The Nintendo Switch might not be the first console comes to mind when you think of shooting games. However, as well as being a platform stacked with family-friendly party games and fun platformers, it’s quickly become a reliable hub for players who enjoy viewing the world from the sights of a rifle and gunning down enemies. Turns out there are a lot of ways to do this on the Nintendo Switch.
In this list we’ll rank the 10 best Nintendo Switch shooters currently available to play in 2021, helping you to better decide which title to jump into first. We’ve tried to cover a whole gamut of games despite them falling into the same genre, ranging from indie space romps that present you with new terrain every time to WWII-set alternate history shooters that task you to mercilessly blast away Nazis. Get ready to lock and load on Nintendo Switch…
What’s better than one loot-driven first-person shooter? How about three. Borderlands Legendary Collection complies the first, second and Pre-Sequel spin-off into one neat Nintendo Switch package, letting players shoot and loot across their way various cell-shaded planets. You can even do so in a group while playing with three other players simultaneously either online or locally. This alone makes Borderlands one of the best shooters on Nintendo Switch, even without the bucket load of randomised weapon types you’ll soon get to uncover and use.
If you’re a Nintendo Switch player still waiting patiently for the day when Metroid Prime 4 finally releases, this colourful exploratory shooter from ex-Far Cry 4 developers might scratch that itch. It’s one of the best shooters on Nintendo Switch because it features several fun tools to use and refuses to take itself seriously at all. You play as a crashed employee of Kindred Aerospace, tasking with exploring planet ARY-26 to see if it’s suitable for colonisation. Doing this involves taming various creatures, each with their own habits, all while trying to stay alive.
The first Risk of Rain was a fairly timid 2D roguelike that had you survive by killing monsters that would then drop items capable of boosting your own abilities. Risk of Rain 2 takes this basic concept and retrofits it onto a third-person shooter format, which adds a whole new layer of depth to this otherworldly procedural shooter where the scenery changes with every fresh run. Again this is an alien-killing paradise where teams of four must try and acquire the best loot possible while taking on hordes of baddies. Don’t be fooled by the minimalist art style, Risk of Rain 2 is one of the best shooters on Nintendo Switch.
It may have taken its time getting here, but the latest entry in Rebellion’s history-set shooter series finally came to Nintendo Switch late last year. Sniper Elite 4 rewards players with a penchant for patience, having them plan and account for their shots from a long distance away. The franchise’s trademark X-ray kills of course return, presenting well-place kills in gloriously gory slow-motion. And if you think that sniping is all there is to it, think again, as there are several missions which require you to place traps, hold off enemy waves and sneak to perform melee kills. Sniper Elite 4 is a solid shooter package.
Side-scrolling shooters don’t get tougher than the devilishly old-school Cuphead. This throwback to 30s cartoon serials may look cutesy on the surface, but don’t be fooled. Completing stages and taking down waves of bosses and underlings actually requires a good deal of strategy, asking you to take note of attack patterns and finding the perfect time and place when to fire. Cuphead is totally playable alone for those who want a challenging Nintendo Switch shooter. Equally, though, it plays just as brilliantly with a friend in 2 player co-op.
Three of the most thought-provoking first-person shooters were finally made playable portably when Bioshock: The Collection came to Nintendo Switch. Remastering Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock: infinite together in one neat collection, you’ll explore the underwater city of rapture and Columbia’s sky-high setting while trying to unravel a supernatural plot. Admittedly, the shooting in all games isn’t as much of a main attraction as the story, but combining weapons with the super-powered plasmid/tonic abilities makes for some genuinely creative gameplay.
Did you think we’d make it through this list without mentioning the biggest game on the planet? Lucky for Nintendo Switch players, though, Fortnite plays near flawlessly on the hybrid console, containing all the customisable and seasonal features received on other platforms. It might take a slight graphical hit, but none of this matters when you realise that you’re dropping down to tilted towers while trying to be the last person alive – all in the palm of your hands. Fortnite on Nintendo Switch is of course free, too, and so is not to be missed.
If bullets and blood aren’t really your thing but you still enjoy the act of shooting, Nintendo has you covered in the form of first-party exclusive franchise Splatoon. The second game was one of the earliest online titles to release on Nintendo Switch, tasking players to cover the map in as much of their own team’s ink-based splodge as possible. This basic idea forms the basis for one of the most creative shooters on the Nintendo Switch in 2021 that can be enjoyed by the entire family. There are plenty of weapons to try, costumes to unlock and loads of fun to be had, too.
After fuelling the classic FPS franchise back in 2014 with a contemporarily gritty reboot, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus returned a few years later and even brought with it a Nintendo Switch version. It once again follows the efforts of Nazi-slayer BJ. Blazkowicz and his dedicated crew of rebels, who this time take the fight back to Germany itself in this alternate WWII timeline. Wolfenstein II looks and runs great in both handheld and docked mode, offering up a rollercoaster-style shooter with lots of explosive set pieces and a story with real heart.
The hero shooter genre is as big as its ever been, and you only need look at the Overwatch community to realise that. It may have taken its time getting there, but Overwatch: Legendary Edition on Nintendo Switch was very much worth the weight as it’s very much the same game. You have the choice to play as a range of colourful characters each with their own different abilities, all of which come in handy when trying to keep the opposing team at bay while completing team-based objectives. Overwatch is light-hearted competitive fun with a skill-based edge, hence why it tops of list of the 10 best shooters on Nintendo Switch.
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