The 10 Best Run-And-Gun Games for Nintendo Switch in 2024

The year 2024 is a rare one, because it is a year with a brand-new Contra game. Contra: Operation Galuga might be the freshest face on the block when it comes to Nintendo Switch run-and-gun action games, but it’s hardly fighting that war alone. Indeed, there are quite a lot of games in this genre on the Nintendo eShop. Enough for one or two or even three lists, but today what I have for you is one. One list of ten games. These are just some of my favorites in the genre, and I’m presenting them in no particular order. I also plan to cheat with no fewer than two picks, so please brace yourselves for that.

Contra Anniversary Collection ($19.99)

First cheat, but one I must surely be allowed to indulge in. The run-and-gun genre existed before Contra and it likely would have become popular without it, but it sure wouldn’t have been the same. This set, unlike its Castlevania counterpart, is more or less complete up to the end of the 16-bit generation. You get the arcade games, you get the home games, and the only thing you don’t get is the Game Boy port of Contra III. Every single game in this collection rocks.

ACA NEOGEO Metal Slug 3 ($7.99)

While we’re checking off important works in the genre, we have to make some room for Metal Slug. Outside of Contra it’s probably the most popular run-and-gun franchise, and it’s easy to see why. The gameplay is tight, the bosses are bombastic, and it just oozes charm from every pore. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the Metal Slug games, but my favorite is Metal Slug 3. It’s excessive to almost every degree, and I can’t help but love that.

Blazing Chrome ($16.99)

There are a fair number of games that openly homage Contra, but the passion those games have rarely matches up to the quality. Blazing Chrome is an exception to that, because this game is excellent. It has all of the things you’d want to see in a game of this genre, with blistering action, an excellent presentation, and a stiff level of challenge that is still fully manageable. If you love Contra, you should check out Blazing Chrome.

Cuphead ($19.99)

Okay, right. I can’t exactly do a list like this and leave Cuphead off, even though you do a whole lot more gunning than running in this one. Indeed, it’s the boss fights that take center stage here, with the relatively few stages doing little aside from softening you up before the main event. Those bosses are genuinely incredible though, with multiple phases and interesting patterns to learn. The game is also as stylish as all get-out, marking Cuphead as a truly distinctive entry into the genre in every way. Just be ready for a challenge, because this one doesn’t mess around.

Huntdown ($19.99)

Well, let’s change the pace a little bit. Huntdown certainly has its eye on the 1980s, but that’s more an aesthetic choice than a gameplay one. This cyberpunk action game takes you through twenty neon-drenched stages, each one culminating in a vicious battle with a gang boss. Take them out, collect your bounty, and move on to the next one. An outstanding game, and another must-have run-and-gun action game. It also might be the coolest game on this list, and that’s saying something.

Kero Blaster ($9.99)

I will never miss an opportunity to recommend this game, and it fits here pretty much perfectly. This is another game that just sort of does its own thing, but it does it really well. You’re a frog who works at a very unusual janitorial service, and your jobs will take you across several treacherous environments. This one comes from the creator of Cave Story, and it sports all the charm of that game and then some. You’ll definitely get your money and time’s worth out of this one.

SEGA Genesis Classics ($29.99)

A-ha! My second cheat pick. Dastardly of me, I know. This is primarily here for two games: Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier. This collection has a little lag that can make these games a bit tougher, but they’re still worth playing even with that taken into account. When you’ve had your fill of those, you can also enjoy a pair of Vectorman games and some Shinobi games. There are also some games that aren’t run-and-guns (or run-and-shurikens) in here that you might want to play. The priciest pick in this list, but the bang for your buck is strong.

Mechstermination Force ($11.99)

The maker of Gunman Clive knows a thing or two about shooting action, and just as those games paid excellent homage to Mega Man, so too does Mechstermination Force tip its hat to Contra. You get some truly epic boss battles in this game, and I’m sure you’ve picked up by now that I tend to get pulled in when games have a strong showing in that regard. Its vibrant visuals and high energy add to the fun, and who doesn’t love taking apart huge robots? There are a few rough edges on this one, but the good handily outweighs the bad.

Super Cyborg ($6.99)

There are no bones about it, this game has Super C on its mind. It’s probably a little too close at times, in fact. But it nails what it’s going for, and it’s a great value-priced pick for someone that wants to play something new that is similar to the NES Contra games. I don’t have too much to add here, but if you want some cheap run-and-gun thrills, this game has you covered.

Elevator Action -Returns- S-Tribute ($14.99)

The name Elevator Action likely conjures up memories of the hit arcade original game if anything at all, and that is indeed a fine action game. I’m not sure I would call it a run-and-gun game, however. Elevator Action Returns, on the other hand? This is some superb run-and-gun fun, taking the original as a basis and blowing it all up into a distinctive and satisfying arcade action affair. This version is the SEGA Saturn port, and unlike some other Saturn games on Switch it runs more than well enough for our purposes. Don’t miss it!

And that’s the bunch. What are your favorite run-and-gun games on the Nintendo Switch? Did we miss any of the games you love with this list? I strongly encourage you to head down to the comments and share your favorites so we can all find more fun games to play. That’s the whole point of this exercise, after all. Thanks for reading!

Post a Comment