When you think about it, the Nintendo Switch is a kind of reversed version of the Wii or Wii U, which is a good thing. Because it allows you to take old concepts into the wild, the Switch succeeds where its predecessors failed by almost requiring that games be reinvented to make the most of their unique characteristics. Dark Souls is now available on Netflix! Mario is enjoying himself at the beach! Tetris may be found everywhere!
Since the days of the Game Boy, Nintendo has had a thing for mobility. However, the Switch is distinguished by its great multiplayer accessibility. It was marketed on the implausible promise of friends gathering together in public places crammed around a single television screen.
While that may be on hold for the time being, it will return eventually, and so whether you’re looking for a game for the TV, the commute, one of those impossibly stylish rooftop parties from the launch advertisements, or just for laying in bed at the weekend, we hope you’ll find something you like in our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.
Tetris with a Puyo twist
The combination of two perplexing greats, one austere and angular and the other mushy and sweet, results in a puzzle that is an absolute classic in and of itself. Its innovative design, however, is just part of what makes Puyo Puyo Tetris so entertaining.
This game, more than any other in the early days of the Switch, delivered on the console’s dream: a group of pals, accessible in the world, all huddled around a bit of screen popped up on the table in front of them while four-player mayhem erupted around them.
If you’ve ever been perplexed as to what the stand on the back of the Switch is for, your curiosity is now over. This is for the game Puyo Puyo Tetris.
The Awakening of Link
The vast island of Koholint in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has never looked better than it does on the Nintendo Switch, thanks to its whimsical, toyetic visual design and strangely negative overtones.
The massive island of Koholint has never looked better than it does on the Nintendo Switch. With Link’s shipwrecked adventure on a mysterious island populated by eccentric characters and sprawling cave systems, the Legend of Zelda series has always been considered one of the strongest in the series.
This remake allows new audiences old fans alike to appreciate it on a modern system. However, although it modernizes the old adored Zelda game with a gleaming fresh coat of paint, some fantastic quality of life enhancements and hundreds of hidden treasures, its most significant achievement is maintaining the strange, eerie, and beautiful atmosphere of the original Game Boy game.
The Astral Chain
Astral Chain is the pinnacle of PlatinumGames’ artistic achievement. It has it all: a compelling narrative, extensive character customization options, a diverse range of play styles, and, of course, power-armored robot companions.
The game also has some of the most gratifying, challenging, and fast-paced action you’ll see on the Nintendo Switch to go along with it all. If you’re a fan of previous PlatinumGames titles like Bayonetta, Vanquish, or Nier: Automata, Astral Chain will not disappoint you either.
Super Mario Odyssey
Odyssey is a fantastic, intentionally nonsensical Mario game in which each planet has its outfits and gimmicks, as well as the distinct visual style that distinguishes it from the others. This is a little like going into an estate auction after seeing the sweeping grandeur of Hyrule in Breath of the Wild.
However, as with any jumble sale, there are some fantastic finds to be had: odd planets that sparkle with unique textures and seem to be guided by foreign laws are among the treasures to be found. But it’s Mario’s fantastic feeling of weight and momentum and speed that sets him apart as a platformer that no one else can compete with.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
A slew of companies, including Nintendo, have attempted to replicate the Mario Kart concept since its debut in 1992. Over the years, Nintendo has released several different mutations, variants, and iterations of the game. It wasn’t until Mario Kart 8 that the game matched the brilliance of the SNES original, delivering a work of breathtaking creativity and perfect craftsmanship in the process.
It wasn’t until the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a few years later, however, that Nintendo delivered what is unquestionably the best game in the series to date; not only did it bundle together all of the DLC that had been released for the Wii U version after its initial release, but it also included a fantastic Battle Mode that brought the package together. It’s tantalizingly close to being flawless.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, available on the Nintendo Switch, allows players to experience the best of both *worlds*. Using a comfortable, professional controller, you can battle more than 100 monsters online with pals, but you can also play in person. In addition to the insane amount of material crammed into the game, you may also play as a cute cat and care for alpacas as a side project.
Donkey Kong Country
Retro’s Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is every bit as entertaining and challenging a movie as Rare’s Donkey Kong Country trilogy for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
In addition to an accessible mode featuring Funky Kong, the Switch version of Tropical Freeze maintains all of the white knuckle platforming that made the Wii U version so famous back when it was released in 2014.
Because it has some of the greatest boss battles and most creative challenges in a platformer in the past ten years, as well as a delightful Saturday morning cartoon visual style, it is a must-have for Nintendo Switch owners.
