The 36 best games on Nintendo Switch

The 36 best games on Nintendo Switch

Sony and Microsoft are launching the next generation of video game consoles later this year with the introduction of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X., respectively. They both cost a bundle and could be almost impossible to come by this holiday season. Fortunately, Nintendo already has a horse racing with that counter. Unlike any PlayStation or Xbox, the Switch can be played on your TV screen or on the go. (There is also the Nintendo Switch Litewhich costs $ 100 less, plays almost all games, but doesn’t connect to a TV.)

To be clear, the Switch debuted back in 2017, so it can’t compete with the graphical capabilities of next-generation consoles. The Switch’s flexibility in moving locations – even if it just stretches from room to room – and the fact that it’s the only place where you can find the latest and greatest Nintendo-exclusive franchises like Zelda, Mario, Pokemon and Animal Crossing will give him an edge on the shiny new consoles of 2020 will be struggling to counter that. Unlike Nintendo’s earlier Wii and Wii U consoles, the Switch has built a huge library of games, including numerous third-party titles and some games that can already be considered real classics.

Let’s go over some of our favorites that we update regularly. Note that the red buttons are links to third-party retailers, most of whom are the cartridge version of the game in question, although some (where indicated) are digital codes for download. Direct links to the Nintendo eShop downloads are also included if you’d rather buy directly from Nintendo.

Read more at GameSpot: Nintendo Switch games and news

Nintendo

A bundle of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy couldn’t be bad, right?

Well, it’s not perfect – the games have aged and there are a few control issues – but it’s hard to argue with the value of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Especially for those who have fond memories of Mario over the years.

You should have added Super Mario Galaxy 2 though. Come on nintendo! See Gamespot’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review.

Devolver games

Carrion is “are we the bad guys?” the videogame.

But Carrion calls itself a “reverse horror game”. You play as a monster with tentacles, crawl through a facility and kill everyone on your way. A very unique, innovative game that is worth your time, money and energy. Try it out See Gamespot’s Carrion Review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Super Mario Maker 2 doesn’t quite feel made for the Nintendo Switch as it was Perfect for the Wii U, but it’s still fantastic software. It makes level design accessible to everyone and has a massively improved single player mode.

Not to mention the endless repetition value that comes with the insane user-created levels. Be sure to check out Super Mario Maker 2. See GameSpot’s Super Mario Maker 2 review.

Team Cherry

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Hollow Knight is possibly one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. It’s a disturbingly well-designed platformer in the style of Super Metroid. But it’s more than that. The atmosphere, the audio design, the graphics …

Dear Sir, This game is an ice cold classic. Play it now. See GameSpot’s Hollow Knight review.

Matt makes games

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Celeste is a video game that will make you want to put your controller inside your TV in a good way.

With incredible level design and impeccably tuned precision platform, Celeste is one of the best games of its kind ever released. It’s smart, charming, and full of content.

It’s perfect for the switch too. You will hurl profanity in this public transport game and love every second of it. See GameSpot’s Celeste review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Splatoon 2 is very similar to the first Splatoon. It’s hardly a sequel in the traditional sense, but much like Mario Kart 8, that doesn’t make it any less important.

Splatoon’s high concept is pure genius and extremely Nintendo. It takes the first person shooter, traditionally a violent genre, and turns it upside down. They shoot paint, not bullets. You don’t get points for shooting enemies, but points by shooting at the surroundings themselves.

Splatoon rules. See GameSpots Splatoon 2 review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Are you ready for some video game buzzwords?

Cadence of Hyrule is an indie roguelike rhythm game based on the legend of Zelda. At regular intervals: a game that Zelda crosses with Dance Dance Revolution.

That sounds like a completely bizarre statement, but Cadence of Hyrule works! It really works. And you should fucking play. See GameSpot’s Cadence of Hyrule review.

Bethesda

See digital version on Nintendo Switch

Rules of fate. That is known.

Playing Doom on the Nintendo Switch rules too. Sure, it’s a little compromised compared to the versions you might play on the PS4, Xbox One, or any decent PC …

But yeah, good luck hauling one of those on the train. See GameSpot’s Doom Review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Stardew Valley is the perfect example of why the Nintendo Switch is a game-changing device.

Here’s a game that’s perfect on all the platforms it’s currently available on (PC, Xbox One, Vita, PS4), but it’s easy on the Switch elevated.

