20 Impressive Nintendo Switch Ports That You Need to Own

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It’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch is a power-starved machine. Nintendo fans are no strangers to poor ports like Ark: Survival Evolved and The Outer Worlds. However, not every port from other platforms is quite as dire as those extremes. If you love the Nintendo Switch, check out some of the best ports the system has to offer. It’s worthy clarifying that the list exclusively consists of third party ports. This means you won’t see any first-party ports of WiiU games, for example.

#20 Divinity Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Divinity Original Sin 2 features major compromises across every facet of its presentation. However, there is one neat bonus to the Switch version. The game offers cross-save functionality between the PC and handheld experience. This lets Nintendo’s hybrid console act as an extension of the home experience, continuing your progress while out and about, letting you return to the premium version once you’re back home. This tangible utility cements Divinity Original Sin 2 as a worthy Nintendo Switch port more than anything else.

#19 Snowrunner

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

With such a heavy focus on the simulation, Snowrunner on Nintendo Switch carries over every aspect of the gameplay that made it work on other platforms as terrain deformation and tire physics. It gets the intended experience across, which is the most important aspect of a game like this.

#18 Dragon Ball Z Kakarot

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Given the simplistic nature of Dragon Ball Z Kakarot‘s presentation, it fares pretty well against the PS4 version. The cuts to texture quality, foliage density, and shadow resolution fall within the realm of subtle nips and tucks. It’s not like Dragon Ball Z Kakarot was pushing advanced technology, which likely made the porting process to Switch as seamless as possible.

#17 Overwatch

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Overwatch on Nintendo Switch looks remarkably close to the PlayStation 4 release. Multiple concessions were made as expected, but considering the game’s already simplistic visual style, these reductions fall in the realm of hair splitting. The average person likely wouldn’t notice the differences unless they were comparing them side by side. It’s a flattering visual package, but unfortunately, performance holds it back from placing higher on the list. The relative parity with other consoles came at the cost of halving the framerate. Although this is common practice, it especially stings in this case. Even when PS4 and Xbox One games were capped at 30 FPS within their single player campaigns, online mutliplayer typically targeted 60 FPS.

#16 Dark Souls Remastered

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Despite the naming convention, Dark Souls Remastered on Nintendo Switch is based on the PS3/Xbox 360 versions, missing most of the remasterd edition’s visual alterations. If you think of this as an enhanced iteration of the original release, it’s actually a pretty remarkable port. The Souls series has historically performed poorly on consoles ever since Demon’s Souls on PS3. By contrast, the Nintendo Switch version runs at a stable 30 frames per second. It isn’t the smoothest 30 FPS title given its framepacing issues, but the same unstable frame delivery exists on every other console version of a Souls title that has ever been capped at 30 FPS. In that respect, Dark Souls is actually a great turnout considering the developer’s history on consoles.

#15 Grid Autosport

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Originally released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Grid Autosport is one of the few Nintendo Switch ports that is a categorical improvement over any other console iteration. With no PS4 or Xbox One versions in sight, Grid Autosport offers the definitive console experience on Nintendo’s current-gen machine. If you’re a fan of racing games, you might want to try it out.

#14 Dragon Quest XI

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Dragon Quest XI S on the Nintendo Switch introduced a huge swath of extra content that would later be ported to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Geometry, textures, and shading are dialled back compared to PS4. The Switch version also makes use of a more simplified lighting model — one which has the most tangible impact on the game’s visual identity. Even without direct comparisons, you get the sense that something’s not right. Fortunately, the later PS4, Xbox One, and PC ports carried over the Switch assets. This means that Dragon Quest XI S on other platforms really only benefits from higher resolutions and framerates even on Xbox One X.

#13 Bioshock The Collection

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Boshock The Collection falls under the half-step camp, meaning it’s better than the PS3/Xbox 360 versions, meanwhile falling short of matching the PS4/Xbox One remasters. Texture quality, one of the remaster’s major improvements, is dramatically cut back. Despite this, you’re getting good version of the Bioshock series at half the framerate of the other consoles.

#12 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus runs on the same id Tech 6 engine that powered Doom 2016. However, it pushes the engine much further with more complex enivornments. This results in a Switch port that is technically more impressive than Doom. The game’s increased demands comes at the expense of image quality, though. Even while docked, it can drop as low as 360p. It’s impressive that it’s running at all, but the moment to moment gameplay experience isn’t as frictionless as Doom.

#11 Crysis Remastered Trilogy

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Crysis demolished PCs when it launched in 2007, introducing new rendering paradigms to the industry such as screen space ambient occlusion. Over a decade later, a remastered version of that legendary PC title is playable on Nintendo Switch. Up until the existence of the SteamDeck, this was the only way to reasonably play Crysis portably. Even now, it’s shocking to think that one of the most demanding games of its era could run reasonably well in remastered form on a portable system released only one generation later.

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim is a great middle-ground between the Special Edition remasters and the original console releases. The fact that you can get better graphics and more stable performance than the Xbox 360 version sets a solid precedent. Considering that the remaster isn’t visually remarkable, the cuts that were made are hardly dealbreakers. In the end, you get a great version of an expansive open world RPG that can be played anywhere. There’s even some Nintendo-exclusive Zelda gear here.

