In 2024, the Nintendo Switch is the platform to beat for anyone interested in visual novels and their unique blend of storytelling and gameplay. It’s not just because there is a wide selection of titles on the console either; the portability of the Switch means you can take your visual novels on the go with you, so you can enjoy them wherever you are.

If you are just getting into visual novels, visual novels marry gameplay elements with deep storytelling. You’re not just a spectator; you’re part of the story. Your choices matter, affecting relationships and determining the outcome of the narrative. Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure, but with the depth and character development you’d expect from a good book or manga series. The level of interactivity sets visual novels apart. Your decisions don’t just slightly alter the storyline; they can take it in completely different directions, making each playthrough a fresh experience, and this, in short, is what is so compelling about them.

While you can enjoy visual novels on any platform, there’s a reason the Nintendo Switch stands out as the go-to choice in 2024. I’ve experienced visual novels across a variety of consoles, from nostalgic yet still amazing consoles like the PSP and 3DS to contemporary options like PC, PS5, and Switch. While each has its merits, the Switch has ascended to the top of my list, surpassing even the PSP, which was once a staple for this genre.

I’ll elaborate more on why the Switch is currently the best console for visual novels and why it’s a must-have for any visual novel fan below!

Visual Novels on Nintendo Switch
Visual Novels on Nintendo Switch. Credit: Anime Collective

The Nintendo Switch has an extensive library of visual novels

The Switch’s library is unparalleled in terms of its depth and variety. Whether your interests lie in romance, mystery, horror, fantasy, or sci-fi, the console has a robust selection and there’s truly something for everyone, no matter your tastes. What’s particularly noteworthy, though, is the Switch’s extensive library of not only digital copies but physical copies.

With over 130 titles and counting, it outpaces other modern-day consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S and it has the most visual novel titles by far. When it comes to PC, you have a wide variety of titles you can read. When it comes to physical collecting, though, the Nintendo Switch has no competition in 2024. That said, if you like having a physical collection, the Switch stands out as the best option.

Because the Nintendo Switch has such an expansive selection of visual novels, it has become a go-to console for fans, including myself. But among the multitude of releases that have come out over the years, there are some standout titles that are must-haves for any collector. If you’re looking to not only read but also collect visual novels, these visual novels should be at the top of your list for the Nintendo Switch.

I included a list of all of the visual novels that have been released on the Nintendo Switch so far if you’d like to check it out below.

List of Visual Novels on Nintendo Switch

These are all of the visual novels on Nintendo Switch. If there is a link, you can buy a physical copy of the game. If not, the game is only available digitally on the Nintendo Switch. I will be sure to update any that get a physical release in the future.

Clannad Nintendo Switch Import
Clannad Nintendo Switch Import (Japan). Image Credit: Anime Collective

The Nintendo Switch is region-free, so you can shop for imports

Nintendo Switch’s region-free capabilities open up a treasure trove of opportunities for visual novel fans. Imports are especially a game-changer for those of us who love to own physical copies without breaking the bank. Opting for Japan or Asia releases with English support can be a real lifesaver, both in terms of availability and cost, especially when compared to limited print editions from companies like Limited Run Games.

Playasia is my go-to for shopping for Nintendo Switch imports. Just a heads-up, though: always double-check the language filters when you’re browsing. It’s an easy step that ensures you won’t end up with a cartridge you can’t read. It’s a little detail, but it makes a world of difference when you’re building a collection on a budget.

So if you’re a collector like me, or even if you’re new to this whole visual novel scene, be sure to take advantage of the Switch’s region-free options and all of the Nintendo Switch imports that can save you money in comparison to their US counterparts.

It’s portable

The portability of the Nintendo Switch makes it a great option, especially for visual novels. The options span from the cost-effective Switch Lite to the original Switch and even the enhanced OLED model, which is the latest to release. All these devices are built for on-the-go gaming, making them perfect for travel, work breaks, or any scenario where you’d like to read a visual novel when you’re not at home.

If you prefer a larger screen experience, both the original Nintendo Switch and the OLED version offer docking capabilities. Just slide it into the dock, and your TV becomes the new platform for your visual novel adventures. It’s a unique feature that gives the Switch a leg up over other stationary consoles.

It is important to note that the Switch Lite is handheld-only and won’t connect to your TV and it has a smaller screen than the other two. It’s a budget-friendly option that sacrifices some versatility in comparison to the other models but is still a great option nonetheless if you prefer to read your visual novels on handheld consoles.

Whichever model you choose, the Nintendo Switch not only allows you to take your visual novels on the go but also read them wherever you are in your home, even from the comfort of your bed. It’s this kind of flexibility that sets the Nintendo Switch apart as the go-to console for visual novels in 2024.

Switch games hold their value better than other consoles

Another benefit of collecting physical Switch games is that they tend to hold their value in comparison to other consoles, including PlayStation and Xbox. The Switch has a devoted fanbase that keeps demand high for various titles, which works to your advantage if you ever decide to sell a game that didn’t connect with you.

Sites like eBay and Mercari are good places to sell Switch titles, and it’s not uncommon to recover most, if not all, of your initial investment if you decide to sell a game. This is especially true for high-demand genres like visual novels and JRPGs.

Sealed games, of course, fetch a premium, but don’t worry, opened titles on the Switch still hold their value incredibly well. It’s almost like having a safety net, especially if you end up not enjoying a visual novel as much as you originally thought you would.

Where to Shop and Best Visual Novel Deals

Here are the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles and visual novels that you can shop now.

Nintendo Switch Console Deals

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Nintendo Switch has set the gold standard for enjoying visual novels in 2024. It boasts an extensive, diverse library that caters to fans of all genres, from romance and mystery to horror and fantasy. The console’s innate portability allows you to immerse yourself in these rich narratives whether you’re lounging at home or on the move. If you’re a fan of physical copies, the Switch’s region-free feature offers the advantage of less expensive imports with English language support. On top of that, the solid resale value of Switch games makes it a smart choice for us collectors.

Whether you’re new to visual novels or a long-time fan, like me, the Nintendo Switch provides an unparalleled experience that combines convenience, variety, and value and it offers an ever-growing catalog of quality visual novels that you can enjoy.

Looking for recommendations? Check out the best visual novels on Nintendo Switch.