The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Games
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in October of 2017. The success of a video game console hinges on the quality of its games and the Nintendo Switch has one of the best catalogs on the market. Whether a brand new title or the latest entry in one of the company's many timeless franchises, each of these are all incredibly enjoyable selections for gamers of all ages, regardless if you're playing alone or challenging your friends. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 02, 2020:
Once again, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes the number one spot. The game is just a masterpiece and it might not be until the sequel that it gets displaced. That being said, hot on its heels is Mario Odyssey, another near-perfect game. It just doesn't have the same weight, the same sense of awe as BotW.
Most of these titles are new to the list and that's mainly because so many incredible games have come out for the Switch in the past year or so. The list is still Mario heavy and to diversify it a little bit, we wanted to shed light on some of the amazing indie games that are now for Switch. Celeste for Switch and Hollow Knight are games that differ greatly from the rest on the list. They tell mature stories that kids can still find relatable. They're also pretty hard in contrast with some of the other selections.
We did wish to put one adult-oriented title on the list as, even though some are harder than others, they are mostly kid friendly. Divinity: Original Sin 2-Definite Edition is a difficult, dark RPG that tells a riveting story and features complex gameplay. Other RPGs such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Skyrim were considered, but they have been long regarded as some of the greatest games of all time and DOS2 doesn't have the same kind of name recognition. Though, it should.
All in all, the most difficult part of building this list was finding things to be critical about as each of these games is amazing and absolutely worth checking out.
If you enjoyed this list, be sure to take a look at our list of Best PS4 Games.
February 26, 2019:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild held the top spot again, and it's going to take an impressive outing indeed to knock it from its perch. While multiple games fell off the list in this year's edition, that was through no fault of their own — there were simply several new fantastic titles released. For example, while we still love The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, we had to make room on the list for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Similarly, Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!, Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, and Diablo 3 Eternal Collection all made their debuts, which meant that a few of our old favorites — including Snipperclips - Cut It Out, Together! and Lego City Undercover — had to go. The top of the list may feel a little Mario-heavy, but it's clear that the manufacturer spends the bulk of their time and effort perfecting that line of games, and it shows. Still, anyone who's tired of Luigi, Yoshi, and friends can find plenty of other fantastic titles that avoid even so much as a mention of them.
Pokemon Sword and Shield The latest installments of the beloved franchise feature are updated and improved in almost every way. From the graphics to the gameplay, these are fantastic games to add to your collection, whether a longtime fan or are training your very first Pokemon. amazon.com
Nintendo Saves The Day
However, games stagnated in the mid-eighties, due to a wide variety of consoles, an over-saturation of mediocre titles, and the advent of personal computers.
Nintendo didn't invent video games, but it is one of the most recognizable names in the field. The first video games were iconic blockbusters like Tic-Tac-Toe and Moon Landing. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Atari 2600 picked up where Ralph Baer's failed Magnavox Odyssey left off, introducing countless households to the joys of Pong.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the industry saw several years of unprecedented growth as arcades flourished and a golden age got underway. However, games stagnated in the mid-eighties, due to a wide variety of consoles, an over-saturation of mediocre titles, and the advent of personal computers. Sales dropped sharply for a few years until 1985, when things changed in a very big way.
When Nintendo single-handedly rewrote the video game industry that year, it was after nearly a century as a toy company with a few interesting side projects. Actually, the list of the company's investments is pretty bizarre: taxis, instant rice, a love hotel chain, and a TV network, before jumping into electronics by purchasing the Japanese rights to sell the Odyssey console. Soon after, Nintendo produced a knockoff of the wildly popular game Breakout, and a 1987 console dedicated to the game was their first foray into the hardware sector.
