Nintendo’s bestselling console – the Switch has been on the market now for roughly two years now, and as such today has acquired a jam packed library of titles. These titles have come a long way from the epic Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and now include several different types to choose from be it racing games, fighting games or anything and everything that comes to mind.
The Nintendo Switch is a truly flexible console, given that it can handle both AAA blockbuster titles and charming indie hits, each of which that can be tailored towards each player. That said, choosing from this massive library of titles can be a bit overwhelming, hence we’ve compiled a list of 14 best Nintendo Switch games for your gaming pleasure.
- 1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- 2. Super Mario Odyssey
- 3. Pokémon Sword and Shield
- 4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- 5. Minecraft
- 6. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- 7. Splatoon 2
- 8. Octopath Traveler
- 9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- 10. Hollow Knight
- 11. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
- 12. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- 13. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
- 14. Mario Tennis Aces
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Developed by Nintendo EPD, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- affiliate link was released for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U back in 2017, but still continues to be a big hit to this day. It is quite similar to the 1986 release – Legend of Zelda, where players are provided with limited instruction and can explore the world freely. Breath of the Wild has been regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time, and includes tasks such as gathering multipurpose items in an effort to solve puzzles, etc.
This action adventure game revolves around an open world environment, where players have to explore the kingdom of Hyrule. Players explore this kingdom while controlling Link which is the main protagonist of Nintendo’s video game lineup. As a main protagonist, you can perform several actions including climbing, running, swimming, and even gliding with a paraglider.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
Released by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey- affiliate link revolves around Mario and Cappy – a hat that allows Mario to control other objects and characters as they journey across the many worlds to save Princess Peach from forcibly marrying Bowser. Development for the game started after the 2013 release of Super Mario 3D World, and after putting several ideas together, it was decided that the game would have a sandbox-style of gameplay.
Super Mario Odyssey is a bit distinct from previous installments such as Super Mario 3D World and New Super Mario Bros in that geared towards series core fans rather than a casual audience. Gameplay entails controlling Mario as he journeys across several kingdoms on Odyssey to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser. Mario is tasked with searching and clearing several objectives in each kingdom in order to gather items referred to as Power Moons. These items help grant access to new kingdoms and fuel up Odyssey.
3. Pokémon Sword and Shield
Released in 2019, Pokémon Sword and Shield- affiliate link developed by Game Freak are role playing video games, and are the initial installments in the 8th generation of the Pokémon video game series. Just like other Pokémon games, these two games are based in Great Britain and introduce several new features such as Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing. Further, they feature an all new Wild Area, where players can get involved in raids.
They also bring in 81 new Pokémon to the already present 13 regional variants of the current game. Pokémon Sword and Shield also reintroduces previously seen features such as roaming Pokémon in Pikachu!, Sun and Moon and Let’s Go and Eevee! There are also several new features that are new to this series including cooperative raid encounters. Adding to this, there’s also a slew of customization options of the player character including outerwear and other accessories.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd., Super Smash Bros. Ultimate- affiliate link is a crossover fighting game released in 2018. It is the successor to the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros series. Gameplay. It has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, which makes it both the fastest selling Nintendo Switch game and best-selling fighting game of all time.
The game can be played by up to eight players, where the mission is to knock each other out of the arena. Each player is assigned a percentage meter, which goes up as they try and complete their mission. Players are also provided with several different items, which can be used to granny power ups or attack their enemies such as Assist Trophies. The game offers a total of 103 different stages, and features Stage Morph, which allows players to select two stages of the game.
Created by Swedish developer Markus Persson, Minecraft- affiliate link was purchased by Microsoft in 2011, and has sold over 180 million copies since 2019, making it the bestselling video games on all time. It currently has over a 112 million active players, where each one explores a 3D world, where they can explore and discover craft tools, raw materials, build earthworks or structures.
This critically acclaimed game has won several awards, and players can even fight computer controlled foes depending on the mode, and also compete with other players in the same world. These modes include creative mode, where players are provided with unlimited resources and a survival mode, where players must gather resources to maintain health and build the world. There’s even an adventure mode, where players can explore user crafted adventures and maps and a spectator mode, where they can fly through blocks and teleport with other players.
6. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Developed by Vicarious Visions, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy- affiliate link is a compilation of remasters of the 1st three games in the Crash Bandicoot series – Cortex Strikes Back, Warped and Crash Bandicoot. It was originally developed for the PlayStation during the 1990’s, and has sold over 10 million copies ever since its release. Each of the games in this series follows Crash Bandicoot as he traverses through the various levels in order to prevent Doctor Neo Cortex from taking over the world.
Just like the previous games in the series, Crash is able to collect items such as Wumpa fruits, use jumping techniques and spinning to defeat enemies, and earn extra lives among others. These three games also ring with an array of new features including save systems, pause menus, unified checkpoints, and playing each game as Coco – Crash’s sister. Adding to this, you also get new cutscenes, audio and new game dialogues.
7. Splatoon 2
Developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, Splatoon 2- affiliate link as you may have guessed is a sequel to Splatoon, and adds a story driven single player mode. It has sold over 9 million copies worldwide, making it one of the bestselling Switch games and is hailed for its competitive online player multiplayer modes. In this third party shooter game, players control Inklings and Octolings, and use ammunition in the form of color.
