The 31 best Nintendo Switch games under $20

You’ve got a Nintendo Switch, and you’ve already plowed through “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey.”

Now what? Now this!

Are you prepared for “Rocket League”? Maybe! Probably!
Psyonix

That’s “Rocket League,” one of the dozens of excellent games available on the Nintendo Switch for under $20. That’s right: You don’t have to shell out $60 for a great new game!

The Switch’s digital shop is rife with great stuff like “Rocket League” — we’ve put together the best Switch games under $20 below:

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1. “Celeste”

1. Matt Makes Games

“Celeste” is a perfect blend of nostalgic gameplay — classic platforming, in the style of “Super Mario” — with modern technology.

Though the game looks like it was made in 1992, it’s actually a brand new game with a retro-future feel. It takes the pixel-perfect, sharp platforming of classic 2D platformers and marries it with the power and capability of modern tech like the Nintendo Switch. The result is a game that feels reminiscent of classics while also embracing modern game design techniques.

If there’s one non-Nintendo game that you can’t miss on the Nintendo Switch, it’s “Celeste.”

Price: $19.99

2. “Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove”

2. Yacht Club Games

How’s three games for the price of one? “Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove” is essentially just that: a compilation of all the “Shovel Knight” content into a single game.

If you ever played “Ducktales” way back on the original Nintendo Entertainment System, you’re already familiar with “Shovel Knight”: It’s a 2D action-platformer that’s focused on a specific tool. In the case of “Shovel Knight,” that tool is a shovel. You bounce from enemy to enemy, smacking them with your shovel.

Price: $14.99

3. “The Flame in the Flood: Complete Edition”

Games like “Don’t Starve” have taken the gaming world by storm — so-called “survival” games. “The Flame in the Flood” is among the best of the survival genre, constantly pushing you forward (in a boat) towards the next objective.

It’s got a gorgeous art style, a unique and eerie tone, and a delightfully low price.

Price: $14.99

4. “Rocket League”

4. Psyonix

“Rocket League” is a must-own game regardless of what gaming platform you own.

It’s essentially an arcade-style soccer game, but instead controlling a human running around a field you’re a freakin’ car. You can drive on the walls, and leap through the air, and lots of other things that cars can’t actually do — but that’s what makes it so much fun.

Price: $14.99

5. “Stardew Valley”

Farming is tough, but digital farming can be a delight — take it from fans of the “Harvest Moon” series, who extol the delights of animal husbandry and crop management.

If you’re part of this group — the folks who enjoy the relaxed pace of a digital farm life — then “Stardew Valley” is the game you’ve been looking for. It’s full of charming characters, delightful minigames, and — yes — lots of farming.

Price: $14.99

6. “Overcooked: Special Edition”

One of the best aspects of the Nintendo Switch is how it encourages people to play together. “Overcooked” plays to this strength with a game that outright demands cooperation between multiple people — you’re making food in a professional kitchen, and each player must run their station to the best of their ability. If anyone falls behind, everyone falls behind.

It’s a bizarre and frantic experience that’s particularly well-suited for parties.

Price: $14.99

7. “Subsurface Circular”

When it comes to storytelling, video games have come a long way from the days of “Your princess is in another castle.” In the case of “Subsurface Circular,” you’re a robot detective looking to solve a case, but it’s a story told exclusively through conversations on the subway.

It’s up to you how that case proceeds, and which questions you ask of your fellow robot commuters. Bonus: It’s crazy gorgeous, in a way that no other Switch games are.

Price: $5.99

8. “Arcade Archives: VS. Super Mario Bros.”

BEWARE: This isn’t the original “Super Mario Bros.” you played on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Instead, it’s the aggressively difficult version of “Super Mario Bros.” that Nintendo released to arcades. If you fancy yourself a “Super Mario” master, this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

Price: $7.99

9. “Picross S”

Do you like “Minesweeper”? How about Sudoku?

