The Nintendo Switch is quickly becoming one of the most successful consoles ever made. not only does it have a brilliant design being both a handheld and a home console, but it also has consistently put out great games. The question, though, with so many great games available on the switch, what should you play.
Today, we will take a look at the top 25 best games available on the Nintendo Switch. As always, keep in mind that this is only my opinion, and if I don’t mention some of your favorite games, make sure to let me know in the comments below. With that said, let’s get right into the list.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
First, I have Dragon Quest Builders 2, which is an often overlooked game. Builders 2 does play very similar to the ever-popular Minecraft but focuses on an actual story. Really, Builders 2 is a legit action JRPG with building mechanics, so you do get the best of both worlds here; because you’re constantly progressing, there are always new things to do and build. Now you can swap Minecraft with Builders 2 if you want, but both are great games in their own right.
Mario + Rabbids
Mario and Rabbids on paper seem like an odd combination, but somehow Nintendo and Ubisoft pulled it off. This is a brilliant and hilarious strategy RPG similar to the X-Com series, and even though Mario is known to be a little bit more simple, Mario and Rabbids have some real depth to it.
Nintendo has always been known for making spin-offs, but Mario and Rabbids are quietly one of the best Nintendo spin-offs ever made. It’s wacky, it’s charming, and it’s also a ton of fun.
Octopath Traveler is the perfect example of why developers should continue making old-school JRPG. Octopath Traveler, from a visual perspective, is absolutely stunning to look at with its final fantasy vi graphics. It somehow took these old-school games and gave them an almost HD modern look to it, but the cool thing here is that it also has an enjoyable turn-based combat system that emphasizes enemy weaknesses.
It also allows you to play as eight unique heroes with their own stories. So there is a lot of content in Octopath Traveler as well. Now, unfortunately, I can’t say every story is great, but it’s still a good game if you like old school JRPG.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi is back once again with his own adventure, and this time it may be his best game yet with Luigi’s Mansion 3.
I actually think Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the most visually pleasing games on the switch. Still, it’s the gameplay that really sucks you in. while it is very similar to ghostbusters in many ways, and it’s not all that challenging taking out the mini ghost, the puzzles and boss encounters are done very well.
It has a nice co-op mode where a friend can play as Luigi, which has his own unique abilities. All in all, I really like Luigi’s Mansion 3 and would highly recommend it.
Divinity Original Sin 2
Divinity Original Sin 2 is one of those games that is so good that you wonder why more people don’t talk about it. I mean, we are talking about one of the best RPGs ever made, and I do mean that.
Its turn-based combat is absolutely brilliant; it has a good story, interesting characters, and a mesmerizing world that you will want to explore. The only issue that it really has is that these games tend to be a bit more niche on consoles. But I’m telling you, if you like RPGs, you should really check out Divinity Original Sin 2.
Splatoon 2 is one of Nintendo’s more interesting releases of the last decade. It really shows Nintendo’s creative side where they took the third person genre and absolutely ran with it. You play a squid people that have the ability to swim in their own color-coordinated ink, which makes for some fun strategic battles. Instead of killing people being the number one priority like other games, you have to focus on taking map control just as much.
It makes for a one of a kind game, and even though I would say its main attraction is its competitive scene. I’m happy to say that it also has a perfect single-player component as well.
The first thing anybody and everybody notices about Cuphead is its old school mickey mouse art style. It looks gorgeous, but that would mean nothing if it wasn’t also fun. Well, luckily, it’s also insanely fun with its run and gun platforming.
It has also shot up sections, but what really stands out to me with Cuphead is its boss encounters. They are so well done, and they have just the right amount of challenge to feel really rewarding when you finally beat your foe. Do keep that in mind, though; this is a tough game so go into Cuphead with that in mind.
Spyro was one of my favorite games growing up on the original PlayStation. So I was thrilled that Activision finally decided to bring back Spyro with all three of the original games getting completely remade.
These are not simple remasters, and even though I do like the original design of Spyro more than the remake, overall, the remake looks fantastic. These are some of the best 3d collect-a-ton platformers ever made, and they’re a lot of fun regardless of age. In my opinion, this is an essential collection to get if you do like 3d platformers.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Speaking of remakes, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is yet another collection of classic games being completely remade. It shocked me how well crash bandicoot’s gameplay holds up all these years later.
