Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #24 Unavowed
- #23 Paradise Killer
- #22 Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir
- #21 Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
- #20 What remains of Edith Finch
- #19 The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
- #18 AI: The Somnium Files
- #17 Thimbleweed Park
- #16 Batman: The Telltale Series
- #15 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
- #14 Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse
- #13 Kathy Rain
- #12 The Darkside Detective
- #11 Deadly Premonition Origins
- #10 Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise
- #9 Kona
- #8 Danganronpa Trilogy
- #7 Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – Deluxe Edition
- #6 The Sinking City
- #5 Life is Strange: True Colors
- #4 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- #3 L.A. Noire
- #2 Disco Elysium
- #1 Return of the Obra Dinn
Nintendo Switch players have been gifted a wide assortment of fantastic video games over the last few years, but you’ll need to put on your detective hat to find the best of the best. We here at Gameranx have compiled a list of the 15 best modern detective games on Nintendo Switch to fulfill all your on-the-go investigation needs. So, grab your magnifying glass and trench coat, and check out these must-play mysteries.
In Unavowed, you are…well, you’re screwed. Sorry.
We say that because in the beginning of the game, you are possessed by a demon, and they straight up ruin your life, to the extent that you make a path of bloodshed that only ends when you meet a group known as the Unavowed. They save you from your fate, and then take you in to help you make a new life as you ensure you stay on the run from the law.
In this game you’ll solve mysterious of the supernatural kind, all the while teaming up with different companions and go through a branching storyline that you’ll want to redo just to see what happens in another path.
So let go of your old life and be ready to embrace the dark new one you have.
#23 Paradise Killer
Paradise Killer is definitely not the game you’re expecting, we promise you that. Because in this game, you’ll find yourself investigating the death of not just a council of unique beings, but that of an entire island! Yes, really.
“Paradise” is an island that is meant to resurrect fallen deities and other entities, but on the day it’s supposed to do the ultimate act of resurrection, it’s “killed” along with the council that governs it.
You are Lady Love Dies (yes, really) and you’re tasked with finding out who did it, why, and what “facts and truths” are all tied to it. Explore the island, build your case, and make sure you can withstand all that is out there. For only you can reveal the truth.
#22 Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir
Here’s a title that recently got a full-on makeover from its days on the original Famicom in Japan. Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir puts you in the role of a amnesiac detective (because of course it does…) who is trying to figure out his own past, all the while figuring out the mystery of a death.
Like many other detective games, you’ll need to look for clues, investigate potential suspects, and then get enough evidence to figure out what is going on.
This series has been rebuilt from the ground up to deliver a truly modern telling of this story. So if you’re interested, try it out!
#21 Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind is actually a prequel to The Missing Heir, and features both a different protagonist, and a different setting.
Because in this title, you’ll play as an up-and-coming female detective who is in a school where a terrible murder has happened. A girl was investigating a ghost story of a girl who often appears behind people, and she dies while investigating.
Now, you’ll take up the challenge of the mystery and try to figure out who did it so that the school, and its students, can breathe freely once again.
This may be an older title, but it has everything you want from a murder mystery, so don’t miss out on it!
#20 What remains of Edith Finch
There are a long line of titles that try and deliver “atmospheric mysteries” in terms of giving you an experience where you both solve a mystery and truly “experience” things at a certain rate in order to get a better grasp on the world as a whole. What Remains of Edith Finch is an example of that kind of game, and has been praised for its take on it.
In the game, you play as…well…Edith Finch, a young girl who is the last of her family, and now, she must go through the Finch mansion in order to learn more about her family, their lives, their deaths, and see all that is to know and understand about what binds them all together.
This is not your typical game, but that’s kind of the point.
#19 The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
While the Ace Attorney saga is well-respected on its own, there have been some spinoffs that have expanded the universe even more. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for example follows the ancestor of Phoenix Wright in some of the earliest days of the law.
In a time where the UK and Japan are trying to become more friendly and expand the reaches of the law, Ryunosuke Naruhodo is brought into a deeply woven web of conspiracies, lies, and dangers as he tries to be a successful lawyer in a nation that doesn’t always look too friendly upon the Japanese.
Battle through court cases with new rules and ways to get evidence and testimony, then figure out the greater darkness that ties two different nations together!
