10 Best Nintendo Switch Remakes Of Classic Games Ranked [All Played]

The Nintendo Switch boasts a huge library of original titles. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom and Super Mario Bros. Wonder are both great examples of new entries in legacy franchises for the Switch, but what about those games of yesteryear that have returned with a fresh coat of paint and are ready to entertain a whole new generation of players?

That’s where these beloved remakes come in; classic titles loved upon their original releases, these games received the remake treatment, delivering modern overhauls to visuals, rerecording memorable tunes, and introducing helpful quality-of-life changes to make them even more enjoyable in the present day.

A distinction to be aware of is that this list only comprises remakes. While titles such as Tomb Raider I-III Remastered and Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection are certainly impressive in their own rights, their status as a ‘remaster’ excludes them from this list.

The following remakes are developed from the ground up for Nintendo’s latest hybrid console and are all available now for a trip down memory lane, with some shiny new graphics that will have you believe this is how your favourite games always looked.

1. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (2024)

Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door On Seb's Switch

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the latest remake to hit the Nintendo Switch and arrives a cool twenty years after the original debuted on the GameCube.

The plot sees Mario arriving in the town of Rogueport, a town notorious for its scoundrels and ruffians (the clue is in the name, I guess), as he attempts to help Princess Peach with a treasure hunt. All is not as it seems though as Princess Peach is strangely absent and Mario learns of a mysterious legend that could lead him into danger and adventure.

While the premise might sound a little tense, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is actually an incredibly light-hearted romp with more jokes per minute than your standard Tim Vine gig. This remaster sees the classic RPG receive a number of improvements with upgraded visuals, a newly-arranged soundtrack and even unlockable sound and art galleries to admire the fine work that went into bringing The Thousand-Year Door to life.

Perhaps the greatest addition in this remake though is the brand-new hidden pipe room in Rogueport that allows players to quickly and easily revisit previously completed areas, and is perfect for those obsessive completionists vying to find every item in the game.

2. Super Mario RPG (2023)

Super Mario RPG (2023) game case

What do you get if you smush Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot with Square-Enix’s genre-defining role-playing game mechanics and sprinkle in a heavy dose of madcap humour that wouldn’t seem out of place in an episode of The Mighty Boosh? The answer, of course, is Super Mario RPG.

Originally released for the SNES back in 1996, Super Mario RPG’s modern makeover repackages the titular plumber’s first turn-based adventure with gorgeous HD graphics, a beautifully rerecorded musical score, and several quality-of-life improvements that bring the dungeon-crawling epic bang-up to date.

The Mushroom Kingdom presented here is stunning, with highly detailed environments and exceptional lighting throughout Super Mario RPG’s thirty-hour adventure. The Bowser botherer isn’t alone in his quest to rid the Kingdom of a giant sentient sword either (yes, really), as he’s joined by loveable characters, both old and new, who are all brilliantly written, with compelling character arcs and unique gameplay mechanics.

I was fortunate enough to review Super Mario RPG for the site and it remains one of the highest-ranked games we’ve covered at Retro Dodo.

3. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2018)

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2018) game case

The Nintendo Switch is no slouch in the platformer department and this next entry on our list of the best remakes on Nintendo Switch is the cherry on top.

Crash Bandicoot first spun his way onto PlayStation back in 1996 as Sony’s exclusive answer to the likes of Mario and Sonic. Developers Naughty Dog introduced the world to the madcap marsupial, his sister Coco, his arch-nemesis Dr. Cortex, and a whole host of loveable characters across three incredible 3D platform games.

Just over twenty years after the fuzzy marsupial first washed up on N. Sanity Beach, Vicarious Visions remade the first three Crash titles for modern platforms, preserving the charm, level design, and challenging jumps while giving Crash and his cohorts the glow-up of a lifetime.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy unites Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped together in a stunning remake that unifies the controls across all three games for the first time, giving players a chance to play as Coco throughout, as well as adding a much-needed autosave function.

This remake also brought new levels and challenges to the table for long-term fans to enjoy, with tricksy platforming across two brand-new levels and a heap of devilish time trials to undertake across every area in the series.

4. Kirby’s Return To Dreamland Deluxe (2023)

Kirby's Return To Dreamland Deluxe (2023) game case

This remake of the 2011 Wii game ballooned onto the Nintendo Switch last year and sees Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Bandana Waddle Dee working together to help a stranded alien called Magolor repair his spaceship so he can return home. Magolor’s predicament leads Kirby and pals to explore a huge variety of worlds and levels from Kirby’s home in Planet Popstar to the far reaches of Another Dimension.

Traversing these 2D side-scrolling levels requires Kirby and chums to take on numerous different ‘copy abilities’ to grant themselves a myriad of special powers. In addition to the copy abilities found in the original game, Return To Dreamland Deluxe features two new ones, Sand and Mecha, that allow Kirby to summon sandstorms and take control of a weaponised mech suit respectively.

Deluxe also gives Magolor his own campaign for the first time which sees the pilot of the Lor Starcutter recovering his lost powers while a brand new area called Merry Magoland appears as a hub for a plethora of fantastic multiplayer games.

Merry Magoland has become one of my go-to places when having friends around for a games night, with mini-games such as Crackity Hack, where players puncture the earth to see who can dig deepest, and Ninja Dojo, a shooting gallery where players launch shurikens at moving targets, proving enduring hits.

