Nintendo is the pioneer of many high-quality games. With Nintendo Direct giving us a glimpse of all that’s coming to Switch in 2023, it’s an excellent time to reconnect with some essentials for the console.
Here’s a list of the best games on Nintendo Switch from different genres that suit the console’s style. We update this list periodically to make sure it contains only the best titles on Switch, so make sure you bookmark this page.
20. Paper Mario: The Origami King (2020)
Puzzle/RPG/Adventure | Metacritic Score: 80
Paper Mario is an adorable take on popular plumber adventures. It isn’t your classic platformer that keeps you on the edge. Instead, Origami King has changed much of the RPG conventions from the franchise’s early games. And, it makes up for this with a new battle system and one of the silliest tales in Mario’s world.
Its lovable characters, great visual design, and an exciting exploring environment are vital highlights. To add to that, there’s an inventive and amusing narrative. Most of the combat is basic, and there are few worthwhile choices to make along your adventure. For now, Paper Mario: Origami King will keep you busy as you look forward to the newer Mario games.
19. Pokemon Sword and Shield (2019)
Action/Adventure/Open Zone | Metacritic Score: 80
Sword and Shield tries to make the best of Nintendo Switch’s hardware. Even though it’s only by default because the Switch is both a handheld and a home platform, Pokemon Sword & Shield finally introduced mainline Pokemon games to home consoles. Additional visual improvements and accessibility aren’t the only things the game gets right. Sword & Shield also brought in several quality of life improvements. This includes eliminating random encounters and ‘Gigantamaxing,’ giving your favorite Pokemon better treatment.
The Isle of Armour and The Crown Tundra post-launch expansion packs are lovely additions to the game. These contain both new and vintage Pokemon to add to your collection and are also included for the first time in a series game.
18. Splatoon 3 (2022)
Action/Shooter/Multiplayer | Metacritic Score: 83
Splatoon is unconventionally unique. It’s one of the uncommon video games you can play for longer than a year without growing bored. Many gamers had anticipated a quick conversion to the Switch that would start playing right away. Still, instead, we received a fantastic sequel with a brand-new single-player campaign and plenty of excellent, free post-release content.
Splatoon 3 places just as much emphasis on splatting the ground as it does on inking your foes. Although the updated single-player campaign and multiplayer modes are a start in the right direction, there is so much you can expect in the coming months and years. One of the best games on Nintendo Switch that will keep you hooked, Splatoon 3 has a new, addictive Salmon Run co-op mode and the promise of free updates similar to those that made the first Splatoon successful.
17. Slay the Spire (2019)
Card Game/Roguelike | Metacritic Score: 85
Slay the Spire is a clever roguelike that blends genres. The high replayability of this game comes from its creative game design. The balance between randomness and predictability is the sweet spot. While it may seem like a great idea to put synergistic cards together into a deck, it may require some strategizing and thinking. Still, there’s also satisfaction in succeeding despite the chances never being entirely in your favor.
Slay the Spire combines the most significant elements of dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, and deckbuilding games into one utterly original game. Working through level after level of enjoyable, puzzle-like combat promotes exploration, allows you plenty of room for error, and will present significant challenges. Before it even exited early access, a dozen games were made with ideas similar to this one, yet they still needed to match it in terms of execution.
16. Luigi’s Mansion 3 (2019)
Action/Adventure | Metacritic Score: 86
A great combo of both previous games, Luigi’s Mansion 3 provides the ultimate Luigi’s Mansion journey. It’s an intriguing and endearing game hidden under the soft curtain of expected spookiness. The main plot might become tedious if you focus on finding rewards, so it’s up to you how you approach certain ghastly situations.
It is innovative, hilarious, and very creative to play through Luigi’s Mansion 3. Despite being over two decades old, the series still enjoyably develops its own charm.
15. Stardew Valley (2017)
Simulation/Adventure/Action | Metacritic Score: 87
We can’t talk about the best games on Nintendo Switch without mentioning this gem. Stardew Valley is your answer to a much-needed escape from city life. You’ll carve up your rural path through farming, excavations, fishing, and romantic and friendly relationships. The people you meet and stories you uncover subtly add to your gameplay.
Consider these stories as an objective builder that lets you craft your role in the world of Stardew Valley. At one point, you’re a peaceful farmer waiting for this year’s yield. At another, you’re slaying monsters in caves to scavenge for better gear and resources. Do we need to say more?
14. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019)
Action/Adventure/RPG | Metacritic Score: 87
Link’s Awakening is a much-loved twist to the classic Zelda game. The massive island of Koholint in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has never looked better than it does on the Nintendo Switch, with its endearing, toyetic visual design and curiously grim overtones. One of the weirder Zelda tales has always been Link’s stranded voyage on a secret island. This world is filled with eccentric characters and massive dungeons, and this remake allows both new audiences and seasoned fans to enjoy it on a modern system.
Link’s Awakening gives the old Zelda game a fresh coat of paint. These colors reflect through excellent quality-of-life enhancements and a plethora of mysterious items. Ultimately, its biggest achievement is maintaining the strange, eerie, and gorgeous atmosphere of the original Game Boy game.
13. Metroid Dread (2021)
Action/Adventure/Platformer | Metacritic Score: 88
Metroid Dread is an unexpected rebirth of a legendary game. MercurySteam has developed a Metroid experience that is considerably more engaging and well-paced than Samus Returns, thanks to the ability to build a massive, open environment from the start. It is enjoyable to play and has fantastic visuals and seamless controls. It offers the same leap in technological sophistication over the Metroid games for the SNES and Game Boy Advance.
The ‘Flash Shift’ ability alone makes Dread seem completely new. It’s undoubtedly the smoothest game in the series, incorporating several new weapons and skills the franchise can’t live without.
12. Monster Hunter Rise (2021)
Action/Adventure/Open Zone | Metacritic Score: 88
Monster Hunter Rise is a humble expansion to the already popular universe. By a larger scale, the game caters to a bigger (as well as newer) audience by bringing in much needed mechanics and quality of life improvements.
The new ‘wirebug’ mechanic is revolutionary that enhances your agility and eye for hunting. This certainly makes the game more accessible than ever. Although the hunts themselves are still exciting, and the quest for better gear is still fascinating, Rise has made a bold stride forward compared to World, allowing Monster Hunter to appeal to a broader audience.
11. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (2020)
Action/Adventure/RPG | Metacritic Score: 89
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the revered JRPG’s remake. Although some of its personalization features and an overly grindy structure haven’t held up well after eight years, the game’s story and fighting are still excellent. This is the greatest iteration of Xenoblade Chronicles we’ve ever seen, even though the new Future Connected plot chapter isn’t very inventive. Instead, the game’s stunning visual upgrade and welcome (if modest) quality-of-life updates make up for it.
With the most powerful story to date without sacrificing the sense of grandeur and freedom of the familiar style, it is still the best game in the series. Xenoblade Chronicles is a clever, futuristic JRPG entry that easily earns a spot among the best games on Nintendo Switch (ever).
10. Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)
RPG/Adventure/Action | Metacritic Score: 89
Three Houses is a fantastic introduction to the series/genre and will appeal to newcomers. With lots of replay value and player customization, it is expertly designed, smartly envisioned, and skillfully written. While the game’s premise leans more towards pure fantasy escapism than Fire Emblem often does, it nevertheless presents a better, more intricate story than most of its rivals. At least one character is sure to become an immediate favorite.
It grabs your attention immediately and is nearly sure to keep you interested for dozens, if not hundreds of hours, as you learn this massive game inside and out.
9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)
Simulation/Adventure | Metacritic Score: 90
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a slice-of-life game that relaxes you into living a calmer life. It was published right before a global pandemic, giving many people a much-needed respite, and has since sold approximately 34 million copies.
New Horizon’s world invites you to make the best of your journey. When you’re interacting with different villagers, their stories will have an impact on how you go about things. Your home-building skills aren’t just limited to your creativity; they inspire new developments and events in the community as a whole.
It is masterful in motivating players to complete tasks, remodel and/or alter huge plots of land, or spend countless hours trying to catch rare fish or locate every seasonal item. It is excellent at being simple. It certainly helps that hundreds of hours have gone into the writing, and everything is hysterically funny.
8. Hollow Knight (2018)
Action/Adventure/Platformer | Metacritic Score: 90
Hollow Knight thrives as one of the finest Metroidvanias in modern gaming. It takes advantage of every component that helped the genre become so well-known in the first place without sounding derivative of anything that has gone before.
The kingdom of Hallownest’s finely drawn geography has a plethora of roads to uncover, enemies to take on, and puzzles to solve. It’s a dark, emotive universe that gives the adorable insect people a moral to live by. Each character has a life and a story to share. The prize you obtain will be worth far more than the effort you put in. And as far as the best games on Nintendo Switch go, this one can be a bit more challenging and intricate.