If you’re at all interested in puzzle games, and like a good challenge, “Picross S” is the game for you. Using deduction and logic, “Picross S” entices players with that just one more gamementality. Can you figure out how to solve the puzzle in time? Probably! But there’s only one way to find out.

Price: $7.99

10. “Little Inferno”

“Little Inferno” is exactly as advertised: A game about a small fireplace.

Bizarrely, the inferno is a child’s toy. It works how you’d expect: It fills with fire, which can be kindled. Instead of yule logs and leftover newspaper, though, you’re putting everything into the inferno, from toys to paper. It’s a super weird game, but it’s also a truly charming and unique experience.

Price: $9.99

11. “Mighty Gunvolt Burst”

It’s been a long time since “Mega Man” was in the spotlight. The world of blockbuster video games has moved on from the classic 2D action-adventure genre, but the world of indie video games picked up right where the Capcoms and Konamis of the world left off.

“Mighty Gunvolt Burst” is a great example of that — it’s essentially a new “Mega Man” game, but set in a totally different universe (and made by different people, of course). So if you’re looking for the kind of joy (and challenge) that classic series like “Contra” and “Mega Man” delivered over 20 years ago, “Mighty Gunvolt Burst” is a great place to start.

Price: $9.99

12. “Mutant Mudds Collection”

“Mutant Mudds Collection” similarly harkens back to an era gone by, but instead of a Nintendo-esque throwback, it’s more of a classic PC game throwback. Anyone familiar with the “Commander Keen” series from back in the early ’90s will feel right at home with “Mutant Mudds Deluxe,” and anyone who isn’t will find it a weird and wonderful new type of game.

It’s essentially a platformer along the lines of “Mega Man,” but it plays with physics and abilities in ways that make it something entirely different. Better yet, “Mutant Mudds Collection” comes with two additional “Mutant Mudds” games beyond “Mutant Mudds Deluxe”: a challenge-based version of “Deluxe,” and an entirely new puzzle game called “Mudd Blocks.”

Price: $14.99

13. “VVVVVV”

Are you sensing a theme?

The Nintendo Switch has become the go-to place for great indie games, many of which pay direct homage to the golden age of Nintendo games (think: late ’80s/early ’90s). “VVVVVV” is no exception, offering an evolution to the 2D platforming genre: No jumping! Instead, you must use switches to alter the gravitational pull of any given room.

If you can get past its extreme difficulty, you’ll likely fall in love.

Price: $9.99

14. “World of Goo”

If you haven’t already played “World of Goo” on one of Nintendo’s previous game consoles, and you haven’t already played it on an iPhone or iPad or on one of the many other platforms where it’s available, then maybe it’s finally time.

The puzzle-centric, widely available “World of Goo” is a game about building bridges. By doing so, you complete levels, thus unlocking the next challenge. It’s a relatively simple puzzle game that, of course, gets far more complex as you progress.

Price: $9.99

15. “Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King”

The Switch has one of the best “Legend of Zelda” games of all time in “Breath of the Wild.” It’s a gorgeous, expansive adventure set in a huge open world full of mysteries.

But perhaps you’re looking for something slightly different from your “Legend of Zelda” games? Perhaps you like something a bit more two-dimensional? “Blossom Tales” is exactly that — along the same lines of “Legend of Zelda,” but more “Link to the Past” than “Ocarina of Time.” The bonus here is that “Blossom Tales” was made in the last few years, so it comes with a lot of the modern conveniences that classic Super Nintendo games do not.

Price: $14.99

16. “Super Meat Boy”

“Super Meat Boy” may be the best platforming game ever made.

There’s a sense of feeling to controlling the character that is unmatched — not since Nintendo’s first “Super Mario Bros.” game has platforming moved as far forward. Each level requires mastery of a specific technique, and each subsequent level drives that mastery towards perfection. There are few better ways to spend your gaming time than with “Super Meat Boy.”

