The Best Looking Nintendo Games On Switch in 2024 – SwitchArcade Special

With a lot of discussion now around the Nintendo Switch successor and what everyone would like to see there, I’ve been thinking about the many Nintendo games on the current Switch that look excellent on the hybrid system. During launch year, we saw the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey arrive with ambitious open world games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Since then, Nintendo’s first party output has been excellent almost across the board. Looking back, it has been interesting seeing the best looking Nintendo games each year, across art direction, visuals, and technical prowess.

I decided to put together a list of the best looking Nintendo games on Switch right now, and it has been difficult to narrow it down to just 10. This list includes my picks for the best looking Switch games since the platform debuted back in 2017. Note that this isn’t just about games that run at the best resolution or frame rate, with art direction and more also factoring into how I decide on what games to include. With Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door’s recent release, I felt the time was right to finally get around to this with how gorgeous it is. Only Nintendo-published games are included here, but if you’d like us to do one on the best-looking third party releases, please let us know. As usual, this list is in no particular order.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder ($59.99)

Super Mario Bros. Wonder isn’t just the freshest the 2D Mario games have felt since the SNES days, but it also happens to be a gorgeous and creative game throughout. I haven’t stopped thinking about it after playing it, and it is the first Mario game that hits the same highs as Super Mario Odyssey, also featured in this article, does. If you’ve ever wanted to experience pure creativity and some of the best art direction from Nintendo, look no further.

Splatoon 3 ($59.99)

I thought Splatoon 2 looked excellent on Switch, but Splatoon 3 pushed things quite a bit in its ambition throughout the single player campaign and the DLC which I adore. It also fixed most of my issues with Splatoon 2 making it a much better game overall. Splatoon 3 is another game that excels in its designs and direction, and ends up being one of the best-looking and feeling games on the system. I just hope we eventually get the Splatoon 1 campaign fully redone on Switch in some form. Given how good the Splatoon games look and run in handheld mode on Switch, I can’t wait to see what the team pulls off in the future.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ($59.99)

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 might be one of the most ambitious Nintendo games, but it was not great in handheld mode. I played it for hundreds of hours and kept wishing it looked better, but given it was the first full game for Switch by Monolith Soft, it was understandable. We saw some minor improvements in the standalone DLC, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ended up being a big step up technically. Even the Future Redeemed DLC felt great to play handheld. The Xenoblade Chronicles games have always had gorgeous worlds, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 with characters like Eunie match the excellent designs we saw with the likes of Mythra in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. While I may prefer Xenoblade Chronicles 2 overall when it comes to its music and story, there’s no denying how much better Xenoblade Chronicles 3 looks. I can’t wait to see what we get from Monolith Soft.

Metroid Prime Remastered ($39.99)

Despite being called a remaster, Metroid Prime Remastered felt more like a ground up remake for Nintendo Switch. As my first proper experience with Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime Remastered was a gorgeous and smooth experience throughout when played docked and handheld. It also helps that it is priced lower than other Nintendo games making it an easy entry point if you want to experience this landmark title. I hope we see Metroid Prime 2 and 3 on Switch in some form.

Fire Emblem Engage ($59.99)

When Fire Emblem Engage was first revealed, I refused to believe the game would look as good on the console as it did in the trailer. As much as I love Fire Emblem Three Houses, it had a lot of technical issues. When I got my Collector’s Edition for Fire Emblem Engage, I was floored by how good it looked handheld on my Switch OLED. Fire Emblem Engage looks and runs very well, but I ended up loving the character designs quite a bit more than I expected. It is the most polished Fire Emblem game we’ve gotten on Switch for sure, and I love Mika Pikazo’s designs. I didn’t care much for the DLC, but the base game is excellent. The opening song is already playing in my head right now just thinking about it and…EMBLEM ENGAGE!

Super Mario Odyssey ($59.99)

Back in 2017, I kept telling people that Nintendo’s 5/5 game was actually Super Mario Odyssey and not Breath of the Wild, because I had no complaints with it at all. Revisiting it a few months ago when Super Mario Bros. Wonder released only reminded me of how amazing it was. While it has some technical issues in New Donk City, Super Mario Odyssey is a gorgeous game and my favorite 3D platformer of all time. It feels like a game we will be talking about for ages, and I can’t wait to see what the team works on next.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($59.99)

You might be wondering why I included The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild over Tears of the Kingdom given how much more ambitious the latter is. Looking back at both games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the more polished visual experience despite the absolute craziness possible in Tears of the Kingdom. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has a bit too many minor visual issues that hold it back, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game I look back on more fondly now. It may be a cross generation release, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is basically the best launch title for any current console, and a sublime experience in handheld mode on Switch, especially on the OLED model.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 ($59.99)

When I first played Luigi’s Mansion 3, I was stunned at how good it looked. I still tell most friends who upgrade to the Nintendo Switch OLED model to play this game as soon as they can, because Next Level Games’ art direction and technical prowess on Switch is great. I never got around to playing the DLC much so I can’t comment on it, but the base release of Luigi’s Mansion 3 is absolutely one of the best looking Nintendo games in a long time.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door ($59.99)

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on Nintendo Switch is basically a new game for me because I never played the original. I loved Paper Mario: The Origami King in most ways, and I kept hoping we’d see more of the series playable on Switch. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is gorgeous across the board. My only real complaint is some menus not feeling as responsive. It is unfortunate that it isn’t 60fps like the original, but having not played the original, I can’t comment whether the combat is better or worse here. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is a gorgeous game across the board though when played handheld.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon ($59.99)

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon might be a surprise for some folks here, but I just can’t get over how much of an impression it made on me when I first played it. It oozes creativity and is gorgeous across its environments, character designs, and animation work. While the free demo doesn’t make the best impression with its basic gameplay, the full game is an easy recommendation, and one of PlatinumGames’ best releases in recent times. If you have no interest in buying the game, at least try the free demo to see how you find the visuals.

That’s my list then. If you have a game you think I should’ve included, please let me know in the comments below. It is going to be interesting to see what else Nintendo has in store for the Switch leading into 2025. Writing about these games just makes me want to replay all of them, especially Xenoblade Chronicles 3. As always, thanks for reading!