Nintendo Switch lets you play a game at home on TV and then just pick up the system and carry your game seamlessly. This is a big selling point for the platform in general, and has allowed many developers and publishers to find a lot of success in bringing older and newer games to the system over time. In many cases, games that had never been on a laptop are credibly transferred as with The Witcher 3 in 2019. 2020 has seen many great conversions to the switch, but here are the 10 best switch ports in 2020, not very in order.
Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition (Capcom)
Capcom’s Devil May Cry and Resident Evil releases on the Nintendo Switch are almost all more expensive than other platforms and not technically as good despite the fact that the games themselves come from older consoles. Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition is the exception here because not only is it a great version of Devil May Cry 3 on a technical level, but the Switch port has some exclusive features. By switching styles and weapons, you can change Dante’s style of play on the go as opposed to between levels, which is a hugely great feature. I can not believe that Capcom did not implement this on other platforms. The Switch version of Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition also has a local collaboration mode. My only real complaint with the Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition on the Switch is that you can not physically purchase it. Even without the exclusive content, the Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition would have been an excellent port. With new features, however, the Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition on Switch is an important purchase.
The Will of the Ori and the Wisps (iam8bit / Moon Studios)
The original Ori and Blind Forest was a big surprise for most on the Nintendo Switch. When the sequel was announced for Xbox and PC platforms and it was finally released earlier this year, I was very disappointed with the stupid performance on Xbox One X. Only the performance, Ori and the Will of the Wisps was an improved sequel that was better in almost every way. Since the rocky launch on consoles, the game has improved a lot in that aspect, but the announcement and release of the Nintendo Switch version was a shock to me. I could not imagine how it would run on the Switch given the performance of a much more powerful console, but Moon Studios delivered. Ori and the Wisps Will is an absolute delight to play on the Switch, and it’s definitely a miracle of a port given how it looks and runs on any system.
Streets of Rage 4 (Dotemu / Seaven Studio)
Some might argue that it is not fair to call Streets of Rage 4 a port given that it was announced for Switch and released on Switch at the same time as other platforms. The reality is that the Switch and PS4 versions of Streets of Rage 4 were made by Seaven Studio, and this is not a game that was built for Switch and then scaled up, so it’s a port in the end. A damn nice gate too. Streets of Rage 4 is already one of the best beat-em-ups in several years and easily one of my favorite games of 2020. Although available on just about every platform, it’s great to have a perfect conversion ready for me to choose up and play at any time on Switch. The only downside to this port in my experience is that online is laggy compared to other systems regardless of connection type.
Under Night In-Birth Exe: Sent [cl-r] (Aksys Games / Arc System Works)
Fighting games are usually a mixed bag on the Nintendo Switch. While such as Mortal Kombat 11 and Samurai Shodown offer user-friendly experiences for those who want to play on the go, very few fighting games have managed to transition perfectly to the Nintendo Switch. Fortunately, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [cl-r] from Arc System Works and French Bread is just about a perfect port to switch. It looks and works well both anchored and handheld, and only suffers from delayed updates compared to the PS4. It’s a great way to experience Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [cl-r] if you are in it for offline content. Under Night In-Birth Exe: Sent [cl-r] is one of the best fighting games you can play on Switch and a superb port.
No More Heroes (XSEED Games / Engine Software)
No More Heroes is an interesting game and an interesting gate. If you’ve never played it before, No More Heroes is a fun action game with some filler content and great music that complements well with excellent characters and great boss fights. Although it has some filler content, it is still a game worth experiencing. No More Heroes on Switch is the best way to play the original game by far. It’s going well and looks excellent. In many ways, Engine Software did more to make No More Heroes look and run well today than other major publishers do for their own flagship releases. The low selling price also helps to make this release of No More Heroes more appealing to newcomers to not only the No More Heroes games, but also Suda51 games in general. I’m glad XSEED Games got this gate sorted for Switch because everyone should play No More Heroes and the sequel before No More Heroes 3 hits next year.
Ys Origin (Dotemu / Falcom)
Falcom licenses its games quite a bit for different platforms and regions. Ys Origin debuted on PC before seeing a PS4 and PS Vita release through Dotemu. I was happy to have Ys Origin on a laptop, but the conversion was not perfect. Dotemu then brought it to Xbox One, but a Switch port was still missing in action. Fortunately, it was sorted this year when Ys Origin finally arrived at Switch. Ys Origin is one of the best action games you can play on Switch, and the best entry point to the older styles of Ys games, with the best entry to modern is Ys VIII. Ys Origin on Switch is exactly what I wanted with much better performance both anchored and handheld. I had already played Ys Origin on everything before, but it never hurts to have a game you love on Switch. If you’ve never played it before, this is easily the version you get.
Hades (Supergiant Games)
Hades is a game you will probably see on many end of year lists. It’s a superlative roguelike action RPG from Supergiant Games that debuted on PC in early access before finally hitting Switch this year. What makes Hades so good on the Switch is that it looks and runs well for the most part, and it has a cross with the PC version. This allows players who own the game on both systems to play on the PC when they are at home and download and play on the Switch on the go without any problems. In the months since its launch, Hades on Switch has also seen several repairs, and it’s basically a game I can recommend to anyone on Switch right now. It’s not just a great roguelike, it’s a great roguelike that has the superlative polish you expect from the Supergiant Games with a soundtrack that is easily among the best this generation.
Trails of Cold Steel III (NIS America / Engine Software)
After Ys VIII: Lacrimosa from DANA was announced, it was only the start of modern Falcom games that hit Switch. While Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II were on PS3 and PS Vita, Trails of Cold Steel III started as a PS4-only game in Japan. It is a good starting point in Falcom’s long – running Trails series and a massive game in itself. NIS America and Engine Software brought it to Switch earlier this year with all content included, and it’s an excellent port for gaming on the go. When played anchored, it looks about the same without real visual improvements. If you want to play Trails of Cold Steel III on TV, it’s better to play it on PS4 no matter if you have that option. On the switch, Trails of Cold Steel III gives you a great portable version with the ability to play on TV even without friction. I’m looking forward to playing Trails of Cold Steel IV on Switch when it arrives in 2021.
Doom Eternal (Bethesda / Panic Button)
Just like Ori and Wisps Will, I just could not imagine a situation where Doom Eternal would look and run well enough on the Nintendo Switch given how demanding it is on other platforms. I played lots of Doom (2016) on Switch and often enjoyed my time dipping into arcade mode. It did not look as good as other consoles, but got the job done. Doom Eternal felt like a big step forward on all platforms when it came out earlier this year, and I could not resist checking the Switch conversion. This may be Panic Button’s best work so far because Doom Eternal runs even better than Doom (2016) for me on Switch. It has taken a big visual hit compared to other systems, but is a great conversion that just needs a few more control adjustments to feel perfect. I’m not sure how I’ll go on Switch when DLC comes out next year, but the base game is well worth the experience on the go if you want to play it on Switch. If you consider it for video games, literally all other platforms are a better option.
Burnout Paradise Remastered (EA)
Burnout Paradise Remastered arrived on the Nintendo Switch earlier this year and delivered in every way. The open world racer plays and looks good both anchored and handheld with the developer going the extra mile to even include touch screen support for the interface. Burnout Paradise Remastered on the Nintendo Switch is content complete with the other versions and is the only platform that offers portable games. The only downside is the asking price which is higher than other platforms, but in itself Burnout Paradise Remastered is important for racing fans on Switch and one of the best ports of the year.
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S just released, the Nintendo Switch is still very much on top with a plethora of original games and ports hitting it. 2021 is going to be interesting, but what was your favorite Nintendo Switch port of the year?