There really hasn’t been many platformers made since the crash that plays like this. These games are also extremely challenging, and if you’re looking to complete everything in the Crash Trilogy, you’re going to be playing these games for a very long time. If anything, though, the Crash N.sane Trilogy shows newcomers exactly why these games are held in such high regard decades after the original release.
Dragon Quest XI
Dragon Quest doesn’t just get one spot in this list but two with Dragon Quest XI. This very much is an old school JRPG with modern graphics, and I absolutely love it for this reason.
When most big JRPG have gone more towards being action games, Dragon Quest has stuck to its roots and still plays just as well as it ever did. It has a grand adventure, likable characters, and addictive turn-based combat. Dragon Quest has always been very popular in Japan, but with XI, I think it’s the perfect example of why more people in the west should check this series out.
Now, if you’re looking for more of a hack and slash type game, Bayonetta 1 and 2 might be the way to go. It is a little sexualized, and that throws some people off, but it’s also insanely fun with its fast, frantic, and over-the-top combat. Truly it may be the top of its class.
It’s got a crazy story and fantastic set pieces, but the combat itself is what has truly been perfected. I’m not sure if there is an action game that does it better than Bayonetta.
The Witcher 3
Arguably the best RPG ever made surprisingly made its way over to the switch, The Witcher 3. I was amazed that The Witcher 3 got ported over to the Switch, and I was even more surprised that it runs rather well on the switch.
It may not look as good as some of the other versions of this game, but the fact that you can play The Witcher 3 on a handheld console is simply amazing. The Witcher 3 has a fantastic world to explore. The story is very engaging, where the player has to make meaningful choices, and even the combat is unique and fun.
Again, some sacrifices were made to the visuals to port it to the switch, but it’s absolutely still worth it for any fan of RPGs.
For years 2d platformers have kind of flooded the indie game market, but there is one game that really stands out, Celeste.
It’s a rather simple game on the surface, but its level design and use of tight game mechanics catapult celeste into a tier all on its own. It also has a surprisingly excellent story. That’s not something that you often see in 2d platformers like this, but Celeste does.
It has a somber tone to it with a beautifully written dialogue, and I would say that Celeste is a must-own title. If you have not checked this game out yet, do yourself a favor and do so for whatever reason.
Fire Emblem Three Houses
Nintendo has been knocking it out of the park all generations, and Fire Emblem Three Houses is a perfect example of just that. Fire Emblem has a bit of everything going for it.
The combat itself almost plays out like a chess match with its strategic turn-based combat. You really have to actively out-maneuver your enemies by taking advantage of different terrains.
It also has a social mechanic to it, similar to the persona franchise and an interesting story. That’s the thing, though. You do choose to play as one of three houses hence the name. that means each house will have a different story to tell, making Fire Emblem Three Houses one of the most content heavy games of this generation. It’s also quality content.
When Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Wii back in 2010, it was praised as an all-time great for its story, the cast of characters, expansive world, and fun combat.
Well, all those things were absolutely true, and now you can play the definitive edition on the Nintendo Switch, and it’s even better now. First off, this is not just a simple HD remaster but rather more of a remake; it looks so much better on the switch, and to top it off, it adds a major expansion with a new chapter.
Not just a little bit of new content either, but instead, it’s an extra 10 to 20 hours of gameplay. Now I do want to mention Xenoblade 2 because that game also deserves to be on this list. It has a completely different story with new characters, but really this spot belongs to both, though I do like the first one just a bit more.
Donkey Kong Country
When rare left Nintendo for Xbox, there was a pretty major gap to fill. Rare made some fantastic games for Nintendo in the 90s, one being Donkey Kong Country, which is probably my all-time favorite 2d platformers.
I love those games, but Retro Games thankfully brought the franchise back, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze continues on the originals’ brilliance. They do feel a bit different, but not in a bad way.
It has the same type of platforming, fun boss encounters, and those lovable animal buddies that change up the gameplay and how you approach the level. For that matter, each character you play has its own unique abilities. With that said, I do want to shout out to Yooka-Laylee in the impossible lair because I think it also deserves to be in this spot, and both play very similarly.
Zelda Link’s Awakening
Personally, I’ve always preferred the 2d Zelda Games, and Link’s Awakening is an extraordinary game in the Zelda franchise. It’s so odd but charming at the same time.