5. The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)

links awakening nintendo switch

When I think of remakes on the Switch, The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is the first game I think of. This Grezzo developed 2019 remake takes the 1993 Game Boy original and ditches the classic pixel art in favour of a toyetic art style that sees Link and the inhabitants of Koholint Island presented in a grand diorama to explore.

In terms of gameplay, there’s very little here that deviates from the original game, with the exception of some tweaks to the colour dungeon that first appeared in Link’s Awakening DX and adjustments to the minigames found throughout the island.

The biggest change, apart from the art style of course, is Dampés’ shack, which now offers increased replay value to players by containing its own dungeon builder tools. Players can now design and build their own dungeons using tiles they collect throughout their adventure to create unique challenge rooms to explore with almost unlimited potential.

6. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl (2021)

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond gameplay on a Switch held by Seb

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl came to Nintendo Switch in 2021 as part of the 25th-anniversary celebrations for the pocket monster franchise and see players once again returning to the region of Sinnoh.

Embracing a divisive chibi art style for the remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl nevertheless won a legion of fans both old and new. They set several sales records across the globe upon its release, amassing over fifteen million sales to date.

While some of the remakes on this list offer up a list of additional features and gameplay modes, the remakes of Diamond and Pearl stick faithfully to the original Nintendo DS titles with story and gameplay loyally sticking to what came before.

7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (2021)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 on OLED Switch

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is a solid entrant on my ‘favourite games of all time’ list. I’m sure I’m not alone either, as packing both of these enormously fun sports titles into one stellar package, with bonus content galore and a gluttony of quality-of-life improvements makes this an ‘all timer’ for many.

The Nintendo Switch version, which arrived nine months after the game launched on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, allowed sofa skaters to actually leave their sofas and take Tony Hawk’s death-defying antics on the road using Nintendo’s hybrid console.

These remakes of the first two games in the Tony Hawk’s series actually bring several moves from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and beyond to the table, with the revert and spine transfers allowing for previously impossible combos to become a reality.

Featuring a classic and remastered soundtrack full of the pop-punk sounds of bands like Goldfinger and Billy Talent, THPS 1+2 is as much fun to listen to as it is to play, and with gameplay this tight, that’s a high commendation indeed.

8. Spyro Reignited Trilogy (2019)

Spyro Reignited Trilogy (2019) game case

Another remade compilation from the team at Activision (who also oversaw the Crash and Tony Hawk’s remakes above), Spyro Reignited Trilogy took the winning formula that brought Crash Bandicoot to a modern audience and applied it to Crash’s platforming pal Spyro.

While our brains may convince us that the Reignited Trilogy has always looked incredible, a side-by-side comparison between the Switch version and the PS1 originals shows just how much love and effort the team at Toys For Bob clearly poured into this remake.

Every level has been beautifully redesigned. The previously flat textured grasslands of the opening Stone Hill now see individual blades of grass blowing in the wind, and the deviously twisting ramps of the Tree Tops now offer a beautiful moonlit glow from the skies above. While the gameplay remains almost entirely unchanged, the visual overhaul is truly magically, and suitably befitting of a charming purple dragon.

9. Crisis Core-Final Fantasy VII- Reunion (2022)

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion on White OLED Switch

Final Fantasy VII’s legacy has produced a seemingly endless supply of spin-offs, merchandise, and fan fiction, with enough new content to sustain avid players for years and years. Crisis Core, the 2007 PSP exclusive spin-off title starring pointy-haired Soldier member and all-round heartthrob Zack Fair served as a prequel to the events of the original Final Fantasy, with Zack working his way up the ranks of Soldier and tackling missions with his colleagues, including the legendary swordsman, Sephiroth, who seems like a pretty nice guy…

Reunion is the 2022 remake of the original Crisis Core, bringing the visuals up to HD and introducing brand new 3D models for the characters and within each act. The sumptuous soundtrack of the original receives a beautiful tune-up here too and every piece of dialogue is now fully voiced.

Gameplay gets a massive overhaul too, with gameplay in Reunion bridging the gap between the PSP original and the PlayStation-exclusive Final Fantasy VII: Remake. While the grander Final Fantasy VII Remake project looks set to remain on PlayStation indefinitely, fans of Zack, Cloud, and FF7 can at least enjoy this snippet of the epic RPG saga.

10. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (2023)

Seb holding his Switch with Advance Wars playing

We couldn’t complete this list without some turn-based strategy courtesy of Advance Wars. This remake of the first two titles in the Advance Wars series features the original campaigns remade from the ground up, allowing players to take control of their armies in beautiful HD graphics for the first time.

For anyone new to the series, diving into Re-Boot Camp can feel overwhelming at first thanks to the sheer amount of content on offer here. Thankfully, the campaigns do a great job of helping new recruits find their feet in this beautifully rendered warzone.

Much like Spyro above, the overhaul of the visual fidelity in Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will be the main selling point for returning players, with previously lifeless textures replaced with gorgeously rendered environments throughout. Taking control of your various units and orchestrating the battle scenarios has never looked so good, and thanks to the portability of the Nintendo Switch, virtual Commanding Officers can now take all of that cutesy war with them wherever they go.

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