The Nintendo Switch.
A home console that’s portable, the latest hardware from Nintendo was slightly unexpected on release, and people were quick to bash the device. It didn’t have the powerful components that Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PlayStation did, Nintendo didn’t have an online service, and the company was reeling from the failure of the Wii U.
Yet, even with the odds against it, the console was quick out of the gates. In terms of sales, the Nintendo Switch is the fastest-selling console of all-time.
That’s a hefty record for a device that some had written off during the lead-up to release. How was it possible that a device, with an approach that wasn’t towards graphical fidelity or pure power, could sell so well?
The answer: its games.
The Nintendo Switch, now into year two of release, has a huge catalog of software to play, and most of the titles are very good. These games deliver experiences not necessarily found on Nintendo’s rivals’ systems, giving the Switch immense value for its price. Of course, there are better games than others, and today we’ll look at some of the best Nintendo Switch games out there.
What It Means to Be Among the Best Nintendo Switch Games
To claim your place as one of the best Nintendo Switch games out there, there are a few prerequisites that must be met.
First up, a lot of it comes down to exclusivity. If, for example, a game is released on the Switch, Xbox One, and PS4, that title may not be high on the list, as everyone could feasibly play it. On the other hand, if a game is only found on the Switch, it’s easier to recommend it as a console seller, further entrenching the game as a top choice. Nintendo has a lot of first-party releases, so this normally isn’t a problem.
Also, the game must have all the right ingredients for creating a wonderful experience. That means the standards such as story, music, and graphics are all still considered here. These are all related to the Nintendo Switch console itself, so not being directly compared
to other devices.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the six best Nintendo Switch games.
- New weapons - New dual wielding Splat Dualies join the action, complete with a new Dodge Roll move. Mainstays like the Splat Roller and Splat Charger have also been remixed to include new gameplay mechanics and brand new special weapons.
- Local and Online Multiplayer - In a first for the series, compete in local multiplayer Turf War battles, whether in TV mode or on the go in handheld or tabletop modes. Online battles also make a return.
- New ways to play - Play using the Joy Con controllers or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, both of which allow for gyro controls for better aiming and control.
Are you looking for a new multiplayer game that doesn’t play like anything else out there? Well, Splatoon 2 is your answer.
One of Nintendo’s newest intellectual properties, Splatoon 2 builds on the success of the Wii U game, adding so much more so fans and newcomers alike can throw down together. The game is based upon the original, and some may say it feels like an addition to the first, rather than a standalone second. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as using ink-based weapons to control ground is just as fun as it sounds.
The main game modes, this time around, hover over Turf Wars, Tower Control, and Splat Zone. All play a little different, giving you variety when you want it. Everything runs smoothly, and looks great no matter where you’re playing. Another added touch is the ability to customize your Octoling almost however you want. There are merchants to buy gear from using your online earnings, with some sweet gear to obtain.
The game has come a long way since its launch, recently releasing the Octo Expansion DLC, along with a slew of updates to improve the overall experience. Overall, it’s a great addition to Nintendo Switch games, and you’ll surely want to check it out.
- Dig your way underground and explore vivid worlds riddled with treasure, secrets and traps.
- Combat dangerous enemies at every turn of the underworld's twisted paths, including shadowy creatures and the haunted remains of an ancient electrical threat.
- Upgrade your Gear to forge deeper into the Earth and take on bigger challenges.
Another indie game that found its way to the Nintendo Switch, SteamWorld Dig 2 revisits the steampunk Western genre. It’s a hand-drawn marvel, somewhat of a dying breed in games today.
The game is based on the original SteamWorld Dig¸ returning with the same
gameplay mechanics the original platformer had. That said, it also dives deeper into puzzle solving and sprinkles in RPG elements to keep you busy. The story revolves around robot cowboys and mysterious technology, giving it a sense of scale and wonder. The actual story isn’t amazing, but it doesn’t have to be as the gameplay elements power you through.
Everything looks great and runs the same. The game plays out based on your own exploration, and requires you to harvest materials. You dig, hence the title, down to find goodies to sell back up at the surface, in which you use to gain your own upgrades and technology. There are different upgrades for different people and playstyles, meaning you can play the game how you want to. This option is always great, as some don’t want to always swing an ax to get ahead in the levels.
There’s not a lot, or any, reason to replay the game once it has been completed. Even though you can hop back into your last save and continuing collecting items and materials, there isn’t a big driving factor to return to the story. It’s a great one-and-done experience, though, and shouldn’t be missed. Plus, being able to play it on-the-go with the Switch is a mighty proposition.
- Hit the road with the definitive version of Mario Kart 8 and play anytime, anywhere! Race your friends or battle them in a revised battle mode on new and returning battle courses
- Play locally in up to 4-player multiplayer in 1080p while playing in TV Mode. Every track from the Wii U version, including DLC, makes a glorious return
- Plus, the Inklings appear as all-new guest characters, along with returning favorites, such as King Boo, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr.
One of the most beloved kart-racers of all time was announced for the Switch, many people thought it would just be a rehash of Mario Kart 8 for Wii U. In many ways, it is a part of the Wii U game, which came out in 2014, but that doesn’t make it bad. On the contrary, it’s hard to not find joy when racing around in the hectic mayhem that is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Is it one of the best Nintendo Switch games out there? Yes.
With the new version, you get everything from the get-go, hence the Deluxe in the title. That means that when you buy the game, you’ll have access to 48 courses, along with 42 characters to play as. Nintendo also includes the 200cc speed class, allowing for incredibly-fast races, should you dare to try it. All the other game modes are still here, but they’ve also revamped the Battle Mode portion to make it more enticing for players to try.