In order to earn its place as the Big N, the company first had to save the industry from poor sales and unplayable games with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which heralded the birth of mainstream gaming. No longer were lights, sounds, and 16-bit graphics limited to eggheads in workshops. Nintendo drove home the unit's accessibility with country-wide tours of college campuses and city centers to elevate the best Super Mario Bros. players alive. They followed up with the genre-defining Game Boy, further cementing the company's legacy, and the follow-up console to the NES, the Super NES, only served to increase Nintendo's lead in the market. The first popular 64-bit console, the Nintendo 64, amassed millions of followers — despite the designers' apparent attempt to design the most unwieldy, uncomfortable controller possible. In their most recent generations, Nintendo consoles have diverged from other mainstream platforms, once again pushing the boundaries of digital entertainment.
A New Kind Of Console
While the Playstation and XBox seem committed to high-polygon, first-person shootouts, the Switch takes gaming back to its roots. Rather than add faster chips and more flashing lights, it focuses on previously under-served demographics like young children, older adults, and casual participants. Family-friendly titles make up a significant portion of Nintendo's catalog. Some consoles inspire thoughts of frag grenades and firefights, and while Nintendo's platform has plenty of that, it also has an untold amount of fun, fresh, family-friendly content. The Switch is just the latest way they've changed the console game.
The Switch is just the latest way they've changed the console game.
Some of the Switch's most popular titles are longtime classics like Mario Kart, the iconic racing series, and Super Smash Brothers, a wildly popular fighting game that portrays cartoon violence just about as benignly as possible. These are two party favorites that work best in local multiplayer games, where generally friendly trash-talking is the order of the day. Also fun for all ages are the wide range of sports games, as well as more unique experiences like cooking simulations or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, considered by many one of the greatest video games ever produced.
That's not to say the platform's just for kids; if you enjoy putting a stop to otherworldly demons, Nazis who turn into zombies, or mid-century Los Angeles crime syndicates, there are great outlets for you in titles like Doom, Wolfenstein 2, and LA Noire, respectively. These mature-themed games, along with other powerful, story-driven productions in the high fantasy and horror genres, help the Switch appeal to every member of the family, no matter their age or disposition.
Innovative, Handheld Fun
As the current leading handheld, the Switch owes its success not just to its programmers, but also the characters on the screen. Some of gaming's icons — namely, the young swordsman Link and an Italian-American plumber named Mario Mario — continue to draw fans both new and old. The latest iterations of longstanding favorites offer not just fun for most ages, but also a venue for lightning-fast, cutthroat competition among seriously dedicated arcade aficionados.
As the current leading handheld, the Switch owes its success not just to its programmers, but also the characters on the screen.
Probably the unit's most innovative feature is its most obvious, found right in the name. The ability to go from playing on a full-size TV to a low-profile handheld in just seconds is the first of its kind among major consoles. This greatly increases the number of places you can go without missing a single quest or party game; it's as easy to long onto an international Fortnite server as it is to start a four-way race over Wi-Fi.
The Switch uses a custom-built NVidia Tegra processor that outputs to a 720p screen. Because the screen's only about six inches, its pixel density is actually greater than that of a 4K TV — which means it's beautiful to look at. And don't worry about it bogging down when you're playing on the TV; its GPU clock speed doubles while the unit's docked, allowing consistent frame rates of 30FPS at 1080p over HDMI, in addition to linear 5.1-channel surround sound. There's 32 gigabytes of built-in flash memory, and the Switch can read removable micro SD cards of up to two terabytes. Of course, nothing has taken off in the last two decades like multiplayer has, and with support for 802.11ac wireless as well as Ethernet connections, the Switch can have you squared off against friends in no time at all.
In contrast to one of the Wii U's issues, the Switch is blessed with a considerable variety of games. In fact, since its first few months, the Switch has seen more releases than anyone predicted, many of which are available instantly via digital download. And it certainly doesn't hurt that many of them belong to some of the most renowned franchises in video-game history. Feel free to browse their entire catalog with full faith; in terms of good, clean, fun, the Nintendo Switch is awfully hard to beat.