When I wrote about the best boomer shooters on Steam Deck last month, the response was amazing, and I had a few people ask why we hadn’t done a similar article for Nintendo Switch boomer shooters. We covered the best FPS games, but when it comes to boomer shooters, there aren’t as many on Switch, but the number keeps growing. With the arrival of one specific enhanced and amazing release this week, the time was right. This list features every single boomer shooter Shaun or myself have played and enjoyed over the years. In addition to new games, I’ve also highlighted revivals, remasters of classics, and more here.
So what is a boomer shooter?
As I said in my Steam Deck list, I grew up playing the classics like DOOM and Wolf 3D, but I missed out on many of the other games in the genre like the Quake series. I consider boomer shooters as first-person shooters designed to feel and look like the cream of the crop from the 90s. Does that mean DOOM or Quake are boomer shooters? Well, that’s a bit complicated, but I am counting them for this feature. If you only played DOOM or Quake before, I know you will love at least a few of the games I’ve highlighted today. This list is in no particular order.
DUSK from David Szymanski, New Blood Interactive, and Andrew Hulshult is a fantastic game that got an amazing Nintendo Switch port. It feels authentic, full of love, has sublime gameplay, an amazing atmosphere, and has a deep respect for the player and the genre. Not only does it have a kickass soundtrack, but it happens to be one of the best shooters in ages, and one that I’d recommend alongside DOOM on any platform. We just need another print run for the physical and for New Blood to bring more games to Switch. Forgive me for using this clip instead of the full Switch trailer, but that one didn’t embed correctly.
Project Warlock ($14.99)
While Project Warlock II is a huge upgrade over the original, I still think Project Warlock is worth playing. It is currently the only entry available on console, but delivers in its retro fast-paced FPS action gameplay across its many dozens of levels. Despite being a tribute to the greats, Project Warlock can stand on its own, and is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre on Switch. The upgrade system deserves a special mention as well.
Warhammer 40k: Boltgun ($21.99)
Warhammer 40k: Boltgun is set in the Warhammer 40k universe, but it is basically a blend of a boomer shooter and modern DOOM. I love the gameplay, aesthetic, and most of the levels, but it sometimes feels like it relies on modern shooters too much. Despite the Warhammer 40k universe setting, Warhammer 40k: Boltgun is approachable by newcomers and just about anyone looking to play a classic shooter with excellent gameplay. I love the weapon sounds, music, and visuals quite a bit. We need DLC or a sequel as soon as possible.
Prodeus from Bounding Box Software and Humble Games is a game I’ve enjoyed on just about every platform now. Not only does it have a gorgeous aesthetic that feels like a modern take on 90s visuals, but it also has music from Andrew Hulshult. Prodeus is like a modern big budget shooter but with retro-styled visuals, and one with cross platform play. Despite it not being as tight in its final part, Prodeus is a joy to play, and an easy recommendation on any platform. This is one of Humble’s best releases by far.
Ion Fury ($24.99)
Do the names 3D Realms or Apogee Software ring a bell? Well Ion Fury from 3D Realms is a great experience that also happens to be a huge technical achievement with how it uses the Build Engine. If you’ve wanted a game that felt like a modern Duke Nukem 3D in all aspects, this is it. Ion Fury is meaty, and I’d recommend watching this technical analysis video on it even if you don’t plan on buying the game. I can’t wait to play the Ion Fury Aftershock DLC whenever it does release on console as well.
Nightmare Reaper ($29.99)
Nightmare Reaper blends classic shooters, looters, and rogue-lites together with a soundtrack from Andrew Hulshult (are you even surprised at this point?). While it has some procedurally generated aspects that might turn some off, I remain impressed with how the developers at Blazing Bit Games managed pulling this blend of genres together to deliver a competent shooter experience with an excellent gameplay loop. Nightmare Reaper is gory, replayable, and memorable. If you have access to Steam, try the demo to see what it feels like as well.
DOOM 1993 ($4.99)
DOOM (1993), the big daddy of them all, was a game I kept hoping would come to Switch. It initially had a bit of a rough launch when it was brought to modern consoles and mobile platforms, but is now in an excellent place with support for multiple level packs, superb gameplay, quality of life features, and more. Seriously..this is the original and sublime DOOM for just $4.99. How do you not own it yet?
DOOM II ($4.99)
DOOM II somehow doesn’t get the respect it deserves from a lot of people. I really love it, and still remember playing it as a kid and getting stuck on a few levels before discovering cheat codes to go through walls. DOOM II is bigger, and while it isn’t better than the original, it remains an essential for fans of the genre. I know including these and Quake in a boomer shooter list is cheating, but me getting you to consider buying these games on Switch or reminding you that these ports exist is a good enough reason to include them. Buy DOOM II.
Quake II ($9.99)
It feels weird to be so into this genre after having never played Quake or Quake II until Nightdive’s remasters. Both Quake and Quake II are superb remasters that are worth buying even if you don’t care about Quake just for the amount of work done to preserve and enhance these games. While Quake II isn’t as good as the first game, the re-release sure is amazing at how much content has been crammed into its low asking price. The madmen even included Quake 64 in Quake II. Both Quake and Quake II are worth your time. If you don’t want to spend on them right now, they are both in Xbox Game Pass as well.
Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition ($19.99)
When I first played Rise of the Triad back in the day, I liked it, but didn’t love it as much as I did Heretic or DOOM. Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition being revealed was interesting because I saw both Nightdive Studio and New Blood Interactive were involved. Before you ask, yes Apogee and Andrew Hulshult are also involved. You can use Andrew Hulshult’s 2013 Rise of the Triad soundtrack in Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition, and this release has done an amazing job of bringing ROTT to modern consoles following its PC release a few months ago. This is like a boomer shooter dream team working on one of the ORGs. A ton of love and care has gone into this release, and I need it to get a physical release soon.
Powerslave Exhumed ($19.99)
When I wrote about boomer shooters on Steam Deck, I mentioned not having enough time to check out Powerslave Exhumed and a few other games in time. I rectified that, and think Powerslave Exhumed is a fascinating release not just because I enjoyed playing it, but also in how modern it can feel thanks to Nightdive’s remaster. This version tries to be the ultimate version of Powerslave (no Rime of the Ancient Mariner to be found though), and it is just a great time despite the slow start.
The boomer shooters I want on Nintendo Switch
This is a bonus for today’s feature, and you know I like doing these bonuses. Having played many great boomer shooters, there are quite a few from here that I’d love on Switch, but the ones I’d love to see arrive sooner than later are:
- Cultic – This one probably will arrive when both parts are out.
- Turbo Overkill – Announced for consoles including Switch, but not dated yet.
- AMID EVIL – Now that the DLC is out, I need it on Switch. Come on, Dave.
- ULTRAKILL – Likely when after it leaves early access.
- Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance of the Slayer – Likely sooner than later given it is already on Xbox consoles.
- Selaco – Probably after it gets its full PC release.
If you made it this far, I hope you found at least one boomer shooter you hadn’t played or didn’t know existed on Nintendo Switch. If you still think of only Doom or Quake, I hope this feature highlights why you need to care about New Blood Interactive, Andrew Hulshult, Nightdive, 3D Realms, and Apogee. I also am looking forward to more games like these that are currently only on PC potentially making their way to Switch in the future. Realms Deep 2023 is a few days away so anything is possible. As usual, if you think I missed something, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always up for discovering new games like these.