The 10 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch hardware family

The 10 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

March 3, 2017, marked a significant turning point for Nintendo. With the release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo perfected the home console / portable gaming hybrid. Directly following the clunky Wii U, Nintendo refused to give up on their ambitious and perfectly innovative idea. Now, the Switch is regarded by many as one of the most accessible systems of all time. While there were some naysayers at its release, today the Switch has sold over 100 million units. Critics and fans alike love its portability most, there isn’t much option available to bring high-quality gaming on the go. Whether you’re a Nintendo enthusiast or just interested in the Switch library, here are the 10 best games available on Nintendo Switch.

10. Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition

©Cover Art of Divinity: Original Sin II - Original

  • Release Date: August 31, 2018
  • Metacritic Score: 93 (Universal Acclaim)

Before Larian Studios won our hearts with Baldur’s Gate 3, they won our hearts with Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition. This title is regarded as one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch for many reasons. Divinity is known for its deep storytelling, complex combat, and player freedom. The game plays into one of the biggest strengths of the Nintendo Switch, being able to play titles on the go.

The game uses a strategic turn-based combat system that rewards tactics and creativity. Divinity also includes local and online cooperative multiplayer, enhancing the experience by allowing friends to join in the adventure. With a console as accessible as the Nintendo Switch, this drop-in drop-out style of multiplayer is perfect and one of the reasons this is one of the best games on the Switch.

9. Hades

Hades gameplay

©Hades gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date: September 17, 2020
  • Metacritic Score: 93 (Universal Acclaim)

While fans are celebrating the release of Hades 2, newcomers shouldn’t overlook the original. Hades is just as good as its sequel. The game is a masterful title beautifully crafted by Supergiant Games. Hades is a rogue-like game meaning each death is not just a setback but an opportunity for growth and story progression. The fun comes from being dropped in a hostile world that you slowly acclimate to over many hours of gameplay.

The game also has a vivid art style and a dynamic soundtrack that creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Supergiant Games is known for its well-crafted characters and how they approach storytelling. The Switch’s portability allows players to enjoy Hades’ intense and satisfying combat anytime, anywhere, making it a standout title on the platform that keeps players coming back for more.

8. Persona 5 Royal

©Cover Art for Persona 5 Royal - Original

  • Release Date: October 21, 2022
  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Fans wanted Persona on the Nintendo Switch since the Switch’s release. Once Sega finally released the modern titles on the console, the most recent entry quickly became one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. This enhanced version of the critically acclaimed Persona 5 offers expanded content, new characters, story arcs, and gameplay mechanics that deepen the overall experience. The Persona franchise post Persona 3 is a unique blend of traditional JRPG elements with social simulation.

At its best, it creates a perfectly paced loop of dungeon crawling and daily life activities. There is plenty to love about Persona 5 Royal outside its gameplay. Gamers like to poke fun at the fan base, saying that most Persona fans haven’t played the games. Those fans tend to fall in love with the game’s visual style, memorable soundtrack, and thought-provoking themes about societal issues before experiencing even a second of gameplay.

7. Metroid Prime Remastered

©Cover art for Metroid: Prime on Switch. - Original

  • Release Date: February 8, 2023
  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Metroid fans have been waiting for a new Metroid Prime title for many years. When Nintendo released Metroid Prime Remastered last year those fans rejoiced. It was like their prayers were finally heard, and many fans hoped that this release meant the long-awaited Metroid Prime 4 would follow shortly after. It makes sense though that one of the best Nintendo Gamecube titles would be remastered and become one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. How Retro Studios approaches exploration and atmosphere is second to none.

This remastered version also refined some gameplay mechanics that didn’t age as well. The game is a perfect example of a great remaster. It left everything that worked intact and changed everything that needed a little polish. Metroid Prime Remastered is a perfect purchase for anyone who owns a Switch, whether they are a fan of Metroid or not.

6. Tetris Effect: Connected

Tetris Effect gameplay

©Gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date: October 8, 2021
  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Universal Acclaim)

This enhanced version of Tetris Effect incorporates mesmerizing visuals and a dynamic soundtrack that elevates the iconic puzzle game into a truly unique experience. Tetris is debatably the best game ever made and It feels as if no matter what you put Tetris on, it’ll be a critical and commercial hit. For those who haven’t played it, Tetris is a puzzle game where you must control tetromino shapes and clear the screen before it fills. Tetris is very simple at its core, what sets Tetris Effect: Connected apart from other Tetris titles is its focus on cooperative and competitive multiplayer.

Being able to experience the beauty of this title with a friend is something that has yet to be replicated. Tetris Effect: Connected offers a fresh take on a timeless classic, making it a standout title on the Nintendo Switch.