The nature of the switch (and the ability to play passively while watching TV or on public transit) make it perfect for a game like Stardew Valley – the digital equivalent of knitting a scarf.

Actually, all the games on the Switch are just better. All of them. See GameSpot’s Stardew Valley review.

Motion twin

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

The traditional words used to describe dead cells are “roguelike” and “metroidvania”. Both popular genres, but Dead Cells is a game with a unique imagination: you will play, you will die. But in Dead Cells, you can keep your upgrades and then restart with those upgrades, which means that you will progress through the game more slowly and easily as you play. Very cool. See GameSpot’s Dead Cells review.

Gorogoa

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Gorogoa is unlike any video game you’ve ever played.

It’s a puzzle … I think. But it really is a game that is about exploring an alien universe in ways that you can’t really predict.

A couple of warnings: Gorogoa is pretty short and I think it could be played better on an iPad, but it’s a unique, compelling, and seamless experience on any platform.

Find a way to play this video game. See GameSpot’s Gorogoa review.

FromSoftware

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Who doesn’t want to play one of the best video games ever made on public transit?

Dark Souls isn’t perfect on the Nintendo Switch, and at this point you could make a strong argument. The best version is the revamped version on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Other than that, you can’t play either of them on the bathroom.

Check and pair. See GameSpot’s Dark Souls Remastered review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Arms is a motion controlled game that is like boxing. Unless you have big, stretchy robotic arms and everyone has special powers. Obviously.

That said, Arms is a very Nintendo-like version of boxing.

It’s also extremely inventive and surprisingly verbose. Guns have layers and a real strategic element. It’s not perfect, but Arms is bizarre, inventive, and great fun. See GameSpot’s Arms reviews.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Tetris 99 sounds like it came from the pages of The Onion. Battle Royale has become so dominant as a genre that even Tetris is now Battle Royale.

But here’s the crazy thing: Tetris 99 works. This game works. It’s a lot of fun and you should play it.

Note that this game is free for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. See GameSpot’s Tetris 99 review.

Sega

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Sonic Mania is just …

[chef kissy fingers]

I mean, imagine if you grew up and grew up with Sonic. You announce a new game and you expect it to be bad because Sonic has been bad for about 20 years.

Then they drop Sonic Mania. A game that takes everything that is good about Sonic, preserves it, and then updates it perfectly in a seamless modern take that has no right to be that good. See GameSpot’s Sonic Mania review.

Oxfree

Night school studio

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

You know, when you’re playing a video game, and you say, “Man, this story is really interesting and well-written …

“For a video game.”

With Oxenfree, you don’t really have to make that distinction.

Oxenfree is a creepy mystery wrapped in teen drama. It’s like Riverdale for video games. It also has a really nifty and perfectly implemented dialogue system that rewards multiple playthroughs. See GameSpot’s Oxenfree review.

Nintendo

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Golf Story takes the 16-bit JRPGs you loved back in the SNES days and uh … adds golf.

Yes. The sport of golf.

And somehow everything works. Golf Story is the craziest elevator course in the world, perfectly executed. The game of golf works, the role-play game works, the story is fun. Great little video game. See GameSpots Golf Story Review.

Drooling

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Thumper’s creators call it “rhythmic force”. Goddamn.

It makes sense. Calling Thumper a “rhythm” game simply isn’t the case. It’s more than that. It’s just a pure, visceral experience that blends music with action in the most convincing way. It’s brutal. It’s earth shaking and just plain cool. See GameSpot’s Thumper Test.

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Like Mario Kart 8, Stardew Valley and Oxenfree, Bayonetta 2 is an old video game that was repurposed for the Nintendo Switch.

Bayonetta 2 originally came out on the Wii U, a console that was struggling. That’s why Bayonetta fought 2.

Fortunately, the switch will run a second time. This is great because Bayonetta 2 is an underrated masterpiece. Hop in. See GameSpots Bayonetta 2 review.

Hempuli

See the digital version in the Nintendo Store

Baba Is You is a puzzle game that will destroy every part of your brain. It’s a puzzle game that forces you to literally rewrite the rules of the game to get tasks done.

If that sounds complicated, it’s because is complicated. In the right sense.

It’s also the type of game that will haunt you, much like The Witness. You will think about puzzles as you do the dishes while you drive the car. You will scream EUREKA. Then you might break a bowl or overturn your car.

This game is dangerous to your health. See GameSpots Baba Is You review.

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