7. Celeste (2018)
Action/Adventure/Platformer | Metacritic Score: 92
Celeste is a gorgeously crafted adventure. Since the popularity of Super Meat Boy, it has had some of the greatest and most challenging 2D platforming, with levels that are as challenging to grasp as they are fun to complete.
Celeste’s excellent platforming brings out sharp running-and-jumping mechanics. It’s a meaningful and heartfelt story, and a fantastic soundtrack makes it a genuinely emotional game, even when your feet are securely on the ground. This is perhaps the game’s most outstanding achievement.
The following title from the creator is Earthblade, a “2D explore-action game in a seamless pixel art world” scheduled for release in 2024.
6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Racing/Action | Metacritic Score: 92
Few racing games are as enjoyable as Mario Kart. The series’ distinct arcade-y features make the best use of lovable characters and power-ups. Along with returning favorites like Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, Mario Kart 8’s encore on the Switch also added a brand-new “cops and robbers” team mode called Renegade Roundup. It also brought along all of the great DLC locations and even some Splatoon universe guests.
Even if Mario Kart isn’t brand-new, it is deservedly one of the best games on Nintendo Switch you will keep going back to.
5. Hades (2018)
Roguelike/Action/RPG | Metacritic Score: 93
Hades won millions of gamers’ hearts and for good reason. Although roguelikes aren’t always popular, Hades has managed to compete against even the most adamant opponents. The Greek underworld is a brutal and challenging place to escape, but every failure is rewarded in a way that makes it exhilarating in and of itself.
The breaks in between each run allow you to learn more about Hades’ endearing characters and develop a closer relationship with them. This helps you advance the skills and armor of the prince of the underworld, preventing you from simply adding up each defeat and moving on to the next.
4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Action/Fighting/Platformer/Multiplayer | Metacritic Score: 93
The genre-defining title made its way to Switch and shone brighter than ever. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the pinnacle iteration of Nintendo’s brawler series, which has been around for 20 years. It’s a celebration of Smash Bros. as a whole, crammed with over 89 playable characters from various gaming genres and featuring more fighters and levels than ever before.
Nintendo has impressively backed up the slogan “Everyone is here!” even though it was initially simply another tagline. With time, Ultimate has become the best Smash Bros. game. It’s easy to get lost in Ultimate because it has a 20+ hour single-player campaign with intense boss battles and expansive globe layouts.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Action/Adventure | Metacritic Score: 96
Many consider The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom the best game on Nintendo Switch. The experience is so excellent that it makes its prequel Breath of the Wild seem like a separate title universe.
Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom is expanded from Breath of the Wild in scope, richness, and compelling narrative. Better dungeons, more creative weapon making, and unfathomably robust construction mechanisms improve TOTK’s gameplay. It’s far better than what came before.
Contrastingly, the plot is complex and epic in scale, yet it may be played out in whatever sequence you choose. You can accomplish almost everything you can think of, yet the gameplay is easy to understand. Although everything is enormous, it is all driven by countless tiny details and choices.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Action/Adventure/Open World | Metacritic Score: 97
Breath of the Wild is a much-welcomed breath of fresh air into open-world games. It’s a game that reinvents a 30-year-old series, along with reshaping how we view open-world games. It offers a fantastic sandbox full of mystery and dangles countless enticing artifacts in front of you that ask for your curiosity.
In Breath of the Wild, you’ll brave a world crafted with careful design and nuances. Each of its adventures has a distinct backstory that explains how it came about, making them stories inside stories. Even after 50 hours of playing, you’ll keep opening doors to new experiences.
1. Super Mario Odyssey (2017)
Action/Adventure/Open Zone | Metacritic Score: 97
Conquering the list of best games on Nintendo Switch is Super Mario Odyssey, probably the most elaborate 3D interpretation of Mario’s world. It is a masterpiece of 3D platforming that deftly mixes the greatest elements of nearly every Mario game with a wide variety of fresh gameplay mechanics to create a piece that is simultaneously daring and nostalgic.
New players will enjoy stomping over the vibrant and spacious new regions, taking in the novelty. But if you’ve experienced all of this before, it’s worth staying beyond the credits to unlock the hundreds of challenges that await your ability and expertise. A sincere and in-depth trip into many concepts may be had by exploring the various worlds in Super Mario Odyssey. The journey stands out as one of the greatest in video game history and is quite unforgettable.
Nintendo Switch’s hardware might not challenge the latest tech in the market, but the library of games is nothing short of spectacular. Let us know in the comments down below if you wish to see one of your favorite Nintendo titles on the list.