Top 11 most beautiful Switch games
Games have also attracted players for both their gameplay and their visuals, and these are some of the best visually stunning games out there.
Updated on April 13, 2023 - re-checked the list. Original article by Allison Van Oirschot, updated by Artur Novichenko.
There are so many games out there now for the Nintendo Switch, from tiny indie titles through to massive triple-A efforts, To say that Nintendo's Switch has been a success would be a massive understatement, and that's truly showcased by the sheer depth and diversity of its library.
Sometimes you'll sit down and you'll want to play something that makes you think, like a great Switch puzzle game, other times you'll want to be on the edge of your seat with an adrenaline-pumping shooter or racing game on your Switch; But, at some point, you'll just want to sit back and get fully absorbed into a beautiful world, washed over by the style and fantastic visuals. That's where our list of the most beautiful Switch games with gorgeous artwork comes in.
Had to cut down a few gorgeous titles from the list of the most beautiful Switch gamesNow, just because we've classified these games as having beautiful artwork doesn't mean that they're not in those other genres we alluded to. In fact, we've got a racer in here, and a few puzzlers too. It was actually hard whittling the list down to the ten that make up this article, there are so many stunning games out there (the puzzle game is particularly abundant in them) and recent years have really seen the level of visual quality getting better and better as free-use engines continue to improve. We've got everything in here from platformer to puzzler, and there are even a few titles in there that might surprise you.
From the realistic through the magical and onto the mind-bendingly surreal, these are Pocket Gamer's top 11 most beautiful Switch games with truly captivating artwork.
What Remains of Edith Finch
When it comes to discussing the most beautiful looking games on the Switch, we simply had to kick off this list with What Remains of Edith Finch. It's an instantly memorable game in that it doesn’t just have one set defined style, instead, it moves between realistic artwork into a comic style.
The story tells of the many strange and melancholic deaths of the Finch family, as narrated by Edith, the last Finch alive. Explore the old Finch house and find stories of late family members telling what lead to their deaths. Some are kind of funny, like Walter Finch finally emerging from 30 years underground only to be run over by a train. Others really punch your heart with feels like Gregory Finch drowning in his bathtub as a baby or Lewis Finch becoming so lost in his mental fantasy world, he decapitates himself with a fish de-header. The dev team really poured their souls into this wonderful game, in more ways than one.
A surreal, dreamlike experience about a girl dealing with a painful tragedy while lost in her own massive world. Help her on her sorrowful journey as she gains powers to get her through every stage. A game free of danger, frustration and death, marvel at the colorfully detailed backgrounds while enjoying the calming soundtrack.
It’s hard to put into words how beautiful this game is, and how it’s not afraid to show the raw grief the girl is working through. Did you know that the word ‘Gris’ not only refers to the girl’s name, but is also Spanish for grey? An apt name, considering her emotions and appearance at the beginning. It is the second time we are mentioning this enchanting title, as it was already featured on our list of the best-looking Android games too.
Sky: Children of the Light
How could we have a list of the most beautiful Switch games without including Sky: Children of the Light? This absolutely awe-inspiring title from the creators of Journey launched just a few years back and utterly stunned players with its sweeping vistas, soaring flight segments, and varied environments.
Your journey (pun unintended) begins with you setting out across the world with a simple-seeming task of freeing the various spirits that have been trapped throughout the world's various levels. Much like Journey, you're not alone though — you can see other players — but unlike it, you can befriend them and use emotes to communicate with them. Sky: Children of the Light features many of the same themes and visuals as in Journey, making it a sequel of sorts to Journey. As with Journey, the art style, contemplative story, and emotive score all meld together to form a breathtaking experience like very few others.
It's going to be a long time before we forget about our time soaring over beautiful, lush meadows, or speeding our way down slippery, icy glaciers.
The world is on the edge of collapse but at least it’s beautiful. Follow John and Sam as they travel through their whimsical society and fight a deadly entity consuming the land. This is truly pixel art at its finest, with gorgeous nature backgrounds and colourful misshapen towns filled with quirky characters of all kinds. Use John’s trusty frying pan or Sam’s kinetic powers to fight all kinds of dangerous monsters. Will this found family survive the dangerous wonders of their dying world?
If you're a fan of 2D Zelda games, Eastward will be a little familiar. You'll explore Eastward's beautiful pixel world solving puzzles and killing enemies, interspersed with dialogue-heavy cutscenes to expand the story. When you come across bosses, you'll use ingenious puzzle elements from their dungeon to stun them and deliver damage. It's a satisfying loop, and the dungeons have a sense of spectacle that's hard to beat.
Drama and the supernatural combine in this story-rich adventure filled with secrets. The word ‘mutazione’ is Italian for ‘change’ or ‘transformation.’ A good word to use, as after a meteor struck a holiday resort, the survivors started going through changes. One hundred years later, humans and supernatural creatures live together in their own little world.
Described as a "mutant soap opera," you'll play as 15-year-old Kai desperately trying to take care of her grandfather, Nonno. Explore the hand-illustrated world filled with lush plants and unique wildlife while searching for ways to help. Make friends and plant musical gardens before setting off to save the community from the darkness. You'll spend much of your time getting to know characters and learning about their pasts and desires. It's incredibly well-written, filled with humour and heart at every twist and turn. All of this is set to a beautiful soundtrack that is sometimes quiet and haunting. If you're looking for a cosy game in a weird, liminal space, then Mutazione is for you.