#9 Doom

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Doom was technically groundbreaking when it released in 2016, offering high-end visuals at 60 frames per second— a rarity on the PS4 and Xbox One with their constrained CPUs. The Nintendo Switch version compromises every aspect of its presentation, running at a custom output that is below the PC’s lowest preset. This is in comparison to the other consoles’ mix of medium and high settings. It also runs at half the framerate, but it is still a playable version of a high-end triple-A game. It’s a far cry from the days when the original Doom was ported to the GameBoy Advance with missing levels. In terms of content, at least nothing is lost in translation.

#8 Warframe

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Warframe is one of the most astounding Nintendo Switch conversions. Considering this is a free to play game, you wouldn’t have expected such attention to be poured into the porting process. Of all the games on this list, it’s one of the closest in terms of matching the experience on Microsoft and Sony’s base consoles. Resolution and framerate really are the biggest concessions, with a 30 FPS cap in place. In cases whereby the Switch drops under its target, Warframe offers a few adjustable settings such as ambient occlusion and particle quality to offset this.

#7 Doom Eternal

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Doom Eternal is even more impressive than the already successful port of the 2016 reboot. With the sequel boasting anywhere from eight to 10 times more polygons in its environments, along with more environmental variety and complex combat sequences, nobody would have thought a Switch version was possible. Remarkably, id Tech 7’s scalability made this process possible. Is it still running bespoke settings below the PC’s lowest preset? Yes. Regardless, it’s still far more playable than the early attempts to bring the original Doom to consoles.

#6 Diablo III

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC

Diablo III is far from the most ambitious game on this list, but it places so highly because it is among the few that can be geneuinely considered the definitive way to play. All of the sacrifices such as bloom lighting, ambient occlusion, and particle density would go unnoticed to just about anyone without direct comparisons to other platforms. Crucially, the Nintendo Switch version retains the 60 FPS target quite successfully. Considering the endless nature of Diablo III‘s loot hunt, the ability to take that dungeon crawling anywhere makes it an impossible version to pass up.

#5 Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Developer QLOC handled this conversion, the same team responsible for the later Xbox Series X/S upgrade. That technical lineage bares fruit in a relatively faithful conversion of a highly demanding game. Graphics were cut in every department ranging from textures to geometric complexity to foliage density to level detail. It is, after all, a 30 frames per second game on PS4 and Xbox One. Although far from the most ideal way to experience such a deeply immersive experience, the sacrifices still manage to retain the game’s identity at first glance. You won’t immediately register Nintendo Switch footage as indistinguishable unlike Ark: Survival Evolved, for example.

#4 Metro 2033 Redux

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

With the PS4 and Xbox One running at a solid 60 frames per second, the Nintendo Switch instead turns in an expected 30 FPS readout. This framerate deficit allows Nintendo’s hybrid platform to come that much closer to matching its more powerful competitors. Bloom lighting and particle density are cut back, with other differences requiring closer scrutiny to discern. The lower resolution and framerate are the most noticeable sacrifices, which is often preferrable to reducing visual settings at a larger scale.

#3 Dying Light

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Dying Light may not look like it, but it is one of the most technically demanding games on this list. The fact that the planned Xbox 360 and PS3 versions were cancelled during development should tell you something. Stacking up consoles to the PC experience, the PS4 and Xbox One were using a draw distance setting even below the lowest PC preset. With all that in mind, it’s a miracle that Techland was capable of making a solid conversion to Nintendo’s hybrid platform. In spite of the expected concessions to texture quality, shadows, and further reductions to level of detail, this port goes above and beyond with its approach to image rendering. Unlike any other console version, Dying Light on Nintendo Switch utilizes Temporal Anti-Aliasing Upsampling to reconstruct a higher resolution output from a lower native rendering resolution.

#2 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is not a flattering gameplay experience. It is one of the blurriest games on the systems, offering drasting cutbacks that almost compromise its visual identity. However, it gets our vote for running on the system at all with an acceptable level of performance. The Witcher 3 is a massive open world with a startling amount of density to its environments and content. It’s also still a CPU heavy game to this day. Had this port never been attempted, many might have said a Switch version was impossible.

#1 Alien Isolation

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC

Of all the titles on this list, Alien Isolation strikes the best balance between compromised visuals and playability on its own merits. As a cross-gen game, the Switch version offers an improvement over the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions in terms of graphics and framerate, which is a good start. In comparison to the more premium console versions, ambient occlusion has been cut entirely. In practice, this deficit doesn’t have the most tangible effect on the average scene. The Nintendo Switch version does boast a modern Temporal Anti-Aliasing implementation, leading to a smoother image with far less jagged edges and shimmering than the PS4 version despite rendering at a lower resolution. This comes at the expense of an overall blurrier image, which many gamers prefer if it means less jaggies. Considering the prevalence of TAA in modern game engines, this was an unexpected yet neat change in rendering.

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