Nintendo Switch OLED: 5 games we can’t wait to play on the upgraded handheld

Press image of the Nintendo Switch OLED
(Image credit: Nintendo)
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The Nintendo Switch OLED was announced to more of a whimper than the bang Nintendo was probably looking for. Yet while the Switch OLED seems to offer very little in the way of improvements over the base Switch model, its gorgeous seven-inch OLED screen is not to be underestimated.

Those who do take the plunge, and pick up Nintendo’s updated device this October, will see their Switch games benefit from the best handheld screen since the PlayStation Vita. And the benefits of OLED really can’t be overstated on such a compact display, where that smaller screen should reduce the amount of blurring that could otherwise occur on a larger, less optimized screen.

OLED technology was practically made for a handheld like the Switch. The sharp, contrast-rich image quality offered by OLED looks superb on relatively small screens. Matched with the screen’s ability to turn off unused pixels, resulting in accurate dark blacks, the Switch OLED is likely to present a feast for the eyes in handheld mode.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the Nintendo Switch games we can’t wait to try on the Switch OLED. While some of these Switch games haven’t released yet, others are already visually impressive titles that we can’t wait to see benefit from the Switch OLED’s lusciously sharp display. 

An Inkling fires off a shot from a new crossbow weapon in Splatoon 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Splatoon 3

Back in February 2021, the first Nintendo Direct back after a year-long hiatus closed out with Splatoon 3. While the sequel doesn’t look that much better visually from its predecessors, there’s no denying that Splatoon is still a gorgeous game to behold.

The Nintendo Switch OLED’s sharp-as-a-tack screen is nothing but a win for Splatoon 3, as it will be able to show off the game’s signature clashing of colors more vibrantly than ever before in a portable format.

We’re also looking forward to seeing how Splatoon 3’s wacky single-player worlds look on a compact OLED screen. The series’ level design has always been unpredictable and awash with different colors and themes, and we’re sure Splatoon 3 will be no different. Yes, even with the overall shift to a post-apocalyptic setting (well, even more post-apocalyptic than the series already was, anyway).

Yoshi approaches Mario with a super mushroom in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Saying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is one of the best looking racing games ever made might be a bold claim, but even in the Switch’s handheld mode, the game continues to be a looker four years on from its original release (or seven if we’re going as far back as the Wii U original).

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is already stunning, then, with its widely varied track design covering a veritable smorgasbord of pleasing aesthetics. From malls and airports to haunted houses and a track made entirely of desserts, we can’t wait to see just how much more these courses will pop on that wondrous little OLED screen.

Plus, as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to be a stalwart cash cow for Nintendo, it’s unlikely we’ll see another mainline Mario Kart title for some time. A potential Mario Kart 9 may not even show itself until Nintendo is ready to unveil its next flagship console (which we’re currently dubbing the Nintendo Switch 2). 

So with the mid-gen Switch OLED on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to check out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s gorgeous set of tracks and superlative moment-to-moment gameplay.

A dance party on a tropical island in The Touryst

(Image credit: Shin'en Multimedia)

The Touryst

Shi’nen Multimedia's The Touryst simply wowed us when it was released back in 2019. This semi-open world, voxel-based game placed us in the shoes of a nameless tourist, hopping between numerous islands to solve puzzles and participate in a variety of activities. It’s also one of the most visually striking games we’ve seen in some time, despite its relatively simple look on the surface.

The Touryst is a remarkably vibrant game, and its tropical aesthetic is awash with warm, sun-kissed color palettes. As such, we think the Nintendo Switch OLED’s seven-inch screen will be one of the best ways to experience the game for the first time.

The Touryst is short, clocking in at around five or six hours for full completion, but the game certainly represents a case of quality over quantity, being chock full of little “wow” moments that make each stage of the adventure incredibly memorable.

A look at the bonus Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp game

(Image credit: Spike Chunsoft)

You’d be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Danganronpa, and while the series appears utterly bizarre on the outside, the truth is that Danganronpa is a gleefully dark series of visual novels that mixes a Battle Royale-esque plot and absorbing writing with Ace Attorney style courtroom-based gameplay.

It’s a simple looking series on the surface, but the games’ visual style is really something special. The colorful environments, popping UI and starkly lined character artwork all serve a game that looks basic in trailer footage, but is in actuality quite visually striking. 

The Danganronpa games already looked incredible when they were released on the PlayStation Vita, thanks to that console’s razor-sharp OLED screen, and we imagine this will be the case on the Nintendo Switch OLED, too.

What is worth mentioning, though, is that the Danganronpa series certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, or for those who like a bit more action in their games. The series is deliberately slow-paced, story-focused, and has no shortage of nightmare-inducing deaths. Perhaps not one for the kids, then, but certainly might be a collection worth checking out for older players when it launches on December 3, 2021.

Samus stands ready in Metroid Dread

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Metroid Dread

Announced during Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct, Metroid Dread stunned series fans with a return to a 2D perspective and an injection of Metroid Fusion-style horror. The initial trailer mixed classic Metroid gameplay with chase segments featuring the game’s antagonists, the robotic EMMI units, and wrapped it up with an October 8, 2021 release date. Hey, that’s the same day the Nintendo Switch OLED releases, too.

We can imagine many Metroid Dread copies will be shifted in tandem with Nintendo Switch OLED purchases. Why? Not only do they release on the same day, but a 2D Metroid is a perfect choice for portable gaming.

The fast-paced gameplay is perfect for quick handheld sessions, and the abundance of collectables mean that you’ll discover something new pretty much every time you pick up and play. 

And did we mention that the seven-inch OLED screen will allow the game’s visuals to pop as much as possible, especially with Metroid’s eclectic mix of colorful and pitch-dark environments? Because we weren’t sure if we’d hammered that home enough already.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Writer

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and while relatively fresh to the role, he's been writing in a professional capacity for years. A Media, Writing and Production graduate, Rhys has prior experience creating written content for app developers, IT firms, toy sellers and the main TechRadar site. His true passions, though, lie in video games, TV, audio and home entertainment. When Rhys isn't on the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14, Halo Infinite or Sea of Thieves.