The best Nintendo Switch games
Following an early 2017 launch, the hybrid Nintendo Switch is now available to buy from various retailers in the UK. But while we love the look of the hardware and having a home console that we can also use as a portable, what really matters is the games lineup. The good news is that while the initial launch selection was slim, there have been plenty more games since to keep Switch owners occupied, with both a great selection of Nintendo’s own games and enough third-party titles to give fans hope that the Switch will have better support than the Wii U did.
So without further ado, here are the Switch games we love so far.
Best Nintendo Switch games
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Originally set to come out a few years ago on the Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now not only a Switch launch title, but also the system’s flagship game. It’s a sprawling open world adventure that’s undeniably the biggest Zelda title yet.
New additions to the series include loot drops, crafting, and cooking, while the expansive overworld stretches as far as you can see. The lush cel-shaded graphics feel like a natural evolution from the Wii’s Skyward Sword, while the audio boasts another franchise first: voice acting.
This is the best launch title on any console in years, and feels era-defining, reshaping what we expect from open-world games. Discover more of what we thought of the Switch’s best game in our Zelda review.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is easily one of the best Mario games in a decade and Nintendo has crafted a game full of fun and surprises. It’s a beautiful balancing act of classic gameplay and new features that makes Odyssey feel fresh but familiar.
Cappy could’ve be a gimmicky addition but is actually a stroke of genius. Super Mario Odyssey is a must for Switch owners, young and old, and will no doubt go down as a classic.
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
One of the best looking games for the Switch was actually already one of the best games on the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 was the best entry in the racing series in years, and this version is even better.
There are a few new additions to justify the re-purchase: courses and new characters from Splatoon and elsewhere, the return of Battle Mode, all of the original game’s DLC, and eight-player local multiplayer. There are also a few new items and the ability to carry two items at once. It’s not a major update, and it might be tricky for anyone who already has Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U to justify the upgrade – but if you missed it the first time, this is a great way to get your hands on a brilliant game.
4. Splatoon 2
Splatoon was one of the surprise hits for the Wii U, and a welcome reminder that for all of its reliance on big hitters like Zelda and Mario, Nintendo is still capable of creating brilliant original games when it wants to.
Nintendo’s take on the online multiplayer shooter is very… Nintendo. That means quirky character design, a fun setting, and a brilliant new twist on tired shooter mechanics.
Instead of shooting bullets, you fire ink, which can hurt your foes, but more importantly covers the arena. The team with the most ink wins, but it also gives you advantages like faster travel and refilling your ammo as you go. This sequel is mostly like more of the same (though boasts a new co-op horde mode), but that’s no bad thing, and it includes new weapons, maps, outfits, and music.
The surprise hit of the Switch’s launch window, Snipperclips is the little indie game that could, a brilliant puzzle game that makes the most of the console’s portability and multiplayer features. You and up to three friends take control of colourful paper creatures. By standing in front of one another you can cut sections out of each other to form new shapes, which you in turn use to solve a variety of environmental puzzles.
It tends to quickly devolve into sheer chaos as you rotate and jump and run around, accidentally cutting each other into the wrong shapes, trying (and usually failing) to explain what you need someone else to do to solve the puzzle.
It’s the ideal game to show off the Switch’s portable Joy-Con multiplayer, and looks great even on the tablet screen – partly thanks to brilliantly memorable animation.
The first major new Nintendo IP for the Switch, Arms is a slightly odd cross between a boxing game and a shooter. The core gameplay is essentially boxing, but with a major twist: your arms are extendable. Using the Joy-Con motion controls you can punch, block, grab, and dodge, as well as use a powered up super attack.
If you’re not a fan of flailing, you can also use buttons, either on a pair of Joy-Cons, one on its own, or using the Switch Pro Controller. There are ten colourful characters, ranging from an Egyptian mummy to a sentient green blob, and each comes with three different types of weaponised arms meaning there’s plenty of variety in abilities and fighting styles from launch, with Nintendo planning to add even more as free DLC.
The single-player content is pretty light so far (just an arcade mode and some mini-games) but multiplayer is where Arms really shines, with Nintendo proving once again that it can take a longstanding genre and find a way to shake it up. Read more in our full Arms review.
7. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
It might not be as exciting as Super Mario Odyssey but Mario teaming up with those pesky Rabbids makes for a lot of fun on the Switch.
In this game you create a team mixed from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Rabbid versions of each of them, to take on enemies in various levels. The core gameplay is turn-based strategy – similar to the XCOM series – with a variety of movement options, unlockable weapons, and special abilities.
At first the strategy is simple and accessible, but before too long it amps up, using environmental obstacles and tools like Chain Chomps and pipes to create a fast-paced, refreshing strategy title that should appeal to gamers of every level. By the end it gets seriously tough, and you’ll need your wits – and smart use of the skill tree – to make it to the end.
There’s also a huge amount of replayability, with extra challenges and secret sections for each of the game’s worlds, and silly in-jokes hidden everywhere you look.
- ^ Nintendo Switch (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Zelda review. (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Super Mario Odyssey review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ review of Mario Kart 8: Deluxe (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Splatoon 2 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Switch Pro Controller (amzn.to)
- ^ Arms review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
- ^ Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)