Price: $14.99

17. “Crypt of the NecroDancer: Switch Edition”

There are few stranger games available on the Switch than “Crypt of the NecroDancer.”

It’s styled as a retro dungeon crawler, and it kinda is that, but in truth it’s a rhythm-based dungeon crawler that’s extremely pun-heavy. The genre mash-up may sound strange, but it works shockingly well!

Price: $14.99

18. “Enter the Gungeon”

Notably absent from this smattering of genres thus far is the world of “bullet hell” games — “Enter the Gungeon” is exactly that, but with a smattering of dungeon crawling thrown in for good measure.

Like the best modern takes on retro classics, “Enter the Gungeon” takes a traditional genre for a completely new spin by borrowing elements from entirely separate game genres — dungeon crawlers like “Diablo,” in this case.

Price: $14.99

19. “Golf Story”

19. Sidebar Games

“Golf Story” takes the whimsical delight of old-school role-playing games and spins it into an endearing, charming game that’s focused on — yes, of course— golfing.

Don’t worry: “Golf Story” is far from a simulation-style golf game. It’s focused on storytelling and world exploration, like so many RPGs before it, with relatively simplistic golfing as a means to an end. If you’ve ever played an NES or SNES golfing game, you’ll be familiar with the kind of gameplay in “Golf Story.” And even if you haven’t, it’s a cinch to pick up.

Price: $14.99

20. “Gorogoa”

It’s hard to describe “Gorogoa” too much without outright ruining it, so here goes nothing:

“Gorogoa” is a puzzle game with a distinct art style. That art style directly corresponds to how you solve the puzzles. It’s clever, and beautiful, and fascinating — a standout puzzle game and a truly unique gaming experience.

OF NOTE: While the game is a delight to play on the Nintendo Switch, you can get it for $10 less on your iPhone/iPad.

Price: $14.99

21. “Mr. Shifty”

21. Team Shifty

“Mr. Shifty” combines the over-the-top, isometric ultra-violence of “Hotline Miami” with the style of something like “Killer 7.”

If that all sounds like a bunch of gibberish to you, allow me to explain: “Mr. Shifty” is a top-down game where you play a murderer who can shift through space and time. An enemy spots you, and you “shift” through them, to directly behind where they’re standing, and take them out. Still confused? Don’t miss the trailer— this game looks like a real delight, and words don’t do it justice.

Price: $14.99

22. “Octodad: Dadliest Catch”

“Octodad: Dadliest Catch” is one of the most hilarious and downright bizarre video games available.

You play as the octopus patriarch of a pretty typical family of humans. Somehow — somehow— they don’t realize you’re an octopus. That’s the whole point of the game, actually: Continue acting as human as possible in the face of your octopus-based reality. In case it wasn’t already clear, “Octodad: Dadliest Catch” doesn’t take itself super seriously. Much of the game is spent doing relatively mundane, domestic stuff — mowing the lawn, getting groceries — but, ya know, as an octopus. The game’s controls are correspondingly difficult, as you might imagine controlling an octopus to be.

Price: $14.99

23. “Retro City Rampage DX”

Long before the “Grand Theft Auto” series was a sprawling three-dimensional playground, it was a sprawling two dimensional playground that looks similar to what you see above.

“Retro City Rampage DX” is an homage to the roots of “GTA,” albeit set in its own world with its own rules and variety of stuff to do. It’s an open world, and you’re welcome to cause as much mayhem as you’d like — or, you can take on missions and progress through the game’s late ’80s-themed story.

Price: $14.99

24. “Steamworld Dig 2”

Like some of the best games on this list of bangers take inspiration from the past and forge an entirely new path forward. “Steamworld Dig 2” is part of that crème de la crème, merging the exploration of “Dig Dug” with the progression of “Metroid” and the modern artistry of “Braid.”

And all those comparisons, while intended as flattery, fall short. “Steamworld Dig 2” is special in its own way.

