Have a Nintendo Switch and don’t know what to play? Or maybe you’re wanting to buy one but are looking to see if it’s worth it? These are the top 10 best Nintendo Switch games to date.
Released in March of 2017, Nintendo’s home-handheld console hybrid offers thousands of games for all types of playstyles. But with such an expansive library, it can be overwhelming when deciding what to play.
The following is a list of the best Switch titles of all time, as of December 2021. Whether you’re a veteran player or are new to the system, there will be something for you to sink your teeth into here.
Best Nintendo Switch games you need to play
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild is the first truly open-world Zelda title. It is set at the end of the series’ timeline, 100 years after the world fell into despair.
Like other games in the franchise, you play as Link, who is tasked with saving Princess Zelda from evil. There’s barely a linear path, meaning players can complete it at their own pace.
The world of Hyrule is littered with various monsters, mini-dungeons called Shrines, boss battles, and more. And you even get a paraglider to explore with! It’s got a score of 97 on Metacritic for a reason – it definitely shouldn’t be missed out on. If you take one game away from this list, let it be this.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ultimate is the definitive Smash game and is something that long-time fans and newcomers interested in fighting games should check out.
There are 89 playable fighters, including Mario, Link, and Jigglypuff; most are available in-game, but some you will need to pay for if you want to play as them. Each character has their own unique fighting style and moves, and you can either hash it out against NPCs or local or online with other players.
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You battle in various stages, and can even make your own that you can share with fans around the world. It’s also a fantastic party game – Smash family Christmas tournament, anyone?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Horizons whisks players off to a deserted island where they must build it from the ground up to become the ultimate destination. You earn Bells by partaking in fishing, catching bugs, selling fruit, and more.
There’s a museum you can donate your catches to, a clothing store, mystery island tours, and more. You can also upgrade your house to have more space and rooms, which you can decorate with furniture.
You also live with up to 10 villagers who you can befriend. Animal Crossing is a very chilled-out game so if you’re looking to relax, it’s the perfect way to unwind.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
Sword & Shield is the eighth Generation in the Pokemon franchise. It is set in the Galar region, which is loosely based on the United Kingdom. You choose between three starters: Grookey, Sobble, and Scorbunny.
Your goal is to defeat all eight Gym Leaders in the Galar League and defeat Leon, the current Champion. You are also tasked with filling up the region’s Pokedex along the way by seeing and catching Pokemon.
It’s something that no Pokemon fan should miss out on, especially if you like catching and battling. There’s also the optional paid DLC: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, which expand the region.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart’s eighth entry is the ultimate party game. You play as characters from both Super Mario and other Nintendo series’ as you race it out to win Cups.
You can customize your kart to fit the racetrack, and you unlock more characters the more you play. You also don’t have to play with other people – there’s a single-player mode too.
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Just be warned that if you do play with friends and family, it may cause a friendly rivalry or two.
Super Mario Odyssey
If you liked Super Mario Sunshine or the Galaxy games, you are going to love Super Mario Odyssey. It feels very much like a classic 3D title, but with a new feature: Cappy.
The Italian plumber uses his hat to navigate through multiple Kingdoms to save Princess Peach, who has been snatched away by Bowser and is forced to marry him. You can capture and control various enemies with it to solve puzzles, and it can even help you reach usually-inaccessible places.
You collect Power Moons along the way to power your ship, much like Power Stars in previous entries in the series. It is one of the best Mario games of all time and should not be missed.
While Mojang’s beloved title made its debut on PC, there’s something special about playing it portable on Nintendo Switch. The worlds you build are at your fingertips – quite literally.
If you’ve not played Minecraft before, it is a sandbox title that uses blocks to build whatever you want. You collect materials from around your world to turn into building blocks and from there, the possibilities are endless!
The Switch version comes with the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack which includes skins from the franchise like Mario, Peach, and Donkey Kong, and there are also some worlds too.
Much like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Stardew Valley is a chill game. You are tasked with managing your grandfather’s farm in Pelican Town after he passed away. It is an absolute mess at first, so you need to work on cleaning it up.
You do typical farm stuff like growing crops and raising animals, and you can go fishing, mining, and adventuring to other locations like a desert. There are also side quests, and you can even get married and have a child.
While there is a story, you take it at your own pace so there’s no rush. It really is the ultimate relaxation game.
After 20 years, Metroid has finally returned to its roots with an original 2D sequel to 2002’s Fusion. Metroid Dread is not only a return to form, but a modernized revival that brings the series to new heights.
Samus Aran’s latest adventure on ZDR will leave you on the edge of your seat with its thrilling story and incredible mix of gameplay and exploration. Not only does this game have some of the series’ most challenging boss battles, but discovering the map is now a heart-pounding experience with the new E.M.M.I. boss stalking you around every corner.
Dread isn’t just redemption for a series that has been dormant for far too long, but an example of why the Metroid is the best in the genre. It’s also very accessible for new players too.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
If you love JRPGs, especially open-world ones, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of the best in the genre available on the Nintendo Switch. And the best part? You don’t need to have played the first as it’s a completely separate entity.
The story follows Rex as he goes on a journey to reach Elysium, a fabled paradise that is said to be atop the World Tree in the center of Alrest, the game’s world. Along the way, he finds the Legendary Aegis blade which houses Pyra, the female protagonist.
You fight with Blades, which you can level up. It has an active battle system, so fights are fluid and fast-paced, and mechanics can seem overwhelming at first but once you’ve nailed them, it’s one of the best JRPGs of all time, not just on the Switch. And if you like it, there’s also DLC.