#18 AI: The Somnium Files
Kaname Date is a detective in Tokyo who comes upon a case that is very much not what it seems. A woman has been murdered in grisly fashion, and no sooner does he find the body than he presumably finds the murderer via a young girl with the murder weapon in her hands.
But things aren’t always what they seem, and Detective Date is going to find that out the hard way as he goes and investigates this case and the serial killer that is truly behind it. You’ll explore both the living world and the dream world in order to find clues and explanations to all that is going on.
Do you think you’ll be able to solve the case before everything falls apart?
#17 Thimbleweed Park
Thimbleweed Park puts you in the roles of five very different people who are somehow “drawn” to a mysterious place known indeed as Thimbleweed Park. In it, there are nutcases everywhere, a body under a bridge, and mysteries that will forever connect them together. Your job…is to figure out what it all means.
You can work together to solve it all, or annoy the entire team so that you can try and figure it out yourself. You’ll get to solve puzzles, explore weird places, and witness just how unique this game very much is.
So hop in, and see how this park treats you.
#16 Batman: The Telltale Series
One of the last games by the old TellTale grew, Batman: The Telltale Series puts you in the role of a very different Dark Knight. One who hasn’t been fully molded by his actions and enemies, and doesn’t even fully know his family history as of yet.
The two seasons will put you up against various foes both familiar and not, and you’ll need to be careful with how you choose to go about the story, as your choices will determine the fate of you, your allies, and Gotham City itself.
Do you think you can make it through these dark days of the Dark Knight?
#15 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Yes, the all-time classic visual novel/lawyer game is easily one of the best things on Switch. Not the least of which is that the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy brings the original games from the GBA/DS era and gives them a visual overhaul in order for you to enjoy them in modern times! Each case puts Phoenix Wright and his allies through the ringer as an “unsolvable” crime is put before them and if they fail, their client goes to jail.
Look for all the clues, cross-examine witnesses and put your wits to the test against various prosecutors in order to get the “Not Guilty” verdict you desire! Then when you win, tell them to
#14 Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse
Developer Revolution Software’s Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse is an adventure-puzzle entry that does more than provide an evolving mystery—it finally homes in on what the series does best, too. This time around, players take control of George Stobbart and Nico Collard, engaging in point-and-click gameplay to uncover a conspiracy as old as time. The game’s wit-driven gameplay is only as impressive as its art style, which gives it enough character to set it apart from its predecessors. Add in action and a healthy dose of riddles to solve, and Broken Sword 5 – The Serpent’s Curse quickly postures itself as an impressive Switch mystery.
#13 Kathy Rain
Kathy Rain exploded onto the investigative journalism video game scene in 2016 with a ‘90s setting, a hard-headed hero, and yeah, you guessed it: a mystery to solve. Developer Clifftop games promises a dark and sinister truth to uncover as players hunt for clues as an appropriately edgy protagonist. Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut revved up the title character’s journey again thanks to its Switch release in 2021. This new version offers an extended storyline, more puzzles, and an improved atmosphere all around.
#12 The Darkside Detective
Pixelated point-and-clicks are nothing new, but The Darkside Detective manages to work put a humorous spin on the detective formula. Taking place in the eerie city that is Twin Lakes, developer Spooky Doorway lives up to its name with a story that follows Detective Francis McQueen and a series of his paranormal misadventures. The Darkside Detective is a steal at only $12.99, and if you like what you see, Switch players can jump into The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark for more cases to solve.
#11 Deadly Premonition Origins
Creator Hidetaka Suehiro’s (a.k.a. SWERY) Deadly Premonition never quite achieved critical success when it was released in 2010, but it’s still one of the most important cult classics ever. This third-person survival-horror mystery pulled in fans with its unmatched identity and kept them hooked on FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan’s open-world adventure. Out-of-the-ordinary mechanics, such as sleep and hunger meters, offer a unique experience as players hunt down a murderous raincoat-wearing villain. Deadly Premonition may be an acquired taste, but thanks to the Origins remaster that arrived in 2019, it is truly unlike anything else on Switch.
