There are a ton of games that come out on the Nintendo Switch console every week, and since the Switch has been out for a few years now, there’s no shortage of games available to keep you entertained as attested by our list of the best Nintendo Switch games. But what if you’re looking for a game with a unique visual art direction that’s still quite fun to play? Don’t worry! We have you covered with this list of our favorite artistic games for Switch.
Whimsical and cartoony
Cuphead is a tough-as-nails, run-and-gun, action game that focuses heavily on challenging boss battles. Play as Cuphead and Mugman (two-player co-op) and take on bosses with a massive arsenal of guns, bullet types, and special moves. Cartoons from the 1930s inspire the art style, and it has a superb jazz soundtrack.
A unique mix of pixel art and 3D
Octopath Traveler is one of the most beautiful JRPGs that you’ll find on the Switch. It has a completely distinctive take on visual style with a mix of pixel art and 3D graphics, along with some heavy vignetting around the edges. You’ll take on the roles of eight different characters, each with their own story to tell. Any fans of JRPGs must check out Octopath Traveler.
A thrilling ghost story
OXENFREE is a beautifully haunting and eerie game that will appeal to anyone who loves a good ghost story. You’ll take the role of Alex, a bright and rebellious teenager who mistakenly discovers a ghostly gate on an island. There are multiple mysteries to unravel in OXENFREE, which uncovers the dark past of the island while changing the course of your friends’ lives.
A legendary masterpiece
OKAMI HD is a port of one of the best action-adventure games of all time. You take on the role of Amaterasu, a Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a legendary white wolf Shiranui. You must use magical abilities, attacks, and Celestial Brush techniques to restore the land of Nippon. The game’s distinctive Sumi-e ink art style is stunning, and received an HD makeover with the Switch port, making it even more beautiful to behold especially in TV mode.
When you want a serene and evocative experience
Gris is a puzzle-platformer game about a young girl who is lost in her own world as she deals with painful experiences. Her dress changes appearance and grants her new abilities throughout the game, and as her story unfolds, you’ll see things in an entirely new way. GRIS doesn’t have danger or death to worry about, but the world is full of meticulous art, detailed animation, and an elegant score. It’s a true gem to behold.
It’s time to drift up
Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter takes you to a mysterious world that has fallen ill to a deadly sickness. It’s up to you to find the cure and save everyone, but of course, it won’t be easy. Take on the role of the Blade Caster, who must traverse the vast and ruined land that’s full of danger and lost technology. The game utilizes a gorgeous 16-bit pixel art style that runs incredibly smoothly at 60 fps. There is also exclusive Nintendo Switch content.
Sword fighter and dual stick shooter
FURI is an interesting action game because it combines a sword fighter with a dual-stick bullet hell shooter. You’ll engage in 1-on-1 duels with tough bosses, and then you’ll need to use your dodging skills to avoid a mass array of bullets. The graphics in FURI are beautiful with the cel-shaded visuals and animation, and the shooter sequences are bright, mesmerizing, and flashy. This is definitely an interesting mix that works wonderfully.
An epic Metroidvania game
If you’re a fan of Metroidvania-style games, then you need to have Hollow Knight in your collection. Take on the role of the Hollow Knight and explore the vast ruined kingdom of insects and heroes. Everything in the game hand-drawn in 2D style. Plus, there are twisting caverns to go through, and plenty of tainted bugs to slash your way through, as well as other bugs to befriend. Upgrade your weapons and abilities and forge your own path.
Life just goes on, with or without you
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is an adventure game that focuses on Mae Borowski as she drops out of college and returns home to the crumbling mining town of Possum Springs in an attempt to reconnect with former friends. But things aren’t the same, as her friends have grown and changed, leaves fall, and the wind is colder, and strange things are happening. Night in the Woods features a whimsical and lush world with compelling characters and a great story.
Keep the wilderness safe
Firewatch is an adventure game that is rich in storytelling. It’s 1989, and you’re Henry, a guy who is a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. One particularly hot and dry summer has everyone on edge, but then you see something strange in the woods that draws you in. Explore the vast environment in this stunningly beautiful title, and make choices that will shape your narrative and relationships.
Can you impress the Gods?
Jotun: Valhalla Edition
This visually-pleasing, action-exploration game takes place in Norse mythology. You play Thora, a Viking warrior who died in an inglorious manner and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla. There are plenty of Norse elementals in Norse Purgatory, and you only have your massive two-handed ax to slay them. Everything in the game is hand-drawn in 2D style, so the remastered graphics just for the Switch make Jotun: Valhalla Edition an absolute visual feast. Are you worthy?
Don’t be afraid of the dark
Craving a challenging roguelike adventure where every decision you make counts? Then Darkest Dungeon is a game you need to check out. Create your party and set out on a quest in randomly-generated dungeons to see how far you can go before everyone in the party falls. The game’s graphics are distinctive due to the hand-drawn, gothic crow quill-style — and things do get a bit bloody as you strategize a battle plan against hordes of demons.
Solve this sci-fi 1960s’ mystery in a beautifully-made world! You’ve won a vacation to a unique German village. But vacation turns upside-down when you find yourself experiencing strange things. The graphics in this game were made by hand and every bit was made to scale using the photogrammetry method, which gives it a realistic touch.
Foxy nature vibes
Spirit of the North
In this beautiful puzzle game, you play as a fox following captivating spirits. Featuring beautiful nature scenes, where the details may help you solve your puzzle.
With beautiful geometric shapes and calming colors, this game was made for visual enjoyment. Explore this gorgeous world as a bird taking time just to fly.
Take in Hyrule
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Enjoy Hyrule in a whole new way with Breath of the Wild. Adventuring through this open world, made like never before, shows so much to take in and marvel at in several types of climates.
If we may make some suggestions …
These are some of the best games on the Switch with a unique visual art style that sets them apart from your usual fare. There are plenty of great options here for every category.
If we may suggest some specific titles, Cuphead is one of our favorite artistic games for Switch because of its charming cartoon style, but also for its insanely-challenging stages and boss fights. Plus, there are a ton of different weapons and abilities to try to utilize for the best strategy.
Hollow Knight is another favorite because Metroidvania games are fantastic and an easy way to lose a few hours of your day. What’s more, the graphics for Hollow Knight are superb.
Darkest Dungeon is also a good one, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s challenging and makes you think about your moves before you execute them because even a small mistake can cost you dearly. It’s great for those who like a challenge and can appreciate the Gothic Crow Quill art.