Nintendo Switch is about to celebrate its fifth birthday coming up on 3rd March, so I thought it’d be good to run through a list of the ten best games for Nintendo Switch. This is going to be a living list, so expect updates in the future. However, as of February 2022, this is the ten best games on Nintendo Switch, in my opinion.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
The final entry in the Super Mario 35th Anniversary celebration is here in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. Super Mario 3D World is the latest game to be ported to Nintendo Switch from the Wii U given its original release date back in 2013. Bowser’s Fury is a brand new short title to accompany Super Mario 3D World, and these two games offer different sides of the Mario series style.
Super Mario 3D World alone was enough to convince me to get this package, given I had missed it the first time around. I highly recommend the game if you haven’t played it and I also recommend playing it co-op. For me it was great to play through with the missus – We’ve tried other co-op games before, but they never felt quite as good as this one. Bowser’s Fury is a short but sweet outing for Mario. It kind of feels like something that was created in a short space of time in lockdown by Nintendo to give the audience an incentive to buy 3D World again. I’m not against Nintendo experimenting with these shorter titles like this and there are some really nice innovative gameplay moments here.
Monster Hunter Rise
There are a certain speed and fluidity to Monster Hunter Rise that I haven’t encountered before; running into battle at full speed on the back of your palamute canine buddy, jumping at the right time and swinging your Sword, Axe or Hammer right into a huge monster’s face, landing and then pulling off a seamless combo to finish the hunt. I don’t think I’ve ever actually pulled off the seamless combo bit, but you get my drift.
Monster Hunter Rise is the latest addition to the Monster Hunter family, which exploded in popularity since the release of Monster Hunter World back in 2018. Monster Hunter fans would protest saying this was a hugely popular franchise long before World and Iceborn were even thought of, but Monster Hunter World took it to new levels in the West. Monster Hunter Rise does a great job as a follow-up and now has the added bonus of being able to play it on the go, on the sofa or in bed on Nintendo Switch.
I’m really enjoying my time with Monster Hunter Rise and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a Nintendo Switch. It’s got the potential to be one of the best and biggest Nintendo Switch games out there. The learning curve may be steep, but the rewards are huge if you can push through those small roadblocks. The game is charming, it’ll make you laugh at times, there’s the pain of defeat and the triumph in a successful hunt… it’s really got the whole package. You can get by scratching the surface of a Monster Hunter games, but it’s only going to get you so far. These games are designed with hundreds of hours of play in mind, and I’m finally starting to understand why there’s such a feverous fanbase of the series. I only wish I had discovered this earlier.
Hades is tons of fun, right from the start. It may be because the game from developer Supergiant Games has been in early access for a while now, or perhaps the influence of the Greek Mythology and the slick & sexy feel to the game. Hades has fast become a must-play game of 2020 and if you’ve been on the fence about it, then I recommend you get down immediately and download it on the platform of your choice.
Hades is a rogue-lite brawler pitting you literally against runs through hell. As you make your way through the series of levels, you’ll earn powerups that aid your run each time. Ancient Gods will pop up out of the blue, all seem to admire you and sympathize you having to spend your time down there in Hades, while they are living it up above. The objective of the game is to get through a run in one piece, but you’re going to have to have your wits and skill about you because this isn’t easy. One false move and you’re toast. As well as the well-acted voice lines and the thousands of lines of dialogue there’s a sexiness to the game through the artwork, the interactions and the feel. It’s a polished package that drips and oozes quality, and one you simply have to give a go.
Animal Crossing New Horizons
There are not many games as relaxing and delightful as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s come at the perfect time too, as we could all do with a little relaxation these days. This is going to take a little more time for a full review, as a game like this takes time to see everything that it has to offer.
Catch fish, bugs, plant flowers, speak to your neighbors. All provide rewards and get you into that Animal Crossing game loop. It won’t be too long before you’re still up past midnight saying to yourself “Right, I only have to catch 3 more unique species and THEN I can go to bed…”. Tom Nook has you in his pocket from day one, have no doubt about it.
Animal Crossing New Horizons has something for a variety of players. You can collect things for Blathers (and yourself) and also put loads of time and effort into designing your own home. There’s furniture, wallpaper and plenty of other things you can do to customize your game, it feels almost limitless.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, an enhanced version of the game for the Nintendo Switch, was released in April 2017. It was also a critical and commercial success, becoming the Switch’s best-selling game. Both versions have sold a combined total of more than 51 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling racing game, and one of the best-selling video games of all time. Critics considered the expansion of the Battle mode, containing specially designed battle stages and three new variations of the mode, a significant improvement over its predecessor.
Hollow Knight is a challenging, beautiful action-adventure game set in the vast, inter-connected underground kingdom of Hallownest. A 2D action game with an emphasis on skill and exploration, Hollow Knight has you fighting a fearsome host of deadly creatures, avoiding intricate traps and solving ancient mysteries as you make your own way through fungal wastes, forests of bone, and ruined underground cities.
The atmosphere is eerie and sometimes unnerving, but there is a good-hearted core of humour and levity in there too, especially when conversing with all of the weird and wonderful NPCs you’ll find along the way. Hollow Knight has beautiful traditional art, fluid and responsive action, challenging but fair gameplay and a bizarre insect world begging to be explored and conquered.