The Alto Collection
If you're a Switch enthusiast and you've not heard of the Alto series then you've really missed out. They've been around for quite some time now and when it comes to platformers they're a real standard of quality. Now, a platformer might not seem like the most exciting type of game to play, so let me explain it better.
In each of the entries, you're coasting down sweeping hills, dodging obstacles, making jumps, and collecting boosters. The majority of the screen, however, is centered on the horizon that you're - in 2D platformer style - coasting along in front of you. The beautiful ombre/gradient backgrounds, soothing sounds, and simple objects against those wonderful backgrounds all combine to make for a game that, despite how easily you can wipe out, never stops being soothing.
As simple as the game seems, it's tough to master. Miss a jump or fail to land a trick, and you'll wipe out... but then you're right back into the action, making it easy to chase that "one more run" as you aim for a new high score, or work on a challenge to hit a certain number of jumps in a single run. It's endlessly addictive, which is a weird and wonderful contrast for such a soothing title.
The Alto Collection is a combination of the original two Alto games, Alto's Adventure and Alto's Odyssey, and it's a beautiful, beautiful experience.
Racing games have always been at the peak of visuals, and those that use sleek cars and clean tracks certainly have an easier job than those that muck about with dirt and city-scapes. GRID Autosport sits somewhere in the middle, with visually stunning vehicles and courses that are flanked by crowds, towns and more. It's track racing, but the handling is tight and natural feeling and you have full control over the vehicle as it weaves through other racers. The game features over 100 licenced vehicles, each handling differently, and you can even tweak your car's tuning to change how it performs.
There's a pretty cool campaign mode in there, and a decent variety of levels and modes... but let's not let that distract from the topic at hand: it's absolutely beautiful. You can change between three performance modes depending on whether you want to prioritise framerate or visuals, with quality mode maintaining a solid 30fps with gorgeous dynamic lighting, smoke, fog, and motion blur. Vehicle destruction is stunning, too, as pieces of the cars break off and obstruct your vision. That's why it was also included GRID Autosport on our list of best-looking iOS games.
Night in the Woods
At the end of everything, hold onto anything. Ominous words for an ominous game…that happens to have anthropomorphic animals. With graphics akin to a children’s storybook coupled with plenty of adult themes, play as recent college dropout Mae as she reconnects with her old friends and readjusts to life in a small town.
But all is not normal in Possum Springs, and suspicions start when Mae and co. find a severed arm in the middle of the sidewalk. Things only get stranger when people start disappearing and Mae begins to have strange, trippy dreams. Fall vibes and melancholic darkness meets exploration and deep conversations. Play again and again to see all of what this world has to offer. This is a seriously unique-looking game that is simultaneously simple and gorgeous. Cars rumble by as you chat with the town's residents; a squirrel scampers through autumnal leaves. It all feels consistently vibrant and alive.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
A pixel art game that combines mythology, psychology, and prog rock. Play as a lone female warrior, the Scythian, on a quest to find and destroy a magical book called the Megatome. Moody lighting combines with simple yet detailed backgrounds to make a pulse-pounding musical adventure. Manipulate the land, sea, and sky to make your way past obstacles and reach your destination. This is truly a game you must play to fully understand.
It says a lot, that Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP does so much with so little. While the pixel art might seem too simple at first, it's a testament to the artists that they're able to pack in so much detail and expression. This is a majestic world with towering ruins and dense jungles, rich with wildlife... all created with just a scattering of pixels. One scene from the trailer below involving a reflection in a forest pool is simply beautiful.
We've written a lot about games that have beautiful artwork, be that backgrounds, characters or locations, but Gorogoa is incredibly special because the artwork in question is also the main gameplay mechanic. In Gorogoa you work your way through the game by twisting the beautiful scenes and frames into different positions in order to reveal the next area of the puzzle. It's completely hypnotizing and makes for an incredibly clever puzzle about perception, like a fixed-view twist on the puzzles of The Witness.
Gorogoa divides your screen into four panels, each of which can contain an illustration. Drag on the border of an illustration, and often you'll drag away a layer atop a new world, changing the panel's context entirely. Each scene is poignant, beautiful or enigmatic, and it's incredibly hard to forget the wonderful artwork that serves as a beating heart to this magical puzzle game.
The next good-looking game on the list truly deserves the title of the masterpiece from both visual and gameplay perspectives. In this 2D game, you will have to explore a beautiful world full of adventures, quests, and dangerous enemies. Hollow Knight is well-known because of its epic gameplay, but the visual style of this indie project is incredible and deserves attention. All of the characters, bosses, and locations have a simple but, at the same time, unique, dark, and pretty detailed design.
The other fantastic advantage feature to talk about is the music. Without a doubt, it is great, active, and memorable. So, the combination of unique visual style and suitable music creates a fantastic dark atmosphere that makes you fall in love with this wonderful world. A fitting title to close off the list of the most beautiful Switch games in 2023, don't you think?