The best Nintendo Switch games give the console a marvelous character. The Nintendo Switch has seen one of the preeminent first-year libraries in gaming history, and more essential games are coming out each month.
The Switch not only has a range of the best first-party games out there, but it also has a well-founded roster of second and third-party games with astonishingly strong ports from previous and current console ranges.
Additionally, it has strong retro and indie games too. Even with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on the supermarket shelves, the Nintendo Switch can hold its own and has the most enthralling console.
If you want to experience the Joy-Con life, then the Nintendo Switch is definitely for you to try. And if you already have a Switch and looking for games to enjoy, here's a list of the best Nintendo Switch games, including role-playing games, strategy games, and much, much more.
As one of the system's standouts in 2020, Hades is a unique take on the roguelike genre. In it, you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from the underworld. Each world is comprised of randomly generated floors, with various creatures and power-ups for you to use as you please.
The cool thing is that, unlike many roguelike games, you don't lose everything when you die. The game rewards you with bits of narrative after each run, meaning that even after death, you still have something to look forward to.
Brawling your way out of the Greek underworld while haphazardly changing your skills and munitions just feels magnificent.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons brought Nintendo fans together during a dark time amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This one was popular, too, as indicated by its 26 million units sold in just under a year, making it one of the fastest-selling Nintendo games ever.
New Horizons is outstanding for many reasons, but one striking feature is that even those who don't typically play games are drawn to it. Paying your debt to a raccoon is a tiny cost to pay for the privilege of relaxing in your own communal life.
Its lighthearted, chill nature is alluring, and Nintendo has certainly given us plenty of reasons to keep checking in, even a few years after launch.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
Pokemon is one of the most adored franchises available on Nintendo platforms, so it's no surprise that Sword and Shield quickly became fan favorites as soon as they launched. Sure, it doesn't do a ton to revolutionize the formula established over 25 years ago, but it's a gorgeous-looking game that is sure to satisfy Pokemon fans. Players are fond of its quality of life improvements, beautiful visuals, and the new Dynamax features introduced.
Travel across large expansions to capture even bigger Pokémon. You'll find yourself playing for hours, and your Pokedex will be filled in no time.
Super Mario Odyssey
If we If we had to pick one word to describe Super Mario Odyssey, it would be joy. This game is happiness wrapped up in a hefty package with endless content, fan service, and callbacks to the series' rich history.
While it plays mostly as you'd expect, its most prominent new feature allows you to take the form of many enemies that surround you, including a giant T-rex! And around halfway through the game, it includes one of the – if not the – best musical numbers that you have to check out.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
We'll be frank, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that shouldn't exist. It is the ultimate display of fan service, featuring over 80 fighters from first and third-party games across Nintendo systems. It has tremendous replayability, with nearly endless unlockables, and is great for casual players and those who wish to learn the game's intricacies.
It also includes a slew of online and local modes, lots of stages, and dozens of hours of music to enjoy. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a celebration of Nintendo and will be remembered for years to come.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has everything a fan of Nintendo may ever need, and it's also faster-paced for even better play.
Super Mario Maker 2
Matching the acclaim of the original Super Mario Maker was likely no easy task, but Nintendo somehow managed to not only meet but exceed expectations with Super Mario Maker 2. It doubles down on all of the fan-favorite mechanics introduced in the first game, with lots of additional quality-of-life improvements and even more to love.
It also comes with lots more assets across various Super Mario games, perfect for Mario fans of any age. This is a game that is hard to put down, whether you spend time creating levels or playing them.
Super Mario Maker 2 has added new skins, new themes, and lots of new devices for making a more experimental and challenging Mario level.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
The Fire Emblem series has been around for over 30 years but only recently began to pick up steam in the West with the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening for 3DS in 2013. In 2019, Fire Emblem: Three Houses came to Nintendo Switch and took its audience by storm, thanks to its clever writing, engaging story, and deep turn-based tactical RPG gameplay.
And although the series had been known for its punishing perma-death mode, Three Houses is friendly to newcomers since it features an easier difficulty that keeps your units around even after they're eliminated on the battlefield.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition
Of course, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn't exclusive to Nintendo Switch, but it's still one of the system's best games. Aside from the fact that witchcraft was almost certainly involved to get a game of this size and scope running on a handheld system, The Witcher 3 is simply one of the greatest RPGs of the past generation.
It has a stunning art style, rich lore, interesting characters, and a gameplay loop that makes it hard to put down. It's the quintessential action RPG that shouldn't be able to run on Nintendo Switch, but we're glad it does.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
It's always a good idea to have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in your back pocket because it's a game that most people can play. You can easily bust it out while you have friends and family over and have a good time without explaining complicated controls or backstories.
But its simplicity also doesn't mean core players can't enjoy it. It has challenging Grand Prix stages that are sure to keep you on your toes, along with lots of unlockables and a surprisingly functional online mode. There's a reason why it's the system's bestselling game, coming in at close to 29 million units sold.
Mario Kart 8 is the most vigorous game in the series so far, and with the elective portability of the Switch, it ranks as a must-have game.
Nintendo is known for iteration, but the Splatoon series is an example of a company with innovation in mind. Splatoon 2 is a competitive online third-person shooter with that quirky Nintendo twist to give it some personality. Instead of shooting your opponents, your goal is to cover the stage with your team's ink, and the team with the most covered turf wins the game.
Throw in a surprisingly deep gear system, catchy music, and a fun single-player mode, and you get one of the best shooters the Nintendo Switch has to offer.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
You probably saw this one coming. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is, put, one of the greatest games – not just on Switch – but of all time. The shift to an open world with less emphasis on the story gives the player a massive amount of freedom to do whatever, whenever, without being locked into a linear path.
This game is revolutionary in the way it handles its physics, meaning if you think you can do something, you probably can. And being able to climb nearly everything in the world makes it so much easier to explore, giving you freedom and serving as an unforgettable experience we wish we could experience for the first time again.
A 2017 non-linear action-adventure (Metroidvania) game, Hollow Knight was designed for explorers. The game centers around the Knight – an insectoid character you control and play the game as. Hollow Knight's intricate, often melancholy lore is probably what makes it so popular. The game isn't linear, so you meet bosses and other insectoids – friendly or otherwise – as you explore different locations in the fallen kingdom of Hallownest.
Each area you explore is more detailed than the last, with the hand-painted aesthetic and the haunting background score ever-ready to take your breath away even as you fight and befriend fellow lost-looking souls.
Initially released only for Windows devices, Stardew Valley was one of the most anticipated Nintendo Switch games of 2017. Interestingly, the game itself is simple. But maybe it's its relaxed nature that makes it so popular. You play the game as a character who has inherited their grandfather's farm after he passes. From that moment on, you spend all your time, you guessed it, farming.
Stardew Valley isn't about intense gameplay or intricate lores. It lets you live the life of a simple, hardworking farmer, raising livestock, planting crops, befriending the townspeople, and leading a happy married life with your wife and children.
Joseph loves Nintendo and horror games. When he's not writing about video games he can usually be found petting his cats and listening to some Progressive Metal. He thinks Meshuggah is tight.