The Nintendo Switch has been on the market for a while now, and it boasts some of the best games around. Some Nintendo Switch games are particularly great for commuting, but in this article, we’re going to cover the best all-rounders.
The Switch, which was once a somewhat underserved console, is now overflowing with games to pick up and play. Trying to choose the perfect titles from the eShop can be tough, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back with our guide to the best Nintendo Switch games to get started with.
You’ll see mainstays like the absolutely incredible Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild make our roundup, but there’s lots more to play besides the obvious choices. We’ve even thrown in a football management sim, which bucks the trend of that genre in some interesting ways, if that your cup of tea.
Here it is, then, in no particular order, a list of some of the very best Nintendo Switch games…
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
If you’re looking for a strategy game that will draw you into a life-consuming addiction (in a good way), Fire Emblem: Three Houses is well worth checking out. As we discussed in our 4.5-star review, this game sees you taking on the role of a teacher in a school where you and the students get to train up for and take part in epic battles. Over the course of a campaign that clocks in at over 80 hours, you’ll build proper emotional connections with your tutees, who could also die at any moment in the brutal ‘classic mode’ version of the game. With stakes that high and plenty of action, this one’s an essential purchase.
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Despite the swathes of changes to the Zelda template, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild still feels very much like a Zelda game. It’s more challenging than ever before, putting both your combat and puzzle-solving skills to the test, and every square inch of this ruined Hyrule aches to be explored. It has to be known that this is not only the best Zelda title ever, it’s one of the greatest games ever made. Not since The Witcher 3 made open-world games feel fresh again has something come along and blown the template out of the water.
Also, a sequel is on the way, so it’s not too late to get involved with this fandom!
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Unsurprisingly, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe plays exactly like Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. Not only does it include all DLC from Mario Kart 8 but it has a slew of new battle game modes – something sorely missing from the Wii U original. And, thanks to the Switch’s fantastic different form factors, multiplayer Mario Kart has literally never been as fun nor as instant. 100% an essential purchase.
New Star Soccer Manager
An absolutely must-play for football fans, New Star Soccer Manager is a nice change of pace, especially compared to the endless cycle of FIFA and Football Manager games. In this indie alternative, you make the managerial decisions and take control of the team for key goal-scoring opportunities. This game doesn’t have licenced teams or players, but it does have some really fun mechanics that will get you nicely addicted.
Ahead of Bayonetta 3, PlatinumGames’ first two entries in the frenetic action series have been given the Switch makeover. The sequel in particular is a polished, madcap spectacle, and makes a perfect fit for short bursts during your commute or lunch break. This isn’t one for the kids – there’s plenty of violence, sexual references and swearing – but it’s a stellar adult game on a console otherwise buoyed by family-friendly fun.
Playing very much like the original, Splatoon 2 takes what made its Wii U debut so much fun and turns it up to 11. The motion controls are still a little tricky to get used to, but the addition of the dual-wielded Splat Dualies (along with a set of new weapons, arenas and fashions) really helps keep it feeling fresh. The new co-op, wave-based Salmon Run is absolutely fantastic and the allure of being able to play absolutely anywhere makes Splatoon 2 a must-have.
ARMS is a peculiar fighting game with a difference. Holding a Joy-Con controller in each hand, you trade blows with a foe by literally swinging your fists. Playing with Joy-Cons in each hand is surprisingly accurate, but pro-players can opt for a standard pad scheme instead. This one is well worth playing with friends.
Developed by Askiisoft and published by Devolver Digital, Katana Zero is a brilliant and addictive assassination game. You play as The Dragon, an expert killer that can manipulate time with the help of a drug called Chronos. The story is surprisingly moving, and the level design is very imaginative. The game does get very challenging at points, though, so prepare to shout at your Switch if you can’t work things out.
Shrouded in mystery despite its rather open development, Octopath Traveler comes from the team behind the fantastic Bravely Default RPGs for Nintendo 3DS. Playing out as a tale split across eight individual characters whose paths cross over time, Octopath Traveler certainly isn’t your standard fare of JRPG, but it’s one that pushes the focus onto the characters themselves. Gaining universal critical acclaim – sitting with an 84 on Metacritic at time of writing. An essential Switch purchase for any RPG fan, then.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Having taken literally everyone by surprise at E3, the Ubisoft-developed Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is the game nobody asked for but everybody needs to play. Boiled down to its essence, Mario + Rabbids is XCom for the Nintendo fan. It’s a tactical turn-based strategy game dripping with charm and oozing charisma. Despite being developed by Ubisoft, it’s Nintendo to its core, with Ubisoft’s typically annoying Rabbids showing a more endearing side. Don’t let this aesthetic fool you though, it may seem like Xcom-lite, but a truly deep and tactical shooter lies at its core.
Sonic Mania is a stunning return to form for the blue hedgehog. While playing on the Switch doesn’t really put Nintendo’s console through its technical paces, the crisp sprites and bright colours of Sonic really help show off just how vibrant and crisp the Switch’s 720p display is. It’s perfect portable gaming magic.
Having released on PS4, PC and Xbox One in 2016, Furi‘s arrival on Switch may be late but, like its siblings, it’s absolutely essential for anyone who loves a challenge. For those that don’t know, Furi is a neon-soaked, techno-futuristic action shooter that pits you against increasingly difficult boss fights as you break your way out of a maximum-security space prison. Visually, it’s as if Afro Samurai and Far Cry: Blood Dragon had a lovechild with a synthwave backing track. Brilliant.
An indie darling long before it hit the Switch, Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight is one of the best Metroidvania games in recent memory. You play as a knight on a quest to explore an insect kingdom, which is stuffed with challenging battles to overcome and beautifully-rendered areas to uncover. Definitely pick it up if you haven’t already!
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party really is an absolute gem of a game. It embraces everything that makes a modern Nintendo game just so great. It oozes personality and charm, and when playing with three other people it’s an absolute blast and a must-have for anyone who loves madcap fun with friends. You’d be hard pressed to find a better game to play with friends or to bring to parties.
At first glance, Gorogoa doesn’t seem like much more than your average point-and-click puzzle game. However, within minutes of starting and peering through into its wonderful hand-drawn world, it evolves and becomes a multi-layered journey of music and art. It certainly has aspects of both The Room and Monument Valley in its puzzle mechanics, but it’s unlike either of them. Cost of entry may seem a little steep for an adventure that doesn’t last particularly long, but as a total work, it’s more than worth it.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate
The latest edition of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series is arguably the best one yet. It’s an absolute crowd-pleaser, with a huge roster of fighters that is added to regularly (see: the recently-announced addition of Banjo-Kazooie). It’s perfect for playing with mates, even if its epic battles might test some of those friendships to breaking point!
If we missed your pick of the best Nintendo Switch game, let us know in the comments below. Or if you want some more recommendations, check out our list of 2019’s must-play games.