Price: $14.99

25. “Axiom Verge”

Nintendo consoles used to be known for games like “Metroid” and “Castlevania” — games that offered deeply challenging experiences, often in sci-fi or fantasy realms. Games like “Axiom Verge” are helping to restore that status.

Like the franchises mentioned above, “Axiom Verge” features a large 2D world that’s unlocked through exploration. It’s got the 16-bit graphics to match the games it pays homage to, yet it evolves many of the concepts that made its predecessors so great. It’s also got the benefit of 30 years of game development history, which means “Axiom Verge” does loads of new things and streamlines the rough edges of the classics it intends to honor.

Price: $19.99

26. “Battle Chef Brigade”

26. Trinket Studios

“Battle Chef Brigade,” like “Steamworld Dig 2” and “Celeste” belongs to a small group of must-play Nintendo Switch games. The goofy and charming Mina acts as the game’s main character — a small town girl trying to become a master chef.

The game’s main thrust, as you might have guessed, is cooking.

Through a quirky match-three minigame, you’ll cook dozens of dishes on your way to the top. Another major thing you’ll do on the way: Talk to a lot of people, many of whom are surprisingly charming and fleshed out. Best of all, “Battle Chef Brigade” is a relatively relaxed game that’s easily played on a Sunday afternoon alongside a friend or partner.

Price: $19.99

27. “Fast RMX”

The futuristic arcade-style racing game “Fast RMX” provides a much-needed alternative to the retro look of so many inexpensive Switch games.

On a console otherwise bereft of high-speed racing games, “Fast RMX” stands out as a great racer that evokes nostalgia for the days of “F-Zero” on the SNES, “Wipeout” on the original PlayStation, and even some light touches of “Mario Kart” thrown in for good measure. It’s also a stark graphical showcase for the notably tiny Switch console.

Price: $19.99

28. “Night in the Woods”

Forget about pixel-perfect leaps and puzzle solving with “Night in the Woods,” a story-driven adventure game starring anthropomorphic animals dealing with the struggles of daily life.

Though there are laughs to be had, “Night in the Woods” is a somewhat dark tale about returning home, and failure, and growing up. It’s also a game with a distinct, memorable art style and loads of great characters.

Price: $19.99

29. “Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus”

29. Bandai-Namco

Unbelievably, across decades of game consoles and changing tastes, the “Pac-Man” franchise endures. With the “Championship Edition” spin-offs, “Pac-Man” evolves into something surreal and fantastical.

It’s “Pac-Man,” but on loads of party drugs.

From its thumping soundtrack to its extreme visual style, there’s a lot to love about the “CE” series. With “Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 Plus,” the game is getting more levels than ever, more new game modes than ever, and even a two-player co-op mode. It plays like “Pac-Man,” yes, but it’s something entirely new.

Price: $19.99

30. “Sonic Mania”

“Sonic Mania” is rife with homage to the long-running “Sonic the Hedgehog” series. Starting with the main title screen and running throughout the game, there are references galore in everything from Sonic’s idle animation to the Eggman/Robotnik-themed levels to the many, many secret areas.

But the game itself isn’t entirely built on homage — “Sonic Mania” is instead a love letter to your nostalgia. It feels like your rose-tinted memories of playing the original games over 20 years ago, though it’s actually a far more modern — and much better — game.

Price: $19.99

31. “Thimbleweed Park”

31. Terrible Toybox, Inc.

The folks behind classics like “Monkey Island” and “Maniac Mansion” made a brand new, old-school adventure game. We’re talking all the way old school, up to and including a text-based menu system for actions.

In so many words: If you’ve ever enjoyed classic adventure games, “Thimbleweed Park” is directly up your alley. Rather than evolving the genre, “Thimbleweed Park” is a throwback in the purest sense: quirky characters, mysteries everywhere, and loads of puzzles.

Price: $19.99

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons you should buy a Nintendo Switch instead of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One in 2018

Article originally posted by businessinsider.

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