5. Portal: Companion Collection

Portal 2's Companion Cube

©Portal 2's Companion Cube - Original / License

  • Release Date: June 8, 2022
  • Metacritic Score: 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Portal and Portal 2 are some of the most important games ever. The games were groundbreaking upon their release and are seen as a milestone in game and narrative design. The Portal series is built around one central mechanic. Players will use interlinked portals to solve puzzles and traverse obstacles. The games are very unique and perfect for those looking for a different gameplay loop. This collection of games allows players to enjoy these challenges on the go thanks to the Nintendo Switch.

Not every game works well in short bursts of playtime, which is what the Nintendo Switch excels at. The Portal franchise’s arcade-like feel is perfect for a portable console, which is why it lands at number 5 on this list. If you haven’t played these games yet, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect way to experience them.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom gameplay

©Zelda gameplay screenshot c/o Nintendo - Original

  • Release Date: May 12, 2023
  • Metacritic Score: 96 (Universal Acclaim)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has firmly established itself as one of the top 10 games on the Nintendo Switch. The game builds on the success of its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, as it pushes the boundaries of the open world and game design of the game that came before it. The Legend of Zelda series is a Nintendo staple and will always be one of the best games on the console it releases.

If you’ve never played aZelda title then the Switch titles might not be the best entry point, but if you own any Nintendo console then you owe yourself to give these games a try. While personally, I prefer Breath of the Wild, fans of both games can agree it just comes down to preference. The new mechanics introduced in Tears of the Kingdom really clicked with some players. Whether you’re one of those players depends on if you give the title a fair shake.

3. The House in Fata Morgana – Dreams of the Revenants Edition

©Key Art of The House in Fata Morgana

  • Release Date: April 9, 2021
  • Metacritic Score: 96 (Universal Acclaim)

The Visual Novel is a dying genre of video games. However, there are a few titles that are released that keep the genre alive. One of those titles is The House in Fata Morgana – Dreams of the Revenants Edition. This game isn’t for everyone, for one it’s a visual novel that has more in common with books than video games, but it’s also a goth visual novel. While the games included in this collection might have beautiful artwork and a well-written story, the content might not resonate with the average gamer.

This edition includes both The House in Fata Morgana and its prequel, A Requiem for Innocence. The narrative is set within a mysterious mansion spanning centuries and tackles themes of love, tragedy, and redemption. The Switch’s handheld mode allows players to approach these stories at their pace maybe during a commute or a lunch break.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

©Bowser and Peach in Super Mario Odyssey

  • Release Date: October 27, 2017
  • Metacritic Score: 97 (Universal Acclaim)

It wouldn’t be a Nintendo list if Mario wasn’t on it. Super Mario Odyssey is the best Mario title hands down. This game is not only one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch but one of the best platformers ever. In Super Mario Odyssey, players journey across a series of kingdoms alongside Mario and his new companion, Cappy. The game is built around the ability to control enemies and objects using Cappy’s powers. Players not only have to master the movement of Mario but these creatures as well to complete the title.

This game is filled to the brim with style. It has vibrant visuals, a catchy soundtrack, and some of the best Mario controls to date. A perfect blend of nostalgia and innovation, Super Mario Odyssey showcases the best of what Nintendo has to offer, earning its place as a beloved title in the Mario series and a must-play for Switch owners.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild gameplay

©Gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date: October 27, 2017
  • Metacritic Score: 97 (Universal Acclaim)

I’m sure to ruffle some feathers declaring that one of the newer Mario titles is the best in its franchise but I am going to double down here. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda title and it isn’t even close. This game revitalized the open-world genre for me and spawned many titles trying to copy its success. Nintendo struck gold with this title and while they tried to iterate on it with the most recent title, they didn’t quite hit the mark. It feels like this game was what Nintendo wanted Ocarina of Time to be back in 1998.

What sets Breath of the Wild apart is its flawless open-world design. The game wants players to explore Hyrule at their own pace. The game’s physics, dynamic weather system, and environmental puzzles make the world feel lived in. Breath of the Wild‘s iteration of Hyrule is technically post-apocalyptic and it’s still breathtaking. Breath of the Wild offers an unforgettable adventure that showcases the full potential of the Nintendo Switch, earning its place as a modern classic. Fingers crossed for an updated release with the Nintendo Switch follow-up.

Honorable Mentions

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — Fans of Xenoblade rejoiced when this game came out. Its developers flawlessly concluded the trilogy with this entry and its phenomenal Future Redeemed DLC.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — A lot of Switch owners bought their Switch for this franchise alone. While I prefer older iterations of the gameplay, I would be lying if I said this game wasn’t still a very good time. Great at parties too.
  • Mario Kart 8 — We all know how great Mario Kart 8 is. Its praises are continuously sung and even have people begging for Nintendo to provide a new entry.
  • Sonic Mania — The best 2D Sonic title out there and deserves all the praise it gets. If you’re a fan of the original Sonic trilogy and want that style of gameplay again, you’ll be right at home with Sonic Mania.
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