Celeste is a skilful platformer that combines a retro art style, great music and a hard-hitting story in a winning combination. Celeste was a surprise to me but should take pride of place in any gamer’s collection.
The story of Celeste is one of many assets this game has to offer. It’s the story of a girl who wants to climb Celeste Mountain. The main protagonist Madeline clearly has a lot going on and confides in Theo, a fellow traveller she meets early in her journey. Madeline’s going through some tough times with her mental health and reveals in a phone call with her Mum she suffers panic attacks. However, she’s determined to prove to herself she can conquer her demons and overcome this huge obstacle that’s in front of her.
Celeste is a great game and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys video games. The game feels great, rewards players and combines great story beats with gorgeous art and excellent music. I look forward to the upcoming DLC for Celeste and am looking forward to spending more time in this world with Madeline and the crew. If you haven’t played this game, stop what you are doing right now and go and buy it. I played the game on Nintendo Switch and it offers up a perfect companion experience on a plane, train or bus as well as a fine experience sitting in front of a TV with a controller.
This is Nintendo at their very best, adding the AAA gloss onto a tried and tested Metroidvania formula, which all adds up to a very enjoyable game. It’s a 2D game, but there are 3D cutscenes and Samus just looks and acts so damn cool in the game, it’s hard not to be impressed at every turn. The detail of the environments, Samus’ animations, the movement speed and variety of weapons, abilities, and enemies to battle, plus the hard-as-nails boss battles (which feels very un-Nintendo at times).
Samus’ movement speed is something to behold in this game and perhaps takes inspiration from other games in the genre like Ori and Hollow Knight, which are great examples of fast and fluid movement. That’s where legacy Metroid games fall down a little compared to the speed of today’s games, but here in Dread Samus almost glides across the screen with pure speed. She also has a very satisfying slide move, which you’ll need to get a hang of to get away from the EMMIs.
Overall, Metroid Dread has delivered on the promise of what a 2D Metroid could be. This is by far the best outing for Samus in 20 years, and in my book comes close to what Nintendo has achieved with Super Metroid. I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough, but for it to be an all-time classic requires another couple of times through the game. For now, though this is a hugely satisfying gaming experience, with Nintendo taking inspiration from the Metroidvania market, then going above beyond. My expectations have been met and then exceeded, and if you have a Nintendo Switch, you should be playing this game.
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is a 2017 platform game, it follows Mario and his new ally Cappy—a sentient hat that allows Mario to control other characters and objects—as they journey across various kingdoms to save Princess Peach from his nemesis Bowser’s plans of forced marriage. In contrast to the linear gameplay of prior entries, the game returns to the primarily open-ended, 3D platform gameplay featured in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine.
In Odyssey, Mario explores various kingdoms and collects Power Moons hidden inside them, used as a fuel source to power an airship known as the Odyssey to travel to new locations. Cappy’s main function is the “capture” ability, letting Mario possess enemies and other objects, helping him solve puzzles and progress in the game. After completing the main story mode, other post-game kingdoms are unlockable and an additional minigame, “Luigi’s Balloon World”, is playable. The game supports multiplayer and virtual reality with a Nintendo Labo virtual reality kit.
Super Mario Odyssey has been cited as one of the best games in the Mario series, with particular praise towards its inventiveness and originality. The game won several awards and sold nearly 22 million copies by September 2021, making it one of the best-selling Switch games and the fastest-selling game in the series.
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a 2017 action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles. Breath of the Wild is the nineteenth installment of The Legend of Zelda franchise and is set at the end of the Zelda timeline. The player controls Link, who awakens from a hundred-year slumber to defeat Calamity Ganon and restore the kingdom of Hyrule.
Similar to the original 1986 The Legend of Zelda game, players are given little instruction and can explore the world freely. Tasks include collecting various items and gear to aid in objectives such as puzzle-solving or side quests. The world is unstructured and designed to encourage exploration and experimentation, and the main story quest can be completed in a nonlinear fashion.
Development of Breath of the Wild took place over five years, following the responses from some fans who wanted a larger game world to explore. Wanting to rethink the conventions of the series, Nintendo introduced elements such as an open world and a detailed physics engine. Monolith Soft, known for their work on the open-world Xenoblade Chronicles series, assisted in designing landscapes and topography. The game was originally planned for release in 2015 as a Wii U exclusive but was delayed twice. Released on March 3, 2017, Breath of the Wild was a launch game for the Nintendo Switch and the final Nintendo-published game for the Wii U. Two waves of downloadable content was released throughout 2017 in an expansion pass.
Breath of the Wild received critical acclaim for its open-ended gameplay and attention to detail. Critics called it a landmark in open-world game design, although it received minor criticism for its technical performance at launch. It won several game of the year awards and has since been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. By 2021 it had sold over 27 million copies, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time. A spin-off, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, was released in 2020. A sequel is set for release on the Switch in 2022.
Let me know what you think of the list, and if you think I have missed anything let me know. This will be updated in the future.