I always enjoy writing about Nintendo Switch ports of existing games because I love seeing developers work within the Switch’s hardware constraints to deliver excellent experiences that people can play on the go or at home. This year has seen some of my favorite PS4 games of all time hit Switch alongside a few surprises. This feature will highlight the best ports and re-releases of 2022 on Nintendo Switch. This list is in no particular order.
NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition
NieR:Automata still sometimes feels like a dream with how good it ended up being. It is PlatinumGames’ most successful game ever, and remains one of the best games ever. It had technical issues across both PS4 and PC when it launched back in 2017, so I never expected it to come to Switch before we had a successor to the hybrid system. Square Enix had another idea in mind clearly, because NieR:Automata arrived on Switch with a brilliant conversion and exclusive cosmetics. While the frame rate target is half of other platforms, it looks great docked and handheld despite the visual cutbacks. Square Enix also launched NieR:Automata at a budget price on Switch making it one of the easiest recommendations of 2022.
Just like NieR Automata, No Man’s Sky is a game that struggled on PS4. While it is in a much better place on all platforms now than at launch, I never thought I’d ever see No Man’s Sky on Switch. Hello Games proved me wrong, and No Man’s Sky is one of the best Switch ports ever. It has obvious compromises, but is shockingly good. It arrived with a plethora of free content updates and enhancements as well. I just hope it eventually gets multiplayer support. Even in its current state, No Man’s Sky is mindblowing on Switch.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
I adored 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim on PS4, but always hoped it would’ve shipped on PS Vita. It was my game of the year when it hit PS4, and it got a brilliant Switch version a few months ago that shines on the OLED screen. While other games in this article have seen some cutbacks, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is perfect on Switch and the best way to play it right now. If you enjoy sci-fi stories and great characters, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an easy recommendation on Switch.
Portal Companion Collection
Given that Portal and Portal 2 never saw console versions or anything after the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, I didn’t expect them to both hit Nintendo Switch at a low asking price with such amazing conversions. The Portal Companion Collection is the best way to play both Portal games on a console right now, and the fact that they remain two of the greatest puzzle games ever definitely helps make this an easy recommendation. Out of all of Valve’s games, the Portal releases are the only ones I would’ve wanted to play on Switch and I’m glad that happened in 2022.
Falcom games on Switch have seen conversions of varying quality. Games like Ys IX were dramatically downgraded compared to other platforms while Trails of Cold Steel III and IV still delivered comparable experiences. With The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero, the Switch version is actually the best console version of the game with massive visual and feature improvements over the PS4 version. I played it on both Switch and Steam Deck, but the Switch version is my favorite way to experience The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero today.
Square Enix’s Tactics Ogre: Reborn on Nintendo Switch is basically perfect. It brings the complete Tactics Ogre experience to Switch with many improvements, but the developers went above and beyond to make it feel like it was built for Switch from the start. It has great HD Rumble and looks crisp while running brilliantly on Switch both docked and handheld. If you’ve ever wanted to check this game out, the Switch version is essential.
Persona 5 Royal on Nintendo Switch is the complete game with almost all prior paid and free DLC included from the start. Persona 5 on Switch was a joke for so long, but Atlus finally delivered this October. While it isn’t as nice as the other versions visually, it shines on the OLED display with its striking and colorful aesthetic. If you want Persona 5 Royal on a portable, this is a great way to experience it.
Calling Live A Live a port is underselling it, but this is a new version of an older game. Live A Live got the Octopath Traveler treatment from Team Asano at Square Enix. The full remake with HD 2D visuals also sees Live A Live release outside Japan for the first time. This also happens to have one of Yoko Shimomura’s best soundtracks and is a fantastic JRPG. I hope we see more Square Enix classics brought to Switch like this.
I wasn’t initially sold on Roll7’s new aesthetic for the OlliOlli series. I adored the first two games on PS Vita a long time ago, and felt like the new visual style for OlliOlli World didn’t hit. Thankfully, having now played it on every platform, I adore OlliOlli World. I also love that the team put in the effort to deliver a brilliant version of the game for Nintendo Switch that runs well for the most part, and also looks good handheld. With all of its DLC out now, OlliOlli World on Nintendo Switch is a joy to play.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is one of the more interesting Switch ports in recent years. The game on all consoles and PC was capped at 30fps. The PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC versions were patched with a 60fps mode, but it was clearly designed for 30fps. Barring the frame rate, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles was one of the best looking anime games ever. When a Switch version was announced, I was skeptical of how it would look. CyberConnect2 and Sega put in the work to deliver one of the best looking anime games on Switch with Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles earlier this year. It is an easy recommendation for fans of arena brawlers and anime games on Switch.
While some people keep clamoring for a Switch Pro/successor, it is great seeing so many publishers and developers invest into quality ports and remasters for Nintendo Switch. I’m looking forward to the many ports we will get in 2023 including Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden arriving in a few weeks. What do you want to see in 2023 and what were your favorite releases on Switch this year?