The 10 Best Sci-Fi and Space Games on Nintendo Switch in 2023 – SwitchArcade Special Edition

Hello, friends. I’m back again to give you a list of ten somethings. People like lists, people like the number ten, and people definitely like somethings. So what thing is our something this time? Well, look. I’m a guy out here trying to put food on the table. Bethesda’s Starfield is pretty hot right now, and I imagine at least a few Switch owners are looking for some kind of substitute on the Switch that might scratch that galactic itch. And that brings us here! I have gathered ten space-related games, and while none of them are exactly like Starfield, I think you’ll have a good time with whatever you pick from the list. The standard provisos apply: the games are in no particular order, and this list is just my silly opinion. Let’s boldly go!

No Man’s Sky ($59.99)

Okay, I literally just said there is no particular order here, but if you’re going to grab one thing from this list, this is the one. No Man’s Sky is so well-known by this point I almost don’t need to say a thing about it. The rollercoaster story of its development and post-release changes could fill its own article. The important thing is that if you want to scratch your itch for exploring the vast reaches of space on your Switch, you won’t find a better option.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Digital Deluxe Edition ($79.99)

This game is known for all kinds of things, with the Star Fox crossover and the whole “toys to life" aspect being at the forefront. Well, what if I told you there’s actually a really good game behind all of that, especially with this Digital Deluxe version that gives you instant access to the fun stuff without needing to scan a bunch of figures? It’s true! The story is a bit corny, but the action and exploration are legit. You’re limited to one solar system here, the titular Atlas system, but it turns out that’s actually quite a lot of ground to cover. As a bonus, this game regularly goes on sale for an absurdly low price.

The Outer Worlds ($29.99)

Warning: this game is pretty rough on the Switch. If you don’t care about playing on the Switch in particular, you’d have a better experience with this almost anywhere else. With that said, this is probably the closest thing you’re going to get to Starfield on the Switch. The developer also worked on Fallout: New Vegas, and this is in some ways similar to that game. Lots of side quests, plenty of chances to step off the main trail and get into trouble, and some rather solid writing all-up.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw ($29.99)

Remember Freelancer? Or maybe if you’re a bit greyer like me, Wing Commander: Privateer? If you want something vaguely similar to that on your Switch, this is your ticket. Space trading! Space combat! Space… cowboying! Are you Maurice? You could be, if you want to be. It even has some fun radio stations to listen to as you travel across the stars. I’ll level with all of you: until I started doing research for this article, I hadn’t played this one at all. I fell in love with it almost immediately and couldn’t put it down for days. It’s a very good space scoundrel simulator that deserves to be talked about more.

Alien: Isolation ($19.99)

In space, no one can hear you scream. In your room here on Earth, you might have a bit of an issue. On the train or bus… well, be careful when playing Alien: Isolation. This is a genuinely scary game that really does a good job of selling how terrifying the Xenomorphs can be after years of games that treated them like large, stupid dogs. Also scary: how good this Switch port of the game is. It runs like a dream on the system, so you can fully enjoy getting mutilated by a giant space monster because you made too much noise. This is a bit different from everything else on this list, but I’m not going to listen to anyone telling me an Alien game this authentic isn’t “space" enough.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ($14.99)

Knight of the Old Republic is certainly showing its age these days, but as planet-hopping sci-fi adventures go, it’s still a strong one. You get to visit a lot of different places and meet a lot of different characters, all while following a really engaging story that outdoes a good two-thirds or more of the big-budget Star Wars films. You don’t get to do much space exploration in this one, but thanks to the different planets and large variety of weird aliens, it certainly checks off a lot of the desired boxes. Look, I’m giving you an excuse to replay Knights of the Old Republic. Take it.

Everspace – Stellar Edition ($39.99)

Perhaps it’s the deadly cruelty of space you crave. The thought that one mistake is all that stands between you and the cold, uncaring vacuum. Well, you might want to get a puppy or something. But also, you might want to give Everspace a look. If you’ve played FTL, you are probably familiar with the idea of a game where anything can go wrong at any minute. Where your effective use of resources and prioritization of problems is the difference between life and death. Where even if you do everything right, sometimes bad luck will do you in anyway. Add in a really slick presentation and a healthy slice of action combat, and that’s Everspace. You have to admit, the whole roguelike/lite thing fits the theme well.

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock ($29.99)

We’ve got Alien, we’ve got Star Wars, let’s throw another beloved science-fiction IP on the pile. This is a strategy game more than anything, coming off a bit like XCOM but with the epic scope of starship fleet battles. It feels like a tabletop war game in electronic form. You only have so many resources to go around, and you have to be very careful which ships you choose to devote them to and when. You always feel like you’re just barely holding your own against the Cylons, and that adds a lot of tension to the experience. Another off-beat one for this list, I suppose. But it’s one I find a lot of people didn’t realize was on the Switch, so here’s your notice.

Manticore – Galaxy on Fire ($19.99)

Being that this is mainly a mobile gaming site, the Galaxy on Fire franchise might not need any introduction. But introduce it I will! This third game in the series was a bit divisive when it launched on mobile since it moved from a full-on free-roaming space rambler to a more story-focused affair. You’re given a variety of missions to embark on, and once you’ve finished them you can then explore as you like before moving on to the next act. It leans a lot more into combat than some of the games on this list, but I think it hits a relatively good note with what it’s trying to do. Something to consider when you’ve had your fill of the more obvious picks.

Subdivision Infinity DX ($14.99)

Sometimes you don’t want to be bothered with a lot of extra systems and features in your space game. Sometimes you just want to get out there and get in some space dog fights while riding along a pretty interstellar roller coaster. Maybe do a little light space mining and ship upgrading. That’s pretty much what you get with Subdivision Infinity DX. It’s an affordable option, and it’s rather easy to slip into and out of thanks to its mission-based structure. Another one to consider when you need a palate cleanser between games of larger scope.

And that’s the lot! Hopefully you found at least one space game in this list that does it for you. If you have any games of your own to suggest, I encourage you to comment below. These lists are all about sharing and finding new games to play, after all. Thanks for reading!

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