There is some mystery to the world of link’s awakening, and the story will really have you mesmerized by the end, but its gameplay is also fantastic. In contrast, it doesn’t have a huge world or anything like that. It’s very dense, and the puzzles are absolutely magnificent. It is an odd game but something that will stick in your mind for years to come.
Platinum Games has done it once again with the Nintendo switch exclusive Astral Chain. I honestly think that this may be the best-looking game on the Switch, and it really pops off-screen with its neon colors, but it’s the combat that you’ll fall in love with.
You do play as two separate characters at once as you control an alien-like creature. As they’re called, these lesions can be changed at any time, giving you different abilities and messes together extremely well. My only real complaint with this game is that it does have a silent protagonist because it has such a good story I would have liked for a voiced character.
Ori and The Will of The Wisps
Interestingly, Xbox has been one of the best publishers on the Nintendo Switch, but it is true. They have put some pretty great games on the switch, but none are better than Ori and The Will of The Wisps.
I truly do believe this is possibly the best Metroidvania stall game ever made. It has an emotionally driven story, a beautiful world; the combat is a lot of fun, but it truly excels at its platforming. It even has these escape-like sequences where it really puts your platforming skills to the test, and this game is a true masterpiece. I would also recommend Hollow Knight and Ori in The Blind Forest.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing New Horizons has been a breakout hit for the Nintendo switch. I don’t think anybody saw this kind of success coming, but new horizons have quickly become one of the most successful games ever made, topping 20 million units sold worldwide, and this is for a good reason.
It’s a relaxing and zen experience where you go to an island and create your own paradise. It’s kind of hard to explain why this game is so good, but it’s a non-linear social sim, and you’ll quickly find out that it’s extremely addictive as you log on each day to advance your own little paradise further.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
Pokemon certainly hold an extraordinary place in my heart as pokemon was my childhood. Somehow though Nintendo has maintained pokemon’s magical world with new monsters to catch and evolve, new features and adventures to partake in. well sword and shield is the newest mainline adventure, and while it did release to a bit of controversy, I ultimately think it turned out to be a great pokemon experience.
It plays very similarly to past entries, but the introduction to wild areas is where this game truly shines. It brings back those child-like dreams where you can actually see pokemon walk around a huge world. They’ve also added plenty of new content with its expansions, and it’s easy to see why pokemon is still so beloved all these years later.
Mario Kart 8
Racing games may not be as big as what they once were unless maybe we’re talking about Mario kart. This is just a franchise that everybody seems to love even if they don’t like games, and that’s hard to do and exactly why Mario kart 8 is an essential game for the switch
Sure the races are pure chaos, and blue shells are still as annoying as they ever were, but it’s always a blast to play, whether by yourself, competitively online, or with friends and family gathered around a tv; it’s just simply fun.
Zelda Breath of The Wild
Zelda Breath of The Wild was actually a launch title for the Nintendo Switch, but it remains one of the best Nintendo Switch games available even years later.
It takes a big open world and sets you free to explore in the way you want. That means there is no exact direct path and how you complete it. It also helps to have a fun world to explore with plenty to do, including climbing, selling, cooking, and completing dungeons. The combat is also pretty good and probably the best in the Zelda franchise, but if you’ve heard the hype around a breath of the wild, believe it, it really is a great game.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super smash bros. Ultimate isn’t an impossibly great game. It’s like one huge tribute to gaming history where you play some of the most beloved mascots ever made.
I mean, you can play as a cloud from final fantasy, banjo Kazooie, Mario, Pikachu, Ryu from street fighter, and the list goes on and on. It’s insane what Nintendo has done with this game, and really there isn’t a game that plays quite like it. We have seen clones but not nearly as good as smash brothers. It may be easy to jump into, but it’s also got a lot of depth. Without a doubt, smash bros. Ultimate is one of the best fighting games ever made.
And the best spot goes to none other than Nintendo’s very own mascot, Mario. Now I couldn’t just choose one Mario game, though, because there are so many great Mario platformers.
My favorite is Mario odyssey, which I consider to be one of the all-time great 3d collect-a-thon platformers. Still, there are plenty of others, including Mario maker 2, the new super Mario bros deluxe, and even the Mario 3d collection. Sadly that last one is limited, but they are all great games in their own right, and you really can’t go wrong with any of the Mario platformers.
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