and hand a joy-con over for some split-screen action.

Minecraft

Image via Mojang

There are very few games available that are as popular as Minecraft. While there is no shortage of ways to play this game these days, playing it on Switch is about as good of an experience as you can get. You get infinite worlds all playable with a control scheme anywhere you are. Also included is a really great Super Mario world that you can explore and build on top of. There is an endless amount of creative runway here to truly enjoy yourself.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Image Via The Pokemon Company

There will always be new Pokémon games on the way, but few of them will bring a unique experience like Legends: Arceus. This game changed up the Pokémon formula by showing that Pokémon are wild creatures that could be dangerous. You get to run around large wild areas where you sneak up on various creatures and use various methods to catch them. This is the first game to really focus on catching multiple of the same Pokémon instead of a one-stop shop in past games.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey
Image via Nintendo

You can always expect a new brilliant Super Mario game on any Nintendo platform and Odyssey lives up to those expectations. The new gimmick this time around is throwing Cappy on pretty much anyone or anything to take control of them. This is simply one of the best Mario games ever, which is really saying something, and being able to collect thousands of Power Moons takes the experience up a notch.