It brings in a host of new features such as shotgun like weapons referred to as Brellas, Dualies – dual wield pistols, jetpacks known as inkjets and other types of weapons. And just like original Splatoon, the sequel also comes with regular modes such as Turf War mode, which allows up to two four-player teams to cover within max three minutes. Salmon Run is one of the new modes in the game, which allows up to four players to tackle Salmonids and gather eggs.
8. Octopath Traveler
Octopath Traveler- affiliate link developed by Square Enix is a turned based roleplaying video game that has sold over a million copies within the first month of its release. This game supports “HD-2D”, which is basically a combination of high definition effects and Super NES-style character textures. Players in the game play the role of one of eight adventures, where each one starts their journey in different ways. Each character in the game is different in that they come from different parts of the world, and each determines their task.
Players in the game can attack using different styles of weapons, and can also use items and their abilities. At the end of each turn, players receive a boost point, where up to five can be stored each time. These boost points come handy when players try to raise their defense, attack multiple times, or increase the strength of their abilities. When enemies are attacked, their shield counter lowers, and start losing turns when the counter is depleted.
9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Developed by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo, Fire Emblem: Three Houses- affiliate link has sold over two million copies worldwide, slotting in at the 2nd best selling game in the series. This tactical role playing game is the first in the series for home consoles, and was hailed for its integration of the school system and battalion soundtrack, narrative, mechanics and replay value.
Gameplay involves controlling a character, whose name and gender are selected at the start of the game. This character is asked to teach at the Garreg Mach Monastery, which serves as a hub for game activities. Teaching in a specific school house impacts the narrative of the game moving forward, where the player’s time is divided between times in Garreg Mach and story based battles. Each player in the game gets free time events, which allows them to interact socially with students, and build perennial relationships.
10. Hollow Knight
Published by Team Cherry, Hollow Knight- affiliate link was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018, and is billed as a Metroidvania video game. This adventure game is set in a fictional ancient kingdom aka Hallownest, which is where players control an insect like knight, while exploring the underground world. The knight is armed with a conical shaped sword that can be used in environmental interaction and combat.
Players get up close and personal in several areas of the game with hostile bugs and myriad other different creatures. Players can also perform long range attacks by learning spells, and may need to defeat bosses in order to progress further. During the game, players can also interact with non-playing characters, which can provide information about the game’s plot, sell their items or services and provide aid. The knight’s nail during gameplay can be upgraded to find more soul vessels or cause more damage.
11. Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
Developed by team Ninja and Omega Force, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition- affiliate link was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018, and has sold roughly 70,000 copies so far. This hack and slash action game allows players to control Link in melee combat in an effort to combat a larger number of enemies from the Legend of Zelda series. Players can use swords, bombs and some of the other weapons from prior games in the series, and can gather items by discovering and opening chests.
The context based combat system of the game transforms the character’s abilities depending on the chosen weapon. Adding to this, weapon and character elements also appear at certain intervals during the course of the game. Legend mode is the main campaign of Hyrule Warriors, and allows players to gradually get through the story of the game. Other modes of the game include Adventure mode, where players explore a map and Free mode, which allows players to replay with any characters.
12. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Developed by Retro Studios, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze- affiliate link is the 5th installment in the main Donkey Kong series, and was made available via an advanced port for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. The game has sold approximately 2.2 million copies for the Switch a few days after release. This side scrolling platform video game follows Donkey Kong and his friends as they travel through ten different islands with the mission to defeat the Snowmads.
The controls of the game for the most part are similar to the previous version, but what’s new is the ability to grab items from the ground and throw them at the enemies. Player basically control Donkey Kong, who is helped by a companion. This mate can be controlled by a second player, who can also provide additional abilities to the single player in the game. New to the game is Funky Kong – a playable character that comes with five hit points rather than two with Donkey Kong.
13. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
Developed as a remake of the Wonder Boy III game (1989), Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap- affiliate link was released for the Nintendo Switch in April 2017. This latest release features all new hand created graphics and musical arrangments, and is where players are able to control an adventure, who after defeating the Mecha Dragon have been cursed, which turns them into Lizard Man.
Just like the original game, players explore different lands, and during their journey defeat enemies to earn items such as fireballs and arrows. Money can also be earned during gameplay, which can be used to buy new armor and weapons. Players over the course of the game gain new animal forms, each of which that offer additional abilities for new exploration. These include Mouse Man, Lizard Man, Lion Man, Piranha Man and Hawk Man.
14. Mario Tennis Aces
Developed by Camelot Software Planning, Mario Tennis Aces- affiliate link was released in 2019, and has sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide since its release. Just like the name would suggest, the game entails playing tennis matches with several characters from the Super Mario series. Players can choose from Daisy, Peach, Luigi, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Spike, Waluigi and Toad among others.
Similar to previous versions in the series, Aces implements several techniques such as slices, where the ball when hit curves to the side and topspins, where the ball when hit travels parallel to the direction. The racket will break when it experiences a zone shot more than three times, which causes players to end the match if it their final one. Players can perform trick shots to quickly get to where they anticipate the ball to land, and if successful surges the energy gauge.