#10 Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise continues Francis York Morgan’s story with a twist: it’s both a prequel and sequel. SWERY crafted this follow-up just for players on Nintendo Switch, giving them a split story that continues the crazy murder-mystery antics. If you like Deadly Premonition Origins, you’ll almost certainly find something to like in the sequel. Plus, you can skateboard, so what’s not to love?
Kona drops players into a crushing tundra so intense that its darkness and relentless blizzards feel downright claustrophobic. It’s here, in Northern Canada, that players fill the role of Carl Faubert, a private detective tasked with hunting down a local vandalizer. As the investigation begins, however, nature quickly interferes. Developer Parabole created Kona to be the first in a series of four games, promising a thrilling first journey.
#8 Danganronpa Trilogy
Nintendo Switch is home to many fantastic franchises, but few feel at home in the way Danganronpa does. Thanks to a trio of anniversary re-releases—Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Anniversary Edition, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition, and Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition—Switch players can enjoy the trilogy in full. Each title follows high school students trapped in a game of death orchestrated by the series’s iconic teddy-bear antagonist, Monokuma. It’s hard to categorize Danganronpa into a specific genre, so it’s probably best if you just experience these twisted tales for yourself.
#7 Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy – Deluxe Edition
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy was a strong title when it came to Nintendo 3DS in 2017, so it was a nice surprise when the Deluxe Edition brought an enhanced experience to Switch two years later. Serving as an introduction for new main character Katrielle Layton, the original game sees players on a quiz-filled hunt for their missing father, Professor Layton. London dons a beautiful cartoon art style that looks fantastic on Switch, with the Deluxe version beefing up the journey with new puzzles, DLC, and outfits.
#6 The Sinking City
Now, let’s talk about something a bit more sinister. The Sinking City brings Lovecraftian horror to Switch with the submerged city of Oakmont. Developer Frogwares asks players to get knee-deep in an old-fashioned city infested with citizens that have lost their minds to whatever evil has gripped the 1920s town. The Sinking City is dripping with atmosphere, and with multiple endings to uncover thanks to an open investigation system, there is always a reason to return.
#5 Life is Strange: True Colors
Deck Nine took the reins on the Life is Strange series for Life is Strange: True Colors to spin a narrative web about Alex Chen and the unknown cause of her brother’s death. With the power to read and manipulate the emotions of others thanks to a vibrant psychic ability, Alex searches every corner of her small Colorado town for answers. Not only does Life is Strange: True Colors provide its own secrets to unveil, but it also serves as a great way to prepare for Life is Strange: Remastered Collection before it comes to Switch soon.
#4 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
When The Vanishing of Ethan Carter developer The Astronauts launched its narrative-driven marvel in 2014, it blew audiences away with exploration-based walking simulator gameplay and a story worth seeing to the end. The game has players enter the first-person perspective to see through the investigative eyes of Detective Paul Prospero. Even on Switch, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is impressive, visually, and as you’ll soon find out, Ethan Carter’s disappearance is only the beginning.
#3 L.A. Noire
L.A. Noire is exactly what it sounds like: a gritty crime experience set in a 1940s Los Angeles. Clue-gathering, shootouts, and car chases are an intense part of the formula that makes up Rockstar Games’ authentic drama, but the real pull comes from the interrogation mechanics. These pivotal moments see players pressing subjects for vital information. Even more than a decade after its original launch, L.A. Noire’s interrogation sequences are bolstered by facial animation technology that makes every small twitch and blink feel real. It’s an impressive experience made even better on Switch thanks to Joy-Con-specific features that enhance the experience.
#2 Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium isn’t just an important Switch game—it’s one of the most impactful games released in the last decade. This RPG from developer ZA/UM has got it all: an unforgettable art style, a talented voice cast, deep gameplay systems, and even a unique dialogue system to thrust its characters forward. Playing detective in Disco Elysium means not only digging deeper into a world with rich characters and different political ideologies, it means uncovering your own past, too.
#1 Return of the Obra Dinn
When the merchant ship Obra Dinn washes ashore five years after setting sail for London in 1802, its crew is nowhere to be found. Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn is one of only a few gaming experiences that can latch onto your brain and never leave. Every frame of this mysterious marvel looks like it was ripped from a dream, with genuine mysteries that rely on critical thinking to unravel. If you aren’t aware of what Return of the Obra Dinn has in store, it’s probably best you go out and play it for yourself.