Pokemon Sword & Shield (Pokemon)
Pokemon Sword & Shield is the first game in the mainstream Pokemon series to be released on a home platform – even if it is just by default, given that the Nintendo Switch is both a handheld and a home console.
Aside from the ability to view hundreds of monsters in high definition on your nice big TV, Sword & Shield brought with it a slew of welcome changes, including quality of life improvements, the removal of random encounters, and Gigantamaxing, which was essentially like giving your favorite Pokemon the Stay Puft treatment (without the Puft).
There are two post-launch expansion packs available for purchase: The Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra, which include both new and old Pokemon to add to your collection. It’s also the first game in the series to offer post-launch expansion packs.
Pokemon games have had a busy year: the new Pokemon Snap was launched in April, the casual MOBA Pokemon Unite was released in July, and the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes will be released on November 19, respectively.
Gameplay in Super Smash Bros Ultimate
It doesn’t even matter whether you’re a fan of fighting games or not: Super Smash Bros. is for everyone who has ever fallen in love with video games in general. It’s a crazy, impossibly vast, and brilliantly constructed celebration not just of Nintendo’s illustrious history but also of the whole industry.
The cast is ridiculously large, including everyone from Mario to Metal Gear, the choices are many, and the music is just stunning.
Stardew Valley is a very huge open-ended agricultural simulation game. With fishing, battling, farming, and falling in love, you’ll carve your route across the countryside. Moreover, being able to make use of the Switch’s sleep mode helps alleviate some of the stress associated with not being able to save in the middle of the day, even though there are still a few minor issues in the port that need to be fixed here and there.
Roguelikes aren’t always appealing to everyone, but Hades has managed to win over even those who aren’t very fond of them. It is a brutal and challenging endeavor to fight your way out of the Greek underworld, yet every failure is rewarded in a manner that somehow makes them fascinating in their own right.
However, rather than simply adding up each defeat and moving on to the next, the intermissions between runs bring Hades’ excellent storytelling to the forefront, allowing you to learn more about its endearing characters and grow closer to them – as well as improve the abilities and weapons of the prince of the underworld.
This meaningful combination of advancement and endlessly repeated escape attempts (combined with really great narrative, graphics, and action) makes Hades as delicious as the Ambrosia that is the game’s centerpiece.
The Mario Kart team does for fighting games what it previously accomplished for driving games in a ridiculously colorful, lively, and unique game to the Nintendo Switch platform. Even though Arms delivers on its promise admirably, it has never gained the audience that it deserves. However, you shouldn’t let it deter you from buying up what is still one of the most exciting games on the Switch’s catalog.
Here’s a fighter that’s easy to get into, has a tonne of depth and does it all with a lot of zipping. Not to mention that it has a lot of spring in its arms as your combatants reach into the screen in an enjoyably flexible kind of pugilism. Because the likelihood of a sequel currently seems to be below, make the most of a game that is one-of-a-kind.
Picross has become such an ingrained part of Nintendo’s portable repertoire that it’s easy to forget that it’s even there anymore. It’s easy to believe that they aren’t video games at all – they’re close cousins to sudoku, appearing alongside them in some magazines as nonograms, and they provide the essential pleasure of logic and deduction as their primary attraction.
Despite all of this, it’s easy to lose sight of exactly how excellent the formula is, especially when you realize that you’ve played for a total of *checks playtime* 150 hours over the three editions that have been published so far on the Nintendo Switch. This is one of the best commute-eating puzzlers around, and there aren’t much better than it.
Windjammers is arcade perfection, from the chromed writing of developer Data East to Hiromi Mita’s wraparound mirrored sunglasses. It’s delectable alchemy of Street Fighter and Pong, served up in a beautiful arcade environment.
It is one of the finest local multiplayer games currently available, making it an absolute must-have for the Nintendo Switch. Instead of praying that the bar you’re going to has a well-stocked Neo Geo cabinet in the corner, due to the wonders of contemporary technology, you can challenge someone to a game of Windjammers no matter where you happen to be in the world.
Into the breach
Into the Breach is a tactical game about the world’s most insignificant invasion, and it is a case study in economics. With its small play areas and short match durations, to its minimalist animation, and straightforward unit rules, everything about this game is bright and gleaming and perfectly tailored to its intended audience and purpose.
Even such fundamental aspects, though, may provide a wealth of unexpected rewards, making this one of those games that you can play for days, weeks, or even months without ever feeling like you’ve reached the end of your learning curve.