The Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.

Boss Rush Banter: What Are The Best Nintendo Switch Games to Play in Handheld Mode?

The Nintendo Switch is truly a unique gaming console that gives players unprecedented freedom.

Players have the option of playing the system on their TVs or take the device on the go. Many have their preferences on what is the best way to play the console, but the great part is there is no wrong way. 

There are many, like myself, who enjoy a healthy dose of both handheld and docked modes. That decision comes down to a variety of factors such as situation, allotted time, and family TV usage, to name a few.

While I use the Switch in both forms, I’ve found that I have certain games that I enjoy in handheld more than docked and vice-versa. These are my go-tos when I have to play in either mode and I don’t believe I’m alone in split in my library.

Let’s focus on handheld today. What games do you prefer to play in handheld mode?

The first go-to handheld games, for me, are retro titles. I recently finished Final Fantasy VIII and solely played it in handheld mode. Yes, this was the remastered version, but I preferred the older graphics on a smaller screen. 

I have a similar feelings for other retro titles. SNES, Genesis, and NES titles just feel right in handheld. Even 3D games such as Super Mario 64 or other Nintendo 64 titles fit better in handheld. 

Another group of games I play in handheld tend to be most indie titles. 

Gameplay footage from Hollow Knight.
Image Credit: Team Cherry (via GQ)

Hollow Knight felt right at home in handheld. I even tried it on the TV and it just didn’t feel right. I think the side-scrolling nature just fit the handheld concept better.

Other indie titles that, for me, fit this format include The Last Campfire. The semi-top-down view seems to lend itself better to a handheld experience. I’m sure there are other indie titles that fit this description for other players.

While I try to avoid playing new games in handheld because I enjoy seeing them on the TV, there are a few that I prefer in handheld. One such title is Triangle Strategy

The 2D-HD is such a cool twist on the old format and looks gorgeous. I love playing it in handheld because that style just feels right in a handheld setting. I feel similarly with Octopath Traveler and Live A Live.

There are so many great games that just seem to fit the handheld model. We all have our personal preferences so I know all our lists will be different.

So what about you? What Nintendo Switch titles do you prefer to play in handheld mode? What is it about seeing those games in handheld that you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments below or by heading over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.

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Nintendo Pow Block is Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network’s Nintendo podcast. Each week, Edward, Corey, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk about the week in Nintendo, including news, rumors, new games, questions, and the fan-favorite Snacktendo segment. Check out Nintendo Pow Block Live on Twitch every Monday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern / 5:30 p.m. Pacific or on Podcast Services and YouTube Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. If you enjoy the show, consider leaving us a five star rating on iTunes and Spotify. Thanks for listening to Nintendo Pow Block!

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