With 18-months under the belt since release, the time is ripe to take stock of Nintendo’s massively successful Switch and consider what are the best games to grace the console. By no means an exhaustive list (more Switch titles and ports are released daily), these are the stand out titles in our estimation, the cannot-be-missed releases that anyone who’s just purchased a Switch should strongly consider. Here are the five best Nintendo Switch Games listed in no particular order.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
If there’s ever been a game that single-handedly warrants buying a new console, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes the crown. We’d go so far as to say Breath of the Wild is arguably the most well-rounded and enjoyable Zelda game hands down. Taking the tried and tested Zelda formula, throwing it on its head then mixing in a stunning open-world brimming with charming stories, innumerable nooks and crannies to explore, and its fair share of unexpected turns, Breath of the Wild is as addictive as it is enjoyable. A masterpiece of modern video game design and storytelling.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart is just brilliant. We can all agree of that. The Switch’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe confidently rests on the laurels of its predecessors with a shiny new polished veneer, a significant graphical facelift, more tracks and characters than ever before, different vehicles to race around as well as a selection of multiplayer modes. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the full package, the ultimate version of Nintendo’s flagship racing classic oozing with untapped hours of fun alone or with friends.
We won’t mash our words here, Splatoon 2 is your straight up run-of-the-mill sequel, with little effort put into completely revolutionizing or progressing the premise: you shoot paint, swim through it as a demi-squid creature, and generally have a great time doing so. We rarely praise a sequel for being so similar to the original, yet Splatoon 2 merits just that. It takes all the features that made Splatoon incredible, and adds just enough tweaks, content and improvements to make Splatoon 2 feel just as enjoyable, playful, and the perfect innocuous shooter for adults and younguns alike.
Super Mario Odyssey
In a similar way to Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey takes the elements that made adventures with our favorite bubbly Italian plumber so damn good and updates them with just enough updated gaming seasoning for the perfect balance of childhood nostalgia, modern mechanics, and all-round fun. Key to Odyssey’s allure is the nonlinear nature of the adventure where players can explore rather than follow a strict level path. There’s a sense of freedom passed Mario games failed to capture and Odyssey is all the better for it. With so much to do, a sense that Mario is as versatile as he’s ever been when it comes to controls, and the innumerable self-referencing winks, Super Mario Odyssey will charm the pants off newcomers and veterans alike.
We we’re going to add in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle at this point, but two Mario games is enough for one day. Instead, we couldn’t write a best Switch game list in good faith and not include Eric Barone’s now seminal farming charm fest Stardew Valley. The game is a once in a generation indie triumph for both the PC and other console formats, however the Switch port brings portability, a element we didn’t know was missing from Stardew Valley. A match made in heaven, the handheld Switch fits oh so perfectly with the day to day management of your farm, interactions with quirky townsfolk, and ideal slices of gaming pleasure you can enjoy while on the subway or waiting in line at the coffee shop. Stardew Valley itself is chilled beyond belief, compellingly moreish and teeming with hundreds of hours of content to get through.