The Nintendo Switch has gone from strength to strength since launching in March 2017, backing up its impressive versatility with an incredibly diverse range of titles.
With the release of the handheld-only Switch Lite, Nintendo is betting big on its software library to shift systems.
We’ve put together this list of the seven best titles to play on your Switch Lite, whether you already own one or if there’s one on your Christmas list.
We should note, all Switch games will run on the Switch Lite (except any that require motion controls), but we’ve focused on games that don’t necessarily need to be docked to get the most out of, even with the console’s slightly smaller display - Breath of the Wild, for example, looks great but we’d argue it feels more epic when played on a TV.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield
With the Switch Lite feeling like a distant successor to the Game Boy, there’s something incredibly comforting about playing a full Pokemon RPG on the go on a handheld-only system.
Both Sword and Shield offer a wealth of content for players, and being able to throw the Switch Lite in a bag means it’s easy to crank out a handful of battles when you’ve got 5 minutes of downtime. It’s gaming comfort food, and it just feels right.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
Blizzard’s legendary action-RPG jumped to the Switch without missing a beat, and bludgeoning demons on the go is the primary reason to pick up this port.
By removing the barrier of entry to the much faster-paced Adventure Mode, Diablo 3 lends itself perfectly to playing in bite-sized chunks. Checking a bounty off of your list while you’re on the bus, or getting a fresh new piece of loot on a train journey is such a good feeling, that the hardest part will be tearing yourself away.
Into The Breach
One of the greatest turn-based strategy titles of the last decade, Into The Breach is developer Subset Games follow-up to FTL and tasks players with defending humanity from huge Kaiju-inspired bugs called the Vekt.
It’s the ultimate “one more turn”, where players can pre-empt enemy attacks and undo mistakes once per battle. Each level is procedurally generated, and only ever takes five to ten minutes - making it the ideal way to flex your tactical muscles on the go.
Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate
If you’ve been enjoying Monster Hunter: World (and why wouldn’t you, it’s one of the best games of the generation) and want something to scratch that itch on the go, you can do a lot worse than Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.
This “redux” of the 3DS game offers dozens of online and offline quests, meaning as fun as it can be while playing solo, you can hunt monsters together with friends for even more enjoyment. Its not the prettiest game either, so it feels more at home on the Switch Lite.
Honourable mention: if Monster Hunter is a little on the slow side for your tastes, try God Eater 3 - it offers a similar loop of “kill, craft, kill more” but offers much speedier combat alongside a more anime-inspired plot.
Super Mario Odyssey
Despite being one of the most beautiful Mario games of all time, there’s no denying that Super Mario Odyssey lends itself nicely to portable play.
The Mario 64-inspired open hubs feel like veritable playgrounds, full of nooks and crannies to explore with Mario’s retooled move-set and possession power.
The game revolves around collecting Power Moons, and breaking out the Switch Lite to snag a couple on your lunch break remains a joy even years on from release.
Slay The Spire
What happens when you mix a deck of cards with a turn-based battle system? You get Slay The Spire, a dungeon crawler with a difference. Here, your attacks and abilities are governed by the hand of cards you have, as well as the energy your character has available.
Each defeat sends you to the bottom of the titular spire, but each victory brings a chance at a new card to add to your deck - increasing your attacking repertoire with each encounter. It’s addictive stuff, and ideal for playing handheld.
On paper, Dead Cells sounds like it shouldn’t work - it’s a MetroidVania that eschews the genre’s lavishly planned levels and instead offers procedurally generated areas instead. It also offers randomised loot, meaning no two levels are ever the same - both architecturally and mechanically.
Every death sees our character (a parasitic ball of slime that’s reanimating corpses in an attempt to escape a dingy dungeon) sent back to the start of the game, with some upgrades carrying over between runs. It’s compulsive stuff, and it helps that it’s an incredibly tight action-platformer, too.