Everything looks and plays great, holding at a smooth 60 frames per second, unless you’re engaging in local coop play where the game drops to 30 frames per second. The graphics aren’t redone, as the game uses the same engine to power everything, but everything has a little added flair running on the Switch. It’s hard to really find a fault with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, simply because
everything plays great and is just so enjoyable.
- A narrative-driven, single-player adventure like mom used to make, with a charming cast of characters and a touching story of self-discovery
- A massive mountain teeming with 600+ screens of hardcore platforming challenges and devious secrets
- Brutal B-side chapters to unlock, built for only the bravest mountaineers
A stunningly-made game, Celeste is proof that you don’t need to be a household name to be among the gaming greats.
A title that features unforgettable platforming, it also includes a gripping story that hits home in our world today. You follow a young girl named Madeline on a quest to overcome her own struggles, fully-emphasizing with her along the way. It doesn’t just require sympathy, which is rare for a game nowadays, to be able to create those feelings. You care for her, and how she feels. You’ll have to play the game itself to get the full picture, but the 20-hour story is sure to have something for everyone to relate to.
The only reason it’s not higher on our list simply boils down to difficulty: Celeste is hard. For some, this will be a deal-breaker, as they would rather not spend time perfecting their jumps or button presses in a game. Others, though, will gladly accept the challenge, which is akin to Super Meat Boy.
Overall, the title should be played by everyone, if you can, due to the charm, passionate storytelling, and the satisfying 2D pixel-art platforming mechanics. Celeste was a surprise release, one that had been in the making for two years. The developer is working on a physical release, too, so anyone who hasn’t played it should be able to jump in on the fun with an actual cartridge.
- Explore 3D kingdoms filled with secrets and surprises, including costumes for Mario and several ways to interact with environments
- Mario's new friend, Cappy, lets you master new moves like cap throw, cap jump and capture
- Visit astonishing new locales, such as the skyscraper-packed New Donk City, and run into familiar friends and foes as you try to save Princess Peach from Bowser's clutches and foil his dastardly wedding plans
When you think of Nintendo, what’s the first franchise, or name, that comes to mind? If you answered Mario or Zelda, you’d be in good company, as these are two of Nintendo’s biggest franchises. Mario has been around for over 35 years, and in that time, has appeared in over 250 titles.
With that sort of pedigree, you’d think the Big N would be running out of ideas for their plumber friend. Yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case with his latest feature in Super Mario Odyssey. Building on the 3D sandbox model, the game
delivers a closed, open-world to explore. The main mechanic is new, in the form of possession and Cappy, creating a new dynamic and way to play a Mario game. The story takes you through 16 different worlds, forcing you to discover new ways to play the game.
The music, characters, and story are all memorable, and once the story is completed there are plenty more Power Moons to find–specifically, 999 of them. One of the nicest touches to the title, though, is how the game pays homage to older Mario games. There are Easter eggs, or little tidbits of information, sprinkled throughout the entire game, giving you chances to reminisce on past games.
The best thing about Nintendo-developed games is that they truly put in the effort. It’s hard, nowadays, to see a Nintendo game release and not be polished, creative, and fun. The keyword here is fun, and Super Mario Odyssey provides at least 20 hours of fun just to finish the campaign, with so much more to offer after that. It’s easily one of the best Nintendo Switch games out there.
Oh, and you can play it cooperatively too, which is great.
- Discover Hyrule as never before: by making your own path, choices, and consequences
- Ingenuity is the key to survival: find multiple solutions to tons of dynamic puzzles
- Surprises hide around every corner: scavenge weapons, armor, plants, animals, and more
The other name people think of when talking about Nintendo is Zelda. For the franchise’s latest release, the developers did something a little different for the game: a vast, open world. Sure, Zelda games in the past have had worlds to explore, with Hyrule Kingdom taking center stage, but there has never been a fully-open world to explore.
Of course, that’s not the only reason to fall in love with Breath of the Wild. One of the biggest, and best, launch titles ever for a console, Breath of the Wild released the same day the Switch did, helping to power sales and boost confidence in Nintendo’s latest console.
The best part about the game is that you’re thrown into the land of Hyrule, and can do as you please. Everything is put into the world for a reason, and has a specific use for you to find out. You’re encouraged to explore as much, or as little, as you’d like, and that’s hard to balance.
There’s not much else to say regarding Breath of the Wild, other than you need to play it.
The Nintendo Switch Has Amazing Titles
It’s hard to imagine a device that, after only 15 months of being released, has some of the best Nintendo titles of the modern era. A device that was originally written off by skeptics, the Switch has since blossomed into a force that people crave to play. Even now, you might be eagerly awaiting the next Pokémon release.
The point is that Nintendo is constantly pumping out solid games to play, with plenty of titles on the horizon, too. That alone gives anyone a reason to buy a Switch. You can, now, find them in-stock around the country at most electronics stores, which is a change from
the initial launch.
If you haven’t been able to play any of the games listed, be sure to put them on your radar. It’d be a shame if you were to miss one of the experiences above. They all represent a different genre of game, for the most part, meaning you won’t overlap titles in the same
playstyle. Keep in mind, too, this list doesn’t even include titles like Bayonetta, Hollow Knight, or Stardew Valley.
It is becoming harder and harder to see a company and studio continue to show its greatness, but Nintendo seemingly is leading the pack, especially when talking about Nintendo Switch games.